Welcome to the weekly update for the week of September 12th! This week's update comes with some nice new screenshots, a concept art mood piece, website updates, and some design talk on the Tribes of Mann. Let's not delay, let's jump right into the roll call.
The first major announcement is that earlier today we released v2.1 of the website. This version comes with a ton of new features and changes. Let me use this opportunity to touch on some of them briefly.
New Fonts - We were previously licensing fonts from an online font service. However, the font service would periodically get bogged down and it was sometimes taking on the order of 10-20 seconds for pages to load waiting for the font server. Now we're no longer dependent on an external font server and things should load much more quickly.
Unified CSS - ZRO has been working hard to remove all the inline style elements and other bad practices us programmers had thrown into the v1 and v2 version of the site before he got here. The end result is even faster load times, and most importantly, the ability to easily make changes for future improvements
Fast Access to Forum Topics & Posts - In the Recent Posts section of the forums it's now possible to click the Topic Name to go right to the OP, or the time stamp to go to the most recent post.
Advanced Moderator Tools - We've added more advanced mod tools to enable the mods to bulk delete, restore, and move topics from one forum to another. This'll greatly help with moderation and keeping the forums clean.
While the design and concept team continue to work together on concepts of new creatures and the Tribes of Mann, Heat took a break to create a mood piece to show you a bit more of the Pteroguin, it's relative size, and its feeding habits. If this concept doesn't set the mood effectively, we don't know what will.
Over the last several weeks our environment artist, Raevantiel, has been working on the playable areas of the Prologue. The Prologue, which currently has a playable region of roughly 8 km x 12 km, includes forests, plains, a river, lakes, and mountains. Scattered throughout are small hamlets, animal dens, a few forgotten ruins, and of course, the village of Silver Run and the town of New Haven.
While the southern regions of Titan's Steppe borders an actual Steppe, the majority of Titan's Steppe lies in the Taiga/Boreal Forest biome, with Alpine Tundra and Tundra along the northern region.
Below are some Work-In-Progress screenshots of some of the areas of Titan's Steppe that have never been seen before. We hope you enjoy!
As with last week, I'm unable to reveal much of what we've been working on lately, however, I can tell you we continue to work on defining more details of the different Tribes of Mann. While I can't say much now, I can say that the first one we've been working on we call the Joru Tribe, pronounced Yor-oo. Members of the tribe are referred to as Joran (Yor-uhn).
If you sense a bit of a Nordic flare to the name, you're not wrong. As the design currently stands, the Joru are a northern tribe, accustomed to the harsh winters of the Tundra and Taiga.
Rumor has it, even the Bearded King Thandrus may have some Joru blood in him.
Well, that's all I can say for now. More details on the Joru and the other Tribes of Mann as we get enough locked in we feel comfortable sharing it with you.
One final note, someone in IRC earlier asked where we draw our inspiration for the Tribes of Mann. We responded with a combination of things including:
Look for those in equal measure within most of the Tribes.
That's all for this week folks, but stay tuned. We have the launch of the Online Store in just two weeks! Once the store launches, you'll have an opportunity to back the game if you haven't already, or even upgrade your pledge if you did!
And as always, we'll continue to add more features and functionality to the website. Initially, the features will be focused on us providing you more content, but with the v3 of the website coming later this year, we'll transition to focusing on player-created content.