27 October

Check Out All These Character Skins

By Vye

Hail and well met, Elyrians!

Our latest set of quests are well underway and I'd like to give you a peek under the hood to see how we are progressing. If you read the quest introductions then you will be familiar with what we are working toward: the first VoxElyria release to our Alpha I backers. At the end of this adventure, we'll be ready for our friends and family to get in from outside the studio. At the end of a couple more adventures, we'll be bringing in those Alpha I backers.

The Quest for Character Creation

Members: Cynax, wiz, Michael, Sekmu, Vanimus Prime, Strider, Souzou, Irreverent

In order for players to create characters, we need to have a variety of backend data to set, and client-side visuals to display. While Michael and Sekmu are adding in support for all the various skin colors, hair colors, eye colors, hair styles, facial hair (where appropriate), facial features, body proportions, and heights that a character can have, our artists are creating the extents for all of those things. Unlike a standard RPG character system, we are using a system of genetics that constrain your customization options to be near to your parents. The goal is for family members to actually resemble one another - because they're, you know, related - but still allow players to choose their precise appearance from those constraints. So that means that we don't generate character assets the same as other games. Modeling an arm, a nose, an eye color, etcetera, is a straightforward task in the usual RPG because that asset can stand on its own. We are creating systems that allow arms, noses, eye colors, etcetera, to occur within a range from Kypiq to Yoru.


A demonstration of the different ways a character's body can physically change. The adventure conclusion will show off much more granularity

Tribal bloodlines in Elyria will exist so far as players maintain purity of that bloodline. However, different tribes will be able to produce offspring with one another so we need to be able to support any and all cross-breeding that can and will occur. At first, players will be creating VoxElyria characters which will be pretty simplistic (read: programmer art) in regard to appearance, but the data on the server will be agnostic of which client (Voxel or UE4) is being used.


The characters are being updated in real time over the server in one of our VoxElyria test environments by editing a simple text file. Amazing!

That same character will be able to exist in either one interchangeably.


Side-by-side of the same data coming over the server in two different clients: VoxElyria and Unreal

The character attributes aren't just something that is set by the player during character creation. Certain attributes, like strength, will be affected by your in-game activities. If you eat a lot of protein and do manual labor, you'll be more muscular than someone who sits at a desk and eats pastries. The attributes that are stored in the data need to be set dynamically and served to nearby players so they see your true appearance. Again, this means creating assets that can exist at either extent and everywhere in between. However, VoxElyria characters are not expected to have those kind of visuals since it's meant to be a quick-iteration client for us. Instead, Vanimus Prime, Irreverent, and Strider will be making sure all the Unreal characters have full support for this no matter the genetics.


We begin by creating poses for the extremes a character can have, and then blend between them to create everything in between

There is a lot of detail in something as simple as the color of one's skin. Wiz put in some amazing shader work that will keep our characters looking great!


Tribal heritage, time spent out in the sun, age, and more are all contributors to one's skin - and it's more translucent than you might think. Look at those veins!

Your parents will set the basis for what you look like, but you get to decide which parts you are taking from whom. Greater facial customization will be part of the next adventure so, for now, the facial features are limited to what you see here.


I broke the lighting in the level before I recorded this, so pardon the flickering. You get the idea though!

All this is just the first step, not the finished product! By the end of the quest, we can generate new characters into the world that can persist whether we are on or offline, for as long as the server is active. Cynax is working on the UI system in order to create the character creation screens we'll need to log in, create a character, and enter the world.

Though not strictly required for this adventure, Irreverent and Vanimus Prime are doing R&D for the next leg of work. I was going to keep this to myself until the next update, but Caspian convinced me to show it now (you all know how fond he is of leaking cool content)!


The ultimate goal is to have a system that can create all manner of faces - from bland or fair to distinct or ugly - but not obviously broken or mutated beyond what is biologically possible

You'll see more on that in the next adventure!

The Quest for Account Creation

Members: Cynax

Creating one's account is as simple as creating it on the chroniclesofelyria.com website. Though Cynax is developing the interface and environment that will allow us to play outside of the studio, much of the work here has been an intrinsic part of the V3 Website and Soulborn engine environment. There is nothing to show, since it is all under the hood, but all the logging in, creating or selecting a character, and logging out will hook into these systems. There's sadly not much to say since the architecture is quite nice and is easing development across the board now that we're in the thick of it.

The Quest for Online Terrain & Physics

Members: TripNull, wiz, Raevantiel, Sekmu, Strider, Mudokon, Snipehunter

The initial VoxElyria level that we showed earlier this year had some limitations: the terrain collision was not high enough resolution, the client-side physics and prediction were not finished, and the terrain data was all set in a local file.


Here is where the terrain fidelity was before

We are improving the terrain fidelity and ensuring the physics and collision are in line with that. You can see some different samples we tried using the same terrain data being downloaded from the server.




We like the third one best

Now it's a matter of making sure that the terrain around you is downloaded and cached by the server before terrain that is further away, and not any of the terrain that you won't need. Right now, we're only downloading the terrain, not any trees or buildings (the area you're looking at is actually in Silver Run). After that, the physics between the client and server will need to be synchronized so that moving around feels as smooth when online as when playing locally. In VoxElyria, the synchronization won't be as important since the animations and inverse kinematics won't come into play, so this last bit is only needed for Alpha.

The Quest for Survival Mechanics

Members: Souzou, Cynax, Michael

This quest is already complete! Because of the way we've structured the Soulborn Engine, this actually only took one sprint to do. In its current state, the server monitors your energy and displays it. When a character sprints, their energy is depleted. When the character walks, their energy replenishes. As an added bonus above and beyond what we asked for, Sekmu sneaked in while the party was sleeping and added a rest state that the character can enter where energy is regained more quickly!

Though the quest was a pretty low challenge rating for the party, it paves the way for all the other survival mechanics that will come in future quests, such as needing food, rest, shelter, homeostasis, and more!

The Protectors of the Web

Members: ZRO, Death, Cynax, Scarlet, Serpentius, Kaizen, Vye

The Quest for V3 of the website is still underway and we've been pushing out updates for it here and there. Some you've seen (such as the new homepage and registration) and some you haven't (the components and graphics for building out the game guide and other pages). One major piece of that work is what actually shows up on each of the game guide pages, both the words and images and in what configuration. A lot of this information is hidden in Design Journals and we want to extract it from there and put everything in one, easy page tree.

I'm the one who writes a lot of the words around here so I've been chipping away at the new pages in my spare moments. If you're looking for someone to throw under the bus for why the game guide isn't out yet, you can throw me there but it's more complicated than all that in reality. Even so, while the rest of the team waits for that to be finished, they've been annihilating bugs and working on improving our blog, newsletter, and marketing efforts. You may have noticed a flurry of activity from us lately, and that is why.

Our feature priority for V3 of the website is still: homepage (which is done!), game guide (in progress), blog (in progress), media section (in progress), account area, influence stuff, support and FAQ sections (in progress), forums, and store. You may have seen a preview of the new navigation and game guide organization in the last production update. Now, let me give you a preview of what one of the new game guide pages may actually look like.


Not all the images are final, but hopefully you can get an idea of our overall aesthetic

The game guide work is accelerating with the addition of Kaizen and now Snipehunter to help with the copy, so practice your best slow clap so you'll be ready when the update drops at last. For now though, courage!

The Quest for More Biomes?

Raevantiel has struck out on his own to scout the next Adventure, and there be biomes on yonder horizon! Elyria is a big place and there's more to it than the vast forests that you've seen quite a lot of to date. As a possible spoiler to part of the next adventure, we are developing more varied terrain types and, therefore, more biomes. Initially, we want to focus on the major biomes that are the homes for our launch tribes: Taiga for the Brudvir, Freshwater Swamps for the Dras, Mountain Steppe for the Hrothi, Tropical Rainforest for the Janoa, Broadleaf Forest for the Kypiq, Grasslands for the Neran, Wetlands for the To`resk, and Semi-Arid Desert for the Waerd. We selected four of the most diverse to begin exploring. First, we need to make sure that the overall topology is spot-on and the soil type is what we want.


We were looking for a ruddiness to the soil and mesas that were varied in size, height, and structural integrity

Then we can begin layering in different features: underbrush, trees, rocks, water, and other foliage. So far, we have nailed down the topology for the Semi-Arid Desert, Swamp, Taiga, and Tropical Rainforest.



The Semi-Arid desert often includes sharp variations in elevation where one can see for miles

As you can see, even just one type of shrub can start to add a lot! We'll be adding in some grasses here next.



The Freshwater Swamp has nutrient-rich soil and can support some pretty beefy trees



The Taiga: we're showing mostly boreal forest here, but with a transition to alpine forest in the distance



We're not sold on these trees, but the soil should be rich and dark and the terrain is nicely variegated

Though we're not expressly trying to nail down the lighting and time-of-day targets for these areas, our existing lighting system does allow us to play with some different times of day. I particularly like the jungle at night.


"A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh" - The Tokens

I hope it shows in the progress you see, but all our foundational efforts from earlier this year are continuing to pay off. First, the jousting demo came together in a short amount of time. Now, we are pushing on VoxElyria and Alpha I features with reckless abandon! With our focus being to prep VoxElyria for release to our Alpha I backers, it's generating a lot of excitement around the office. What about you?

Pledged to Your Continued Adventures in Life, Both Actual and Fantasy,

Vye

Discuss

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barucki - 8 months ago

como fazemos para fase dawloand do elyria

LapantinoPT - 3 months ago
@barucki:

Podem-se juntar ao ducado Português, teremos muito gosto em vos receber :) https://discord.gg/wkZ3p8q

Fredbob99705 - 8 months ago
@barucki:

Posted By barucki at 06:58 AM - Fri Nov 17 2017

como fazemos para fase dawloand do elyria

Elyria ainda está em desenvolvimento, então precisamos esperar para jogar o jogo.

Baylian Silvermane - 8 months ago

Everything I am seeing so far just makes me like this game even more. Now to decided what package to pledge?

Serpentius - 8 months ago
@Baylian Silvermane:

Posted By Baylian Silvermane at 05:53 AM - Fri Nov 10 2017

Everything I am seeing so far just makes me like this game even more. Now to decided what package to pledge?

Thank you. If you need any advice, feel free to join our Discord server or post a question in the New Player Questions forum.

There are lots of folks in this community that will be happy to give you all the advice and answers you seek (if available, of course).

Welcome :)

Firex - 8 months ago

awesome

i like those deserts

Bluetiful - 8 months ago

This looks so good!

Orisoll - 9 months ago

This is awesome, I'm glad there's a good amount of effort being put into the character creator. A couple features that would be nice:

  1. The ability to scrub through the aging process and make little tweaks to how you'll look at any given age.
  2. The ability to compare your character to one of average height and build for any tribe you want. This will help orient the player so they don't come out of the character creation screen only to discover they made themselves way too tall or short.
  3. Allow a grace period of a few days where you can go back and edit your character, within the confines of their already established race and sex. This way if you make a mistake, you'll have a chance to fix it while your character is still a kid.
  4. This one's a little more out there, but on ward characters the ability to save presets and share them with other players would make the process a lot more streamlined. You could have a built-in browser for things like preset faces, body types, etc. that players could consult if they don't want to spend 2 hours fiddling with sliders to make the perfect avatar.
KRONOS PHOENIX - 7 months ago
@Orisoll:

I second this motion

Sport - 6 months ago
@KRONOS PHOENIX:

@ Orisoll I second this also :)

ApRoZaR - 9 months ago

From where can i download the game ?

Tekronos - 9 months ago

Not to poop on anyone's parade.. Buuuuttt this is EXACTLY what we all want to see.. I almost could accept the 'delay' or timing in getting something like this out. This SHOWS clear work effort and PROGRESS that we all HOPE for!!! Absolutely informative (mouth dribbling) and exciting. What your crowd supporters need. Sorry to be so hungry but that IIISSSS why we supported the development of your game from the beginning. If proposes to fill a void that all of us MMO RPGers are desiring. To the entire SBS team... KUDOS!!!

Tekronos Terran Selah Ranger of the first glade

Abuncha_nada - 9 months ago

Yay! This is they type of content we've been hoping to see! I'm still hoping we can HEAR something at some point, sound is so integral to the experience that I'd like to see some features on the sounds of the various animals you've created, as well as the soundtracks in the game and what plans you have for immersive music

Saedorn - 9 months ago

Wow.... so much good stuff

switchblade - 9 months ago

amazing

Nakhum - 9 months ago

Really great to see Biomes coming along. I'm very excited to see what all those different terrains will end up looking like in the end. You're delivering in some great speed, too. I mean, feels like yesterday we were getting introduced to tribes.

Loggy - 9 months ago

Looks amazing , Thanks for the update!!!

FlariaIcaria - 9 months ago

I'm loving the shader part the most out of anything. Yet, the rest are going great so far. Keep up a great work, everyone!

Arren - 9 months ago

veeeeery noice where his eyebrows at thoo haha^^

Mathius_The_Loser - 9 months ago

nice!

TR3LON1ST - 9 months ago

Great progress, you could have made two dev journals out of that content :D

Plenty to feed upon! :)

Hieronymus - 9 months ago

Morphing! Yes! I really hope that's not just a dev tool but also part of the character creation client because that's one thing I really would love to see - a morphing tool to create totally unique faces.

Awesome.

Incen - 9 months ago

Wow that is rly Awesome! <3

Artax_Daane - 9 months ago

TOTES amaze...

Artax_Daane - 9 months ago

Amaze...

grandad1982 - 9 months ago

Definitely don't like the jungle trees. There needs to be some monsters and much more of a continuous canopy.

I like that the swamp isn't as murky as I thought it might be.

Can't wait to see more biome info!

Daynen - 9 months ago

I enjoy seeing chunks of progress like this. It makes a little wait, but then the wait is worth it.

Just don't make the mistake Bethesda did with Fallout 4: Make sure that all collision surfaces (i.e. floors, tables, roofs, etc.) load up in nearby out-of-visual range RAM...BEFORE any objects that are affected by gravity!

DO NOT leave us constantly finding stuff scattered on the ground because it fell through the surfaces! PLEEEEEEEEASE!

Abuncha_nada - 9 months ago
@Daynen:

Seconded

Chroniclesofalias - 9 months ago

Really cool update, thanks Vye.

Valtin - 9 months ago

Cant wait to explore in these lands. Great job guys, keep it up.

HeadUpHigh - 9 months ago

That face video is so freaking impressive. Great work :)

Augustus_Aquila - 9 months ago

Wow .... i got no words to describe what i saw....

Speechless.... is so amazing..😆😆😆

Rofus - 9 months ago

Looking good! Awesome to see so many screenshots and videos in a single update! Thanks for sharing!

eltaninsroses - 9 months ago

Thank you! Looking good you guys!

Abelsang - 9 months ago

Awesome work, i love it.

Cerbus - 9 months ago

Those biome screens are.. AMAZING!!!

Abigor - 9 months ago

Man those biomes look dope! Absolutely in love with taiga

Iosef - 9 months ago

Fantastic work! It's heartening to watch developers work who truly care about their project!

VanHarsen - 9 months ago

Nice pictures ! thanks for sharing

Baronos - 9 months ago

Everything looks amazing! I'm so excited that we are seeing more on biomes, and details from character making. I'm sure we will have a very diverse Elyria!

You guys are great!

Azmodeth - 9 months ago

really, I a was the first like ? Your all nuts ! The game looks amazing, I kind of critiqued something I saw the other day, but what I am seeing here totally redeemed in my eyes what I thought was in need of redeeming, to the point I think i felt silly being so concerned. Way to go team SBS !

Alazar - 9 months ago

Amazing work!

HolyAvengerOne - 9 months ago

OMG, so awesome! Thanks a lot!! :)

Baldrin Hammerfist - 9 months ago

Nice Update, looks like things are coming together nicely!

Jarri - 9 months ago

Vye =] You and SBS continue to amaze with these posts. The swamps are not what I was expecting at all and brings me a bit of joy and hope for their continued development. I look forward to your next post.

Hellmoon - 9 months ago

Exciting update!!! Those biomes are GORGEOUS :)

sbrydion - 9 months ago

I too really love that last screenshot of the jungle at night! Cool beans. Looking forward to more mountain and underground stuff too! ;)

Xemmas - 9 months ago

Fantastic work guys! Keep it up!

HammerStrike - 9 months ago

Wow! Nice!!!

Medussa - 9 months ago

wow thanks for all the info oh and think its going to take me months to set my character up lol

IronsideEU - 9 months ago

I'm in love, great work!

Azmodeth - 9 months ago
@IronsideEU:

seems there is no CoE Reddit, but theres CoE trades, so here is reddit post : mhttps://www.reddit.com/r/COETrades/comments/790h2f/amazingmustsee_artwork/

Gwyn - 9 months ago
@Azmodeth:

Awesome work. But the more I see of all the biomes, the less of a clue I have on which one I even want to pick. They're all beautiful.

Posted By Azmodeth at 8:31 PM - Thu Oct 26 2017

seems there is no CoE Reddit, but theres CoE trades, so here is reddit post : mhttps://www.reddit.com/r/COETrades/comments/790h2f/amazingmustsee_artwork/

https://www.reddit.com/r/ChroniclesOfElyria/ is the CoE reddit, I believe!