This is the first in what we hope will be a long series of weekly updates from the team here at Dragon Curve Games. Development has been going on in earnest for the last week on our flag game, Celestial Forge. Future updates will reveal more about the races, mechanics, progression systems, and so forth of the game. We wanted to start off, though, with a brief overview of what our dev team has been doing for the past few weeks to try to put together the basic framework of the game. At the moment the team is small, and completely volunteer, so for many people it’s been a process of learning as they create. So far we’ve had two main foci…
Building The Heavens
Celestial Forge is a truly vast MMORPG and the last few weeks have been occupied with laying the basic groundwork for the universe. The world will include 300 separate, fully realized, player-intractable star systems. Places where player scan visit, explore, launch missions on, and build their own structures and content. Building the basics means designing the stars themselves, and positioning them in the heavens.
That might seem simple, but we want to make sure that players can navigate the star map freely, and that it looks and feels realistic when they do so. That means adjusting and testing scales and positioning until everything is just right. Stars have to be the right distance from each other that they appear as stars in each others’ skies. And of course, the stars themselves have to be modelled, textured, and made to emit light in just the right kind of way to make them look like real stellar bodies, even up close.
With so many stars actually in the game, the sky almost looks right even without further work, but we want to go for perfection, so the last step is to add a ‘sky-sphere’ – a backdrop of painted on galactic background – around the playable world for additional depth.
It’s been an interesting process of learning the tools and experimenting with what works, but we’re well underway now, and expect to have all 3-hundred placed in another week or two.
Another core element of the learning process has been playing around with designing the models for the ships of some of Celestial Forge’s player character races (look for more details on them in a future post). As with stars and star systems, designing ships can be more complicated than it sounds, especially since our commitment to making a realistic feel means we have to be at least a little bit rigorous in our ship models.
There’s a huge diversity of ships and ship types to choose from, from tiny strike craft, to mighty dreadnaughts, to commercial cargo haulers, and all have to look and feel consistent next to each other, and represent viable play-styles to a player. We’ve also tried to give each race a different aesthetic and feel. Nothing is set in stone yet, but we’ve made a lot of progress and we think you’ll be pleased when the final results are in.
If you don’t like any of the default ship classes though, players may be glad to know that it is our goal to eventually make player-character ships 100% customizable using tools of the same caliber as those implemented by the devs.
That’s it for this week. Thank you all, and look for more information next Thursday. See you then!
The Dragon Curves Development Team