This is the first official Devblog since our launch on Steam and boy have we learnt a lot in the past week or so? This blog post will give you an idea of what's coming to the game, including the new Skeleton monster, dual wield and an update on how development of our new Offline Single Player mode is going.
New Skeleton Monster
Since launch CardLife's launch into Steam Early Access our code team has been busy implementing our new Photon Cloud Servers and the Single Player Offline mode, which has left the art team free to begin creating new visual effects and new monsters to launch in-game in the coming months. The first of which we'd like to reveal this week; say hello to the Skeleton or we call him internally 'Skele'.
The Skeleton will be another magic monster in-game like the Golem and Dryad. This character will be like the aforementioned monsters in terms of its behaviour and it's aggro distance and will drop a new crafting material - the Skull. Unfortunately, we won't be able to get him in for Halloween due to current development priorities, but we did want to share our vision of Skele with you during the spookiest time of year. Oh and don't worry, he doesn't just run everywhere, he can shamble too!
The Skeleton is also the first character in CardLife to have a death animation as well, which is currently work in progress. Matt, our animator, is working on new death animations for all characters in-game to give kills a bit more oomph but don't worry we'll still incorporate that poof of cardboard as drops emerge.
Offline Single Player Launching Next Week
We've always had a small number of the CardLife community (that's you guys) asking for a way to play offline without having to maintain an active connection with servers while you play. That demand skyrocketed for this functionality as soon as we were available on Steam and as soon as we saw that we diverted some of our coders to begin work on that functionality straight away. The good news is that work on the Offline Single Player feature is almost complete and it's currently being tested by our QA team.
Here's how it'll work:
- The first time you log into CardLife, we check that your account owns CardLife as the final part of the installation process. You need to be online for this but you would need to be online anyway to download the game :)
- Next time you launch the game, you don't need to be online at all. You can be on a bus with a laptop and no wifi, and you'll still be able to play Single Player
- From then on Single Player has no network stuff regardless of whether you have internet or not, zero lag (at least zero network lag).
If all goes well with testing, we believe that Offline Single Player will launch in-game towards the end of next week, but we'll communicate the exact date to closer to the time.
New Region-based Official Servers
We have spoken a lot about servers on this week when we launched our new Cloud Photon Servers which gave players hosting their own servers and playing in Single Player better pings and more stable connections. Today we have made this transition with our Official Servers as well:
Formerly all of our servers were based in Ireland which meant that if you weren't in the EU you experienced a heightened chance of disconnections and a high latency. Now that shouldn't be as much of an issue as it was before.
Obviously, some EU players may experience much higher latency to their server of choice when formerly this wasn't the case. In those specific cases we'll be happy to transfer across any items that you have in your inventory that you want to take with you to an Official Server which is closer to your playing position. Just get in touch with our support team via this link Support.freejamgames.com with information on what server you were playing on, what server you have moved to, what items you want to take with you (pending verification), and of course your display name.
Did you know that we first hinted at Dual Wielding way back in DevBlog 8? Well, that is the next big feature we're currently neck deep in. The art team has already finalised how the animations will work when you, say, block a parry with your shield in your left hand while you commence a sword strike with your right, or carry a torch in a cave while digging with a pick-axe. By freeing up your hand for additional actions we're aiming to add a bit more complexity to combat and world interaction. The next step is the code team to implement this system in-game which we suspect will be completed and in-game soon. No promises of course as this is still in development, but it's looking good at the moment.
To give you an idea of how dual-wielding will affect the game animations, check out the attack pattern of the new Skeleton:
Connect The Dots Improvements
One of the most common suggestions we get from players is that they want more functionality in the Connect The Dots editor. Our art team is currently looking at that in detail at the moment with the goal of adding functionality that offers a lot of creative freedom without being complex to use. We've been looking at every art software you can possibly imagine in this pursuit and we'll share news of these added tools soon. We've also made some tweaks to the way your character looks during character creation to allow your edits to be much more easily visible with additional shadowing as well. This small yet impactful tweak will go live in our next major update.
The last thing to mention in this ALMIGHTY DevBlog is our efforts to translate CardLife into multiple languages. We have designed a system which allows you to help us with localisation by checking the translations we already have in-place. If you'd like to be part of this process, please reach out to us via our support address (Support.freejamgames.com) with your native language and we'll be happy to tell you how you can contribute.
As always let us know your thoughts about this week's Devblog and CardLife in general via Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Discord and our Official Forum. We want to make the best game we can and we can not do that without your support.
Andy - Comms Manager