The last month before releasing a new build is a crazy, non-stop working spree.
The work leading up to Build 0.6.0 has been no exception. Our programmers have been coming to the studio to work on most of the Sundays and EVERY single Saturday for the last 2 months. The amount of work that needed to be done to bring our vision of a close-combat multiplayer fighting game is humongous.
First of all, our entire replication system had to be re-configured and adapted to the new dedicated servers. The new Skara is finally going to be available for a whole bunch of players, not just a few chosen testers. For that to work, everything had to be rock solid to avoid lag on multiplayer matches.
Doing this may sound a little bit crazy, but is was certainly worthwhile. There are a lot of different situations that had to be reviewed and coded over again. The team had to try and consider gameplay situations from multiple perspectives to ensure that everything looked the way it should. This included situations like when a player is hit in the middle of a dodge. What animation and distance displacement should each of the players see? There is a lot of prediction involved in the code of most multiplayer games, and Skara is no exception, but that comes with thousand of hours of hard work testing, coding, compiling, and testing again.
Ciro and David were our chosen programmers for this, while Juanma worked on the dedicated server integration. Jacobo, meanwhile, has been working on the interface logic to include player parties, in-game chat, and a social/friend system in Skara.
Yes, that is right: Skara is being made by only 4 gameplay programmers!
Our designers had a hard time on all these features as well. Since the whole combat system was going to be re-configured Joan - our Lead Game Designer - took advantage of the great feedback our player base provided and re-calculated distance and power for all the attacks in the game to re-adjust the character balancing. Sara and Adrià, junior part-time designers, helped him out to test and adjust each one of the blueprint and animation montages to make sure everything matched.
The Art department meanwhile gave a warm welcome to a couple of new additions. Marc Obiols joined the team as an Environment/Materials artist, and Adrià Najar is now the Lead Artist in charge of the whole department.
As some of you may know, the Jaarvi Duel Arena has been totally redone. Most of the animations - more than one hundred animations for each character - had to be re-adjusted to match the new gameplay and replication logic. We also seized the opportunity to connect a couple of Kinect Ones and try some motion capture for the first two in-game cinematics. You will see them the first time you open the game.
Finally, we were waiting to add a lot of new cosmetic and customizable options for your characters in the game store. New complete skins, isolated items, helmets and looks will be available in Skara 0.6.0… and this is only the beginning! We are planning to release a new character customization system in version 0.7.0 to allow players to choose their character faces and skin color, individualised mockeries, and a lot more content.
Get ready! Skara 0.6.0 is coming!
What’s new in the 0.6.0 build:
- Dedicated servers.
- Huge replication improvements.
- All animations rework.
- New rankings refreshed every two weeks: one global ranking with the sum of all the ranking points from all your characters + one ranking for each character.
- Groth chained into the Lava coliseum. Visible from the first second. New animations.
- HUD: Frag display screen redesign.
- Skins: 1 mastery skin per character. This skin will be purchasable only with in-game currency (not premium currency) when reaching a certain level.
- Skins: 1 new purchasable skin + 3 isolated items (helmets or weapons) per character.
- Skins: Old skins visual improvements.
- Arenas: Jaarvi (duel arena) complete redesign (design + art).
- Arenas: Tutorial visual improvements.
- Arenas: Two matinees in the tutorial, one at the entrance, the other at the end.
- New gameplay feature: dash.
- New gameplay feature: dash attack.
- Optimization: VFX.
- Optimization: maps.
- New menu feature: Friends invitation and friends list.
- New menu feature: Menu chat and in-game chat.
- New menu feature: Parties. You will be able to group with your friends to enter all together into the matches.
- Menu improvements: Karats packs visual redesign.
- Menu improvements: New menu animations for the characters.
- Menu improvements: better user experience. It is faster to equip and purchase items.
- Menu improvements: Menu personalized for each character (personal background + pedestal).
- Menu improvements: Cards visual redesign and cards rarity logic.
- Spanish localization.