The New World Development Update #17

The latest development update for Iron Tower Studio's sci-fi RPG The New World offers a status update that answers the ever-nagging question “where the game's at?” and provides an overview of Iron Tower Studio's art pipeline. The art pipeline part of the update is filled with screenshots that you can check out in the update itself, and here's what has changed development-wise since June:

Our next milestone is the combat demo (don't ask me when), which is practically a game in itself as it requires pretty much everything: the character system, the combat system (attacks and NPCs' AI and pathfinding), the armor system, the gadgets, inventory, two hundred items (give or take) just to get the ball rolling, the interface, and god knows what else. It's a very complex task with a lot of moving parts that take awhile to define and even longer to implement. Here is Nick's status update:

Now, more detailed changelog since end of June:
  • The core element of combat system - attacks, stored and edited in a data table. Open "AttacksDB" asset in Content\Gameplay\Combat\Attacks\ to check it out. Configure an attack, then when editing a weapon, assign all the attacks it supports;
  • General TNW animation system setup;
  • Game states and player input states: game running, paused, busy (like when you see the hourglass cursor). The AI shouldn't think when the game is not running, the player shouldn't spam commands when PC is in the middle of attacking, that kind of stuff;
  • Interactive cursor, proper cursor scales and hotspots;
  • Setting up the human animation state machine. Simply put, it's a network of nodes and connections between them, where a node is animation type (idle, aiming, attacking, dying, etc) and the connection is a rule which controls the transition between nodes;
  • Added idle animations, implemented triggering idle variations;
  • Coded in combat structure, phases, implemented combat start/end;
  • Added pistol and rifle animation sets;
  • Implemented relative aiming and full body rotations towards enemy, wrote a framework of math functions to support that;
  • Unified the world interactive objects within one class hierarchy;
  • Pathfinding update: made characters path around each other in realtime movement, instead of bumping into one another. Finally got to implementing characters occupying (owning) tiles in the combat mode (see red squares on grid), updated grid object instanced mesh components to visually reflect that;
As you can see, most of this stuff sounds pretty basic, but every item on this list is a leap forward and a critical piece of game infrastructure.