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The work on SolarFall Games' action-RPG Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem continues, and according to the latest Kickstarter update, the game will soon have fully animated bows, a new targeting system, and new overkill effects. These additions will be accompanied by some fixes to the game's current issues with lightning effects and its Overheating skill. Check it out:
NEW TARGETING SYSTEM
Hadrien/Nyhlus is working on a new targeting system that may be partially implemented in the next update. This should solve most of the targeting issues with various spells and weapons and improve considerably the gameplay comfort. Here are a few words from him to explain that feature:
Until now, the calculation of the trajectory for some spells could be imprecise or unpredictable. We use several different techniques, depending on the attack: physical projectiles, explosions, proximity calculation, raytracing and such.
Thus we decided to develop a simpler system in order to streamline spells handling and make the gameplay clean and predictable, without any surprise or mistake during target acquisition. On the other hand, the creation of such a system would allow us to see and debug in real time the calculations done by the spells during the targeting phase, how it behaves and what’s the issue when it doesn’t work.
In a few words, the new system works like this: We have several types of 2D shapes: circle, ring, rectangle, arc, cone and trapezium, to which we can apply different parameters and create on-the-fly when we cast a spell or an area of effect. The shapes can be rotated, moved and scaled in time so they can track the evolution of the spell (for instance: a damage area shrinking as the spell moves forward), and we can associate several shapes to the same spell in order to allow a more complex acquisition of targets.
First, we perform a 3D test to capture all the valid targets in the bounding box which contains the shape (updated when the shape is modified), allowing a large tolerance in height because everything is not always on a plane. This acquisition remains efficient because the targets are already referenced on a pre-established grid of entities. Then, we check that every target is contained in the shape by only taking into consideration its 2D position (ignoring its height). In order to do that, we use a tolerance equal to the radius of its collision capsule, which allows us to hit enemies with large meshes, and even if their world position is out of the shape itself. This last calculation is purely mathematics (thus, very performant), and changes according to the shape.
With this method we end up with a performant system paired with prior checks so the only targets hit are the eligible entities (not the environment, loots, etc.). It allows us to have a precise and clean gameplay, with a method that we can use for a great number of attacks and which ensures that targets are always valid. By going even further, we can also create boss spells or patterns following complex forms, or moving and growing shapes, forcing the player to perform a dodge at the right time or placing himself in a safe zone. The only limit is our imagination… and geometry!
LIGHTNING & OVERHEATING ISSUES
We’ve also been working hard on this issue to solve it and now I'm very pleased to announce you that we have! The lightning issues will be fixed in the next update, including the crashes and the lightning effect remaining on screen.
We’ve also noticed from the community feedback that there are quite a few players victim of the overheating skill in the Passive Skill Tree. Until we redesign it, we will reduce the effect of Overheating on the next update to avoid sudden death of characters.
And that's all for today! There are a lot I wish I could share with you but so far all I can tell you is that we're also working on a lot of major features and content, including the new character creation, the final version of act I, multiplayer (of course), new creatures, new weapons, the apocalyptic forms, pets... we will communicate on all of these features as we move closer to their implementation.