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It's been a busy, eventful and productive month for the Identity team at Asylum! Only a few weeks ago we released our first video showing real in-game content, the player housing system, and Identity has gotten a good bit of much-needed exposure! If you haven't seen the video, visit Identity's YouTube channel. Our programmers, especially Henrik Sonesson, have upgraded our inventory mechanics and created two new important gameplay systems these last weeks. The library which you'll have access to in the Town Square module is now in place and functional. Players can both read public domain classic books in-game, or even write their own and submit them to the library for other players to read. In addition, the NPC shop systems are now in place. When you enter most shops you'll be able to find the items you need on racks or displays around the store. Grab what it is you're looking for and then make your way to the cash register to make the purchase. In some places you can preview the items you're holding even before buying; for example, in a clothing store you can go into a change room. This system even allows for shoplifting some items, although player-crafted or very expensive items cannot be shoplifted on official servers. On the art front, we've brought on new artists and are continuing to build the world you'll be exploring. We've also been focusing on the interiors of buildings and characters. We've gotten our first facial hair assets and are approaching a complete character customization system. An overhaul of character skin and hair has Identity's characters looking incredibly life-like in comparison to other MMORPGs. Next on that list for a re-work is the eyes.
Hello citizens! It's been too long since our last developer blog entry, so I wanted to take the time today to update all of our backers on Identity's current state of development, as well as give a little more insight into the process behind the scenes. During the first year and a bit of development, most of the time was spent developing key backend systems. Networking modifications, weapon physics, character customization, voice communication and so on. That's all behind us now, and I'm happy to say it's gone as well as we could have hoped. Now and for the past couple of months we've moved on to gameplay development, making those backend features do the fun stuff. This Month in Development In this last month our lead character artist, Miroslav, has finished up everything we need for your characters going into the Town Square release. We're always going to be adding more character customizations over time, but to start you'll have the choice between 4 male and 5 female race options. After selecting your base race you can customize further with skin tones, blemishes, scars, eye color, hair styles, hair colors and tweaks to facial features. Identity is expanding on the usual character customization, though, as some of the options available can only be gotten through achievements. Prison tattoos are an example; if you see someone with such a tattoo you know they've done something to earn it. A lot of work this month has also gone into the player housing systems. In following our previous messages, our home customization system has been in place for some months although we've been expanding the floorplans in preperation for the Town Square module release. Sean, or Motown as you may know him, has prepared the various apartments you will have in the Town Square. If you have made a smaller pledge to Identity and do not have an apartment yet, we're going to be giving you access to a temporary (small) home in the Town Square so that you can play with the cusomization features. If you've pledged for a package containing an apartment, Town Square will show what you'll have in the full Identity game upon release. Just this morning our lead programmer, Henrik (AKA Mathalion), finished up the karaoke systems. It's a minor feature for Identity as a whole, but it's going to be loads of fun in the Town Square module! Just off the lobby of the hotel is a slick little bar, complete with a karaoke stage. You'll be able to queue up your favorite songs on the karaoke machine and see the lyrics on one of the monitors around the stage. The microphone on the stage really works, too, amplifying your voice out of the speakers so that your singing can be heard by everyone there! Most of us are terrible singers, so karaoke is going to have a lot of hilarious moments. If you're just there to watch, the restaurant by the stage is fully functional, too! It's Been Too Long I'll just come right out and say it: we at Asylum Entertainment have really had poor PR these last months, and you guys deserve better. You deserve much more frequent updates, and we're committing to give you that moving forward. We're a relatively small development team today. Currently a core staff of 5 incredibly talented full-time developers, I'm amazed every day with what this team can accomplish. Outside of our core we have a handful of part-time workers, mostly artists, who are also very skilled. Because we're a small team, many of us have to wear several hats. For example, Sean is our community manager but also a 3D artist. I myself am the project manager, a programmer and interface developer. This leads to few resources to dedicate towards PR as there's so much work to be done on the game itself. This is something we knew though, and we're going to set some time aside regularly to keep you in the loop. The Town Square module is coming soon. We're in the final months of 2016 now, and you'll finally be inside the first piece of the Identity world in the first quarter of 2017. It's a little later than we originally hoped since we're dedicated to making sure everything is smooth and stable from the first moments. Identity is an enormous undertaking, but the most difficult bits are behind us and we're drawing near! What to Expect The first stage of game development is always very boring to talk about, and also doesn't give us much to show you. Creating those backend systems that drive the game behind the scenes is one of the most important phases, but it's not very glamorous. It's for this reason that most games aren't announced until they're a couple years into development. Now that we're past that point, we're going to be able to start showing you real Identity gameplay. The first gameplay video you'll see is going to be in November and will show you just how detailed and in-depth Identity is becomming! You'll see a walkthrough of our housing system, showing just how far it can be customized and some of the cool fun features you'll find in there. Following that video we'll give you a glimpse of the Town Square features, leading up to its release. It's been a ton of work and a long time coming, but we're moving forward at a great pace and everything is about to get very exciting over here.
DEV BLOG #001 Greetings Citizens, It has been just over a year since you helped successfully kick start Identity into existence! We want to thank you all for your continued support by providing you all with regular updates following the development process for Identity. Engaging with our community is one of the best ways we can show our thanks, and a development blog is a perfect opportunity for us to bring you along for the ride. As you’ve seen throughout the past year, there is no game out there that is quite like Identity, and through your support, you have proven to us that Identity is a vision worth turning into a reality! Feedback has shown us that you all really appreciate our attempts to respond to virtually every question we receive on social media. Twitter and Facebook have been a huge boost in exposure for Identity, and so it is time we begin to explore other avenues of exposure to help our community understand a bit more about the game. In the coming months, our fans will see their first glimpse of gameplay for Identity! We are all extremely excited to show off our first gameplay video, which will fully explore the mechanics of apartment and housing customization. With this video, you will see that we have stayed true to our original art direction from the original Kickstarter trailer, while maintaining high standards in realistic lighting and graphics. We can safely say that we have improved many of the areas of our design that needed attention since February last year. Apartment & Housing Customization Apartments and houses within Identity will have a fully customizable interior. You will be able to change the wall paper on every wall in every room, place furniture anywhere there is space on the ground, swap out doors, windows, baseboards, crown moulding, and even wainscoting! We have made no compromise to the level of detail in which you can customize your apartments or homes, in order to truly express your sense of home decor. With this level of control, there is virtually no chance that the interior of two homes will ever look alike. There will be hundreds of furniture items available to purchase in-game in every style and design, from traditional to contemporary. Furniture in Identity can even be crafted, sold, or traded to other players, and those who wish to try their hand at crafting hand-made furniture from a variety of materials can place a crafting table anywhere they wish inside their homes! And if you wish to share your space with a partner, friend, or even a group of friends, homes and apartments will be available for sale throughout the world that support multiple roommates depending the size of the space and how many bedrooms are available. The home-owner may even grant build permissions to any number of roommates, even visitors, to help them decorate their living space. When you are finished, invite your friends over to compliment you on your interior decorating skills! If you’re anything like us, we know you will spend more time cleaning up this virtual home than you do your real one! Radio This week, our team has also placed a lot of our development efforts into building a functioning radio system that will allow you to listen to your favorite real-world radio stations through placed radio objects inside your virtual home, or car! Yes, you can flip through the channels in your car radio, which will also broadcast to the immediate area outside your car. Imagine driving down the street and having everyone you pass know you listen to NSYNC! One other major part of this feature that we are excited to tell you about is player operated talk-shows which you can personally host, or tune-in and listen to, from your car radio or home. The way we currently have this planned out for hosts, is to have actual physical broadcast stations on the map that you can enter as a player and begin hosting your own radio talk-show. Player’s listening from their car or home can browse a list of channels currently being hosted at that very moment, and listen to you live, talking about government conspiracies and UFO’s! We are really hoping that this feature will have a major social impact for Identity. Like you, we see a lot of potential in something like this for budding stars within the community. We would absolutely love to see many of you sprout a career that started in a game we developed, and ended with us listening to your lovely voice on our actual car radio! The Town Square (Social Module) Many of you already know of, and are eagerly anticipating the release of the planned “Town Square” module that is currently still in production. While we can’t give you an exact date on when that will be ready, progress is steady, and we are as excited as you are to meet you all for the first time in a virtual environment. You may already be aware that Identity is largely influenced by a landmass in the south-eastern portion of the United States. The Town Square itself is only a small portion of a larger city built into the final version of Identity called Ash Hill, a reference to Asheville, North Carolina where we had originally planned to move Asylum’s office. We picked this area of the world particularly because it offered a wide range of geographical variance. The transition between Identity’s mix of biomes needed to feel natural, and this area offered most of what we had been looking for. As for the other cities in Identity, their influences may become more clear to you now. Myrtle Beach is obviously Turtle Beach in Identity, and Roseport is less subtle, but a mix between Atlanta and New York City. When we first started, we kept everything, including the structures and world props level to the ground, a mistake we have since corrected. We quickly realized that cities are rarely ever flat, and knew that setting that precedent now would benefit Identity in the future. The next time you see The Town Square module, we are confident that you will notice the difference compared to earlier screenshots, what such a small transformation makes for immersion in a game environment. Moving Forward We want to thank our community for being so patient with us. Over the course of the past year, we’ve seen many work-in-progress screenshots of assets destined for Identity, and while we believe they serve as a sample of the work we have already put into the game, we know that many of you are still anxious to see video. Our current priority is to get things ready to show off, or more specifically, the housing/apartment customization first. We are convinced that many of you will appreciate the time and effort we have put into this feature, so that you will be able to fully express yourself through your character and virtual home. We know we’ve been pretty quiet this past year, and the criticism we’ve heard from our fans on that through social media and the forums have not fallen on deaf ears! We will start to release regular updates through development blogs and continue to find new ways to interact with our community, to show you our gratitude for your support. You yourself can become more involved by contributing to the discussion with your ideas at www.identityrpg.com/community. We’ll see you there, and thank you again! Always remember that we are gamers too and we are as excited as you are to play Identity at launch!