Development Update #11 (July & August 2018)

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Necidious

Community Manager

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Management
Jun 1, 2017
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Antwerp, BE
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Avalon
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Hello Citizens,

To start off, I would like to apologize for the delay. Some of the staff were on a well-deserved vacation, including me... so things have been rather slow regarding showing off content and such... But, no fear! Over the past two months, we have made significant progress in terms of game art, overall bug tracking/game design improvements, plus excellent backend optimization buffs.

Down below you can see how clear and modernized Confluence is for project management. It enables the entire staff team to efficiently organize and work on particular game design elements, thus ultimately presenting you with an extraordinary game. mediawiki_to_confluence.png

JIRA is made by the same software company as Confluence, namely, Atlassian. They develop software which is universally adopted in the industry and even considered to be industry-standard by most. JIRA enables the staff team to report all those vicious bugs with ease, offers a comprehensive oversight and shows us whatever needs to be fixed first. Anyhow, both Confluence and JIRA are exceptional tools we now have at our disposal! :)
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In the upcoming months, we’ll be focusing on character customization, implants, hacking and generally just building on top of what we’ve created so far. We’ve been focusing recently on making the game fun, even this early on, if we can offer enough fun for people right now, we’ll be solving a big problem down the future, which is player retention. We’ll be exploring methods of gameplay content that don’t rely too much on the overall meta of the game, which is factions vs factions.

We will keep our regular closed testing sessions going with our donators every few months, up until alpha/beta. We’ll be implementing new features and testing them with our community, we will gather enough data from the tests and that will help us improve and refine these systems as we move further down development. We have plans for crowdfunding and business endeavors in the future that will increase our development power and help us shorten the time the game will take for release.

8CS Partnership

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We’ve recently partnered with 8 Circuit Studios!​

They’re a game development company focused on integrating blockchain technology with games. They'll offer some development help and explore the possibility of adding blockchain elements in Mankind Reborn. Keep in mind Far Frontier Studios is in charge of the game’s development and vision, so you shouldn’t worry about the game changing due to the partnership, the blockchain features will likely be cash shop stuff and doesn’t alter the game or add Pay2Win elements.





We would like to start this section off with a little, ahmLONGahm, something something from the big man himself.

BioXide said:
After E3 further "big visuals" development has slowed down, this is due because we decided to take the time to strengthen our core systems and improve our development pipeline. Making an MMO is a huge task, even for well-established teams with a lot of budgets, this game was never meant to become what it is today.

I originally started this project to practice my animation programming skills, then I wanted to make a simple Face of Mankind combat simulator, which I would pass around to a few people just to shoot each other on a small map, due to this, the game was built quickly without much scaling, future thoughts put into its core code.

Told a few old FoM friends about what I was doing, they told other friends, eventually, I opened a discord and people started pouring in at fast rates, interest was growing, donations started flowing, that’s when we decided to turn this into an actual commercial game.

We quickly started growing and iterating fast, thanks to all these playtests, we’ve been able to identify areas that we need to get work with, before continuing to grow the game. If we’re going to put this game on the market, we have to switch our way of development and pipeline, we can’t continue to develop this game as a hobby project. Being a small team, we have to wear a lot of hats and develop these systems ourselves, which is a lot of work.

But we’ve accomplished a lot in these regards, we’ve set up a versioning system (Perforce), automated game builds, better game server management, JIRA & Confluence for game documentation and bug tracking, Steam integration as well has helped us speed up the iteration flow (Before we passed the game through google drive and hosted the server through hamachi). We built a custom backend in PHP/MySQL as well, but we recently switched to GameSparks since a simple web server won’t obviously be the best choice for a commercial MMO.

A lot of the old core code is being rewritten as well, most of the inventory/storage/combat/stats are “hardcoded” and designed quickly, which won’t be of use when we scale the game and add more features that require these core mechanics to function. This focus will help the game scale better and avoid less game-breaking bugs in the future, we estimate this might take a month or so. During this process, we’ve been invested a lot of time in creating our game design document, where we have the entire game in paper, which will make development so much better as we have a clear path of where we’re headed.

We know you guys are anxious to get your hands on the game, we all are, but if we want to make a good game and have it be self-sustainable, we have to do it right with the limited time/budget we have right now. Development will be ramping up in a few months and 2019 looks like a bright year for Mankind Reborn, we’re all working hard to provide the best game we can and play it with the community.
New Loading Screens

We have been working on slowly adding some new loading screen as you can see below. We will be adding more and more as time passes.

New Stats Hover-Menu

We're also revising the user interface. This includes new Chat and Hotbar UI!



Improved Chat and Hotbar Interface
As part of the complete UI overhaul these the first of many releases to come.




Implemented Drones AI
We have implemented additional threats during your adventures! Drones and AI will play a crucial part in Mankind Reborn and we can't wait to let you all encounter them.

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@Ripley has a little surprise for you as well! What do you think of this track? :)





Ceres (prison)
Theme:
Old, Industrial, Dirty, Functional, Militarized.

Background:
Ceres is a prison. While there are some mining and industrial areas these are all behind bars. The prison is a mining/industrial area, an intake area, a yard and a rest area. All these areas can be monitored from the security side which consists of an armory, a rest area/canteen, three small offices, and the colony control/wardens office. There is a small public area where the outtake from the prison ends up and visitors can see the prison.

Lou has been heavy at work designing the first drafts for Ceres and boy, do they look awesome?!


Union City Leisure District
Location:
Earth
Theme: Relaxed, Dark, Neon.
Subway Connections: Union City Council Quarter, Union City Lower
Shuttle Connections: None
Quantum Gate Connections: None

Background:
If it weren't for the requirement that all Terrestrial and Stellar visitors to Union City be routed through the Klorfson Memorial Spaceport in the Industrial District, the Leisure District would be the most visited place on Earth - possibly even the entire Union.

The District is bisected by the Shizi River, east of the Shizi the district primarily is focused on nightlife with many clubs, bars, and restaurants that fill every evening with locals and visitors alike. Neon signs blare out advertisements in Union Standard Chinese and Terran Standard English directing the attention of revelers to the hottest joints in the city. The Eastside area has a notoriously high crime rate and many rumors place the secret headquarters of the mythical 'Syndicate' here.

West of the river life is slightly more sedate; shopping centers coexist with middle-class housing and the Union renowned Yǒufú De Xīn (Blessed Heart) Hospital stands near the forefront of bionic medicine.





Union City: Lower Revisions

@Kuuwahi has been revising Union City: Lower and has been doing a great job at it. He's completely reworked the mines!











We've been working hard on expanding our character customization mechanics. Our plan is to offer the greatest customization possible to offer players the freedom to create their character however they want.

Improved Male Base Mesh

Player Customization
Skin Color

Demo of a variety of skin types. Because our system will dynamic almost any realistic skin color is achievable.

Ethnicity Slider Demo
This is a small demonstration showing the ability to quickly change between races which will be useful for random NPC generation.

Facial Morph
This is an example of a very early facial morph system allowing players to modify every aspect of their characters facial appearance.

Small examples of diverse characters created with this system


Faction Clothing

We will be releasing two base clothing for factions with each and every development blog. These cloths will be given to fresh clones after joining a faction. Rest assured there will be full customization of the clothing and you will be able to choose what you want to wear. Ranks will have different variations of which they can acquire and wear if they so choose.


Here are the first two!

Followers of Eternity
The slums of Earth’s Mega-Cities proved to be the perfect breeding ground for fanaticism and dissent. The Followers of Eternity have no grounded history; their origin is fragmented amongst the various slums from where they came. The faction started life as a quasi-charity group sometime in the early 22nd century seeking to improve the lives of those who lived in the squalled urban centers; they soon realized that real change would only come through anarchy. The 'charity' organized into street gangs and set up 'education hubs' from which their movement gained a mass following amongst the young, oppressed low entry union workers and the many forgotten who dwell at street level. The group's aim is simple, resist the Union and their corrupt corporate masters - modeling themselves as 'enlightened anarchists' out to smash the system.

The rag-tag anarchist group re-branded themselves the “Followers of Eternity”, they see themselves as an enlightened few who refuse to work for the Corporate led regime and seek a better way of life away from the pollution and grime of their homes on Earth. The Followers have a quasi-cult fascination with 'transhumanism' believing that change comes from altering one's perception of reality, be it through recreational drug use or invasive implant grafting. Many disciples of the group have undergone surgical procedures to alter themselves artificially, the teachings of the followers see the adoption of new technology as a gift that should be exploited to increase their state of being and overall effectiveness to the cause. This willingness, acceptance, and integration of technology have given them an edge over the more conventional criminal street gangs within contested sprawls, allowing the group to take territories from rival clans and neighborhood enforcers easily....


North Star Mining
One of the oldest corporations still in existence and one of the Big Three Megacorps, North Star Mining has its origins on pre-space Earth. In 2045, a former mine supervisor for SA Mines named Dawie Copper took advantage of the privatisation of his former employers and purchased several palladium mines in South Africa. By the start of the Second Space Race in 2075, the Copper Mining Group (CMG), owned almost all of the mines in South Africa and Copper’s son Anton had taken the reins of the company.

CMG made the news in 2076, when as part of a deal between the South African Space Agency and the government of Tanzania, CMG purchased Mt Kilimanjaro in it’s entirety in order to build a 30km long mass driver along its most gentle slope for $610 million. While decried by western liberals as destroying an African national monument – the Kilimanjaro Mass Driver, in the course of its operational lifetime, provided an immense amount of income for Tanzania and allowed the SASA to compete with NASA and the ESA in the colonization of the Moon and Mars. The completion of the KMD in 2084 was the culmination of Anton Copper’s life work and in a speech to assembled dignitaries at the opening of the KMD, his daughter, Aneke, now CEO, outlined a greater ambition and a new name for the corporation....


Additional Clothing Example(available for purchase in-game or player customization)
These clothes will be purchasable in-game and will allow anyone to break free from the constraints of the traditional faction garb and express themselves.



Alien Eggs

@Khimarra has been doing an amazing job modeling the alien eggs as seen below!



And last but not least!

We have been working on something rather cool. Big mining trucks! We're going to be experimenting with this soon in-game as a way of transporting large loads across vast swaths of land at the cost of security and speed.




 
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