Dev Update: Desert World Building, Combat Additions, Loot Changes, and More!

December 14, 2018 willsterling23 2 Comments

Howdy everyone!

Today we wanted to fill you in on what we've been working on for the past couple of weeks. Wild West and Wizards is coming along at a great pace and we feel like we are making some huge strides in the development process. Our main focus over the past few months has been finishing up the environmental aspect of world building and getting all of the base gameplay mechanics in so you can actual explore, fight enemies, and get loot. Basically we are implementing and polishing everything needed for the core gameplay loop.

Here's a look at some of the changes we've made recently!

Desert World Building

Wild West and Wizards has three zones: the desert, plains, and the forest. Each zone is pretty big and a lot of work when it comes to fleshing it out and making it feel interesting and dense. The forest and plains zones are a bit easier to do since they can have lush trees and grass, but the desert is a bit of a challenge since you need to be simultaneously open and expansive, but also feel dense and interesting from an environmental standpoint. 

Over the past couple weeks we've been going back through our initial pass on the desert and filling it in with a lot more vegetation, rocks, terrain decals, and just overall variation to make it more interesting and dense. We want there to be areas in each zone that you can get lost in. This is more challenging in the desert since it's less mountainous and more open, but we feel we are making some good progress in that area. 

Combat Additions

One of the main interactions you will have in the game is fighting enemies and bandits. Because combat is something you will be doing a lot of, we want it to feel polished and rewarding. We spent a lot of time early in development focusing on the feeling of combat from the players perspective. In other words, we did a lot of work in areas like recoil, bullet speed, camera shake, sounds, weapon bob/movement, and things of that nature. We feel that from the player's perspective combat is in a pretty good place. 

Our focus recently has been improving it from the AI perspective. This includes a lot of different things like AI behavior, animations, and what they can do. Recently we've been tweaking animations and trying to get the AI to look as smooth as possible with their actions. This is still a work in progress but we are improving in this regard. In addition to that, we've recently implemented AI abilities. In other words, bandits can now cast spells. 

We think this adds a really unique element to combat because it opens up the opportunity for enemy AI to do unique things. They may cast a shield spell, heal one another, or hurl a fireball at your face in the midst of shooting you with their revolver. 

Combat is still something we are putting a lot of work into and will likely need your feedback to nail down the balance of it even more so in the future. 

Loot Changes

We've also recently implemented some loot changes. When you kill an enemy in the game, they are drop a bag that can have various loot inside it. Now the bag will have a particle effect that represents the highest color (rarity) loot inside the bag. So if the bag has a epic purple item, it will have a particle effect that lets you know that before you loot it. 

We also added a loot window so you can choose what you want to loot, and we added the functionality to loot certain containers such as barrels and crates. 


The past couple weeks we've also added in new sounds for the UI and NPCs. These are mostly placeholder but the functionality is in and they will be easily updated in the future. Now there are sounds for interacting with friendly NPCs, enemy grunts and death sounds, and sounds for looting and using the UI windows. 

In addition to all of what we listed above, we've also been continuing doing optimization work. Recently we added some more LOD models which helps a ton on performance, especially in places like the forest and desert where there are a lot of bushes and things of that nature. All of this optimization allows us to add a ton of content without it putting too much of a strain on performance. 

Looking forward we are planning on finishing most of the base mechanics required for the gameplay loop, wrapping up environmental world building, and then moving onto implementing actual content. Once we have the foundation solid, we can start actually implementing quests, npcs, loot, enemy camps, and other interesting places in the world. 

Thanks for reading!