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  • iamacyborg

    Meet the FK'ers is our new short interview format to get to know the folks working at Frostkeep who are responsible for Rend. 

    We're opening up the series with a brief chat with community superstar @FK_JarNod

     

     

    RF: What's your name and what do you do at Frostkeep?

    JL: I'm Jordan Leithart, aka JarNod. I do anything and everything, except art... and naming things. I had my naming privileges revoked. Mostly I'm an engineer/community person. I've written almost all the UI in Rend and some of the systems. I also answer as many community questions as I can, so if you tweet at Frostkeep, I'll be the one responding.

     

    RF: Tell us a little about your backstory, where have you worked prior to joining Frostkeep, what games have you been involved in making?

    JL: I did all sorts of things before I got into the games industry, so I'll pass those by. I previously worked at Carbine on WildStar. I was a build engineer there. Then I moved over to AI, then I moved over to Combat/Spells for the F2P launch.

     

    RF: What game most influenced you? Was it something in your childhood or in later years?

    JL: Vanilla World of Warcraft had a large impact on my life, but the game that made me want to get into the games industry was actually a more recent one, Dragon Age: Origins. It was the first roleplaying game that I played through again immediately after I finished it for the first time. A year after I played that I went back to school for my Computer Science degree, and 3 years later I was working on WildStar!

     

    RF: What are you main influences in your work? Is there anything outside of the gaming world you feel has helped you become a better developer?

    JL: My whole life has been an influence on my work. In my opinion, games should reflect something about our world. I play lots of games, and I learn something from every single one, but outside experiences are how I became a better developer. Whether it's working at companies that weren't video game companies, to where I grew up and other hobbies I have. Everything I do helps me grow as a developer!

     

    RF: There have been a lot of Early Access Survival games released over the last few years, what do you think makes Rend stand out from the rest of them?

    JL: The biggest thing that separates us is our performance. We're mindful of having as performant a game as possible and that helps guide our development process. Another aspect that separates us is our focus on making a faction based survival game. We want to create a community so new players won't be lost and veterans will always have people to play with.

     

    RF: The team have been pretty fantastic at engaging with the community so far, is that something you feel is a real differentiator between Frostkeep and your competition?

    JL: I've seen many other studios engage with the community in a different but just as important way as Frostkeep. I've also been on the other side countless times, so it's important for me to treat the community how I wanted to be treated when I wasn't a developer. All I really know is that the Rend community has been amazing to work with so far. I don't think you can credit us at all when everyone has been wonderful.

     

    RF: Being with such a small team, what benefits do you feel you have against working in a traditional AAA studio? What do you miss from previous work?

    JL: Instant collaboration. If there's a problem, we can solve it quickly.

    Ownership of the product. We all own the entire game, not just one pie slice.

    Family atmosphere. We get to know each other very well.

     

    I think the biggest thing I miss from my previous work is actually the developers. I've worked with many fantastic people already in my short career and I would love to work with them again. But I know that Frostkeep is where I belong and so I don't miss much!

     

    RF: What's next after Early Access, are there any extra features you'd love to implement in Rend?

    JL: The most important thing after early access launch is getting the game out of early access to a full launch. Once we've accomplished that, we need to figure out if we're gonna work on an expansion or a second game. I have a few ideas.

     

    RF: And finally, which aspect of Rend are you most excited for players to get to experience?

    JL: With pre-alpha going dark, there are a few systems that I can't wait to talk about, but we're gonna hold off for now. Mostly, I love the faction based gameplay. I love being a part of something greater than myself. It's gonna take a lot of work for us to get it right, but it'll be worth it!

     

     

    Stay tuned for more interviews with the team behind Rend!

    iamacyborg

    contest.png

    The lovely folks at Frostkeep (thank you @FK_JarNod!) have very generously given us an additional 10 pre-alpha keys to giveaway to some lucky winners.

    We've had a lot of success with the previous two giveaways, so we'll be keeping things the same.

    We'll be running this on a pure RNG basis, with the contest ending and winners being picked by random number generator on Thursday 25th May at 8pm (UK time).

    Want a chance to win? Simple, all you need to do is register an account on the forums. Already got an account? No problem, you'll automatically be submitted for a chance to win.

     

    Rules

    • Anyone with a forum account, excepting previous forum contest winners will be eligible for entry
    • Anyone caught making multiple accounts will be banned from this and all future contests

    Winners will be notified privately upon completion of the contest via pm on the forums. 

    iamacyborg

    Taken from a post by @FK_JarNod on the official site.

    Quote

    Whenever we tell someone about Rend and we explain the faction system, they always ask us the question, “But what’s in place to protect the players?”. It’s a fair question, and one that we analyzed and discussed extensively. In fact, we had to expedite a few of the systems due to some griefers in pre-alpha, so thanks to them for discovering it early!

    ConclaveBase-768x432.jpg

    A look at the Conclave base

    The system that we designed to combat griefers in your faction is called the Reputation system. Since you’re joining a faction, unless you’re on a private server, you will end up with some random people on your team. Some of my favorite experiences in online games are meeting new people, and I’m excited to hear some amazing stories about people meeting others in Rend, but we all know that there are griefers online. It’s our job to come up with a system to protect the faction from the single person hellbent on destroying it. Obviously this system will require an amount of iteration, which our current pre-alpha testers are helping us out tremendously.

    The first aspect of the reputation system is the permissions subsystem. Your faction reputation level dictates what permissions you have. These permissions allow you to do things that directly benefit the faction. Like placing a chest or building in the mid level, or placing walls in the next tier up, or destroying walls in the top tier. The purpose is to have only the people who have top reputation to be allowed to remove walls. It would be a terrible thing if someone removed a wall in the middle of the Reckoning after all. Not currently implemented, but definitely in the works, is the player guidance system. Basically, players above a certain rep level will be allowed to flag resources that the faction needs. Other players will be able to go look at the warehouse and see which resources are needed. Depositing those flagged resources into the warehouse grants the player more rep for doing so. This will give new players guidance, as well as help the faction work together across different play times.

    RevenantBase-768x432.jpg

    I’m inside Revenant taking screenshots!

    Your faction reputation level is determined by how many things you’ve done to help your faction. In pre-alpha right now, there are only two ways to gain reputation. The first is to use your own resources to research tech for your faction. Technology is how your faction gets to the next tier of weaponry/gear/structures. Without using your resources to research, you’re liable to fall behind. But it’s clearly a balancing act because your faction will need to spend resources to build the base, craft gear for everyone, and do research. Finding the right balance is key. The other way to gain faction reputation is to deposit resources into the warehouse. While it’s still being iterated on during pre-alpha, the general idea is that anyone can deposit resources into the warehouse for reputation. Then, players who are above a certain rep level, will be allowed to craft faction beneficial items or research tech for the faction. They won’t get the reputation for doing so because they’re using the faction resources. The idea is that new players won’t be able to log in, loot the community chest and immediately log out effectively removing a significant amount of resources from the game. But the warehouse will still act as a community resource deposit so new players don’t have to hide their loot.

    OrderBase1-768x432.jpg

    I wish I could have taken a video of Order’s base. It’s awesome looking. I can’t wait for the Reckoning to blow it all up!

    At the moment, we’re iterating heavily on the reputation level subsystem. In its current state, the levels are dynamic in size. Using statistics to determine who has “done” the most for the faction over a period of time provides us a bucket. Think of it like a percentile. The top 90 percentile have permissions for everything. The next 20 percentile have permissions for most things, and so on down the list until you get to the no permissions bucket (usually reserved for people who shoot teammates or talk during movies at the theater). But, you can always raise your permissions again using the warehouse.

    This is one of those systems that has to be iterated on a lot. We’ve already changed a few things about it in the week that it’s been live in pre-alpha. This was one of those systems that we had to design on paper due to the size of our team, and I can’t stress enough just how awesome the community has been in helping us test, providing us feedback and suggestions, and just playing Rend over the last month. I know that a lot of you are chomping at the bit to get in, and we’re sending out more keys soon, go sign up!

     

    iamacyborg

    In collaboration with the folks at Frostkeep, Gamepedia have just announced three new creatures that you can expect to see in Rend.

    590a2507211db_raptilisk(1).thumb.jpg.dfda9dcdaf72d9f69c0ab068bdb8e88a.jpg

    These three are the Raptilisk (pictured) the Fangbar and the totally-not-a-Chocobo Hookbill.

    Rend features some exciting monster design, with the aim of providing a whole host of harvestable nasties to pit your faction against as you push to overcome your enemies.

    At Rend Forums we'll have a full Bestiary database in due time, but in the mean-time, why not check out some of the screenshots taken by community member @Roque Kazin in this bestiary guide.

    Click here to read the full article on Gamepedia.

    iamacyborg

    Hi Folks,

    I've been hard at work over the last few days adding some new functionality to this site for the community.

    As a first phase launch, we now have an item database that anyone can contribute to. With just a few simple fields you can add the in-game stats for an item alongside any typical content you might want to see.

    This is displayed in a format which should be immediately recognisable to anyone who's ever used a game wiki, but as it's integrated into this site there's a ton of additional features we'll be bringing to the table.

    You can check out a sample item here:

    You can access the full item database page here which allows you to easily create new items.

    I have a lot new features planned for this site, so would love to hear any feedback you might have!

    Cheers,

    iamacyborg

     

    iamacyborg

    contest.thumb.png.5139384e6fe0cf393c563966e3bd9173.png

     

    The very generous folks at Frostkeep have given us another 5 pre-alpha keys to give out to lucky forum members.

    I've had a lot of feedback from community members who are eager to get into the pre-alpha test phase so to keep things fair, we'll be running this on a pure RNG basis, with the contest ending and winners being picked by random number generator on Thursday 27th April at 8pm (UK time).

    Want a chance to win? Simple, all you need to do is register an account on the forums. Already got an account? No problem, you'll automatically be submitted for a chance to win.

     

    Rules

    • Anyone with a forum account, excepting previous forum contest winners will be eligible for entry
    • Anyone caught making multiple accounts will be banned from this and all future contests

    Winners will be notified privately upon completion of the contest via pm on the forums. 

     

    PS: There's another giveaway on the Rend Discord channel, ending at 7pm EST today (25/04/17), please join Discord for details.

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    • Translation into Russian: https://vk.com/frostkeep?w=page-142823387_53102771
    • Well now that the website is finally back in order, I feel like I can blog about Rend again. I apologize that it’s been so long since I last posted. When websites break, I get called and blogs get delayed. Today, we’re gonna take a look at what I personally have been doing. Everyone else has some amazing things to show off, but we’re saving that for a big reveal, while no one cares about the UI (*sniff*). Rend has a lot of familiar systems to survival players. These players logged into Rend for the first time and were met with a relatively familiar albeit complicated HUD. And that’s about where the similarities ended. From the get go, we had decided to design UI widgets from a more MMO standpoint. This meant to have individual windows for each widget. You would have a crafting widget, which could be opened without opening another window. Having been MMO game developers this felt natural to us, and the UI was designed and developed with that in mind. However, one of the biggest pieces of feedback that we received from players was how confusing and un-intuitive our UI was. A large part of this was the how we conveyed the information (the recipe unlocks system was a major offender of this). So Sol and I took a step back and re-evaluated the whole UI to figure out the best way to lay things out. This will be the first part of a multi-blog series about my developing the UI and our decisions on why we decided to lay things out the way they are. As always, I am available to chat with you on the community Discord, and our social medias, Facebook and Twitter . To start, we decided to change the widgets from solo windows to being in their own menu. The reason for this is two-fold. If we decide to release on a console at some point, we won’t have to change the UI around too much (though that’s a future us problem). The second and much more important reason is this: By choosing which widgets to show with which widgets, we can help the user determine what is important. With our previous UI, the amount of information that a player could have on the screen was overwhelming. By only showing widgets that interact directly with other widgets, we can simplify the UI significantly, without simplifying the systems that it is supposed to convey. We want our game to be deep and complex, not impossible to interact with due to the complexity. The first grouping that we are going to look at is the Inventory grouping. When a player accesses the inventory, there are a few things that they’re looking to do. The first is to see what’s in their inventory, so we should probably have all the inventory slots available. The second is to equip an item from the inventory. So we had to show equippable slots (both equipment slots on your character and action bar slots). Lastly, if we’re showing the equippable slots, the player needs to know what stats change when they equip the items. The end result was this mockup. As you can see the top tabs will have grouping for different UI groups, and the Inventory group is selected We have the inventory on the left, the paper doll (equipment slots/actionbar slots), and the stats on the right. Looking forward to hearing feedback on our latest iteration! read the original article
    • Meet the FK'ers is our new short interview format to get to know the folks working at Frostkeep who are responsible for Rend.  We're opening up the series with a brief chat with community superstar @FK_JarNod.      RF: What's your name and what do you do at Frostkeep? JL: I'm Jordan Leithart, aka JarNod. I do anything and everything, except art... and naming things. I had my naming privileges revoked. Mostly I'm an engineer/community person. I've written almost all the UI in Rend and some of the systems. I also answer as many community questions as I can, so if you tweet at Frostkeep, I'll be the one responding.   RF: Tell us a little about your backstory, where have you worked prior to joining Frostkeep, what games have you been involved in making? JL: I did all sorts of things before I got into the games industry, so I'll pass those by. I previously worked at Carbine on WildStar. I was a build engineer there. Then I moved over to AI, then I moved over to Combat/Spells for the F2P launch.   RF: What game most influenced you? Was it something in your childhood or in later years? JL: Vanilla World of Warcraft had a large impact on my life, but the game that made me want to get into the games industry was actually a more recent one, Dragon Age: Origins. It was the first roleplaying game that I played through again immediately after I finished it for the first time. A year after I played that I went back to school for my Computer Science degree, and 3 years later I was working on WildStar!   RF: What are you main influences in your work? Is there anything outside of the gaming world you feel has helped you become a better developer? JL: My whole life has been an influence on my work. In my opinion, games should reflect something about our world. I play lots of games, and I learn something from every single one, but outside experiences are how I became a better developer. Whether it's working at companies that weren't video game companies, to where I grew up and other hobbies I have. Everything I do helps me grow as a developer!   RF: There have been a lot of Early Access Survival games released over the last few years, what do you think makes Rend stand out from the rest of them? JL: The biggest thing that separates us is our performance. We're mindful of having as performant a game as possible and that helps guide our development process. Another aspect that separates us is our focus on making a faction based survival game. We want to create a community so new players won't be lost and veterans will always have people to play with.   RF: The team have been pretty fantastic at engaging with the community so far, is that something you feel is a real differentiator between Frostkeep and your competition? JL: I've seen many other studios engage with the community in a different but just as important way as Frostkeep. I've also been on the other side countless times, so it's important for me to treat the community how I wanted to be treated when I wasn't a developer. All I really know is that the Rend community has been amazing to work with so far. I don't think you can credit us at all when everyone has been wonderful.   RF: Being with such a small team, what benefits do you feel you have against working in a traditional AAA studio? What do you miss from previous work? JL: Instant collaboration. If there's a problem, we can solve it quickly. Ownership of the product. We all own the entire game, not just one pie slice. Family atmosphere. We get to know each other very well.   I think the biggest thing I miss from my previous work is actually the developers. I've worked with many fantastic people already in my short career and I would love to work with them again. But I know that Frostkeep is where I belong and so I don't miss much!   RF: What's next after Early Access, are there any extra features you'd love to implement in Rend? JL: The most important thing after early access launch is getting the game out of early access to a full launch. Once we've accomplished that, we need to figure out if we're gonna work on an expansion or a second game. I have a few ideas.   RF: And finally, which aspect of Rend are you most excited for players to get to experience? JL: With pre-alpha going dark, there are a few systems that I can't wait to talk about, but we're gonna hold off for now. Mostly, I love the faction based gameplay. I love being a part of something greater than myself. It's gonna take a lot of work for us to get it right, but it'll be worth it!     Stay tuned for more interviews with the team behind Rend!
      View full news
    • Well well well. I figured now was as good as any to give you a look into the happenings at Frostkeep over the last month. Unfortunately, I’m not going to go into details on what exactly we’re doing (Need to save those for later blog posts when we have the designs/implementation more finalized), but I will provide some hints. One thing I want to do is introduce all of the new FKers that joined since the last blog post. In order of hiring: Travis Inman: Some of you may know him as FK_EvilRadish in the discord. Travis has been a contract artist working with us for the past 9 months. He played the most during our pre-alpha and was invaluable in fixing art bugs and interacting with our players. We’re very excited to have him here. I can’t wait to get our current players into the game (and new players) because they’re gonna be blown away. You can read Travis’ bio over on the team page!   Nick De Spain: For the last 12+ months, our artists have operated without a concept artist. That needed to change, so we went out and found the best one! Even better than being a concept artist, Nick has experience with outsourcing and is highly interested in UX design and art. We’re very lucky to have him. I can’t wait to show some of the concept art that he’s already come up with. Needless to say, Rend will be teeming with a higher variety of fauna when we open up the servers again. Nick’s bio is over on the team page!   Ron Roy: Whenever someone who has worked with or works with Ron is asked about him, they always talk about the same thing. His foot pedal. You see, the left shift key on a keyboard puts a decent amount of strain on the wrist, and programmers use shift a LOT. So Ron bought a foot pedal, and uses it as his shift key. The best way to describe Ron is that he thinks in multi-core processors, while the rest of us think in single core processors. His ability to multi-task and fix bugs is astounding. Ron will absolutely make Rend a better game with his engineering ability, and his game design sense. You can read more about Ron on the team page.   Tyler Fuchs: There are a handful of people in the world who I would play the game they created without question. Tyler is one of those. His ability to wrap his mind around games is astounding and whenever he says that a game should be played, I know I need to go play that game right now. The most recent example was a game called Dead Cells (highly recommended btw). Tyler brings some much needed player psychology analysis and systems design to Rend. We’re looking forward to seeing the systems that he designs and builds. Tyler’s bio is over on the team page.     As for what is being worked on in the game. There’s no problem with my talking about what I’m doing right now, because it’s not very exciting. I’ve been reworking the UI menus in Rend with the purpose of simplifying the experience of a new player without hiding too much information from the veteran player. I’ll happily go into more detail in a later blogpost if there’s interest. read the original article
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