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  1. PC Gamer Weekender Livestream Replay

    Missed our first-ever Rend livestream recorded at PC Gamer Weekender in London earlier this month? Catch the replay on PC Gamer’s YouTube channel or simply watch it embedded in this news post! If you haven’t yet, be sure to join the Rend community on Twitter, Facebook, Steam, and community-operated Discord. While you’re at it, read about our 2018 plans and sign up for the game’s alpha test! read the original article
  2. Hot on the heels of PAX South, Frostkeep Studios is heading to London to attend PC Gamer Weekender from February 17-18, 2018. The team is bringing the latest Rend demo across the pond to showcase it to press and industry partners at the event. This new version highlights updates and improvements based on initial community feedback as detailed in our recent post about Rend’s alpha phase beginning later this quarter. The Frostkeep team will also participate in a developer chat and interview on PC Gamer’s official event livestream. We’ll announce more details about our presence at the show (like the location of the Rend gameplay stations) in a few weeks. Hope to see you there! read the original article
  3. Rend’s Logo Reforged

    New year, new look! Tribal identity is a key aspect of Rend as its gameplay centers around a trio of competing factions. With the game being featured at conventions starting as soon as this week, we thought it was time to unveil Rend’s new logo. Full Color: Black: Icon/Avatar: For more insight into the inspiration behind this rebranding, here is Lead Artist and Writer Nick De Spain: A lot of thought and consideration went into the creation of the new logo for Rend. Our goal was to encompass many aspects of the game and bring its essence to life without making the actual text of the logo difficult to read. Taking inspiration from Norse runes and the idea of triangles and triads (Rend is based on three warring factions), we created the logo you see today. The gold used for the logo color was intentional to represent glory and Valhalla. The dents and cuts are a nod to how brutal and dangerous the world can be. As a fun bonus, we found the logo worked well when flipped and repeated together to resemble a Norse pattern. The entire process of finding Rend‘s new logo was a fun challenge and rewarding experience. Let us know what you think about Rend’s new look on our Twitter, Facebook, Steam, and community-run Discord. If you haven’t yet, be sure to read about our 2018 plans and sign up for the game’s alpha test! read the original article
  4. Frostkeep Marching on PAX South 2018

    Frostkeep Studios will be kicking off the new year in sunny San Antonio at PAX South from January 12-14, 2018. The team will be hanging out with players and presenting a new demo of Rend to industry partners, journalists, and content creators behind closed doors. The new game build includes updates and improvements based on initial community feedback as detailed in our recent post about Rend’s upcoming alpha testing. If you’re at the show, stop by and say hello to us at the Frostkeep booth (#10465) near the center of the expo hall – just look for the Rend sign hanging overhead. We’ll see you there! read the original article
  5. Happy Holidays from Frostkeep Studios

    What an exciting ride 2017 has been for us! From first publicly announcing Rend and tripling the size of our development team, to moving into a new studio headquarters and transitioning Friends & Family testing into pre-alpha – it’s been a year of memorable milestones. If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check out our latest update from the team to see what 2018 will ring in for Rend. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the Rend pre-alpha and supported us at conventions and on social media this year. You are the reason we do what we do: you are why we make video games. From our small family of gamers to yours, we wish you a safe and relaxing holiday season and look forward to seeing you in the new year! read the original article
  6. Rend Alpha Begins Q1 2018

    We hope December is treating everyone well! Before we take a short pause to be with our families for the holidays we wanted to take a moment to update you on the next phase for Rend. We have been heads-down, working hard to expand the game beyond anything you’ve seen or played in the pre-alpha. Our goal with Rend has always been to present a fresh approach to gameplay in a way that transforms how players are interacting and participating in a survival game while also solving many of the pain points that can be experienced in this genre. Thanks to the initial community feedback from our pre-alpha players, we’ve introduced many additions and improvements to the game – from a bigger map (4x larger), more sandbox and RPG elements like personal base-building, a deepening of the crafting system, new creatures, game-changing items, and more. Click for wallpaper size! Our next big step will be launching the Rend alpha in the first quarter of 2018. We will initially begin with a brief round of Friends & Family testing to establish client build readiness and server stability before opening up alpha testing to our earlier pre-alpha players who will have immediate access. We will increase the tester pool over time and as needed, adding in waves of players who previously signed up for pre-alpha (no need to re-register on the website). Our staff will continue to be available on Twitter, Facebook, and Steam as well as fan-operated channels such as Reddit and Discord throughout alpha. During this major test phase, we will introduce a new restriction for players: the alpha will be under a strict media embargo prohibiting the publishing of test client screenshots, videos and streams by players. Please note this is not a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) as we will strongly encourage everyone to discuss the game and their alpha experiences with the greater Rend community. We also plan to engage our current and future content creators during alpha with initiatives such as invitation giveaways, partnerships, and more. This restriction will help our team position and maximize opportunities for the game by using Rend’s new content — including new biomes, monsters and game mechanics – for features that are timed alongside our release roadmap. Thank you for your ongoing support – we’re grateful and excited to have you with us as Rend enters the next phase of testing in the new year. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! The Team at Frostkeep Studios read the original article
  7. The last few months have been a whirlwind (and exciting!) time here at Frostkeep. We’ve been heads down, working around the clock on new updates to Rend and are thrilled to announce four new team members to Frostkeep Studios. Please join us in welcoming the newest Frostkeepers to the team, including: Tim Truesdale, Principal Software Engineer Tim began playing and creating games on some of the first personal computers available. He started his professional career making arcade games in Chicago, focusing on engine and graphics programming. He moved on to Blizzard Entertainment where he worked on World of Warcraft and first met the Frostkeep Studios founders. At Carbine Studios he worked on Wildstar with many members of the Frostkeep team. After working at Obsidian Entertainment on Pillars of Eternity 2 and an unannounced project, Tim joins with colleagues old and new at Frostkeep to work on Rend. Tom Cassera, Senior Game Designer – @Hildogen Tom spent many of his early years attempting to conquer the world using schemes from his favorite TV shows. Despite some sweet (very) amateur yo-yo “skills”, most of these plans were unwittingly thwarted by the up and coming hero, and Tom’s now nemesis: Nick De Spain. After a particularly spectacular failure involving some cottage cheese, an armadillo, and a whole mess of sandpaper at a library, he decided to end their rivalry with mutually assured destruction through their shared weakness: a burning polar bear. With the centuries long feud over, Tom decided to pursue his love for bacon and game development. Starting his career as a programmer, he transferred to his first full-time design job as a gameplay scripter at 38 Studios. Shortly after he went to Carbine to design dungeon and raid content for Wildstar, then to Sony as a technical designer on God of War 4. Now reunited with several of his previous colleagues at Frostkeep, he contributes to their upcoming game with specialization in combat/systems design, exasperating programmers, and homemade baked goods. Loren Broach, Senior 3D Artist Growing up, Loren didn’t own any fancy console systems like the Nintendo or Sega Genesis. Instead he would boot up his dad’s work computer and play some good ol’ DOS game classics like One Must Fall, Raptor, and Jazz Jackrabbit. None of his friends knew what games he was talking about, but they were a big influence in his desire to make games himself. Loren began his game making career working as an artist for Bungie back in 2007. Since then he has helped ship 6 games from 4 companies ranging from AAA to indie. He met David Talley and Nick De Spain at Turtle Rock Studios while working on Evolve. He now works with them again and has joined the ranks of Frostkeep Studios as a props and environment modeler for Rend. Evan Berman, Community Lead – @Scapes Evan began his gamer life on an Apple IIC playing 8-bit titles before it was cool. Starting in commercial video production at Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, he travelled west to follow his passion for games and player engagement. With a focus on online multiplayer titles, he has pioneered new channels for community management at Bethesda Softworks, Microsoft, Trion Worlds, En Masse Entertainment, and THQ. After 10 years of developing game audiences for international corporations and startup studios, he is excited to join industry veterans at Frostkeep Studios and introduce the world to Rend. We also have some bittersweet news to share — a departure among our ranks: Jordan Leithart, better known as JarNod to our Steam and Discord communities, will be leaving Frostkeep for greener pastures in a far-away realm outside the game industry. Our new Community Lead, Evan Berman, will continue the great work that Jordan spearheaded in engaging and growing Rend’s passionate community. We wish Jordan save journeys and the best of fortune as he enters the wild, untamed world of working in a field our parents can comprehend. Rest assured, we have much more Rend news to announce before the year is out! If you haven’t yet, be sure to follow the latest developments on our Twitter, Facebook, Steam, and community-run Discord. Keep frosty! read the original article
  8. (*Editor’s Note* When Mat and Jordan went to XPO festival, one of the things that people seemed to enjoy most was a little behind the scenes look at how our art assets are made. We asked James to write a few words with some explanations on how he does his work at Frostkeep Studios. If you have any further questions about this, please reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, and even the Discord.) When working on Rend, textures and assets are produced employing a variety of methods, from hand painted to procedurally generated textures, using Photoshop, Zbrush and the Allegorithmic Substance suite. A node graph for a procedurally generated texture from Substance Designer. At Frostkeep Studios, we focus on aspects of the game that will have the biggest impact on the quality of the player’s experience. Instead of spending copious amounts of time creating textures for assets that players breeze by when playing, we utilize texture sheets containing common materials generally needed to make most common props in the world. A procedurally generated and hand-painted asset side by side. When we are looking to create a set of base building assets, the first thing we do is gather reference and create a new texture atlas to use on new building pieces. The texture consists of the common materials from the tier of the structures we are working on. A simple texture used for base building assets. Once we have a texture to work with, we get creative and try to come up with as many assets as we can with this texture sheet we’ve created. The 3D Studio max base-building geometry library, all utilizing the texture pictured above. Unreal shader node integrating vertex color into the texture sample. Using secondary textures and vertex coloring we can create variety in the assets through carved runes and color variations. All meshes are composed of vertices that contain an RGBA value that can be used to influence the appearance of the mesh in a variety of ways, such as tinting the color of a texture. The same asset with and without vertex coloring. Once the meshes have been created, they just have to be hooked up into the data tables, which is a lot easier now that Ron has organized them neatly for us. From there things like names, health, crafting costs, icons and other values are defined, and then the asset is implemented! A sneak peak into one of our many datatables. So there you have it. A quick peak into one of the many ways that we create art at Frostkeep Studios! read the original article
  9. Drop the Base, Raise the Roof

    Howdy folks, my name is David and I’m an engineer here at Frostkeep. I’ll be giving you the lowdown on the new base building systems the team has put together over the past few months. One of the primary goals with our updates to Rend is to increase an individual player’s impact on the world. Previously, base building was restricted to the immediate vicinity around a faction’s Divinity Stone, so contributing to the construction process was limited to players who had acquired enough faction reputation to place items within the shield boundary. This led to a situation where most players never experienced our base building system, and in many ways reduced a lot of players’ sense of ownership within the faction. They hadn’t built the base, so they didn’t care about it, and the only private area they had was a small, protected stash attached to the warehouse building, which didn’t feel significant. To rectify this we’ve enhanced our base building system to allow individuals to stake out their own plot of land in the world so players can build whatever they want. We’ve also added new systems that not only make base planning and building easier, but also allow anyone in a faction to contribute to shared structures in a meaningful way. We’ve made some significant modifications to the structure components themselves, the first being the addition of full foundations. Previously we only had wall foundations and if players wanted to build an enclosed structure, they had to connect a bunch of wall foundations and place platforms on top of them to create full foundations to build on, which was a little involved and not very intuitive. We’ve also added pillars to support larger additional floors and compact stairs to get to those floors, which replace those pesky bulky ramps from before. Finally, we’ve tweaked the aesthetics of every piece, streamlining everything to work in the context of any possible structure players may want to build. In order for players to start piecing together their very own domicile, they first drop a seed into the ground, which will transform into a special foundation piece. Around the seed foundation is an invisible grid that players can place structure components within. The grid is limited in size at first, but can be upgraded later to expand the potential building zone for a player’s base. The seed is a limited-availability item and our plans for it are still under discussion. Its purpose is to limit the number of structures that any one player can erect, preventing the common occurrence that players often experience in other survival games where hundreds of half-built, abandoned player structures dot the landscape. Players will get a free seed for their first base, but subsequent seeds may be locked behind a faction reputation threshold or acquired through progression. For the construction player experience we’ve diverged quite a bit from the norm in other survival games. Instead of crafting individual base building pieces like foundations and walls and having to carry them around with you, we’re introducing a new tool called the Construction Hammer. Once equipped, players choose a material that has been researched by their faction such as wood, stone, or metal. Then the player selects a structure component, like foundations or walls. Each component requires that players have certain resources in their inventory, but assuming players have enough, they can then place that component in the grid and the required resources will automatically be consumed. The process of planning out and building a base is much quicker now, and players won’t have to worry about crafting enough walls or ceilings to complete their base. The components that get placed down in the world are what we’re calling frames, which are incomplete structure components that functionally act like normal components, but have significantly reduced health. These frames can be upgraded via our new structure upgrade system. Each component in a structure can be upgraded to that material’s next tier by depositing the required resources into it. Anyone can deposit resources and multiple deposits can be made so multiple players can provide the necessary resources to upgrade an individual component. Placing components down still requires elevated privileges, however now a few people can plan the base out, construct the framing, and then any member of the faction can harvest resources and contribute to upgrading the components in the base to complete it. We’re currently working on the user interface to support these new systems, and we can’t wait to show them off. Stay tuned for more info because we’ve got some awesome stuff in the works that we’ll be talking about before we reopen pre-alpha this winter. Quality imagery and puns provided by James. read the original article
  10. Post XPO Fest

    Last week, Mat and I got to go to Tulsa, Oklahoma to show off Rend at XPO Fest. When we signed up for this originally, Rend was going to be released and we were going to have the game available to play there. Because we decided to delay release to make the game better, we sadly didn’t have a playable build there. We had lots of people stop by the booth to chat and watch Mat art Mat shows off some of the art tricks he learned over the years to one of the artists on A.N.N.E up a few models for one of our new biomes. People seemed to love learning how the sausage is made, and we were able to teach anyone who wanted to listen. We had a great time there. A few of the highlights from the trip: 1. Mat got conscripted to play in the League of Legends tournament and helped his team place 2nd! They didn’t know he used to work at Riot until he showed off every skin of every character on his account. 2. We got some concept fanart from the best fanartist ever. I wish I had gotten a picture of Ava the awesome 3 year old who came by and drew us a Unicorn! Hopefully we can get Ava’s unicorn in game at some point. 3. Mat was on a panel (To the Point: Industry Pros Discuss the Biggest Gaming Trends) about current gaming trends with some other devs and influencers at the festival. 4. We met a lot of amazing devs and players who are now super excited about Rend! A few twitch partners stopped by and couldn’t stop staring at Mat’s genius A quick update on the happenings in the office right now! Dave is working on making the combat feel much better. James has been working on weapon models (some sweet designs coming out). Nick has been concept arting some of the armor that you’ll be crafting in Rend. Solomon has been working on creature animations and helping me with UX (!!). Mat has been hard at work modeling resources for different biomes (more about these coming soon), and texturing up the biomes. Travis has been hard at work making the world and modeling some of the armor that Nick has been drawing up. Jake has been working closely with Tyler to create new talents for our class system. Ron and Tyler have been working ridiculously hard on all the other systems in the game. I’ve been working on a content plan (to have more regular blog updates) and UI (as per usual), maybe I should do another blogpost about the UI. As usual, you can find us on the community discord, Twitter, Facebook. We gearing up quickly for pre-alpha testing to start up again. So sign up! read the original article
  11. 2 New FKers!

    A few exciting things happened over the past few weeks that I didn’t mention before because we were getting ready for and talking about PAX. The first is that we hired two more developers at Frostkeep Studios! Don’t worry, we’ll get headshots and a new team page as soon as we get a better camera. Without further ado, here are the bios of our two new FKers! Jake Strapko Jake is known for breaking game mechanics in Rend and exploiting them to his advantage, in that order. With a lifetime of experience in competitive gaming, Jake grew up in a household where LAN parties were the norm. He competed against his brother and father in popular online games like Quake, Command: Modern Air Naval Operations and Conquer Online before eventually shifting his reserves to focus on Counter-Strike. Jake is formally trained in graphic design, product branding and apparel design, and has also ventured into competitive teams with Counter-Strike 1.5 and playing on multiple tournament teams during the Overwatch Beta where he was one of the top 500 players for Seasons 1 and 2. As one of the most active players in the Rend pre-alpha, Jake can be found streaming on Twitch and helping to build game communities. His focus at Frostkeep will be on making Rend as fair and balanced as possible. Michele Cagle Known for “making lemonade” and finding the good in everything (as Bob Ross would say, “there are no mistakes, just happy accidents”), Michele Cagle is a seasoned communications executive with nearly 20 years of gaming, corporate, entertainment and consumer products experience. Michele previously led global communications efforts at Sony Online Entertainment, Daybreak Games, THQ and Mattel, including corporate communications, brand PR, internal communications, influencer relations and events. When she’s not off saving animals or channeling her inner Bruce Lee to execute awesome campaigns, Michele can be found chasing sunsets, eating mangos, and getting salty with her family at local beaches on the mainland and in Hawaii. The next thing that happened was that we were put on Tech Raptor’s top 10 games at PAX West! This was a huge surprise and an incredible honor, especially when looking at the other games on that list (Dead Cells is sooooo good). We’re so excited to show off the game, and can’t wait to open up the pre-alpha servers again. As far as happenings around the office, I’m still plugging away at the UI rework (we’ll get another UI blog later). Tyler and Ron are working on AI and Item system design. Jake is doing some super secret work as well as focus testing and balance design. James is working on new prop items. Travis and Mat are working on making the map bigger and all the cool new biomes. David is working on some performance things regarding base building. As always we’re here answering questions from the community on Twitter, Facebook, Steam and the community Discord! Come join us! read the original article
  12. 2 New FKers!

    A few exciting things happened over the past few weeks that I didn’t mention before because we were getting ready for and talking about PAX. The first is that we hired two more developers at Frostkeep Studios! Don’t worry, we’ll get headshots and a new team page as soon as we get a better camera. Without further ado, here are the bios of our two new FKers! Jake Strapko Jake is known for breaking game mechanics in Rend and exploiting them to his advantage, in that order. With a lifetime of experience in competitive gaming, Jake grew up in a household where LAN parties were the norm. He competed against his brother and father in popular online games like Quake, Command: Modern Air Naval Operations and Conquer Online before eventually shifting his reserves to focus on Counter-Strike. Jake is formally trained in graphic design, product branding and apparel design, and has also ventured into competitive teams with Counter-Strike 1.5 and playing on multiple tournament teams during the Overwatch Beta where he was one of the top 500 players for Seasons 1 and 2. As one of the most active players in the Rend pre-alpha, Jake can be found streaming on Twitch and helping to build game communities. His focus at Frostkeep will be on making Rend as fair and balanced as possible. Michele Cagle Known for “making lemonade” and finding the good in everything (as Bob Ross would say, “there are no mistakes, just happy accidents”), Michele Cagle is a seasoned communications executive with nearly 20 years of gaming, corporate, entertainment and consumer products experience. Michele previously led global communications efforts at Sony Online Entertainment, Daybreak Games, THQ and Mattel, including corporate communications, brand PR, internal communications, influencer relations and events. When she’s not off saving animals or channeling her inner Bruce Lee to execute awesome campaigns, Michele can be found chasing sunsets, eating mangos, and getting salty with her family at local beaches on the mainland and in Hawaii. The next thing that happened was that we were put on Tech Raptor’s top 10 games at PAX West! This was a huge surprise and an incredible honor, especially when looking at the other games on that list (Dead Cells is sooooo good). We’re so excited to show off the game, and can’t wait to open up the pre-alpha servers again. As far as happenings around the office, I’m still plugging away at the UI rework (we’ll get another UI blog later). Tyler and Ron are working on AI and Item system design. Jake is doing some super secret work as well as focus testing and balance design. James is working on new prop items. Travis and Mat are working on making the map bigger and all the cool new biomes. David is working on some performance things regarding base building. As always we’re here answering questions from the community on Twitter, Facebook, Steam and the community Discord! Come join us! read the original article View full news
  13. 2 New FKers!

    A few exciting things happened over the past few weeks that I didn’t mention before because we were getting ready for and talking about PAX. The first is that we hired two more developers at Frostkeep Studios! Don’t worry, we’ll get headshots and a new team page as soon as we get a better camera. Without further ado, here are the bios of our two new FKers! Jake Strapko Jake is known for breaking game mechanics in Rend and exploiting them to his advantage, in that order. With a lifetime of experience in competitive gaming, Jake grew up in a household where LAN parties were the norm. He competed against his brother and father in popular online games like Quake, Command: Modern Air Naval Operations and Conquer Online before eventually shifting his reserves to focus on Counter-Strike. Jake is formally trained in graphic design, product branding and apparel design, and has also ventured into competitive teams with Counter-Strike 1.5 and playing on multiple tournament teams during the Overwatch Beta where he was one of the top 500 players for Seasons 1 and 2. As one of the most active players in the Rend pre-alpha, Jake can be found streaming on Twitch and helping to build game communities. His focus at Frostkeep will be on making Rend as fair and balanced as possible. Michele Cagle Known for “making lemonade” and finding the good in everything (as Bob Ross would say, “there are no mistakes, just happy accidents”), Michele Cagle is a seasoned communications executive with nearly 20 years of gaming, corporate, entertainment and consumer products experience. Michele previously led global communications efforts at Sony Online Entertainment, Daybreak Games, THQ and Mattel, including corporate communications, brand PR, internal communications, influencer relations and events. When she’s not off saving animals or channeling her inner Bruce Lee to execute awesome campaigns, Michele can be found chasing sunsets, eating mangos, and getting salty with her family at local beaches on the mainland and in Hawaii. The next thing that happened was that we were put on Tech Raptor’s top 10 games at PAX West! This was a huge surprise and an incredible honor, especially when looking at the other games on that list (Dead Cells is sooooo good). We’re so excited to show off the game, and can’t wait to open up the pre-alpha servers again. As far as happenings around the office, I’m still plugging away at the UI rework (we’ll get another UI blog later). Tyler and Ron are working on AI and Item system design. Jake is doing some super secret work as well as focus testing and balance design. James is working on new prop items. Travis and Mat are working on making the map bigger and all the cool new biomes. David is working on some performance things regarding base building. As always we’re here answering questions from the community on Twitter, Facebook, Steam and the community Discord! Come join us! read the original article
  14. Post PAX West

    So it takes a lot of work to get ready to show off your game to show off to press. We didn’t have the new map completely done so we couldn’t show that off yet, but there were a bunch of cool things that we had implemented and were really excited to show off to people. Personal base building – We got a lot of feedback from players about the lack of personal impact on the world. Yes, our faction base building worked and was fun, but only a few people per faction could be trusted with something as important as protecting everything. In addition, it took so many resources to build the base, that players never felt like they progressed in building up the base. A personal base in the valley, plus a photobomb by Mr. Elk We, also, got feedback about players not having a place to store their more valuable resources. Lastly, we found that there was a severe lack of reward for exploring in Rend. So, to combat all of those points of feedback, we are re-introducing personal base building back into Rend. Personal base building will provide more tangible and accessible base building feedback for all players. It will also allow a player to keep control of those valuable resources that are too valuable to leave in the communal chest. And now players will explore the world of Rend looking for places to build a personal base, as well as look for opponent’s personal bases. When we took personal base building out of Rend, it was a design decision based one of the major pain points in the survival genre is logging off for the night, then logging back in and your base is completely gone. You’ve lost all progression and it could take you days to get back up to speed. But, when we took personal base building out, we also lost out on the raiding mindset. No longer was their any incentive to explore the map, because you knew where everyone would be. Knowing that we wanted to add personal base building back in without adding in the pain of losing so much progress, we came up with a design that we are excited to share. It stemmed from a conversation we were having about raiding, and one of us just asked, “Does raiding have to be a zero-sum game?”. A zero-sum game is a scenario that means as many resources that the attacker takes, the defender loses. So we had to come up with some resource that the attacker would want, but wouldn’t push the defender back to the stone age. That was the concept of “research notes”, which we will get into in the next system. Personal Crafting – Previously in Rend, crafting recipes (and therefore crafting progression) was nearly entirely gated by faction technology level. This meant that as soon as your faction unlocked the tech required to make a crafting station, anyone could make that item at a crafting station. To help players specialize their role in their respective faction, we introduced crafting The control point from above. Revenant build up the base, Order now controls it. skill trees. Players will place a personal crafting station in their personal base, and then place a plug into it to provide access to different crafting skill trees. These will allow a player to make choices to specialize their specific bow and provide them the opportunity to become known as the “bow crafter” in their faction. Raiders of personal bases can come up to these personal crafting stations and steal the research notes off them (passively gained through crafting) to help them become more skilled in crafting skill trees. This research notes system, combined with the fact that items that do siege damage will require a huge amount of resources to craft, means that raiders are incentivized to keep raidees bases up and running, rather than leveling them down to the ground. Control points – To further double down on the PvP in Rend, we added control points around the map. These control points will be neutral to begin with, and once a faction claims one, the faction can build a base there. These will provide a bunch of different types of bonuses (a valuable resource node, soul collection well, etc). They are also not protected by shields like the faction base is. This means that players will be able to attack them at any time. If one faction takes a control point from another faction, they will then gain access to everything built up around that control point. Turrets that were A control point owned by Order placed by Order will now be controlled by the Conclave captors. This will encourage more strategic infiltration into the control point to capture it, instead of blowing everything to smithereens and rebuilding from scratch. My favorite part of the control points system though, is the role it plays in the Reckoning. Every Reckoning will spawn Lost Ones to attack the faction base, and every controlled control point. That means that the faction that captures all of the control points, has to defend against the lost ones at every control point. Hopefully they didn’t bite off more than they can chew. We had a wonderful time at PAX West. We spoke to some old friends and made some new ones. So far, we have had some great articles written, and I recommend you check them all out. Here are the ones that I’ve seen so far (hat tip to Zedd for the aggregation): PC Gamer Massively OP Gizorama Game Informer MMORPG.com read the original article
  15. Refactoring the UI: Part 1

    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
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