We recently released the big Version 3, and along with it the new PvP mode. Here’s a little bit of its history and how it came to be.
A preparing for the economy
A key focus for us is to build a game that has an economy around player-owned apartments, and crafting of items and equipment that can be used in the world. Earlier builds of the game was designed with this in mind, but we were relatively early in the development of those features. For example, our October 2022 content pack consisted mainly of a single-player questline, combined with resource collection, crafting and trading, towards making weapons that could be used inside Rugbusterz (a single-player minigame).
From November, we started working on a new set of features focused on real-time multiplayer combat. We decided the first target was to make a PvP game mode, since this would allow us to build and refine a new player movement system and combat mechanics that would work in multiplayer (features that could also be used in future PvE), without having to also build NPCs and content in the world at the same time for players to explore.
Initially, the PvP game mode that we were going to made was a little social game that we aimed to release at Christmas 2022. It was to just involve throwing some snowballs at each other for low-stakes fun, and drew inspiration from the Club Penguin snowball fights.
However, early testing of that snowball fight showed a lot of promise. It was working a lot better than we had expected. That project got re-scoped to something much more complex. It was no longer a simple snowball fight where you threw a few snowballs at each other. We ended up with a design for a much more ambitious competitive PvP game with power pickups and capture points.
Some users who were part of the early PvP demo would have played a version of the game that still had its Christmas/winter theme, which was the theming that we had started with originally, and before it was re-skinned as Diamond Fist in January 2023. Even now, some elements of that theme still exist (though depending on when you’re reading this, those themes may have been removed).
PvP modes are step in the direction of building out multiplayer combat abilities. From there, the same building blocks can be used for PvE and other multiplayer mechanisms.
It’s worth pointing out on a technical note that the PvP modes are fully integrated into the game world. Unlike Rugbusterz which is a separate game that is launched from inside the game world, the PvP modes exist in the same world that Chain City and other locations are. It would be possible, should we decide to do it, to allow spectators to walk up to the arena as well, however at this time we are not doing that to prevent any interference that could be had by spectators (intentional or otherwise).
Version 3 improvements
Those of you watching the version numbering will have noticed the version number go from 2.21.x to 3.0.x; the large number of changes warranted a new version number.
Most of the changes between version 2 and 3 relate to player movement, and interaction. We added a new movement system that simultaneously simpler, more consistent, and flexible for our needs. This includes:
- Separate collisions for ground and flying objects, so that flying things can pass over some areas not traversable by ground objects (sorry, avatars that have a floating effect are still considered to be ground objects as far as collisions go)
- An ability to add temporary buffs/debuffs to speed, such as the long grass in PvP and mounts (allowing stacked buffs)
- More flexibility to add different cursors to hint at different interaction modes
We also changed the way player interactions are handled, you may have noticed better hitboxes on some objects, and a loading indicator for changing rooms. However we are still in the process of migrating the in-world objects over to the new system, so the improvements may not be readily apparent.