Dragon Empires February Newsletter

Dear Henri Sarasvirta

Well here we go the first Dragon Empires newsletter. This is probably a bit shorter than I would like but right now I am working till about 9pm most nights!

Coming soon....

The big news for the community is the arrival on the 18th Feb of Vini Holden who will be the community liaison. As well as liaison we hope he will contribute to the ongoing design of the game and represent the design wishes of the community in the studio.

He will spend a lot of time on the forums and will become responsible for

  • Web site content
  • Running the live chat sessions - there will still be Devs on them!
  • Supporting fan sites.
  • Supporting anybody who wants to start clans etc....
  • These news letters although there will still be contributions from developers.

Also we are close to announcing our tie up with a famous author who has been working with us on the world background and history. More of that in another letter.

Development news.

It think a lot of you would be horrified if you could see how much we have to do before beta. There are very few elements of the game which are not well advanced but the front end for instance is not in at all yet! Front ends always get left till the end.

The most exciting thing right now is the terrain system which looks better and better all the time. We have just put the time of day lighting and shadows in and it looks fab. If any of you are unsure what this means, it means that we have a sun in the game and as it moves across the sky things like trees and rocks cast shadows. Also different sides of hills become lit and shadowed. The overall effect is just like being outdoors. The next bit to go in will be real time character shadows for the people - also created by the sun.

Dragons.

We have made the decision to model separate dragons for each empire. Up till now we were just going to have one set of dragon types for the whole world. Hopefully we can release some screen shots of these dragons pretty soon.

These visual elements are often the last thing to go in games. First we get all the mechanical stuff in and safe then we make it pretty. If you do it the other way round everyone is very impressed till the game is about 2 years late then they pull the plug.

I am assured that the web site is going to get an overhaul pretty soon. That will be nice. If anybody has any ideas they should put them on our forum which you can get to from our current site (www.dragonempires.com).

Ted Carron. Studio Manager, Dragon Empires - Codemasters