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Hearts of Oak Dev Blog 30th May 2015

Discussion in 'Hearts of Oak News' started by Armada, May 30, 2015.

  • by Armada, May 30, 2015 at 5:46 PM
  • Armada

    Armada Sea Dog Staff Member Administrator Project Manager 3D Artist Storm Modder

    Jun 11, 2010
    Game Developer
    Somerset, England

    Welcome to another new Hearts of Oak development blog!

    It's been a particularly busy time of year for many of us on the development team, hence the long break since our last blog post. Now, though, things are starting to pick up again, and we finally have some more exciting news to share with you.

    Development News
    - Water and Sky Improvements
    With the most recent updates to both the Suimono water system and Tenkoku sky system, the game's environment now looks far more impressive than previous builds. One of the most impressive enhancements is the water's interaction with the shoreline, generating waves and foam along beaches. Here's an example in action:


    - Materials and Camera Effects
    Some of the materials used by our models have been improved with new features. Most notable is the sub-surface scattering now being applied to the sails, which allows shadows to be cast onto them and remain visible on both sides.

    In addition, new camera effects such as screen-space ambient occlusion and depth of field have been added to produce near-photorealistic visuals. The following screenshots demonstrate all of the above improvements working together:





    - Chart View Prototype
    @Trunks518 has been hard at work creating the Chart View scene for our first game version. The chart currently has towns which randomly generate wares when the game starts up, and saves this information for the next time the game is loaded. In addition, each town will determine what it needs, based on its own resources, and will send out a ship to acquire it from another town.

    The AI ships will move between towns, navigating around islands and other ships. Currently, hostile ships do not enter combat, and the scene does not yet transition to 3D when arriving at a town (as is the final goal), but these features are still being worked on.

    Below is an early preview of the Chart View, showing placeholders for the ships and towns, as well as the boundary lines marking the landmasses. We must stress that this does NOT represent the final quality; it is just a glimpse into our current development.


    To help us speed up development of the first playable game version, we need more hands on deck. Our current developers are working to capacity during what little free time they have, and as a result, it's taken us longer to reach this point than anticipated.

    What we currently need includes:
    - C#/Unity developers
    If you're familiar with C# and/or working with scripts in Unity, you can help! If you're interested in working on the gameplay mechanics with our developers, and you have plenty of time to spare, don't hesitate to contact us through our recruitment forum.

    - Artists of all kinds
    We still need to produce an uncountable quantity of assets for the game, including character models, props, architecture and ships. If you're an able 3D artist, we always have something for you to do.

    Additionally, we need artists to help fine-tune features such as materials, the ocean shader and lighting for different weather conditions and times of day. This will take some of the burden off our developers so they can focus on other things.

    Remember, we're looking for volunteers only. If you want to join the team, please check our List of Development Roles for details.

    Stay tuned for more updates soon!
    Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on Hearts of Oak.
    A.H, Deoradain, RobinPC and 10 others like this.


Discussion in 'Hearts of Oak News' started by Armada, May 30, 2015.

  1. Hylie Pistof
    This is looking better and better! :cheers
    Thagarr likes this.
  2. kenpokiller
    Oohhhh, I am psyched about this game.
    Thagarr likes this.
  3. A.H
    May God grant you the will & resources to complete this project with a remarkable outcome. I hope this game will revolutionize the world of historical open games.

    Would be nice to see an extensive customization of everything; character, ships, even ports & their infrastructure in the case that you capture it. All these nice customization options aren't much found in any pirate game; so I pray it will exist in Hearts of Oak!
    Armada, Pieter Boelen and Thagarr like this.
  4. Armada
    @A.H, thanks for your kind words!

    Character and ship customisation are both planned for the final game, ideally with more depth than PotC and the Age of Pirates games.
    Customisable ports aren't planned as such, but we haven't ruled anything out for future versions, yet. ;)
    A.H likes this.
  5. A.H
    Yes who knows what the future may behold :)
    But it would also be nice if we can spontaneously attack guards upon entering a port and work our way up towards governor's mansion then take over the city that way; in addition to the traditional fort bombardment, etc.
  6. TommyM
    So when is the next blog?
  7. Armada
    Things have been relatively quiet recently, and the team has been reshuffled slightly, so we don't have much to report for now.
    We might try to introduce some other articles in between progress updates, though.
  8. con20or
    Looking forward to an update - I saw the 'Letters of Marquee' video and would be interested to see who is still on the HOOCOTS team, is work still ongoing, etc. Fingers crossed :thumbs1
  9. Armada
    I'm currently working on a new article, so you'll find out how development is going very soon. And you might be pleasantly surprised. ;)
    Pieter Boelen and con20or like this.
  10. Flannery

    I know this is a late reply for you personally - but I still want to clarify something to those who are still wondering.

    Even though me, @Captain Murphy and @Trunks518 have created our own game dev company, and are working on "Letters of Marque" does not mean that any work have been taken away from HoO or that our interest towards HoO is lost ;)

    On the contrary - I am more involved in HoO than ever, and @Captain Murphy still help us out with HoO whenever he can. You have to remember - we are all very much part of the Pirates Ahoy community and all of us want to see as many Age of Sails games as possible see the light of day.

    In fact - had it not been for Pirates Ahoy! The three of us would probably never have met, and worked together - and Wolf Pack Games would never have been formed, neither "Letters of Marque"
    That is the power and beauty of this community!

    There is no Drama or bad blood or anything like that :D

    And the "changearound" in such a vast volunteer project is necessary and inevitable from time to time - because people's focus in real life change over time. It has happened before in the HoO time of development, and it will most likely happen again.

    Now the challenge in that opposed to a company is of course that it takes more time to get to that golden goal on that distant horizon. But we have plenty of time.

    The positive part of that changearound is that new people with refreshed focus and energy get to prove themselves. And many have - especially @JohnSilver - our new lead programmer.

    HoO is definitely moving forward - and many people have rolled up their sleeves to prove to you - the HoO public and fans - that we shall see this thru and create that Pirate/Age of Sails game we always wanted ;)
  11. con20or
    Great to hear.

    I admit i was worried when I first heard of and saw the LOM video, but the August update allayed those fears.

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