Housemarque Releases its First Dev Diary for Stormdivers

In what appears to be the first in a series of videos, judging by the number next to its title, a new Stormdivers dev diary video has been posted online with a peek behind the scenes of the studio’s thought processes about the game and what its looking to bring to battle royale.

The video in question features head of self-publishing Mikael Haveri, who talks about what it ws that drew the studio to create Stormdivers. “We were looking at games like Dark Souls; how these games redefine genres and make it very clear from the beginning that the only way to be successful is to own your skills,” said Haveri. This mindset, of course, blends well with the battle royale genre.

The video admits that the team took in several pieces of inspiration from games releasing during the time of Stormdivers’ initial development, which ultimately formed a “Housemarque monster” that was fine-tuned over the past two years. That said, Haveri also does admit that Stormdivers is not quite ready for broader public release but will be soon.

Haveri closes with the promise that Stormdivers will be “ruthless and skill-based” and feature dynamic weather events that will fundamentally change the way fights play out. He also promised that Housemarque has “alot of arcade tricks in our bag” – a callback to the studio’s arcade-centric stable of titles.

You can get the full video in the embed below.

Our Thoughts

Jump-cut editing notwithstanding, this does seem like a generally earnest look into how Stormdivers came to be. We are interested in seeing more meat form on these bones, however, as we’re still not sure what truly makes this one rise up above the battle royale din.

Source: YouTube

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Bless Online Goes In-Depth on Building a Believable World

Sure, it’s easy to create a fantasy world for an MMORPG and toss things like reality and physics out of the window, but the devs of Bless aren’t quite in agreement. In a new Bless Online dev diary, players are getting a closer look at several locations and creatures in the game along with perspective on the design decisions behind them.

bless online dev diary

According to the post, the devs have taken care to consider probability or likelihood of a creature’s existence in the game’s world. A given example was the inclusion of a lizard-like race, which was wanted in the game but had to answer questions like how such a creature would look beyond merely being just another monster. According to the devs, the same level of consideration is being given to every intelligent creature and the promised hundreds of monsters in the game.

As for locations in the game, real-life examples and even field studies have been applied in the building of places in the world of Bless. Visuals that were otherwise beautiful graphically have even been pushed aside in favor of ones that are more grounded in reality.

That said, there’s still aspects of classic fantasy in Bless Online as well, such as the inclusion of the classic dragon or the naga race. You can dig into the designers’ brains in the post here.

Our Thoughts

That certainly is a lot of forethought in simply building what would otherwise be just another fantasy MMO world. We’re certainly glad to get a small peek at a few of the game’s locations, but we’re most looking forward to how they’ll fit into gameplay or getting more details about the races and creatures that inhabit this world.

Source: Steam

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Sea of Thieves Talks About the AI of Skeletons

Ever since Sea of Thieves skeletons became a thing, the challenge of creating good enemy AI has been something the Sea of Thieves devs have had to face. The most recent dev diary video from the team goes into their progress on that front, discussing how they animate their skeletons and give them a brain. Like necromancy, but digital.

sea of thieves skeletons

This video features senior designer Andrew Preston and software engineer Sarah Noonan as they discuss the ins-and-outs of skeletal behavior in Sea of Thieves. Noonan brings up the addition of different perception types, including a skeleton’s ability to hear and react to sounds instead of just visual cues.

Discussion also brought up the fact that distance and volume of a sound now has an impact: a skeleton might hear a faraway cannon shot and investigate the area without auto-magically knowing where to attack a player, and soft sounds like a shovel digging in to sand likely will go beyond a skeleton’s notice. Skeletons now also feature a sense of self-preservation, running away from a fight and attempting to heal if they’ve taken too much damage.

Skeletons are also outfitted based on a player’s point in personal progression, with different abilities such as proficient aiming or different weapons from unarmed to straight-up blunderbusses. This melds into the new Bounty Quests, where players must face waves of skeletons of increasing strength, which is all handled by a unique spawner system created by the team.

Sea of Thieves will have its closed beta starting Wednesday, January 24th until Monday, January 29th. Until then, you can see how the knee bone connects to the thigh bone in the video below.

Our Thoughts

Considering that the bigger threat in Sea of Thieves will be opposing crews, it’s good to know that the skeletons of Sea of Thieves aren’t going to be completely shrugged off. After all, it’s a big ocean and not every threat is going to be PvP-based.

Source: YouTube

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