We are making Progress …

June 21st, 2012 39 comments

I leaked some screenshots …. I hope you enjoy

Some new  mountains, a small town, a lot of wood and rivers are shown here. Note town graphics are not final at all and this border will not stay :p

Some desert with a lot of details on the ground. A new job icon placed right in the middle. Our problem at the moment: Job-Icons at the actual state are not clear enough. If someone has good ideas feel free to post 🙂

And another screenshot with some roads towns, job icons, rivers and trees.

We are very happy about our progress and we are looking forward that we can announce  a date for any kind of public beta in the near future.

But there happened also a lot more changes in the development. We converted some more screen to new design Sheriff, Bank, a lot of fort buildings. We are nearly done with converting any windows to new design. i will hand out screenshots for the new windows later, because i don’t have the new screen on my development machine at the moment.

The development for new Interface has taken place and makes a good progress, hopefully i can present some pictures next week and tell you something more whats this all about.

Last but not least for this week we did a lot of optimization for php backend and also our chat server and still will go on a while. Our technical goal for 2.0 is it to get more performance out of the game this belongs to chat, server backend request and also the new interface and javascript code. It is our goal to get West 2.0 more smooth to play and everything should work with shorter response time.

Categories: 2.00 Tags:

Addition to new job system

June 14th, 2012 28 comments

As promised yesterday here is the addition to the new job system from our Game-Designer Ashock

Danger

The injury system will also be changed a bit in the new The West version. Only the probability to get an injury will be influenced by the job-points and no longer the damage. The damage will be a set amount of percentage rate based on the player’s maximum health. Thus a player with a huge health pool will have the same chance to seriously injure himself as does a ‘normal’ player.

This change should increase the ‘thrill’ in working as you never know if this work might kill you. There should no longer be messages like ‘someone shot you. You lose 1 health point.’, but rather ‘someone shot you. You lose 1500 health points.’.

Dropchance

The dropchance system for items will not be changed drastically. The drop values will be calculated the same as before but there will be a bonus on drops for shorter worktimes.

For products on the other hand the system will be changed a bit. The displayed dropchance for a product in each job counts for every task. For each task it is no longer possible to find more products but only one. If there is a 50% dropchance for a 15 second task, the players will get a product statistically every 30 seconds. For a 50% dropchance in a 2 hours task, the player will get a product statistically every 4 hours. This will of course have a major impact on the crafting system, which will be completely revised.

This new system should lessen the confusion about the drops of products and should give the player an easier understandable model for price calculation.

Experience and Money

As with the new job system the worktime can no longer be influenced every job will have a fixed experience value. The money value will still be influenced for every job by the workpoint bonus of the player. There will be a bonus on experience and money for shorter worktimes.

Further the needed experience to level-up has been increased by 3 times, but also the offered experience by jobs, quests, achievements, etc. were increased by the same amount. The necessity of this was plainly the fact that jobs at a worktime of 15 seconds produced experience values of less than 1.

Quests

The questsystem will get a slight change, as the quest requirement ‘worktime’ no longer fits the new job system. This requirement will be change to a requirement ‘task.done’, which requires a certain amount of finished jobs

Motivation and Energy

Every job will reduce the work motivation by 5% independent of the worktime for this specific job. For every day the motivation will be increased by 25% at midnight. Jobs with a motivation of 0 will no longer yield experience, money or item drops. Product drops are still possible.

Observed over a longer time period, jobs with a lesser worktime will need more energy than jobs with a longer worktime.

Both systems are to counter the offered bonuses for jobs with a lesser worktime, to prevent players from abusing the new system.

I read already a lot of misunderstandings and questions i hope this words will make some things more clear. But i think there will be still questions unanswered. I will try to collect all this misunderstandings and questions and try to answer them in this post, so beware of daily updates 🙂

Categories: 2.00 Tags:

Development for The West 2.0 started

June 13th, 2012 13 comments

Hi there,

i am happy to tell you that we already started with the development of Version 2.0 and we make good progress. I want to keep you informed about some states of the development in this post. So i try to make weekly updates, but first i have to secure that i am allowed to give out this informations 🙂

Before you will get a look into the development progress. Here is a list of all related topics for Version 2.0

New Map

The biggest change in Version 2.0 will be the change of the whole map. We will introduce new graphics and we will scale the new map to fullscreen.

Interface Redesign

The whole Interface of The-West will be changed, but don’t be scared our goals are: Get the interface more clear and more harmonious with the new windows. In the same task we will bring all windows into the new window style with Version 2.0.

Get a better start

With Version 2.0 one of our goals is: Bring new players to the game. In fact of that goal we will introduce some changes to the beginning of the game:

  •  New Tutorial
  • First jobs will take less time
  • Movement speed will be buffed until you reached a specific level
  • You are not able to use difficult features e.g. market , until a specific level

Jobsystem

There will be some changes in jobsystem. Make things easier to understand like gain expierence, gain money, find items and make stuff more clear for the player. Every job will have a fixed duration in version 2.0 so you don’t have to choose any duration for jobs anymore. We also recalculate formulas for new durations and  modified the hurt formula with version 2.0. So if you hurt yourself by robbing trains it can be possible to lose much live or even die.

Here some words to the upcoming changes from our Game-Designer Ashock

Jobs
In The West 2.0 the jobs will be fundamentally reworked in both visual representation and functionality. There will be less job icons on the map as up to five jobs will be grouped under one major job-group.  This job-group will be placed on the map as an interactive icon and opens upon clicking a radial-menu showing the five sub-jobs of this group. All current jobs will be represented by 28 job-groups with varying occurrences. In each county there are four common and two rare job-group occurrences, which accumulate to a total of 90 job-groups per county. Not all job-groups consist of five jobs, which leaves us the space to introduce new jobs in the future.

This change to the existing job-system was mainly done to improve the visual representation of the map and better blend the jobs into the map environment. Another aspect of the change was a better usability for the player as he will be able to find different jobs much easier due to an improved job screen, which will no longer only be usable for premium players.
Worktime
The worktime system of the current version will be totally changed in The West 2.0. Each job will offer a unique worktime and the player will no longer be able to select different worktimes for each job. Also the shortest worktime will be drastically reduced to 15 seconds. This means that some jobs require a worktime of 15 seconds, while for example others require 1 minute, 30 minutes or 2 hours. For each range of job-difficulty there will be different worktimes available, while the majority of the jobs switch from fast to slow jobs for higher jobpoint requirements. For example ‘scare birds from field’ needs 15 seconds and ‘free slaves’ needs 2 hours of worktime. To reward active playing we introduce a bonus for jobs with lesser worktime.

The reason for this change is that we want to offer a more active play style, which doesn’t force the player to passiveness especially in the beginning. This change is based on some analysis we made that most players quit the game in the beginning after they are forced into a longer waiting time. Nevertheless we still offer jobs for every range with a longer worktime to still support player who prefer a less active play session.

 

Preview Section – please keep in mind i just want to keep you informed everything i will post below are screenshots and / or  concepts from our development machines, so this are very very early versions. Most of them are not tested, finished or final.

2012-06-13: Some preview from the last week of development

Questbook, Saloon and Employer

We started to get the questbook into the new design

First we have the saloon with just a few changes its a little bit bigger and we use the new tab style, on the second tab your questbook with all quests which are not solved yet and on the third tab there are all solved quests. The saloon graphics has a bit too much light at the moment and the color are to bright. This will be changed in some days.

If you click on an employer you will get a window like that the employer will show you on the left site which quests are available and ready to accept. If you click on one of those quests on the left site you will get the detailed informations on the right site including things like description, rewards, requirements.

The new duel screen in tactical overview

Npc duel screen

Several other Windows were changed to new design but with no or less modifications:

Fingerboard, Buildingpages of fort, ranking, town overview, sheriff other town, ghosttowns, town invitations, found fort, you have no town window

Technical Development:

We have already completed some parts of the backend implementation of the new map this includes kind of caching systems, distribute systems and data structures. There is still a lot work in progress of course. From the graphical view there are round about 15 people at the moment which generate the map with our given editor. As soon as they finish their work we can bring it all together. I know this will be the most interesting part. Please stay tuned i don’t know when i can show you some preview of the new map.

Next big tasks for our development team: new job window, get new map backend working with new interface and on fullscreen with any resolution, modify backend for the new job system (fixed duration, new formulas), clean up a lot of old code in backend and frontend

I hope to hear from you and stay tuned for the next update from my site next week

P.S. In the next days i will post some more details about the job formula changes with another quote of our Game-Designer

Categories: 2.00 Tags:

World Migration coming soon …

April 12th, 2012 63 comments

Today i want to introduce a really big topic which was discussed a lot in the past and finally we can tell you something what this all about.

So what is this all about?
With the world migration you will be able to move your favorite character to another World in your market for example if i am playing with my main character on world 1 in germany i can move it to another world in germany.

Can i transfer to every world? Can i also transfer from a non premium to a premium world or opposite?
Not as default. Every Community-Manager of any market will be able to create “migration-routes” this means he can decide from which to which world you will be able to transfer. There will also be in game announces if you are able to migrate from your world.

If a route exists do i have to transfer/migrate my character and what is happened if i have already a character on the new world?
First of course you don’t have to migrate any character it is your decision, but keep in mind the idea of migration is to get much as possible players to the same worlds and remove old, empty worlds. If you have already a character on the world you want to migrate to, you will need to delete that character first. We don’t want to do this by script because of the support cost if character was wrong migrated or deleted. So if you want to migrate one character to another world you have to secure that there is no character on this world.

What will be migrated?
Your character with all of his stats, inventory, skills, profession, recipes, quests, achievements, avatar, premium settings.

What will not be migrated?
Your messages, forts, town. This means you will leave your town / alliance and you will be townless on the world.

How to migrate a character?
The migration will be located in the settings page if there is an available route from your world to another you can migrate your character. If you choose to migrate you have to secure that you have no auctions, tasks or other stuff left equals to deletion requirements. Another thing i talked already about, you have to secure that there is no character on the world you migrate to. Problem in this case could be that you will have to wait 5 days until the character will be deleted. If everything is fine your character moves to a migration state this means you will not be able to log in into both worlds until the migration is finished which normally should be executed at night.

I hope i could give you a small overview over this feature which will be released soon. If you have any questions please ask i will comment them or add them to this post.

 

Version 1.36 is largely finished already and will be deployed soon, i will write down the change log in the next days.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Lets start into the new year on DevBlog

February 6th, 2012 24 comments

Hi all,

there wasn’t so much interessting stuff the last few months as you now we changed inventory, traders and market. There were some issue with the graphics some were too small some were ok. Now in the beginning of 1.35 i think we are fine with inventory, trader and market and a big topic was born “Union Pacific Shop” as you know there will be included the daily activity list. Another change which might not be that interessting i am using the U.S. keyboard layout from now on for programming (so features will take longer until i get used to it) 😀

I think the union pacific trader is an interessting topic but i don’t want to talk much about it because there are so many disccusions and informations in the forums. So i made the decision to tell you and show you something you should not already know 🙂

At the moment we are doing some prototyping for the new map, please keep in mind that everything i will show you is just a proof of concept and prototypes there is nothing final, nothing finished yet and the whole map thing is planned for 3rd quarter this year.

Some desert i already love it 😀 I know there are not that much details right now but you know the existing map i think everything will be better or even can be better =)

 Here we have some mountains, towns and a change over from greenlands to desert.

And last but not least i have a more technical screenshot from our prototype editor to make some proofs of concept. As i said we have already some cool designs but there is no final concept right now i can only say it will change the whole game ….

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

The West wishes you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

December 23rd, 2011 15 comments

… is it already that time again?

Time flies and from nowhere the western citizens evolved an individual Appearance and increased their social skills and learned the meaning of a word: Friends.

Strangers became Bandits and were feared, some of them have Titles.

Also they discovered their preference to collect stuff and were happy to have some Achievements in their lives.

To manage hard times and have some fun a game named Poker has been invented, since then it also costs a few lives because cheating is not appreciated.

A bean that accidently felt into the soup pot, which tastes good, aroused the idea of starting cooking,
besides that citizens found out that riding a horse with blankets is not that hurtful.
Blacksmith’s developed new recipes for forging new weapons.
Crafting experimental items from miscellaneous objects were also a favorite pastime.

Last winter was cold and the citizens thought it can’t be that they are freezeing that much on the lower body, so the Pants have been invented.

Most of the Buildings started to ruinous and a Redesign was important for continued existence.

 

That and a few more things happened in the World of The West this year.
We hope you had as much fun this year in the game as we had in developing it.
We all want to thank the players which contributed to improve the game and helped us to spot bugs.

So for now we all let everything cooldown and refresh our energy for the next year to have a graceful start with the next version.

 

The West-Team whishes you Merry Christmas, tons of gifts and a Happy New Year.

 

(Dear Trolls out there… be aware of the punish-rod.)

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Get nice looking errors.

November 9th, 2011 18 comments

We made changes to the layout of one of our basic component which you meet everyday (maybe unconscious).
Times are over that you get that angry red box which is trying to tell that you or we made a mistake!

I proudly present our new MessageDialog:


Isn’t it great?
Besides you can now prevent the message (the upper box in the picture) from fading when you move the mouse over it, just to read the text in there slowly, after you’re finished click on it
to close it, of course the box is resuming fading when you moved the mouse away from it.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Upcoming Inventory Changes – The dream of a Developer

October 25th, 2011 15 comments

Hi guys,

i am actually working on some inventory changes as you may noticed on Beta. We have several problems with the inventory because the actual inventory system is a whole mess :'(. First of all we always request the whole inventory by every inventory request which really really sucks for both client performance and server performance. In my first changes already live on Beta i changes this and just request the inventory once if its not loaded and then just exchange the changes on the inventory insetad of loading everythin again and again. The second thing which i every dislike is the sorting. All items are sorted by itemid but if we buy something or have changes in inventory there going on some serious choking on the actual Beta version i commited its even more worse. Third problem if you craft something or reward an item it will not be added to your inventory. Its there after reloading inventory. On Beta version i already implemented some listeners to get items more “live”, so if crafting finished the item should be instantly added to your inventory if its opened.

Why all these changes or what we want to do with that? Well my dream is we just have one inventory / bagback instead of hundreds copies for every single traders. I think it will take a while to change everything but my vision is to have one inventory where we can change all things which happening during the game and we are able to make it more “live”, using less performace on server and client.

What you gain? I think we can reduce the amount of loaded items and stuff which will make the game more smooth and i also think it is much easier to handle just one inventory instead of a whole bunch.

What it could look like?

I know already you will hate the numbers for different pages, but if there are big inventories its a mess to render every item at one view for every browser and thats one reason why inventory is really slow for people who have big inventories. Please keep in mind that its a preview and the tooltip won’t be implemented like that its just a dummy. Our plan is that the inventory can be docked to traders or your equipmentwindow, but maybe it will become his own inventory place we are not sure about it now.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Upcoming Changes with 1.3x or maybe 1.4? ;)

September 27th, 2011 33 comments

Hi all,

always when i look on the dev Blog i realize that i make to less posts 😉 But at the moment i can’t tell that much we are doing a lot of backend Stuff in 1.33 and trying to get out more server performance and we have some good results already achieved. In Frontend development there a lot of old screens transformed to the new layout some are good some are still bad and need some work, so we made a lot of rollouts on public beta and had a lot of bugs then we did a lot of bug fixing, rollout etc. But after that more maintain version 1.33 we want to implement some more cool stuff 😀

Stuff like the new Town overview and Building placement. I think zet posted some ideas long time ago and finally we have a concept but its not finalized yet so i can’t tell you that much. But you will be able to build your “own” town which means different graphic sets, you can place your buildings on other locations, you are able place stuff like trees, seas and some new things you will need some material for it. The other new thing to the town is our plan is that buildings can get damaged over time and you have to repair it or you will loose a whole building 🙂 I have also one screenshot for you guys (notice this is an really early screenshot and it is not completly :D)

Second upcoming change will be to improve the market i know a lot of ppl ask for it days? months? years? I don’t know but the good news are we will do something 😀 We have a really great list of improvements which are requested by the players and we hope we can improve the market so that everyone will like it 🙂 (In the next days i will write more about it, this is my hint to not forget about it)

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Working on some GUI

September 1st, 2011 18 comments

First: Yep, I am leaving the The West team soon and made mostly clean up and minor improvement works in the past month. For example, the reload and minimize buttons for the new window gui is working now properly, I added a combobox GUI element and I’ve added some other minor stuff.

I am not so happy to leave the team now as there are still features that should be added and updated, like a new duel system, the character migration, and a new multiplayer event thing similar to fort battles and I would have really liked to do that myself. But after 2 1/2 years in the team, a project switch could do me good and gives others to step up.

So long then, I am looking forward for new updates in the game, I am sure there’s much to come in the future!

— Zet

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