The Design Studio is Revealed
Sword Blossom is a ninja who specializes in melee fighting. She will give missions to new player characters, and also a task-force from her spot in Apotheosis City. Each piece of her costume is a custom creation designed to reflect her personality and combat style. Her costume (without weapons) is shown below.
In the Ship of Heroes character creator, the colors of a costume can be varied quite a bit – we’ll demo an early version of the character creator soon. Sword Blossom’s costume has pieces for her face, arms, hands, chest, belt, lower, legs, and feet. Each piece has been individually created and is a 3D object with volume – we are not just dipping our characters into buckets of virtual paint and calling that “pants.”
The back of Sword Blossom’s outfit has specific details that reflect her personal combat style and powers. Each of the Ship of Heroes NPCs will have a personalized costume that reflects their individual style and role.
We’re building the first costumes in parallel to the character creator, which we’ll be showing off in the next couple of months. Sometime after that, we’ll add customizable weapon appearances to the character creator – right now Sword Blossom pulls her swords out of thin air, which is cool, but not everyone will want to do that.
The Unreal Engine is a really powerful platform for character art and props, among other elements. When you look at Sword Blossom’s costume you can see that it looks far more real than what was available in other games a decade or so ago, including City of Heroes. Her mask is both functional protection for her and a fashion statement. Sword Blossom likes silver as a metal adornment, so silver filigree is an element in her mask. Seen from up close, her gorget does not look like it is new – it is worn from everyday use because she wears it almost every day.
The leather wraps on her legs and arms are similarly detailed. There’s a slight wear pattern at the overlap points, as if she has kicked a thousand bad guys with those legs – because she has. Of course, the material is not just leather. It’s a futuristic composite material that protects the covered and uncovered portions of her body, so that a hero can wear light armor and look good at the same time! Does it also breathe like Chinese silk? We’re not saying….
Our last newsletter talked a bit about the kinds of events we did in 2020, as well as our winter holiday content. In this newsletter we want to talk about the next upcoming event, our overall plans for 2021, and some new areas of Apotheosis City that we’ve created.
First of all, we want to let everyone know that we’ve upgraded to the latest version of the Unreal 4 Epic Engine, 4.24! We spent most of 2019 in 4.21, which helped us with stability and consistency throughout the year while we developed and tested major new systems.
In the middle of 2016 we originally began the development of Ship of Heroes with the then-current version of the Unreal Engine, version 4.11.3. As development proceeded, we upgraded our engine version several times, and each upgrade brought new features, but also required a considerable effort by our coders and artists to adapt and upgrade our game code and art to the new version.