October Report 2015 (Engine Switch)

Hey guys so, we are going to announce our big change in the game development. We have moved from developing in Hero Engine to Unreal 4 to create our game as of late September.

Why did we move?

Without going into details, HeroEngine was not working out for us so we had to make the tough decision of after developing in Hero Engine for almost a year to move to a new one to save the project. 

What does this mean for Pumpkin Online?

There is only one big change that will be made to the game, we will no longer be going for an mmoprpg as our main genre. Now hang on, hang on before you freak out, we will still have multiplayer, I repeat we will still have multiplayer. However, instead of one massively multiplayer server with thousands of players we're going to have a single player AND multiplayer option. The multiplayer will consist of smaller servers, either hosted by us or other players. The severs will consist of a smaller number perhaps between 60-100 per server. 

Benefits of changing from mmorpg to multiplayer

Here are some benefits to this new change:

- We now have a single player option if you want to enjoy the game solo.

- If servers are being shotty or god help you your internet cuts out, you can still play Pumpkin Online, Offline in singleplayer mode.

- Smaller servers means a closer community instead of being lost in a sea of thousands.

- Local hosted servers means you can have a server for just you and your close friends to play. 

- Ususlly in mmorpgs, if they can longer maintain their servers the entire game will go down. This way our game can live on without us

- The ability for our game to be modded which we fully embrace, and for other servers to have mods.

- You don't HAVE to come online every day just to ensure your crops and animals don't die. For both single player and multiplayer. 

How development has been since the switch

The first concern of course is how will that affect development since we need to catch up for nearly a year that was lost, as well as our budget being slash in half. Everything will be ok. We first decided to moved in September, we have gotten caught up in UE4 from where we were in HE within a month. So the change has not hindered our progress.

- We have our start up menu set up and you can click on single player to begin game

- We have inventory fully functioning, stack, drop, pick up, move items and right click for the item options.

- Variables for every item in the game have been programmed in and ready to be used when we add new items  - We have our character running around in engine again with new animations 

- We have time fully functioning; the clock counts down the minutes, days of the week cycle through, seasons also cycle through.

- The sky box is affected by the time, so you can see the sun set and rise with the time.

- We have the world map layed out, sculpted and ready to be populated with assets.

- Speech ballons appear over the character's head, this is for npc dialogue. 

- You can place and drop assets in the world from your inventory; good start for the furniture customization.

- You can pick up objects in the world and it will go in your inventory

- You can plow and place fields of dirt where you want on your farm

- (placeholders used) crops when planted in the plot grow up in different stages based on the time, and also wilt when not watered.

- Farming system is nearly done short of the plant models and assets

- Esc menu; so you can view control options as well as customize your key controls

- Camera toggles and rotates around the character as well as zoom in and out

Graphics/Assets that are also done but not in engine yet are - The UI for; chat, load and saving the game,map,profile, skills. - 140 new fish icons! 

- Models for the crops

New Team members

While this is all very exciting we have some new team members on board where this will not have been possible. A few of our team members have left due to real life stuff, and we wish them the very best and thank them for everything they have done until now! Love you guys!

New programmer: Special welcom to Jayden! Jayden is responsible for implementing everything in the engine over the past 4 weeks. Let me repeat we decide to moved to UE4 in September so everything shown in the video or I have mentioned is all new. So be it on tumblr or on our forums please let Jayden know he is awesome for joining us on this project and getting us quickly caught up.

New animator:  Special welcome to Andrei! Andrei will be working on the animations for us. He's helped us get our character ready for UE4 and we have some new animations for our character. 

New Icon Artist: NoreusTeves drew 140 fish icons this month o__o; and he's on board with doing more icons. So we're going to see some speedy progress on those as well moving forward. 

New modeler: Special welcome to Valérie who has been helping us out with assets! 

Questions and concerns with the change

Some important questions brought up by our Kickstarter backers.

What about different professions is that going away?

Even though professions will be open, as player you're not going to be able to do craft, find, supply yourself and, level up every skill all at once. You will need to trade with other players at some point. You can be a jack of all trades and do everything, but we feel players will focus on certain professions without the game having hard restrictions.

What if my computer isn't capable of running as a local server will I end up playing alone?

We will have lists of different servers in multiplayer mode you can join, run either by us or others. We will be testing with out Kickstarter backers and trying to make sure our game is able to run on the average computer our players will be using. 

If a server run by someone else goes down will I lose all my progress?

Nope, we have plans for setting up your house and game data so if you need to or want to migrate to another server you can do so without losing your data. So house information, skills, relationships will all keep per character made in the multiplayer mode can be moved.  

Are you changing the name of the game since you are no longer an mmorpg?

We're still an online game and that has always been our goal so there is no reason to change our name. It's just a difference in number of players online at the same time from instead of 1000+ players online to 60-100 players online per server. 

Are we still having a player economy?

Yes and no. In multiplayer not all items will be available to purchase in the store at all times so players will still have to make and trade items.

What if I have no friends to play multiplayer with?

When you select multiplayer mode there will be a list of servers for you to join. Literally no different than being a stranger in a larger mmorpg. This community so far has been really friendly so I don't think it will be that daunting to log into a new server and start playing with new people. If you don't like how the server is run you can switch servers with all of your data.

Phew ok that was a lot of stuff! If you are a Kickstarter backer please check in on our forums every once in awhile in our backers thread to see game progress. Jayden and I have weekly threads in there with the progress being made and behind the scenes development stuff. Here are some images of what things are like now.

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