We've recovered from the holidays and are back in the studio grinding away. And, what a better way to start 2019 than by giving the community some insight into where the project is at and where it’s heading throughout this year. New year, new development update!
So Ívar, what has changed since we last spoke in July?
Í: “The studio is still growing! Our team is now over 30 strong. We have taken giant strides towards our goals, both in terms of building up Klang and Seed.
We're a lot better organized, with more focused development teams and better forward-looking plans, which is essential when building something of this scope.
Seed continues to take shape! We've focused a lot on the core systems around manufacturing and Seedling activities, allowing us to create elaborate production requirements. The system needs to be robust and deep as players produce everything; nothing magically appears out of thin air. Getting this right is essential, as every object in Seed should carry weight.
We continued to work on the Seedling health system. Seedlings can heal other Seedlings afflicted by certain ailments. Ailments can have multiple outcomes depending on the treatment received. We currently only have injuries and random diseases, but eventually, we want our health system to support a large variety of ailments: infectious diseases, parasites, poison and addiction, to name a few, so we still have a way to go there.
We've iterated on our character model; we're now using an improved higher fidelity character model. The new character model was introduced alongside a new character creator in which players can customize the appearance of their Seedlings. We'll continue to iterate on this throughout the next milestones.
We did our first ‘discovery week’ where anyone at Klang can pitch an idea for a feature or improvement; then we team up to build cool demos that might eventually end up in Seed. The results were amazing. We had fishing, vehicles, dance-offs, Seedlings having conversations on Twitter. Furthermore, one team implemented creatures that roam around, eat anything in their path and multiply. The really amazing part was to see how quickly we could implement fun features using our foundation systems. It was super encouraging!”
What were the most significant challenges over the past few months?
Í: “Our building system continues to be a challenge. It's one of the cornerstones of the Seed experience. Our goal is to create vibrant futuristic cities, where every building and every room can be unique. The building tools need to be flexible enough to unleash the player's creative freedom, intuitive and fun to use. On top of that, its output needs to scale, so we don't run into performance issues down the line. We've gone through a few prototype phases, of course learning a lot each time.
Hopefully, we've now nailed down the core of the system.”
Any exciting features being worked on right now?
Í: “The next couple of milestones are especially fun-packed, as so many systems are nearing completion, soon we can start tying everything together with content. Manufacturing, activities, skills, traits, needs, health and buildings, all start coming together.
I'm especially thrilled about the manufacturing system. Players can set up manufacturing lines that rely on Seedlings from multiple players; this allows players to collaborate towards larger common goals. To best optimize these, players need to specialize their Seedlings. Our goal is also that manufacturing isn't just fun to set up, but also fun to run and maintain.
The terrain track is also looking very promising.”
How'd you feel about the reception we've had throughout 2018 from the community?
Í: “The whole studio feels the love! We're so pumped that so many people are excited about the project. Believe me, the feeling is mutual. This is the game we want to see realized, it's very encouraging to see a whole community form around it.”
What does 2019 bring for Seed and Klang?
Í: “Personally, I have very high hopes for 2019. We'll be working towards our first major release, which is very exciting. The plan for this will be announced further down the line. By the end of the year, Seed will be in an incredible place if we don't encounter too many unknown unknowns.
As a company, we're still expanding, and looking for top talent. Hopefully, we'll be as fortunate as last year in that regard. All in all, I’m extremely positive!”
Lots more to come this year! Looking forward to bringing you all along with us! And, if you haven’t already, feel free to join the Seed Discord.
- Dev Jonathan