This second post deals with the changes we plan to implement in the way you see your character moving around the map.
We would like to make sure that exploring the world of the game comes with a special mood. In order to accomplish this we have to create an authentic Arabian atmosphere supported by audiovisual elements such as the map, the characters and the Arabian ambiance and mythical music. Another very important aspect of setting the mood is the distance that you view your character from, because this is how you can interact with the environment.
Based on our experiences in the CB and feedback that we received from the testers we decided to zoom in a bit deeper into the world of the game. In the current version (available in the CB) navigation can become problematic in some cases and sometimes it is strange to see a city and the desert at the same time.
By zooming in a bit, the character will get a more central role on the map, details of the environment will become more visible, ensuring a deeper and more complex exploration experience. The transition between different areas becomes less explicit, meaning there will be less of a chance to see an urban territory on the same screen with the desert.
In the three pictures below you can see the changes we are going to make. The first picture is the current version of the game. In the second screenshot you can see how the game would look like after zooming in, without any graphical changes. The third capture shows the final result on a small part of the zone, refined and zoomed in. We also plan to make the maps more “living” by animating some of the NPCs and MOBs you meet wandering around.
In executing the zoom, we have to take the visions of different areas of our team into consideration.
From a graphic designer’s perspective, it was clear that we would have to re-work every single map that has been created already, since simply rescaling the images would result in a poor image quality. Yes this is a huge work.
From a coder’s point of view the zooming means bigger images to download on client side, resulting longer downloading times, which is unacceptable according to our pre-defined aims. So we need to change of the method we use now for displaying maps for players. Instead of downloading the whole map beforehand we will only download and display that part of the zone where the player’s character actually stands. We will also download parts of the zone that are in the surroundings of the character to make sure that the display of new zone elements is smooth when the character stars moving around the map.
So this is just the beginning of the improvements that we are planning to implement in the new version of the game, we hope you will like it, and more updates will be coming soon.