2021 End-Of-Year Update
Another year has passed! It probably wasn't as productive for the game as it could have been, but honestly that is a sign that it's time to move on. So not to disappoint anybody, but that is kinda the main theme of this post - I think the game is done.
I've achieved just about every goal I set out for myself with this project, and learned so much in the process. I wanted to make a tiny mmo based on the games that inspired me as a kid, not for any commercial reasons (after all, making money in the indie mmo space is very tough and I work on this as a hobby), but for the fun of it. And it was fun! But now it's time to have some real fun, and apply the foundation I've built to a more interesting setting, supported by more unique game mechanics. I chose the extremely generic fantasy setting (Which I am not passionate about) because this was a prototype project where I wanted to focus and experiment with technology that I had only read about in textbooks and random articles. So the idea of working on a new world is pretty exciting to me.
There isn't a ton of content, but there is enough to keep players occupied for several hours (way longer, if you're into gathering, crafting, and fighting difficult bosses). All the main ideas of the game are expressed, and I think there is only one area of the game that is blatantly unfinished (the eastern isle). I could spend time adding more quests, monsters, items, etc. But like I said, I'm not passionate about this setting. It was never meant to be the game I spend years making content for.
I want to do a more in-depth retrospective at some point, but for now I'll just chill and collect those thoughts. Just know that I'm working on a new game, built off most of the same tech that I have been building and discussing here for several years now. There'll be a new development log page for it soon enough.
On Writing These Posts
I'm glad I started writing these posts. Crazy that I somehow managed to write 40 of them, although it's a shame I couldn't do it with a more consistent schedule.
I don't really know who reads them (some ~250 people a month according to analytics) and I don't get much traction or comments, but I don't boost the game or post about it much. Although, it was great to be featured a lot on the "This Month in Rust Gamedev" newsletters. These posts were always meant for my own accountability and records rather than for marketing, but maybe I'll take steps to change this for the next project. Multiplayer games aren't very fun if there isn't a community to play with. So, to those that have been reading, and to those who have joined the discord, thanks!
Minor Name Change
I changed the name of the game a tiny bit. It's now Antorum Isles (instead of Antorum Online). Yes it is an online game, but the scale of the game is small and I want the name to reflect that. The ideal scenario for the game in the future is to live on a small server that doesn't cost me much money. Players who don't want to join the official server can host their own servers for themselves and friends.
Editor and Dedicated Server
On that note, I'm going to publicly release the editor and the server software executables soon. It feels like a big step, and also kind of like a personal vulnerability. I didn't design it for others to use, and most things are not documented well. However, it will be good to do just in case somebody comes along and wants to tinker on it. I also don't want the game to permanently disappear with no chance of coming back if I ever decide to turn off the official server. It has always been a core tenet of the project to allow self-hosting and basic modding, even if I didn't end up making that a great experience.
I added treasure chests to the game to inspire and encourage players to explore more. There are a limited number that spawn every day, and once a player opens one, it can't be opened again by anybody else. These chests contain rare rewards that aren't available anywhere else in the game, along with vast riches. Hunt for these chests to claim the rewards!
I finally got around to adding leaderboards to the Antorum website. I look forward to seeing them grow as more people try out the game. Not much else to say about that.
Here's some other stuff that is worth mentioning.
- Made game client downloads available on the Antorum website
- Added player count and official server info to Antorum website
- Added moving cloud shadows to make lighting and the world look a bit less static
- Added two new quests
- Added snowy peaks to the mountains in the world
- Fixed bug where chat input was resizing while you typed
- Fixed skill guide formatting
- Fixed broken Steel Bar item texture
- Fixed ritual window exp bar display
- Fixed clientside item duplication glitch when equipping certain items
- Modified fish node drop tables to be less unfair
- Added a ritual that allows you to offer extra bones to gain Ritual exp
- Added a new species of Crab to the world
- Added a new species of Slime to the world
- Improved discoverability of item durability
- Pickaxes can no longer mine ore that is of a higher tier than the pickaxe itself
The game isn't going anywhere! It just isn't going to get any more major new features or updates. I might add more content or modify things, but most of my attention will be on a new project.
Like I said I will try to keep it online always, because I love it, I'm proud of it, and I honestly think it is a fun (although quite generic) game. Even though I am not passionate about the fantasy setting, I really put my heart into the world of Antorum and I believe it's worth exploring - if not just to see my rough programmer art come to life.
Come on the Discord and chat with me! I'll be logging onto the game to play regularly, and I'll keep trying to gather others to do the same. It may be "done" but I still want as much feedback as possible so I can make the next game even better.
Play Antorum Isles
Antorum Isles is free to play and the server is now running! Check out the game homepage for info on how to download the game client and connect.
- Declan (@dooskington)