We have returned! There was no newsletter last week as Joel and I attended SplashJam the week before that (meaning we weren’t at the weekly dev meeting). SplashJam is a game jam on a cruise ship travelling from Tromsø to Trondheim in Norway. Funcom was one of the sponsors of the event with Amazon, D-Pad Studios and Unity, among others, with Joel and I acting as mentors for the attendees. You can find a bunch of pictures and videos from the event on the Funcom Twitter feed. The header image (Photo: Robin Baumgarten) is from the second night of the jam.
Now onto the newsletter itself!
Current state of PC
Last week we released another patch to the Testlive branch on Steam. We’re hoping to publish this version as our next content update. Included in this update are thrall inventories, new building pieces and repair kits. We’ll publish an extensive blog post on this update once it’s been released.
Current state of Xbox
We sent off a patch to Microsoft for certification on Sunday. Since this patch contains a fix for the broken entertainment thralls we really want it to pass certification so we can push it to live. This patch should also allow you to summon god avatars again. A fix for the single-player stamina bug (and resource respawning) is in the works.
What the teams have been working on in the past week:
Every Friday, the development team meets up to discuss what they’ve been working on recently: New content and features, bugs that have been fixed, and things to come down the pipeline. The development team is split into cross professional Scrum teams that each have their own focus and tasks to complete.
Vanguard (Bugs and exploit fixes and gameplay updates)
Bug fixes! The biggest is a fix for bedrolls to stop them from killing you when you spawn on them.
As revealed last week, there’s a new weather system on the way. This reworked system will create more dynamic weather types and remove bugs from the older system.
Art team (Character designs, outfits, animations and effects)
The Art team has given Conan a facelift so he’ll look better during cinematics. With some digital botoxing, tucking and lifting, the hardened barbarian looks at least ten years younger. On the VFX side of things there’s some new occlusion tech in the works to further improve the look of the weather system.
Our character artists are creating new Hyrkanian and Kambujan Shaman Outfit clothes, moving us even further towards having clothing options for every culture represented in the game. Finally, our incredible creature artist is making something we simply call “The Ooze”. You’ll get to see more of this in the future.
Tech and tools (Client and server stability and performance)
The Xbox One X console is out next week and Conan Exiles will be one of the supported games. We’re using the increased power of the console to increase the graphics resolution, improve shadow quality, increase effective resolution textures, increase view distance. Technically it should also shorten down loading times as well. We felt this was the best way to utilize the new hardware.
Our tool for gathering and reporting crash statistics is coming along, giving us a better way to visualize and understand the issues in the different versions of the game.
Last, but not least, we have a mostly working PlayStation 4 version of Conan Exiles that’s been sent off to QA. We’ve partnered with a company called Testronics to test our games and they’ll put the game through the proverbial wringer for us. Full launch across all platforms is scheduled for Q2, 2018.
Thanks for reading! See you in the next one!