So, it's been a quiet few months on the development side. I haven't been sharing a whole lot about what's been going on, and that's no mistake! I've been working on a pretty big change for the game, and hadn't been in a place until recently that I was comfortable to start sharing it, but that's changed! Since you're a smart reader, and have read that title it should come as no surprise that the big reveal is that we're moving into 3D! Such exciting news!
I've had a lot of people asking me what this change will mean for the game and for the community, and would like to address some of those questions here!
A few months ago I had come to a crossroads with Hazordhu. The old engine that I was working in had some limitations that were holding the game back from being what I wanted it to be. A good example of this is lighting. Without getting too technical, BYOND isn't capable of handling lighting with the level of detail and flexibility I want. The decision was made to transition to a new engine, and while there are a lot of great ones out there, I had settled on one called GoDot. GoDot is relatively new, and while it does what it needs to, I had been playing around with Unity and found it had much more resources to draw on. Once the decision was made to use Unity instead, I realized that I had a lot to learn: Unity itself, a new scripting language, and more! I figured "Hey, if I'm learning all of this anyways, why not learn it all in 3D instead of 2D!", and here we are! A couple of months later, and we have a bit that I can show off!
Will the game still be Multiplayer?
This is the biggest question I get about this!
The answer here is a resounding YES!
The game will, of course, still be enjoyable with all of your friends online, as it always has been!
Will this game still be Hazordhu?
You bet! There is a lot that makes Hazordhu what it is: the art style, the overall gameplay loops, the world and its lore... I could go on! All of the great parts of Hazordhu will stay, and lots will be built upon and improved, for example, the controls are going to be much more intuitive. Let's touch on those big three!
The Art Style will obviously change. While we are moving into three-dimensions, the stylistic choices from the 'classic' version of the game are being kept. All of the new models are being made using the old sprites as reference images, so it keeps the same look and feel of the original artwork!
The Game-play Loops will stay generally the same. There will still be the same building/gathering, role-play, and exploration loops. They will each be expanded and improved upon, as we now have more flexibility and depth with our new engine.
The World and Lore will, of course be the same! You will still be in the same world, in the same place, in the same time period, with the same animals and creatures around! The location and layout of the map will even be the same. Just like with the artwork, the new map will be made using the 'classic' map as a point of reference, and then expanding upon and adding more detail to all of the areas!
Will the Classic version be maintained?
The short answer is No.
The long answer is the code for the classic version is public and open source. Any members of the community that would like to work on it are, of course, more than welcome to!
When will the new game be available?
As with all good things in life, making a good game takes time! Hazordhu has always been a passion project. While I would love to work on it full time, I can't (yet). That being said, I can't give a release date, or even an estimate. The one thing I can give is a promise that the game will be released in a polished and fully playable and enjoyable state!
How Can I Help?
I know that a lot of you have skills that you feel can be beneficial to the project! If there is any way that you feel you can contribute please let me know on the forums or the discord channel! Of course, the simplest and biggest way that you can contribute to Hazordhu, and help keep it Free For All Forever is to support me and the game on Patreon! All funds raised are used to cover development and website costs, and fund me to take extra time off work to work on the game!
If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them on the forums or discord! Thank you for taking the time to hear what's in the works! Head over to Patreon and support the game, and sign up on the forums to stay in the loop!
Thank you for reading! Happy Roleplaying!