This month in development. 

Another month and another dev blog to keep you updated! I want to start this one by giving a thank you to everyone who’s receiving this blog post by email, our backers who are making Identity a reality.

It’s an exciting time as our team is growing and our pace quickening as a result. Identity’s beginning to get more exposure and every pledge we receive helps us produce content faster. It’s been slower than we’d like in the past because our team has been tiny, but this growth we’re seeing as of late has been opening doors and propelling us forward. As of this month we’ve now raised over $700,000 USD; a large amount of money and what we’ve needed to bring on more talent.

Talent we’ve lost to other studios and existing contracts in the past, some of our absolute best, is now returning to Asylum Entertainment to work on Identity full-time. We’re really looking forward to the work from those being added to our roster, which will result in more clothing options as well as much prettier environments. We’re also looking to pick up another programmer and a new community manager very shortly, to improve our PR situation and give you guys a more transparent view into development.

Phone variations

Case variations for one of three phones in Identity

With our art team growing with top industry talent, we’re also making some good progress in content programming. Our elevator system has been finalized after being re-hashed. This elevator system is used in the Town Square, and throughout Identity where apartments exist, to bring players up to their lofted homes. The interesting part is these function like real elevators, and you’ll see other players in them going to and from their floors. They act as loading zones, so instead breaking your immersion with a loading screen we load the apartment and it’s customizations in the background while you ride the elevator. By the time the door opens everything’s in place and you don’t even notice that you’ve moved into a special instance of the world.

Art of the Town Square

When creating new environments, we first have our concept artist draw up a layout and artistic design. From there, environment artists create the 3D assets from that piece and a level designer places them in the world you inhabit. We’re pleased to have our incredibly talented concept artist, Alexander, back in full-swing as we prepare the final pieces of environment necessary for the Town Square.

Clothing store concept

Clothing store concept; hotel and art gallery in rear

The clothing store is interesting in Town Square because it’s operating on a system we’ve created for many computer-controlled shops in Identity. It has a fully functioning shoplifting mechanic. In most games you walk up to an NPC (non-player character) and interact to purchase items. You then simply walk away with your items. Stores in Identity are a different story, and are unique in the gaming world. You’ll add items from racks and shelves to your cart. You can then walk into the dressing room to preview those items (assuming it’s clothing) or walk up to the register to pay. What if you don’t pay and simply walk out the door with your cart?

Shoplifting is a reality in Identity, although it’s often not recommended. If you’re not skilled, and most people won’t be, you’ll set off alarms and have a hard time getting away. You’ll likely spend time in jail for the attempt. Expensive items can also not be shoplifted for game balance purposes. Even something so simple as using a shop gives freedom and oppportunity not found in any game before.

Last month we showed you a bicycle which will be ridable in Identity. Below you’ll see the bicycle shop concepts for the Town Square. While you won’t be able to ride them in Town Square, you’ll be able to browse many options which will be available to you.

Bicycle store concept

Bicycle shop concept for the Ash Hill town square

These final two interiors are being created by our artists as we speak, and are the last environments required for Town Square’s release, along with some minor systems programming and polish.

Gallery concept

Art gallery/library concept art, previously shown

Gallery in-game

Art gallery and library in-game, without player art

The near future

One of our top priorities right now is to give all of you who have been waiting a glimpse of real gameplay in a video. Identity’s funding and progress has exploded since we showed you the workings of the housing and apartment systems on YouTube, and now we want you to see vehicles, drug production and weapon systems.

I can’t promise any dates on this video, but it’ll be soon. In fact, I expect you to watch this video before you receive the next dev blog. This coming video is sort of a catalyst, and I can’t wait to show you what’s in store after it.

The Town Square is also getting near the point where we’re going to be able to start showing off videos of the gameplay elements you’ll find within it, leading up to the public release of the module. These videos will be coming after the previously mentioned video.

We do regret how little we’ve been able to show you thus far. We’re a tiny team stretching a small budget to its limits, so things take some time. Now that much of the core exists and other supporting pieces are falling into place, I’m excited that we’re now really making progress that can be witnessed.

— John VanderZwet

Let’s Make Identity Great!

Identity’s development is going great thanks to the support of people like you, but systems like these take a lot of manpower and resources to create. Identity has an awesome community behind it, but when more people know about what we’re creating and our budget grows from pledges, we can not only work faster but we can do more, too.

If you’re as excited to play Identity as we are making it, help spread the word. The gaming industry has needed a game like Identity for too long; let’s make it great together!

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