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Topics - Lurler

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1


We would like to share our roadmap for CryoFall!

With this game we would like to make all of our ideas, planned features and information about what is currently in progress public. You can also vote on things you'd most like to see in the game sooner. With your input we will have better idea of what's important for you. Obviously it will go hand in hand with discussions here on the forum. So you can create topics about any of the planned features to discuss them in greater details or offer your opinions.

You can find the roadmap here: https://trello.com/b/B5ckffAW/cryofall-development-roadmap

2
Development discussion / CryoFall - Visual effects research (VFX)
« on: September 04, 2017, 09:28:24 pm »
So, as I already mentioned in our blog ( https://atomictorch.com/ ) we are currently finishing all the remaining tasks to make the game publicly available for everyone to try. And the most important thing remaining is the visual effects system which we haven't finished yet.

Now, the reason I created this post is because I want to hear your opinion on the matter as well.

So, here's what we want to have in the game in terms of VFX.

* Ambient occlusion / Shadow maps - Is a system to create shadows and make otherwise simple 2d visuals look like there's more depth. We plan to add shadow maps for all game objects so the game engine knows what shape the shadow has to be. Plus use a shader that will create artificial shadow/light scattering around the edges and add additional darkness around objects where it makes sense.

* Tone mapping / Color grading - will be used in conjunction with day/night cycle to create more realistic visuals. For example more blue-ish colors at night and red-ish at dawn and dusk.

* Vignetting - This is quite simple and cool effect which we would like to use for certain events such as taking damage and such. You know, when you are hit the edges of the screen glow red.

* Chromatic aberrations - Usually I don't like this effect in games because it's used in completely uncalled ways, but when the situation makes sense, I think it looks quite cool. We will most likely use it for psi fields (to distort the visuals).

* Neon glow - This one is also quite simple and there are a lot of interesting situations where effect such as that would be cool.

* Bloom - Now, this is one of the most useless effect in AAA titles that I've ever seen. And it just makes the game look like junk. But why? Well, the reason is very simple - there's just TOO MUCH of it in a typical game. Still, if added just a tiny bit it makes otherwise bland image look more vivid! So, everything is good in moderation!

* Grain + monochrome - This is the "standard" way to display radiation effect and we won't be reinventing the wheel here :)

Well, that's more or less it.

But what do you think?

3
General Discussions / Anyone using discord?
« on: August 07, 2017, 09:35:18 pm »
Anyone is using discord on regular basis?
We are considering creating a server so we can join with you guys and have the possibility to talk in real time.

4
Development discussion / Known issues as (of CF closed test 2)
« on: June 25, 2017, 11:20:43 pm »
In this topic I will try to compile a list of all reported issues.
Just to help us make sense of it and so people don't have to report the same thing twice.

Also note, this list doesn't refleft whether the issues reported here already fixed or not. Just lists those issues. The actual fixes are/will be reported in the version history thread.

(Fixed issues are highlighted in GREEN color)

Bugs / issues:
* Can't repair walls
* When crafting many items (250 planks as an example) lag increases - this is because the game sends update for each individual item crafted. It will be addressed shortly.
* Respawning does not seem to work always. One ends up in the screen where one can choose between respawning and respawning at their own bed. Clicking any of those buttons does not anything. One has to log out and in again. This seems to be related to lag.
* Items (such as a mob loot) could drop on a neighboring tile of different height - common scenario: killed a mob near the cliff - items spawned on tile under the cliff.
* Not dropping container items on the ground when the container is destroyed - already fixed.

Requires investigation:
Those are the things we haven't confirmed yet and we will need to investigate more to see what is up.
* The chat window stays open after login and never closes automatically, as it does when opened manually
* Re-joining a server randomly crashes the game - NoesisGUI bug, need the crashdump.

Known NON issues:
These are the things we know and that are not bugs or issues. Most of those things are simply not implemented yet or implemented in a way that will be changed later.
* The opened area on the map is not saved and reset after login (and other issues related to the map) - yes, we simply haven't worked on the map at all. It will be implemented later for the next closed test. Current map system is just a placeholder.
* After closing the crafting window, the selected object reverts to the first one in the list - same here, the crafting interface is not final and will be reworked later.
* If you have lag higher than 200ms or so the movement seems like on ice - yes, that's because there is still no local prediction/processing of input, etc. It will be added in the next version.

5
Development discussion / CryoFall - Closed Alpha Test 2
« on: June 18, 2017, 09:31:01 pm »


It's been quite a while since our last test. Last time the information we were able to gather proved invaluable and given how much the game has progressed in these several months we feel that we need to repeat it.

So, with that post I'd like to announce our second closed alpha test for CryoFall.

As before, each of these milestones is a huge step for us towards completion of the project! :)

The aim of this test is to:
* Get general feedback about all new additions into the game.
* Specific feedback about new important mechanics such as skills and tech tree.
* Possible general suggestions about future additions and roadmap for new features.
* Also to identify and fix any possible bugs that might be present.

Please note that:
* For now we can only provide a build for Windows, because other builds are still in development and will not be available until the actual release.
* The game is not even in alpha. It is still an early development build, so many of the basic features are still missing.
* You will need an Internet connection to play the game as CryoFall is designed for a multiplayer experience.


How to participate?
1) If you have already taken part in previous test - you are already set! Just download a new client when the test is live and join the server. No need to do anything extra. We will announce it here, so, please ensure you're subscribed to notifications from this topic - press "NOTIFY" button at the top of this page.
2) If you are new - you will need to apply to be a part of alpha testers team. Please fill in the form below and post in this thread.
You will be provided with an activation code for the alpha test of the game. To activate the access code you have to have an account on the AtomicTorch site. If you still don’t have one, create it here: https://atomictorch.com/Account/Register.

Either way, please read this guide just in case: http://forums.atomictorch.com/index.php?topic=913.0

Application Form
Location - Country and city or at least a general region where you are (mostly to understand your ping)
Hardware and OS - General information about your rig and system
Internet connection - Type and speed of your connection
How much time can you dedicate - Just how much time can you spend on that and when are you usually free, your time zone (e.g. everyday on late evenings PST)


Example of a filled form
Location: USA, LA
Hardware and OS: HP Envy 17 laptop (8GB ram, 2 GB video), Windows 10
Internet connection: ADSL, 8Mb
How much time can you dedicate: Couple of hours every evening, my local time is GMT -10.


We are hoping to see you in the game!

And again - please also read this topic with all the necessary information on installation and participation explained in more details!

6
Development discussion / CryoFall - new screenshots & news
« on: March 30, 2017, 09:32:08 pm »


I decided to create a new topic for this, as the old ones have somewhat outdated information, so rather than adding a ton of disclaimers and corrections everywhere, here's a new topic!

But if you still would like to read other topics with the old info - you can find them here:
About CryoFall in general and some images - http://forums.atomictorch.com/index.php?topic=884.0
Art and screenshots - http://forums.atomictorch.com/index.php?topic=886.0

7


VoidExpanse 2.0.x Update patch notes.

Detailed list of changes:
* Added crafting system. You can use the ore you mined or purchased to produce "components". Generally if you have high level of manufacturing it is more profitable to sell components, than raw ore. Some times you can even make profits by purchasing the ore (if it's sold for cheap) and selling the components back. You can find manufacturing terminals on certain station types (for example mining station).
* Added manufacturing skills: basic manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, expert manufacturing, optimized production, optimized resource use.
* Added components (which you craft from ore): electronic, composites, control, mechanical, power and structural.
* Added 3 tiers of Station defense turrets that differ in defenses and offenses, offering better protection against pirates.
* Added station management function. You can talk to any station commander in order to enter the management menu. Currently you can spend "components" in order to upgrade station defenses (turrets).
* Improved scripts of different in-game features such as active ship devices, NPC patrols and much more.
* Improved galaxy generation.
* New character class: Industrialist that starts with several manufacturing skills.
* Improved droplists with more variety.
* A lot of bugfixes all throughout the game, including quests. We addressed everything that was reported or that we were able to identify ourselves.
* Added expansion menu to the main menu. With your help we can add more expansions and not just Pariahs' Bane ;)
* Improved voice handling. Now instead of specifying each and every voice file it is simply enough to specify a folder. Though file names must correspond to the voice events.
* It is now possible to set up unique computer voice for each ship. Currently we use this functionality in the expansion to add unique voice for the capital ship - Revenant.
* Improved networking! All thanks to shared codebase with CryoFall. Now it's top notch!
* Improved the ability to connect to a server inside the same sub-network where you are. Before it might not have been possible due to NAT configuration of certain networks. But now the game will know the internal IP-address of the server and try to connect to it instead of "punching-through from outside".
* Improved connection and synchronization speed. Incorporated special algorythms of dynamic stabilisation of connection (again, thanks to CryoFall!). Now if you have unstable ping that goes up and down or big packet loss you will still be able to play reasonably well.
* Added new methods to Scripting-API: topic.EnableMonospaced & topic.DisableMonospaced() which could be very useful for stylistic purposes during dialogues with NPC, such as when the player uses a terminal.
* You can now provide a host name for your public game server (see <public_server_host_name> in SettingsServer.xml), by doing that people will see the host name in server list, rather than IP-address.
* Fixed a bug that stopped music playing after Alt+Tab and did not resume upon returning back to the game.
* Fixed text rendering: "Click on the map to add a new <cut>" (the text was cutting midway, now it's displayed properly).
* Fixed issue when NPC ship was firing homing/guided weapons while not locked on the target.
* Fixed a bug with server console commands processing (important for save & quit console commands).


The update to the game is released now! In preparation for the release of VoidExpanse: Pariahs' Bane expansion on the 7th of this month!




Pariahs' Bane expansion overview:
Since this is a new release, rather than a patch I won't go into details, as otherwise I would have to literally list everything that exists withing this Expansion. But I still want to give a general overview of what this expansion is about, so I will name several important features below.

* New playable faction - Pariahs with their own star system, new station, new characters, new quests and everything.
* Completely new storyline that is about twice as long as any given storyline in the original game. This storyline runs in parallel to the original story, so you are completely free to choose what to do first. This time we also tried to approach quests a bit differently to make it a bit more interesting. There are more unexpected encounters, more humor and quirky characters. It also has quite an interesting twist at the end! I really hope you will like this!
* New ships, new items, new stuff in general. But speaking of ships - we heard you and we added our first capital ship to the game!
* New music from the same great composer who created tracks for the original game!
* And more!


What is the focus of this Expansion in general? This is of course the new storyline! The Expansion adds quite a bit of new content, but our main focus from the very beginning was to create a new complete and self-contained story with a unique and unexpected ending!

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Development discussion / CryoFall - Guide for Closed Alpha Test
« on: January 19, 2017, 04:45:52 am »


Note: If you'd like to submit an application to take part in the closed test or just read a bit more information about it - you can do so in this thread.

Anyway, in this thread I'd like to explain everything you need to know to participate in that closed test. So, let's go over everything that's important to consider for the test.

First of all, the rules:
- Please do not post anything about this test on any outside resources. The game is not finished yet and this closed test would not give an accurate representation about the project. Hence it is still a closed test, rather than open release.
- Please do not post or otherwise share any screenshots or videos on any outside resources. If you would like to post a screenshot on this forum please use google drive or dropbox and simply provide a link to the screenshot.
- Basically, while we do not ask you to sign any NDA or anything like that, still, please don't post anything on the outside resources while we are still in the closed phase.  However, you are completely free to post anything you'd like regarding the project on this forum. Whether criticism, suggestions or anything else.

Next, there are a few issues that are bound to come up, so here's some information:
- Important! Currently the game supports Windows 7 and later (e.g. 8, 10). It also requires .NET Framework 4.7. Please ensure you have it installed - there is a web-installer which will check this and install if necessary - web installer.
- Important! There is still no client lag prediction for the character movement. It means if you have a high ping (100+ ms) and you press the movement key, your character will start moving only after the ping time as it will wait for the server processing and response. It may feel quite bad, but it should still be playable. Later we will obviously implement local movement prediction that would make the game perfectly playable even with pings of up to 300-400.
- If the game doesn't connect - simply restart the client and try again.
- The mobs (monsters) in the game currently don't have a proper AI (but they do drop loot). For now it is purely a technology test. You can do some PvP if you'd like, though.
- There is no sound or music yet.
- There are items in the game that currently have no use.
- The game balance is still very rough. We will address that based on testing following testing and when we start implementing proper monster AI.
- Please keep in mind that we will restart the server several times, so don't get too attached to your base :) all progress will be reset if needed by the test. Please don't look at this test as a chance to play the game, but rather - actual testing.

What is completed?
- The crafting should work perfectly and there are more than a hundred recipes you can craft in different stations.
- There are a couple hundred items already that you can either find or craft, which can be useful in some way.
- Skill system and technology progression tree. The former is complete, while the latter is still very much work in progress.
- Weapons partially work. That is, they work, but not in a way that will be in the finished game. For example it still uses very basic animation and effects.
- PvP, respawning, player looting, etc. all works.
- Basically most of the very basic systems work to some degree and you can try everything and see how it plays.

What to pay attention to?
- Aside from the game itself, please also pay attention to network stability. You will see network stats in the top left corner.
- Obviously any strange behaviors you see from the game.
- Well, and the game itself of course! :)

What we are looking for from you?
- General feedback. Basically anything that you think it worth noting.
- Criticism. If you dislike anything in the game - let us know. It is very important for us to iron out anything that isn't up to standard.
- Suggestions. If you think you have an idea on how to improve anything in the game - please share it with us.
- Feature requests. If you'd like to see something implemented in the game - please share your idea with us! Make sure to follow the suggestions guide, though. It would help us a lot if you do.
- Anything else? Please do share!

And a small note about the above - if you are going to make a report or write a suggestion - please do each of that in a separate thread. That is - one thread per issue/request/report. This way we can concentrate on a specific point in each thread. It would make it much easier to follow the main point of discussion.

How to install the game?
1. You will have (or already have) an activation code received by a private message. Please activate that code in your "my games and items" page at https://atomictorch.com
2. After that please download AtomicTorchLauncher. It doesn't require installation or anything like that. Just place it anywhere you'd like, like a desktop.
3. Run the launcher. If you have already activated the code you should see CryoFall there. Simply press install, it will take a few minutes to download and install.
4. When that is finished - launch the game.
5. Next go to the "Servers" tab and connect to the game server. There should be only one.
6. You will be spawned in the game. You can use your map to find your way around the island. Don't forget to use chat ("Enter" key) to talk to other players. We should be online as well from time to time (especially during our working hours).
7. Play for a couple of hours!

<<<>>>
Well, that should cover everything important for now. See you in the game when the test launches!

9
Development discussion / CryoFall - Testing Map
« on: January 19, 2017, 02:34:21 am »
This is the map for our closed alpha test.

Obviously it is not something you will later see in the actual game at release, this was designed specifically for the purposes of this test. I think it is quite nicely balanced and contains all the resources and other items you need to try most of the features in the game.

I hope you enjoy it :)


(click to enlarge, or here's a direct link)

I also had some fun naming the landmarks. Hopefully it will make it easier to find your way around! :)

10
Development discussion / World editor
« on: January 17, 2017, 02:17:20 am »
I just wanted to share some info on the world editor that we recently finished developing for CryoFall. We are currently using it to create a map for closed alpha test.

He are a couple of screenshots:


(click on the image to enlarge)

As you can see it has quite a number of different editing tools. Everything is quite convenient and easy to use.

If you are curious the tools are (left to right):
- Selector tool (select objects, see their info, etc.)
- Terrain tool (edit the actual terrain)
- Object placement tool (allows to place objects into the world)
- Slopes tool (allows to add slopes between different levels of terrain)
- Zone editor tool (allows to specify zones, like forest, monster spawns, loot spawn, etc.)
- Map configuration tool (resize, etc.)
- Macro tool (island generation, etc.)
- World management tool (save, load, etc.)

In anticipation of your question - no, initially we don't plan to release the editor to public. We would like to work on the game more and when we feel that the default map is interesting enough and we have all the necessary things in the game then we will consider releasing the editor to public. But it was obviously developed primarily for the internal purposes.

Editor will be included in the modding tools later, and by the way, the editor itself as a whole is just a mod for the game! This goes to show just how much you can do with modding! We are anticipating really great things from the community with such powerful modding tools and unlimited creativity that you guys have! :)

11
Development discussion / CryoFall - Closed Alpha Test Applications
« on: January 08, 2017, 10:36:12 pm »


We are finally ready to announce that we are starting the closed alpha test for CryoFall.

This is a very major step for us on the road towards completing this project! :)

The aim of this test is to:
* Get general feedback about the project in this early stage to determine possible areas of improvement and focus points.
* Get some general suggestions and ideas for possible implementation in the near future.
* Identify and fix any possible bugs that we were not able to find ourselves.
* To kickstart the community around the project. You can post any of your thoughts on this forum.

Please note that:
* For now we can only provide a build for Windows, because other builds are still in development and will not be available until the actual release.
* The game is not even in alpha. It is still a prototype and there is not much of a game yet.
* You will need an Internet connection to play the game as CryoFall is designed for a multiplayer experience.

Now, if you would like to apply to be a part of alpha testers team please fill in the form below and post in this thread. From all submissions here we will select a number of people (but most likely everyone as long as you can play at all) and provide them with a test build of the game and a game code to activate. To activate the access code you have to have an account on the AtomicTorch site. If you still don’t have one, create it here: https://atomictorch.com/Account/Register.

Application Form
Location - Country and city or at least a general region where you are (mostly to understand your ping)
Hardware and OS - General information about your rig and system
Internet connection - Type and speed of your connection
How much time can you dedicate - Just how much time can you spend on that and when are you usually free (e.g. everyday on late evening)


Example of a filled form
Location: USA, LA
Hardware and OS: HP Envy 17 laptop (8GB ram, 2 GB video), Windows 10
Internet connection: ADSL, 8Mb
How much time can you dedicate: Couple of hours every evening, my local time is GMT -10.


We are hoping to see you in the game!

12
News and Updates / VoidExpanse - Patch notes v1.7.x
« on: August 12, 2016, 04:17:41 am »
VoidExpanse v1.7.x Update patch notes.

This update focuses very much on bugfixes, but there are a few small gameplay adjustments and changes.

=== VoidExpanse v1.7.0 ===
New features & changes:
   * Added option for selection active display to graphics options.
   * Added important networking feature! Now you can connect to people on the same network using local address, rather than external. This will solve numerous problems like "I started the server, other people can connect to it, but I can't!".
   * Increased avatar size in Decks/Dialogue windows.

Fixed:
   * Fixed EMP/nova effect not rendering properly.
   * Fixed many issues related to localization.
   * Fixed faction relations screen when there are more factions than in vanilla game.
   * Fixed freezes under certain conditions.
   * Fixed null reference exception bugs.
   * Fixed game starting on incorrect display (Unity).

! Extra notes !
* Saves ARE compatible with the previous versions!
* Important! It is necessary to update BOTH clients for users and servers for server hosters.


13
Development discussion / Art and Screenshots
« on: May 06, 2016, 02:49:46 am »
Here in this topic I will start posting different arts for the game and some small assets that we already added in the game.

For now here is a screenshot of the background in main menu. In the actual game it is animated and there is UI over it, but I decided to post just the background because it looks quite nice as is.


(you can click on the image to enlarge)

In the following days I will post a bit more! :)

14
Development discussion / Modding
« on: May 03, 2016, 11:12:02 pm »
In this topic I would like to start talking about the way the game is implemented as it is directly related to modding.

Well, essentially the game IS a mod for the engine. It uses available API to create the entire game. There is nothing that is hidden from the players.

The entire core.cpk package is a VisualStudio Project with EVERYTHING we have. It is completely open to the players. Every single game system is 100% open-source :)

If you remember we tried to do something similar with VoidExpanse, but it is not even close. There we had some parts of the game as scripts to allow modding, but ultimately it proved to much hassle, impossible to debug, etc. and in the end VoidExpanse didn't see many big mods. With this, however, it is extremely easy to develop. You just take an empty project (that we will prepare beforehand) and start coding with all the nice things available in Visual Studio. Autocomplete, debugging, live-editing (yes, the game will be running and you can edit the code live), etc. And yes, it is C#, not some crappy Lua or JavaScript :) We wield the power of real C# here!

You can read a bit more about the engine here: http://wiki.atomictorch.com/Renkei_Engine

Anyway, let's take a look at how the project is structured.


We are using the same notations as in our previous games, so it should be self explanatory. But let's go over everything.
Content - Contains folders for all in-game content. That includes the graphics, music, sounds, etc.
Data - Different data files, such as localization. Well, to be honest for now it is only the localization :), but we might include some other things if needed.
LibsGameAPI - This is needed to compile the project. Different DLLs, you don't need to worry about it :)
Scripts - This folder contains the actual game logic. Everything is here. Everything related to how the game works is here.
UI - Again, should be quite self explanatory. This folder simply contains XAML definitions for different UI elements in the game.
As for files, there are only two that are interesting for us.
header.xml - This is the mod definition file, it is exactly the same as in VoidExpanses. It lists the author, version of the mod and other such things.
AtomicTorch.CBND.CoreMod.sln - this is the actual project file that can be opened in the Visual Studio.

Now let's take a look how certain elements in the game are actually implemented.

Ammo implementation.

There are a few interesting elements here. First - there is no logic in this file. It is only definition for the particular item. In this case it is 10mm ammo. The logic is actually contained in the ProtoItemAmmo file. We have many of these proto files. This allows us to reuse the same logic for many items, rather than creating tons of files with and without logic on the same level of hierarchy.
You can obviously inherit from these proto files for your items. Just to be clear - all that is opensource, so you can take a look what's inside and create your own proto files.
Next, this item also implements an empty interface IAmmoCaliber10 - this essentially means that it can be used with any weapon that accepts 10mm ammo. It allows us to have many-to-many relation between ammo and weapons. There could be many types of ammo (standard, expansive, ammo piercing, etc.) and many weapons that use that ammo.
Okay, let's take a look at the following code now. As you can see, it simply specifies the properties for that specific item. In this case it is an ammo-piercing bullet that deals 15 damage upon hitting the target. And its type of damage is set as impact+kinetic. There are many other properties that can be specified if necessary.

And here is another example. This time for a berry bush.

As you can see it also inherits from the proto class and specifies the necessary properties.
We put testing values there for now, but as you can see it means that the berry bush grows 10 seconds and then bears berries every other 10 seconds from there. Later it will obviously have more realistic values.

15
Development discussion / Our new game
« on: April 27, 2016, 02:10:22 am »
Edit: Some info in this topic is a bit outdated, but still interesting.
So feel free to read this and other topics to learn more about the project!

And yes, now we post regular dev. reports on our blog! https://atomictorch.com/


---

This is not an "official" announcement yet, but I would like to share some information about the project we are currently developing.

By that I mean that we won't be making the development openly public yet, as it implies regular blog posts, screenshots, videos and all that. And we are not ready for it currently. However the project is progressing very nicely and slowly takes shape. So it would be silly to keep it to ourselves and not get some input from you guys.

So, It will be an openworld game. But wait, there are a lot of openworld and survival games already, it seems like everyone and their dog currently makes one. So, how is it different?
Short answer: quite a bit, actually :)

Another important point - we are not using Unity this time. We've had enough problems with it already. So we are developing a completely new custom engine for this game. It will give us some incredibly powerful options for development and elevate modding to a degree unheard of before (no jokes here, I'm dead serious). We are also working very closely with a few other teams, including Noesis (who provide us with their powerful UI library).
You can read a bit more about our custom engine "Renkei" here: http://wiki.atomictorch.com/Renkei_Engine

The game will have a top down view (2D basically) and will heavily focus on interactions with the environment and your character. I'm not sure if I should be giving away the actual story of the game, but basically you are given an entire planet to interact with. Ah, and it will be specifically a multiplayer game.

Currently the game is in pre-alpha stage and we are developing all the necessary groundwork that would allow us to implement all the planned features later at a very quick pace. This also includes working on the engine. The engine itself is about 95% completed, I would say. But there are still some things we can add.

So, now. What is the reason for sharing this information in the first place if we can't show the actual game yet?
There are a few actually:
- We want to start sharing information about the specific features we are implementing or certain decisions we are taking. If we have your input - it would help up understand how these things are seen by the players.
- We will need to test the game at some point and if there is already a small community of people who follows the development - we could simply distribute the game to you to try.
- You might also have some great ideas that simply didn't come to our mind. Maybe there is extremely simple solution to some game design or technical task that we just didn't think of?
And other.

We are also considering having a thread here where we will be posting short weekly news. This won't go to our blog yet, but rather will be available to people who choose to engage with the project here on this forum. But that would depend on you guys, if you think something like that would be interesting.

That's more or less it.

But don't worry, we will share more information about the game soon!

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