Devblog #16: Rare Evo — Public Reception and the Future

Pixlverse
6 min readSep 7, 2023
A New Challenger Approaches — Trailer Sneak Peak

Exciting things are on the horizon — can you feel it? Welcome! Many things are evolving and we’re continuing to pour our passion and energy towards this next big stage. We’re excited to share more of what’s been going on and offer some hints as to what’s up next!

A Heartfelt Message

Before diving into the heart of recent events and developments…

We want to take a moment to express our appreciation for everyone whose taken interest in the game and worlds’ development process so far. Whether you’ve been active on social media or have travelled to meet us in person at an event, the interest, passion and engagement helps us reach the ambitious goals set out for this project.

Our mission since development began has been two-fold. Firstly, to deliver an experience reminiscent of the joyful games of our youths; inspiring the childlike dreaming only a fantasy world that highlights companionship and adventure can. Secondly, it’s to elevate that experience, finding it a home in the present day and the lives of modern players. To us this means creating a more dynamic game with a focus on creating a concise game-loop that offers players lots of meaningful choices, in a replay-able package.

Our goal is not to numb players with addictive repetition, but rather to offer players positive agency in such a way that players invite our games into their lives.

Let’s dive into the heart of our recent developments and future aspirations.

Rare Evo — Engaging with the Community

We had the opportunity to present at the Rare Evo blockchain event in Denver, USA, where we showcased the game to attendees.

The largest group of players from both inside and outside of the project got their first hands on experience with the game, and… the feedback was overwhelmingly positive!

While there were lots of possible areas to improve on compared to where we know the release version needs to be, knowing that the core loop & premise of the game was easily understood & enjoyed, was incredibly valuable feedback for us. We feel strongly encouraged to continue down our current path.

In terms of specifics, we walked away from the event with the following condensed list of immediate improvements in mind, some of which have been implemented since:

  • Tutorialization (Helping Hand System, read more below)
  • Improved Move / Glitch Command / Item selection
  • Round Resolution Battle Log
  • Increased UI highlighting & FX for allowable actions
  • Specific Move UI improvements (stats, requirements, simulated display of actions selected, health bar improvements, etc.

The majority of players who tried the game really wanted to experience more of it, and we really enjoyed ourselves! So, we’re definitely looking forward to hosting tests at similar events in future.

The “Helping Hand” System —

One of the most significant areas of feedback throughout testing has been players struggling to progress through complex game states, sometimes getting lost while attempting to execute advanced moves or actions. We expected this to be an issue and pre-emptively tried solving for this by ensuring a certain standard of clarity in the core UX/UI design.

Dynamic UI Example
Dynamic UI Example #2

While this approach helped (and was ultimately a very important process), we’ve now designed an additional pro-active ‘Helping Hand’ system to accompany the base-layer dynamic UI.

While we don’t currently have a pretty enough image of the Helping Hand to show you, here’s how it works:

The Helping Hand UI layers on-top of the game board and makes it clear to the player exactly what stage of their turn they are in and what their potential options are. It’s goal is to empower players, especially beginners, with a minimally-intrusive collection of tips, info boxes, and active indicators. A slightly larger main panel, to the side of the board, guides players through complex actions one step at a time, guaranteeing that they are always able to progress forward from any game state, regardless of experience level. It’s important to note that Helping Hand doesn’t choose your options for you, it just ensures that player’s know how to progress once their option has been selected.

Our ultimate goal is for first-time players to be able to navigate gameplay easily-enough that they can immediately access the games’ rich multi-layered strategy and dynamic decision-making.

Technical Advances Under the Hood

While we’ve got you here, here’s a general list of technical things that have been worked on since the last dev blog (there’s more blog down below!):

Complete Client-State Sync System

In light of some de-syncing issues between the client & server during alpha testing, we’ve engineered a failsafe system that assures the client is in sync with the server at every step throughout a match. We’re now able to easily log and identify discrepancies between client & server logic.

UI Improvements

List:

- Added new QoL UIs (waiting for opponent, etc)
- New move selection appearance and functionality
- Standardized other UI elements to match a similar styling

The current darker UI panels shown above at Rare Evo will soon be swapped out with more colourful designs, they were part of a sweep of quality of life enhancements made specifically for the Rare Evo test builds, where we introduced standardized (but not yet stylized) design elements.

Combat Improvements & Enhanced UX:

List:

- Camera system tweaks, new visual states
- More impactful combat FX and animations (camera shake impact,
new damage and other fx anims etc)
- Tile highlight / hover indicator improvements
- QoL changes for selection system to be more visually intuitive
- Fresh animations across pets
- New arena implementation to gauge reaction to visual design
direction of the game

We’re revamping the in-combat user experience, from refined animations to intuitive selection systems with a fresh coat of paint.

General Improvements & Bug Fixing:

List:

- Heavy improvements to rendering pipelines + shaders
- Fixed issues with round resolution timing (error timeouts)
- Fixed state related issues, e.g. not being able to submit glitch
commands in react stage
- Overhaul of pet positional animation system to give more freedom to
move specific fx, fixing issues with conflicting animations
- Fixed an issue with pet bone rig not interacting well with positionally
constrained animations (idle, lay, etc)
- Fixed random move validator issues of server denying inputs
- Fixed timing issues with some server events immediately resolving
on client before it technically happened on the client
- Fixed significant issues with pet swapping

A New Era Beckons!

An exciting release is just on the horizon:

We announced in a previous blog that a relaunch of Pixl Pets is in the works. Check that out here:

We just want to re-iterate that the upcoming relaunch will include a trailer that introduces significantly more new IP, showcases a rich world with lore, and provides people with an insightful canvas for the grand vision of the game.

Pre-hand-painted — 3D Environment Render

Final Thoughts

Previously we posted a tweet showcasing Pixl Pets gameplay & summarizing Blog#15 and we were overjoyed by the response:

The attention it has received from a wide range of backgrounds (inside and out of web3) has been overwhelming; gamers, streamers, content creators, publishers and investors alike have shown interest. Ever since, our schedules have been packed with meetings and irl events, in Paris, Denver and as we speak, at Blockchain Korea.

That’s all for this one, we have some really exciting updates to share in the near future; some fresh ideas, expanded playtesting sessions, and an awesome trailer that truly encapsulates the world of Pixl Pets.

We hope you’re looking forward to it as much as we’re looking forward to sharing it! Stay tuned!

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