Greetings, fellow Citizens of Epoch City!
Welcome to our fourth edition of Time’s End Blog!!
First, let’s dive into a quick recap of what’s been happening lately at Big Time:
- Preseason went live on October 10th! 🎉
- Check out our latest Economy Update with some balance changes here!
- We made a sale of the new Paragon Mystery Box! (currently sold out)
- NFT and Token withdrawals and deposits are live on Open Loot! ✨
- We announced the $BIGTIME Preseason Leaderboard Airdrop!
- You are now able to open Mystery Boxes! 🎁
- We also released the new Egyptian theme for your SPACE!
Team Member Spotlight
This time we want to introduce you to Aaron Smith, our Art Director!
“Hello everyone! I’m Art Director at Big Time, and my role involves steering the visual direction of the video game while also making sure we maintain a good balance between the quality of our art and the speed at which we’re working.
Back when I was a teenager, games like Doom and Quake hit the scene, complete with editors and other modding tools. Since I was already super into gaming and art, it just seemed like the natural thing to do: start creating my own levels, creatures, and character skins for these games. It was such a cool experience, and over time, I built up a portfolio I could use to apply at local game companies. That’s actually how I ended up getting a job offer at Rogue Entertainment, where I got to work on American McGee’s Alice.
I’ve had the chance to work on some awesome projects over the years, like American McGee’s Alice, the initial three Gears of War games, and Unreal Tournament 3. More recently, I was involved in High on Life at Squanch Games. I was also a part of a startup in Raleigh called Bitmonster Games, and I have a lot of passion for everything we created there (Lili, Gunner Z & Grav). It was such a rewarding experience to work on these titles with a small, tight-knit team where I had a big influence on the games.
Currently, the trickiest aspect of my job is finding that sweet spot between achieving a visual bar and keeping up with the sheer volume of assets required for a project of this scale. Thankfully, it’s been getting smoother as we’ve assembled an exceptional art team. We’re making significant progress towards reaching the visual standard I’ve been aiming for.
I heavily rely on the art team to approach designing the visual elements of the game, particularly the concept art team led by Eric Yip. A significant portion of the initial concept designs, along with the overall aesthetics, were crafted by Tom Zhao before I joined the project. I’ve made it a point to honor those designs while also pushing the boundaries in new areas while remaining true to the essence of Big Time. When we’re working on a new area or asset, we assess if it aligns with the lore, fulfills player expectations, and remains feasible within our time constraints. It’s a highly collaborative effort and I’m very proud of the team I’m part of.
Like many art teams today, we draw significant inspiration from Studio Ghibli. In addition to that, we’ve been inspired by many other games while crafting Big Time. The Guilty Gear series stands out for its exceptional character design, and we’ve also taken cues from games like Genshin Impact and the recently released Wayfinder, which is exceptionally stunning. These influences all play a part in shaping the visual identity of our project and keeping us on our toes.
While I wouldn’t directly attribute these games to influencing Big Time’s art direction, I’m a massive fan of From Software’s exceptional work in both game design and art direction. A classic favorite of mine has to be Grim Fandango and other Tim Schafer creations, including titles like Day of the Tentacle and Psychonauts. I can’t recommend highly enough that everyone give both Psychonauts 1 and 2 a playthrough if they get the chance.
We’re in the middle of developing a fresh hub area for the game, and I’m genuinely excited about it. I see it as a fantastic opportunity to elevate the visual standard of the game and establish a benchmark for what players can expect in the future.
It’s important to note that this is an ever-evolving process. Fortunately, being a live game allows us the freedom to continuously refine and enhance existing areas. With that in mind, you can anticipate a steady stream of quality-of-life updates to enhance the visual experience of the game. We’re in it for the long haul, striving for continuous improvement.”
Development Updates — The future of dungeons
Being that dungeons are a crucial aspect of our game, we wanted to provide some insights into our plans and vision for their future development. Bear in mind that the ideas shared here might face changes and are not final.
The idea is to leverage the existing dungeon layouts in the game, ensuring that players encounter a wide array of dungeon types. This diversity is not just for the sake of variety but is deeply rooted in the gameplay experience.
One of the key elements in this revitalization process is the strategic utilization of dungeon layouts to achieve specific objectives. Each dungeon will be associated with appropriate methods to accomplish goals, transforming them into dynamic environments that challenge players in unique ways.
For this goal, we will be focusing on two different type of adventures:
Imagine stepping into a dungeon where the vastness of its chambers stretches out before you. ‘Open’ dungeons in our game will be designed to favor exploration. These dungeons will be expansive and players will need to discover the objectives by exploring the different areas. There might even be some secret objectives the players can decide to do if they want to. Players will find themselves immersed in a world where curiosity is rewarded, and every turn may lead to a new discovery!
In contrast, some dungeons will follow a ‘Classic/Strike’ design philosophy, emphasizing objective-driven actions and strategic gameplay. These dungeons will challenge players with well-paced encounters, testing their combat skills, teamwork, and decision-making abilities.
These concepts are actively being implemented and tested, promising an immersive experience that challenges players in unique ways. We can’t wait to share these exciting updates with you soon.
Stay tuned for more and don’t forget to share your feedback on our Discord server!
Art Sneak Peeks
We have some sneak peeks from the art team! Check out these amazing eyes VFXs!
And here is a sneak peek of the Clockie Brawler!
Everyone’s been super active since preseason kicked off! Take a peek at these awesome stats showcasing some of your achievements:
You guys have crafted over 113k collectibles so far! As you may know, Craftable Cosmetic Collectibles have ten rarity tiers: Common through Unique. Across the different rarity tiers, the Cosmetic Collectibles will have the same baseline visuals but will look significantly more impressive the higher the rarity tier is. Who will be the first to craft these unique weapons?
We want to thank everybody who participated in our latest meme contest, your entries were hilarious! Now it’s time to announce the winners, drum rolls please 🥁
Congratulations Sector, WIMPZ and Liverbird! 🎉
And here are some fantastic memes that didn’t win, but brought us a lot of laughs too!
To finish, we want to give special thanks to the Evermore Wardens and their community for their exceptional contributions in the latest patch! Your efforts have been instrumental in debugging issues and gathering crucial real-time feedback on live drop rates, making a significant impact on the game’s development. Thank you for your invaluable dedication and support!
That concludes our fourth blog edition! We appreciate everyone for being a part of it. Thank you all for joining us!
See you in the future!
Yvonne, Head of Player Experience