What's Up Wednesday #1 - June 2019
Welcome to the first edition of What’s Up Wednesday! What’s Up Wednesday is intended to be a monthly newsletter giving a rough outline of everything surrounding ClanHeart. You can expect to see updates about the progress we’ve made over the past month, our plans for this month, and any other juicy details we couldn’t wait to share. You can look forward to future editions on the first Wednesday of every month, we sure will be!
If you haven’t read our last news post, I encourage you to check it out. It gives some details of where ClanHeart stands, as well as some things you should know in regards to previous site plans. Things have changed a lot this month and old information may no longer be accurate!
So what do we hope to have in store for this month? Well, we need to start at the very core of ClanHeart. Our primary focus is to rebuild the site layouts, especially with varying screen sizes in mind. Some of this work has already been completed and can be seen over at https://alpha.clanheart.com using our Splash layout. User accounts and registration are also included in our main goal for the month, although these will not become available until we have prepared the Staff management side.
Any spare time for the month will then be put towards Pets, most notably their images. Because pets are expected to be one of the most intensive parts of the site, we definitely foresee this aspect taking a much larger chunk of time than many other pieces.
On the other end of the spectrum, our fantastic artists have been hard at work to get some markings completed and ready for future use. In the preview below, you can see Appaloosa, Okapi, and Genet displayed respectively. Keep in mind that these markings may still see future changes as our artists feel more comfortable working with the bases we have available.
We are excited to share further previews and updates with you throughout consecutive editions of What’s Up Wednesdays. In the meantime, you are welcome to come chat with us or others interested in ClanHeart through our public Discord! https://discord.gg/6yPUYGG
If you are interested in more frequent, early access previews, we have also now launched a Patreon page! We have provided various tiers to allow you to best determine exactly what sort of early access previews you are after, and what perks you are most interested in. Various polls will also be included in the perks to allow you to help directly influence some of where ClanHeart goes. You can check out our Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/ClanHeart
That wraps up our first What’s Up Wednesday, but our work is far from over! Now begins a new era of life for ClanHeart, but we never would have gotten this far if not for you all. Your continued support means the world to us, and we hope you’re just as excited as us to see ClanHeart return once again.
Posted on 5th June 2019 10:35
Current Status and Looking Forward
Hello everyone, I know it has been quite some time since you last received an update. There has been a lot of discussion and consideration going on behind the scenes, and now I would like to bring details of the situation forward to you all.
Let me introduce myself before we continue much further. I am StarSea, a freelance programmer with a passion for petsites and art. I have been studying programming for several years with the dream of making my own petsite some day. Back in early August 2018, I joined the staff team as a coder.
I have since received the opportunity to potentially obtain ownership of ClanHeart, however, this does not come lightly. Over the course of the next two years, I will be working to bring the site back to life and rebuild it from the ground up. The plan is to take the project through all three stages - alpha, beta, and official launch - in as transparent a fashion as possible.
Throughout this two-year project, I will be acting in the position of owner, however it is important to note that I do not actually own ClanHeart at this point in time. This means that I am directing development, hiring staff, and purchasing assets, but if I do not succeed in this project then I will have to step back from all of that and return to my position of simply coder.
Because I am taking on this project with full intentions of obtaining official ownership, I will be working with my own ideas and plans to build a site I want to own and that I believe is better fit for the playerbase. Due to that, information previously stated in news posts or on social media is not guaranteed to be brought into this, such as a Kickstarter or the same specific color wheels.
Despite this, I would like to try and keep as many of ClanHeart’s original core features as I can. Most notably being the clans themselves, the extensive customizability provided even for basic pets, and territories. They won’t be exactly as you remember, with attempts to save the servers a lot of strain while also hopefully providing better player experience.
There is still so much more information to be shared, so please stick with us as we all give ClanHeart our best shot! I plan to be releasing a public Discord server as well as a Patreon in the near future, so look forward to those too!
Posted on 1st June 2019 08:56
Hi again everyone!
There's not much to report this month - art is being created steadily, but our two coders have been busy with other work.
There is good news, however: we've managed to secure some financial support for the site and are on the lookout for a part-time coder to help speed things along. If you or anyone you know might be interested, please send me a PM on-site - we are working on a tight budget, however, so please keep that in mind!
Regardless, we expect the availability of our existing coders to be more flexible soon - around Mid January.
We'll make sure to keep updates regular, even if there isn't much going on behind the scenes - at this stage, we're fairly committed to rebuilding the site's foundations entirely so it may be awhile before the game enters a technical alpha once more.
I'm personally hoping to see the pet demo available much sooner than January, but due to workloads, I can't specify a date for it just yet.
Thanks for everyone's continued interest in ClanHeart!
Posted on 16th October 2018 11:44
Hi again everyone!
Things have been a bit quiet here lately - we've still got a little bit more waiting to do before we can get into the thick of things. As nothing is confirmed on this front, I can't relay too much information.
That said, we haven't been idle:
We've some markings in the works from our new marking artist, Mintaka.
We've also got a new coder on board to help out as well, StarSea.
Once development on the new site begins, we'll be looking at a couple major changes.
First and foremost, most of your progression will be tied to your account, not individual characters. We'll have more specifics on this soon, but we'll be looking to rework and introduce skills, stats and abilities - not just for combat, but for crafting and exploration as well.
Secondly, you'll likely be able to collect any species and add them to your clan; you won't be restricted by a single type.
When the new site is up and forums are functional, we'll engage with the community with development concepts/designs more fully and consider feedback before we implement them.
We've a long road ahead of us, but we'll get there soon enough!
Posted on 14th September 2018 09:44
This is a detailed update of where we're at. I'd like to make sure we're being as transparent as possible with information as we move forward.
At the moment, we're still largely waiting for the server issues to be resolved so we can host an early version of the image creator tool. Here's some quick examples of what to expect:
We'll be using another website for testing while we set everything up - once we've got the server issues resolved, we'll be looking to port over features to the new site. This is largely due to the framework ClanHeart uses (Laravel) being out-dated.
What this means for users, however, is that you'll likely need to register on the test site later on. You may need an invite code to access the new site, but we'll be sure to provide keys to players who've been tracking progress here.
For now, however, we've got a new coder helping out with some of the more minor issues which we intend to resolve ahead of time for features that will be kept. We hope to have some progress on the missing territories as well as a way to manually cancel the clan transfer process so players can continue testing existing features.
Progress Wipe Information:
We're looking for some feedback on this!
At the moment, a currency & pet wipe is a certainty. The experimenting that we've done so far has largely indicated the economy is widely unbalanced and needs a significant overhaul for the site to have any sort of longevity.
We do need to reach a decision on what to do with existing accounts. We could:
- Clear all account information.
- Preserve all account information.
- Preserve accounts that have been active since the announcement last December and clear the rest.
The latter option would primarily open up username options.
Note: In all cases, with proof of purchase, you'll have an amount of premium currency credited to your account if you spent any amount of real-money on ClanHeart in the past.
Staff Information/Progress Expectations:
Right now, we are working with a small team of volunteers; there's very little monetary support for ClanHeart beyond the essentials.
With the second coder, I'd expect to see more frequent updates to minor bugs and issues on the existing site, but larger updates may be irregular largely due to schedules & workloads of the primary coder.
This means that I may need to bring bad news from time to time, largely related to delays, but I feel it's important that the community knows where we're at in terms of progress.
That said, we won't be looking to establish any means of making purchases on ClanHeart until we're certain the site is presentable to the public.
Until then, please remember that ClanHeart is in pre-alpha!
As a final note, none of the current staff members were associated with the previous developers/staff of ClanHeart. We will also be looking to recruit helpers in some capacity as we progress.
This is where things get tricky! I'd like to relay with the community frequently on this front.
My initial impressions are as follows:
The breeding system is quite clearly broken, and in some cases it's far too easy to unlock new pets (provided everything is working). We need to rework this entirely.
The territory system is fairly decent, but needs some rebalancing (for example, some quests yield 20,000+ sD for materials that cost less than 200 sD in the stalls). We need to re-balance this.
The battle system is heavily flawed, favouring time invested rather than any intentional game-play. The way rounds resolve make little sense, and breakable abilities seem needlessly punishing. We need to rework this system entirely; additionally, we may be looking to scrap PvP / PvC content all together.
Beyond those systems, everything else is largely standard. We've been looking at different approaches for ClanHeart (even going so far as to consider shifting it to a sort of RPG), but ultimately I think we're best keeping it a traditional pet site. We may also look at allowing players to have a mix of species within their clan.
The delays in coding have given us time to discuss ideas and concepts, and we'll make sure to detail them openly before they're implemented so the community can contribute their ideas and opinions.
Image PSD Files
We intend to make these files publicly available once the image generation tool is available. You're free to use them as you'd like, but you must credit ClanHeart if you host or use the file outside of ClanHeart.
Additionally, we may be looking to have official marking contests wherein the winners will receive premium currency at launch as well as have their designs implemented into the game as an option for all players.
If you have any questions regarding images, contact our local expert Syzygy!
Thanks for reading!
If you have any general questions, please send me a PM - we'll hopefully have another progress update for you all soon!
Posted on 10th August 2018 08:42
Hi again everyone!
Just letting you know where we're at -
A prototype of the image generation tool has been completed, it's just not available yet! We ran into some issues with the foundation of the website itself, and figured it'd be a good opportunity to upgrade ahead of time to ensure things run smoothly.
We've now run into some server issues which we hope to have sorted soon; once that's resolved, we should have a prototype pet creator for users to play around with while we get the rest of the site set-up.
I can't provide an exact time-frame, but if the server issues aren't resolved within a week or so, I'll at least get some images of the new pet creator up on the forums.
Apologies for the delays thanks to everyone for their continued interest in ClanHeart!
Posted on 27th July 2018 07:04
After taking a look at the image server, we're considering taking a new approach to ClanHeart.
As we're in the design stages right now I can't reveal too much information, but the general goal is to ensure there's a sufficient amount of on-site content to keep players entertained.
As a consequence of these changes, you may notice certain areas of the website become inaccessible while we work on various aspects of the game. It's also possible that you may lose your characters as we set up a new character creation process.
I'll post more information soon!
Posted on 13th June 2018 01:05
Image Server Rework
Hi again everyone!
Just a quick update today - we're looking at reworking the image server entirely. This should take 4 - 6 weeks, but should ultimately provide a more stable long-term solution. We may be able to establish a demo version of this new system earlier than that, but delays are possible. The new tech will also have some new markings added to it as well.
The time-based events (excluding guild rewards) have all been enabled. Unfortunately, some players (like myself!) may be stuck updating their clans - we're investigating a way to terminate this process early to we can continue testing.
Following the image server issues, we'll be looking at general game-play balance as well as a potential rework on the combat system.
Thanks everyone for checking in!
Posted on 15th May 2018 06:30
As some of you may have noticed, some previously broken features are now functional. We're working on time-based events - most of which are now active, but we need to do some research/information gathering on certain aspects before we can progress further - I'll have a forum post set up shortly in ClanHeart Discussion if you'd like to check it out and contribute if you're able!
The Clan Update process is tied into these time-based events, however, there's an image server issue that needs to be resolved before updating your clan is possible.
More details in the thread!
Posted on 9th May 2018 12:05
It's go time!
The image server is up and functional. We're still working through some issues with it, and it's still a temporary solution, however, this means we're able to begin testing.
I've created a couple discussion threads regarding some on-site features and the alpha/beta plans in the ClanHeart discussion forums - we'll make sure to be transparent with what we're doing and detail our plans ahead of time so you can comment on and influence them as development continues.
Please note that the reports section of the site isn't working currently - please contact a staff member directly with any issues you might run into during testing!
We'll have further updates for you soon!
Posted on 4th May 2018 08:52