Happy March Loftians! As our leaves begin to turn yellow with the start of Autumn (or sprout new Spring growth if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere!), we’re going to spend a moment reflecting on everything that happened in February, and give you a sneak peek of what’s to come in March!
A game feature that we have been itching to show you all for the past few months is our Bioluminescent Ivy! As a solarpunk game, our goal is to incorporate as many practical sustainability innovations as we can into our gameplay. From our airborne wind turbines to our hydroponic machines, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible!
Bioluminescence involves a chemical reaction involving two molecules: luciferin and luciferase. When they react with oxygen, it produces a light that can range from a faint blue-green glow to a bright flash. Bioluminescence is found within a range of organisms, including bacteria, fungi, fish, jellyfish and fireflies, as well as some species of plants and animals. But this natural phenomenon has also found practical applications in various scientific fields, including medical research, environmental monitoring, and biotechnology.
Loftia’s Bioluminescent Ivies are flowers modified with fungi foxfire to produce a continuous glow. They come in 5 different flower variations including Pom Pom Chrysanthemum, Monkey Cup, Fly Agaric Mushroom, Canterbury Bell Flower and Fuchsia. These glowing plants will be used to provide a sustainable source of light during the night, reducing the need to rely on electricity. Not to mention they’ll also provide decoration for the city streets! Bioluminescence will also be used for street lamps, neon lights and other lighting applications. We’re also thinking of introducing this natural light-producing phenomenon to clothing, furniture and other decorative assets within the game – because it’s too pretty not to!
1.2. Player Clothing
Last month we revealed our interim player models, which you can see and read about in the January edition of Loftian Skies. As an extension of our player models, we dove into player clothing this month as well, and asked you what types of clothing you would like to dress up in, in Loftia. We received many diverse and interesting styles suggestions such as cottage core, tech-wear, academia, goth, sportswear, harajuku fashion and more!
With these fashion styles in mind, we’re now working closely with the artists on our team to design some awesome and fun outfits. The ability to self-express and showcase your identify is a core value within Loftia, so we want to make sure to raise limits of the extent to which you can customize and personalize within the game, as much as we can!
Stay tuned for some possible outfit reveals coming in March!
1.3 First Gameplay Reveal
Another exciting update this month included a first look at gameplay. Ever since moving to Unreal Engine back in September last year, we have yet to reveal any gameplay as we wanted to add some polish to our models and level design. Even though there are still a lot of changes to be made to the environment, we wanted to show our work in progress and provide a teaser of what to expect in the upcoming months.
The clip below shows the player running through Newbie Park, the area that you’ll spawn in when you first start the game. Here, you’ll learn how to run around, interact with others and other basic game functions. It’s effectively a tutorial area, for beginners to learn the ropes before they embark into their wider journey that is Loftia!
1.4 Valentines Day Special
As a part of Valentine’s Day, we released a series of punny Valentine’s Day cards that can be personalized and downloaded from our our website. Initially, these cards were created simply as a funny joke within our internal team, but we quickly realized that they were too good not to be shared with everyone! To our surprise, our Instagram post featuring the cards has almost 2K shares – we hope that Pebble and Loftia managed to warm some hearts all around the world!
1.5 New Boba Flavor!
In February we also held another community vote on Instagram Stories for a new boba drink flavor! This time we wanted to create a fruity drink, so all the options were fruit-based flavors including mango, lychee, peach and grapefruit. After 24 hours the votes came in, and the winner was Mango Green Tea with Popping Boba!
Our next boba voting will be held at end of March, so stay tuned!
2. Our Team
This month our team has once again expanded with the addition of our new engineering volunteers!
We received so many passionate applications for the role, more than we could accept at this time – though we’re hoping to bring on even more people in the future. Our engineering volunteers will be working directly with our existing internal engineering team to bring many game features and mechanics to life – including the secret “Adventures” system that we’ve been working on for a couple of months.
We will likely open opportunities for other positions within the wider team too, so stay tuned for announcements on our Discord server!
3. What’s next?
March is going to be jam packed month for us as we’re slowly gearing up for our Kickstarter campaign. Behind the scenes, our team is hard at work creating a trailer for the campaign as well as implementing core features of the game.
In terms of updates and new features, you can expect some exciting content on Pets, NPCs, Player Clothing and more Sustainability features! We are also planning to run another community event on Discord or Instagram this month, as well as more updates to the LoftiaBot.
As always, thank you so much for being a part of this wonderful community. Your support keeps us motivated to develop the best game we can, and we can’t wait to show you more updates in the upcoming weeks!