Loftian Skies: January, 2023

January 31st, 2023

Hello everyone! Welcome to the first edition of Loftian Skies for 2023!

We can’t believe it’s the end of January already – does anyone else feel like this month has just flow by? Maybe time just passes thrice as fast when you’re developing a video game.

But even though it’s been a whirlwind of a month, we’ve managed to deliver quite a few updates to Loftia, so let’s dive into them!

Table of Contents

  1. Updates: Wind turbines, crops, player models and more!
  2. Our community: Community growth
  3. Our team: Team growth
  4. What’s next?: What to expect in the upcoming weeks and months

1. Updates

1.1 Airborne Wind Turbines

This month we were super excited to share our 3D models for our Airborne Wind Turbines! A few months ago we released our concept art for these wind turbines, which received heaps of love from our community. After making a few adjustments to the design based on your feedback, such as adding a larger hole in the back to let the wind bypass, we brought our friendly fish turbines to life!

Our flying fish wind turbines!

Unlike traditional wind turbines on the ground, airborne wind turbines are supported in the air with a helium or hydrogen-filled shroud. This enables them to reach high-speed winds at higher altitudes, resulting in greater energy generation. In Loftia, you’ll be able to use electricity generated from wind turbines for various activities such as crafting, cooking, exploration, and powering your very own home. There will also be other forms of renewable energy, such as solar energy and hydro energy, which we will reveal more details on soon!

We’ve also made a lil’ info-graphic on Airborne Wind Turbines in Loftia to sum it all up:

Full info-graphic is visible on our Instagram!

1.2 Mushroom & Herbs

In our last crop reveal video, we asked you what kind of mushrooms and herbs you would like to grow in Loftia. As always, we received lots of suggestions and narrowed it down to a list of the most popular species.

Like our other crops, you’ll be able to grow these on hydroponic machines in a space-efficient way. In fact, mushrooms and herbs are one of the easiest crops to grow on vertical farming equipment, so you can expect a few more variations and species to come!

Our next crop category is flowers. Because who doesn’t love flowers?

Many floral species can be picky about their growing conditions and are susceptible to fungal diseases when grown within traditional farming spaces. This makes them excellent candidates for a more controlled growing method, and they usually respond very well to the structure of hydroponic growing. So let us know what kind of flowers you would like to grow in Loftia!

1.3 Player Character Models

Another exciting reveal this month included a first look at our player character models! These are still a work in progress, and we already have a few adjustments we’re planning to make. But we thought it would be beneficial to show everyone our draft and what general direction we’re headed in terms of style.

We always knew we wanted our models to reflect the simplistic and stylized look of Animal Crossing’s player characters, but with a bit more realism to align with the real-world topics that our Solarpunk game will advocate for.

A first look at our player models!

At present, our model will retain a 2D face for simplicity and to best convey emotional expressions, which is harder to achieve with 3D facial features. The face that’s currently on the model is only temporary, and our next step will be designing more stylized 2D faces that match our art style.

Of course, you’ll be able to customize many features in addition to styling them however you want in-game! Some of these customizable features include:

Recent feedback gathered from our community (through our IG Poll) also indicated that a lot of people want our player models to look slightly cuter and chibi. Therefore we’ll also be exploring ways to enhance the cuteness of our models, whilst still retaining our unique style. More to come soon!

1.4 Discord Farming Bot

The final update for this month includes the introduction of LoftiaBot, our Discord server’s farming bot! Even though Loftia isn’t a playable game yet, we thought that building a special bot to emulate farming would be a fun way to bring our community together. LoftiaBot was only introduced a few weeks ago, so it’s still a work in progress, but there are already a few fun activities you can perform, including:

  • Planting seeds
  • Buying seeds
  • Watering seeds
  • Harvesting full-grown crops

By completing your Daily Quest, engaging in conversations, and reacting to comments, you can accrue Activity Points which determine your position on the LoftiaBot leaderboard. Engaging with the community can earn you Tokens and Cloud Tokens to buy crops and maybe even more exclusive items later on! Every person has their own “farm” they can grow crops on, so essentially it’s a mini-version of our main game. Overall, it’s been a fun little feature to play with, but it’s also been the instigator of many inside jokes, memes, and the ongoing debate of whether tomato or watermelon is the superior crop (it’s tomato btw!).

In the upcoming month we are planning to introduce a few more advanced features, crops, and prizes to the bot, so be sure to join our Discord to join in on the fun!

1.5 Gameplay and Engineering

We’ve shared quite a few pieces of concept art and 3D models, but obviously another key piece of the puzzle is the programming and engineering work required to glue everything together and produce a refined, playable game.

Our engineering team has been busy working extremely hard behind-the-scenes to continue writing the lines of code that will bring Loftia to life. There have been several exciting developments in this space, that we can’t share too many details about just yet, suffice to say all of the necessary pieces required to bring an MMO to fruition are falling into place.

Additionally, we’ve recently made some significant strides in the realm of group-based, instanced content, that we’re calling adventures. You can think of adventures as bearing similarities to what’s referred to in other games as dungeons, raids, or party quests. However, adventures in Loftia will come… with a significant twist, something that will really make them unique compared to other games.

We’d really like to share more details, but unfortunately we need a little more time to flesh out certain details and prototypes before we can reveal and promise more. Expect more to come in future editions of Loftian Skies!

1.6 Our Roadmap

As our production timeframes are gradually falling into place, we’re planning to launch an official Kickstarter Campaign later this year, with pre-alpha testing to start soon after that. Due to the nature of game development, there is always likely to be changes and adjustments made along the way, but we’re confident that our current roadmap will enable us to meet our development requirements whilst staying within our budgetary capacity.

If you’re interested in getting notified of our Kickstarter and pre-alpha testing launch, you can sign up to our mailing list that’s on the homepage of our website.

2. Our Community

So one of the major milestones we reached this month was growing our Instagram community to over 80K Loftians! One of our Reels decided to take off, and in return, we’ve had many people follow our IG and join our Discord server. We definitely weren’t expecting to grow so much within such a short period of time, so we cannot thank you enough for the support and love you’ve given us so far. Whilst the number of followers isn’t our main priority, it’s warming to know that we have so many people interested in our game and our cause. We’re motivated more than ever to continue building this game and we can’t wait for us to meet each other in the world of Loftia one day.

The continuous feedback and suggestions you all have been providing have also been invaluable to our development process. Even though we may not have the capacity to respond to every DM and comment, please know that we’re noting all your feedback and steering our decisions based on your opinions, needs, and wants. Loftia will be a game made by all of us!

3. Our Team

With the start of the new year, our team has once again expanded in size! Since the beginning of this month, we have an additional 3D artist, music composer, UI/UX designers, engineer and Discord moderators. Hiring has always been a long and difficult process, especially when the game dev space has so many amazing talents and skilled individuals. We’d like to thank everyone who has applied to join our team, whilst we are currently at full capacity, any future opportunities will be posted on our Discord channel.

Here’s a shoutout to those who have recently joined:

  • Hugo – UI/UX Lead
  • Jazz – Community Participant Manager
  • Monica – UI/UX Designer
  • Kara – UX Engineer
  • Eric – Engineer
  • Tomás – Music composer
  • Anastasia – 3D Environment Artist
  • Etienne – Videographer & 3D Artist
  • Bronte – 2D & 3D Artist

4. What’s Next?

2023 is going to be a pivotal year for us. One of our main milestones that we’re working towards is a Kickstarter Campaign which will determine the future scope of our game and what direction we’ll be headed in for the years to come. Additionally, our other milestone for the year will be to host several pre-alpha playtests with some members of our community.

The upcoming months will be extremely eventful for both the team and the Loftia community, as we continue to tackle the mountain of tasks in our way leading up to the creation of an amazing MMO game. But amongst all that we do, it remains one of our top priorities to continue listening and engaging with all of you – our community, to ensure that we’re developing a game that adheres to your needs and wants. This means we’ll be bringing you along every step of the way, and asking for your input on key design decisions that will impact your game experience. So be prepared to see more polls, questionnaires and feedback requests on our social media pages!

The next 6 months will be filled with exciting developments, difficult challenges and rewarding lessons – we can’t wait to experience it all and bring everyone along for the journey!

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