Hey everyone, and welcome to the November edition of Loftian Skies!
Can you believe there’s only a single month left until 2023? We definitely can’t. In the past 6 months there have been boatloads of new developments, changes, challenges and wins for our small team. In the past month alone, our community has grown exponentially on Instagram and Discord, and we truly couldn’t be more appreciative for all the support that everyone has given us so far.
When we started developing Loftia, none of this even seemed remotely possible, but here we are 6 months later with an amazing community, and a huge dream to deliver the greatest cozy MMO for everyone. That being said, the realities of having such an ambitious goal is definitely scary at times, not to mention indie gamedev being a notoriously tough gig. But if there’s anything that the past few months have taught us, it’s that we must press onwards with all our heart and believe in ourselves, even if there are skeptics out there who think that our goal is a tad too crazy ambitious.
So while the year may be coming to an end, we’re approaching the next 31 days with more motivation than ever before, and we can’t wait to bring you along for the ride!
Before we jump into things, we’d like to introduce you to one our very first characters in Loftia: Pebble! Pebble is Loftia’s resident chinchilla and he’s super proud that his name came directly from our community (there was a very close race against another name: Puffington). Pebble is currently waiting for you in the world of Loftia, and he can’t wait to be friends with you once you arrive!
1.1. Hydroponics, wind turbines and all things Solarpunk!
This month we also released the 3D models of our hydroponic machines and crops! Our artists have been hard at work to create these concepts and models, and whilst these are still a work in progress and might even be touched up further in the coming months, we just couldn’t wait to show you what we’ve got so far.
There’re many more pieces of art, models, environments and gameplay snippets currently in the works. We’ll be releasing more and more of these over time, in the coming months. The wind turbine models are up next, so watch out for those!
For the aspiring Loftian farmers out there, we also introduced 10 basic crops and 5 exotic crops this month for hydroponic farming! Thank you to everyone for leaving so many great suggestions for exotic fruit and vegetables on our Instagram Reel. We were able to gather the most popular suggestions and implement them into the game, and we can’t wait to add more in the future. Our goal is to add different crop species from all over the world so your input and feedback is incredibly valuable to us during our game design process.
In terms of hydroponic farming, we’ve also created a more detailed infographic that contains more details around the practices and methodologies behind vertical farming, and how the mechanic will work in Loftia. Essentially, you will be able to control different factors such as water, oxygen, nutrients and light to affect the yield of your crops. We want the gameplay experience to be both educational and fun, so we’re taking our time with the detailed game design of this mechanic. With the onboarding of our new environmental sustainability volunteers (more on this further down below), we’re also planning to release more educational content on many sustainable game mechanics and environmental topics that we’re passionate about.
2.1 Community Growth
In the past month, we’ve grown exponentially on Instagram, and we can’t thank this community enough for all the support you have given us so far. To see so many people interested in Loftia is incredibly encouraging for all of us on the team, and we can’t wait to do you all proud and build the best cozy game possible. Your feedback, suggestions and DMs are really valuable and even though we might not be able to respond to everyone, please know that we’re taking everyone’s inputs into consideration. We’re also really excited to see our Discord community growing, and together with our new community team, we’ve started planning out a couple of community events in December and the new year. Expect more info around that soon!
2.2 Suggestions Tool
One of the most important things to us is making sure we’re building a game that meets the wants and needs of our community. Ever since we started growing on Instagram, we’ve received hundreds of game design suggestions through comments and direct messages. So our priority this month was to find an efficient and effective way to capture everyone’s suggestions and rank them in order of popularity and demand.
Unfortunately there wasn’t a tool on the market that met all of our requirements, so we created one ourselves! Introducing our brand new suggestions tool: https://ideas.loftia.gg/
It works in a similar way to Reddit, where you can express your opinions by voting and commenting on suggestions made by other people, or share your own ideas by creating a new post. We’ve received quite a lot of suggestions from the community already and it’s proving to be a great way to understand the kind of features and game mechanics we should prioritize. So if you’re feeling creative, or have any idea that you’ve been wanting to bring to our attention, please leave a suggestion there!
Ever since we started documenting our development process, we’ve had many messages from community members asking if they can volunteer to help with the development of Loftia. We always find these messages really touching, and we can’t thank you enough for your eagerness to bring Loftia to life! So a few weeks ago we made an announcement on Discord calling for volunteers to assist in three areas that would take things to the next level: Community Management, Social Media Marketing and Environmental Sustainability.
We received a very large volume of applications for the roles, and were quite literally overwhelmed by the level of interest. Unfortunately, as much as we wanted to bring everyone along for the journey, it was regretfully not possible to accept everyone. We just wanted to express our gratitude to everyone who applied, and share that it’s likely that we will be opening up more roles in the future! You’ll all hear about it if and when we do so.
And without further ado, we’d like to bid our recently-joined volunteer team members a very warm welcome!
3. What’s next?
So, what can you expect from us for the rest of 2022, and beyond? Well… lots!
We have a backlog of content and updates that we have planned, including our new player character models, NPCs, farming updates, worldbuilding updates and of course… pets! We’ll also be continuing to build out other features that we haven’t yet talked about publicly, and as always, releasing more concepts, models and gameplay as they become available.
We’re also looking to experiment with different forms of content, such as long-form videos and detailed explanation videos which dive into the complex design of our current and upcoming game mechanics. Occasional vlogs and “day-in-our-life” videos will also make a comeback soon. With the addition of Aly, Alex and Drew in our Community Team, we have a few exciting events planned for December as well as a few Christmas themed surprises.
On the engineering side, we’re currently working on the player energy system. We’re currently finishing off the prototype for it, and will share more details in next month’s news update. Alcy, Felysia and Mat from the team are also working on building out the main city of the island of Loftia, which is starting to look seriously incredible. The city is probably one of the aspects that we’re the most excited to share with everyone, and we can’t wait!
So get ready for all of these exciting announcements and updates to come. We’re so grateful for the support we’ve received from this amazing community so far, and we truly can’t wait to meet everyone in the world of Loftia one day.
Until next month,
The Loftia Team 🙂