Witanlore: Dreamtime - Druid Gameworks

Hi Folks,
Cole here! Hope you are all enjoying the start of the summer season, apologies for the long weird silence here, we've been working hard on the back to back updates we mentioned back in April but we've also been juggling some challenges in real life that unfortunately took some time away from the game's progress for a bit. We're getting back on track now so the next update should be rolling soon; we just need to run it passed our testers first.

Hopefully when we launch our IndieGoGo campaign shortly we'll gain more exposure for the game, and more funding to keep our developers from losing their homes. It's too late for me sadly, as of June 1, my family and I are without a place to call home as many of you may know (the story seems to be making rounds in the Elder Scrolls modding community), but I'm not going to let that impact my work with Druid. We are struggling, but determined, so we don't want our players to start planning Dreamtime's funeral any time soon; we are devoted to bringing our vision to life, no matter what challenges we face.

We hope you'll stick with us!

Excluding some of the really boring technical notes only we understand, this is a complete changelog for the next update, which will be Build 16. We ended up having to update the engine again to fix a couple engine level oddities but as usual it broke the game in a few places. We've stabilized it but want to run a couple tests before updating the depot here on EA, just to make sure we don't serve up some ugly engine bug! Here's a list of what you can look forward to!

  • New side quests, where you can learn more about the lore of Duan Rhod.
  • Overhauled User Interface.
  • Sky / Lighting improvements.
  • Post Processing improvements.
  • New creatures now roam the land.
  • Your journal now records your actions during quests.
  • Opened new “Characters” tab in the journal. This tab records the bio of every character you have met.
  • The forest has now crept back into the village.
  • The villagers have decided to spruce up the village with more stuff, making it look much more alive, even at night, with lanterns and torches lighting it up.
  • You will now be greeted by a Discovery prompt when you find notable locations in the world.
  • Explore an entirely new (WIP) dungeon down by the coast. But watch your footing!
  • Digging spots have been scattered around the world. Don't forget to bring a shovel!
  • Landscape improvements and additions to the entire playable area.
  • New locations for you to explore, and old ones have been improved.
  • The grass is always greener on the other side they say. Well, now you're on the other side!
  • Added more dialogue and cinematic sequences, and the current sequences looks and plays better.
  • New and improved animations.
  • Automatic detection of keyboard/gamepad.
  • Fixed the pop-in/out of objects on the path to the seer's tower.
  • The unbelievably huge lodgepole outside the abandoned shrine is now no more.
  • Tired of carrying a table on your back? Good news! The training shield has been reduced to a sensible size.
  • Lighting has been improved in caves and dungeons.
  • The Main Menu and CharGen scene is now brighter.
  • Rivers will no longer be invisible while you're underwater.
  • The current state of your gameworld will now be properly saved, even for future updates.
  • Material and texture fixes and improvements.
  • Level Streaming optimizations. There will be less hitching when the game loads in new content.
  • NavMesh optimizations. How and where NPCs and creatures walk is now more precise, as well as being less taxing on your CPU.
  • LOD optimizations. The LOD of a massive amount of objects have been optimized, both for better performance and greater looks.
  • Collision optimizations. Less floating, less sinking into objects, and more performance friendly collision.
  • Updated to Unreal Engine 4.16, bringing along great optimization and additional tools for us to use and you to enjoy.
  • Loads of bug fixes.

That's it for this progress report, but hope to be posting again soon with update news, keep checking back!
Witanlore: Dreamtime - Druid Gameworks

Hail Witanlore Fans! Wanted to post an update on how things are progressing just to keep everyone in the loop on what to expect next and what we're up to. We'll try to do these more frequently, to be honest the last few weeks have been a little crazy for the Druid team. ːsteamhappyː

Engine Update

For those who followed our progress through Greenlight you may recall that updating Unreal Engine 4 tends to cause some major growing pains for Dreamtime. The game's structure, to manage all the detailed levels of data, is quite complex and whenever the engine authors make major changes the impact tends to ripple outward for us. After our last update here we upgraded the engine to the latest version 4.15 to take advantage of improvements that would reduce some of the hitching and lag issues folks have encountered. It's taken some time to set everything right again, but we're hoping this will be the last engine update for Dreamtime. Unless some major engine level bug crops up requiring a patch or update in the future we plan to stick with 4.15 moving forward to prevent any more update delays.

Coming in the Next Update

We have a lot of new content coming out across the next two updates. We have added additional locations and discovery markers, we should see the skill system rolled in and functioning so you can level up your avatars, we also have map improvements, combat improvements, along with new lighting and effects, just to name a few.

The biggest update coming soon will roll in the Dreamworld stages of the main quest which doubles the size of the playable game. It's with the Dreamworld update that Dreamtime will see it's first price increase to $9.99 USD, so if you're thinking of picking up your copy, don't wait! Grab it at the low start price of $6.99 while it lasts!

We're also really excited to be rolling out Achievements, Badges, and Trading Cards with the next update for those of you who dig the Steam social scene and want to get your Witanlore on!

Upcoming Events

In the coming weeks Druid Gameworks will be running an IndieGoGo campaign to raise some support for the team and to gain some more exposure for the project. The current sales on Early Access have not been enough to cover basic development costs, let alone pay the developers and this has left several members of our team in quite dire financial straits. We need to invigorate the project budget enough to pay the developers a minimum wage to stave off student loans and mortgage lenders for the next 6 months. Several members of the team have already been forced to take part time jobs to pay bills, and that means fewer hands working on Dreamtime. Fewer hands means longer waits between updates too so hopefully we can find some new funding to help us get the game to completion on schedule!

How can you help?

Watch for our IndieGoGo announcement and consider buying your copy of the game through the campaign page! Or if you already have a copy of the game, pledge for one of our other tier rewards! If you can't afford to pledge you can still help by sharing our page links and helping us get the word out about how much fun Witanlore Dreamtime is! Help us keep the lights on long enough to get Dreamtime's core game completed and on the marketplace!

We'll make the announcement here when the campaign is live!

OrlandoiX 2017 is coming up at the end of the summer and we'll be returning! This time we'll be showcasing the core game so if you live in the Orlando area or plan to be in town that weekend stop by and say hey, meet members of the dev team, and pick up some swag you can only get from our event table!

That's it for this update! We should be updating next around the time of the IndieGoGo launch so keep following and checking back for news on new content. If you encounter bugs please keep reporting, those of you taking the time to hit the forums, your help has been invaluable. We love reading your comments and listening to your critiques and ideas to make Dreamtime the best she can be so please keep sharing!

If you have applied for a press key please be patient, we were quite flooded with requests and it's taking some time to vet and respond to all of them, but keys are coming!

Till Next Time, Happy Gaming!
Community Announcements - Druid Gameworks

With each update, the notes in this section will offer some need to know notes for the current build.
  • Optimization in WIP- We have improved frame rates in this build, however, you should not expect finished optimization yet. Proper optimizing tools are new to the latest engine build and we're still working to reverse optimize the game. Performance will continue to improve with every build.
  • Main Quest Incomplete-You will not be able to reach the Dreamworld yet, the MQ will end after the Dreaming Ritual chapter. This is due to finishing AI in the Dreamworld so progression will be available soon.
  • Existing Saves Will Break- We're working really hard to make sure save data doesn't break between updates, but in this first update to Build 15, saves are expected to break and will require players to start a New Game.
  • Control/Setting Oddities- We're in the process of remapping some of the controls so the schematics in the main menu have a couple keys that are out of date, we'll get them update by the next build. Some settings may also be displaying incorrectly but should be resolved by the next build.
  • Clothing Clipping- Due to an engine bug causing crashes we had to temporarily disable APEX cloth which may result in some clipping of clothing/cloth assets, this is temporary
  • Hitching/Lag- There is a hitching/lagging issue being caused by the engine's level streaming tech, this should resolve when Epic updates the engine to 4.15
  • Shadow Oddities- On higher shadow levels there may be some visual oddities, these will resolve with lighting tweaks in the next build

The current build for Early Access is EAC 0.0.15

  • Directional Lights CSM edits (Contact Shadow: 0.02, Dyn Dist: 8000, Dyn Num: 2).
  • Fix to Tuala Anim
  • Changed a thing in the main menu (save settings) trying to fix the loading bug Kevin reported
  • Level streaming fixes in Raghvale (distances is now back to 5K)
  • Removed a giant lodgepole from the outside of the Cave Ruin.
  • Improved the PPV transition for the Cave Ruin.
  • LOD improvements.
  • Detailing and improvements.
  • Probably fixed the crashes (set navigation data gathering mode back to instant).
  • Climbing workaround to resolve the cameral issue.
  • Bed and Chair updates
  • Temporary Orbit sky changes
  • Changed logo EA video
  • Bug fixes for vsync not working
  • Updated Character Bios
  • Improvements to Seer cinematics
  • Fix to Kitke cinematic
  • Raghvale detailing and fixes.
  • Optimized level loading in Raghvale.
  • Decreased the darkness level in the grotto.
  • Fixed weird texture glitch near Seer's hut
  • Edited more quest items & NPCS
  • Fixed distant cave entrances.
  • Dreamworld detailing, added POI.
  • Disabled debug messages
  • Improvements to Ganchi & Tuala cinematics
  • Changes to Ganchi game start Anim
  • Created Ganchi fishing pole bp
  • Lochak now gives player coin as promised in SQ08
  • Main Menu level detailing.
  • Detailing in the area between Raghvale and Vale of Dreamers.
  • Grotto optimizations.
  • Arapel optimizations and annoyance removed.
  • LOD and collision optimizations.
  • Tweaked the transparency on the book reader UI
  • Fixed some NPC names not showing
  • Updated generic anims for NPCs in village
  • Fixed (AGAIN) the wicket cinematics
  • Added cinematics for SQ07: A Boarfish Tale
  • Moved erroneous killbox.
  • More Tick optimizations for the bp_Player
  • Fixed saving and loading for actors with a shared guid
  • More changes to chargen sliders
  • Landscape optimization.
  • Fixes to books
  • Some WIP optimizations to do with Camera Management
  • Fixed the white sheet on screen + translucency problem of 3d widgets and any other translucency weird behaviors
  • New char gen Color HSW sliders
  • New big Map (WIP)
  • Opened the waterfall area in the Dreamworld start zone, detailing, polish.
  • Removed default sword from chargen inventory.
  • Fixed full screen bug
  • Main Menu Level optimizations.
  • Improved LOD and disabled collision on the bracket fungus.
  • Added a reflection capture to all village houses and towers
  • Collision and LOD optimizations.
  • Adjusted moon distance from world (it was behind the skybox).
  • NPCs should now show the quest icon next to their names when the player can talk to them on a quest stage (still WIP, doesn't work in every situation)
  • Disabled HeightFog in the Main Menu level.
  • LOD and texture optimization of smaller objects in the world.
  • Optimizations for the HUD
  • Added support for saving cross world data
  • Made sure player pawn is still spawned after a level transition
  • Made some adjustments to widgets to do correct level loading
  • Added a background to the CharGen in the Main Menu Scene.
  • Tishak no longer stirs a cooking pot over green grass.
  • Replaced the treehouse trees (and moved some houses slightly to fit the new trees).
  • Added temporary collision to the treehouse trees (complex, needs replacement).
  • Added Region_BPs to the towers and the Chieftain's Hut.
  • Changed default lvl start to mainmenu
  • Reduced Shield size
  • Fixed chargen stretched images
  • Added confirmation to quit game
  • Slight tweak to Orbit's Ambient Lighting.
  • Made it impossible to enter the Exile's Refuge from the east.
  • Added a path from the Warden's House to the east.
  • Made sure all cave PPVs are correct.
  • Added tattoos for all NPCs, & tweaked many appearances
  • Fixed the lodgepole missing material error.
  • NavMesh improvements and optimizations.
  • Improved positioning of ladders in the houses.
  • Added the low-detail ferns.
  • Added new star thistle meshes to quest bp
  • Reduced cloud speed by 2/3.
  • Tweaked the rock materials again.
  • Tuala now has her weapon again
  • Further optimization of the Culling Volume.
  • Set Day Length to 96.
  • Improved collision for the Treehouse Porches.
  • Optimized the far-off Landscape Collision.
  • Replaced all foliage fern with better-performing ones.
  • Render Performance Optimization.
  • Cleaned up more Material Override warnings.
  • Cleaned up the dungeons (hidden actors, wrong collisions, materials, etc.)
  • Added player actor to Lochak cinematic
  • Added pop
  • up message when player reaches current end of main quest in Early Access, and updated objectives to make it clear the dreamworld is not yet in EA
  • Fixed wicket sequences in training grounds
  • Renaming the discovery stingers, and replacing them with new versions (discover_location_cue)
  • Updated Totem Detection to also look for Unara, and DigSites but limited to Enemy detection only while we implement new skills.
  • Some tidying and optimization ABP_Blackclaw_Base.
  • Detailing on the coast.
  • General optimizations.
  • Changing music_explore overall volume
  • Changed some settings in skeletal meshes of npcs
  • Changed some tick stuff in aim bps
  • Additions, fixes to the main menu and settings save
  • Addition of the Star Thistle quest item
  • Various text & bug fixes
  • Fixed dialogue error in A Boarfish Tale
  • Updated quest map markers dt
  • Added fade in to Kit'ke village cinematic
  • Improvements to SQ09

Here is a list of some of the changes coming ahead in Build 16
  • Menu/UI System Updates
  • Map Updates
  • New Totem Functions
  • WIP Skill System
  • XP System
  • WIP Crafting System
  • Updates to Save/Load System
  • New Side Quest
  • Rabbits & Deer
  • Sky/Lighting Improvements

Community Announcements - Druid Gameworks

We've been receiving wide reports of crippled performance, freezing and CTDs. While we have kept optimization on our list of things we'd still like to improve on throughout EA, the issues being reported are beyond the scope of "bad optimization". We are tracking these issues as some sort of packaging/distribution level bug and we will be patching the game as soon as we find and repair the cause. We apologize to everyone who had an abysmal launch day so far, it's not the performance level we had stabilized pre-ship or we would not have shipped in this state. We hope you'll give us a chance to repair the current build and show you what we can do.

Thank You

Update 01/24
We have patched the FPS issue and are sending the patch for additional testing before uploading to Steam. We appreciate your patience. We are still tracking the cause of the CTD issues on start up. If your CTD occurs after the prologue, please try skipping the prologue with the ENTER key and see if that helps.

Update 01/28
Just checking in with everyone, we really appreciate the patience and support as we work on our first patch. Things are going quite well. We have managed to boost FPS quite a bit in testing, being a UE4 game it is going to be a challenge for older CPUs, but we'll give you as much optimizing as we can. Obviously it will be an ongoing process, but its our goal to optimize more with every build.

We're also adding a main menu scene that will allow players to change the game settings before running which should resolve many of the CTDs being reported.

This upcoming patch will be the planned Build 15 so it will include more than just patches for the Day 1 issues, including some additional questing, updated menus/UIs, additional settings, and more. We're aiming for a Tuesday 01/31 ship date for this patch/build but we'll continue to answer questions and update on the issues here.

Update 02/11
We are packaging and uploading the patch to Steamworks so you folks should have an update in your library very soon! ːsteamhappyː
Community Announcements - Druid Gameworks

As you get started into the world of Witanlore: Dreamtime there are a few notes we wanted to give our players out of the gate.
  • Optimization in WIP- Proper optimizing tools are new to the latest engine build and we're working to reverse optimize the game. Performance will improve with every build.
  • Main Quest Incomplete-You will not be able to reach the Dreamworld yet, the MQ will end after the Dreaming Ritual chapter. This is due to finishing AI in the Dreamworld so progression will be available soon.
  • Saves May Break- We're working really hard to make sure save data doesn't break between updates, but in the first update to Build 15, there may be a save break.
  • Control Schematic Oddities- We're in the process of rearranging some of the controls so the schematics in the main menu have a couple keys that are out of date, we'll get them update by the next build.

The current build for Early Access is EAC 0.0.14

We will attempt to update the EA version of the game every other week or so, on Tuesdays. The next build is EAC 0.0.15 and that is shipping to our testing group today to be released next week if stable. Here is a list of some of the changes ahead in build 15.
  • Menu/UI System Updates
  • Updated Nametags and Icons
  • Location Discovery Alerts
  • Expanded Coastal Area
  • Improved Water Sounds
  • Interior Music
  • Updated Save/Load System
  • New Side Quest
  • New Loot System


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