Development Update December

December Development Log

As we approach the end of 2023, let’s reflect on Pixelmon’s incredible journey this year!  We’ll be featuring a Pixelmon 2023 rewind in our upcoming January article, which will highlight  Pixelmon’s achievements throughout the year, plus offer a sneak peek into what lies ahead for 2024. 

From the launch of our Mid-core and casual games, starting with, to the highly anticipated $Mon, there's plenty to look forward to in 2024. Make sure to stay tuned to our Discord, follow us on X, and sign up for our newsletter on our website to stay in the loop for all the exciting updates and news. 

2024 Sneak Peak:

Pixelpals: A Glimpse into the World of Casual Gaming

Kicking off 2024 with a bang, Pixelpals is set to become our first casual game of the year. We've already launched its dedicated Twitter page, where you can follow for the latest updates and teasers. 

Built on the robust foundation of 0xMantle, Pixelpals is a pet habitat and management trading card game that promises to captivate your imagination. It will continuously evolve with new seasons, introducing more Pixelmon species and fresh gameplay experiences, backed by big rewards within our ecosystem. Keep a close eye on both our X and Discord channels as we unveil more information about this launch.

December has also been a month full of developments, which we’ll delve into below.

AMA with CEO Giulio: Insights from the Top

On December 14th, we had the privilege of hosting an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with our CEO, Giulio. This candid and informative conversation touched on various aspects of Pixelmon's journey and future plans. If you missed it, you can listen to the AMA here

AMA key takeaways:

  • $MON: Our fungible token, $MON, is nearing its launch stage and we're taking the necessary time to ensure a flawless execution.
  • Kevin the Adventurer: Despite being a project with the shortest development time (just 6 weeks), Kevin the Adventurer (KTA) provided invaluable insights into performance marketing channels and analytic backends.
  • Arena: Development has been ongoing for a year, with a unique approach to PvE gameplay inspired by games like One Piece: Pirate Warriors and Dynasty Warriors. We're exploring new horizons for monetisation and enhancing the premium gameplay experience without making it pay-to-win.
  • Hunting Grounds: Our non-commercial (open beta) release is scheduled for 2024, followed by a commercial release on app stores in early 2025. The game offers 3 distinct modes: combat, social hub/metaverse, and exploration.
  • Pixel Pals: Our second hypercasual game, Pixel Pals, is gearing up for a marketing blitz and release within the next 4-6 weeks. With pet and habitat management gameplay blended with trading card mechanics, Pixel Pals will introduce 40 cards initially, with plans for expansion in future seasons.
  • Token vs. Right of Game: We discussed the role of our fungible token, $MON, and Right of Game (RoG) in the project. While RoG represents fractionalised creature-specific IP, $MON serves as a fungible currency for the game. $MON may also play a role in royalty distribution.
  • Evolution 3 (E3): E3's art is near completion, and we're collecting feedback from focus groups to add the final touches. Expect the launch in late Q1 or early Q2.
  • Party Quest: With 95% of E2s staked and nearly 2000 tier 5 parties, the probability of winning serums is increasing, with official announcements on distribution coming soon.
  • Anime/Transmedia: We highlighted our focus on transmedia, leveraging different media assets to spread the Pixelmon universe and lower marketing costs. An anime is in the works, with YouTube distribution being a primary focus for global reach.

Hunting Grounds: A Deep Dive into Gameplay Evolution

In November and December, our team had a renewed focus on the game's main combat. The primary goal was to ensure that players feel a sense of intelligence and strategic prowess as they engage in auto battles. A key highlight was enabling the realisation of players' pre-planned strategies coming to fruition on the battlefield, providing a gratifying sense of accomplishment. 

We delved into the intricacies of auto-battle mechanics, refining and optimising them. We wanted to create a system where players could witness their strategic foresight paying off, reaffirming their decision-making abilities within the game.  We didn't neglect the Adventure part of the gameplay feature and introduced some new elements. 

December Game Development Summary:

Game Design:

  • Integrating danger into the Hunting Ground.
  • Experimenting with Super Predators NPC.
  • Introducing new ambush mechanics.
  • Implementing a new feature called the Apex predators
  • Expanding danger beyond ambushes throughout Hunting Grounds.
  • Engaging in prototyping with mock A/B versions of exploration.
  • Improving traversal mechanics.
  • Improving user controls on mobile.
  • Experimenting with procedural generation of environments.

Combat Improvements:

  • Tweaking and balancing parameters and speeds.
  • Developing an ability system allowing customisation of pixelmon abilities.
  • Implementing a shared rig system for pixelmon for production optimization.
  • Tweaking base values to match tank, DPS, and support classes.
  • Experimenting with new pixelmon abilities.
  • Testing team compositions and interactions during combat.
  • Improving combat readability.
  • Adding elemental multiplier for element-based damage.

Level Design:

  • Collaborating with the combat team to explore grid positioning and its impact on combat gameplay.
  • Introducing level obstacles affecting combat gameplay.
  • Creating new pockets of gameplay

Concept Art:

  • Updating pixelmons.
  • Designing trainer gear, NPCs, social hub interiors, banner customisation, and level overpaints.
  • Continuing pixelmon concepts.
  • Developing fire biome concepts and social hub interiors.

Character Art:

  • Continued reworking in-game pixelmon EV1 and Ev2s.

Environment Art:

  • Optimising and cleaning up assets.
  • Benchmarking materials and texture quality.
  • Collaborating with level design on pocket dressing.
  • Completing assets for a beautiful corner of two savanna regions and a fire biome.

Technical Art:

  • Worked on Clearview shaders for fire/lava, ice, and water.
  • Handled trainer blending and animations.
  • Set up animations for new abilities
  • Conducting lighting work and bug fixing.

Animation & Rigging:

  • Implementing new female trainer animations.
  • Continued rigging for Pixelmon and Pixelmon animations.
  • Developing trainer animation assets.

Game UI:

  • Creating placeholder icons for consumables and 12 abilities.

Arena Progress Report: Since our announcement that the Arena would adopt a survival-based horde gameplay, we've been hard at work revamping the game's design and developing new features to elevate gameplay.

Recent progress includes:

Game Design:

  • Developed a core game loop: Explore different level challenges, discover unique character skills, fight to survive enemy waves, obtain collectibles successfully, or lose it all if a player dies.
  • Revamped Pixelmon abilities: Enhanced some existing abilities and introduced new abilities that aligned better with a Pixelmon’s anatomy and individual lore.

Combat Mechanics:

  • Overhauled player combat: Inclusion of combo attack mechanics to diversify beyond character specific abilities.
  • Redesigned enemy system: Developed a basic responsive behavioural system where enemies can detect and react accordingly to a player character.

Level Design:

  • Experimented with various level layouts and composition.
  • Tested a rudimentary modular room generation system.
  • Defined level progression objectives and difficulty level.s

Progression & Upgrades System:

  • Designed a character skills upgrade system to enhance character capabilities as player’s progress through the game.
  • Drafted an accessory system.

Character Animation:

  • Drafted animation of various planned character attacks.

As we gear up for 2024, the Pixelmon team is also growing to support upcoming development phases for the Arena. We look forward to unveiling more progress in the new year as we focus on implementing designed game features and mechanics.

 As we wrap up this year, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to our incredible community for your unwavering support and enthusiasm. Stay tuned for our January update, where we'll delve into the achievements of 2023 and reveal more exciting prospects for 2024. We appreciate the continued support and encourage everyone to follow us on X and join our Discord for the latest news and developments.

Happy New Year!