Looking Ahead: Introducing the City Refresh!

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The city is undergoing a transition. Citizens of your keep have been requesting change and petitioning their lord to improve their infrastructure. Over the last couple of months, your maesters and builders have worked hard to keep up with your denizens’ requests.

As construction ends, you and your citizens look across the horizon and see what your Keep has become. What transformations are sure to come next?

A City Revisited

City Refresh will be an update coming to Game of Thrones: Conquest which will provide a fresh visual overhaul to the in-game city scene! It will be built from the ground up with the following goals in mind:

  • Welcome players with compelling visuals and deliver on the promise of playing in Westeros
  • Reduce load times and improve performance
  • Open support for future feature expansion
  • Provide a free quality-of-life update meant entirely for you, the players!

Let’s take a deeper look into how we’re aiming at achieving each goal!

Brand New Visuals

Once City Refresh goes live, you’ll notice an immediate improvement to visual fidelity when the city is converted into 3D! As opposed to 2D art, 3D models will make buildings and characters feel more “grounded” in the world and help them maintain a consistent perspective and architecture. Moving into this new space also means new dynamic lightning effects which we will talk more about a bit later.

Additionally, as we had the opportunity to rebuild the city’s visuals, one of our main goals was to ensure that the city felt more inclusive and diversity was well represented throughout your city’s inhabitants. This will be achieved through the use of a wide variety of skin, hair, and clothing colors. We’ve also touched upon different demographics such as age, gender, disabilities, and occupation!

Technical Impact

Switching to a 3D scene will have a lot of technical implications, but mainly, it will help improve overall load times and stability! The use of Modular Build Kits will reduce the amount of unique data that is being loaded into the city. Imagine all of the unique art we use to generate different tiers for the same building. With 3D art, modular pieces can simply be added onto existing buildings. Less things in memory means less time to load!

Feature Expansion

With our 2D city, there’s little to no room for expansion as there are a few challenges we’re currently facing:

  • Scant room is left to cram in new buildings without destroying existing art
  • Existing resource buildings need to be deconstructed before new ones can be built
  • New buildings induce large data footprints and increase load times

A 3D city not only looks great, but will also address all of the issues listed above. We’ll have the flexibility to adjust and reposition the landscape when new features and buildings are introduced. Moreover, this future-proofs our city and allows us to create new in-game opportunities such as seasonal event lighting and building animations. The possibilities are endless!

Check out the following examples on how various lighting effects can change the whole mood of the city!

A Thank You To Our Players

Last, but not least, the City Refresh update is a thank you to you, our most beloved and loyal players. We wanted to deliver on some highly requested quality-of-life improvements while giving everyone a fresh look into Westeros. We’re excited to see what the future city scene will bring as this is only the beginning.

And not to worry! We’re not taking any development time away from other high priority areas such as bug fixing, kingdom merging, or Battlegrounds. This work is being done almost entirely by our Art disciplines as an appreciation for the Game of Thrones: Conquest community.

Again, we thank you and we hope to share more information as we get further into the process. Stay tuned!

Discord Stage

Did you miss our Discord Stage live show where we interviewed Retro and Chaos from the Art Team? No worries. We have the full recording here!

We want to know what you think!

Are you excited for what the City Refresh will bring? Head on over to the #game-discussion channel and let us know your thoughts!