February 5, 2023
Ending 2022 with a BANG
As 2022 comes to an end, our mission continues to build a fun game that you’ll all love to play.
We are finishing the year strong with loaded updates on game development, exciting studio accomplishments, and some well-deserved holiday celebrations.
So fasten your seat belt as we blast off into another Ather Labs Development Update for November & December 2022.
- NOTABLE COMPANY MILESTONES
- THE 1ST ATHERVERSARY
- HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
- ATHER CUP TOURNAMENT
- COMPANY EVENTS
- GAME DEV UPDATES
- WE RELEASED OUR 2023 ROADMAP!
- INTERNAL WORK IN PROGRESS
- BUILDING FOR MOBILE
- NEW ENEMY MECHANICS
- GAME ECONOMY SIMULATION
- ZENDOR BOSS DESIGN
- ZENDOR BOSS ANIMATION
- BONE QUEEN DESIGN
- BONE QUEEN ANIMATION
- CHARACTER DESIGN
- WEAPON VISUAL EFFECTS
- WEAPON VISUAL EFFECTS
- WEAPON ELEMENTAL DESIGN
- ENEMY WEAPON VISUAL EFFECTS
- ICON DESIGN
- LEVEL DESIGN & BLOCKOUTS
- ENVIRONMENT DESIGN
- CUTSCENES & CINEMATICS
- CUTSCENES & CINEMATIC
- GAME INTERFACE
- ARE YOU READY?
- …but not without its flaws.
- GETTING READY TO CHARGE
- INCHES AWAY FROM PRE-ALPHA PLAYTEST
- GAME MARKETING
- DEVELOPMENT NOTES
- GENERAL STUDIO UPDATES
- BINANCE: DIGITAL CREATORS MEETUP
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY NEKO
- PHILIPPINE WEB3 FESTIVAL
- NEW WALLPAPER ENGINE
- LOVE FROM OUR COMMUNITY
- SIPHER X KOMETH PARTNERSHIP
- TABULA RASA: PART 1 RELEASE
- ATHER ID ACCOUNT: WEB-BASED VERSION
- ATHER PROFILE: WEB-BASED VERSION
- ATHER RECAP: WEB-BASED VERSION
- GAME BLOCKCHAIN INFRA: A UX 1ST APPROACH TO SCALING
- SIPHER EXCLUSIVE MERCH: READY TO SHIP
- MERCH IN DESIGN & PRODUCTION
- FINAL WORDS FROM OUR WORLD ARCHITECT
- FOUNDER’S NOTE
- ATHER LABS DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
- CHECK OUT OUR RECENT DEV UPDATES
NOTABLE COMPANY MILESTONES
THE 1ST ATHERVERSARY
#ATHERversary! Ather Labs is Officially 1 Year Old. Thank you for celebrating with us.
The holiday spirit is in full effect all around the office.
Team members enjoying the Secret Santa gift exchange!
ATHER CUP TOURNAMENT
We hosted the Ather Cup Tournament, featuring popular games and of course our own game, Sipher Odyssey.
This helped in bonding as a team and provided valuable feedback for improving the game.
We prioritize meaningful events and employee well-being by organizing initiatives that promote healthy living and work-life integration.
GAME DEV UPDATES
WE RELEASED OUR 2023 ROADMAP!
INTERNAL WORK IN PROGRESS
BUILDING FOR MOBILE
NEW ENEMY MECHANICS
GAME ECONOMY SIMULATION
Working on models for the in-game economy.
We use Machination and other tools to build models and run simulations of theoretical models. Then we run the model with each possible scenario in the game.
Theorizing and creating mental models for how to calculate and control the [REDACTED] currency in-game to control [REDACTED] deflation and inflation pressures.
ZENDOR BOSS DESIGN
Designing memorable & challenging bosses for a video game is a demanding task, as they typically require a high level of detail and a unique style to stand out from other enemies in the game.
They also require mechanics that are novel and force players to think tactically about their actions and gear of choice.
It's important to make the boss visually distinct, so players can easily identify it and understand its strengths and weaknesses.
Here is a sneak peek of one of the Bosses in Zendor, the world dominated by Earth & Fire elements.
This is another boss that the players will encounter.
Tough, relentless, and one hell of a ride are what players can expect from this armored mobile tank of destruction.
He also has a few ‘nasty tricks’ up his…you know what.
ZENDOR BOSS ANIMATION
The boss will feature various hard-hitting, close-range attack combos with long-range traps to keep players on their toes and make the battle more challenging.
By combining the characteristics of these two characters, we were able to generate a wide range of attack combos…
… that are both visually impressive and full of surprises. They are a challenge for players to overcome.
BONE QUEEN DESIGN
This is a concept design for another one of our bosses.
The appearance is menacing and fearsome, with an emphasis on sharp, thorn-like features to convey danger and mystique.
This boss has two forms, each with a different design and distinct visual elements that change throughout the battle, reflecting different phases of the fight.
BONE QUEEN ANIMATION
Designing boss characters is a complex task. One of the most important aspects is creating a diverse set of attack animations that make the boss appear mysterious, powerful, domineering, and overwhelming.
We put a lot of effort into breathing life into the animations for this character, making it stand out.
From quick, agile movements to slow, crushing blows, the character's attack animations are designed to test players' skills and reflexes.
Overall, the combination of visual design and mechanics is crucial to creating a memorable and challenging boss character.
Creating visual effects for characters in a video game is an important aspect of game development.
WEAPON VISUAL EFFECTS
Who doesn’t love candy? Holiday-themed weapon designs bring a unique and festive touch to our gear.
Collection connoisseurs will find themselves hunting for these awesome weapons not only for their looks but also for their ‘teeth-melting’ firepower.
And so many weapon variations for our players to discover are in progress!
We are in the process of designing unique weapon skins that are based on the unique characters of the story.
These skins will not only change the appearance of the weapon but also have gameplay traits and boosts that are different from other weapons in the game.
This will create multiple layers of gameplay customization and personalization for players, making their characters stand out.
These legendaries are hard to find, as they remain the lost legends that only the bravest and most daring adventurers can acquire.
WEAPON VISUAL EFFECTS
VFX plays an important role in the readability of the gameplay.
These effects can include things like particle systems, lighting, and special animations.
The rarer the weapon, the more kick-ass their VFX will look to the player and their envious teammates!
Here's another sneak peek of concept art treatments for different elemental affinities on weapons and VFX design.
WEAPON ELEMENTAL DESIGN
Combining different elements or factors in designing a weapon for further personalization.
ENEMY WEAPON VISUAL EFFECTS
A slightly cute-looking enemy variant and it's signature weapons. As natives of the World of Sera, they are a plant-like species that inhabit a large domain of this world.
Don’t be fooled by their looks, their looks can kill.
Which one do you like most?
We’re making a lot of improvements in designing icons for Sipher Odyssey.
The goal is to achieve readability in small screen space (as we are building with mobile-first in mind).
With only 24px x 24px worth of space, we want to keep the main elements outstanding and easily distinguishable.
Working on variations in designs of [REDACTED]
LEVEL DESIGN & BLOCKOUTS
A new world is under 3D block out & conceptual development.
People say Game Devs do the hard work.
That is not true when we have an army of auto-droids crafting the world of Sipher Odyssey 24/7.
Now if they could only integrate with ChatGPT….
CUTSCENES & CINEMATICS
Let’s enjoy some of our WIP previz of a special in-game cutscene.
Get ready for this epic encounter!
CUTSCENES & CINEMATIC
Our rare Cosmic Inu is ready to master the universe and waltz into battle!
Hack n slash until the job is done!
Spiderlings having a disco party!
Someone is angry now…
A mobile content delivery plan is important, as a large initial download size will detract players.
A robust DLC system that manages and splits different content packs into smaller download chunks will provide a superior player experience.
Here’s a preview of our Map Selection screen, where players can navigate the vast world of Sipheria and its various challenges and difficulties.
Mocking out the content selection screen for the different game modes that we have planned in our product roadmap.
Improvements on boost selections to achieve visual clarity, delivering just the right information without overwhelming players.
In-game UI: Character progression flow, where you empower your surrogates for even more challenging battles.
Preview of the in-game UI designs: Friends List, Party Invites, and other elements.
All the above Game Interface assets are works in progress.
ARE YOU READY?
Expect more seamless multiplayer gameplay as well as significantly improved graphics and visual effects.
These clips are from the Ather Cup Tournament!
…but not without its flaws.
INTERNAL RELEASE NOTES (NOV-DEC 2022)
- New in-house boost and status effect system with support for Skill Boosts.
- Improved encounter system with elite enemy spawning and enemy difficulty scaling.
- Re-balanced enemy encounter to support difficulty scaling as well as multiplayer difficulty scaling.
- New enemy modular system, enemies are now built from modular pieces allowing for more enemy creations.
- New enemy mechanic: Homing missiles.
- New FTUE (First-time User Experience) levels as gameplay tutorial.
- New Trap system, Game designers can now create more traps freely without engineering effort.
- Mobile port with new UI and control designed for mobile devices.
- New and more In-game sound FX and music.
KNOWN BUGS & ISSUES
- Can't deal range damage to some enemies if the player stands too close to them
- The game loses connection with the server when the player moves to certain levels
- When the player plays for a while on certain devices, the game will lose connection with the server
- The game gets stuck after opening and closing the menu section
- Performance is unstable on some mobile devices. The device heats up more than acceptable.
GETTING READY TO CHARGE
INCHES AWAY FROM PRE-ALPHA PLAYTEST
Our Pre-Alpha Playtest is right around the corner, and we couldn't be more excited.
Keep an eye on our official Social Channels for the most up-to-date information on when and how you can participate in our Pre-Alpha Playtest very shortly!
Let’s take a look at our previous content on social media!
Follow us on social media channels and engage with us!
Dear Sipher Odyssey players,
As you may know, we are developing a very ambitious mobile game. We are facing several challenges that must be addressed to ensure the successful launch of our game.
Firstly, we are working to optimize the game for a wide range of devices and operating systems, which can be a complex task. This requires extensive testing and careful consideration of the different technical specifications of various devices.
Secondly, we are working to create a game that is engaging and enjoyable for players, but also monetizable, which can be challenging to balance. We are exploring different monetization strategies, such as in-app purchases, subscription models, and ad-based revenue, while also ensuring that they do not negatively impact the player experience.
Thirdly, we are also working on making our game easily accessible and user-friendly, while providing a high level of replayability and keeping the players engaged for a long time to come. Easy to pick up, and hard to master is our motto.
Lastly, just like all others, we face challenges related to team management and coordination, as we have a large team of developers, artists, designers, and other professionals working on the game. This requires clear communication and effective project management to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.
Overall, while these challenges are significant, we are confident that with careful planning and execution, we will be able to overcome them and launch a game that you, our dear supporters, and players will enjoy.
GENERAL STUDIO UPDATES
BINANCE: DIGITAL CREATORS MEETUP
We attended Binance’s Digital Creators Meet-up and received much positive feedback from Binance Vietnam. This also inspired us for future partnerships and development.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY NEKO
We learned a lot from INU. Now watch the video on the right and see what was improved to design NEKO.
PHILIPPINE WEB3 FESTIVAL
We attended the Philippine Web3 Festival to experience the adoption of Blockchain and Web3.
What a fantastic event!
NEW WALLPAPER ENGINE
Our community celebrated the holidays with us by spreading joy and cheer with our new Wallpaper Tool.
LOVE FROM OUR COMMUNITY
SIPHER X KOMETH PARTNERSHIP
Our partnership with Kometh resulted in the release of 7 Sipherian Tales issues to date!
TABULA RASA: PART 1 RELEASE
The latest issue, Tabula Rasa Part 1 for Sipher Comics. This is the 7th Sipherian Tales issue so far.
ATHER ID ACCOUNT: WEB-BASED VERSION
ATHER ID ACCOUNT - Easy access to the web3 space for everyone! Combining the ease of Web2 UX like Social Logins & Account Recovery
The mobile version will be packed & released in 2023 in tandem with the game launch.
ATHER PROFILE: WEB-BASED VERSION
With ATHER PROFILE, Users can check their Web2 & Web3 inventory, portfolio stats & achievements, and easily showcase them to the world.
ATHER RECAP: WEB-BASED VERSION
#ATHERWRAP2022 recaps users' journey and their achievements within the Ather Ecosystem in 2022
GAME BLOCKCHAIN INFRA: A UX 1ST APPROACH TO SCALING
OUR DESIGN aims to innovate & bridge the gap between the Web2 & Web3 Games. Allowing for a seamless User Experience that is extremely important and is severely lacking in Web3 native games.
We built the first version of this and are working on testing and integrating it with our sample data sets and EVM-compatible blockchains like Ethereum and Polygon.
SIPHER EXCLUSIVE MERCH: READY TO SHIP
SIPHER EXCLUSIVE SCULPTURES (INU & NEKO) - Batch 3 with improvements on packaging & safety.
MERCH IN DESIGN & PRODUCTION
The ATHER OFFICIAL MERCH SHOP is on the way!
Get ready for fashion-forward styles that will elevate your wardrobe.
Limited Merchandise including exclusive holder-only merch.
FINAL WORDS FROM OUR WORLD ARCHITECT
We continue building amidst challenges. Our team is working hard, pulling late nights and well into the weekends. We’ve become quite comfortable with UE multiplayer networking and achieved good latency which is essential for our game.
As our Product Director mentioned earlier, mobile is key. For us, 30FPS on mid-end devices and 60FPS on high-end devices while preserving batteries and visual fidelity is what we are aiming to achieve at a minimum. This means hard work and lots of effort from both artists and gameplay engineers.
I personally try to ensure a balance between different monetization and pricing strategies along with a deep and replayable, expandable game economy, to ensure that our game is financially successful while keeping player experience at the forefront.
We know that you, our supporters, and fans are eager to get their hands on the game, and we want to assure you that we are working hard to meet that goal. As a collective team, we are making steady progress towards our milestones, while constantly testing and refining to make sure that it meets the high standards that we set for ourselves.
Internally, I focus my efforts on personnel management and allocation, as we have a large team working at the studio. Effective project management is key to ensuring that everyone is working towards the same goals are my top priorities day to day. The little time I have leftover, I spend it inside the Engine with the team, discussing & crafting game content, and tweaking level designs to ideate with the designers.
2023 will be a tough and challenging year for all of us in the game industry. I believe in our ability to overcome these challenges and deliver a game that you, our supporters, and our fans will be excited to play. We can't wait to share more details about the game with you in the next development update.
I want to thank you for your continued support. Wish you all a great 2023 and a happy lunar new year!
Thank you for reading this edition of our bi-monthly
ATHER LABS DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
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CHECK OUT OUR RECENT DEV UPDATES
March & April 2023 Dev Update
The Soft Launch of Sipher Odyssey is getting closer and closer, and we continue to work around the clock to reach this major milestone. Get ready for an action-packed Development Update as we share our progress for the months of March and April 2023. Enjoy!
All Hands On Deck
2023 is escalating quickly as we gear up for the upcoming Soft Launch of Sipher Odyssey. We’re excited to share our progress with you & showcase all the hard work of our team. Enjoy!
Sep & Oct 2022 Dev Update
Check out all the latest updates on company achievements, products launched, and major game design & development updates for SIPHER ODYSSEY. Enjoy!