Updates

The latest news surrounding Identity's development.

Below you will find the latest announcements from the Identity team, showing off progress and discussing important events.

Dev Blog #007 - Advertising
Wow, what a month. It's been busy here at Asylum as usual, so let's get down to the interesting stuff!

As expected, our current focus is on the Town Square so that we can get it out to you as soon as possible. We're finalising the interior of the library and art gallery (shared within one building) and adding polish to the environment. Once the clothing store interior is complete following that, the Town Square environment is ready to go. We'll continuously be adding more art after release though; specifically for house furnishings, decorations and clothing.

In addition to the environment art, Miroslav (character artist) has been creating all sorts of hair assets which allow us to show hair appropriately when wearing a hat or helmet. This is a big task for him as it means making variations to match the hat options for each length of hair, but in the end it'll ensure your hair always looks as you'd expect when wearing headgear.

Hair under a hat; work in progressRight next to the clothing shop you'll find a bicycle store where you can get a sneak preview of some of the bikes you'll be able to ride around in the full Identity release. We showed you a bicycle work in progress last blog post and now you can see the finished result of that below. This image will give you a rough idea of the detail level you'll see in Identity's vehicles.

Ridable bicycleWith more final systems coming online for the Town Square release, we now have functioning phones. Each player will start with a cellphone, although you'll be able to upgrade it with three mobile OS options available. The phone OS' each have a unique and interesting style. Characters also have a designated phone number assigned when they're created; you'll be able to get a custom number for a fee. These phones work just as you'd expect. You're able to dial up another player and speak with voice remotely. Businesses can even get a business line which, when called, will contact a member of that corporation who's online.

 

Shot from an internal system test: advertising 

While the art of the billboard above isn't final, it gives you a very good idea of what you can expect in Identity for advertising. That's right, you can really publish messages around the world through billboards and other means.

Corporations and those running for government office can purchase billboard space to help get their message out. You'll select a graphical template from a large list of options and then attach a brief message or other customization to make it your own. These billboards can also be moderated by the server operators.

There are other similar advertising systems, too. For example digital road signs can be made to show custom messages by the current government.

We can't wait to show you more of Identity, and we'll soon have that opportunity with the release of an overhauled website. Those current pledge packages are about to go away forever, and some of the rewards won't be available for purchase again after the new website changes.

Also, follow us on our Twitch channel if you'd like to stop in and ask questions of the developers. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday you'll find a few developers playing a random game from 4pm EST to 5pm EST. Ask any questions and they'll be happy to answer on stream. Catch some of Identity's developers hard at work and see how they make the magic happen: we'll be providing development streaming dates and times on Twitter, soon!

-- John VanderZwet
Dev Blog #006 - A Dynamic Environment
Identity's development has been moving at a pace we've never experienced in the past. With added full-time programming and art talent, we've been able to produce more content in a shorter time than expected.

With all of the base features of Town Square in place, we've now been building up the supporting systems; the menu interfaces, server selection systems, character creation and more are well underway now. You'll get a good preview of the character customization soon!

Ridable bicycle; work in progressSome exciting progress is also being seen beyond the Town Square! Our vehicle systems are starting to get fleshed out. We found the integrated Unreal Engine vehicle subsystems to be inadequate for the realism and fidelity we seek, so Identity will run on an entirely rebuilt vehicle physics engine. With this you can expect extremely realistic handling of bicycles, cars, vans, motorcycles, semi-trucks and more.

We've got the TwitchGame development is an exciting career that many gamers aspire for. Just a couple of weeks ago we had test run streaming our development live on Twitch. In our first stream, our character artist Miroslav added different eyebrow varieties to Identity character head models. These are some of the eyebrow options you'll be able to choose when creating your characters; get an inside look at the work which goes into even a small detail as this.

While the task Miroslav had at the time might not have been the most exciting, we're in the process of setting up a schedule for very regular streams from a variety of development departments. Keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for stream time announcements.

Click the preview below to watch the recorded stream. It runs at just under an hour in duration.

Identity's first Dev Stream: Miroslav's EyebrowsYou can find our Twitch channel at Twitch.tv/IdentityRPG. Follow us there to get notified when an Identity developer starts streaming!

Path to the Town Square

Town Square early revision; work in progressA lot of Town Square work has been accomplished since the last dev blog! From interface to animations and more feature polish, the Town Square is shaping up into a genuinely interesting social environment. We've been making everything we can in the environment interactive. If it looks like it would have some sort of purpose in reality, we're making it useful (or at least entertaining) in Identity, too! Grab a newspaper for the latest happenings, toss a coin into the fountain or grab a can of soda from the machine.

Visual dynamics have been added as well. Simple things bring immersion to the environment. The clocks on buildings and towers show the real in-game time, the cinema marquee sign shows the movies playing with real times (which can be adjusted by owners of community servers in retail Identity) and more. We're making the Identity environment, and thus that in Town Square, feel alive and interactive.



A hotel lobby at night-- John VanderZwet
Dev Blog #005 - An Expanding World
DATE POSTED: March 24th, 2017Big changes for a bigger world!



What a crazy time for the Identity development team over here at Asylum! We've been running all over the place for conferences and expos this month, including both GDC and PAX East, where we met all sorts of new talent and potential technology partners. We've unfortunately had to push back the release of the Town Square module from our original Q1 2017 release with all of the big developments here, but most systems are in place and it's not far off!

The biggest and most exciting news we're officially announcing today is a new partnership with Improbable, the creators of SpatialOS! The Identity team has been testing the waters with SpatialOS for a couple of months now and we're incredibly excited about what it's going to mean for Identity. Identity can now be what we all hoped it would be, a true MMORPG in scale.

SpatialOS is going to power Identity behind the scenes, allowing absolutely enormous scale for our world and the people playing in it. While we had originally hoped to be able to get 300 people into our servers with decent performance, with just a tiny bit more effort we're going to be able to expand that as far as the game needs. Instead of 300 players in a single server, we could now potentially have thousands. The size of our servers are now going to be set based on what we feel is ideal for a fun and immersive environment and we're not limited technically like we were expecting in the past.

It opens more doors than simply the number of players on a server, too. With these changes we can now afford to have a more dynamic and interactive world. We've gained some freedom in manipulating the world and we can create features which we never imagined possible in a game of Identity's scale.

This is all extremely exciting for the team. This technology is a scope-changer and Identity is going to be far better for it. Not only will our world grow, not only will the population be denser, but you'll even be able to leave your mark in many new ways.

Development charging forward 

Concept art for Town Square art gallery and library, featuring player contentWe're working and expanding at an incredible rate. All key gameplay features for Town Square are now functional as we add polish and work to support SpatialOS in Identity.

The development team has expanded with terrific new talent: Antoine joins Identity's 3D art team, Cody comes on board as a new systems and gameplay programmer and Liam comes in as our first dedicated web developer. Antoine and Cody both bring experience in their field to hasten development for Town Square and Identity as a whole. Liam's talents mean exciting new features on our website will be popping up soon. We've had plenty planned for our website for some time but haven't had the resources to bring these to you, until now.
Dev Blog #004 - A Friendlier Place
What a crazy several weeks since the last dev blog post! The increased exposure and attention from the apartment video has resulted in a surge of additional funding for Identity, which has translated into an expanded team with two new full-time developers coming on board and more to join soon.

Work has been going very well. Motown, your community manager, has started transitioning into the role of producer to help manage our expanding team. This has helped to reduce some of the work-load on myself so it's been a very welcome change and he's proving to be great for the role.

Our lead character artist, Miroslav, has been hard at work on numerous enhancements including building our makeup and blemish systems. This will give us the freedom to add all kinds of makeup options, especially for females but also for men. Your options at character creation will be a bit limited, but a vanity table will let you customize your makeup much further. Blemishes allow us to modify the skin in a whole lot of ways, from just a little blush on the cheeks to full-body freckles and more.



Miroslav has also done an excellent job expanding eye customization for your characters which won't just tint the color of the iris but change its entire pattern to properly match the styles seen in those eyes in reality. He's also expanded our options for hair and facial hair.

Feature development has also been going quickly and smoothly. Among others, we've built the contacts and friends systems which will be available in the Town Square module. When you meet people in the world you'll be able to exchange contact information, adding their number and name to your phone. This then acts like a friends list in other games, but you can even text or phone them with real working voice systems. It's also integrated with your Steam friends to make finding them easier.

Environment art is also moving along, with several artists working full-time to give you beautiful environments. We've hired on some more artists and are even reworking some of the earlier assets we produced to bring the up to our now higher standards.



Identity YouTube channel PowerGaming7 had the chance to speak with myself and Motown for a while after asking his viewers for a bunch of questions to ask. The result was an almost one hour long video where we shared all sorts of information you may not have heard before. You can find the link to this video right here.



Once again, I want to thank every one of you for your continued support! Every pledge that comes in goes straight into the development of new features and helps us get the game to you a little bit faster. The attention we've seen over the last couple of months has been staggering, and we are excited to show you more of the gameplay soon!
Dev Blog #003 - This Month at Asylum
It's been a busy, eventful and productive month for the Identity team at Asylum! Only a few weeks ago we released our first video showing real in-game content, the player housing system, and Identity has gotten a good bit of much-needed exposure! If you haven't seen the video, visit Identity's YouTube channel.

Our programmers, especially Henrik Sonesson, have upgraded our inventory mechanics and created two new important gameplay systems these last weeks. The library which you'll have access to in the Town Square module is now in place and functional. Players can both read public domain classic books in-game, or even write their own and submit them to the library for other players to read.

In addition, the NPC shop systems are now in place. When you enter most shops you'll be able to find the items you need on racks or displays around the store. Grab what it is you're looking for and then make your way to the cash register to make the purchase. In some places you can preview the items you're holding even before buying; for example, in a clothing store you can go into a change room. This system even allows for shoplifting some items, although player-crafted or very expensive items cannot be shoplifted on official servers.

On the art front, we've brought on new artists and are continuing to build the world you'll be exploring. We've also been focusing on the interiors of buildings and characters. We've gotten our first facial hair assets and are approaching a complete character customization system. An overhaul of character skin and hair has Identity's characters looking incredibly life-like in comparison to other MMORPGs. Next on that list for a re-work is the eyes.

Identity Insider #2 - Housing
Yesterday afternoon, for another Identity Insider, we've released a video detailing the workings of player housing in Identity and what it has to offer at our present point in development. This gives you a good idea of the level of fidelity we're going for in all of our key systems, and more videos will follow as we continue. Housing was chosen for our first video as our initial focus in development is for features present in the upcoming Town Square module.



If you haven't already seen the video, check it out above.

Housing as you've seen in the video is an excellent place to hang out with friends, but it has a lot of good practical uses, too! First, housing is the primary storage location for items you've collected. Whether it's a bookshelf full of books, a gun-rack with wall-mounted guns, or a crate full of junk, it's sort of like a bank for tangible stuff.

Housing is also valuable for moderate crafting, too. Some advanced recipes might require a factory, but a lot of stuff can be created at your home using special crafting tables. A hydroponics table can even be used to grow small-scale plants, legal or otherwise!
Identity Insider #1 - Corporations
Today we publish the first Identity Insider update, bringing you detailed information about key systems in Identity.

Our website has expanded with a small page detailing corporations and their classes, also available below:

 Corporations in IdentityYou've made a lot of cash working odd jobs, or maybe even the odd less-than-legal task; now that you've had a taste of success, it's time to forge an empire.

Corporations will allow the successful with a little extra cash to become driving forces in Identity's dynamic economy. Corporations are organizations similar to, but separate from, gangs and other social structures. They have the added ability of owning assets and issuing work orders to their real-player employees. Some assets, such as the largest cargo trucks, are available only to corporations.

Once formed, the corporation is assigned a telephone number for public contact and the director (owner) can build a logo using an in-game design tool. It's then time to hire a staff and get to work.

Classes of Corporations

DeliveryDelivery corporations can buy large vehicles for big hauls, vehicles not available to the general public. While any player can deliver goods in vehicles such as vans, to get the big-bucks you'll need to join a corporation.LegalLet's face it, crimes happen and criminals are going to be arrested. They'll need someone on the outside to convince the jury that they did nothing wrong. This is where legal corporations come into play, and their services aren't always cheap.TransportationPeople need to get from point A to point B and they don't always have the means to do that themselves. Transportation corporations own special vehicle assets including taxis and more, helping those in need get where they need to be.ManufacturingFrom the shoes on your feet to the sofa under your seat, almost everything in Identity is built and crafted by other players. Manufacturing corporations give their employees access to a wider variety of constructables and resources, for a cut of the profits.Always ExpandingAs with most things in Identity, we at Asylum will constantly be expanding this system adding new classes of corporations and building on those already available. Identity's release is only the beginning. If you have any ideas for a well-suited corporation class, let us know on the forums.
Dev Blog #002 - A Peak Behind the Curtain
Hello citizens!

It's been too long since our last developer blog entry, so I wanted to take the time today to update all of our backers on Identity's current state of development, as well as give a little more insight into the process behind the scenes.

During the first year and a bit of development, most of the time was spent developing key backend systems. Networking modifications, weapon physics, character customization, voice communication and so on. That's all behind us now, and I'm happy to say it's gone as well as we could have hoped. Now and for the past couple of months we've moved on to gameplay development, making those backend features do the fun stuff.

This Month in Development

In this last month our lead character artist, Miroslav, has finished up everything we need for your characters going into the Town Square release. We're always going to be adding more character customizations over time, but to start you'll have the choice between 4 male and 5 female race options. After selecting your base race you can customize further with skin tones, blemishes, scars, eye color, hair styles, hair colors and tweaks to facial features. Identity is expanding on the usual character customization, though, as some of the options available can only be gotten through achievements. Prison tattoos are an example; if you see someone with such a tattoo you know they've done something to earn it.

A lot of work this month has also gone into the player housing systems. In following our previous messages, our home customization system has been in place for some months although we've been expanding the floorplans in preperation for the Town Square module release. Sean, or Motown as you may know him, has prepared the various apartments you will have in the Town Square. If you have made a smaller pledge to Identity and do not have an apartment yet, we're going to be giving you access to a temporary (small) home in the Town Square so that you can play with the cusomization features. If you've pledged for a package containing an apartment, Town Square will show what you'll have in the full Identity game upon release.



Just this morning our lead programmer, Henrik (AKA Mathalion), finished up the karaoke systems. It's a minor feature for Identity as a whole, but it's going to be loads of fun in the Town Square module! Just off the lobby of the hotel is a slick little bar, complete with a karaoke stage. You'll be able to queue up your favorite songs on the karaoke machine and see the lyrics on one of the monitors around the stage. The microphone on the stage really works, too, amplifying your voice out of the speakers so that your singing can be heard by everyone there! Most of us are terrible singers, so karaoke is going to have a lot of hilarious moments. If you're just there to watch, the restaurant by the stage is fully functional, too!

It's Been Too Long

I'll just come right out and say it: we at Asylum Entertainment have really had poor PR these last months, and you guys deserve better. You deserve much more frequent updates, and we're committing to give you that moving forward.

We're a relatively small development team today. Currently a core staff of 5 incredibly talented full-time developers, I'm amazed every day with what this team can accomplish. Outside of our core we have a handful of part-time workers, mostly artists, who are also very skilled. Because we're a small team, many of us have to wear several hats. For example, Sean is our community manager but also a 3D artist. I myself am the project manager, a programmer and interface developer. This leads to few resources to dedicate towards PR as there's so much work to be done on the game itself. This is something we knew though, and we're going to set some time aside regularly to keep you in the loop.

The Town Square module is coming soon. We're in the final months of 2016 now, and you'll finally be inside the first piece of the Identity world in the first quarter of 2017. It's a little later than we originally hoped since we're dedicated to making sure everything is smooth and stable from the first moments. Identity is an enormous undertaking, but the most difficult bits are behind us and we're drawing near!

What to Expect

The first stage of game development is always very boring to talk about, and also doesn't give us much to show you. Creating those backend systems that drive the game behind the scenes is one of the most important phases, but it's not very glamorous. It's for this reason that most games aren't announced until they're a couple years into development. Now that we're past that point, we're going to be able to start showing you real Identity gameplay. 

The first gameplay video you'll see is going to be in November and will show you just how detailed and in-depth Identity is becomming! You'll see a walkthrough of our housing system, showing just how far it can be customized and some of the cool fun features you'll find in there. Following that video we'll give you a glimpse of the Town Square features, leading up to its release.

It's been a ton of work and a long time coming, but we're moving forward at a great pace and everything is about to get very exciting over here.
Dev Blog #001 - Housing, Radio & The Town Square
DEV BLOG #001Greetings Citizens,

It has been just over a year since you helped successfully kick start Identity into existence! We want to thank you all for your continued support by providing you all with regular updates following the development process for Identity. Engaging with our community is one of the best ways we can show our thanks, and a development blog is a perfect opportunity for us to bring you along for the ride. As you’ve seen throughout the past year, there is no game out there that is quite like Identity, and through your support, you have proven to us that Identity is a vision worth turning into a reality!

Feedback has shown us that you all really appreciate our attempts to respond to virtually every question we receive on social media. Twitter and Facebook have been a huge boost in exposure for Identity, and so it is time we begin to explore other avenues of exposure to help our community understand a bit more about the game.

In the coming months, our fans will see their first glimpse of gameplay for Identity! We are all extremely excited to show off our first gameplay video, which will fully explore the mechanics of apartment and housing customization. With this video, you will see that we have stayed true to our original art direction from the original Kickstarter trailer, while maintaining high standards in realistic lighting and graphics. We can safely say that we have improved many of the areas of our design that needed attention since February last year.

Apartment & Housing Customization

Apartments and houses within Identity will have a fully customizable interior. You will be able to change the wall paper on every wall in every room, place furniture anywhere there is space on the ground, swap out doors, windows, baseboards, crown moulding, and even wainscoting! We have made no compromise to the level of detail in which you can customize your apartments or homes, in order to truly express your sense of home decor. With this level of control, there is virtually no chance that the interior of two homes will ever look alike.

There will be hundreds of furniture items available to purchase in-game in every style and design, from traditional to contemporary. Furniture in Identity can even be crafted, sold, or traded to other players, and those who wish to try their hand at crafting hand-made furniture from a variety of materials can place a crafting table anywhere they wish inside their homes!

And if you wish to share your space with a partner, friend, or even a group of friends, homes and apartments will be available for sale throughout the world that support multiple roommates depending the size of the space and how many bedrooms are available. The home-owner may even grant build permissions to any number of roommates, even visitors, to help them decorate their living space.

When you are finished, invite your friends over to compliment you on your interior decorating skills! If you’re anything like us, we know you will spend more time cleaning up this virtual home than you do your real one!

Radio

This week, our team has also placed a lot of our development efforts into building a functioning radio system that will allow you to listen to your favorite real-world radio stations through placed radio objects inside your virtual home, or car! Yes, you can flip through the channels in your car radio, which will also broadcast to the immediate area outside your car. Imagine driving down the street and having everyone you pass know you listen to NSYNC!

One other major part of this feature that we are excited to tell you about is player operated talk-shows which you can personally host, or tune-in and listen to, from your car radio or home. The way we currently have this planned out for hosts, is to have actual physical broadcast stations on the map that you can enter as a player and begin hosting your own radio talk-show. Player’s listening from their car or home can browse a list of channels currently being hosted at that very moment, and listen to you live, talking about government conspiracies and UFO’s!

We are really hoping that this feature will have a major social impact for Identity. Like you, we see a lot of potential in something like this for budding stars within the community. We would absolutely love to see many of you sprout a career that started in a game we developed, and ended with us listening to your lovely voice on our actual car radio! 

The Town Square (Social Module)

Many of you already know of, and are eagerly anticipating the release of the planned “Town Square” module that is currently still in production. While we can’t give you an exact date on when that will be ready, progress is steady, and we are as excited as you are to meet you all for the first time in a virtual environment.

You may already be aware that Identity is largely influenced by a landmass in the south-eastern portion of the United States. The Town Square itself is only a small portion of a larger city built into the final version of Identity called Ash Hill, a reference to Asheville, North Carolina where we had originally planned to move Asylum’s office. We picked this area of the world particularly because it offered a wide range of geographical variance. The transition between Identity’s mix of biomes needed to feel natural, and this area offered most of what we had been looking for. As for the other cities in Identity, their influences may become more clear to you now. Myrtle Beach is obviously Turtle Beach in Identity, and Roseport is less subtle, but a mix between Atlanta and New York City.

When we first started, we kept everything, including the structures and world props level to the ground, a mistake we have since corrected. We quickly realized that cities are rarely ever flat, and knew that setting that precedent now would benefit Identity in the future. The next time you see The Town Square module, we are confident that you will notice the difference compared to earlier screenshots, what such a small transformation makes for immersion in a game environment.

Moving Forward

We want to thank our community for being so patient with us. Over the course of the past year, we’ve seen many work-in-progress screenshots of assets destined for Identity, and while we believe they serve as a sample of the work we have already put into the game, we know that many of you are still anxious to see video. Our current priority is to get things ready to show off, or more specifically, the housing/apartment customization first. We are convinced that many of you will appreciate the time and effort we have put into this feature, so that you will be able to fully express yourself through your character and virtual home.

We know we’ve been pretty quiet this past year, and the criticism we’ve heard from our fans on that through social media and the forums have not fallen on deaf ears! We will start to release regular updates through development blogs and continue to find new ways to interact with our community, to show you our gratitude for your support.

You yourself can become more involved by contributing to the discussion with your ideas at www.identityrpg.com/community. We’ll see you there, and thank you again! Always remember that we are gamers too and we are as excited as you are to play Identity at launch!
Announcing Gameplay Modules
We at Asylum Entertainment are very excited to tell you, our community, how you will be able to get into the game sooner than you think! Identity's modules are small portions of Identity which will be released before Identity is ready for the world. This lets you experience part of the game months sooner than otherwise possible.

The first module you'll be getting your hands on is a social environment which we've called Town Square. The Town Square will include all major social components, and will allow you to finally create and customize your characters. You can meet hundreds of new people and explore several cool features of the peaceful city life. For more details on Town Square, check out the modules page on the Identity website.

Following the release of Town Square you'll experience SWAT player versus player action and eventually vehicle races of all sorts.

We'll be bringing you more information on the modules as they progress!
The new Identity website is now online!
Today we have launched the new Identity website, bringing you the most up-to-date information available on Identity game features, media and development news. This website is still temporary while a studio of web-ninjas completes our new epic website, but you'll now find much more regular updates here at IdentityRPG.com.

Be sure to check out our DevTracker for all the latest from our community manager, Motown. Motown answers questions on social media and these forums every day, so it's the best place to be to find the latest tidbits of information on Identity.

We'd love to hear your feedback and suggestions for the Identity website!