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 #013 - Keeping it Real
Happy Holidays From Asylum!

The holidays are upon us, and the team at Asylum begins their short rest! We've been busier than ever, and this coming January is shaping up to be one of our biggest months in a very long time, if not ever.

Our expanded team has been working hard on game features beyond the Town Square, and you're finally going to be getting a glimpse of true Identity gameplay very soon in the new year; that's just the start.

Keeping it Real

Primary systems in Identity such as weapons and vehicles are being developed to operate as realistically as possible. Last week a few of the developers braved the freezing temperatures at a local range to record audio directly from a slew of real firearms in all sorts of conditions.

It's very important to us that the weapons in Identity look, sound and react as close to reality as possible. We've even modeled the ballistic physics based on real-world mathematical formulas.

Powerful weapons are going to be rare in Identity. Assault weapons, for example, will likely be used in major circumstances. For the most part players will have access to less powerful weaponry; melee, hand guns, hunting rifles, and so on will be the norm.

Here it Comes!

With the Town Square development moving along, we're not far off from showing the world real Identity gameplay! Like I said up there, January is going to be a big month. For us in the studio, we're excited to get our hands on a few new technology demos that might have a huge impact on Identity! For our fans, January is going to be the month you see the first true world gameplay video. Not only that, but soon after we're looking to release a Town Square trailer! Keep your eyes out on Identity's Twitter and Facebook.

The Twitch Clips

If you've been following Identity's development closely, you probably already know that developers stream their work live on the Identity Twitch channel every Tuesday and Thursday (except on this coming week due to holidays). We also use that time to answer almost every question that gets asked about Identity's development and gameplay.

Now that we've been doing this a while, we've answered a lot of questions. Our awesome community manager, BeachBall, has taken the time to compile a massive list of questions linked to clips where they're answered by a developer.

Get comfy and head over to the Twitch Clips Directory forum thread. If you haven't found this already, be prepared to spend a good bit of time listening to all sorts of awesome information. This is the best place to get to know the fine details Identity!

-- John VanderZwet
Dev Blog #012 - The Merge!
Family mattersIt was just a month ago that we announced the official release date for the Town Square module. Since then, we've been hard at work turning that promise into a reality. Team expansions, UI drama, family additions and a whole new Unreal Engine amounted into a crazy time!

For me, the biggest news this month was the arrival of my second beautiful daughter, Aria, on the 19th. It's been a lot of fun and not as sleepless as I expected. It meant a week off for me although the team in the office hadn't skipped a single beat while I was away.

My week away was the first week of work for two new developers here at the office. Andrew (McWOLF), a gameplay programmer, and Artur (Archer), a UI/UX designer and developer have joined the team. Both have already proven themselves to be great at what they do!

 

You've got questions, they've got answersIdentity's community members and YouTubers have interviewed the developers. Your questions have been asked; check it out to see what the developers say about the way Identity is played!

IDENTITY RPG DEVELOPER Q&A NOVEMBER, 2017Identity Game - Podcast - Developer Q&A - #2 Join us on Twitch at 4PM EST on Tuesdays and Thursdays to watch Identity's developers at work. Most of these streams also have other developers present to answer the questions of those watching, live!

Are you interested in hearing answers to other questions? Our developers have been answering questions on live streams for some time now and Brandon (BeachBall), our community manager, has compiled an enormous list of questions and answers. Check out the TWITCH CLIPS DIRECTORY forum thread.

 

The little engine that couldn't

We're really excited to show you gameplay footage, not only of the Town Square module but what you can expect to see beyond the modules! We've been hard at work on this, but our aging build of the Unreal Engine just couldn't cope with the advanced vehicle physics systems we're implementing in Identity!

This meant it was time for the dreaded engine merge, something our lead programmer Sone has been fearing for years! Every once in a while (usually every year or so) we have to merge all of the modifications we've made to the core Unreal Engine into the latest release. It's an absolutely enormous undertaking, but it's done and good to go.

Now that we're running the latest version of the engine, we can support more advanced technologies and we can bring you a more immersive experience, even in the Town Square. Just wait 'til you see what we're doing with vehicles!

 

The UI disaster!

Early in the month we hit a road-block. Our licensed middleware system for the user interface in Identity, Scaleform, was discontinued! The industry leading system would be no more, and we had to make the tough decision to abandon it now to save grief in the future.

It was like a slap in the face. All of our user interface code had to be scrapped and replaced! While Scaleform was a Flash based system, our new UI would not be. We've signed on with Coherent Labs, and the new UI is under way.

While unexpected, it's actually a blessing in disguise! Our new Coherent system allows for faster development, and while it's a minor setback now it'll speed things up considerably going forward. Our new guy, Artur, is dedicated to the user interface in Identity and our UI will be stronger now because of it.

With Artur's help, I don't expect this to affect development time for Town Square even at all. We have more hands on deck to cover the added work.

 

On the horizon

With our expanding development team, we're able to focus our efforts in more areas of Identity's development. With vehicle and weapon systems now getting attention, we're once again progressing towards a short but feature packed gameplay video for you guys to check out. Keep your eyes out on Identity's Twitter and Facebook!

-- John VanderZwet
Dev Blog #011 - Town Square Release Date and More
The time draws near!In the last dev blog I sent out, I mentioned that we were going to announce the release date for our first playable game module, the Town Square. Those of you who follow our Twitter and Twitch streams will have already learned this date. It's a very exciting and important time for Identity; we're fast approaching the time where you'll first step foot in Identity's grand world.



We've crunched all the numbers and can now say with fair confidence that the Identity Town Square module will be released, to all backers with a $30 or higher pledge, on this coming March 21st.

What will you find in the Town Square?The Town Square is a social game module. You'll be able to create your character, which may be transferable to the retail game after release, and meet hundreds of other Identity backers in the town square of the clean and quaint city of Ash Hill.

You'll be able to talk to those around you, add them to your phone contacts and have full phone and IM support to stay in touch. You'll find a completely functional cinema playing full movies around the clock, a karaoke bar to show off your skills (or see me making a fool of myself), a working restaurant, art gallery, shops and more.

The biggest single feature is the housing system. You're getting a taste of the full and complete player housing mechanics that you'll find in Identity. Everyone will have access to a tiny apartment, but those who pledged for higher rewards will be able to check out and decorate their larger spaces. It's a preview of what you'll have in the full game. Invite friends to your place and party it up!

After the initial release of the module, we'll continue to add features to the Town Square as they are completed in development for Identity. Barbershops and tattoo parlors will let you customize your character further. A garage will let you sample your vehicles. You'll even get to test your ability with firearms in the police shooting range before the SWAT module is released.

For me, one of the most exciting parts of Town Square is just to get inside the game and finally get a feel for Identity and how it plays.

Check out a few of the Town Square work-in-progress shots we've released in the past. It's been a long road for the development team here at Asylum, but we're almost there!



 

 

 Flexing our new manpowerProductivity has skyrocketed with our new office. We're working better and there are now many more of us knocking out code and assets each day. Our programming team has expanded with Charles and we're still hiring more. We've brought three new and incredibly talented 3D artists on board as well as a new technical artist. Brandon, our new Community Manager, has been hard at work keeping you in the loop. These guys are all proving their worth each day and I'm extremely excited about where Asylum is going.

Looking to the futureWith some of our Town Square art wrapping up now, we're beginning to shift a bit of our focus to the second module: SWAT. The SWAT module will be a team vs team competitive shooter using the combat mechanics you'll find in the full Identity release. Expect combat to be slower and more realistic than most similar games. You'll learn much more about this module as work progresses.



Above is an MP5 sub machinegun which will be used by the SWAT forces. This particular model was created from scratch in a matter of days by one of our new artists, Dan. The awesome talent of our art team is undeniable!

-- John VanderZwet
Dev Blog #010 - Beginning of a New Era
Beginning of a new era Wow, what a month; busy and exciting and full of promise! While the developers have been hard at work getting the Town Square module ready to go, I've been preparing our new office space and interviewing potential Asylum developers.

We've raised almost $800,000, allowing us to expand in a big way and bring on loads of new talent.

Asylum Entertainment's new homeIf you read my last dev blog you'll remember that we had just scouted out office space and had narrowed our search to one. Now we have the keys and I've been working hard to get it operational. I never want to see another hex key again!

It's almost hard to imagine that we've been working on Identity with a team spread out around the world. The talent of our small team has astonished me. It's exciting to consider how finally working in a formal setting is going to boost productivity.

Not only is working in an office such as this going to make it easier to work together, but we've been on a hiring craze. Having sifted through hundreds of applications over the past few weeks and interviewing dozens of skilled individuals, we've selected most new developers to join our team. Our programming manpower is now three times stronger.

Finally, after all this time we're now able to afford a full-time community manager. Joining our team at the new office location next week is Identity's community manager, Brandon! You'll be hearing from him very regulary. We're committing to keeping you in constant contact with the development team. Keep an eye on our website as well as social media!

Town Square on the horizon!With our new studio starting up next week and the new programming talent coming on-board, our goal of the Town Square release is getting nearer.

 

It's big news: the official Town Square release date will be announced in the month of October. With all of the changes affecting our productivity in such a positive way, we need to see how everyone works together over the next few weeks. This will allow us to give our fans a date with which we can be confident.

 

We've got the TwitchWe wanted to give you a glimpse of the game development process and have been streaming on Twitch to show you how it's done. Four hour (or more) long streams have gone live since my last dev blog; keep an eye on Identity's Twitter for future stream announcements. We try to have at least one development stream per week.

As a fan of Identity, one of the things you're going to enjoy most is the flurry of videos which will be coming soon showing off the social features of the Town Square. For a simple social module, there's a good bit of fun things to do!

New in the Town SquareOur lead programmer, Henrik, has been hard at work these last couple of weeks refactoring our housing system to make it more stable and better performing for the Town Square module release. Everything's looking great at this point and he's very excited to get a bunch of new help over the next couple of weeks.

With more great talent joining our art team, we're producing assets and new environments at an astonishing pace. Interiors we only hoped to have in Town Square by its release have gone from concept to reality very quickly.

Last dev blog I showed you the concept art pieces produced for the police station. The police station was something we didn't expect to be available in the initial Town Square release, but with our art team hard at work we're getting a lot done. Below you'll find the lobby as it is in-game. The police station in Town Square will be a place for you to learn about the policing career, but it will also eventually feature a shooting range for you to test the weapon systems in Identity.

Police station lobby in Town SquareOur character and clothing team has also been adding a large variety of things to wear in the Town Square. Both clothing and accessories are being added all the time. Note the attention to detail and excellent quality of the clothing pieces in Identity.

New sweater clothingWhat's to comeIn summary, we've been moving along with Identity's development at a great pace considering the size of our team; however, our team is growing in a big way right now. New developers are selected and some are starting at the new office as early as this coming week.

Once the new guys have been oriented and we get an understanding of their work, we're going to be able to analyze the tasks remaining and give you a release date for Town Square. This is a big deal; Town Square isn't all that far off now and we're already preparing and planning for the next module: SWAT.

I hoped to release a video showing combat systems already, but most the remaining work for that falls on myself as the other developers are busy with the real systems for Town Square. I've not had much time over these weeks from preparing the office, so that's on hold a bit; my priority is getting the Town Square module into your hands as soon as possible.

Because we're getting further along now, and with the added manpower, we're going to soon start releasing small gameplay videos showing off the different aspects of Town Square.

Finally, Brandon is joining Asylum as a dedicated full-time community manager! Brandon will be keeping you up to date constantly. Our silent days are soon to be over!

-- John VanderZwetDeja Vu! (I've just been in the place before...)

Salutations again! This time it's Brandon talking. John's been too busy to update the site, so I'm here to finally add the 10th Developer Blog to the corresponding section of the forums! You've most likely seen this update if you've been active in "The Town Square" section of the site, so I apologize for not having anything new to share in terms of screenshots or stuff like that. D: No need to get the pitchforks out though! I might have a few things to tide you guys over! (Please don't poke me aaa.)

Charles (the game developer sitting beside me in the office) is currently in a skype call with another programmer on the team getting the 411 on the current build of Identity. They're walking through some stuff in regards to the Unreal Engine and talking about all sorts of things that are t o t a l l y beyond me. I took some java and C programming courses as electives when I was in University and MAN, I've had a newfound appreciation for coders ever since. I'll see if I can get some tangible information about the specifics of what Charles is working on after the call, because all I see is a mixture of math and player models!

In other news, I've been hanging around in the discord, answering questions where I can and seeking advice from the higher-ups when I'm stumped. It's been going quite well actually! There seem to be a lot of fans enthusiastic about seeing more of the office, so I'm going to try and get a picture or two up on the @Identityrpg twitter. Charles has a 3 monitor setup that looks pretty sick, the lucky dog... Oh! Have I mentioned that there's a channel dedicated to posting small WIP models and other treats in the discord? It's #new_media! Check it out when you get a chance!

The fiber internet for the office has also finally been installed! Like, completely! No more router issues or anything, I'm typing this up from a wired connection right now! With this, I should be able to join the stream later today so I can finally speak with the other developers. I'm very excited, and I hope to see some of you there! I don't think I'll actually be playing a game (I'm absolutely trash at most shooters but I swear I'm gunna train up for module two), but I'm very interested in getting my voice out there and meeting some of the developers that I haven't had a chance to speak with yet!

Thanks for sticking around everyone! I'll get more information to you ASAP! Have a good one!

-B
New Community Manager!
New Blood

    Salutations everyone! This isn’t necessarily a Dev Blog update, but if you’re interested in getting some insight regarding the current happenings around the office, I think you’ll quite enjoy this read!    My name is Brandon, and I’ll be taking up the reigns as Community Manager for Asylum Entertainment! Up until this point, Motown has been working as the Producer for Identity, and has also been lending his talents as a 3D Artist where possible. Seeing as he was also in charge of keeping fans up to speed on development progress, he’s most certainly happy to know that I’ll be alleviating some of his workload! Sean’s given me access to a slew of social media accounts, and I’ll try my best to keep them updated to the best of my ability! Don’t worry though, Motown isn’t about to evaporate from the scene or anything like that. You’ll still be able to catch him around the forums, twitch streams, and discord server! This also automatically makes me his apprentice, so I’m going to be shooting him questions pretty frequently for the first few weeks on the in’s and out’s of my role!

Dropping The (Beach) Ball

    It’s true that news surrounding updates on Identity’s progress has been slow. While the Dev Blog has been gaining traction as of late, information has been rather scarce apart from the Q&As that pop up every now and then. There’s a few fantastic ones I actually studied before beginning my employment here (quick shoutouts to PowerGaming7 and TheDynasty on YouTube!), but it has been quite difficult to get a good glance into the heart of the project from the outside.

    HOWEVER, this is not to say that there hasn’t been any progress! The fact that Asylum requires someone to solely handle social media should speak volumes as to how busy the team has been. With our transition to the new office, progress is going to move even faster, and I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted as much as possible!

    With the upcoming advent of the modules, I’ll be sharing as much information as I can with you guys leading up to each release! I got a sneak peak at the world inside module one today and I definitely geeked out a little. In fact, I’m currently working beside Liam and Charles, a Web Developer and Game Developer respectively! It’s their first time working in the office too, so we’re basically getting to know each other while we wait for the fiber internet to finally get installed. Today’s workload is mostly housekeeping items, so getting our asylum accounts configured and checking out the game’s current build are some of the things that have kept us occupied!

The Interlocutor

    The ultimate goal of the Community Manager is to prevent the chain of dialogue between the supporters and developers from breaking. I want to keep communication as open and accessible as possible, as maintaining a healthy discussion with backers is an integral component to nearly any project. I’ll be monitoring the forums and official discord server like a hawk, forwarding potential concerns and criticisms to the devs as go! I’ll also aim to share screenshots or insider information where I can! No, I unfortunately can’t take a print screen of the monitor beside me running the current build, but I definitely would if I could.

    Any information I can get to you guys that I’m allowed to share, I will! A big part of my role is just to make sure you guys know that we’re alive! I want to engage as best as I can with the community to help tide everyone over until the game’s release.  Heck, even I’M super intrigued by the development process. Truth be told, I’ve only learned of Identity about two months ago, and I’ve been hooked on the concept ever since! I’m very much akin to a fan that’s been granted access to all sorts of insider material, and I really want to see such an ambitious project succeed!

    The worst thing I could possibly do in my position as Community Manager isn’t actually related to going dark. While halting the chain of dialogue would be absolutely detrimental to my role, an even worse scenario would involve me spewing false information that we’d later need to backtrack on. With this in mind, updates will still be somewhat slow for juuuust a little while longer. I need to make sure I’m brought up to speed with where Identity is currently at, so I’ll be in constant communication with literally everyone at the office for the next little while. I might be slow at responding to questions at first, but I’ll be an Identity master in no time! Don’t you worry!

    I’ve already been added to the official discord server, and have even been graciously invited to several fan made servers already! While I love to chat, I’ll probably be more active within the official mediums provided to me. Still, Motown says I may elect join fan communities if I so choose, but that I mustn't get too carried away!

    I have the keys to most of the social media already, so you might be able to expect a test tweet or a small facebook post by the end of the week. Nothing major, it’d just be me testing out some of the bells and whistles! I ALSO would like to send some formal messages to the moderators on the forums. Before I came on board with the team, I studied the forums pretty religiously for a few days to help get acquainted with the scene. The mods have done a lot of work for what is essentially nothing at the moment, and I’d like to thank each of you for your dedication to the community! We might also be looking for a few more moderators as traction picks up for the game too, so I might ask for your guys’ opinion on the matter soon!

Where Do We Go From Here?

    For the first week or so, the new members of Asylum will focus on adjusting to the current workspace and will familiarize themselves with the territory. I suppose that’s just an overly complicated way of saying that we’re getting our bearings! We’re all essentially aiming to align ourselves with the project’s current progress and will slide right in pretty soon! For me, I’ll be getting the hang of the social media surrounding Identity, and hope to make my debut on one of the livestreams this week.

    We’re unsure about a stream today as the fiber internet still isn’t functional, but that’s because the ISP rep that was supposed to show up called in sick today. X_X Ah well, it happens! Thank goodness for LTE usb hotspots, or else this message wouldn’t be reaching you at all! Motown and others should still have the stream going, I think they’ll be playing some CS:GO? No games being streamed from the office, but gaming hour should still exist!    Apart from that, I think that about does it for my first day in the office! Sorry the post wasn’t filled with screenshots or anything like that, but I promise to get you guys some juicy information as soon as I possibly can! Maybe some content might pop up in the #new_media channel on the official discord server? :eyes:

    That’s all for this introduction post, hopefully it wasn’t too long! Thanks so much for the warm welcome on Discord, the active members of the Identity community seem really friendly, and I can’t wait to engage with all of you! Have a good one everyone!

    -BPS: And now I pray for no spelling mistakes...
Dev Blog #009 - Moving On Up!
There's never been a more exicting time for the Identity development team than right now. We're growing from a small team of passionate and skilled developers into a true studio with real development horsepower.

Asylum Entertainment's New HomeIdentity is being produced by a very small team, although with our new office (see above) we're on a hiring craze and expanding in a big way. In fact, our programming team is going to be three times larger by the end of September. That's only the tip, too, as we're also bringing in a full-time dedicated community manager so that you get the regular updates from the team which you deserve. Our art team is also expanding with some of the most incredible talent in the industry.

It pains us that Identity has seen delays; we truly want the game in your hands as soon as possible. With our modest team it's been a difficult road but, with the great help of yourself and other backers, it's full-steam ahead.

Once we're situated in our new office (we get the keys in one week) and your new community manager is ready to go, it's our intention keep this great community in constant contact with the team!

New in the Town SquareIf you've been watching closely on the IdentityRPG Twitch Channel, which is live for a Q&A with the developers every Tueday through Thursday, you've seen a lot of art these last few weeks. From concept art to screenshots and clothing, below are just a few of the pieces we've shown, plus something new for good measure.

We're really pushing the development streams now, too. You'll be able to watch environment artist Antoine at work Wednesday, August 30 at 1PM EST. Moving forward, we're going to try to give you at least one development stream every single week. Watch Twitter for announcements.

Town Square Clothing StoreRemember the clothing store concept art we showed last month? This in-game screenshot shows how concept translates to reality (minus the actual clothing). Another new addition, ambiant radio, brings this scene to life. When you walk into this clothing store you'll notice music playing from the speakers. It's not just music in our game, either, it's real streaming radio playing songs you know. Different stores can now play ambiant music that matches their style and enhances immersive atmosphere.

Ash Hill Police HQ ConceptThe Ash Hill police station will open it's doors in the Town Square module shortly after its release. Seen above is the concept for the lobby, locker room (where players "sign in" as an officer) and the shooting range. The shooting range will be available in the Town Square to give you a feel for weapons in Identity before you get your hands on the SWAT module.

Ash Hill Barber ConceptWhile a large variety of player customizations will be available during your initial character creation, some options are reserved for locations in the world. Barber shops, like the Ash Hill Barber you'll find in the Town Square shown above, will have additional hair options; other shops around the land will present different styles.

Some rarer character customization options may be unlocked through gameplay achievements.

A peak at pledge rewardsBelow are concept pieces of the pledge rewards you may already own. Our new website, almost ready to go, will bring new options while some of the existing will no longer be available.

Pledge Reward Concepts-- John VanderZwet
Dev Blog #008 - Art of the Town Square
This month in developmentAnother month and another dev blog to keep you updated! I want to start this one by giving a thank you to everyone who's receiving this blog post by email, our backers who are making Identity a reality.

It's an exciting time as our team is growing and our pace quickening as a result. Identity's beginning to get more exposure and every pledge we receive helps us produce content faster. It's been slower than we'd like in the past because our team has been tiny, but this growth we're seeing as of late has been opening doors and propelling us forward. As of this month we've now raised over $700,000 USD; a large amount of money and what we've needed to bring on more talent.

Talent we've lost to other studios and existing contracts in the past, some of our absolute best, is now returning to Asylum Entertainment to work on Identity full-time. We're really looking forward to the work from those being added to our roster, which will result in more clothing options as well as much prettier environments. We're also looking to pick up another programmer and a new community manager very shortly, to improve our PR situation and give you guys a more transparent view into development.

Case variations for one of three phones in IdentityWith our art team growing with top industry talent, we're also making some good progress in content programming. Our elevator system has been finalized after being re-hashed. This elevator system is used in the Town Square, and throughout Identity where apartments exist, to bring players up to their lofted homes. The interesting part is these function like real elevators, and you'll see other players in them going to and from their floors. They act as loading zones, so instead breaking your immersion with a loading screen we load the apartment and it's customizations in the background while you ride the elevator. By the time the door opens everything's in place and you don't even notice that you've moved into a special instance of the world.

 

Art of the Town SquareWhen creating new environments, we first have our concept artist draw up a layout and artistic design. From there, environment artists create the 3D assets from that piece and a level designer places them in the world you inhabit. We're pleased to have our incredibly talented concept artist, Alexander, back in full-swing as we prepare the final pieces of environment necessary for the Town Square.

Clothing store concept; hotel and art gallery in rearThe clothing store is interesting in Town Square because it's operating on a system we've created for many computer-controlled shops in Identity. It has a fully functioning shoplifting mechanic. In most games you walk up to an NPC (non-player character) and interact to purchase items. You then simply walk away with your items. Stores in Identity are a different story, and are unique in the gaming world. You'll add items from racks and shelves to your cart. You can then walk into the dressing room to preview those items (assuming it's clothing) or walk up to the register to pay. What if you don't pay and simply walk out the door with your cart?

Shoplifting is a reality in Identity, although it's often not recommended. If you're not skilled, and most people won't be, you'll set off alarms and have a hard time getting away. You'll likely spend time in jail for the attempt. Expensive items can also not be shoplifted for game balance purposes. Even something so simple as using a shop gives freedom and oppportunity not found in any game before.

Last month we showed you a bicycle which will be ridable in Identity. Below you'll see the bicycle shop concepts for the Town Square. While you won't be able to ride them in Town Square, you'll be able to browse many options which will be available to you.

Bicycle shop concept for the Ash Hill town squareThese final two interiors are being created by our artists as we speak, and are the last environments required for Town Square's release, along with some minor systems programming and polish.

Art gallery/library concept art, previously shownArt gallery and library in-game, without player art The near futureOne of our top priorities right now is to give all of you who have been waiting a glimpse of real gameplay in a video. Identity's funding and progress has exploded since we showed you the workings of the housing and apartment systems on YouTube, and now we want you to see vehicles, drug production and weapon systems.

I can't promise any dates on this video, but it'll be soon. In fact, I expect you to watch this video before you receive the next dev blog. This coming video is sort of a catalyst, and I can't wait to show you what's in store after it.

The Town Square is also getting near the point where we're going to be able to start showing off videos of the gameplay elements you'll find within it, leading up to the public release of the module. These videos will be coming after the previously mentioned video.

We do regret how little we've been able to show you thus far. We're a tiny team stretching a small budget to its limits, so things take some time. Now that much of the core exists and other supporting pieces are falling into place, I'm excited that we're now really making progress that can be witnessed.

-- John VanderZwet
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!