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Well hello there! Today, it's my turn to bring you the making of! I'm Fhenris, WAKFU Level Designer, and I'm going to serve you up a meaty portion of what we've been working on for several months now... Calamar Island!

Why a revamp?

Calamar Island is a conquerable island that's been in the game since V2 of WAKFU saw the light of day. A lot of you will probably already know it!
"So why revamp it?" I hear you cry! Simply because when we originally released Calamar Island, the team's priorities were different and we weren't able to include all the things we wanted. We had to make choices and "sacrifice" some of the content, ideas and designs we had in mind...

Captain Calamari's old island (the one that's currently still in game) is quite small because at the time of creating it we didn't really need that big a space. Basically, we wanted to centre the action around the Clan Member and too much space would have meant players scattered all over.

With the ideas we had for activities, the creatures we'd imagined, and the other "kicks and giggles" we'd thought of, we couldn't wait to make the island bigger! As soon as we were given the green light, we were off, redesigning it based on the same template as more recent islands, like Monk Island and Forfut.

Concept Art

The first thing we have to do when creating a new zone is draw the concept art - basically an image that gives a general overview of the island's design. Let's just say that as soon as we heard the words "Knock yourselves out! We're redesigning Calamar Island from scratch!", design and gameplay ideas  started sprouting out of nowhere, just like it was the first day again... This time, however, we knew we could make them all happen!

To get the ball rolling, I started looking up photos on the Internet, trying to find inspiration for the shapes and colours that could apply to the island's level design... Here's one of the examples that really got me:

I stuck to the idea of a completely circular island with the Clan Member in the centre, surrounded by a moat. Take a look at my first few sketches:

When I was preparing this design, the Game Designers were busy working on the RvR revamp. We decided that the new Calamar Island was the ideal place to start applying some new level rules and constraints for this upcoming feature. Post-revamp, Calamar Island will therefore be the first WAKFU island ready to welcome RvR! But that's all I'm saying... You can find out more in game, and I'm sure that my Game Design colleagues will tell you more about RvR when the time is right!

After taking into account what the team wanted to do visually with this island, and respecting the constraints linked to the RvR revamp (mainly the fact that we needed to divide it into 3 different areas), I produced a polished version of my illustration:


 

Brainstorming

Once the concept art was finalised and agreed on, the design team (Game and Level Designers) started their brainstorming sessions. You know, those meetings where everyone shares ideas, bounces off one another and eventually things start to become more rounded and sure!

Each of the conquerable islands already has an RvR/PvP aspect in some shape or form. In addition to applying the new RvR rules for the first time on this island, we're also going to add a whole load of content. That's right, get ready for a whole barrowful of additions! An area dungeon, at least two new families of creatures, specific environmental quests, a main quest and dozens of new rare items and pieces of equipment! Does life get better than this?!

Each element of the new content has been carefully thought out, making sure that everything stays in line with the rest of the World, all the while integrating the personality and visions of everyone who worked on the area's atmosphere. The brainstorming sessions often ended in hysterical laughter!

The Game Design Document

After brainstorming, we write a Game Design Document where we list all the points discussed in the meeting in the clearest way possible. The aim is that each team member, irrelevant of their department (development, graphic design, Game Design, Level Design, etc.) can see what's going on.

Once the document has been written and finalised, we get started on the build. The build, as you can probably guess, is when we actually "construct" the area. For this, we use our map editor (I'll no doubt explain this in more detail another time) to start building, brick by brick.

After several weeks of work, our island is finally ready and the other parts of the team can get down to business, adding the other elements needed to tie it all together!

So there you have it! You now know how Calamar Island was put together! Thanks for reading and catch you soon!
 
Fhenris

Note from Azael

Calamar Island is a conquerable island. We have taken the opportunity of this revamp to tweak the rules of the other conquerable islands slightly so that they will be ready to take on RvR when it is integrated in game. Here's a summary:

  • To conquer an island, players must beat the Clan Member.
  • To do this, you'll need to provoke a Clan Member into a duel, which costs 500 kamas.
  • These kamas will be transferred to the island's Clan Member.
  • When an island has been captured, it will be "unconquerable" for 24 hours.
  • Island Clan Members have the same rights as any of the Nation Clan Members: you can transfer their kamas or use them to buy environmental quests.
  • The Clan Member's bonus will be applied to the whole Nation. For example, Calamar Island will have a bonus of 10 Prospecting.
  • Only players belonging to the Nation that owns the island, or players allied with that Nation, will be able to take part in the environmental quests found there.

Aaaaaand that's all you need to know for now! Get discovering! See you soon in game!
Category: Game design

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Comments (23)
Soft Crackler
TinyLaNorthio 20 November 2012 15:56
lovely map revamp! I'll waiting to see it

and...um....can we have Citronana tree that instantly give us a fruit when they fully growth same as Api Tree?, as a fisherman we got hard time to lvling our profesion after we reach lv70 ;-;
Short Strich
Avatartime 20 November 2012 22:08
And about some bug fixes?
Lord Madgobb
Kikuihimonji 20 November 2012 23:01
Cool revamp.

By the way i wish we have 5 monster families on each map.
Overweighted Chafer
krishsakti 21 November 2012 00:18
But.. but when is the Haven World coming
Nice revamp though!
Short Strich
Arahitogami 21 November 2012 03:32
I want to get my hands on that development suite so bad! having the kit to design a wakfu island would be a serious labour of joy ^^
Overweighted Chafer
LeroyoreL 21 November 2012 04:44
Nice.
But how about Maya Bay or Costa del Jelix?
When they come back?
Will Sadida, Kelba, Monk, Forfut and Whisper be conquerable in the future?
Overweighted Chafer
ManicMansion 21 November 2012 08:25
Will the Clan Member also get a revamp? Like say, any new tricks up his sleeve, or will he get more buffed?

I've seen people solo this CM effortlessly.


Other than that, looking forward to Calamar Island 2.0.


Here's hoping Maya or Jellix will make their return too in Wakfu.
Featherless Piwi
Ka-Mara 21 November 2012 08:53
Mmmmm Nice!
Wat about new dugeon there?

And 1 qwestion more: why in Wild Gobbal we are pay 50 K but in Calamad 500 K!!!
I wana kill Calamad island boss but no wana lose 500 kamm.....
May be you do somethink whith it?
Ugly Gobball
Kaylami 21 November 2012 18:30
Fantastic! Sad that i can't participate since i can't pay for play...

s2 Good Exploration FRIENDS!
Overweighted Chafer
AngelicPorcelain 21 November 2012 19:14
This is wonderful ^^ keep it up Ankama, loving all the new content for Wakfu lately As a previous Dofus player its quite interesting to see Wakfu grow and develop its own "personality" as time passes ^^