Though largely overshadowed by the behemoths of the MMO genre, Reloaded Productions’ free-to-play title Fallen Earth offers fans a chance to live out an economical virtual existence amongst the ruins of the post-apocalypse without having to worry about who rules Barter Town. The game has developed a relatively small, but devoted following since its 2009 launch, despite this low profile and an ill-timed shake up in the corporate structure of its developer.
Having established a niche foothold and proven its ability to survive on the earnings of its free-to-play business model, the game continues chugging along, aided by a devoted development team. After a recent drought of information, the company has finally opted to detail upcoming content additions, most notably the imminent revamp of Haven, one of the most prominent cities within the Fallen Earth universe.
“Up until now, Haven has performed pretty poorly,” writes Reloaded Production’s pseudonymously-named artist “Ninjanomics” on the game’s official development blog. “The town had a confusing layout, was cruelly prohibitive to frame rate, and didn’t well reflect the serenity of the Lightbearers as a faction. Being that Haven is one of the first things you see in Northfields, it needed some love.”
Understandably, the firm has decided to amend these issues, but how? According to Mr. Ninjanomics, the development team has redesigned the city to feature a cohesive architectural style immediately recognizable as belonging to the area’s prominent Lightbearers faction. Likewise, the entire layout of the place was revamped to offer far less clutter and more mobility. “We wanted to try making the area both interesting, and logically lay it out to maximize ease of use for players,” the artist writes.
Additionally, the city is being restructured to ensure that it runs more smoothly on lower-end computers. “The former incarnation of the town had way too much going on,” Ninjanomics says. “Too many buildings, objects, and npcs were placed in the area. Consolidating the important aspects of the town and getting rid of the excess proved effective in keeping the performance in check. Lowering the number of textures used to just a few really helped free up memory to do things like interesting landscaped hillsides, valleys, and the town’s centerpiece, the pond surrounded by the Sundial, Archives, Temple, and outdoor Dojo. The land bridge in the middle of the pond makes the whole town come together, and it’s easier on player’s machines in the process.”
These alterations should now be in place within Fallen Earth, so if you haven’t visited Haven in a while — or if this post has piqued your interest in downloading and playing the free game — now would be a good time to check out the team’s handiwork. The town is still a post-apocalyptic ruin, but now it’s a slightly more attractive, more functional burned-out reminder of mankind’s erstwhile glory.