End of the line

Since this site has zero visitors now, we've decided to save some money by just letting it quietly slip away. It will cease to exist around the middle of November 2019.

Thanks to everyone who did visit... Maybe we'll see you ingame - when it finally launches.

Ship of Heroes Costume Creator Tool Beta Press Release

Here's something we've all been waiting for: Ship of Heroes Announces Start of Beta Testing on Character Creation Tool.

1st November 2019 is the date.

From the press release:
"We are fulfilling our 2017 promise to open the CCT to everyone who has donated at least $50 over the last couple of years, and let them create original characters using our character models and costumes," Casey McGeever, CEO of Heroic Games, said. "We've received a large volume of suggestions and requests over the last couple of years, and most of these have been added to our character creator. Also, as we promised in the past, participants in this Beta will be able to create characters and save their character names for future use." Those wishing to participate in the Beta have until October 15th to donate a total of at least $50 to Heroic Games. Donations are cumulative.
 Here's an interesting video about the character creator...

Update - CCT Update and Improvements

The latest newsletter, dated 4th September 2019,  from Heroic Games about their upcoming MMO Ship of Heroes talks about the improvement made to their character creator. Read all about it here...

Here's the blurb:

Ship of Heroes is showing their latest round of improvements to the character creator in this newsletter, particularly the high variability of the faces that can be created in their game.  A player can create anyone with their character creation tool.

SoH has three main character models – male, female and big guy – and all of them can be massively customized.  One of the game's strong points is making your own unique avatar, and the devs are touting the idea that the entire game could be filled with unique characters, with no two alike.  In this newsletter the devs show a wide variety of possible faces, including some non-human ones.

Compared to the SoH character creator Alpha from 2017, a lot has changed.  All of the hair models have been replaced and significantly improved.  The amazing avatar eyes have been retained.  Non-human skin colors such as red, blue and green have been added, and each of the character models seems to have more than 40 preset faces.  The faces can each be selected, and then individually modified.  Some new features have been added, like lipstick for female characters.

One of the new features hinted at in this newsletter is the randomizer.  3-4 randomizer buttons are apparent in the newsletter pictures, and the devs hint at a short video in the immediate future showing the power of this tool.  But perhaps the best feature of this whole CCT is that players will be able to use the randomizer for some parts of their character, and then stop and change what they see.  This is an amazing level of customization not normally seen in an MMO.

The immediate comparison that comes to mind looking at these avatars is to City of Heroes, now resurging on unlicensed private servers that may have as many as 100,000 players.  The SoH avatars are much more advanced and more detailed, as one would expect from a game combining the Unreal Engine's graphical power with an impressive level of artistic realism.  The CoH character creator, while revolutionary for its day, did not even have clear faces or distinct fingers, which is sometimes lost in nostalgia for the great gameplay of CoH.

The next big event which will be open to supporters is some kind of advanced Beta of the SoH character creator, currently planned for later in 2019.  The devs have said that the costumes shown today will be available in that Beta.

Ship of Heroes expects to begin combat Beta testing by the end of 2019, with an invasion test.

Mysteries of Apotheosis City: The Beta Club

The latest update is an interesting one. We get to see (and hear) the inside of the Beta Club, there's a new jumping (in air) animation, a view of 'The Sorceress' in her mostly black outfit and we discover there's a badge inside the Beta Club!

Here's an interesting quote from Consultant telling us what's coming next:
We’re building so much new content for the CCT Beta that it’s going to take at least two more videos to show it all.  The current plan is to go through the next big interior map, the hospital, which has a completely different art style and feel.  After that, we’ll do a video focusing on the many different things you can do with the CCT during the Beta, particularly for your heroes’ faces.

As always, you can read the full update on the official Ship of Heroes site.

CCT beta update 18th August 2019

Here's a quote from Consultant on the official Ship of Heroes forum about the upcoming character/costume creator beta and a few other bits of interest.
Let me give another update on the CCT Beta. Right now we are waiting on one thing to be fixed by Unreal, which is their interaction with TrueSKY, which is broken at the moment. We've diagnosed it and it all rests with Unreal at the moment as far as we can tell. So there could be a couple of weeks still to go. 
Since that is happening, we are continuing to develop and add things. 
The plan is that tomorrow we'll launch a short video showing the interior of the Beta Club, our hangout which is the equivalent of a Star Wars cantine or a COH Pocket D. It's pretty cool.
We also had some feedback from a couple of the ladies who work on the game that we need to give our female characters the option for lipstick, so we're adding that to the CCT too. 
I feel like adding the Spiderman quote here, that with great power comes great responsibility. And gosh, there are a lot of really bad lipstick colors out there. But we're giving you guys the freedom. 
We're polishing the interior of the hospital. Not the entire building, but the general interior that gives you doors and openings into other missions of the future. We think this is cool, because of the contrast with the Beta Club, among other elements. We're also expanding the exterior of the hospital a bit to accomodate the enlarged interior. 
Things are progressing. And look for that video tomorrow. You'll be able to enter the Club during the CCT beta.

8th August 2019 - Latest Report of the Character/Costume Creator

Progress on the CCT continues.

We've been experimenting with how to solve the dilemma we've created...we're giving players so many choices, so many options, that no other MMO character creator we're aware of can match us. But this also means that an individual player could literally spend weeks trying out options.

It's important to realize that most of us are not artists, and it is actually complex to fiddle with all of the sliders individually, while trying to achieve a certain "look." How do you want her jawline to look, now that you can control that, for example?

So we face a dilemma -- make it simpler by reducing player choice, or do something else. We opted for something else.

We're adding in some randomize buttons, so that once you choose a model (male, female, or big guy) a player can click the button to see many different versions of character. You can still fiddle and adjust a character one slider at a time of course. Or find a randomized character you like and make adjustments to that.

Then, for costumes, you can use the randomize costume button and see your avatar in different kinds of costume and clothing combinations. And of course you can manually override that and just choose what you want from the options.

Then you can hit the randomize colors (for the clothing, not the hair, etc.) and see how it looks. Or just pick the colors you like manually.

And you can go back and forth if you want to change something that occurred earlier in the process once you have run through it all once.

We now have it on our list to create a video of this, but give us some time, we're still coding and adjusting. But this selection process is going to make it much easier for a player with modest art skills to get what they want, in a reasonable amount of time.

Of course, "reasonable" is in the eye of the beholder.

Another update for the character/costume creator beta

From Consultant:
During the upcoming character creator beta, we're going to give participants an option to run around the city and explore. Some buildings will be open, including one building in the Warehouse District, and of course Ivar & Sons Auction House. But also we'll allow people to jump into the hospital lobby and poke around, and in addition we're going to have a nightclub with a hidden entrance, called the Beta Club.
There'll be a badge for finding the entrance and getting into the club. It's not quite finished, but it is looking pretty darn good.
Shinies! One thing I did like doing in City of Heroes was running around collecting badges. We'll be getting them in Ship of Heroes too :)

So far, the only information we have regarding the date of the character/costume creator beta is that it's pencilled in for the end of August. This isn't a firm date so be sure to check back here (or the official SoH site) regularly.

As far as I know, all you need to do to qualify for the character/costume creator beta is have donated enough towards the development of Ship of Heroes to have reached the 'Stylish' level - that' means having donated at least 50 US Dollars. And, yes, donations made over any period of time on the same account accumulate.

CCT Beta Update dated 29th July 2019

From the official forum:
Here's the current update (monday morning, eastern US time). 
We just finished some testing on the FPS for the CCT Beta map of Apotheosis City, and it looks pretty good. As always, we have a few spots with lower FPS that we're looking at. And we added emissive windows to the City Hall and to a large building in the Science Park so it is easier to run around the city at night. And we're testing with cars and civilians all over the city. It looks really good, at least to us. 
We're working on a "beauty pass" for the characters. Females are done and males are being worked on. One thing we decided to add was a slider for raising the position of the eyebrows a bit. This makes a difference in how the face looks -- intent or happy or surprised -- so we thought players would want to have this option. 
We have a good deal of work to do but we're on track, at least right now, for a late-August CCT Beta. We're also working on a few surprises for the Beta, in terms of exploring the city.
Latest bit of news from Consultant:
We reviewed the hair models for the female characters and we spotted a couple of places where, from certain angles, you can see through to the scalp. So we were fixing that yesterday, and have a couple more hair fixes for today. 
Another item is that we're adding cars and civilians all over the city, on the new draft map for the CCT Beta. This stuff takes a bit of time, and we're trying not to get it too full, or too empty. FPS is still good, because we've been planning for this stage for a few years.
We're doing a review and some polishing to the animations we've shown recently.
We're also investigating nvcloth, which is the latest Epic tool for making capes move, to see if it is better than what we already have. The jury is out on that one right now.
And we're doing a bunch of other stuff too, of course. Steady progress.
Consultant posted a relatively long reply to answer questions about launch dates and such things. Here's his very interesting post, quoted from the official forum.

First, sometimes we get people asking why we don't post the launch date, with the apparent belief that we know the launch date with absolute certainty, but we're just withholding it for ... well, reasons. 
No we do not know the launch date with certainty. And you are right, the schedule to complete is out of date.
So let's talk about that.
Here's what we are trying to do, and also the dates associated with it: 
1. We're trying to enable $50 and up donors to join a CCT Beta, and we'd like to pull this off in late August. From where I sit right now, I can see this slipping into September, but we will definitely get this done. Some activities are on the critical path, and several of them have piled up on a single dev -- and we cannot take those activities from him because he is our expert. Still, this is going to be a big deal, because the participants in the CCT Beta will be able to do the following:
A. Pick one character name and hold onto it for the game.
B. Create a character using what we think is the best character creator in any MMO today.

C. Take their time -- the Beta will likely last for a week or two.

D. Run around Apotheosis City and see the current city build for themselves.

E. Assuming that we do not find some horrible flaw in the CCT during the Beta, we hope that the participants will be able to use their characters in an invasion test (Combat Beta) later in 2019.
2. Which pretty much means we plan to have an invasion test or combat Beta later in 2019. Which month, you ask? That depends on how the CCT Beta goes. Again, we expect things to work very, very well. They worked well for us when we were testing this week, as a single player. But sadly, in the history of game development, disasters have often followed successful internal testing. So we are cautious about over-promising. There is far too much over-promising going on in game development already.
3. After the invasion test, in early 2020, we want to set up a series of live Beta tests of the whole game, beginning with mission testing. And we need to establish (by talking to the community) how many missions we need to have before we should launch. We're told COH had approximately 380 mission at launch. That's a lot of content -- far more, in fact, then most games are launched with today.

So those are the highlights for perhaps the next 6-8 months of development. Could we launch next summer? Yes, if everything goes really well. Or at the end of 2020 if something goes wrong, or we lose key people, or the community wants something changed and we think we can do it...
But in the meantime we plan to let the community do a lot with SoH. Character creation, invasion testing, followed by mission testing...and then launch when we we are sure how much minimum content we need to have. You could be playing/system testing, and giving feedback for development, on and off for a lot of the next 8 months.

So, breaking things down into plans for the future, we're looking at tentative targets as follows:
CCT Beta - late August/Early September 2019
Combat Beta/Invasion Test - late 2019
Game Beta - early 2020
Game Launch - when ready (probably middle to late 2020)

As always, you can look up the original thread on the official forum.

Latest news from Consultant posted on the official forum - 18th July 2019

Latest news from Consultant posted on the official forum (dated 18th July 2019):
We're working away on issues related to the CCT Beta, and we're making progress. 
We will have a Beta as soon as we can manage -- most likely in late August. We're having some fun working everything out and we're pretty happy with a lot of stuff we have working in the CCT now. More preset faces, more skin options, better hair options, more costumes, a very powerful set of morphs that can be applied to every preset face... This is going to be fun. 
We're also working up a new map of Apothesosis City, so participants in the Beta can run around a bit and explore. There won't be combat in this Beta (it is the character creation Beta, not a combat Beta after all), but we think you're going to be pleased. And we're going to organize some events in the City at different times, so people can get together, chat, ask the devs questions, etc. 
Stay tuned, we're going to start showing off some aspects of the CCT.

And here's another update from a day later:
We actually have kind of an issue with the CCT. A player can make so many different kinds of characters with different faces, different sizes and costumes, that it becomes an issue to explain the range of the possibilities for us.
We made an internal video just showing the preset faces for the female model, and slightly cycling the skin tone and hair models. A real quickie video. But since we have more than 40 present faces, the video ran to more than eight minutes. 
And that had no changes in hair color, or facial morphs, or exotic skin colors, or SciFi implants...and it was only the females, and there was no consideration of the costumes at all... 
Just the preset female faces took 8+ minutes. 
I guess that means we need to warn all of you that you might want to schedule some real time to fiddle with the options, when the Beta comes out...