New Toons... for the Amused!
Posted on July 02, 2023 by The Corporate Clash Crew
Hello once again, Toons! It's been almost half a year since our initial post covering the update in "The Next Chapter," and what a time it's been! ... For breaks, that is! With the launch of the Hires and Heroes update and the Maypril Toons' Update, we've stretched ourselves quite thin, and permanent content has taken a back seat while our crew members take their well-earned rest.
As announced in our DreamHack status update presentation, we will be prioritizing permanent content development for the rest of 2023. One of the headline projects for the 2.0 update is the Mix-and-Match Toon Customization update, and we're excited to show you our latest development!
In case you're out of the loop, the Mix-and-Match Toon Customization update is a large overhaul project to Toon species, headed by Art Director Polygon. The goal is to revamp the Make-a-Toon process, allowing you to create a Toon with any part from any species! You can read more about it HERE over our previous post covering Mix-and-Match.
We've been prototyping new Toon designs and we have some exciting advancements in visual design for these Mix-and-Match Toons. As a fun exercise, we asked several of our development crew to share some of their Toon characters that they had drawn, and we wanted to see how closely we could replicate their characters with our more modular system. For an exercise in testing the limits and capabilities of Mix-and-Match, we're pretty happy with the results!
Keen eyes might notice all the new pieces we're testing out, such as hair, fangs, and variations on well-known Toontown species! There's still a lot yet left to do, but we are confident we can bring forth a system that will please all sides, whether you're a fan of the classic Clash designs, or looking forward to the upcoming limitless customization!
For our developers, it's pretty typical for us to take a sledgehammer to major sectors of the game's codebase at least three times for a major update. v2.0 will be celebrating the destruction of the old Toon functionality, welcoming entirely new Toons written from the ground up! What does this mean for you? Well, it means we finally get the chance to fix a few issues that have been bugging us for a long time...
The old Toon system was becoming rigid and stagnant fast – the ability to add and implement new species was becoming a daunting, time-consuming chore, and one that was extremely limited in technical design. With the new Toon system, we'll have the ability to implement any new Toon features at any time – any kind of ears, horns, you name it. Your Mix-and-Match Toons will simply become Mixier-and-Matchier over time!
But you might be wondering; "How will we get all these new designs?" Don't fret, because you'll be happy to know that all standardized pieces will be accessible through the Make-a-Toon, whether it be mammalian, avian, reptilian, or insectoid! The keyword however, is "standardized". Which begs the question, "What's a non-standardized piece?"
Beyond the Toony animals we all know and love, we've been toying with something else: new designs that don't belong to any known creature, possibly not even organic at all! Have you ever wanted a Toon that might be part metal, or plant, or plushie, or wood? Soon enough, that may be more possible than you think! Of course, these parts won't be as easy to get, most likely reserved for event rewards, catalog wares, or boss loot. You'll have to work hard for a shot at these rare pieces!
Additionally, past Mix-and-Match, we'll finally be able to implement long-requested expansions to Toon customizability as well, such as new types of Toon accessories beyond glasses/backpack/etc (the long-requested neck slot for your favorite scarves!).
Rewriting Toons from the ground up gives us the ability to more carefully refine, control and optimize how they're loaded and rendered in-game. If you've ever been around for any in-game party (whether those be of the cool or pizza variants), you may be quite familiar with Clash's loading screen. Like, really familiar. Several-minutes-familiar.
We're experimenting with some novel techniques and theories to greatly reduce these harsh loading times for Toons in order to minimize loading overhead. Our performance improvements are still in development. We're optimistic of our results, but we don't have anything to show for them yet. Stay TOONed for more news on this!
Static to Dynamic
We're making some major improvements to basic Toon movement and your camera, too! On the surface level, things are much smoother: turning is more gradual, subtle acceleration/deceleration is added, and the camera is less rigid and politely follows you around. However, the crux of these improvements come from an overhaul of the old 'tank control' format. In particular, turning, strafing, and backpedaling have been removed – you will just walk in those directions instead. This makes movement with tank controls more snappy, faster, and fun, too! This change also allows it to integrate with the existing orbital camera in a much more intuitive and satisfying fashion. Trust us – you're going to LOVE it.
We've prepared a sneak peek video to show off its capabilities here! (Please note these are early in-game footages with outdated models, and does not represent the final product)
Today is July 2nd, 2023 – the fifth anniversary of Toontown: Corporate Clash. We've come a long way, through rocky beginnings, extensive development cycles, and Rocky Halloweens, all to finally reach and get to this point. To that, we'd like to say thank you! Thank you to the entire community for sticking with us, for providing your support along the way. Our game itself is developed by volunteers from the little corner of the internet that Toontown still lives on in, and as a result it's truly reflective of what we've all wanted to see from the game all along.
These brand-new Toons will feature in our upcoming v2.0 update (release date still to be determined, as we've still got a lot of work to do!), and will bring new customizability, features, performance, and just general fun to doing absolutely anything at all. And don't worry, it'll still be fun to run around in circles for hours in the playgrounds (in case you do that as often as our devs do). Keep your eyes peeled on our blog for more news!