State of Matterless #2

Did you notice some more details in the header? A magical lake appears!

Hey guys, it’s Jason with another weekly update. My goal is to tell you all about what we’re doing every Wednesday. We discuss our current thinking, but also remember that as the project progresses, we may need to re-design, re-prioritize, or remove things that we previously discussed. Come along for the ride!

Concluding The 0.1 Demo

We’ve concluded our first beta test! We had over 400 players install our beta app and try it. We appreciate all of the feedback and bug reports that we’ve received. As an added challenge, we have a screencap contest running until today for beta testers. This helps us to engage our users and to get feedback on what people like to do and what they consider share-worthy. Results of the screencap contest will be posted at the end of this week, but we have some cute and inspiring posts already.

Visual Development

Some metaflora ideas drawn by our concept artist, Antonio.

This week has been all about what a day in the life of engaging with your companions looks like — performing daily tasks such as socializing with your Matterless friends, keeping your companions well-fed, and looking after them. This process requires us to experiment with various user-friendly modes of interaction to ensure that you can see how your companions are faring at a glance.

We’ve also been working on some big cosmetic upgrades to our website which will be going live soon — the vision we have for the Matterless world is slowly but surely coming to life (check out the header of this week’s update)! The site will eventually allow you to showcase your experiences and fun interactions in frequent gallery updates that will be found on the home page.

Sound Design

Giving the floor to Dusko, our sound engineer: “The starting point of our sound design actually came from the Matterless name. The first idea was to keep it simple and symmetrical. Later on, I got familiar with some of the concept visuals. These confirmed that the wide and atmospheric combination of electronic and acoustic instruments was the right way to go. I used mallets, resynthesized acoustic pianos, bells, and various pluck sounds as a foundation for the current iteration of the sounds.

Our sound-field is non-invasive, non-irritant, often melodic and light, and mystical, to represent the spirits hosted in the bodies of digital animals. There is a pinch of the atmosphere of classic games too, so I chose a sharp but intuitive UI sound in the same key as the rest of the game.”

Discord

Over on Discord, we recently talked with a cybersecurity professional, and much of our work over the last week have been to bolster our security within our server. We implemented a new user verification system, as well as the new moderator ticketing system. These advancements were made in our backend to make sure both our users and staff are able to feel safe and get support as soon as possible. Since the recent launch of Matterless Beta 0.1, we’ve been coming up with ways for beta testers to interact with the rest of our community. Our feedback channel ensures users can directly talk to the developers to inform them of bugs and suggest new features. As always we’re on the lookout for new ways our community can engage with Matterless, so we can create our own unique spin on these methods.

AMA with the Snow Leopard Trust

We keep asking ourselves what kind of leverage our users and fans have, and — our Discord has already proven itself as a fantastic way to engage. Our Patreon backers are now consistently helping us donate to wildlife organizations worldwide. After last month when we made our first donation to the Snow Leopard Trust, they opted to do it again. As a thank you, we organized a new AMA with two of SLT’s scientists. Justine and Koustubh’s work is contributing to a greater understanding of snow leopard ecology. Matterless community members asked them a series of interesting questions.

The Year of the Tiger Begins!

Almost 2 billion people around the world celebrate the Lunar New Year. The Year of the Water Tiger began yesterday. In China, the Tiger is known as the king of all beasts, representing strength, and bravery. It’s seen as a guardian spirit of children, with infants and toddlers wearing shoes with tigers on them to protect them against evil spirits. To honor the Year of the Tiger, we are currently working on adding tigers as our next animal in the Matterless app. 虎年大吉, 万事如意!

Until next week,

— Jason, Product Manager, Matterless

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