Category Archives: News

Development Update 15

The mage is in! I repeat, the mage is in! This concludes the rework of all characters. There are still some minor details to be done, like a few animations and cloaks, but we now have all three characters reworked, each with a few gear sets.


We are in the process of finalizing most of the aspects. We have more regular tests now (normally during weekend). You are free to join us, we usually provide a link to the current build in our Discord group. Feel free to join!

During testing we continously report new bugs and try to fix all of them until next testing. We feel the game is getting pretty solid in terms of stability, performance, and most of all, enjoyment. Until next time!

Development Update 14

We are slowly approaching a time to invite more players to test the game. We have had a few fruitful tests where we discovered a few bugs that are being fixed. The tests had focused on progression system, i.e. we disabled fast leveling and see checked how the players would really experience the game. This was also the first time AI players were part of matchmaking process – if you are in queue for too long, the missing spots are filled with AI players that try to match their difficulty to your rating.

You can view one of the testing sessions here (some amoungs each other and some against AI players):

We added some additional features to the game, visually most notably the cloak with proper cloth physics (it looks much better in animation):

ScreenCloak3 ScreenCloak2


A lot of work has been done on servers, AI not doing stupid things (there are still situations of course) and stability in general. We are also very close to completing the new mage character! We also fixed the bug that did not allow us to replay recorded game – you will be able to view your games against others really soon. This also immensely helps with debugging process. We have been tweaking the matchmaking process and we feel we are really close to a good solution. We might write more about it in the next development update. Until then, have fun, and be ready to test GG really soon!

Development Update 13

We have had eventful weeks again. We have had a few tests, also with new members of community, and they liked the game and the progress.

As for the new changes, efforts were put into making user interface in selection screen more friendly and transparent. We have reordered some functionality and replaced elements on the bottom with a popup windows. We also added camera blur on the environment to put character into focus.

Screenshot 2018-01-30 19.39.12


We also improved our gameplay sudden death element. We already have permanent damage (10% of any damage dealt cannot be healed) to limit the duration of the match. To tackle with possible infinite CC kiting scenarios that could occur in 1v1, we now also shrink the arena. If it comes down to 1v1 (and 1v1 only), the playable area will shrink towards the central healing platform. If you stand outside of the region, you take periodic damage. This will force the game to end in a minute or two.

Screenshot 2018-01-30 21.00.24


Last but not least we can show the mage rework in progress. Animations are still missing but we expect you will be able to play it soon. Here is a preview of Tier 1 gear for the mage (without textures on body):


Development Update 12

Last month, a lot of effort has been put into artificial intelligence (AI). We have somewhat neglected this aspect in Grounds of Glory as you can play against other players. What we have found out, however, is that players like to test their builds against AI players first. Having a decent AI also allows us to shorten the queue times as we plan to add AI players instead of real players for lower levels and ratings where queue times are expected to be longer.

Here is an example of fights versus only AI, 1v1 versus mage and 2v2 as a healer with mage as ally, and fighter and healer as enemies,

Lets first start by saying this will be a very technical development update. The main requirement for our AI players were:

  • the AI system is fast and does not use a lot of CPU nor memory – this is a requirement as AI will be simulated on dedicated servers that are expensive to rent

  • AI players can be used as a replacement for real players, therefore must work as a team with any other player and not just mindlesly hit random targets

  • AI player will move and position itself like normal player – a healer seeks cover when it takes a lot of damage, the mage will keep range from opposing fighter and fighter will try to stick to the target

  • AI players will use most of the abilities so real players can learn from their combinations (and mistakes) – ability sequence will not be predetermined but decided on the fly based on situation (predicted damage taken, health, positioning, resources)

  • AI players must not get stuck as we intend to use it for ranking as well

  • AI players must have more difficulty levels

The first AI system was built using Unreal Engine’s built in Behaviour Trees for spell sequence calculation and Enviormental Query System for positioning. The system worked but could not satisfy all the requirements above. It had problems mostly with performance and movement calculation – this is the reason we chose to implement our own system in C++ with a lot more flexibility. The AI system is split into a few components.


System uses per-player trackers that are shared between all AI agents. This represents additional information that is not needed by human players but proves very useful for AI agents. The tracking information is split on per-team and per-player basis. We track:

  • damage dealt

  • damage received

  • healing dealt

  • healing received

Using this data, trackers are able to predict, for example, how much damage a player will take in the next 10 seconds. To predict that, we calculate “smooth” damage average in the last few seconds, and extrapolate this data to next 10 seconds. We can also see which team deals more damage etc.

Scoring Volume

The most important and also most difficult aspect is providing good locations where to move. We split our “navigation mesh” to a discrete grid. In a preprocess, we calculate persistent properties of each grid point. These properties include whether this point is accessible, its visibility information to 16 directions and 3 distances and “exposure” of each point. A visualization of point exposure is shown in the below picture.


As you can see, points that are not that accessible from other points are less exposed (blue).

Additionally, we also dynamically calculate team-specific potential for each point, like how much damage can team A deal to each grid point. This is calculated based on player’s position and class type and changes as the game is running. We typically calculate these properties on a certain interval. The following image shows that damage potential for a team is higher around players of that team.


AI players then use this information to calculate where it should move; for example, a player might want to move to a location with low enemy damage potential, high ally team healing potential and point with line of sight to a certain player. We can express the end location as a series of weight, like -1 for enemy damage (we do not move somewhere where enemy deals damage), 0.5 for ally healing (we want to move to a location where ally healing is high but this tendency is not as high as avoiding damage) and filter out only grid locations that see a certain other point and are in range. We added a lot more options to filter best point as you can see from the point but they all follow the same pattern.


The preprocess calculation is free as we do it at level load and around destructable meshes upon their destruction. Dynamic properties are updates really fast as we do not need to perform any raytraces, just simple math arithetics in C++.

Spell ranking

All spells are already in a Data table. We did not want to re-enter all spell properties so we just linked an additional table with avaible spells to rank with some additional “AI-specific” properties.

Screenshot 2018-01-12 21.40.21

The spell ranking goes as this:

  • We calculate if spell is possible

  • We calculate its damage, healing, control and movement score

  • We calculate its overall score based on the ranking request (how important each individual spell score is)

  • We add “spell combo” factor (some spells have good combinations, like Conduit -> Projectile)

  • We sort spells by score

The system allows us to specify which spells the AI player will use in a certain mode and find out the best spell in that situation in a very generic way that is reusable by all classes.


All together

We provide implementation of AI agent for each class. Every class has different modes based on its health, resources and target’s properties. For example, healer will go to “Regenerate” mode when low on mana, or to “Aggressive DPS and healing” mode when his allies are on high health and mana is still high. Each mode has a different movement and spell ranking. After all this math, the difference between good and bad AI just depends on how many modes we had anticipated and how well we have calibrated them.

We are quite happy with current behaviours of AI players. They are actually pretty good so we might need to tone them done for beginners. There is a long path still ahead of us but we are fairly optimistic that we will provide interesting AI players for you to fight with and against!

Development Update 11

We are back with more content! This time, Ice Arena is (nearly) finished and we can share some screenshots:


The arena is on the island on the lake, surrounded by snowy vulcanic mountains from all sides.

The players from opposing teams start fairly close here, with only a big rock divising them at start. You can opt in to fight direcrly or choose to hide using the big central rock or behind the platform. All three smaller pillars are destructible so they only provide cover for one projectile.



We are still looking for an appropriate name for the arena. Please write to us if you have any suggestions.

We are also very close to finishing the new healer model with all animations and two tiers of gears. We hope that we can release update on that soon.

From the gameplay side, we are changing out of combat healing that did not work well in playtests. In each arena, we place a buff platform.


The platform server two purpuses. When out of combat, you can step on it to receive a healing buff. The buff stays on you for 14 seconds and heals you for approximatelly 4000. Teams without healer can use it to partly recover from a bad situation. You lose the buff immediatelly when entering combat. If at any point, we come to 1v1 situation, the platform no longer provides healing buff. Instead, when out of combat the dueling players will receive slow that grows stronger and stronger over time (1% slow per second, capped to 70%). The only way to remove it is to step on the platform. As the platform is always placed in the open, we will force them to fight there. Whoever steps on the platform can easily catch or outrun the opponent and thus has a big advantage in the fight.

Development Update 10

We are really happy with the development lately. We upgraded to a new version of Unreal Engine, and got improvements in lightning quality, especially regarding the volumetric fog and lightning when you stand in shadow. We also optimized the memory usage and disk size, the packaged game is now 30% smaller than it was – we are at 4.3 GB at the moment. We expect to get further improvements when we replace old arenas and characters. We also took some time to clean up the code and get rid of all those nasty warnings.HighresScreenshot00004

We are finally ready to show the healer. While it is not yet fully animated, we are fairly confident you will be able to play it soon.

Screenshot 2017-11-08 21.03.02

The healer already has one gear set (with some recolors pending) and we are already in the process of making the second one.

The new arena is also in the making. This time we go high in the mountains to fight in the middle of the lake. The background is set but we still have a lot of work to finish the interior of arena. We hope you will like it!


Until next time!

Development Update 9

We had a busy schedule lately. We have attended the Slovenian Games Conference where we also setup the boot for attendents to play!


The feedback was really good. We especially loved that players that played it last year noticed our efforts in visuals, animation and user experience. We have also participated in Nordic Game Discovery session. Sadly, we didn’t win but hopefully we left good impressions.


We are working really hard to deliver a polished product. While fighter is almost reworked, we are already working on the next class and hopefully the next update we can show progress on that part. We have refactored of many of our “behinds the scenes” systems: database and lobby servers are performing much faster, the game servers consume less CPU, the startup should be faster etc.

The gameplay changes are also part of this development update. We introduced stats on gear. Note that this change will NOT make Grounds of Glory pay to win as you can get the same character attributes by just playing, i.e. you cannot buy yourself an advantage that others without money cannot get over time. We opted for three stats system: power (increasing damage and healing), defence (decreasing damage taken) and cooldown reduction (reducing the cooldowns of all spells). Each season we intend to increase stats on gear by a minor amount so you want the new gear but can still easily compete with the gear from older seasons.

Screenshot 2017-10-21 10.33.53

There have been remarks that double DPS combos are doomed if they mess up the initial setup. That is why we added an experimental feature; when out of combat, you now slowly (1% per second) regenerate health. This should allow players to slowly recover health when kiting and hiding behind pillars. We know that this will break 1v1 balance slighlty but duels are not meant to be played for anything else but practice anyway.

Development Update 8

Summer “break” is over. Well, we have been working hard but I admit that we did isolate ourselves from the outside world to finish a lot of content. So sorry for no updates but it was easier this way.

Let us first talk about character redesign for fighter. We felt that the model and animations just aren’t good enough for the old model, so we not only changed parts but created everything from scratch. Yes, this means new model, new gear sets, weapons, and new animations. While some aspects, mostly animations, are still work in progress, we can finally share how it looks in action. You can check the new animations, fighter model and a few gear variants in this video:

Or check some screens of one of the armor tiers and a weapon variant:



You might have noticed the new arena content in the video. Yes, a brand new arena Ruins of Alka’ar.



The battle in Ruins of Alka’ar is mostly fought in the central region even tough you can stay in you starting room as well to find additional cover. After pillar gets destroyed in center, it creates a ramp to the upper part and thus adds additional fighting ground and cover to this basic “Nagrand” layout.

We have deprecated Cradle of Victors until we do rework on that map as well. We also improved a lot of bits in tutorial map so now it has more details and lightning looks better:

I probably missed a lot. For one, I did not show all the available weapons for fighter (there are 7 new weapons), nor all the available gear. We are still ironing out some details and bugs but we believe the game is getting its visual charm now. Until next time! I promise it will be sooner than 2 months!

Development Update 7

It has been a bit more than 2 weeks since the last update. We have been busy. Next on the rework list was the Tutorial map. While it is not finished yet, we have found a way to plant it with more vegetation, correct most of the issues and add a lot of variation to it. Here is the result.


We use SpeedTree for all the trees which gives us a lot of realism as they also move in wind and have good ambient occlusion map. For far away trees, we use billboards that are baked from the original tree meshes.


For the scene, we used Exponential Fog for the distance but we also added a combination of fog sheets and particle volumetric fog spawners. Volumetric fog is a new feature. Take note in the sun lightning up the fog.


We also added a lot of vegetation, like ivy on the walls, and more procedural grass and rocks on the ground. The tutorial map is also full of crate supplies, barrels and seeds.


We can’t wait to show you the new fighter character in action in the next update!

Development Update 6

We are proud to present a rework of Temple Gorge map that will go live for today’s testing!


This is not just a visual upgrade but also layout upgrade. Collisions are much tighter now, there is more room to hide in the starting areas and on outer edges, and we added additional rocks on each side where you can hide from the projectiles (but not from direct spells). Hopefully, this update will make fighters happier when dueling mages.



The topdown view shows a lot of details we have added to make it more enjoyable: there are temple ruins, a small lake and some trees with grass and bushes that grow because the water is present.

This is not the only update that happened in the last three weeks. We also:

  • upgraded to a new version of Unreal Engine, 4.16. This gives us better performance and new features for the future (like volumetric fog and clothing)
  • when hovering over spell tooltips, we show in-game range for each spell with a circle marker
  • hovering over Play button now shows the number of players online and, if in queue, the number of players in that specific queue bracket
  • intergrated Google Analytics so we can better see how you play the game
  • mediate no longer breaks on damage over time

A lot more is coming in the following weeks so stay tuned!