April Development Update 4

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Greetings Pioneers

The Juggernaut release is imminent!

This week we have been testing the interactions and balancing of the first of our big enemy creature types. We have also been fixing a number of bugs as well as continuing work on other exciting future features. We hope to have a new release out to you very soon, there are just a few remaining issues to sort out before we can confidently let it out the door.

As well as the Juggernaut we are hoping to release the new Spawn Pad Utility which will be selectable in the deployment menu and will replace the functionality of spawning at your Eden Kit. You can build multiple of these and place them anywhere within your base. Each one will have a cooldown timer before they can be used again.

Here’s what we’ve been working on this week:

John – Lead Designer

Working with the team on designs for the power and fuel system, we have had several ideas for the implementation of this, after lengthy discussions we think we have a solution that will work and not feel too tedious as a survival mechanic. When we have refined them a bit more It would be good to share them with you all and get some feedback!

Towards the end of the week I’ve been testing the Juggernaut with the team and defining tweaks and refinements to the interactions that will make him more of a challenge and more rewarding to take it down!

Matt – Art Director

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I’m in a volcano or something, I dunno.

Earlier in the week though I was working on finishing the new ‘locations’ I was teasing last week – I then moved on to creating a bunch of prefab buildings which, pending testing, will randomly spawn across the level and add a whole new dimension to exploration and colonisation…

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Lee – Technical Director

Most of my time this week has been spent on fixing bugs and trying to locate some rare crashes we have been having with the AI. The Juggernaut still needs a little more polish before it is ready to be released.

Tristan – Senior Developer

This week I have been working with Big Boss on designs for power and fuel systems for the game. Development wise I have been implementing more logic around the player logging out and logging back system. Also AI and Player body ragdolls because who knew falling over was that hard.

Marcin – Designer

Just like the rest of the team, I spent most of time testing, debugging and tweaking, most of all the Juggernaut and its Ram attack, which had a problem of being bipolar, it would either hit like wet noodles or knock the player out of the map, with very little wiggle room in between. Among other things, I put some extra work into the Modular Weapon System as well, because who knew that procedurally driven animations would be tricky to implement 🙂 The biggest problem with it was the Recoil animation, whose length and magnitude have to be variable driven and still look right, but at the moment I think we’ve found our solution.

Joe – Environment Artist

I’ve been polishing rocks this week – reviewing the current state of the new level and focusing on improving key areas such as the Underwater biomes by improving the terrain and mesh placement and making underwater caves for nasty critters to live in. I’m currently working on initial portions of new biome areas, a variant of ‘Grassland’ to populate the windswept outer reaches of the island, and ‘Marsh’ (formerly Savannah). In amongst all this I’ve had some extra time to fix up a bunch of small but annoying issues with the new level, including dodgy hive placement, optimising clouds/foliage for slower GPUs, PFX tweaks, fog fixes, collision problems, ceramic rock visuals, and underwater Post Process.

Also grieving the loss of 3 fine British eggs, stolen by Matt. I can only assume he plans on casting them into the fires of Mount Doom on his holiday. Well, that or making scrambled eggs.

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Lauren – Animator

In between testing the Juggernaut and working with marcin on our modular weapons system I have been polishing up the skin weighting for the player armour sets and exporting the individual pieces. I’ve started on a blueprint visual prototype for combining elements of different sets together to start to define the rules as to what we want from it. Balancing flexibility with what actually looks good together and what combinations don’t work.

Ideally we would like additional slots for vanity items that won’t affect gameplay but in terms of armour pieces so far we have helmets, chest armour, leg armour, arm armour (not including the RMD) and boots. The RMD weapon could be another slot eventually but so far we just have the one variety 😉

Simone – Concept Artist

This week I have been tidying up the environment concepts from the last few weeks and making sure all the creatures are sitting pretty. We have also started work on two new environments that need to be conceptualised for the team to start work on some environment systems.

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Yves – Senior Developer

I’ve been working on building block improvements and mining improvements as well as adding the ability to raise and lower foundation heights on placement.

Ricky – Developer

Spent some quality time this week debugging the keybinding issues among others. I also implemented the Replication Unit first pass into the game ready for some testing and debugging.

Andy – Lead QA

I don’t know what to write in these anymore. I do the same thing every week. It’s a lot less exciting than the other guys, which is why I’m always at the bottom. So if you have waded through all the awesomeness that the others have entertained you with and ended up here, at the door to relentless repetition, don’t be alarmed I shall leave you with a quote I’ve just stolen from the internet…

“They don’t make bugs like Bunny anymore.” – Olav Mjelde.

QUALITY ASSURED!

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

April Development Update 3

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Greetings Pioneers!

This week we have been continuing development on exciting new environments, features and creatures. The new level is getting populated with climbable rocks, secret caves and feature areas, the Juggernaut is stomping around, charging and breathing fire and the modular weapons artwork is coming along nicely and may yield more combinations than originally thought. Progress!

Here’s what we’ve been working on:

John – Lead Designer

This week I’ve been going over designs for the objectives system and the modular weapon system among many other design and production meetings and discussions. We’re making some exciting progress!

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have been finalising the Juggernaut behaviours ready for an imminent release. There has been a lot more work involved with this creature than most other AI we have, just because of the way we want it to work. Now the work is done it should also make it a lot easier to add other large creatures to the game which we have planned.

Matt – Art Director

So, magical things have been happening in the new map. I’ve been creating a dynamic level loading system with the help of the developers, which allows us to perform a wizard like spell that replaces sections of the world with entirely different looking areas and features every time a new game is started. One example being sinkholes, which will tie into some of our story driven components to do with the origin of the enemy creatures. I will say no more and allow speculation to run rampant with just one image.. Enjoy.

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Tristan – Senior Developer

This week I have been helping out with system and implementation designs for our new procedural designer built structures (we might change the name) to give the impression of a lost world. I have also been implementing the logout system where the player characters and their inventories will remain after they have logged out. This will mean you can go and loot people when they are sleeping so make sure to wrap up warm and surrounded by turrets when you log out 🙂

Yves – Senior Developer

This we… no I refuse to start any post like that. In this sprint I have been working further on deterioration of buildings, making the decay faster from the outside in, meaning a well supported structure should take longer to decay. Also I’ve been working towards procedurally placed structures, that’s all I’m saying on that… I don’t want to ruin the fun things we have planned.

Marcin – Designer

Graphs, flowcharts, documents, spreadsheets, and prototypes – namely designer’s favourite things, it’s what I’ve been buried under the entire week. Among other things, I’ve done another pass on the Juggernaut’s behaviour tree, planned out 3 alternative Progression flows, designed the experience distribution and finished up missing bits from the survival mechanic system. And to top it all up. I’ve started prototyping the more interesting attacks of the upcoming Splintermite Queen.

Joe – Environment Artist

Pushing to finish off my pass over terrain and mesh placement in the initial portion of our new map. Don’t tell the Directors, but I’ve hidden a few secrets in the map… We can’t wait to unleash this mammoth new world to the community.

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Lauren – Animator

These past few weeks has been all about modular weapons, I’ve been working on weapon recoil, lining up the aim down sights so that it works with each scope/barrel/receiver combination and getting the new Heavy Receiver and Grenade and Bolt Launcher Barrels feeling good from an animation perspective. Dynamically blending how much recoil animation to play with any given combination is proving to be the tricky bit but once we figure this out we can begin moving the prototype into code. I’m looking forward to sharing how it’s all working and looking once we get it a bit more polished!

Ricky – Developer

I started this week by looking into some of the main issues users have been having to do with key rebinding and losing items/weapons and inventory. Most of the keybindings are now sorted pending testing, and temporary measures are in place to allow players to continue games where they’ve lost items until we can fully capture the issue.

After that debacle, I started getting my hands dirty with some of the progression system.

Simone – Concept Artist

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on making sure the environment concepts are correct and showing all the details that the team needs from them, as well as creating concepts for a deer-like creature that will be found in a few environments within the game. We want them to show how the different creatures interact with each other and it has taken some time to get the right feel from each concept. We are almost there!

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Andy – Lead QA

Since our last release I have been working on replicating issues that have been reported on the steam forums and getting the relevant information to the guys to get them fixed. More recently I’ve been dealing with the distressing realisation that Matt got me a normal KitKat chunky instead of a peanut butter KitKat chunky.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

v0.1.11 Hotfix Released!

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Greetings Pioneers!

Thank you for all the feedback you’ve been sharing over the weekend. We’re coming right at your beautiful faces with the fix to a critical crash to do with killing the Cirrus Spores (Triffids, aka Dekubaba’s), not to mention some other minor fixes thrown in for extra joy and happiness!

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  • Fix for crash caused by killing Cirrus Spores/ triffids/ plant-like hive spawn.
  • Fixed levels prompts remaining onscreen for eden kit.
  • Tweaks to controls and re-mapping (The revert button now does what it’s meant to)
  • Removed extra eden kit upgrade node indicator.
  • P button opens and closes clan menu properly again, as sometimes it would fail to close properly and leave the UI onscreen.
  • Fix for FOV aim down sights playing at incorrect blend speed in single player.

As always, please keep us informed of your experiences and feedback from the ever evolving and treacherous world of Pharus 7. You can also keep track of upcoming features on our public Trello board!

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

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Eden Star is a product of the GamesLab West Midlands programme, developed by Creative England and supported by the Regional Growth Fund.

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