November Development Update 4!

Greetings Pioneers!

So we’ve crossed a bridge and the foundations for our vehicle system are fully in place for designers to get a handle on it. After much deliberation in the art department over the islands surface details, decisions have been made to add a more realistic selection of material types and blends.

We’ve also been putting some serious time into making our placement system more automated as whole (especially for foliage) to help speed up further development and make eventual modding of islands more user friendly.

Here’s what we’ve individually been upto:

John – Lead Designer

Working on Enemy Archetype designs in between managing projects 😛 – Again, I’ve been looking how this can be tied into progression. We’re working on systems to make sure that the variations of AI can meet a set number of modular systems that we already have in place. We have a number of the team who will be working hard to get these functional over the next 12 weeks.

Matt – Art Director

Finishing our review of surface types for the island. Wanting to make sure the details we go for are excellent quality and feel believable in both first and third person views (que more realism with surface photogrammetry). Tom has been piecing these together mainly.

A lot of the re-population of the surface will be done with more automated tools so as to speed this process up. When we’re ready to hit the go button you may notice the world is a tiny bit larger than before due to these systems..

On a final note we’re in the process of getting the blocked out spaces for the vehicles refined!

Lee – Technical Director

Galavanting n stuff like a boss. I’ve been working on the AI planners for the turrets and cleaning them up. I’ve also been trying to fix up some engine issues to do with our foliage where trying to damage them would cause the game to crash after our engine update.

I am all for Tree preservation but seems a bit extreme in a virtual world when the nights are cold and the natives don’t seem very friendly.

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have spent most my time reviewing code and telling Lee to let us mine trees again.

Carlos – Developer

First blog in a long time!

I’ve been working on the selling functionality to be inline with the new tool module system that we’ve implemented. This should allow us to only attach this module to any others that we want to be able to sell and keep any other modules free to do another action should they not implement it!

Olly – Junior Programmer

So I reached the magical point (code climax) in time where I’ve committed the base of work for our vehicle system. The new designers can now get their hands on the basic tools to adjust stats and spawn vehicles with a variety of variables which can be modified to change the feel and look.

Marcin – Designer

This has been a rather eventful week. First of all we’ve had some additional meetings and designs for our AI, which with the new system almost done can properly take off the ground.We are solidifying the set of archetypes we want to focus on in the first place, and we are referencing games such as Halo, Dishonored, Half-Life and Doom to help us with that. Secondly, tis the season to get the common cold, so I am currently all about that and writing this from my bed. I should be back up and running on Monday.

Tom W – Designer

Hey guys, I’ve had a pretty busy week. One the one hand, it’s been full of meetings about our ai and animation pipeline, and on the other, I’ve been busy working on our base material layers for the more barren/desert portions of our landscape, which you’ll all hopefully appreciate!

Previously, I was having issues where we’d have a great looking sand material, and some lovely rocks, but when it came to combining them they didn’t look particularly natural or cohesive. To solve that, I’ve developed a workflow which keeps everything much more grounded in the same core biomes. Once they’re all combined in engine, all this hard work should result in a much more photorealistic world for you all to explore!

Thomas W – Designer

This is my first blog post for Eden Star but I have been working behind the scenes for a while on overhauling the crafting system. I’m still in the early stages of planning as and have been looking at how a player progresses throughout the crafting system to try and make the mining and initial crafting stages is more streamlined, but also try to keep the depth and creativity possible in the later stages.

Right now that means consolidating the basic raw materials required for simple base building, but making significant upgrades and buildables required key materials that are much rarer in the world. Hopefully this should mean you can get up and going quickly and spend less time mining and more time exploring for those key materials.

I want to make sure that the direction we’re heading with crafting feels right, and more importantly fun, with the rest of the upcoming additions and changes. So you can view my ‘wonderful’ ideas and planning spreadsheet here (many aspects are work in progress or ideas and not final) to take a look at what we’re doing.

Sam – Concept Artist

I’ve shifted from vehicles and started producing some silhouettes for different mite versions with a variety of abilities. There are a bunch of other plans for variations of creatures but I’ll leave that to speculation ;D

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I have been planning the archetypes of AI we will have in the world with the rest of the guys, taking references from all the games we love. I have also been experimenting with sharing of rigs for multiple characters so that we can get more use out of a single skeleton into multiple AI varieties.

Andy – Lead QA

We have had some fixes made to both multiplayer and turrets that I had the chance to test this week and I am happy to report that the turrets are working as expected and multiplayer, though there are still a few issues, is coming together nicely.

On a slightly different note I would like to thank all of the members of the community who take the time to post on the forums. I know Early Access can be a slow and sometimes arduous process, but all the love and support you show us each week on the forums is massively appreciated and I would encourage you all to keep posting.  

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

 

November Development Update 3

Greetings Pioneers!

More in the way of progress this week as we continue to fix up AI bugs and pull more of our new systems together. We are designing the layout of encounters and interactive elements for the new map while we go back and make some basic iterations to the layout.

There are now a lot more smoother sloping areas that make it easier for vehicles to traverse but also make it easier for walking AI to reach you. That’s right, be scared, because you will truly only be safe in your bases when we unleash this beastly revision.

John – Lead Designer

Decisions must be made, a lot of my time right now revolves around breaking down the parts of the design into manageable chunks for the team. So currently i’m working miracles to get people onto the right areas of the game, and it’s always a bit of a juggling job as tasks exchange hands.. I did always want to perform in the circus and in a way production is pretty close to that 😉

Matt – Art Director

I’ve gone back to paper based design with the guys after our initial playthrough to fully flesh out our location placements and general layout on the island. This will always be important as a reference point for the designers who get stuck into the details. The finished layout will be handed off to teams which will develop each area in more detail.

The process will be driven by purpose and meaning behind every outpost in these areas, which in turn will then tie into our single player discovery based storytelling mechanics.

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have been reviewing the turrets in-game and making the changes where needed to start using the more designer friendly AI system. I’ve also started reviewing the Biomes ready for them to be places into our new map

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been checking over a load of the development work with the other devs and looking into some of the new bugs we have gained after updating the engine. Super fun. I have also been fixing up some interaction logic as it doesn’t work for every situation currently.

Olly – Junior Programmer

I’ve been continuing on with my work for the vehicles, this week looking more closely at a boost function that will give player that extra little “umph” to traverse the steeper terrain. I’ve always been honing my tea and coffee making skills as my perpetual dabbing around the office required a punishment. In the form of making hot drinks for the team it would appear.

Marcin – Designer

I have been doing a lot of reviewing, fixing and generally tying of loose ends. I’ve had a good look at the level in terms of system being properly in place, such as: is the navigation mesh everywhere it’s supposed to be? Are the perception and flying volumes covering all the space they should? How about collisions? Can you build and walk on the appropriate surfaces? When making a game level it’s so easy to only focus on how it looks and feels and forget that it has to work too.

Moreover I’ve been fixing more creatures to work with the new systems and identifying where we are missing animations. We have a working stalker, cerberus, and I am working on the ika now. The new tech we are facing with the first 2 are leaping attacks, which still have some bugs. Those are the melee attacks that can begin from far away and where the creature jumps into close range to deal damage. I am still making my mind about how much the creature can turn or steer during.

Tom – Designer

I’m continuing the work on the macro level for out terrain, following some curation from John and the gang after a play session. Looking forward to showing everyone the progress we’re making very soon!

Sam – Concept Artist

After further reviews with John, Matt and Andy we have finalised the overall shape of both the heavy and light chassis vehicles. From there I’ve been working on a top down view for both of the vehicles so the modellers have all the proportions to make a start on it.

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I have been refining locomotion for the stalker now that we are having the ability for all AI to strafe (though not all in the same manner). I have also been continuing with the axe and finishing moves.

Andy – Lead QA

It’s been a week of meetings and conversations regarding next steps for Eden Star, some ended in a peaceful while others ended like a scene from Mad Max Thunderdome. On the whole though we got a lot sorted, fixed and tested a few of the bugs remaining from the engine update and ended the week positively.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

 

November Development Update 2

Greetings Pioneers!

We have begun the extensive process of bring the new landscape to life, this involves re-integrating all the world systems into the newly defined areas.

We’ll be putting a series of development updates out that give everyone a better sense of the scale we’re aiming for. To say a lot has gone into the planning before committing to this layout is an understatement.

Having a world that truly compliments the game features new and old is exciting, and we believe the time we’re taking to do this will improve the game for the community vastly. So again we very much appreciate your support and feedback that allows us to continue working through these changes!

John – Lead Designer

I’ve been talking to Olly about how we improve the initial vehicle setup and polish gameplay. In addition to this i’ve been reworking the fuel designs to meet with what Tom has been working through on the material/resource setup.

Matt – Art Director

Copious amounts of detail have been going into the design of the terrain generation for the new design. We’re toying with expanding the world, and making resources more sparse to encourage more travelling for those feeling adventurous. It also very much justifies the use of vehicles when they are introduced. So you can expect for exploration with faster journey times.

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have continued to add more functionality to our new ‘Point of Interest’ component. They can both attract AI to interact with them or different types of AI can be repelled so they will avoid them. The component can also hold multiple scripts which are passed out to the AI with instructions for the AI to follow and complete tasks.

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been helping out with a few engine bugs as well as getting the new interaction working and tested. I have also been overseeing some of changes to the tool modules so that they behave more like weapons which should make for a more customisable loadouts.

Yves – Senior Developer

Thanks to our huge new landscape, I’ve reworked the objective system to help guide players in the initial stages of the game, as well as hint at nearby points of interest to investigate with your friends.

Tom – Designer

“Pharus 7 isn’t a place, it’s a people.”

Cheesy references aside, I’m happy to present our shiny new landscape!

There’s still plenty of work for us to do, like adding roads and likes for you all to explore, but this should serve as a solid foundation for the new terrain. As usual, any suggestions for any particular biomes you’d like to see in the world are always welcome!

Going forwards, you should be seeing much more in the way of pretty new screenshots, now that it’s properly in engine and all our wonderful artists can sink their teeth into it.

Olly – Junior Programmer

Hey everyone! I’ve secretly working behind the scenes on some fancy new vehicle controllers for the game, which should hopefully lead to some fun vehicular shenanigans when they get released down the line. Most of my time has been spent doing R&D as to the best way approach them, such as whether to write them completely from scratch, or build upon Epic’s vehicle templates.

 

Sam – Concept Artist

Following further feedback from John and Matt I have been tweaking the look of the heavy chassis vehicle to give the player a greater field of view while in the cockpit. We also decided that a door on the side of the vehicle would be beneficial to game play.

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I have been continuing with axe finishing move animations and the kill move system. This will be a pared action between AI and the player with animations based on the height of the AI along with variations so that there are slight differences each time.

Andy – Lead QA

I’ve been testing the game as a whole this week to make sure that we have caught all those pesky bugs that came running in with the engine upgrade. I also got to play around with the new voice chat in multiplayer. It see needs a little work but I can at least now talk to other players instead of trying to type all the time.

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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