March Development Update 3

Greetings Pioneers!

This week we have been planning the development of the tutorial and the environment to add points of interest, feature areas and optional objectives while hopefully reducing the load times as these structures can work differently to those that players can build. These lost-colony abandoned structures should offer plenty of intrigue and opportunity to explore.

The tutorial/introduction we are designing to stagger the player abilities and reduce the difficulty of the starting area while still ramping things up for late-game. We have some bright environment and tech artists we are bringing on board to assist with the level development as well as vehicles.

John – Lead Designer

At the end of this week Flix was invited to the Epic games Post GDC Unreal Engine 4 meetup in London. I’ve been down and it was the perfect chance to catch up with some of our contacts and look into some of the upcoming tech on a more personal level. In terms of Eden Star, this really helps us get a better understanding of where we can take the game from a technology point of view.

For the beginning of the week I’ve been overseeing the design work for the objective based tutorial from a production standpoint, this is essential to getting a realistic measure of the time we’ll be investing in this section of the game early on.

Matt – Art Director

As the developers are tidying up the grenades. We’ve moved onto some heavy design and art related working to re-shape our game introduction, with the help of two rather lovely chaps, Tom and Alex. Both will be doing most of the design work that’s needed to better pace the player learning process and introduce game lore and new mechanics to come. The changes are huge, and will include a whole new start area that will eventually introduce players to basic objective based locations. Cue cheeky WIP Concept –

We’ll be working towards more discovery based progression, and improvements to the A.I that will mean you can pick and choose your fights when and how you encounter them, as opposed to having the constant onslaught. Next week i’ll be looking at sharing some of the artwork for the locations we’ll be adding.

Lee – Technical Director

Having finished work to make it easier for the designers to change the behaviour of the AI, I have begun work on tailoring the spawners to allow the designers to get what they want from them in regards to the story of the game.

Tom L – Character Artist

And we’re done! For now. The characters are ready to go to the game mesh and rigging process. Excited to see these two going into the character customisation sprint 🙂

Ricky – Seniór Programmer

Looking to get stuck in to developing the grenades and consumable system fully.

We wanted to account for various types of consumables being useable in different ways with the system, such as C4 being placeable or thrown but differently to how grenades are thrown, standard grenades also need to be cookable (mmmm sandwich) with this functionality.

We have some cool thoughts and ideas down too for further down the line having deployable one time use items, deployable Shields or walls, even turrets oh my.

Tom W – Designer

It’s been a pretty exciting week for me over at Flix headquarters, working with everyone on coming up with an engaging introduction to the game and it’s mechanics. Hopefully Alex and I can bring a fresh perspective that will only add to the experience everyone’s been working so hard on creating.

A big focus for us this week has been on designing areas that will both be aesthetically interesting and add new gameplay experiences for the players. These areas should serve as unique landmarks for the player to visit and explore.

We’ve also been working on a brand new modular base-kit for the environment, separate from the craftable pieces currently in the game. This should allow us to rapidly create unique spaces for the player to explore, as well as being able to alter and iterate upon them as efficiently as possible.

Alex – Designer

First blog post! Exciting stuff!

This week, Tom and I have been busy helping the design team approach rebuilding the tutorial from the ground up. As someone relatively new to the game, part of this involved sitting down and playing it for 6 hours, keeping a checklist of anything I found confusing/needed more explanation.

Apologies to poor person whose base I raided and turned against them while they slept, it was for science I swear!

Below’s a sneaky preview of what we’ve got so far:

Lauren – Animator

This week I have been continuing with the third person character and grenade work. I have also been involved in the level rework discussions, exciting stuff!

Andy – Lead QA

It’s been a design heavy week. We had a design workshop with Tom and Alex, formulated an initial plan for our new starting area and tutorial, putting together a design doc that nails down all aspects of the new starting area and the tutorial and worked on the starting area blockout with Matt.

I also managed to squeeze in a little testing on the new animations for the grenades, tweaks to the values for the titan wall and gate.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

 

March Development Update 2

Greetings Pioneers!

The elusive multiplayer respawn crash is still preventing a full release into the main branch but we have been working hard on possible solutions and hope to have fixes for both the lockbox inventory and the respawn bugs (we think they may be related!). Today we have some small but significant fixes for the experimental branch, most importantly so the introduction is skippable without breaking the day-night cycle.

Experimental Branch Update Release Notes:

  • Fixed issue where skipping the introduction would cause the day/night cycle to pause
  • Implemented fix for some items vanishing from lock boxes after saving
  • Fixed issue with missile turret rockets not affecting navigation

As for future features, we have been working on new buildables, Titan Walls and Titan Gates. These are ideal for perimeter base defence, three blocks high and can’t be climbed from the outside. In addition to this we have also been experimenting with explosives and grenades (you will need something a bit more destructive to break through those walls! Hint hint).

We’ve been continuing with the character rework, future environment improvements, refinements to beginning of the game and tutorial along with the initial game objectives which we’re excited to start sharing with everyone.

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

John – Lead Designer

They call me the juggler, been full on organising designs and production for the rest of the game on the current and upcoming development sprints. More recently Andy has been helping steer the organisation and features to be included in our sprints.. which has been handy. That’s right, Handy Andy – what a legend! I’m also working on organising some additional people to help out with the work on level design, AI and testing.

Matt – Art Director

Been working with Tom developing our final character base model assets which is now coming a long very nicely. There has been a massive design pass going on for the colony base encounters, these will be getting a lot of new environment art to help support the unique and ancient locations we’re looking to implement for these encounters.

More personally I’ve finished up LOD models for the Grenade and started looking into fleshing out additional buildables.

Lee – Technical Director

I’ve been trying to help with bugs where I can, but working very hard to get my new work done towards AI behaviours, which will make it easier for the designers to make new behaviours a lot easier.

Marcin – Designer

I’ve been working for a while now on long-term and behind the scenes components of the game such as the animation systems, AI attack system, and a few other bits of design, with nothing to show for it to you, I’m afraid. So far we have a few of the enemy attacks work under the new management, it’s just converting converting the rest that I need to finish. What the new attack system will allow us to do is re-use the implementation of any given attack between enemies.

Previously each attack was implemented separately on each creature, the horror, I know! On top of that glorious maintainability we will be able to control the timings of each component of each attack more reliably. I can’t wait for the relentless melee slashes to go away, I’m excited. 🙂

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been helping out with designs for the future of the game. Also I have been helping lauren out with the grenades where I can and trying to track some of the more persistent bugs down in the meantime.

Ricky – Developer

Designs for Consumable Weapons with the grenade gang.

Lauren – Animator

This week I have been discussing objectives and feature areas for the game, continuing with the 3rd person character animations and working on grenades, because everybody loves explosions…

Carlos – Developer

Working with Rick to get the server information integrated with steam.

 

Joe – Environment Artist

Mainly design work the past couple of weeks, working on a high-level overview for an exciting rework of our current level. Not much we want to reveal just yet but we want to improve the level in a variety of ways – expanding the player-space, making sweeping changes to terrain to encourage exploration and gameplay variation (no more impassable cliffs!) and adding a raft of ‘Feature Areas’ for objectives, story progression, encounters and to tie into the new Tactical Map system.

Tom – Character Artist

Finished up our final male character model! Onto the female next.

 

Andy – Lead QA

I’ve been working on a lot of production with a few contractors we are planning on bringing on board. Working through our backlog boards, organising the tasks into sprints and assigning the team to them. I’ve also been working on the new Titan Walls and Titan Gate with Matt, which will offer up a new level of protection for your bases.

I was also part of the design meeting regarding our new intro sequence that I’m really excited about. It will not only help new player with the early game, but will offer up Objectives and include a rework of sections of the map.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

 

v0.2.8 Experimental Branch Update – Singleplayer Only

Greetings Pioneers!

With our best efforts in tow, our updated singleplayer is now in the experimental branch for everyone to try. One dastardly and illusive crash in our multiplayer build is preventing us from a full release into main. But we’re not letting that stop us get something out for everyone to play, as we realise our endeavours are nothing without your interaction with the ongoing development of the games revised mechanics and features.

So with haste, the latest change list for our experimental branch is down below. If you’re unfamiliar with accessing experimental builds you can simply:

  • Right click on the game in your steam Library and go to properties
  • Click the betas tab and select Experimental Branch from the drop down menu to opt in.

This will begin to download the current experimental build. If nothing happens straight away, we recommend you restart steam.

Experimental branch changelist:

  • Upgradable Turrets! – The Laser Turret, Auto Turret and Missile Turret can now be levelled up similarly to the Eden Kit, improving their stats and visuals!
  • Upgrading the Eden Kit now changes the Eden Kit model.
  • New explosions and sound effects for structure destruction. Different utilities explode in different ways depending on their purpose.
  • New surface impact effects for every combination of surface type and weapon!
  • New fracture/destruction effects for each type of mineable rock.
  • Added ability to skip the Intro sequence.

  • Tweaks to Intro sequence wave difficulty. Removed C21 waves if you arrive after dawn. Please note the intro sequence is heavily work-in-progress and will change considerably!
  • Updated all mineable rocks – larger rocks should perform better in Multiplayer.
  • Improved PFX for all turrets. Turrets should also look more epic as they’re levelled up!
  • Removed Candy Cane from loot drops!
  • Reduced IKA viper rate of fire.
  • Balanced base turret level stats to do more damage.
  • Temporarily disabled several Colony bases to improve load times whilst we work on speeding up the loading of buildings.

  • Fixed several places in the level the player could get stuck (thanks for reporting them guys, keep ‘em coming!).
  • Fixed an area of the map where you could build outside of the playable space, potentially causing a crash.
  • Fixed a variety of level visual inconsistencies and collision problems.
  • Fixed Eden Kit levels not resetting their health when upgraded
  • Fixed an issue where the kinetic laser didn’t consume energy when fired.

You can view the current known issues here. Any feedback on this release is highly appreciated <3

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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