Chunky progress on the lead up to Christmas! The surface and new world assets are starting to align with our 3rd person work, plus our additional AI is now being brought to life (and it’s terrifying).
Here’s what we’ve all been upto:
John – Lead Designer
Choo choo, here comes the production train. Chugga chugga, clickety clack, everyone’s getting on but its not stopping because we forgot to give it any breaks. Our in game vehicles do have breaks however, thankfully.
Matt – Art Director
A lot of implementation work has been going into the level, including alterations of the road system and positioning of our key locations, plus a very satisfying new dynamic sky system which gives us more versatility at different times of day.
Vistas are probably the most important part of these alterations, so a lot of the time is being taken to carefully consider views in relation to our encounter placements.
WIP sky and reworked vista – Not representative of final detail levels
Lee – Technical Director
This week I have been tweaking some of the AI bugs that have cropped up while Marcin has been fine tuning some of the various types of Splintermite. I’m also in the process of upgrading the engine to try and fix a crash we are having mainly with destructible foliage. I thought I had it fixed at the beginning of the week, but it’s proving to be a resilient bug.
Olly – Junior Programmer
Made a bunch of handling changes so designers can modify things like turning circle easily, and change the way the vehicle feels going forward and in reverse!
Marcin – Designer
I’ve been doing some more work on the AI, but more specifically 2 things. Firstly I’ve grown tired of how withholding the unreal engine can be on the information about certain animation systems, especially montages, so i’ve implemented a few new tools that reveal such obscure and delicate information like: the length of the montage, or its blend times, or whether any are being played on specific slots. I don’t know why those aren’t part of the standard package, since they are so vital that whenever was working on animation without them I always felt so blind and limited.
The other thing I am working on is jumping and leaping logic. We are looking to have some AI being able to leap onto you to attack or onto higher ground for better positioning. I am currently working our the physics part of the calculation, he navigation part comes next.
Alex – Environment Artist
Texturing and revisions to our bases are well underway, this will go through a few iterations so bare in mind this is all still WIP.
Tom Whittemore – Level Designer
This week I have been starting to look at material generator nodes and the different types and sizes we want, and their rarity throughout the world. There are two objectives I want to achieve with the mining and crafting system. First, to create moments of opportunity when the player finds a rare material and suddenly can craft a significant new item, weapon or technology.
The second is to balance all ‘basic’ materials to ensure their availability in the world is in line with their uses and requirements. So hopefully it doesn’t feel like you’re constantly short for basic materials but also you don’t have so many that it allows you to easily grind out enough materials for a small town.
- Salvage – These are existing structures, crashed vehicles, ships and anything else manmade.
- Metal Node – Classic mining rocks/outcroppings but these will specifically contain metal
- Mineral Node – Classic mining rocks/outcroppings but these will specifically contain minerals
- Organic Node – Trees, bushes and other flora
- Living – This remains an outlier as it is technically looting the corpses of slain foes, but as this is the main source of this type of material I’m classing it as a node for now.
Not all node types will have all node sizes
- Tiny node – All over the place to provide basic materials when you desperately need them.
- Small node – Abundant throughout all of the world your go to for basic materials.
- Medium node – Your standard node, these will be abundant throughout the world but will be more base on geographical location so you might not see them everywhere, have very small chance to give you something little more rare.
- Large Node – Rare nodes that will be geographically located and will yield lots of materials and maybe something rarer.
- Huge Node – Jackpot nodes, these will contain a ton of material and rare items but they will be rare and probably in treacherous places.
Sam – Concept Artist
After some lengthy discussions about behaviors I’ve managed to pull together our finished concept of the mite. Think half life Headcrab with this dude, in terms of behavior at least!
Lauren – Lead Animator
Been working through the new Mite animations based off our initial proxy model of the creature. Just a few days left to finish up on that, so we should have something to show very soon 🙂
Andy – Lead QA
Had an extended play session this week to try and catch any issues that arise from single player save files that are over 150 in-game days. Had some more discussion regarding new cheatures for the game and planned out future sprints so when back after the holidays we can hit the ground running.
See you in the fray!