January Development Update 3!

Greetings Pioneers!

Creature models, vehicles, and some hot info on the state of our next release. Which is currently getting the proper playthrough treatment. Here’s what we’ve been upto..

John – Lead Designer

Now our builds are in full flow, there are some blocking issues that we still need to conquer for this latest update. As per usual everyone is hard at work attempting to clear these up! I’ve been doing some forward planning so we can add finishing moves to the melee system down the line.

Matt – Art Director

Many things, many wonderful new things. I’ve put together the final version of our mite creature, worked with the wonderfully talented Butch on our transport vehicle. All whilst overseeing additional changes to the content/polish pass in level.

Lee – Technical Director

I started the week just finishing off some loose ends with the point of interest work and animation work for the AI. The last few days though have been devoted to trying to understand an Apex crash we have and an issue with our navmesh vanishing. We are very close to getting the Apex fixed, but the navmesh is still proving very illusive.

Tristan – Lead Developer

Other than foliage fix tests this week I have been mostly been looking into an Apex crash with Lee as well as reviewing AI changes. I have also reviewed some weapons fixes as it turns out we broke selling internally so we had to fix that up 🙂

Tom S – Developer

“Just another bug hunt” does a fairly good job of summing up this week, which has been spent chasing any performance related issues and ironing them out. I’ve also given the Dam and water materials some love, as felt they were getting neglected compared to the terrain.

Butch – 3D Artist

Oh yes, the polygons have finally formed into the shape of a transport that we desire. Texturing updates arriving next!

Carlos – Developer

With the selling module out of the way, I’ve been getting stuck into some of the bugs we currently have floating around. I’m currently looking into some respawn and loading bugs that we have. I’ve also been working on some audio changes which should allow us, and you guys in turn, greater control over sounds in the game!

Tom Whittemore – Designer

There has been a lot of testing the past couple of weeks implementing and testing various methods of generating the minable nodes into the world. Currently we’re still playing around with a lot of settings, so its likely to change but in world density feels right. So we can easily gauge the world density I make the nodes a luminous green so we can easily see them at night, which also looks awesome with the green atmosphere settings.

Sam – Concept Artist

Finishing tweaks to the Hunter creature concept ready for modelling. I’ll be moving onto a ‘zombie’ style creature soon which should be pretty exciting to develop!

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I have had some time to do some much needed audio placement work for our new areas. Along with this I’ve been looking into general audio issues and tweaking the structure of sound classes so that Carlos can hook them up to the UI and allow more control for you guys over the audio.

It’s amazing how much a bit of ambient and responsive sound adds to the atmosphere, it has also been great to see it all coming together and exploring the new areas the rest of the team have been putting together. Along with audio work I have been rigging up the new game-ready mite model, it’s looking suitably disgusting.

Tom W – Designer

Applying some polish to the front of the Dam face, and updating water material shaders has been the main stay for this week. Behind the scenes I’ve been helping one of the other Toms develop our updated foliage/mineral spawning system.

Andy – Lead QA

This week I have been focusing on reworking our trello boards to allow us to prioritise essential tasks which will in turn allow us to get a build out to your guys sooner.

Me and Jamie have also been testing the issue we have been having with the Navmesh and trying to get to the root cause of the problem.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

January Development Update 2!

Greetings Pioneers!

Steady progress has been made this week in terms of updating engine versions and fixing some critical crashes. Hard at work on the arty side of things as well with the new heavy vehicle getting modeled up, a new deadly creature being concepted and our ‘jumping mite’ receiving the full sculpting treatment.

John – Lead Designer

So the organisation of work continues with one major difference! My office was a hospital this week, but not to fear, nothing bad has happened, quite the opposite in fact.  I’m now the dad of a baby girl! (3rd addition to the family). Will be back to the normal routine relatively soon after the mayhem that is child birth.

Matt – Art Director

Been very hands on with both environment and character art for the last few days. Tidying up some texture work on sets for the bases initially and jumping onto some initial sculpt work for our Mite creature. Sometimes you just have to take the ‘art bull’ by the horns.

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have been merging in a later version of the engine to try an fix a crash we are having with our instanced foliage and also our apex destruction. In between this I have been making a few changes to how the animations are setup for our AI to make it easier for the designers to quickly change the animations and add new ones.

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been tracking down some crashes to do with our interactable foliage and rocks after an engine update. The main crash seems to be solved but there is still a bit more to do to make it so I can get back to the same level of virtual deforestation 🙂 Other than that I have been helping Lee with the merging of the new engine update.

Butch ‘the polybender’ – 3D Artist

Greetings! Fantastical things. Polys and fantastical things. Wheels, Polys and fantastical things. Vehicle shapes and polys with fantastical things. The shapes, oh the shapes. WIP work for our transport has begun.

Carlos – Developer

The new sell module has been completed now and part of the build tool, so I’m rich (in Eden Star resources)! I’ve now begun looking at some of gnarly changes we’ve had since upgrading the engine to resolve some of the functionality in the backend for the option menu settings that have had their functionality altered.

Tom – Designer

Working through a lot of back end tidy up for the day night cycle system so it works cleanly with the new sky visuals. I’ll be moving on to the other biome styles for the more lush environments, not as much will change on this front from what we had previously. Some revamped materials and terrain surface grass cover with more variation are going to be the main things that get updated.

Sam – Concept Artist

Greetings! We’ve spent the majority of this week tweaking and refining the design for the Hunter creature, and it’s all coming together nicely. We wanted a silhouette that appeared scary, but also strong and powerful, reinforcing the idea that this foe is a much greater challenge than their smaller counterparts.

I’ve also finished a pretty 2D render of the Mite (I’m using the word “pretty” loosely, because as you can tell, the Mite is anything but!) This is how we’ll want the Mite to look in-game, though the colours may be subject to change.

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I have been finishing up the animated staggers for the ‘Jumper’mites and Splintermites to get it to feel impactful when you hit them with melee or force weapons. I have also been helping out with the concept of our new ‘Huntermite’ critter. Which is a taller, meaner, more melee-aggressive mite variety.

Andy – Lead QA

This week myself and Jamie have been working on testing two different versions of the build to try and assist Lee as much as possible with the merge.

We also focused on getting some long awaited multiplayer testing on. We did discover a few issues, but there were no major discrepancies between the two different build which means we are in a good position for continuing with the merge.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

 

January Development Update!

Greetings Pioneers!

Happy New Year! Into the depths we go! It’s starting to look eerie as we start to arrive at the visual polish levels that we as a team have always aimed for. It’s a good quality benchmark for the rest of the project as a whole, and there’s going to be plenty more improvement as we refine the atmospherics and sounds in these spaces. We’ve made some progress with another four legged creature as well.. which is just coming out of pre-production.

John – Lead Designer

Tom and I have been talking about the distribution designs for Materials throughout the level and i’ve also been working with the guys to get concepts finalised for the vehicles, as they’re now starting production to get the final models for the large transport and speeder in game. Enemy types, animations and also production have also been discussed whilst we start to push towards final requirements for a release.

I’m still a bit concerned about some of the crashes that we’re seeing at the moment and also the pacing of objectives/direction and signposting, but I hope that next week i’ll be able to focus more on what’s needed to polish these components along with some refinements to the fuel designs.

Tom – Designer

Hope everyone’s had a wonderful holiday over the last couple of weeks! Feeling recharged and refreshed, the artists and I have been giving the atmosphere some tender loving care.

We’ve done our best to create 3 distinct palettes as the day progresses, starting with a rich red sunrise, moving into the pale yellows for the day, before turning an ominous green as night comes; signalling the awakening of Pharus 7’s more deadly creatures.

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have been continuing with work to do with points of interest. Part of this was tying it in with the scripting system we have so that a point of interest can trigger a script on the AI to perform a set of actions. Over Christmas I worked on some new functionality to prevent the AI planners for nearby AI from running in sync. This just ensures that even if AI want to do the same thing, they don’t all do it at the same time.

Matt – Art Director

A lot of art has been integrated into the base areas over the last few days. Trying to push the run down and dark interiors to create that full horror aspect within them. The majority of creature encounter locations have had extra work done to them, like the addition of extra rooms off the main route. Next up will be The Dam surface, which still needs some extra love and care from a combat experience and art perspective!

Carlos – Developer

The final parts of the selling module are now coming together! Time to get rich…. in Pharus materials that is….

Marcin – Designer

Happy new year everybody! During this first week of 2018 I’ve been working on the 2nd priority AI behaviours, such as turning over time, interacting with points of interest and random Idles. I call those 2nd priority, because although they are important for the overall feel of the creatures, the game would work all the same without them.

The turning over time logic is pretty self explanatory, we want the AI to animate turning to ace in a given direction instead of just snapping to it. Interacting with points of interest is a broader mechanic that will let us have AI interact with locations and objects in the world that are not combat targets. For example the first few we are working on are: finding corpses to eat, finding vantage points to climb to, and finding other friendly creatures to have fun with 🙂

Sam – Concept Artist

Greetings! This week I’ve been working on a number of things, with main focus being the next creature – the Hunter. This one is going to be a very large, feral and aggressive being that presents a much more significant challenge than the Splintermite – you certainly wouldn’t want to run into one of these in a dark alleyway.

We’ve come to general consensus on which silhouette design we think best fits these qualities, and I am well on the way to putting together a more definitive design next week. And don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about the Mite either: our critter’s currently being painted up into a final concept piece, so that’ll be something else to look forward to next week!

Lauren – Lead Animator

Finishing up the jumping mite by making some visual improvements to the animations and discussing the next steps. Despite setbacks with power cuts early in the week we’re making good progress.

We’ve been refining how we want the stagger to work across all the AI so that it feels good to hit them with any weapon. I’ve also had the time to make some improvements to the third person jumping animations. You can now skip merrily across the terrain, like the child we all are inside.

Andy – Lead QA

First week back after our christmas adventure and everyone appears rejuvenated and ready make the next few weeks really count.

I’ve been in lots of production meetings, planning the next steps for Eden Star. We have the new terrain in and playable, new creatures currently being implemented and new vehicles being models.

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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