February Development Update 4

Greetings Pioneers!

We know you eager explorers want to know when we’re releasing the update.. we’re now in the process of crushing the last bugs so expect to see the new turrets soon.

More specifically there are a few critical issues left to resolve as a result of our most recent engine update, namely a crash in multiplayer, so we thank you for your patience while we rid the game world of those pesky, fun destroying bugs!

Here’s what we’ve been upto:

John – Lead Designer

I’ve been looking into balancing the turrets this week against the enemies as it looks like the enemies have been too overpowered in the past. The knock-back on enemies has been throwing up some issues which means we need to rewrite the way that this works to accumulate a knock-back value before eventually ragdolling. It’s technical stuff! 🙂

Matt – Art Director

Mainly texture and material cleanup and setup that manages the animation of turrets. Spent the last part of the week on LOD mesh generation for the new turrets and Eden Kit levels. Here’s a quick breakdown from start to finish for the final level missile turret.

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have continued with work to do with the AI behaviours. The main idea is that we can attach behaviours to any object and it should allow for quicker design ideas to be tried out.

Ricky – Developer

Working through turret debugging, a few critical issues with their behaviour had to be addressed. In particular a strange one due to cool down times being set incorrectly, causing the last level of the laser turret to target enemies but never actually open fire. Encouragingly, we are on track to cleaning these up for our next release very soon.

Tom – Character Artist

Working on the new base suits for the Pioneer male and female characters. Very early work in progress for the male suit Torso.

Lauren – Animator

This week I have been working on the 3rd person animation blueprint to get smoother motions and transitions between actions. I have been looking into getting in more variants for player movement, Idles and poses that should help to add more realism.

Joe – Environment Artist

Working on upgradable Turret polish this week – I added unique upgrade trees and nodes, made a bunch of icons for them and added new descriptions. I tweaked the turret firing PFX too as they were a little bit weak-looking!

Andy – Lead QA

I’ve been working on the issues that arose from upgrading the engine. Also been continuing to test and polish the new turret, focusing on PFX, animations and balancing.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

February Development Update 3

Greetings Pioneers!

This week we have been implementing the glorious turret upgrades, including a pass on particle effects so they look more epic with each level. The whole team is on 4.14 now, including the rebel Ricky and we are making good progress. There is a bit more debugging to do before the new arsenal is ready for release but we hope to have it out to you soon.

John – Lead Designer

This week we’ve been looking at guiding turret upgrades and continuing on with designs for the mining system, crafting refinements and shortcuts for moving around the inventory. I’ve also been looking at melee refinements and will most likely be doing so for the next few weeks. Basically we are looking at improvements across most areas as we move towards exploring corrupted bases as a core part of the game objective.

Matt – Art Director

Setup and texturing of the new turret levels this week, and now… a sneaky preview of the three new auto turret levels. Last level is a bit of a beast <3

Lee – Technical Director

This week I managed to complete the move over to the new version of the unreal engine and I’ve also been fixing up a few bugs with our new turrets. I’ve also been working towards moving some of our behaviour tasks into components so that we can then attach them to any object other than AI.

Ricky – Developer

To my adoring fan(s), this week I’ve been a-bringing you some lovely turret upgrade work and solving some of the caveats that come with a simple thing like swapping out one mesh for three others.

I’ve also solved some performance spikes from the UI when taking damage to armour, added in an extra Eden Kit level and included new meshes from the Art depot for each of these too. Then there was a crash fixed, when getting kicked out of a game which needed fixing so to not add insult to injury so to speak. We’ve also decided to remove durability setting from the World Setup Menu, we believed there was plenty to play with by scaling damage rather than changing the health and it didn’t play nicely with our new upgrades.

Tom – Character Artist

Low res meshes for the female and male character heads have been handed over for texturing and setup. The final designs for the suits are next!

Joe – Environment Artist

I started the week tweaking the Tactical Map design based on feedback before moving onto designing a revamp for HUD Markers, which should make navigating the world and interacting with things much more consistent, easy-to-use and informative. All these new designs are fairly in-depth at this stage but they should all tie together nicely!

I then had chance to make some level tweaks. You can now skip the introduction cutscene if you so desire, and I fixed up some areas where players could build outside of the intended playable area, which potentially caused a crash.

On top of that I’ve been creating icons and particle effects for all the new turret levels. The level 3 Laser Turret is now world-endingly awesome, and fully operational…

P.s – the Empire did nothing wrong

Lauren – Animator

This week I have been working on improving the 3rd person animations for the player and the system behind them. I have been experimenting with a third person camera so we can see more of the Pioneer’s lovely buttocks…(you pervs!)  I have also been working on hit reaction, death and stagger back animations to make hitting things and getting hit have more impact.

Simone – Concept Artist

I have been working on designs for a basic armour set that will go with the undersuit,  so far we have a starting chest piece and helmet.

Andy – Lead QA

This week I have spent most of my time testing the new turret upgrades and the new eden kit upgrades. We ran into a few issues with the firing and the saving over the health but that all appears to be fixed now. Matts has made the turrets all pretty and new, Joe has given them some lovely new PFX and Ricky has made them shoot at things.

Need to give another shout out to the Games Soc over at Staffs Uni for helping me out with another test session. I know we had a few issues getting the client over to you guys, but next time we will nail it. Thanks for all your help.  

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

February Development Update 2

Greetings Pioneers!

This week we have been fixing up the newly integrated 4.14 engine version update and re-fracturing rocks that were broken (that is, broken in the wrong way!). The full design for the top down game map has been completed, and to get you involved more we’d love your feedback on it (please see Joes post below to get involved with this).

Male and female heads are coming along nicely and the turret upgrades are starting to be set up ready for the game. We’ll be implementing a simple level based system similar to the Eden Kit for now, so with increased levels the turret will look 33.3% cooler, that’s 33.3% cooler per level people!!!.

Here’s what we’ve been up to in more detail:

John – Lead Designer

This week i’ve revisited the initial gameplay loop designs and have looked into revising how we do mining in the game. We may remove the ability to mine indefinitely without the need for power, doing this may be a big leap away from what we have currently and so we are discussing this a lot internally. If the designs are well received here we’ll share them with you for feedback.

Matt – Art Director

Moving on to texturing and setting up new turret level meshes ready for animation. I’ve been working with Tom, John, and Simone on our full character system. This has involved modelling custom faces which will be set up with basic customisation parameters to begin with.

The full extent of the system will be implemented in stages, colour customisation for the suits and skin colour being a few of the basics.

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have continued the work of integrating the 4.14 version of the engine into our main stream. A couple of our art team are now trying to fix up the Apex issues that it has thrown up.

Tom – Character Artist

Been working away at through the female and male heads. Getting the base sculpt and game resolution meshes done along with some initial shader setup for the eyes. Aiming to get these finished for next week ready for skin painting!

Ricky – Developer

I’m a rebel, for I haven’t updated to 4.14 yet while I continue on with features and bugfixes along with optimisations.

One of the big bugfixes and optimisations we now hope is solved is the multiplayer desync issue. For those of you not in the know it’s the one where you could go flying or teleporting back huge distances in what first appeared to be a massive lag spike, but was actually caused by a mismatch between client and server.

As a result of this fix we’re checking over impacts of this change, the change actually has performance benefits too for both single player and multiplayer.

I’ve also been putting in our Turret Upgrade system and giving it a run through, they look pretty darn badass and I have plenty more ideas for additional upgrades in future. Join us on Discord if there’s any suggestions you’d like to add.

Simone – Concept Artist

This week I have been working on the male undersuit designs with the team. We have gotten the first pass down and are now working on a second pass including finer details and some changes. I will be looking to create orthographics for both the male and female undersuit once the second pass has been completed.

Carlos – Developer

For most of this week I’ve been working on authenticating users on our servers. It has been a long process but now we have Steam servers updating our player counts.

When this goes out you may notice an additional delay in the joining process as we have to wait for callbacks from Steam API in order to fully authenticate users. Last step remains to cancel the authenticated session, which is proving to be a slow process.

Joe – Environment Artist

For most of this week I’ve been cracking on with the Tactical Map design – there’s not too many more pretty things to show – most of it has been writing things up and figuring out how all the different systems will go together!

If any of you guys want to check it out you can find a link below. Feel free to leave comments if there’s anything in particular you want to see in Eden Star’s map!

(disclaimer: this design is NOT final and there may be inconsistencies!)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GuLIpLkW70O-Bvfbj_efDYk_5e73dpFTINeTVj4mElg/edit?usp=sharing

I’ve also re-setup all our destructible rocks – needed to be done thanks to the shiny new engine updates but it was a good excuse to tweak settings in order to hopefully minimise slowdowns in Multiplayer when mining larger rocks… and as usual I’ve been monitoring the Steam screenshots for level bugs and fixed a bunch up. Keep ‘em coming! (Handy tip: Ctrl + Alt + J to show your current world coordinates!). Last but not least I’ve put together a UI layout for the server admin manager.

 

Andy – Lead QA

This week I’ve been working on some of the issues the community have been posting on the steam forums and our discord channel. I’ve been working with Ricky on fixing the issues that arose from implementing the desync fix. I was able to catch a few crashes this week and get them over to the dev team.

John also showed me the new character designs for the Pioneer which I had mixed feelings about. I’d love to hear your feedback about it though to see if I can reclaim my credibility in the office. Lol

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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