v0.1.13 Hotfix Released & Development Update

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Greetings Pioneers!

Last week many of you replied to the release with worry about the PvP and griefing aspect of the game, we have listened and want you to know that we have a simple solution that will be out in the next update!

In the NEXT release, if you set your server up so that it is PvE, then you can configure your server to the following;

  1. Your body cannot be damaged by other Players when inside your Eden Kit Shield – so as long as you log off within the safety of your Eden Kit, no one can steal your stuff!  
  2. Any buildings within your Eden Kit Shield can be set to take no damage from other Players – AI will still be allowed to damage your buildings but none will attack whilst no-one is nearby. 
  3. If you die you can configure it so that only you and/or your Colony can see your Inventory drop.

PLEASE let us know your feedback as this should completely stop griefing as we start to push towards the story driven components of the game.

Thank you for all the feedback from the latest release, we have some fixes and optimisations for you today in a hotfix update. We have fixed a memory leak to do with flying AI navigation that was causing servers to run out of memory and shut down after a while. The optimisations should also help out single player performance too. See the full changelist here:

v1.8Additions

  • Added extra idle animations to the Swamp Walker

1.8BugFixes

  • Fixed trees changing colour upon taking damage.
  • Fixed an issue where sometimes AI would ignore the player.
  • Made optimisations to the way AI request paths from the nav system.
  • Made optimisations with our navigation Octree which were causing problems with server performance.
  • Fixed a memory leak with a flying path navigation and increased its performance.
  • Fixed not being able to mine some mineral shards.
  • Fixed an issue with not being able to place wall panels on a foundation in certain scenarios.
  • Fixed a crash caused by our destructible rocks.
  • Fixed mining was applying massive force.
  • Fixed crash when damaging trees.
  • Fixed UUIDs in RCON queries were incorrect, meaning Admin could not use them to Message/Kick a player.
  • Fixed issue with AI falling through the world or being thrown or blasted through the world.
  • Fixed issue where another players ragdoll would remain in world on the client after the other player died.

This week in addition to the fixes, the new map, new survival mechanics and modular weapons system have come on leaps and bounds. You can now check out a fly through preview of the larger island..

This is what we’ve been upto this week:

John – Lead Designer

I have been working a load of stuff this week. Firstly I have made a load of progress on the on the next level of the survival mechanics to include a buff and debuff mechanics (increase/decrease status effects over time), also I finalised the weapon/tool/defenses cooldown system designs ready for the new Gauss gun and Mining mechanics for faster resource gathering.

Additional to this, Matt and I have been working hard to get the final aesthetics right for the modular weapon system (which we will show you more of over the coming weeks) and I have been reviewing the next steps for Juggernaut interactions as the current version is nowhere near what I want the gameplay to be.

The level design for the new map is now ready for profiling next week and so I am organising the order in which the new creatures will be going into production. We have code names for all of the creatures at the moment and so I can say that the “Elephant”, “Wolf”, “Deer” and “Hog” are the first we will be looking to get into the Grasslands biome.  

Lauren – Animator

This week I’ve been working on the modular weapon system with Marcin, setting up the 3rd person animation blueprint so you can see other pioneers with their various modular weapon combinations and making sure all the animations are playing correctly.

Please note this is still very much work in progress, not the finalised weapon meshes and not all combinations shown here will be made available.

Weapons

I’ve also been re-exporting the Juggernaut and Swamp Walker animations with some extra bones at the feet for use as a reference with IK. This will mean we can properly plant the feet of these creatures to the ground, stopping them looking so floaty, woot! I’ve also been working on some idle animation variants for the Swamp Walker to give him a bit more creepy alien life.

Matt – Art Director

Working on in engine setup and finishing up of the new build fortification types. AS well as looking at tweaks and additions to the weapon components with John I’ve been working with Joe and Simone on some final touches to the Biomes in our new level before we start the exciting part of populating Fauna around the environment.

Marcin – Designer

While most of the team were dedicated to bug fixes, I was working on future systems, namely the Modular Weapon System and the Creature Legs IK. The former was mostly back end and infrastructure improvements, such as implementing the ability for each weapon part to override default animations, or making sure that animation replicate properly between 1st and 3rd person meshes on all clients.

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The latter however is something more of a visual fidelity improvement, which we realised we needed with the introduction of the bigger enemies. As you probably noticed with the Juggernaut and the Swamp Walker by now, their animation (as animations tend to do) do not not take into consideration the ground, the creature walking on, making it look floaty. This week I started working on fixing that. Have a little early preview of the side-by-side of the old (right) and the new (left).

Lee – Technical Director

This week I’ve been trying to track down AI bugs. Some are very hard to find though, so it’s a relief when they do show up. I’ve also spent some time trying to optimise the AI to increase server performance. This will likely be an ongoing task though for some months yet.

Joe – Environment Artist

At the start of the week I finished my work on the new Marsh biome, finalising placement before polishing and optimising atmospherics and adding effects for the destruction of flora. I also created a few new shaders and textures so the water/terrain looks suitably marshy. After that, I went over a bunch of settings with collision, culling and level placement to head off any potential issues in testing. I created new effects for waterfalls and developed new post process effects to further differentiate between different biomes.

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Tristan – Senior Developer

This week I have been mostly profiling to find out where memory leaks and cpu costs were being tied up on the server. It’s a slow going process but it’s pointed out a good few things so far which have been optimised or are scheduled for optimisation at a later date.

Yves – Senior Developer

I’ve been focused on hotfixes for our update this week. Managed to remove a few unwanted crashes to do with spawning and an odd one that would occur when trees took damage.

Tom – Character Artist

This week I’ve been plowing forward with a proxy model for one of our wolf like creatures!

Simone – Concept Artist

This week we’ve been doing lots of work on establishing some moody environments for each biome with the goal to make each one feel unique, as you will soon see 🙂 I’ve also been working with the art team in particular to develop the visuals with regards to the in-game capabilities that we can replicate in the engine for each biome such as the fog and lighting, and also some early work on creatures that are yet to be finalised.

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Andy – Lead QA

Since our late night release last week I have been pouring over the steam forums and trello boards making notes and finding replications steps for all the weird and wonderful bugs you guys found. I am happy to say that I think we pretty much nailed them all. I also tried some of Johns Nacho Pringles…I wish I hadn’t.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

v0.1.12 Released! Juggernaught & Development Update

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Greetings Pioneers

The Juggernaut has arrived!

This Friday 13th be prepared to have your big base wrecked by this mega beast. This is the first of our large, multi-stage encounter enemies that will need more than just your turrets to take it down. 

PLEASE NOTE – THIS IS NOT THE FINAL VERSION OF THE JUGGERNAUT, IT MAY BE BUGGY BUT WILL BE REFINED GREATLY OVER THE COMING WEEKS! 

When you find an issue, please let us know in the forums… 

Break its armour to expose its weak spots and be able to grab and smash its legs. Down two or more legs in sequence to drop him to the floor then jump on it’s back take it out with firepower. Work with friends or tackle them alone, just don’t leave them to their own devices or you may not have a base to return to…

Draw this big beast by building up your base to a critical size and waiting until nightfall. They are an excellent source of Teslinium if you can take them down.

Another game-changing addition in this update is Sleeping Pioneers. Now when you log off, your body remains in the world with your inventory and is open to attack and looting, so be sure to log off in a safe place!

See the full list of changes below:

  • Added a new enemy – The Juggernaut. This is the first enemy using our experimental multi-stage encounter system. You will need to break its armour before you can take it down!
  • New Utility Block – The Replication Unit. Each Replication Unit works as a respawn point for you and your Colony when powered. You can build multiple of them, but each use incurs a short cool down period before it can be used again.
  • Sleeping Pioneers – Players bodies will now remain in the world after they logout. Those can be killed and looted. No more quick logouts to save your minerals after a failed raid. When you log back in if your body is still there you will spawn back at your body instead.
  • Added the ability to drag foundations up out of the ground or push them down into the ground when placing by holding the build button and moving your aim up/down.

  • Eden Kits replaced by Replication Units on the Deployment screen.
    • You will no longer be able to respawn at your Eden Kits, so make sure those Replication Units are ready if you plan on getting eaten by the Juggernaut!
  • Wave system improvements – implemented a system which postpones the appearance of stronger enemy types until your base is a certain size. You should no longer be seeing Ikas and Vipers when your base is not ready for them (such as the first night).
  • Players who have a tendency to throw themselves into the abyss (possibly from a wall run but we’re not pointing fingers here) will now have their drop bags spawned at a recent location on land.
  • Drop bags won’t roll around so much any more so are less likely to roll off a cliff.
  • Wall run (vertical and horizontal) will now only occur if you were sprinting before hitting the wall and you are holding the sprint key.
  • Structures will now degrade quicker at the weakest parts.
  • You can now mine enemy structures in order to gain minerals from them. The amount gained still needs tweaking.
  • You can now only get minerals spawned from an object if you deal mining damage to it. No more minerals from smashing enemies into rocks.
  • Reduced the range of the Sniper Rifle and Assault Rifle.
  • Made current text chat visible globally rather than just within a proximity to the player.

  • Fixed very rare issue where when you left a server and rejoined, you could spawn with no items and no Tool weapon. The fix might mean you lose progress since the last save.
  • Fixed a server crash when an item is transferred from a dropbag which is about to be destroyed
  • Fix for a crash when placing holograms, it could happen when ctrl snapping and aiming at the sky or aiming at the limit of a structure.
  • Fixed a navigation issue that prevented Splintermites and Stalkers from going up the stairs.
  • Fixed an issue that caused fliers to continue moving after death.
  • Fix for an issue where you would transfer an item to the drop bag column in the UI Menu, and then transferring them back using the transfer button could cause the item to vanish.
  • Fixed an issue where AI were being spawned from a Hive and then getting destroyed straight away.
  • Fixed a navigation issue with the AI where they would seem to get stuck in one place looping their animations.
  • Fixed a very rare crash with our perception system.
  • Fixes for incorrect HUD alerts displaying at times when building.
  • Fixed issue with Field of View changes happening very slowly when aiming down sights in single player when starting a new game.
  • Fixed issue where turrets can see and fire through foundations
  • Fixed issue where turrets can see and shoot through walls
  • Fixed issue where typing I or P in text chat opened the menus
  • Fixed issue where you were able to try and unequip the default baton module which would cause a player to get kicked in a multiplayer game. This is no longer unequipable.
  • Fixed issue where Sniper Rifle sights would be unusable on lower graphical quality settings.

The known issues list has been updated to this release. As always please share your feedback on the balancing, any encounters with bugs or issues and we will get right on to fixing for you.

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In other news we thought we would bring to your attention a more accurate representation of the change in scale when we deliver the new world to your Screens.

We’ve taken images from two cameras, both facing each other showing where the other camera is located approximately with a marker. We’ve also lined out the size of the current map compared to the new monstrosity so you can get a better feel for what is in store.

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Everyone has been working hard as usual! Here’s what we’ve been up to:

John – Lead Designer

This week has been dedicated to the Juggernaut testing and fixes! I have also been working on Weapon Overheat designs as we may want to implement overheating to Turrets when fighting against Bullet Sponge type enemies. I have also been reviewing the Survival gameplay mechanics and have currently prototyped the following components with Yves;

  • Health (HP)
  • Oxygen
  • Stamina
  • Immunity
  • Sustenance
  • Thirst
  • Temperature
  • Corruption

Included in this are the consumable components such as food-stuffs, treatments and stim-packs. We’re also starting to debug the larger world map in Multiplayer which currently requires further testing in order to support a greater number of players per server.

Matt – Art Director

I’ve been creating new assets for our building armour system, our current set in game is quite a way up the ladder in terms of progression. The other two sets we’ll be introducing are more primitive and cheaper to build, providing you with additional protection until you manage to progress to the more advanced levels of building.

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To keep our current visual theme cohesive and different from set to set we’ve taken reference from Mars bases, all the way through to Warhammer 40k for the bulkier more industrial looking components. 

Lee – Technical Director

More of the same this week folks. Tracking down critical A.I. issues to allow fun to happen. *Bug fixing intensifies*

Tristan – Senior Developer

I’m away from the office this week. Je suis allé en France pour déguster le meilleur cuisine. Bien que les gens ici parlent un dialecte étrange. Une que je suis en train de devenir familier avec, anglais semble être radotage pour moi maintenant … Hm Je me demande ce qui est pour le dîner ..

Marcin – Designer

Two steps forwards, one step back, is what this week felt like all the way though with the Juggernaut. When I fixed the Ram attack causing it to enter supersonic speeds in multiplayer, it started freezing in place instead. When I fixed that, it started leaving it’s armour behind while running, etc. Slowly, but surely however, we are sorting it out.

Right now I am working on making the creatures stick to the surface of the ground while animating, instead of floating, which is providing its own challenges and most likely, sadly, will not be ready for the first release of the Juggernaut.

Joe – Environment Artist

Tall shelves of Onyx surround the valley floor, casting shadows across most of the landscape during the day. Desolate, and difficult to traverse these marshlands are prime hunting grounds for hostile life looking to prey on lost or stranded creatures. The sparse, twisted foliage that does manage to grow here is discoloured by the acidic pools that form. Parasitic spores permeate the atmosphere, making it impossible to see any way out…

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…suddenly, from the distance you hear a mighty roar:

“WHAT ARE YE DOIN’ IN MY SWAMP?!?”

Lauren – Animator

This week I have been tidying up some of the 3rd person aiming animations and skin weighting to reduce the occurrences of strangely distorting armour (that you may or may not have noticed) when looking at your friend aiming in different directions.

I have also been continuing work on the modular armour system, playing around with Apex cloth to simulate natural cloth movement in some of the longer, more flexible items. Currently I am back onto the modular weapon system prototype, adding the 3rd person replication logic so you can see it in multiplayer.

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Yves – Senior Developer

I’ve been prototyping the survival mechanic this week, had to gut part of the loot spawner as it was heavily tied in with minerals and we want other types of loot to come out of flora and fauna.

Ricky – Developer

I’m been progressing on the progression system this week, gaining experience, Schematics and the all sought after LevelUp! Mechanics. I was going to become level 100000000 but Marcin spoiled the party by having a no level cap system put in place.

I’ve also done a bit of backend work so balancing may be that little bit easier for us in future if all goes well and I don’t end up hitting a wall and having to remove it again.

Simone – Concept Artist

This week I have been moving back and forth over different concepts but I have mainly been working on the concept for the Marshland environment, working up the colours and layout of the area.

Once we had chosen a layout more details were worked into the concept including a new tree type (still working on the deigns for the trees). I am back on the other environment concepts to colour them and make them more of a whole piece, and also continuing work on designs for the deer.   

Andy – Lead QA

This week I have been working on testing the new enemy type along with testing all the AI due to issues with pathing.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

May Development Update!

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Greetings Pioneers!

Testing, testing, one, two, three, our creatures shall not be allowed to path into any tree.

Our latest content update is approaching fast! The testing phase has had to be lengthened over this week to help eliminate some quite major navigation bugs that we’re not happy with currently (The kind that break the fun times). These will be ironed out as soon as possible so thank you for your patience <3.

Here’s a quick recap showing some of the major features you can expect in the next update:

ReplicationUnitPreview

Replication units (Spawn pads) – No longer will the Eden Kit alone be enough for you to ensure you spawn in a safe location when death strikes you down with his Scythe. At least one unit will need to be built for you to rejoin your game in a desired place.

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Pillaging of offline Pioneers – Soon when you log out in Multiplayer, your body will be vulnerable to others unless you happen to log out in a safe place. And even still, there’s no guarantee you will be perfectly safe behind your armored walls..

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The Juggernaut – This beast and future large creature classes, are purposefully designed to be tough to tackle as an individual, and challenging to take out as a group. Manic chaos will erupt during the battle to take one down.

Lastly our individual rundown of what we’ve been working on this week:

John – Lead Designer

Been looking at the A.I. pathing with the developers this week, getting a solid grasp of how we move the system forward to work properly with the design and convincing behaviours and movements that we want from our creatures. Probably one of if not the most important aspect of our creatures is having them able to move as desired, and more importantly as expected by players encountering them.

Matt – Art Director

So I’ve been catching up with everybody today after a short break from Flixland. I’ve been on the feedback train to keep the environment development on track (pun intended). We’ve re-jigged a few Biome visuals and started transforming some areas into ‘Marshlands’ to make more sense within the environment. Otherwise I’ve been helping out with visual bug fixes and begun developing much large (than previously featured) pre-built structures for several feature areas within our 8km world.

Lee – Technical Director

Navigation issues abound, but needless to say most of the issues we’ve been facing with pathing are now under control. The fixes I’ve been working on need to accommodate large creature types such as the Juggernaut, so there has been a fair amount of extra work just taking the creatures scale into mind. targeting refinement in general is something I’ve had a chance to look at this week too.

Simone – Concept Artist

This week I have been finishing up a cave environment concept and started work on a Marshland environment concept. For the cave concept we wanted it to feel more ‘hellish’, as if the player is descending down toward the center of Pharus. The sinkholes in the ceilings connect the over-world of Pharus 7 with the inner caves and tunnels allowing natural light to flood the upper sections for the player to see the environment easier. The Marshland concept is still being worked on and so far it’s gloomy and moody…with pools of water! You will need high boots to walk around that area!

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Tristan – Senior Developer

This week I have been finishing off the sleeping pioneers logic, tweaks to the mantling and muchos bug fixing. I have also been working on production for xp, progression and survival systems which are the next set of goals we want to power through.

Yves – Senior Developer

Fixed freeform foundation height mechanics that will be added soon, amongst several other bugs that had persisted with the build placement system. Will be gearing up to work on the base survival mechanics next week.

Ricky – Developer

Looking into certain keyboard key binding issues which might be dependant on language settings on the pc. A few minor issues have been looked into too and some extra technical designing with the exp and levelling systems ready to be put through it’s paces hastily next week.

Marcin – Designer

Implemented a revised Ram for the Juggernaut and added a death effect. I’ve also been helping Matt out with visual fixes for the ‘spawn pad’ aka replication unit.

Joe – Environment Artist

I’ve had some time to improve the edges of our new map’s island this week, introducing a new work in progress Grassland biome variant. This has required quick a bit of work to refactor our landscape/rock shaders to get the visuals we’re after. I’ve also been working with Simone on the initial visual direction of the Cave and Marshland biomes.

Tom – Character Artist

Starting the work on the Seiger and other Biome creatures soon!

Lauren – Lead Animator

Apart from deciding on which lovely dress to wear to a wedding this weekend, I’ve been working on cleaning up skin weighting and poses for our Pioneer character models. When I return on Monday I shall share all the gold I’ve found in a pot that was strangely located at the base of a magical rainbow.

p.s. I love weddings and dresses, it’s almost as fun as making games. Almost.

Andy – Lead QA

This week we have been dealing with a rather big overhaul over the AI pathing so most of my week has been geared towards debugging that. I have also been testing the new additions to foundations, players having persistent bodies on multiplayer servers and keybinding fixes. All in all it’s been a busy week and with Matt being on holiday until today I was able to get a peanut butter KitKat Chunky drama free.

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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