May Development Update 3!

Greetings Pioneers!

The new icons to display interactive elements in the world have been getting implemented this week, these will assist players in determining the items can be picked up, the doors that can be opened and the buttons that can be pressed. The grenade and the spear have been making their way from the prototype stage to the new Weapon classes, these are set up in a more modular way will allow us to put together new weapons faster. Also this week, new spawners and animations for emerging enemies are being handed over to designers for placement in the world.

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

John – Lead Designer

This week I wanted to take the opportunity to address a few questions that have been raised in the forums, specifically surrounding when the next update will drop and if these updates are even real…

So! Firstly, I want to apologise for any confusion on this – to be clear – around 12 months ago we started collating feedback from the community and began a huge system overhaul in an attempt to nail down the actual story elements into the game world. The feedback on how we release this was to get it right prior to releasing, so we’re trying to do that. In doing this, we didn’t want to find ourselves needing to financially abandon the game at any point, because we believe in it and in you, the community that have supported it to date. But in order to fund Eden Star, Flix support development on a number of AAA titles (which is also an amazing way to collaborate with some incredible teams such as Sumo Digital). This means that we can implement YOUR ideas and feedback without pressure, like bringing back the different material types, adding more layers of build and crafting progression, adding context, story and reason to the world (which is a challenge in both single and multiplayer…), plus more content etc.

For anyone reading this now; Please only purchase the game if you believe that it’s the game that you want to buy at the time of purchase (see the blurb on the store page) – or wait until the next release is out! In the blogs we are clear that they are development updates for those who want to hear about the game and share this experience with us. They are not intended as bait-to-buy or anything else – doing so would only harm the team and the project and the community (whom we have a massive appreciation for!).

Please know that we are massively appreciative of your support. We are trying to make a game that you and we will be happy with which really does take time. Especially if you’re not always working on it full time.

Finally – we’re not currently working on Eden Star as our sole focus because we want to push the game with our vision before we ever consider taking it to a funding partner who will then potentially want to change the game to incorporate their ideas. The further along we are, the more of our (your) ideas get into the project.

Hope that helps understand it a little better 🙂

Thanks again for your support!

Matt – Art Director

Churning through the final stages of unwraps for the assets in the drop pod. Including the pioneer chambers and the airlock surround with its doors. Once these pieces are fully textured in all their glory it should help unify the interior.

Lee – Technical Director

Refinements to the AI have been the focus of this week along with fixing a couple of issues were having with the spawning of creatures. One of the problems we have is spawning creatures too early before the navmesh has been generated correctly

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been looking at more melee tweaks and bug fixes to cater for other types of melee weapons in the world. I have also been helping out with some item interaction logic to make sure its efficient but still gives the player the level of interaction they would like.

Ricky – Senior Developer

Getting some of our weapons systems modular to more easily implement new weapon types and I’ve got good progress with the Grenades and Spear weapons which can both be thrown while still allowing the spear to be used for melee combat. This also has touched upon the new Fuel system in which any item or action can use a new more universal resource type, so I’ve been laying the groundwork for that as I go.

Joe – Lead Artist

Working with James and Will to get the new Wreckage set setup and ready for level designers to use. I also added some visuals in preparation for new HUD elements such as the “Hold to interact” version of the Interaction Markers and the new Status Update notifications.

Tom W – Environment Artist

Been a bit sick this week :(, but outside of that have made lots more progress with our beautiful environment and one of the camps near the initial drop-pod.

Volumetric lighting and fog have been turned up to eleven, which really help that sandy, deserty feeling that we’re going for, as well as the more murky indoor areas like the Dam.

OG Tom W – Designer

This week I have been Implementing more destructibles in the existing world bases so we can now mine pipes, insulation, wiring and railings in the bases. I have also been revisiting our item crates and making them a little more explodey so you can easily access the items once you’ve destroyed the crate. This is currently a WIP and we’re hoping to have different types of crates the will react if different ways.

Sam – Concept Artist

I’ve been doing more work towards each of the separate items found in the shelter interior. We now have designs for the defibrillator, rebreather and basic breakable crates. Alongside these “general use” crates, we will also be adding military and ammunition versions, both of which will also be breakable with items such as the axe or spear, yielding in-game collectibles.

Lauren – Lead Animator

I have been finishing up the new spawners, getting variation animations for different AI and fixing them up for multiplayer. The stalkers have been the main focus this week with creating jump-down animations and spline following states, I have also been making animations for variant Splintermite appearances.

Along with the spawners I have also been putting a revised design together for the reactions of AI based on different force thresholds.

Andy – Lead QA

This week Jamie and myself have been looking into issues with certain AI not taking damage in multiplayer. From there I have been investigating similar issues within single player.
I have also been following up with artists on their progress with the creation of new assets such as the final model for new AI and new buildable assets.

Tom H – Designer

This week I have been finishing up the terrain changes near the Transmitter and Silo entrances, making sure that the terrain is traversable and also navigatable for our AI, navmesh checks have been the priority this week for the terrain as well as some more changes to areas such as the main entrance to the Silo and the Transmitter itself.

As well as this I have been making some more changes to the main bridge to the Dam, as this serves one of the first encounters for new players we have to make sure it is interesting and balanced in gameplay. The great new changes to the AI spawners allow us to have much more diverse battles in key areas such as this.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

May Development Update 2!

Greetings Pioneers!

More shiny new items have been making their way in this week with the debris kit, tent and fabricator being finalised. New items to match those icons we previewed a few weeks back have received the 3D treatment and there has been more work on the placement of destructible/minable assets in conjunction with the new crafting recipes.

John – Lead Designer

There’s always that conundrum of interaction and destruction vs performance, our game systems are geared to provide as much interaction as possible but the ultimate trade off is always around the corner, does she have the power captain? We think so, seeing as we’re building for the long term.

We’ve recently improved this by implemented an instanced static mesh destruction system that has full designer input for placement, meaning any mesh in the world can be batch swapped for a destructible version at the click of a button (providing it has destructible asset)

Matt – Art Director

Ahora que he regresado de mis maravillosas vacaciones en España, he decidido que a partir de ahora solo hablaré en español.

Apart from learning to speak Spanish I’ve been continuing the modelling for the airlock, this includes designing some fancy holographic signage for the airlock access points. Importantly these kind of airlock details will be used throughout the other bases in the world. Images coming soon!

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have been adding some new functionality to stop the AI planners from running straight away when they spawn so the designers can perform unique or scripted events with the AI before turning them on correctly. They seem to be working quite well now, with just a couple of little issues in multiplayer left to iron out.

Thomas Wha – Environment Artist/ ‘Rock’ Wrangler/Sand Person

Following some feedback from the community, we’ve reworked the tents a little, pushing for a more fragile/temporary shelter look, so stripped back a lot of the various metal components and panels.

Ontop of that, I’ve reworked some of our sand materials and atmospherics, as well as heading up some feedback/review sessions with external artists, making sure everything fits the artistic direction of the game set up by Matt and Joe.

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been continuing on with the melee work and getting the block node and camera adjustments working 🙂

Ricky – Senior Developer

Helping out with some build module changes to split out the buildables in each and working on getting new weapons like the spear usable and throwable.

Tom H / TOMato – Designer

This week I have been putting the finishing touches on the terrain from the Transmitter to the Silo. Smoothing out areas to make things easier for gameplay and traversal. As well as designing how the environment looks to help players find their way around and orient themselves.

As well as this I have been looking into the bridge over to the Dam and redesigning this area to fit contextually with the rest of the environment. As well as the best way to introduce new players to some of the challenges that will await them throughout the rest of the game. This work will be continued into next week.

Marcin – Designer

This week I’ve been working on the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) feature, which will be the Eden Star’s version of an in-game journal. You will be able to access it from the menu and inside find useful information. To begin with the PDA will contain “the story so far” as well as some tutorial paragraphs, but later it may also include a codex of your discoveries on Pharus 7.

Joe – Lead Artist

I’ve been getting Will and James’ lovely wonderful art assets set up and tweaked in engine so the designers can start using them, as well as continuing work on the new HUD Alerts visuals and interaction markers.

William – 3D Artist

Been working with Joe to get these items modelled up for use in the game world!

Tom S – Developer

The new HUD Marker backend system is in! Luckily I had the most amazing set of designs to work from. In fact they were so good I totally forgot to fill out my blog entry 🙂

OG Tom W – Designer

This week I have been building weapons with the new system created by our excellent developers. We now have a scrap axe, fabricated axe, pole, spear and shiv that can be crafted and equipped by the player. These are still in the early stages though and so we still need to balance swing times and damage. Also this week there has been a lot of meetings about different elements of the game design so we can start solidifying some decisions and get them in the game.

Sam – Concept Artist

After enjoying a sunny bank holiday Monday, I’ve gotten back on to working on a number of things for the encampment area. Amongst these are a few of the items you saw last week – the ones that can be found inside each shelter unit. Most recently I’ve been developing the look of the rebreather/air filtration unit, which I’m currently not satisfied with. At the moment t I’ve been trying to improve the side view especially, while also bringing up the general level of interest.

Most of the other items are still in flux, but I have also produced a little mood piece for the encampment to try and visualise the aesthetic we want in-game. If all goes well, these elements should all slip into place fairly soon!

Lauren – Lead Animator

The new AI spawners have been the main focus of this week. We wanted to have the ability to control what the AI do upon initially spawning, delay some of them with animation, have them traverse in certain ways and generally have more options with what they do before fully ‘activating’ and coming after the player.

For this I put together three types of spawners, all of which are interruptible if the player engages with the AI, it will force them to fully activate. This will allow for more ceremony in AI appearances and it should also be easier to control them with cinematic events.

Andy – Lead QA

I have spent a lot of this week working through all the small details of our first area. Trying to ensure that everything is working with a purpose and driving the player along our critical path without making them feel forced in a direction.

There has been a lot of reviews and iterations of new buildable assets, we are perfectionists and I have likely been driving the 3D artists up the wall with my demands.
I am in the process of reworking and redesigning our “scanner” system in order to give it a shiny new feel.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

May Development Update!

Greetings Pioneers!

More shiny progress to show this week with objectives taking form, further passes on art assets for the initial area, and animations for our weakest but perhaps fastest melee weapon, the Shiv. This is the first knife you can craft and will be a shard of metal scavenged from the surrounding debris…

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

John – Lead Designer

Busy business as usual, I have been running around making sure everyone has up to date feedback as we progress – Tom Whittemore and I discussed the aesthetics this week for buildings as we’re still trying to refine the Emergency Build Set aesthetic vs Indestructible Bases at the other end of the spectrum, especially after Azirahael brought it up last week. I have also been organising a new office space now there are more of us working here at Flix so we’ll soon be moving out of the “Indie House” and into something far more “Officy”, so that’s a fair bit of change. I’m really grateful for the community members this week that have really been helping challenge designs, support and encourage the team – Az, Shawn and others – you know who you are 😉

Either way, things are really coming together!

Marcin – Designer

Another week of work on the objective system and I’ve managed to implement almost all of the core structure, except for the missions unassociated with campaigns and a few global manager delegates, that is to say, some additional communications. I also have the outline of the first campaign, which currently consists of 6 simple missions, optional objectives, waypoint markers and a simple User Interface that helps you track your progress. There is more work to do, especially with implementing additional objective types, such as “kill X enemies” or “collect X resources” and the UI flair, but we’ve made big steps.

Here are some early UI previews:

Matt – Art Director

I’ve been working on my tan this week as I sport the most awesome “Jeans, no socks, just trainers, no shirt” combo.

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been looking into making some tweaks to the melee system to match it up with our new melee design. Hopefully this will get the melee feeling really engaging and fun to play with. I have also been looking into more tools for terraforming the world regarding foliage.

Tom – Designer

May the Fourth be with you, always.

I’ve spent the last few days working on a new tent for our brave, fearless pioneers. The amount of work that’s gone into making these work as lived in, believable structures is insane, so really hope it all pays off and you guys like them 🙂

Had big debates in-studio about force-fields vs airlock doors etc, so should hopefully have the final decision ready for next week’s post!

I have also been tweaking the atmosphere in the map for both day and night.

Lee – Technical Director

Had a couple of days off at the beginning of the week, but since my return I have been looking into adding a few tweaks to the spawning of the AI so that designers can create more scripted events before the AI planners kick in and take over the AI. I’ve also been continuing the work to try and polish the combat functionality, and see what new functionality is needed.

OG Tom W – Designer

This week has been a mixed bag as I’ve been jump between various jobs. I’ve been cleaning up some of the levels from a technical perspective, which isn’t that exciting but needs doing so we can keep moving forward smoothly. A more exciting job has been looking at rewriting some of the world lore to it ties in a lot with the gameplay. I won’t go into details so don’t worry about spoilers, but mainly we’ve been looking at the backstory of the player and the colony and the differences between them. This will help differentiate between destructible and non destructible elements but in a way that ties together nicely and allows us to explore some interesting ideas.

Finally we’ve been looking at adding some organic corrupt foliage back into the world to allow access to some key rare materials in the rocky wastes.

Tom H – Designer

This week I have been focusing on redesigning the first bridge encounter. This includes changing the meshes on the bridge to make more room for players to explore, along with changing the layout of the encounters on the bridge to give a much more fun experience. Including moving creature spawners around and placing new spawners to give a balanced but rewarding experience for players with their first big encounter with enemies.

As well as this I have been making some more landscape changes to ensure that the new landscapes can be utlised properly by players, making sure there aren’t any hills that are too steep or any potions that are not as interesting to look at and run through.

William – 3D Artist

This week had me taking a look at some of the crafting items pictured in icons, and making them suitable for gameplay. Thankfully Joe had higher resolution versions of each model ready for me to work with. Knowing that hundreds of these items would be in the world at the same time, we had to figure out a reasonable resolution to cut them down to, in order to keep the performance impact at a minimum.

Sam – Concept Artist

Hi! After finishing the design for our UI prompts, I’ve moved on to visualising the range of items that you’ll come across inside the temporary shelters. We’ve gone through a few different iterations over the course of the week, but we wanted to make sure all that of the key “default” items are there; these being a bed, medkit, wall pocket and some sort of rebreather console. Other optional items include a supply satchel, audio log, alternate wall pouch and an additional oxygen tank. These tents are very small (much like a real life 1-person tent) and therefore these items will be unlikely to all appear together – important part is that the stuff that IS there serves its purpose.

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I have been focusing on attacks and setup for our first knife weapon which we are calling The Shiv. 


I have also been in many AI discussions and have outlined some starting behaviours for what we want AI to be doing pre-engagement (after they have spawned but before the player gets within their aggro-ranges). This will allow for more cinematic-like AI entrances. I have started creating some tools for the level designers to plug in any animation they wish to play before the AI will be fully activated.

Andy – Lead QA

I have been helping with the design and development of the bridge section near the drop pod, organising the work needed for the new 3D in-world assets for our inventory items and the new 3D asset for our level two fabricator.

I have also been working with Carlos and Tristan on the new Melee system.  

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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