July Development Update 3

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Greetings Pioneers!

So there’s been some heavy re-working of the game systems going on, all to suit the full implementation of our survival mechanics. A major overhaul to the HUD user interface is one of those aspects which John and Joe have been mainly focusing on. More utilities are underway to allow splitting out of different item/mineral types, and plentiful testing in the new map has allowed us to fix some major issues with it’s performance.

We’ve also had a chance to update our company show reel! So if you fancy looking at some fast moving images and a preview of the upcoming weapon system then check it out.

Now to what everyone has been upto this week:

John – Lead Designer

I have worked with Marcin and Lee on AI designs for group and fight/flight behaviour which should really unify the way that non-corrupted creatures act in the world. This should allow us to create better designs to implement reactive, stalking or investigative behaviour, meaning that when you first arrive on Pharus, you won’t be swarmed, but instead you may be stalked before being taken apart!

I have also worked through the HUD and UI designs with Ricky and Joe in order to get the full survival mechanics and new reactive reticle designs into the pipeline. We have finalised the creature list for alpha which includes 14 walkers, 2 flyers and 7 underwater creatures, not including the current enemy types.

The armour system is now nailed down and I have been making sure that we unify the upgrade systems to support ALL components in the game. Weapon animations have been checked for their second pass and are now ready to go into the new modular weapon system when Tristan returns.

Biomes are now also designed to allow for status effects fall-off so that you don’t get instantly Corrupted when moving from a clear to a spore infested biome. The new utilities have also been finalised for the next release, including Fabricator, Medical Unit, Food Purifier, Armoury, Refinery, Filtration Unit, Water Tank, Advanced Generator. Next week I’m finalising the UI/HUD design and working on finalising the consumable for the next release!

Matt – Art Director

More utilities are alas becoming relevant to the way the game will play, so I’ve been focusing on developing three of them. One of which is a Refinery, to cater for all your pioneers mining and refining needs. Next week I’ll be moving ahead with a water filtration unit. For now here is the (near finished) Model for the Refinery.

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Lee – Technical Director

I have managed to get the audio aspect of our perception component working with our AI this week. I’ve also been working towards adding group behaviours to the AI to allow herds of creatures, but to also allow for more squad like tactics.

Tristan – Senior Developer

Out of town this week. Enjoying a rather large Pina Colada and long walks in the rain. I’ve gone back to my roots, bathed in the milk of 10,000 adders, stole the princess of Pennsylvania’s golden brooch, sailed to the grand canyon, got ran over by an ox and survived to tell the tale,

Yves – Senior Developer

Working on implementation of our survival stats system then moved onto player armour and managed to get an early working version together that will be ready for internal playtesting soon!

Joe – Environment Artist

This week I’ve been working with John on getting the new HUD designs for survival up to a final pass  (I did also find a spare couple of hours to start on a new creature for our Forest and Grassland biomes!). Check out some of the designs we’ve come up with below, we’d love to hear what you guys think.

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Ricky – Developer

The week started off with a movement of the temporary Exp system over to a new more universal stat effect system.

I also managed to get some quality time removing old stuff, like, you know that feeling when you’ve had a large stack of Splintermites carefully balanced for years on top of each other, then you remove the bottom few finally because they’re  getting old and isn’t used, and the rest surprisingly still they hover in midair unaffected, that’s quite like removing an old system like the inventory version 1 and getting to delete 10,000 nodes at once but the game still functioned without errors beyond expectations.

Marcin – Designer

I have a lot of systems planned to be included in the next release, so I am a pretty busy guy at the moment. This week alone, on top of gathering data for the next pass of the consumables, I was designing the armour system, with all the considerations to make sure that making the choice between different armours is relevant and interesting, unlike the choice of building material we had in the past. Speaking of the building materials, I have also been designing new stats for them.

Since damage types were not interactive enough, I’ve decided to switch the stats towards their role in the building, such as structure support, weight, deterioration resistance, durability and style. Also as a next step for the survival stats, we’ve been looking into how we can handle environmental effects, such as Oxygen, smoothly and immersively, and last but not least I’ve done some extra work on the scopes for the upcoming modular weapon system. Like I said, there is a lot going on right now.

 

Simone – Concept Artist

This week I have been working on colour concepts for the crocodile and small fish swarm, as well as changes to the shark concept. Also, as we are adding in consumables to the game I have started work on icons for these objects and will be working with the team to create final designs. So look out for some tasty noms in the future!

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Andy – Lead QA

This week I’ve been working on balancing the stat/survival system along with playing in the new map “Pharus 7”. We have also made changes to the Apex rocks so they will now dematerialise 30 seconds after they last took damage meaning that players will now be able to harvest pesky rocks that are blocking them from building and build over them. You’re welcome!

 

As you may of noticed we’re missing a fair few members of the team in this week’s blog post. They’ve been out of office this week so we’ll bring all you wonderful people up to date with where they are at when they’re back.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

 

July Development Update 2

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Greetings Pioneers!

This week we have been testing the new map along with new consumables as part of the upcoming survival mechanics expansion. That’s food you gather from the plants as you harvest that you can then eat!

The food won’t all be good however and some will leave you with a bad aftertaste and a certain amount of ‘Corruption’ which affects your stats and XP gain and requires treatments to counter. We’ve also been continuing work on new critters for the world which will also have consumable drops of their own.

See what we’ve been up to below:

John – Lead Designer

As well as organising production for the implementation of our new survival system, I’ve also taken a few days out of the studio to go down to Develop conference in Brighton, which has been great!

Matt – Art Director

Amongst creating decorative objects for the inside of Pioneers bases, i’ve been developing some rough models for key utility systems for the upcoming survival gameplay. Amongst these are a water tank, refinery, and water purifier. See if you can guess which one is which ;D …

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Lee – Technical Director

So this week I’ve been working on implementing some group behaviours for our AI. This will eventually mean groups of AI are able to work together to overcome an objective. I’ve also been adding some new functionality to the editor to allow our designers to update our own octree navigation system from the click of a button.

Tristan – Senior Developer

This week I have been working on implementing network dormancy into our game and looking into other ways we can improve our replications times.

Lauren – Animator

These past two weeks I’ve been continuing work on the modular weapons animations along with animating up new critters to scuttle around the new world. This one is a small neutral creature for the starting grasslands areas. I can’t tell if he’s more cute or gross but he needs a name so suggestions welcome! 🙂

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Yves – Senior Developer

Yves is on holiday galavanting or something. Prior to galavanting he has been working on a stat management system along with a number of the survival stats we have had lined up. Hopefully you’ll be enjoying these soon.

Marcin – Designer

Last week’s hotfix release finally freed us to pour straight into the game all those systems and big changes we’ve been cooking in the background for so long now: the new map, the progression system, survival mechanics, food and water, etc. The map is looking pretty good, but we’re still working to make sure it’s got all the creatures it’s supposed to.

I’ve spent pretty much an entire week implementing new food items and treatments are next on my list.  All those addition still require a massive amount of polish, so that’s what I am doing, because I’m… also… polish. 😀 See what I did there? Huh? Anyone? Sigh.

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Anyway, enjoy a few very early screenshot of some of the upcoming features: first pass of the survival stats UI, placeholder UI for progression, and placeholder meshes for food item. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Ricky – Developer

Now there’s a bare system in place for progression and statistics I’ve been sorting through and displaying them upon the HUD and UI. This involved sorting through a few issues with it too where you wouldn’t die (I know, should I even fix that right?) and the consumables were not infact, despite their honourable title the “consumable” were not… get this… in fact… being consumed.

Joe – Environment Artist

The past couple of weeks have mainly been spent working on the art for a big new creature to populate our forest biomes – the ‘Hog’! Roughly Juggernaut sized so you probably won’t want to get in his way…

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Once I finished up the Hog, I jumped onto fixing a bunch of bugs with the new map, some of which were pretty major. I’m now looking at our HUD redesign for survival and progression.

Tom – Character Artist

I’ve been working away at some sculpting changes to our vulture like creature before creating the game ready version!

Simone – Concept Artist

Over the past few weeks I’ve been busy with creature texture concepts for the Vulture and Lizard, making changes to a few different creature concepts, as well as creating orthographics for our new little crustaceans that will be walking around the world!

There has also been the addition of décor items that pioneers will be able to place in their bases that needed to be painted over to add details and colours schemes that we have been working on, as well as creating a holographic style sign that will make it easy to label your base’s rooms!

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Andy – Lead QA

This week we managed to get the new map to test and although there are still a few kinks to iron out it is running really well. I have also been working with Marcin and Jamie to test the new player stats and how to best balance them.  

Big thanks to Jamie who has been doing work experience with us in the studio for a few weeks, he’s been very committed to the job. I physically shed a tear as he left this afternoon.. goodbye young Padawan.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

v0.1.16 Hotfix Released!

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Greetings Pioneers,

Whilst we push many extra hours of work into heaps of upcoming content, we feel people deserve a better balanced game to play in the mean time.

So we’re excited to bring you our final update within our 1km Island map. Our next update will be on our main 4 x 4 km Island!  We’ve done some extensive balancing and bug testing to get this build to you today, taking on board the feedback we’ve received. The team are especially happy to say the game is now a lot more forgiving in it’s initial stages of play while also remaining challenging for the more advanced players.

So what’s new?  We have added different visual styles of base fortifications to this current build, which will now represent the durability of certain material types you build them from.

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We have many balancing tweaks, changes and major bug fixes in as well, which you can read in our full changelist below.

Important: please update your servers to the latest version to work with this release, thank you.

v1.8Additions

  • Added new Primitive Fortifications variants. There are now 3 distinct styles, which depend on the Material you choose to build your Fortifications out from. This mechanic will be expanded on in future updates.

v1.8ChangesBalances

  • Changed the timing of incoming waves at night so they are not as intense.
  • Enemy waves start smaller and get tougher as the night goes on.
  • All enemies, the player and all blocks have had their numbers rebalanced so that enemy creatures are a much bigger threat to static defences, but not as punishing to the player who wants to contribute to the defence:
    • Turrets are now cheaper, but more vulnerable to enemy attacks.
    • Pioneers’ attacks are slightly more powerful. Pioneers also take less damage from enemy creatures’ attacks. We want Pioneers to be able to contribute to protection of their bases at night.
    • Ikas and Vipers no longer pull other characters in upon death. They still push away with the final explosion.
    • Ika and Viper Spit attack now disables turrets for a short period of time.
    • Splintermite spikes explode much quicker, but no longer when touched.
    • Eden Kits have had their cost significantly reduced. Also at lower levels, the Eden Kit Shield is much smaller. This means that new Eden Kits are much easier to acquire, but are much weaker without upgrades. Upgrading Eden Kits now also doubles their maximum durability from the previous level.
    • Regeneration module (to heal structures) is now much cheaper to craft.
    • A lot of utilities and defences have had their health lowered.
    • Structures built out of Cerulium or Tennal will now have more HP that those built from Ironite (as these materials are rarer).
    • We are in the process of revamping damage type and damage resistance mechanics. For the time being, the base material you use to build your structures will only affect their HP. The damage resistances have been equalised across all materials.
    • We are phasing out Arches and Arch Corner primitives. They will not disappear, but they can no longer be built or fortified.
    • In single player, you are no longer forced to restart the game if you die when your Replication Units are on cooldown or unpowered. Removed Replication Unit Cooldown completely in single player.
    • You can no longer add more Items into an already dropped bag, neither a personal one, nor the one that drops when you die. This was never intended.
    • Lights no longer use power.
    • Made eden kit column have the title of the kit in the tab.
    • Multiple physics and foliage optimisations.
    • Build asset rendering optimisations.
    • UI optimisations.
    • Armoury has been renamed to Crafting Station.
    • Sac plants now spawn Plasmafire.
    • Kinetic Blast now does damage by default.
    • Made the night fog slightly brighter to emphasise the toxic atmosphere

v1BugFixes

  • Fixed Pulse Amplifier upgrade, which mistakenly required another upgrade before you could Activate it.
  • Fixed Energy Harness upgrade tree, which had incorrectly 2 upgrade slots taken by default.
  • Fixed enemies flailing their limbs uncontrollably during “ragdoll”. They are still flailing, but controllably.
  • Fix for bodies of offline players standing back up on clients and also being able to push them around on the client by walking into them.
  • Fixed Text Chat allowing some of the game commands through while you’re typing (such as ‘q’ for Build Mode or switch weapons)
  • Fixed an issue causing keyboard keys to stop responding until you click after sending chat message
  • Fixed an issue where once you were sent an invitation to join a colony, if you logged out you could no longer see it, respond to it, or receive a new one, until its timer run out.
  • Fix for upgrade trees no longer working after a loaded game
  • Fixed being able to access lockboxes/eden kits etc at extreme range even without the prompt being onscreen
  • Fixed an issue with some UI (Inventory Weight bar for example) which would display at the incorrect size and/or each side would be different thicknesses
  • Fix for UI Menu not re-displaying items that were placed into a dropbag after closing and opening the menu
  • Fixed the death prompts and map markers displaying incorrect or incomplete information
  • Fixed an issue where the output column wasn’t visible in the UI Menu (‘I’ key menu) after closing the menu from the Colony Tab.
  • Fixed an issue where AI were unable to find any utilities to attack.
  • Fixed an issue where Turrets were not able to shoot through doors and windows
  • Fixed a few sounds which were extremely loud.
  • Fixed an issue where Turrets would not find a new target after losing and regaining power.
  • Fixed an issue preventing using smash when you had 0 energy, despite smash not using energy.
  • Fixed an issue with AI Perception where it could sometimes not pick up targets which were nearby.
  • Fixed a popup, which would warn you about signing over structures when you decline a colony invitation.
  • Fix for Eden Kit upgrade tree cutting off the bottom of the last node at some resolutions
  • Fixed graphical glitches during reloading of sniper rifles while aiming down sights.
  • Fixed an issue which allowed foundations to be built overlapping obstructions.
  • Fixed an issue preventing players from being healed by the Eden Kit shield in multiplayer.
  • Fixed an issue where some players were not always seeing the deployment screen in single player.
  • Fixed issue with trees regrowing through foundations after a save. (might be a few this first time round though as the trees ids might be out of date after new engine upgrade)
  • Fixed issue with foliage not getting removed on client.
  • Fixed issue with disconnect message boxes occasionally being unclickable when getting kicked from server.
  • Fixed a bug where you would auto sprint after landing even when you were not previously sprinting before jumping or leaving the ground.
  • Fixed a bug where you would stop firing while the fire button is held if you are given velocity (attacked by ikas, dropped to the floor or jumped, tail whipped by stalkers etc).
  • Fix for compass and map sometimes having multiple of the same marker.
  • Fix for Eden Kits not showing on the compass.

Known Issues

  • Vogels sometimes get stuck and stop moving
  • Very rarely Ikas will find their way underground and attack from below.
  • Ikas can sometimes attack you or your base from a very long distance.

You can keep up to date with current development via our Trello boards.

Thank you all again for the continued feedback and we hope you enjoy this latest release!

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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