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

February Development Update!

Greetings Pioneers!

More insight into the inner workings of content development this week. As developers have mainly been working on stability fixes and profiling we thought we wouldn’t bore you all into the ground with such talk. Instead we have pretty images and information of things in our world that are yet to come.

Here’s what we’ve been upto:

John – Lead Designer

We’re working really hard on designs taken from your feedback and this week we have finally nailed down the “I feel like a cow” problem (basically, you can eat seeds from grass to survive)… In addition to this we have been working through the issues with multiplayer and support for people accessing servers via the server lobby.

This is now finalised and should be going into the game very soon. There are plans for the next major milestone to be focused on Corrupted Bases and how you need to approach raiding them, this also includes making all aspects of combat and AI interactions far more polished.

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have begun work on merging the 4.14 version of the engine into our codebase. Thankfully because we have stuck to a standard for all engine changes we make it hasn’t been too difficult so far. The only drawback has been our destructible mesh assets may need to be recreated due to changes we have made with Apex.

Matt – Art Director

Want to level up your turrets? Soon you will be doing just that. Been working on the models for these different stages of pain to monster delivery systems. Each upgrade level will bring noticeable increases in performance, and overall badassery.

Ricky – Senior Developer

Added a lot of very useful logging information to shipping server builds, so now we can rejoice the server log window doesn’t sit there with it’s lonely group of 6 rows, not much of a party really was it. Unfortunately we don’t have this logging out to a file just yet but at least the window is print screenable or copy pastable.

Joe – Environment Artist

This week we got the Comms Window and Activity Log designs signed off so we should be able to start implementation soon! As a quick overview, the Comms Window is the chat window you already know and love but with a ton more notifications, server announcements and proper chat filtering.

The Activity log is a whole new beast,  providing you with a real-time information on player and structure deaths, base attack alerts and most other hostile actions. You’ll also be able to access a “Historical Log” to see all of this information in full detail. Finally you’ll be able to see who or what raided you while you were offline! (and how they managed it…)

Also, lots more UI and Design work. I wrote up designs for the new death screen, designed a new server admin interface and started on the new Map Screen that will tie all the log information in a handy strategic view!  

Tom – Character Artist

Working on the new heads for the female and male characters! Coming along nicely, I’ll have something to show next week.

Lauren – Animator

This week I have been making hit-reaction animations and planning a final pass of character locomotion and responsiveness in general in preparation for the possibility of a third person mode.

Simone – Concept Artist

I have been working with the team to create and undersuit for the Pioneer. So far we are finalising the first pass on the female undersuit and this will be translated into a male version as well. Once the design has been finalised a colour pass will be made over the concept.

Andy – Lead QA

This week I have been talking loads with members of the community in order to get to the bottom of a few of the issues they have been having and then relaying that info to team so we can get fixes in. I’ve also been reviewing quality of life designs which once implemented should make the game much more user friendly.

I’ve also been organising another test session with the great guys over at Staff university which will involve more people so we will be able to catch those tricky bug that appear when there are a large number of players on a server. So I need to give a huge shout out to Staffs Uni and their Games Society for all the help getting this up and running and volunteering their time to help us out.   

As always, you can keep upto date on our current progress here.

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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