September Development Update 4!

Greetings Pioneers!

Our focus has turned towards polish of the existing encounter buildings and planning for the rest of the level as of.. Now. Actually it began on Monday to be perfectly precise whilst a lot of the team were also absent, on holiday or generally dying of flu! There are some quite drastic changes going on to creature stats and types during this process. Something we’ll no doubt share with the community before we launch this onto Steam!

Here’s what we’ve been upto:

John – Lead Designer

I’ve been working on designs for potential new AI within the initial areas of the game (or at least will be fleshing this out over the weekend!). We are hoping to have various “levels” of AI to help aid progression and soft gating. I also had the chance to go to the industry day at EGX and catch up with a load of people and check out some of the awesome games. Looking forward to seeing Eden Star back down at some of the shows next year!

Matt – Art Director

Designs for the updated world are really getting the juices flowing. We’ve been working towards a solid critical path for the new locations in the rest of the map as we continue to develop the foundations for how they play in the beginning area/zone. Needless to say there is a lot of trial and error as we reach for the best results.

Variations of these locations will come in many flavours, from slight theme changes to the bases above or below ground, maybe even in the form of caverns. The later part of the week has been dedicated to planning out visuals for several creature/enemy types that will fill the gaps we have when it comes to the overall tropes in the game.

Lee – Technical Director

I’ve been helping with planning what are the needs of the AI for the first encounter section of the game when the player begins. Working out which bits we need scripted and which parts the AI can handle on its own.

Joe – Lead Artist

Been working through idea boards for our vehicle types/classes. This is super secret stuff so I really should be saying… nothing at all, nothing at all. Stupid sexy Flanders..

Tristan – Lead Developer

The adventure continues, took the wife mountaineering for the honeymoon <3 top that people. Will be back next week to bring order to the chaos.

Ricky – Senior Developer

Converting consumable weapon grenade prototypes to c++, this has been going back and forth for a while but is getting there now. I’ve also been trying to find time to debug the inventory system update.

Alex – Designer

I’ve been carrying on with texturing the “Maintenance” modular set, It’s been a whole load on modeling high poly trim sheets and tile sets, baking normals, unwrapping, crying at crashes, optimizing models, tweaking shapes and silhouettes. But it is all coming together as a pretty cool cohesive and thematic set that will hopefully impress all of you ES fans :).

Lauren – Lead Animator

Continued refining attack anims for the 3rd person whilst fighting a demonic cough!

Andy – Lead QA

Spreadsheets, spreadsheets and more spreadsheets. I managed to get into the editor for a hot minute this week to help Matt with the terrain rework and doing lots of paper designs for the players critical path through the level.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

 

September Development Update 3!

Greetings Pioneers!

More delicious progress has been made in the way of art this week, with landscape details coming into being and new tilesets for the various abandoned structures around the world being textured up. Our pipelines are also being refined to speed up the environment development process as we progress.

We’ve also been continuing development of the 3rd person movement now that you can see yourself run around from the perspective of a disembodied spectator (or camera if you prefer).

John – Lead Designer

They call me the juggler, the puzzle solver, the dynamic dancer, the Instant inspector. I move and weave in and out of all development areas like a warming breeze. Collating information and relaying back to the holy spreadsheet, the magnificent matrix, the holy document. Firing up the workflow wizard. This is the magic that turns the wheels of the machine and stops them from falling off. I am the glue man.

Alex – Designer

I’ve moved on from the relay hero piece and am now on task texturing the modular assets for our “Maintenance kit”. You’ll see these used in a few places but predominantly in Dam area.

As we are using modular kits, I’ve started by making some high detail trims and tiling sheets, to which i’ll be unwrapping the kit too, This  workflow speeds up the texturing/unwrap processes and gives us more variation to a high quality standard with much less work in the end, so that we can get these assets out to release much faster for you guys 🙂

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have been re-checking everything that has changed with the AI to make sure its all working the way I expect in world. I’ve also been looking into managing the creation and destruction of AI to try and eliminate some of the garbage collection overhead.

Tristan – Lead Developer

I have gone to another end of the earth (Nepal this time) for the wondrous post wedding formality that is know as the ‘honeymoon’. I always thought the moon was made of cheese and not honey.. So the term still perplexes me. See you all in the never ending world of 1’s and 0’s when I get back from tasting the moon of honey.

Joe – Lead Artist

Spent the week basking in the all the glorious art being produced by the other guys! I’ve been hashing out pipelines with Alex with regards to the modular sets so that we can hopefully end up with a huge visual variety of playable areas without it taking too long to get it out to you guys 🙂 First up is the “Maintenance” set which will form the basis of a large portion of our interior areas.

Tom W – Designer

Things have really progressed this week, with the pre-terraformed landscape material just about complete. Emphasis needs to be placed on the “pre-terraformed” part, we’ll definitely still be getting the lush jungle areas you’re all used to!

It’ll need to be refined in future with regards to things like different sub-biomes, but overall it’s looking really good both close-up and far away. The system has been designed to be completely procedural, allowing the level designers to focus on the important gameplay related tasks, rather than laboriously hand-placing individual rocks and clumps of grass across the the entire world.

Matt – Art Director

Now we have the new characters on the ground in third person running about, it was quite obvious that the ground level visuals still need more work to ensure it fits with the higher level of detail. Tom in particular has been working towards surface details that are automatically generated, yet will also provide enough variety to ensure not one spot on the ground looks the same.

I’ve been tasked with some tough decisions over the level and ultimately a lot will be changing (for the better) to cater for some of these new procedural elements. This is something I want ready for our next big update, full steam ahead folks! Toot toot.

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I have been a bit under the weather but have been working on third person animations for all those lovely Axe swings. I have also been continuing to refine animations and blending, while fixing up various blueprint bits to get the third person axe showing up in the third person hands, now if it would only cause damage 😉

Andy – Lead QA

I’ve spend most of my week looking at collision issues we have been having with the lovely new terrain rocks Matt and Tom have main. I also had a lot of fun looking into networking this week with Matt and by a lot of fun I mean it was soul destroying. haha

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

 

September Development Update 2!

Greetings Pioneers!

It truely is amazing how much the feel of gameplay can change when things start coming together, we have some great progress to share as always, here’s what we’ve been smashing this week..

John – Lead Designer

This week I’ve been helping to organise the new workstations that the team require. I am happy to say that they have finally been ordered.

I’ve also been planning out the pipeline for Eden Star and helping the team stay on track for our next release.

Matt – Art Director

A heap of collision work and placement has been going on between myself and anyone who happens to fall into my clutches. This basic re-work is enabling us to structure the world around a changing environment, which while looking barren at the moment will transform to support a variety of organic resources.

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have been implementing the new spawners. We changed the spawners over because we had a few different versions. The new version is a lot easier for the level designers to use and they are very versatile.

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been working with Andy to get the new machines finalised and ordered and getting some tasks set up for the devs as well as many meetings which are less fun than Eden Star but must be done.

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week the new male character mesh is up and running (quite literally) we’ve been making polishing tweaks to the 3rd person animations and blending systems to get them moving and rotating more realistically (the smash is looking pretty good too). Still some work to do but it’s getting there!

Ricky – Senior Developer

This week I have been < MISSING_STRING_TABLE_ENTRY >. It’s spreading SAVE YOURSELVES!!

I’ve continued debugging the grenades, and been giving them an ammo count, they are going to work a little different to standard guns, because when the ammo is out, the consumable weapon will be gone. Plus you don’t actually throw a gun.

Marcin – Designer

The work on the new AI with Lee continues. We’ve done quite a lot but there is always more. This week we’ve focused on perception, and behaviour bugs, such as:

  • enemies recovering from ragdoll upside down,
  • enemies dying as soon as they ragdoll for no reason,
  • enemies trying to attack you while they are being held up,
  • enemies being able to damage you through walls or when you are behind them or too far away,
  • enemies not recognising they cannot reach you and getting stuck trying,
  • enemies not recognising you as a threat after they’ve been picked up and dropped down,
  • enemies not being able to see over over their comrades,
  • Etc.

Getting rid of bugs like these is quite important because they can easily obstruct visibility of whether or not the actual Artificial Intelligence component working properly, so I am happy we finally got around to it. The next thing on the agenda is the implementation of the “investigate point of interest” behaviour.

This one is important because it will allow us to have the AI react to events happening around them, such as gunshots or doors opening or food being present nearby, without having them go directly into combat or using clairvoyance.

Joe – Lead Artist

I’ve been updating the Tab and Clan Menu UI, making it look nicer, run smoother and work better! I’ve put in the visuals for allowing the player to have 10 hotbar slots, within which they can place whatever they like 🙂 I also fixed up a bunch of issues with inconsistencies to hopefully make our UI help (not hinder) the player. I’ve started on optimisations too as we noticed our UI is using a little more memory than is necessary.

Yves – Senior Developer

I spent a large part of this week in design meetings regarding the new parry system. There was lots of planning regarding “stagger” distance, parry timing and parry window. Once all that was complete I was able to start converting the prototype to code.

Tom W – Designer

I’ve been busy working on procedural foliage systems this week, taking inspiration from Guerilla Game’s Horizon Zero Dawn. This should allow our level designers to focus on composition and gameplay, rather than tediously placing every blade of grass in a 16km square area.

Alex – Designer

I’ve been painting and texturing and setting up materials for the relay hero piece this week. Making sure the colour palette suits the environment, and the level of wear is consistent with the what we want the piece to feel like and what the rest of environment will eventually look like. The relay tower is very nearly in it’s final form now after more transformations than a bad anime character, i’m just making some LOD’s for optimization and it should be signed off.

Andy – Lead QA

I’ve been in design meetings with the guys working on the new section of the map. I also able to get into the editor for the first time in ages. I mean I just did some basic  asset placement, but it’s fun.

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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