Hello again! We have returned!
I must apologise for the radio-silence lately. All of us at Flix have been hard at work taking Eden Star to shows, polishing the Pre-alpha demo for December release, and developing the game proper in UE4! I must say, it’s exciting to see everyone get stuck into development, and discovering all the cool new things we can do with the engine!
I’m happy to announce that we’re going to be putting out more updates for you, starting from today! We’ll try to give you something extra-tasty every Friday – A large, succulent meal of juicy Eden Star filling, sandwiched in-between pretty images, with a nice video sauce. Sorry, I’m hungry.
To keep you all updated on what we’re working on, Tuesdays updates will include a kind of weekly roundup of what we’ve been doing, from programming to art and animation.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
If we have the time, the will, and the dragonballs to do it, we want to put out a mid-week post that’s… less serious. These may be unplanned, rough, and dirty, and include some of the things the public would not normally see! Some of us may be putting out live-streams of sculpting, painting, and perhaps just us playing other games and trying to be funny and educational!
See you next time!
– Animator, Artist, Guardian of Unholy Knowledge
In the past couple of weeks we have been busy with the creation of the first buildable robotic structure in Eden Star – the turret. This is neither a reveal nor news. What I want to tell you about is the journey of its implementation. It might seem that, since we already have the building system in place, all that’s left is to equip them with ammo and send them on their merry murderous way, right? Well, wrong. I SAID WRONG, SIR!
It just so happens that the prototyping of the turret’s functionality in UE4 alongside the tech demo implementation was up to me and so other developers and I have stumbled upon some challenges along the way.
The biggest challenge with AI, as expected, is preventing it from turning against its creator. Turrets tend to be simple-minded and the concept of friends and enemies can be quite daunting for them at times. Yes, we experienced surprise gunfire, not only against the player, Eden Kit, and other turrets, but we also had some turrets targeting their own bullets… yeah…stoooopid turret.
Another conundrum that needed solving was the construction on less-than-optimal terrain. Turrets built on destructible rocks would hover in mid-air if the rock got destroyed and for a time the MATA-Tool had no problem materialising them high up above the ground as long as they touched a wall with at least 1 pixel.
Nothing, however, beats fun with vector maths when your rotators go wrong. The turret is a naturally spinny creature, which is required for all-around protection of the Eden Kit. That is bound to cause problems and we have indeed encountered turrets spinning uncontrollably in place for no reason, firing out their… back panels, and some even being capable of rotating to lock on their target faster than light. You can imagine it was essential for us to make sure turrets give you a fighting chance, if they, despite our best efforts, rebel against you. To keep this from happening ensure plenty of power supply and fresh minerals, but just in case, the emergency button is placed conveniently by the gun barrel. Good luck!
John here, feeling the burn after an amazing week at the awesome Minecon 2013…
So, how did Eden Star end up at Minecon 2013? We were invited to attend the very first Minecon Indies showcase, where the guys and girls who organise the con (with a little help from Notch and the Mojang crew…) pick some of the best up-and-coming indie teams to share their warez in the same vein to how Minecraft was started, sharing with the community at an early stage of development. The only rules are that there needs to be something playable and something to pre-order or buy on the weekend of the con from each team.
So Minecon itself was an incredible experience, one of the most welcoming shows we’ve been to this year so far (previous shows this year have included GDC Europe, Casual Connect, Eurogamer Expo and more). The atmosphere is great and the vibe from meeting the fans and other indies is electric. The latest updates to the ES tech demo went down really well and people jumped into the tutorial with ease thanks to some of the latest HUD changes. In addition to the HUD updates, this was the first show where we let the public loose with a few more buildable items including Turrets (which you can watch here). With the new features being freshly rolled out and updated by our resident genius (Tech Master; Lord Snookes), literally half way through the first day, we threw the new features out to the public, hot off the test-bed and it worked like a charm…
No tutorial meant that we showed people as they were playing how to access and then deploy them and after no time at all, we saw people building as many turrets as they could whilst spamming the enemy waves in an attempt to recreate the famous battle scene from the last Matrix film. They succeeded, with bullets flying and destruction reigning down. We hope guys and girls enjoyed it as people were often playing for more than 30-45mins at a time – we may need to put a time limit or end goal in for future shows so that others get a go.
A big thanks to all who came to play and who also pre-ordered the game, please comment if you met either Lee or John at the event and let us know what you thought of the Demo!
Thanks again for the support!
Below are some of the pictures from the event:
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