Category Archives: Progress

February Development Update 3!

Greetings Pioneers!

Some serious transformations are happening behind the scenes.. One of the first driveable vehicles nears asset completion, both female and male characters get their armour fitted properly to match the new proportions, and proper atmospheric oxygen has been implemented.

Here’s what we’ve all been up to:

John – Lead Designer

This week we have been defining the initial makeshift items which are items that can be cobbled together on the player without the need for a Fabrication Unit. This means that we can start the player off anywhere in the world and go from no items in their inventory to a “Repaired Construction Module” and “Repaired Optical Array” which will degrade when used.

These Tool Modules can them be used to Mine better metals/materials and build an Emergency Shelter, a Fabricator, a Temporary Atmospheric Generator (TAG Unit) and certain basic Primitive Structures.

A Fabricator allows for a Colony Grade Construction Module to be crafted which will not degrade upon use, a Mining Laser Module and more… we finally have progression and reason to build bigger and better! After this, we’ll start to go to the other end of the progression tree and create the Excavation Grade Mining-Charge Module and Military Grade Build Module, etc. – which I’m sure you’ll appreciate far more than the initial progression curve 🙂

Matt – Art Director

As we’re replacing a lot of static items for destructibles in places of interest, we’ve started placing in pickups for our atmospheric mechanics. O2 is playing a big part in survival with our game mechanic overhaul so this system requires pickups and ‘safe havens’. I’ve been focused on placement of the pickups so we can get onto testing the initial design.

On the other hand, (my third and most trusted hand which I’ve had to grow to juggle all this work) I’ve been doing material setup for our vehicles as we begin to structure them in a way where we can support customised variation, damage, and lights.

Lee – Technical Director

So this week I have been debugging and finding any outstanding issues we have with the new AI pooling. There are still a couple of minor things, but on the whole it is now working very well. I’ve also been trying to narrow down an assertion we keep running into due to an optimisation where we turn all tick functions off and only turn them on where absolutely necessary.

Butch – 3D Artist

Texture work is complete! after the different textures sheets for colours/glass/roughness etc I’ll be moving onto the destruction modelling.

Yves – Senior Developer

I’ve been working on several illusive crashes with a very low probability of reproducing, an exercise in pulling teeth doing the same thing over and over again in hopes to nail the problem.

Joe – Lead Artist

Woo Eden Star! I’ve been working on swapping out our craftable grids into easier-to-understand lists. You’ll also be able to see details of what you can craft without having to click through everything now. This is just a very early first step in my ongoing mission to make using our UI streamlined yet informative.

Ricky – Senior Developer

Planning to get some progression started in the crafting department. We’re going to change the crafting column to be a scrollable list to differentiate the visuals from other standard inventories to make it a bit easier to spot, and the makeshift weapons and creating your own basic build module will be in the player crafting menu to start this off.

Carlos – Developer

I’ve been putting some time in to get our new audio manager in and working, allowing us to start creating some nice sliders in the UI to control some of our newly designed volumes! I’m hoping to make the system flexible enough so that we can adjust the sounds and add UI elements as needed.

Marcin – Designer

Like I mentioned last week the turning logic for AI seems like a simple concept at the first glance, but it’s actually a fairly complex problem to solve. This week I dived into the guts of the engine to figure out how it was intended to be accomplished and to hopefully emerge with a good plan at the end. I’ve been mapping out the classes and functions that take part in the process to have a better image of what’s going on behind scenes before I start changing it.

I still have a way to go, but I’ve managed to establish a few fundamental rules and design decisions, such as when will the AI turn as a separate behaviour, what determines the direction and speed of the turn, whether the turn will be continuous or beespoke, and how to scale the animation with the speed of turning. Here I can show you the examples of 3 Splintermites using the same animations (for the best or worst) but turning at the rates of 360, 90, and 30.

Tom H – Designer

This week I have been redesigning the main tutorial sections of the game. Ensuring the path is clear and informal for you wonderful players, old and new! Designing the best way for you to learn the basic mechanics and systems of Eden Star in a way that will feel natural and immersive. I have also been looking at which enemies you will encounter as you play through, to ensure you don’t accidentally run into a nest of juggernauts!

Sam – Concept Artist

Hi there! This week we have come to a consensus on the specifics of what the Zombie creature should look like. While original design was a step in the right direction, certain features have been altered to really push the idea of a physical transition between the human and Stalker forms.

The zombie’s skin is constantly deteriorating and peeling away whilst the victim is technically still alive, and so we wanted to make sure the face conveys the fact that while it is hostile, it is still crippled and in a state of perpetual physical torment. Here you can see some of the sketches I’ve done to bring us up to this point – keeping it varied early on, then honing in on what we like the look of!

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I have been creating and implementing appropriate sounds for the ‘Hunter’mite and ‘Jumper’mite so that the player can have a bit more of an indication where they are and when they have spawned. I have also been tweaking our current armor meshes to fit both the new characters, male and female starting with the Pioneer and Paladin sets.

Jamie/Andy – QA

This week Andy and I have been dealing with an annoying tick function crash and have been helping Lee with understanding what it is. We’ve been discovering a few more bugs and crashes this week too. We’ve also been testing out the new interactions with the Huntermite and the Mite creatures and making sure their new sound effects are working correctly.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

February Development Update 2!

Greetings Pioneers!

More delicious progress has been made this week, with vehicles receiving the texturing treatment and our new Huntermite creature has had more or their bespoke animations and attacks added. There are still a fair few bugs with the AI that have emerged with the new pooling mechanic and other new features but once those are resolved we will be in a much better position for stable release.

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

John – Lead Designer

The organisation of the project and the overall design as a whole as you guys may already know, is my main concern. To keep up momentum we’ve got a few more designers in house to push this update forward, so it should be exciting to see their work going forward! It’s important to keep a fresh perspective and enthusiasm as we implement quite extensive revisions from our past release feedback. 

Matt – Art Director

On a practical basis I’ve focused my attention on getting some critical assets in place, one of these has been a destructible loot create/item. Both the asset work and adapting functionality that exists in the game to get something practical to use for the design team. Otherwise its business as normal with meetings about the different areas of the levels, but I’m especially excited seeing the new creature work, which is starting to feel and look exceptional.

Lee – Technical Director

I managed to complete the work to stop AI from being garbage collected. Now we are able to spawn what we need at the start of the game and pool them until needed. This is a good performance gain for the server now. I’ve also fixed up a few bugs with spawners now they are starting to be used more often in scripted situations in the world.

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been expanding on the melee logic and making it a bit more generic so we can add more melee weapon types. I have also been going over some of the AI work with Lee for more optimisations.

Butch – 3D Artist

Let the textures flow through you. I’ve been blasting through giving the transport its first coat of beauty. Will update everyone next week as we anticipate it to be finished and in game soon!

Marcin – Designer

This week I was able to get back to our beloved AI and actually implement a few more behaviours, which we all eagerly awaited. First of all we have the investigate the sound behaviour. The AI is longer clairvoyant as to who or what made a sound and will now have to go and see if it can find that out. Enemies are able to hear gunshots, explosions and calls for aid of their fellow aliens and react accordingly. There are still a few bugs to iron out but that’s now part of their repertoire.

Additionally I’ve been working on the “turning on the spot” behaviour, for which Lauren has been making animations. Although fairly simple in concept turning behaviours are deceivingly difficult to do right. We should know, because this isn’t our first attempt either, so we are taking a slow and diligent approach this time.

Tom W – Designer

I’ve had a fun week working on the Oxygen/Atmosphere mechanics for the game. Farting around on an alien planet without a helmet will have dire consequences for our pioneers! *Cough Prometheus*

Sam – Concept Artist

Hello everyone! This week you’ll be getting your very first peek at the “Zombie”, a slow-moving yet intimidating creature that serves as a mutated transition between the colonist human and full-blown stalker forms. We’re off to a strong start with our initial designs, but are still looking to push the boundaries even further, past the barrier of your stereotypical walkers from the big screen. behind the scenes I have also been working on a final render of the Hunter to go alongside the Mite’s. See you next week!

Tom Whitt – Designer

This week I’ve been continuing to iterate on the drop pod lay to make sure the introduction to the game gives you all the information you need to get going. It’s a slow process and we have several reviews a week but we want to make this absolutely perfect when its finished!

Tom H – Designer

Hi All! I’m new (yes another Tom). Mainly paper designs and getting my head around the current design for the project. I’m aiming to refine and strengthen the gameplay formula we’re using for the different areas on the island.

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I have been animating more of the Huntermite’s actions and reactions to make him feel unique. With its own set of attacks and idle animations and refinements to the balancing values, he is starting to feel a lot more how we would like him. I have also been working on one-off turning animations for the new turning behaviour. This will not be our first implementation of turning mechanics but we are hoping this time to have a behaviour that will work the same across all AI while still allowing for various types of turn.

I have also added a turn to the stagger animations so that he turns automatically towards the attack direction after playing a stagger animation, this already helps him feel a lot more responsive than what we had previously as he now moves out of range of the player’s melee, forcing them to move in order to re-engage. This is the stagger will play after the stability of the Huntermite is below a certain threshold, not instantly as shown here.

Andy – Lead QA

Myself and Jamie continued with our testing of multiplayer this week focusing on server stability.
We also got to test the initial implementation of the Huntermite, fixes to the inventory and re-implementation of the “sell” functionality.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

 

February Development Update!

Greetings Pioneers!

This week we have resolved a lot of the issues with the single player experience, fixed up more crashes, and have been designing more AI and loot placement in our new abandoned base areas. The Huntermite is coming together with refinements to combat and new attack animations to give it much more of a bite…

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

John – Lead Designer

SO, back to fuel and talking through AI reviews this week. We’ve been refining the attacks and feel of the Hunter this week and trying to establish some of the behaviour changes we need for corridor combat (charge relentlessly) vs open spaces where it will stalk, retreat and maintain a distance, similar to what we call “hollywood-style-combat”. The latter is now in, but the relentless attacks in corridors and refinement of combat overall has been broken down now into manageable tasks for animation and behaviour implementation.

I also worked through the critical path for any players who want to engage with the story components, which mean that designers have more input for initial AI actions for any players who engage with these featured areas. As a sneak peek overview here’s the exterior of the initial single player spawn location;  

And one of the interior locations;

Lee – Technical Director

Well we finally managed to solve our shader issue from last week and the builds are running a lot smoother. The single player game is now running a lot smoother as more and more bugs get fixed. This week I have continued the work to prevent our AI from getting garbage collected, which we hope will help out considerably with multiplayer server performance.

Tom – Designer

I’ve spent this week tearing apart the landscape with lead developer Tristan and two of the other Toms, trying to hunt down the best solution for our material node spawning system. It looks like we’ve nailed down the best route forward, now all that’s left is to implement it!

OG Tom – Designer

This week I have split my time between more mining node generation and planning the layout for the new drop pod. The mining node tests we have been conducting over the past couple weeks have showed some really nice results with the density and placements of nodes. The next step is a solid implementation and I have been investigating with Tom, Tom and Trist about how we can have both the generation method we want and keep our performance up. The new drop pod design is starting to move forward now with several paper designs down it’s time to start adjusting the drop pod testing the new blockout.

Matt – Art Director

As we’ve come to a stage where we’ve managed to finalise the creature types throughout the first area of the island, placements are getting the full design treatment. I’ve included a few sample shots of our visual design/review process for these placements in just a few of the areas. These designs are iterative and will change from now till the next release and beyond that with the communities input!

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week has been all about the latest of our upcoming enemies, the Huntermite. I have been animating some attacks that make good use of those huge jaws. I have been refining locomotion, damage and speed while creating bespoke combat and idle animations for this mite-on-steroids. I wanted it to feel both aggressive and intelligent in its movements. The Huntermite will attack exclusively with melee, while the Splintermite will mostly use it’s AOE splinter bombs for more variety in combat.

All the animation present in the first gif are retargeted directly from the Splintermite and will be replaced. The benefit of this approach is that the behavioural AI and animations can be developed simultaneously with a base set of animations already present for preview.

You can look forward to a new gif/video on the Huntermite, with it’s own animations next week 🙂

Sam – Concept Artist

Ahoy there! This week we finally have a colour scheme for the Hunter creature, which I think does a good job communicating which parts are armoured and which are exposed. Notice the two pulsating sacs on the underside of the tail area – a possible weak spot, perhaps? The overall palette is meant to convey that this animal is an unnatural mish-mash of heavy shell/bone mass and more vulnerable, fleshy bits.

As well as the Hunter, work has begun on a completely new humanoid creature, simply known as the “zombie” at this stage. We’re looking for something at bears some resemblance to its former human self, but also possessing some scary and feral-like qualities seen in the Stalker. So far I’ve done some initial concepts for this, but we’ll be refining the bracket for exactly what we want some time next week.

Andy – Lead QA

This week myself and Jamie have been tackling multiplayer. Which for a while there meant running around the new world trying to kill each other.

We managed to sign off issues we had been havin with dragging and dropping items in the players inventory, collision issues within the new structures, lighting and post process issues in multiplayer and reviews of the new huntermite.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix`

P.S. Don’t forget, you can check out all that we’re currently working on now and our future plans on our Public Trello Boards here:

https://trello.com/b/dmyocCtO/eden-star-public-board