June Development Update 4

Greetings Pioneers!

All new artwork for the bridge has been implemented this week with new points of interest and minables placed around the world. We wanted to ensure that there is a suitable placement of these nodes that makes them both easy to see while also fitting in with the aesthetic of what and where they are, harder than you think!

Also this week the stalker AI getting some love, A new dodge mechanic and backing away as the player approaches is in the works to make certain AI harder to hit. Initial balancing passes have been started with the minables, weapons and AI in preparation for uploading a test branch and having more people playing and giving feedback.

John – Lead Designer

This week I’ve been organising a test build for the team at the Epic Games Lab at Staffordshire University. This gave us some great feedback to get our heads around.

The day went down a storm and allowed us to focus on some objective gameplay points for improvements for the next steam build. Very exciting to see people getting excited about the big changes we’re making!

Matt – Art Director

After creating a good benchmark for crashed wreckage areas, I’ve moved onto reviewing a lot of the new artwork being pushed into the game. This includes new assets for the bridge areas and Dam surface which create the ruined and ravaged look we’re after.

There are a lot of doors in the game as well, so unification of their look and how you interact with them is on my radar, as well as practical work for the larger blast doors we have as entrance ways to a lot of the larger structures.

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have been ironing out bugs with the Stability/Reaction system with Tom and Laurens help. There are a few more tweaks I need to make this weekend, but the combat with AI is looking really good.

Tom H – Designer

This week I have been creating the points of interest that will inhabit the world around the Transmitter and Silo areas, this includes creating camps long abandoned by men, large rocky outcrops that will provide perilous drops, and sections of ship wreckage that will hold valuable mining materials.

As well as this I have been implementing the assets onto the bridge leading up to the Dam from the Drop Pod, this area now has fully textured assets and makes the area as a whole seem much more broken and worn down. I have been creating large piles of debris that will hold some scrap metal on the ice if you dare to venture down and large holes in the bridge for you to traverse if you have the feet for it!

Yves – Senior Developer

I’ve worked on part of the interaction logic this week, this will allow the UI guys to finish off what they needed to do. I’ve also focused on fixing some of the elements regarding environment oxygen depletion.

Ricky – Lead Developer

Getting the weapons to play unequipping animations when they deteriorate or are consumed in the case of grenades spears of food. Fixed crash with edge case consumables and crash with interacting with foliage now we’ve added the ability to “Use” foliage to gather from them.

Ryan – Developer

Hi, I’m new to the team but this week I have been getting myself up to speed with the project and have been focusing on fixing client-side bugs surrounding the UI and items.

John T – Environment Artist

This past week I have been focused on producing the final few assets for within the dam. This has included floors, wall and door ways. I have also been on the task to apply these within the engine with the necessary material setups experimenting with procedural materials and masking techniques.

Captain Tom– Designer

 

Further AI developments have been taking place over at Flix HQ, I’ve been working with the lovely Lee and Lauren on implementing a dodge and counter attack for our Stalkers and Huntermites.

Ontop of that, I’ve been optimising our lighting and instanced static meshes, ready for our public release of the build, so everything runs nice and smoothly on supercomputers as well as potatoes (Fingers crossed).

OG Tom – Designer

This week there we’ve been running lots of tests and reviews that have been super helpful to drive the design forward. For me this means I’ve been thinking about rocks more than a normal person should. Based on the review and feedback we decided that we weren’t happy with the current destructible rocks, they were either too hard to find or not obviously minable.

So I have been testing out different styles of destructible rocks in the environment to see what works for both gameplay and visuals. Other than that there has been the usual barrage of getting things fixed like doors, weapons, destruction and crafting.

Will H – 3D Artist

This week has been focused on creating breakable crates for spawning common items. In the end, these two will need to have broken versions in order for them to have a satisfying smash when the player cracks them open. I have also been making various tweaks and properly setting up the bridge assets to be used wherever they’re needed.

Marcin – Designer

On the systems front, I have implemented a new method of saving the state of existence of many new objects that new to the game, such as oxygen canisters, crates, and various new weapons. We needed that so the lose items that you pick up as you play can stay gone when you load the game.

We are also undergoing more testing or the objective system and we are starting to look into doing another pass on the collision setup across the world. In comparison to the live version of the game we have new environments and surfaces that need to properly interact with each other and the rest of the game. That is something I will be focusing on next week.

Charlotte – Concept Artist

This week I have been tweaking areas of the medical pack from last week in addition to finishing the design of the water container, tightly sealed in a metallic casing.

Lauren – Lead Animator

Hit reaction and dodge animations have been the focus this week. Starting with the Stalker and moving on to the Huntermite, I have been making sure each AI has a suitable amount of reactions to fit our new stability system that ramp up with each hit.

As well as hit and stagger reactions there will also be a chance for the AI to make a ‘Dodge’ movement, to take them out of the players range and ready to attack again if you managed to hit them a few times in succession. Along with the AI work I have been fixing up various animation bugs and implementing the hit while blocking animation for the axe.

Jamie – QA

This week I’ve been testing out the different enemies thoroughly and posting bugs to do with their attack behaviour. I’ve also been running through the level and reporting on any collision issues in the critical path in the level along with reviewing and signing off fixed bugs and new features.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

June Development Update 3

Greetings Pioneers!

Oh we are indeed perfectionists, there’s a certain level of polish that we’re aiming for here before we unleash these changes upon the world. The quality of the experience and atmosphere is important to us, purely because it needs to be as immersive as possible to be the most enjoyable, even in its incomplete state. Once again everyone’s doing a top job of pulling this together for everyone, and a lot has been done this week, including a fully finished model for our Huntermite creature!.

Here’s what the team have been up to:

John – Lead Designer

This week I have been reviewing the game for priority and prepping to take the latest build (with a number of bug fixes) to the Epic Games Center on Monday for 45 people to blast through it and give it a good playtest!

Matt – Art Director

So I’ve gotten to the stage where I’m adding embellishments to certain sections of the drop Pod, Venting atmosphere when you open the airlock, certain ambient sounds etc. Really helping this come to life. There are still a number of things like the players cutscene exit from the chamber when they spawn that need more love, but essentially it’s working as designed at this stage.

Breakable glass has also been added to the storage areas around the airlock to add another element of interaction. On another note me and Tom H are starting to add our wreckage areas to the world which make exploring significantly more interesting.

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have completed the stagger/reaction work for the AI. I’ve been trying to work through the bugs with the help of Lauren too. I think we nearly have it bug free. My next steps are to start reviewing the combat with the AI so we can start to put some polish to it

Jon S – Developer

I have been working on a Join via IP interface to allow players to enter an IP to find and connect to specific servers a little easier!

Tom L – Character Artist

Sculpting the Huntermite has come to a glorious end. I’ll be moving onto a zombie style character next!

Yves – Senior Developer

I’ve been helping the designers out by working on the interaction functions so that they can carry out actions on the foliage and rocks, we have a system for swapping out static mesh actors with normal ones and the interaction function needed to trigger it.

Ricky – Lead Developer

Started work on Deterioration for designers to start setting those up. Fixed some additional bugs with consumables when picking up a matching item that would unequip the old one, and a bug where modules refused to be equipped at all, preposterous.

Captain Tom – Designer

I’ve had a pretty busy last few days, but have finished off my implementation of the destruction system, so players will be able to hack apart my wonderful creations, as seen below:

Ontop of that, I’ve been breaking down our AI behavior by behavior, was well as continuing to review our current animations 🙂

Marcin – Designer

My job for the past few days consisted mostly of reviewing and improving our existing game systems. I’ve looked into oxygen balancing, marker positioning and visibility, and the airlock mechanics for our doors, which we’re going to be tweaking next week.

The current implementation of the airlocks feels a bit clunky and unresponsive so we want to improve that flow. Additionally we have started testing on the first implementation of the personal campaign, which is also going to keep us pretty busy.

Charlotte – Concept Artist

This week I joined the team at Flix and have been working on some different pieces of concept art featuring small, medium and large med-pack designs including iterations for a water container.

JT – Environment Artist

First time shower! Taking on a lot of the interior design for the sets and bringing them up to scratch for the game update. Mainly been working on a maintenance set that can do us proud to in comparison to Doom and rest of Eden Stars quality.

OG Tom – Designer

This week I have been taking a look at our melee weapon damage and balancing the amount of damage certain weapons do to both minables and enemies. Also I have been adding the buildables back into the game so you can construct bases but it’s now part our narrative progression.

Tom H – Designer

This week I have been fleshing out Points of Interest around the base of the Transmitter down to the silo. This means filling the world with interesting rock structures, small camps, ship wreckage and some enemies and loot, to make sure there is enough for you Pioneers to experience in this world and make sure there is no way you can be bored! As well as this I have been making small design changes to areas such as the Dam, Transmitter and the terrain, all to make these sections the best they can be!

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I have been working with Lee on the new AI stability system which will improve the feel of how you hit and interact with the AI. For this I have been working on creating new stagger animations along with improvements to what we already have and balancing the stability and attack force values together.

It still needs a bit of work but its getting there! The new system allows for thresholds of stability, so that when you wail on AI they will play proportionally bigger staggers. Next steps will be adding counter attacks so that there is a risk for staying too close for very long…

Along with the stability, I have skin weighted and added in the new Huntermite mesh which is looking awesome.

Andy – Lead QA

Jamie and I were tasked with getting all the issues, both small and large, listed and prioritised this week which has involved lots of Trello work, assigning tasks and bugging the developers in order to ensure that these are addressed.

Will H – 3D Artist

This week has been a continuation of the bridge assets. I have been designing and creating bridge barriers as well as debris and sand piles to help break up the modular look further. Metal railings on the barriers have been kept separate in order for the players to break them and gather resources. As for the debris and sand piles, we can add random items and resources on top for players to grab if they spot them.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

June Development Update 2!

Greetings Pioneers!

More systems have been coming together this week with a new fuel stat that the player will need to manage along with their oxygen, sustenance and stamina. The fuel will be less of a worry at the start of the game, and will deplete slowly when your oxygen scrubbers are in action, giving a balance between stats to manage in inside vs outside environments. Later in the game as you obtain energy weapons, that statistic will come into play more as you manage your firepower vs fuel, based on the situation you are encountering and the fuel cells in your inventory!

The objectives system has been reviewed with the first implementation of the support for the first campaign of the game being submitted. Now the global objectives manager is being developed to allow the designers to handle and trigger in-game and map events and encounters…

In the world of level design we have been making great strides to populate the world with minables and things for you can destroy, polishing more pretties and tidying up the AI and pick-up placement in the initial area.

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

John – Lead Designer

Still so much to do! But we’re getting there 🙂

So after promising that i’d update the blog with the todo list for release, I failed last week miserably and for that I apologise! In actual fact I did update it, but the excuse is effectively “my dog ate my homework” levels of lame… so here it is this week instead!

– Fuel in buildings
– Power Connections between Generators and Turrets/Utilities
– Revision of Life and Death (What saves and loads Vs what’s lost)
– Non-Navigational Zone Mechanics (How we block off the edge of the map that you can’t get to with a story based component)
– Destructible Structures new assets, setup and utilities (Weapon Display Rack)
– AI refinement with combat (continued…)
– Character Selection 1st pass

Matt – Art Director

Fully implemented new door facades with their retracting arm mechanism to the ‘Cryo Chambers’ in the drop pod. This makes the space feel more functional and a little more claustrophobic than it was previously. Numerous lighting tweaks and changes have been made to polish the space more from a gameplay and visual perspective, also including another pass on the waking up of the players Pioneer character.

Lee – Technical Director

I’ve managed to get the new AI reaction system into a state that we can start testing it now. I’ve also been fixing a few more navigation bugs where I can. Just when you think you have got them all, someone else manages to find one, it seems and endless task.

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been fixing up melee bugs and making tweaks to the system as the designers try to create different melee weapon types.

Yves – Senior Developer

I’m currently working on the allowing change of environment to be dynamically done at runtime, so things like area oxygen can be changed by things like terraforming type modules . Also I’ve been working allowing foliage to be “used”, this will for players to directly interact with things like bushes.

Ricky – Lead Developer

Sifted through and fixed several bugs with consumables and melee weapons, teething problems as to be expected with new functionality. Consumables were being consumed twice and equip anims not playing, that sort of thing.

Carlos – Developer

I’ve implemented a nice new shiny audio manager that now allows us to control audio levels through the UI, this has been broken for a few versions of the engine when we upgraded! I’ve also started of fixing bugs that have come around from updating the engine!

Joe – Lead Artist

I’ve been standing over the shoulders of the art team being nosy and reviewing all the awesome new artwork going in! I’ve also been working on unifying and implementing an in-world version of our UI, which will be used for flavour and player interaction. I also fixed a bunch of UI bugs and added the new fuel/power stat to the HUD.

Captain Tom – Designer

Had great fun modelling lights, as well as blueprinting them up so our other lovely designers can aim them at points of interest wherever we decide to use them.

On top of that, I’ve finally started to sink my teeth into our various AI characters, in the aim of giving them some tender loving before you guys get your hands on them in the update!

Marcin – Designer

There has been a lot of tying up of loose ends for me these past few days. The objective system has passed its reviews and that alone has un-blocked a lot of tasks we had on our plate and can move forward with now. I’ve added the holographic effect to represent a consumable item you have equipped and Tom S., Joe and myself have also reviewed and tweaked the interaction markers that were recently added to make sure they all work as designed.

We are in the process of fixing a few bugs with those. After all of that is done, next on the agenda for me is looking into encounters and hooking them up to objectives system, so that relevant encounter information can be displayed on the HUD as you are participating in them.

OG Tom W – Designer

This week has been a real mixed bag as I’ve been reviewing many different design systems with the team here, creating new destructibles, placing mining nodes around the world and tackling design issues as they come up. Specifically, the destructible assets are using a new implementation with allows us much more control over the materials you get for mining or interacting with a node.

An example of this interacting with a broken railing will give you a metal pole but takes a couple of seconds. Breaking the railing with the axe is quicker but will give you scrap metal and degrade your weapon slightly. We are look to implement with on many destructibles in the existing bases so we can offer the player materials but also tools depending on the situation.

Will – 3D Artist

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a modular kit which can be used for various areas in the game. These required some work to get the damage looking varied and ensuring they would snap to each other well at the same time. Still, the kit looked too solid when put together, so some frayed innards were made to make the pieces look even more shattered.

Tom H – Designer

Polish, polish, polish. That’s been the name of the game this week. I have been focusing on getting all the main section of the game fully polished up in terms of terrain, meaning going through the environment with a fine tooth comb and ironing out any creases I find such as floating meshes, cliff problems, terrain issue, you name it! As well as this I have been putting the finishing touches on the spawners for the Dam and Transmitter sections to make sure each and every encounter is as memorable as the last!

Sam – Concept Artist

This week has been all about the makeshift axe for me. I’ve taken last week’s sketches and realised them in a more realistic way, as with the spear, to help identify which features we’d like to include in the design. I’ve been sourcing a lot of supplementary imagery from scrap heaps, as you can probably tell from the dishevelled nature of the renders, which are effectively meant to look like they are built from said scrap.

The design that you are most likely to end up seeing in-game is the one on the far right, which is combination of features from several previous trials. I rather like the way the blade appears to be made from some sort of rusted shard of iron – what do you think?

Lauren – Lead Animator

I have been polishing up the stalker, the axe and consumable animations this week, with various weapon fixes along the way. The stalker has been given more charge attacks with some delivering a single swipe before retreating, others delivering a second swipe. I set up the new Shiv weapon so that all its slashes and stabs alternate, blend their animations and do damage. I’ve also been working on more stability animations for various AI while also working on getting them to react appropriately to blocks and parries

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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