Monthly Archives: December 2017

December Development Update 4 – Christmas Feature!

Greetings Pioneers!

And Merry Christmas to All our followers! The new critters have made it into the world this week as we work towards inserting some small posts/points of interest that Pioneers can explore. We’ve also been tarting up the A.I. behaviour and location lighting to improve the experience across the day and night.

Onto business! We’re excited to be showing you a walk through of the drop zone section of the level brought to you by our Art Director, Matt. Please note that this build is a work in progress without all of the latest individual changes yet committed, so some of what you’ll see here is not up to date.

The build in this footage is work in progress and is not yet released on Steam

Beyond this we also wanted to let you into a little more detail on production and schedule moving forwards. The team have now finished for Christmas but prior to this, a number of the guys were working hard to get new A.I. features that you have started to see emerge in the blogs over the past few weeks, there are also vehicles and the new environment/level design that we have been putting into the world. When these and a number of other core systems are in, we should have a fresh vertical slice. To coincide with the new features we have also dig into the lore of the world more and can now reveal the following as a Story introduction synopsis for those who have asked and want to know more or offer ideas and support – PLEASE NOTE :: SPOILERS AHEAD;

Earth is recovering from a great catastrophe that has destroyed the biosphere and devastated the population. An alien material provides hope and the means for interstellar ravel, fuelling great leaps in scientific understanding. As humankind reaches for the stars, trade routes are formed between fledgling colonies, yet over time essential resources are used to manipulate trade, causing diplomatic relations between Earth and the outer colonies to fail.

It is discovered that the outer colony of Pharos 7 has been secretly developing a terraforming technology that can rapidly change hostile worlds in moments, enabling decades of reliance on Earth to cease.

As Earth observes from afar the colony suddenly ceases all outside communication. Eden Star is the nearest Terran-ship tasked with investigation.

You are a Pioneer, sent as part of the initial ground force to recover the terraforming technology. You wake some time after landing planet-side, abandoned by your crew, you cannot contact Eden Star. You must discover what has happened on Pharos and find a way to survive.”

Keep your eye fixed on this space for more. Our next blog will arrive on the first Friday (5th) in January! 

Happy holidays and have a fantastic new year.

-Team Flix

December Development Update 3!

Greetings Pioneers!

We’ve had a big push this week to get our newest mite-ey creature in the game with it’s new behaviours and the ability to jump! Watch out these guys will have a fondness for Pioneer flesh…

John – Lead Designer

Jingle bells, ding, ding, Whats that? The sound of the deadline bell for this current sprint. The level design and creature team have been doing a lot of deliberation upto this point over updates to designs but they have definitely delivered on our latest run at getting some incredible new stuff done.

Matt – Art Director

Tom and I have been hard at work implementing our final detail layering into the terrain. We’ve based a lot of the rock formation around the look of lava fields to create that horrible tormented ground look and give reason to the planets source of toxic atmosphere. Again this is Work in progress visual stuff but it’s much closer to the final product that we’re aiming for!

Lee – Technical Director

This week I’ve managed to get our code merged into the latest version of the engine. I’ve also been giving our group movement code some attention to make it easier for the spawners and designers to put AI into groups and formations if they want. The last thing I did was add functionality to allow designers to plug in animation data to the behaviour tasks.

Carlos – Developer

Work has continued on splitting the sell functionality away from our other modules. The idea is to allow the sell functionality to be handled within its own module, rather than have our mining functionality deal with selling

Olly – Junior Programmer

Continued tinkering with the vehicle mechanics. Really trying to get to a point where they feel really fun and handle they way you’d expect. Got some good feedback from to the rest of the team and I think I can speak for everyone in saying that we’re all excited to get them into Eden Star.

Marcin – Designer

Jumps and hops and leaps all the way. I’ve been working on the jumping logic for the AI creatures, namely the Mite and the Stalker. What I am was aiming for was a leap attack logic with impeccable controllable timing for the Mite, because I really wanted to be parry-able, and our parry logic obeys a very strict timing rules.

As for the stalker, I want it to be able to climb high ground like being able to reposition onto tall rocks and cliffs and the base roofs. I want an agile enemy that can match the Pioneer’s ability to get places, so I needed logic that was extremely precise as to where the creature will land. I was able to do this thanks to the amazing Sebastian Lague. Check him out on YouTube: .

Tom – Designer

Secret-Santa shenanigans aside, I’ve been busy getting our new terrain layers implemented into engine for our other designer and artists to have a play with. It’s all coming together really nicely, especially now that we’re able to implement our new ai and watch them scurrying around the desolate landscape of Pharus 7. I also have to say, it’s amazing how much better things look in the new version of the engine! 😀

Merry Christmas everyone, really looking forward to what the New Year holds for Eden Star going forward!

Alex – Designer

Let’s talk about master materials, I’m sure you all remember that sweet looking tile set I was modelling and unwrapping before, looking all monochromatic and boring.  *Waves arms furiously* WELL NOT ANYMORE!!! The models and unwraps are finished bois, now the fun part starts…MATHS and PAINTING!

That’s rights, we’re talking world aligned roughness and normal maps (which are anything but), Metal, colour and detail Masks influenced by vertex world positions and tweakable in instances so versatile it hurts.

Merry Christmas.

Sam – Concept Artist

The majority of this week has been dedicated to getting the Mite just right, as we want to keep the legs a certain shape at the same time as keeping the proportions and anatomy physically realistic, and true to the purpose we want it to serve in-game.

So far we’ve played around with up to 6 different styles for the larger leg (the important one that propels the creature into the player’s face) and are very nearly ready to move onto other things. Alongside all this, I’ve also produced a semi-profile view of the critter to help better our understanding of the shape ready for modelling, as well as some small quality-of-life tweaks to our heavy vehicle from a few weeks back.

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week has been all about the Mite, our latest creature (name TBC). I have been animating its attack and various creepy movements such as sniffing out players and feeding on flesh. Its behaviours are reminiscent of Half-Life’s Headcrabs or the Facehuggers from Alien. It aims for player’s weak spots with stabby face claws in a mid-air assault. Though its attack is damaging, it can easily be avoided or intercepted. You should be able to hit them mid-air with the axe and send them flying.

Andy – Lead QA

With the engine being update to 4.18 due to a foliage destruction crash there has been a lot of “retesting” by myself and Jamie. We have also been focusing our efforts on the AI due to a lot of fixes being submitted.

Myself and Matt also finally got around to putting up the Christmas tree and a few decorations just to make the office feel a little more festive.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix


December Development Update 2!

Greetings Pioneers!

Chunky progress on the lead up to Christmas! The surface and new world assets are starting to align with our 3rd person work, plus our additional AI is now being brought to life (and it’s terrifying).

Here’s what we’ve all been upto:

John – Lead Designer

Choo choo, here comes the production train. Chugga chugga, clickety clack, everyone’s getting on but its not stopping because we forgot to give it any breaks. Our in game vehicles do have breaks however, thankfully.

Matt – Art Director

A lot of implementation work has been going into the level, including alterations of the road system and positioning of our key locations, plus a very satisfying new dynamic sky system which gives us more versatility at different times of day.

Vistas are probably the most important part of these alterations, so a lot of the time is being taken to carefully consider views in relation to our encounter placements.

WIP sky and reworked vista – Not representative of final detail levels

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have been tweaking some of the AI bugs that have cropped up while Marcin has been fine tuning some of the various types of Splintermite. I’m also in the process of upgrading the engine to try and fix a crash we are having mainly with destructible foliage. I thought I had it fixed at the beginning of the week, but it’s proving to be a resilient bug.

Olly – Junior Programmer

Made a bunch of handling changes so designers can modify things like turning circle easily, and change the way the vehicle feels going forward and in reverse!

Marcin – Designer

I’ve been doing some more work on the AI, but more specifically 2 things. Firstly I’ve grown tired of how withholding the unreal engine can be on the information about certain animation systems, especially montages, so i’ve implemented a few new tools that reveal such obscure and delicate information like: the length of the montage, or its blend times, or whether any are being played on specific slots. I don’t know why those aren’t part of the standard package, since they are so vital that whenever was working on animation without them I always felt so blind and limited.

The other thing I am working on is jumping and leaping logic. We are looking to have some AI being able to leap onto you to attack or onto higher ground for better positioning. I am currently working our the physics part of the calculation, he navigation part comes next.

Alex – Environment Artist

Texturing and revisions to our bases are well underway, this will go through a few iterations so bare in mind this is all still WIP.

Tom Whittemore – Level Designer

This week I have been starting to look at material generator nodes and the different types and sizes we want, and their rarity throughout the world. There are two objectives I want to achieve with the mining and crafting system. First, to create moments of opportunity when the player finds a rare material and suddenly can craft a significant new item, weapon or technology.

The second is to balance all ‘basic’ materials to ensure their availability in the world is in line with their uses and requirements. So hopefully it doesn’t feel like you’re constantly short for basic materials but also you don’t have so many that it allows you to easily grind out enough materials for a small town.

Node Types

  • Salvage – These are existing structures, crashed vehicles, ships and anything else manmade.
  • Metal Node – Classic mining rocks/outcroppings but these will specifically contain metal
  • Mineral Node – Classic mining rocks/outcroppings but these will specifically contain minerals
  • Organic Node – Trees, bushes and other flora
  • Living – This remains an outlier as it is technically looting the corpses of slain foes, but as this is the main source of this type of material I’m classing it as a node for now.

Not all node types will have all node sizes

Node Sizes

  • Tiny node – All over the place to provide basic materials when you desperately need them.
  • Small node – Abundant throughout all of the world your go to for basic materials.
  • Medium node – Your standard node, these will be abundant throughout the world but will be more base on geographical location so you might not see them everywhere, have very small chance to give you something little more rare.
  • Large Node – Rare nodes that will be geographically located and will yield lots of materials and maybe something rarer.
  • Huge Node – Jackpot nodes, these will contain a ton of material and rare items but they will be rare and probably in treacherous places.

Sam – Concept Artist

After some lengthy discussions about behaviors I’ve managed to pull together our finished concept of the mite. Think half life Headcrab with this dude, in terms of behavior at least!

Lauren – Lead Animator

Been working through the new Mite animations based off our initial proxy model of the creature. Just a few days left to finish up on that, so we should have something to show very soon 🙂

Andy – Lead QA

Had an extended play session this week to try and catch any issues that arise from single player save files that are over 150 in-game days. Had some more discussion regarding new cheatures for the game and planned out future sprints so when back after the holidays we can hit the ground running.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix