April Development Update 3!

Greetings Pioneers!

We are continuing to refine the starting area this week with fields of crashed debris, plus our arena style battle zones are being designed, which can only be described as mini horde survival events. Meanwhile more AI bugs have been fixed and a new tactical map design is taking shape.

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

John – Lead Designer

The sun has come out over the studio, it is the beginning of British summer time. Instilling new life and vigor in people, which is a perfect explanation for why the team are glowing balls of sunshine. Achooo, and oh yeah tree pollen.. but no fear, the work to get our update completed continues.

Matt – Art Director

Started modelling some of the block out props we’ve designed into the Drop Pod, hoping to have something to show next week for these pieces.

On another note I’ve been discussing and gathering some ideas/art & design materials for our lootable wreckage components with Tom Whittemore. Most notably our new RMD glove models are now in the game and have vastly improved the feeling of being sealed into a suit to protect you from the toxic air of the surrounding environment.

Lee – Technical Director

I’ve continued with debugging some of the recent changes we have made to both the way AI attacks are performed and the way they turn. I’ve also been working with Lauren to try and find a better solution to our ragdoll issues which will also work well for multiplayer.

Marcin – Designer

From next week I will be implementing a new map and player info system. The improvements to look forward to are zooming in and out, panning, various level of detail at various zoom levels, additional information in the form of new icons, waypoints, objective markers, and more.

There will be a lot of work involved with this, but I am really looking forward to revamping that mechanic. The first step will be to create a tool that will let us produce accurate textures representing the world. It would be impossible to manually edit the textures with every world tweak so we’re going to need a clever solution that can do it for us.

Ricky – Senior Developer

Bixing fugs and sorting out some more of the design for the tactical map system and it’s accompaniment to the compass and hud marker systems to boot.

Tom H – Designer

This week I have been continuing to design the Silo Horde battle, ensuring that each detail of this fight makes for an intense and rewarding experience. Balancing the key parts of the fight such as enemy spawners and wave timings, I am aiming to create a horde fight that will be memorable and also replayable as you guys explore through the world!

Be sure to check every rafter, corner and hive for creatures as they endlessly spawn and attack you from every angle whilst you protect the Eden Kit! I’ll leave you with some updated lighting work in the upper section of the Silo..

OG Tom – Designer

This week I have been continuing to plan designs for large sections of the wilderness so there are lots of nooks and crannies to explore. In particular I have been planning out how wreckage can be used within the world.

The current wreckage and debris are effectively mining nodes to give the player scrap metal and other components and are generated around the world. The results of this weren’t the best so we decided to add more context to wreckages within the world. I have been planning a wreckage kit so all the designers can start building wreckages as mini levels for the player to explore.

Sam – Concept Artist

I’m back! This week I’ve been working on our level 2 (higher end) workbench, described as “a much more high tech and purpose built version”, which you can see above. Since I had already done plenty of preliminary work for the level 1 version, this design process for this turned out a relatively speedy one, and though this current image is not necessarily the final design, I expect to be designing more new gameplay items like this next week.

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I have been focusing on ragdoll, recovery and death for the stalker with some hurdles to overcome. Our AI have the ability to recover from ragdoll if they are not dead, so we have to use some clever trickery so that an AI ragdolling from being hit by one player, ends up in the same location from other players perspective without creating too much of an overhead for the server.

While our initial system of making the character limbs go floppy and making the (replicated) capsule roll around works fine for AI that have rounded shaped bodies, the elongated torso of the stalker didn’t look quite right. So it’s still going to take some tweaking, along with fixing a combination of bugs, but it’s getting there!

I’ve also been making a start on a new ‘makeshift’ weapon which I hope to show you more of next week…

Andy – Lead QA

Believe it or not I’m on a break ladies and gents, its been a long time since I’ve had any longish period of time off. So as you do.. When you get this very rare opportunity.. You sit in your pants playing games.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix