Category Archives: Progress

June Development Update!

Greetings Pioneers!

Reporting in.. the team have been in the underground bunker with their focus goggles on. We’re now in the process of working towards our next update where MANY things have changed. Our build system is getting some vast UI improvements. Our AI system is becoming more designer friendly as well, which means more variety with in world encounters, not to mention vehicles on the horizon.

Matt – Art Director

There have been some big ol’ tasks on the horizon for a while which we’ve just started to tackle. A bit of radio silence on our end due to the lack of pretty things to show recently! And let’s face it, you read these updates for the nice pictures 😉

Now that we have layouts that meet the gameplay criteria for this overhaul.. the Art team have been tasked at building a more streamlined way to theme and construct our ‘non destructible’ underground facilities. This has involved some heavy planning from an assembly point of view, to ensure we get the variety needed to produce a number of different and varied structures all using one master kit.

Lee – Tech Director

So I have finally had some time to create a new custom editor for our AI system. It’s something I have been wanting to do for a long time.

It will allow the designers to quickly put together new prototype behaviours using blueprint tasks which can them be assembled in the editor and tested. This should enable anyone in the office with some basic blueprint knowledge to tweak AI behaviours with ease.

This version of the editor doesn’t include much in the way of debugging, so my next task will be to add a debug mode, but for now people can start using it.

Joe – Lead Artist

A big mix of different (but all equally important) tasks and meetings over the last few weeks. I have mainly been working through pipeline and process changes for our interior spaces. The hope is we’ll be able to create large, visually impressive ‘dungeon’-style areas – quickly and efficiently, once the first couple are complete. Additionally, there have been many discussions to ensure we hit the ground running with new tasks that provide a ton of value for players going forward.

Glenn – 3D Artist

David and I have been busy working on the maintenance kit for the dam. We have made some good progress and now have a new trim sheet so that we can make some interesting rooms quickly and efficiently. I have also finished work on the Transport Vehicle model. The model is complete and looking cool in engine, we still have some implementation work to do on it though.

Tom W – Lead Designer

This week I have been part of a production clean up to help focus the design team towards solving the problems that will allow us to get closer to a shippable build.

This has been mainly finishing lots of designs that we had backlogged to make sure the engineers have stuff to implement. Also with this there has been lots of clean up happening with removing old prototypes and refining what we do have so hopefully everything works better and faster!

Lauren – Lead Animator

Animations and rigs for our new vehicle meshes have been the focus recently. The hoverbike aka ‘The Speeder’, and the transport vehicle have been getting some attention after a long time on the backlog.

Matt W – 3D Artist

Plenty of progress made creating an alternate ‘non-terran’ tree that is part of the same genetic family as the local creatures. Moved onto baking this monstrosity at the end of this week.

Katrine L – Senior Artist

Lately I have been helping out with some spring cleaning (yes it is still spring/winter here in England). I have also done some landscaping in Eden Star, placing some new rocks on top of pione.. I mean terrain! It is looking good!
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Andy H – Level Designer

The Dam has a lot going on in and around it at the moment as I have been busy making adjustments to the layout to make it feel better from a gameplay perspective, giving some areas a purpose and I’ve been making blockouts for additional areas within the Dam Including a new way for enemies to spawn. Also I have been changing our triggered spawners over to use a more efficient system throughout the world.

Melissa – Technical Designer

Besides lots of meetings this week to discuss various elements of the game, work has been going smoothly on the new build wheel and I’m making a lot of headway ensuring that the new wheel works well with the building system itself.

This also means that I’ve had to review the structure of the building system itself and have plans to internally improve the flow.
I’ve also been looking into and planning how we can integrate further gamepad support and controls for the game as a whole which will include both gameplay and any UI / menus; ultimately working towards much better controller support for the future.

Carlos – Developer

I’ve been delving deep into our respawn logic. Our new tent and respawn managers are now in a good place. I’m currently looking into re-working the way we spawn the pawn to make it easier to follow and more robust. This should hopefully lead to more stable respawning logic that ensures our Pioneers don’t go missing below the new lovely terrain!

Tom – Developer

This week I’ve been mostly working with Leon on our new marker system – making it much more expandable so we can mark pretty much anything!  The new system should allow for landmarks to be easily placed on the compass, the world map, or your screen without much extra effort.

Leon – Developer

Hey guys I’m new on the team but have been taking a look at a number of bugs related to the markers placed on objects you interact with, as-well as adding multiplayer functionality to the lift in the tower!

Markers are now cleaned up from the user interface when you open your inventory and I’ve been working on making it so foliage instances behave nicely with these interaction UI elements.

In addition to this I’ve updated the Pioneer armor pieces so they now provide appropriate amounts of shield making it easier for the Pioneers out there to survive the harsh reality of a desolate planet.

Dan – Developer

With changes on the horizon to the respawn system, I’ve been preparing a system to improve the respawning process – ensuring the world has loaded smoothly for a newly respawned Pioneer.

When finished, this should prevent a few reported multiplayer issues that occur during respawning. In addition, various bugs have been addressed regarding the inventory UI and interacting with lootable items in the world.

Ricky – Lead Developer

Among the wave of several UI design talks I’ve been creating a weapon holstering mechanic this week. This will coincide with changes to player equipment management and player progression going forward.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

Easter Development Update (Part Deux)

Greetings Pioneers!

Design and Art have toggled laser focus mode (aka the mode of focus above the normal focus mode). Our major encounter points are getting some much needed attention to get the progression working well with the variety of exploration that is going to be on offer.

Matt – Art Director

I’ve been ‘syncing’ with designers on what is left to do from a design perspective for different types of encounters around what we deem the critical path. We’re keeping our attention firmly on visual improvements which can be delivered without influencing or changing any of the established gameplay progression.

A good example of this is just randomly adding creates for visual polish.. Due to the nature of the game a crate may have items you collect from it which can upset the balance of material collection at that point in time, and therefore upset designers. Sad designers = unhappy artists, and the vicious production cycle of passive aggressive notes left on peoples desks begins.

Joe – Lead Artist

More art polishing this week, with post processing and atmospheric tweaks going in, as well as implementing Tom’s rather nice cliff work.

Glenn – 3D Artist

Been hard at work creating some good uvs for the Transport Vehicle, really looking forward to getting this vehicle textured and in game. I’ve also been helping Joe with lighting when I get the chance, he’s been making great progress and the game is feeling really atmospheric.

Tom W – Technical Artist

Been looking at improving the spline tools we use to generate more complex cliff work. This has been useful for reducing setup time of the surrounding ground. I’ve started to implement auto adjustment and generation features that allow cliff rocks to blend better with the world terrain.

Davide – Concept Artist

Lots of concept work this week, I’ve been doing a first design pass on the alien foliage assets. The goal was to communicate the visual of something that can be visually associated with trees and bushes, but without being an actual plant, as that would be something that visually and conceptually belongs to the terran biome.

More concept work has been done to update the prefab bases that can be found around the world, plus a pass of set dressing on the shipwreck area.

Basia U – Animator

Continued creating new animations for fist melee attacks. I’ve finished off with some pretty cool new spear attack animations for the 3rd person. Today is my last day (which is a bit sad) but also I’m looking forward to moving onto other things and seeing where Eden Star goes! And I’m sure it’s going to be awesome.

John T – 3D Artist

After flinging himself at every rock around David was no longer able to produce the high quality rock collision we require so I have bravely taken on the mantle of Rock Collision Artist. I take this with a great honor and will fling myself at rocks with precision and pride.

David M – 3D Artist

So as Mr Tranter mentioned, the rock collision life wasn’t the life for me. I am now tasked with sprucing up the Dam interior with some fancy new wall panel variants as well as some other assets that will help the overall look and aid with future storytelling within. I have not forgotten my days as a rock collider, but I am surely glad they are behind me.

OG Tom W – Lead Designer

This week has been an interesting one for the design team as we have been reviewing the current game on the experimental branch and assess the players progression throughout the game. Our main concern was that the two of the main focus of Eden Star, base building and survival, were not working together as well as we wanted.

So we locked ourselves in a meeting room for the day and formulated a plan to restructure the progression around the player experiences we want to create. Without spoiling too much our current plan is looking at how we can integrate unlocking schematics into encounters and challenges.       

Melissa – Technical Designer

I’ve continued working on the new build wheel system & prototype this week. The build wheel prototype has developed quickly and we are currently at a stage where the wheel is almost functional from a basic user interface standpoint. The next stage however will be to get it functional from a gameplay standpoint, allowing the player to actually select an item and build it.

Hopefully it’ll be at a stage soon where we can share some screenshots with you all.

Carlos – Developer

Being back on Eden Star has allowed me to begin my work on the respawn system in ernest! I’ve started the backend work to allow players to build our new respawn blocks in the world, as well as being able to claim any neutral respawn blocks as their own! I’ve also ensured that our new respawn blocks work both in multiplayer and singleplayer!

I’m excited to show you guys more on this once I have the backend work finalised! 🙂

Tom – Developer

This week I’ve been reworking a bunch of logic to do with how we decide what icon to stick on what object when you’re near it – whether its ammo or food or a lightswitch, the logic that drives that icon is a lot more robust.  Aside from that i’ve also been working on making them a lot more performant, and had a crack at solving the lag between the camera movement and the marker being realigned to its appropriate object.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix

Easter Development Update

Greetings Pioneers!

There’s been some Worldly changes going on. The team have been making further improvements to UI, world atmospherics and the base/build system. Design have been improving and balancing crafting and resource collection.

Matt – Art Director

Eventful week to say the least! many new elements of development are coming together to improve and unify the visual styling across the board, from the future vehicles to new UI elements.

There are quite a few VFX and atmospheric improvements that are being made which is pushing up the realism, making a big difference in the dangerous immersive feeling we’re trying to get across to Pioneers when they play this first area.

Joe – Lead Artist

Loads of high-level visual work has gone into ES over the past couple weeks – in particular, I’ve finished an initial pass on our lighting and day/night cycle visuals, and am now working on tying everything together with VFX and atmospherics.

The UI boot sequence and damage effects have also been improved, and I’ve made a couple of benchmark assets and placement systems to assist with level design.

I also had time to add some more informative, segmented health bars, just so players can see what they’re getting into when they initiate combat.

Davide – Concept Artist

Moved swiftly onto colour concepts and Orthographics for our hostile world tree variant. These trees are more in keeping with the visual language of the creatures. Pictures to come soon!

Glenn – 3D Artist

I’ve been working on the transport vehicle model, getting it closer to the latest concept and making it more functional with some removable parts. We have constructed it in such a way that the back compartment could potentially be removed and other modular assets put there instead, perhaps a trailer for carrying cargo or a gun turret.

In general it should look and feel more exciting and fit well with the rest of the Eden Star aesthetic due to Davide’s great concept work. It has also been optimised more, so it should perform well when in game. I’m really looking forward to driving it!

Andy H – Level Design

This week I’ve been playing the early areas of the game to get an idea of how easy it is to gather materials for crafting, looking at item descriptions as I go. Been smashing all of our destructibles to see if they feel right and investigating damaging them with each type of weapon for balancing.

Some of the interaction markers for some Items were wrong so I’ve fixed that right up too. Also John T has gone over some new shipwreck assets that I’m going to spread around places next week to make shipwrecks look and feel more believable.

Lauren – Lead Animator

We’ve had time this week to delve into fixing up some of the 1st person player gun animation issues, also 3rd person melee animations with the fists and shiv have been getting some love, and are shaping up nicely. With the fixes incoming to 3rd person aiming this should make for a much nicer experience.

Yves – Senior Developer

Spent some time on the traces for 3rd person melee aiming to make bashing AI and picking things up in 3rd person much easier.

John T – 3D Artist

This past week I have looked back at the shipwreck and assessed how we could improve the overall aesthetic. This included breaking up the silhouette with some new panels and rebar. Also the arrangement of these assets better reflects the narrative that we wish to convey. The blending with the new terrain has overall been hugely beneficial to the scene.

David M – 3D Artist

First time joining the blog post and boy do I have a treat for you guys…I’ve been creating collision meshes for our beautiful rock collection! This may or may not have involved me flinging myself at real life rocks to test how collision should work. Either way, it’s been super fun and I hope it never ends.

Tom W – Lead Designer

This week I’ve been getting stuck back into Eden Star playthroughs so we can review certain elements of the game for balancing. This has also been great for spotting little bugs we’ve had and cleaning them up as we go along. The only noticeable change for players will be some animations for the reticles on melee weapons, kinetic tools and build tools.

Melissa – Technical Designer

Jumped onto this project for the first time recently and have been prototyping a new build wheel interface and back end system to make it more user friendly and easier to navigate. This prototype is in the early stages but is coming together well.

Look back here for more updates soon!

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix