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: