March Development Update 2!

Greetings Pioneers!

This week as usual there are several different elements being worked on, we have been continuing with asset and enemy placement in the new world and starting areas. We have also been refining the crafting elements to refine progression, and the Stalker has been getting some personality adjustments…

John – Lead Designer

It’s the simple things that count, like making the guys here more comfortable with some new chairs… quite a bit of admin has been tackled, as well as developing progression flow graphs for the game systems. Also been working through those progression designs AGAIN with Tom in order to get them into the build once we have some of Ricky’s time or another one of the dev team, possibly this weekend. The markers on the pickups and interactions are a priority for me so getting this functional is something that I’m currently looking into.

Matt – Art Director

Completed the model and unwrapping for our hover Bike.. just about to start on an awesome base paint job! Soon you’ll be traversing around the larger areas of the island in these speeders.

Otherwise been working with the rest of the design team to make some extensive modifications to the encounter areas with Tom H. We’ve also added a fork in the river which will better direct the level flow in the starting area.

Lee – Technical Director

At the beginning of the week I was implementing our six wheeled movement component for our new huge transport vehicle. It’s in a very basic state at the moment, but very much ready to be experimented with. The latter part of the week I have been adding some more checks for the AI inside of enclosed spaces so they can better select a different kind of behaviour which may be different to a behaviour they might do in an open area.

Yves – Senior Developer

I’ve been trying to hash out an idea to bring a generic Finite State Machine to things that have a fairly intricate behaviour when being interacted with, such as weapons. A lot of behavior is coded in C++ and we want to give the designers an easier way to quickly modify whilst keeping things in a good order. I also implemented weapon deterioration, weapons will now slowly degrade through use.

Captain Tom W – Designer

I’ve been busy working away with the other Tom W implementing our material spawning system. Most of it has been nailing down a rough set of rules, such as that metals can be found in rocky areas, minerals and more organic grasslands/sand dunes etc.

To facilitate that, I’ve been making some shiny new mineable nodes, both figuratively and literally. Lots of time is being spent creating recognisable silhouettes and material definitions for the player to keep an eye out for! Watch this space in the next couple of weeks for more previews of our finalised mining nodes.

Ricky – Senior Developer

Both new HUD markers defleshing out and some player progression in the crafting system this week. After this bit of work you’ll begin the game with the ability to craft a very limited amount of “makeshift” items on your person, without a crafting station. Among these items will be the first stage repaired build module which will allow you to craft some basic but again limited structures. We may go down a path to allowing upgrades of these basic types or just require building bigger and better instead of upgrading what you have, but either way this will be a great way to give you a sense of climbing the ranks.

Joe – Lead Artist

HUD’s up! New stuff incoming:

Marcin – Designer

It’s been a pretty satisfying week for me, as I got to complete and close a few ongoing tasks. I’ve finished my work on the editor tools I mentioned the other week, which is great, because I managed to complete something that felt impossible for me to do a few weeks ago. Power overwhelming!

Having done that, I also jumped onto the axe designs and implementation to figure out a few missing bits about how different available actions interact with each other when the player’s input would have them happen at the same time. Some actions have interrupt each other but not others, and some have to wait for the current action to finish and the start automatically. The new elements should greatly improve the responsiveness of the axe controls.

And last but not least, with those out of the way, I moved back to the AI turning logic, which I had to pause working on, but now should also be done soon. Taking care of business.

Sam – Concept Artist

Spears, spears, spears! This week’s been all about the aforementioned weapon I spoke about in the last blog post. We want this thing to look, for lack of a better word, rubbish, as it is more or less a bit of a throwaway (excuse the pun) item that you’ve cobbled together as a means of defending yourself. From what I understand, the spear will basically be the weapon that sits at the bottom end of the scale – easy to craft but hardly the ideal damage dealer.

OG Tom W – Designer

The past few weeks we’ve been discussing the progression of crafting and building throughout the game, especially the core progression pieces and the starting path.

This week we are starting to turn that discussion into gameplay by getting core pieces into the engine. This includes:

– Making new items for the new makeshift crafting system

– Adding scrap metal and salvage

– Making different levels of build modules

– Making different levels of crafting benches

Also as we have now fixed our landscape issues we can start regenerating our mining nodes with the procedural spawning system and have quicker turn around from testing.

This should mean we can start to get our testers playing the new mining and crafting system and respond with fixes and balancing changes quicker.

OOG Tom H – Designer

This week I have been finalising the surface of the dam in both structure and gameplay, adding more places for you guys to explore and more creatures for you to encounter. Will you take the perilous path of the hunters and risk your life or sneak around underneath to find more survival gear to face them later? I have also been looking into a new outpost before the Dam to keep the area more secure and allow more interesting gameplay and mechanic introduction.

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I’ve been giving the Stalker some tender loving care in the animation department and increasing its creep factor. We wanted something that looked more like a tormented being, so starting with the locomotion this week, I’ve been revisiting its movements. I have also been creating a unified humanoid AI animation blueprint for all our bipedal AI going forward.

Andy – Lead QA

I’ve been looking into the deterioration mechanic, using the axe as our yard stick. This involved getting into the editor and recording the deterioration rate of the axe when being used on the various assets in our world. Discovered a few bugs with the rate at which the axe deteriorated, however it was exciting when my weapon broke mid fight.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix