May Development Update 4!

Greetings Pioneers!

This week more of the new assets and enemy spawners have been placed in the level and the AI are being polished across the board as we progress. New effects and icons make it easier to see and differentiate the items in the world that can be harvested for materials and the spear and grenade are being tested and are nearly ready for designers to start balancing them.

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

John – Lead Designer

Back into the rigmarole of production. Been pushing the guys to get aspects of the UI working and in place, with some impressive item location hints being visually implemented with a similar look to glinting objects in the Bioshock games. The main focus herein is quality in the individual locations and gameplay engagement in those areas, which all act as a benchmark to future points of interest.

We’ll be sharing a playthrough video next week which will be incredibly exciting to share with everyone and, you’ll be glad to know that Andy and I are now in the process of working through the full timeframe needed to solidify the date of the next release, which is currently slated for the end of July, we’ll get the actual date to you next week once we’ve bottomed it all out.

FYI – Core features still remaining to do;

  • Fuel system (Now have it as part of the player’s suit, just requires hooking into a stat and also implementing into structures)  
  • Manual Power/Structure connection gameplay
  • Character selection (Basic)
  • Death gameplay loop/new saving and loading

If we find anything else to share i’ll let you know in the comments this weekend!

Thanks for all of you who have faith in us, can’t wait to get this release out to you 🙂

Matt – Art Director

With the grace of time to give some tlc to the interior of the drop pod, I’ve been embellishing the space with atmosphere and markings that have really brought it to life. Hopefully you get this sense from the footage we’ve included as well.

Moving on I’ve still got a bunch of signage to put in around the interactive panels that control the airlock doors, otherwise the rest of the game is starting to follow suit with the next level of quality we’re aiming for.

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have mainly been concentrating on some debug issues which I hope to finally put to rest in the next could of days to do with spawning issues around navmesh not being generated properly. I’ve also started expanding the hit reaction system for AI so that Lauren can put in different animation thresholds depending on the damage they take.

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been helping look over some of the grenade projectile and spear work with Ricky. It is looking really good and is now ready for some stat tweaking and animation polish.

Ricky – Senior Developer

Grenades and Spears as inventory items are in the testing phase and almost in now so animations and dev can start making them work nicely in the game.

Marcin – Designer

I have finished the first pass of implementation for the objectives system, with support for creating various missions and controlling their flow via campaigns. That also includes the first version of a functional user interface. The majority of the work however was spent hooking the system to the saving and loading, because nobody likes their progress forgotten. I also had to make sure that objects that are no longer relevant, usually associated with a mission that has been completed are properly disposed of to prevent memory leaks.

Joe – Lead Artist

Tweaking and prodding of various UI bits this week, I finished off the UI for environmental effects (Low Oxygen environments!) and tidied up the HUD stats, making it more obvious when your stats are taking a hit. I’ve also been overseeing Sam’s crate designs, which will contain some rather nice loot. “Loot Crates” if you will.

Tom Whaley – Artist

It’s been an exciting week, finally seeing everything coming together from all the disciplines inside Flix! I’ve finished modelling/animating the camp’s transmitter/relay station, as well as implementing various blood and footprint decals around the camp-site, using the environment to give the players a bit of a murder mystery to solve.

On-top of that, various bug-fixing and material magic to make things all blend together nicely 🙂

Tom H – Designer

This week I have been venturing into the Dam area of the starting section. Here I have been making sure that the spawners for all our wonderful creepy crawlies are set up correctly and ensure a balanced but challenging experience. As well as this I am ensuring that they are varied in ways that will make combat more fluid and less repetitive.

I have also been in the planning stages of the new art designs for the Bridge up to the Dam, meaning lots of documentation and meetings. Fun! But this will all come down to a highly polished section of gameplay that will provide players with a nice early section filled with exploration, combat and scavenging.

Sam – Concept Artist

Ahoy! For those of you who remember the rather underdeveloped crate image from last week, the first half of this week was allocated to getting that design to a better place. Since you last saw it, it has been through a few revisions and is now looking a lot more “smashable”, which of course is a large part of its in-game function.

Whereas other versions of the crate may have looked more functional and coherent, with handles and hinges, they were all in all coming up looking too robust and solid. Keeping the crate’s structure divided into thin-looking corrugated metal palettes remedied this issue, and so we have stuck with that option.

Most recently I’ve been working on some eye-catching new features for the UI, which will be replacing some of the notifications which are currently just plain text. Until next week!

Lauren – Lead Animator

A lot of smaller tasks this week and a fair few meetings to boot including reviewing the AI in general and helping design the new cumulative stability. I have been making various refinements to animations, namely the Stalker feeding animations and Charge attack.

I have made a start on the 3rd person animations for the new Spear and Shiv/Knife weapons, while fixing up the player animation blueprints to be easier to read and debug, and fixing a few miscellaneous bugs with the weapon anims.

Other than that I have been setting up more spawners, passing that over to the level designers and overseeing the placement of those spawners in the world, making sure they are set up how they should. I have to say they are working really well so far, we hope to get some footage to show for next week!

William – 3D Artist

Thanks to some material magic, many of the terrain rocks can be scaled to a large degree without losing detail, making them very reusable in a lot of areas. So, for the past couple of weeks, I have been giving these assets more accurate collision, in order to ensure that players don’t feel like they’re floating, particularly on rocks/cliffs that are scaled up a large amount.

Andy – Lead QA

The team and myself have been looking into the lots of smaller tweaks with animations, a in-depth review of the remaining AI tasks and getting my hand of the new destructible assets inside the lost colony bases.

See you in the fray!

-Team Flix