May Development Update!

Greetings Pioneers!

More shiny progress to show this week with objectives taking form, further passes on art assets for the initial area, and animations for our weakest but perhaps fastest melee weapon, the Shiv. This is the first knife you can craft and will be a shard of metal scavenged from the surrounding debris…

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

John – Lead Designer

Busy business as usual, I have been running around making sure everyone has up to date feedback as we progress – Tom Whittemore and I discussed the aesthetics this week for buildings as we’re still trying to refine the Emergency Build Set aesthetic vs Indestructible Bases at the other end of the spectrum, especially after Azirahael brought it up last week. I have also been organising a new office space now there are more of us working here at Flix so we’ll soon be moving out of the “Indie House” and into something far more “Officy”, so that’s a fair bit of change. I’m really grateful for the community members this week that have really been helping challenge designs, support and encourage the team – Az, Shawn and others – you know who you are 😉

Either way, things are really coming together!

Marcin – Designer

Another week of work on the objective system and I’ve managed to implement almost all of the core structure, except for the missions unassociated with campaigns and a few global manager delegates, that is to say, some additional communications. I also have the outline of the first campaign, which currently consists of 6 simple missions, optional objectives, waypoint markers and a simple User Interface that helps you track your progress. There is more work to do, especially with implementing additional objective types, such as “kill X enemies” or “collect X resources” and the UI flair, but we’ve made big steps.

Here are some early UI previews:

Matt – Art Director

I’ve been working on my tan this week as I sport the most awesome “Jeans, no socks, just trainers, no shirt” combo.

Tristan – Lead Developer

This week I have been looking into making some tweaks to the melee system to match it up with our new melee design. Hopefully this will get the melee feeling really engaging and fun to play with. I have also been looking into more tools for terraforming the world regarding foliage.

Tom – Designer

May the Fourth be with you, always.

I’ve spent the last few days working on a new tent for our brave, fearless pioneers. The amount of work that’s gone into making these work as lived in, believable structures is insane, so really hope it all pays off and you guys like them 🙂

Had big debates in-studio about force-fields vs airlock doors etc, so should hopefully have the final decision ready for next week’s post!

I have also been tweaking the atmosphere in the map for both day and night.

Lee – Technical Director

Had a couple of days off at the beginning of the week, but since my return I have been looking into adding a few tweaks to the spawning of the AI so that designers can create more scripted events before the AI planners kick in and take over the AI. I’ve also been continuing the work to try and polish the combat functionality, and see what new functionality is needed.

OG Tom W – Designer

This week has been a mixed bag as I’ve been jump between various jobs. I’ve been cleaning up some of the levels from a technical perspective, which isn’t that exciting but needs doing so we can keep moving forward smoothly. A more exciting job has been looking at rewriting some of the world lore to it ties in a lot with the gameplay. I won’t go into details so don’t worry about spoilers, but mainly we’ve been looking at the backstory of the player and the colony and the differences between them. This will help differentiate between destructible and non destructible elements but in a way that ties together nicely and allows us to explore some interesting ideas.

Finally we’ve been looking at adding some organic corrupt foliage back into the world to allow access to some key rare materials in the rocky wastes.

Tom H – Designer

This week I have been focusing on redesigning the first bridge encounter. This includes changing the meshes on the bridge to make more room for players to explore, along with changing the layout of the encounters on the bridge to give a much more fun experience. Including moving creature spawners around and placing new spawners to give a balanced but rewarding experience for players with their first big encounter with enemies.

As well as this I have been making some more landscape changes to ensure that the new landscapes can be utlised properly by players, making sure there aren’t any hills that are too steep or any potions that are not as interesting to look at and run through.

William – 3D Artist

This week had me taking a look at some of the crafting items pictured in icons, and making them suitable for gameplay. Thankfully Joe had higher resolution versions of each model ready for me to work with. Knowing that hundreds of these items would be in the world at the same time, we had to figure out a reasonable resolution to cut them down to, in order to keep the performance impact at a minimum.

Sam – Concept Artist

Hi! After finishing the design for our UI prompts, I’ve moved on to visualising the range of items that you’ll come across inside the temporary shelters. We’ve gone through a few different iterations over the course of the week, but we wanted to make sure all that of the key “default” items are there; these being a bed, medkit, wall pocket and some sort of rebreather console. Other optional items include a supply satchel, audio log, alternate wall pouch and an additional oxygen tank. These tents are very small (much like a real life 1-person tent) and therefore these items will be unlikely to all appear together – important part is that the stuff that IS there serves its purpose.

Lauren – Lead Animator

This week I have been focusing on attacks and setup for our first knife weapon which we are calling The Shiv. 

I have also been in many AI discussions and have outlined some starting behaviours for what we want AI to be doing pre-engagement (after they have spawned but before the player gets within their aggro-ranges). This will allow for more cinematic-like AI entrances. I have started creating some tools for the level designers to plug in any animation they wish to play before the AI will be fully activated.

Andy – Lead QA

I have been helping with the design and development of the bridge section near the drop pod, organising the work needed for the new 3D in-world assets for our inventory items and the new 3D asset for our level two fabricator.

I have also been working with Carlos and Tristan on the new Melee system.  

See you in the fray

-Team Flix