Eric

Update #15: April 20

We're wrapping up development! We're looking to publish the full-release game on Steam sometime within the next week or so, so be ready. We've been hard at work cramming-in as much polish and juice as we can before we all graduate and go our separate directions (more on that later). Also, a fun side-note, it's officially been 1 year since our first blog post! 

Game updates:

We have begun the achievement implementation process, so for our full release players will be able to earn a variety of cool game achievements for their feats of strength and stupidity. Dylan made some really cool UI symbols that Hayden re-purposed into achievement icons. Below is a sneak peek at just a few. 

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We've also made small changes to balance, created a save system to keep track of your progress, and have done a lot of work the game's UI. Below is a tiny taste of the UI that we've been improving over the last few weeks. Dylan's been doing some great concepts and Ben has been turning those concepts into reality. 

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Jeremy's been helping us fix bugs, but has also been going real hard at making some super cool VFX. Projectiles and explosions mostly... And a bunch of really juicy stuff that you can find by playing the game!

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And Our 3D artists (Bryan, Nate, Tyrone, and Ruohan) have been hard at work finishing up the assets in our game. These are a few object from what we call the Mining Kit. These items will be scattered around the planet's surface telling stories of the old civilizations that used to mine there. 

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In addition to all this visually beautiful work, the engineers have been hard at work fixing bugs, tweaking AI, and optimizing our game. The designers have been occupied with game testing, level polish, gun balancing, and making the experience rewarding in single-player. We've reduced enemy health and added a few more tweaks that makes the game 1. beatable, and 2. fun for those playing solo. 

We're also working to add more scenes that will bring the player further into the universe we've created for them, as well as give players clearer instructions on how to play the game now that we have the full game loop implemented. We've also created Steam Trading Cards, but need to hit a certain threshold of sales before they enable us to implement them. 

We also added a neat little feature where dead players can now move their spawn beacons. This gives players something to do while deceased, and can create some pretty funny griefing opportunities. 

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We've done a whole lot more on the game over the last few weeks, so please go check out our game, it's only $1 on Steam and the price will raise once we fully release so we'd recommend getting it sooner rather than later. 

Team updates:

Some of you might be wondering where we're all going after we graduate in two weeks. Stephen, Eric, Isaac, Ben, and Bryan are working/ will be working - for WB Avalanche here in SLC on a new, amazing game that will be announced later this year. Karan will be moving from WB Avalanche to Wargaming (World of Tanks) in Chicago. Jeremy will continue working at Rockwell Collins making some phenomenal war vehicle simulations. Hayden is headed to Austin, TX to be a Program Management Intern for Blizzard Web & Mobile. Dylan is heading over to local indie studio Parallel Plaid. That's all for now, but many others will be getting jobs as we go along, so we will report more in our next, and last Update. 

Update #9: September 9th

Yoooooo we've been busy prototyping over the last two weeks making some off-the-wall stuff that either we dreamt up or was suggested to us by fans and playtesters. WARNING: what you see below is in no way polished or refined - they're prototypes, meaning that each one is only meant to be a rough proof of concept.

This is the Auto Rover, meaning that it moves around a level on its own. We liked this concept since it provides us the ability to craft level-flow more precisely and actually improves the pacing by taking that agency away from the players. We have a lot of other ideas for this bad boy, but we'll be deciding in a few weeks if we want to keep it as a feature. 

This is the Auto Rover, meaning that it moves around a level on its own. We liked this concept since it provides us the ability to craft level-flow more precisely and actually improves the pacing by taking that agency away from the players. We have a lot of other ideas for this bad boy, but we'll be deciding in a few weeks if we want to keep it as a feature. 

Eric, our AI engineer, has been working on recrafting our enemy AI. Before this upgrade, each individual enemy would lock onto a specific player and not relent until that player was dead. Now they switch to whatever player is nearest. We'll keep you updated with more AI stuff in the future. 

Eric, our AI engineer, has been working on recrafting our enemy AI. Before this upgrade, each individual enemy would lock onto a specific player and not relent until that player was dead. Now they switch to whatever player is nearest. We'll keep you updated with more AI stuff in the future. 

Another fun spin on the rover was giving the players the ability to drive it. While this concept is still in need of a lot of polish, it was fun driving the rover ourselves and gives us the ability to make large, open maps for players to explore. 

Another fun spin on the rover was giving the players the ability to drive it. While this concept is still in need of a lot of polish, it was fun driving the rover ourselves and gives us the ability to make large, open maps for players to explore. 

So we have three temp levels in the game and we made a level select system to be able to switch between them. It's still not perfect and we'll have to expand on it when we have more levels, but it demonstrates the diegetic direction we want to be going in for elements in games that are typically interfaced-with using UI.

So we have three temp levels in the game and we made a level select system to be able to switch between them. It's still not perfect and we'll have to expand on it when we have more levels, but it demonstrates the diegetic direction we want to be going in for elements in games that are typically interfaced-with using UI.

And lastly what you see here might be pretty confusing at first. We made a weapon tier system where as you collect certain amounts of Ore your weapons grow in size and power. So whereas a normal Mine Launcher isn't nearly as large and only shoots a single mine per trigger-pull, this upgraded Mine Launcher is huge, has a greatly increased fire rate, and spawns three mines per trigger pull. We prototyped this in order to give players tangible rewards throughout the level and to emphasize progression, but it will definitely change in the future. We made similar effects for all of the weapons, although nothing is set-in-stone yet. You can look forward to a lot of weapon changes coming soon. 

And lastly what you see here might be pretty confusing at first. We made a weapon tier system where as you collect certain amounts of Ore your weapons grow in size and power. So whereas a normal Mine Launcher isn't nearly as large and only shoots a single mine per trigger-pull, this upgraded Mine Launcher is huge, has a greatly increased fire rate, and spawns three mines per trigger pull. We prototyped this in order to give players tangible rewards throughout the level and to emphasize progression, but it will definitely change in the future. We made similar effects for all of the weapons, although nothing is set-in-stone yet. You can look forward to a lot of weapon changes coming soon. 

Those are about half of the systems we worked on over the last two weeks, the rest not being as easy to show or as fun to talk about. We're currently in another prototyping sprint that will end in about two weeks, so look forward to more news and rad Gifs. 

Update #3: May 4th

So this week has been pretty calm around the studio. After the madness of our EAE Launch demo we are slowly putting the office back together and gaining momentum on future plans. We have a BIG announcement this coming Monday (May 8th), so stay tuned for that. Otherwise we've been working on a couple other things, namely the big thing on Monday, but some other stuff, too. 

First of all, to back up a bit, we're happily celebrating the summer departure of a handful of our staff who were fortunate and hard-working enough to land internships with some premier studios. Karan and Eric, two of our our engineers, got internships at Avalanche and Insomniac respectively. Sarah, one of our designers, heads off to Irvine, CA in a week-or-two to work with Blizzard on World of Warcraft. Ming and Ruohan - a married powerhouse of tech art and art - are going back home to China where they will be working for a large mobile games company and an art outsourcing company for Naughty Dog. We'll miss all of them and hope that they enjoy their summers working for larger, more experienced game developers and return with a breadth of knowledge and wisdom to share with the team. The rest of the team (17 of us) will be around SLC working on the game by creating unique features and testing ideas to present to the whole team once we're united again in August. 

As for progress on the game, we have implemented a title screen into the build so it is a complete demo experience. We're also in talks with a handful of local game dev companies about coming out and presenting our idea to them in order to gain industry-level feedback and criticism. Hayden, a producer, has also been hard at work making our first game trailer. In addition, we're about to start our live-stream dev blog where we actually show ourselves playing the game, take some questions, etc. We'll hopefully have more news on that on Monday as well.

We'll also be shifting workspaces  soon so there has been some prep and planning for that, we're in the stages of legally forming our corporation, and we've been continuously expanding our presence online across various platforms. Speaking of which, we'd like to extend a huge thanks to the phenomenal donors that have contributed to our Patreon account - we're already past our first goal and about to reach our second so things are looking great!

That's all for this week but make sure to keep an eye out for our Facebook page on Monday to hear the big news!