Yang Li

Update #11: January 11th

It's been a little over a month since our last update, and in that time we had EAE Play Day and the notable holiday lull that happens every December. Check out our Images & Video section for a new video that shows some game capture of the build we debuted for EAE Play. Otherwise, to talk about EAE day a bit...

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It was great! We had a massive turnout with around two-hundred-and-fifty people that played the game over the course of four hours. 

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Below is a picture of what the space looked like before opening it up to the public. 

We gave out a ton of business cards, and were even selling ORE shirts! If you'd like a shirt, shoot an email over to contact@couchcosmonauts.com and let us know what size you're looking for (we're out of Smalls!). 

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For those unable to attend here's the lowdown of the game as it stands. We have two levels: one is an arena-based level where players survive as many waves of enemy hostiles as they can and collect as much ORE as possible; the second is a linear-level where players lead the rover across a hostile alien swamp biome and collect ORE along the way. We have four different types of enemies and nine vastly different weapons. Players have the ability to outfit their characters with different colored armor and select two crazy weapons to bring with them on missions. There exists a countdown clock that ticks-down to the implosion of the alien world, so players only have a limited number of attempts at levels to collect enough ORE in order to fight the game's final boss - which is how players will ultimately win the game. We have an unlock system that grants access to even crazier weapons based on player performance and progression, and at the end of each level players are dolled-out awards based on their performance ("Most Cowardly" is my favorite!). We are really looking forward to expanding and clarifying these system a whole lot more in the future. Which brings us to the final discussion of this long blog post: the future.

Our EAE Play poster painted by the phenomenally talented Yang Li. 

Our EAE Play poster painted by the phenomenally talented Yang Li. 

We've roadmapped out the next few months of development. We're going to be really, really busy. The first and biggest thing we'll be working on over the next month is crafting a boss battle to end the game. We're also recrafting the Ice and Swamp environment kits to be more alien, distinct, and cohesive, as well as remaking the game's guns to look more interesting and to fell more unique, zany, and epic. We'll be amazingly busy crafting and testing our game's levels (of course), reworking some enemy AI to be more dynamic, and designing better UI systems. We're also going to be working on a tutorial level to help guide players into the game's rules and structure. The next big event we are preparing-for is GDC 2018 near the end of March, so we're full-steam-ahead getting ready for that. And, believe it or not, but all that stuff I just mentioned is only a small snippet of progress that we'll be making over the next few months before launch. (Do you have an actual release date yet?) No, not quite, we're probably going to go hard and fast once we're ready to publish - so be ready! However, I will divulge that we're preparing for an initial release sometime between late March and early May, so it's coming up. There are still a few things in the air that could cause us to delay release or even release earlier, but we'll let you know here first. 

Update #10: December 3rd

So this is awkward, it's been nearly three months since we last posted an update. While this is partially due to the strain of production as we begin to transition into Alpha, we're also really looking forward to surprising people with all of the progress we've made since September. If you've been watching our dev streams on Twitch, you probably have a better idea of the state of the game, but still won't grasp the full picture. So, this might be mean and make things even more awkward, but I'm not going to show you all of the progress we've made in this update. HOLD ON... I'll still show some, but the rest will be saved to surprise people who come and play our game THIS COMING FRIDAY, December 8th, at EAE Play Day up at the University of Utah. There will be prizes for those who collect the most Ore, which might or might not mean free t-shirts. For those who can't make it, don't worry, we'll post a post-EAE-Play-Day update and show you all of the new stuff we've made in the form of a gameplay video.

So, to get on with the update...

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First let's talk about the Rover. Our concept artist, Dylan made the "Chomper," which was then modeled and textured by Jeremy, one of our technical artists. Our lead artist, Bryan will probably go back for another pass on it in the future, but otherwise this thing looks pretty dang cool. We also changed up the way in which it works. So instead of it being stationary or following a set path, players now go up to it and tell it to follow. Once players lead the rover to a hotspot, the rover automatically begins to mine and players will then protect it against alien creatures. Big shout out to Karan, our lead engineer, for making the rover work so smoothly!

Our artists have also been hard at work making some beautiful new scenery. These are snapshots of some unfinished swamp and lava environments. We also have an ice/tundra environment that has been shown in previous playtests, and we'll be working on a few more in the future. You might also notice a bit of new UI in the top-right corner of the screen. This static level UI will show three things: the amount of tries you have left before the planet explodes, the Ore that the rover has collected on this surface-run, and the Ore you've gathered previous to this run and have stored in the bank. Again, this UI will change (very soon, actually) but it's a start!

Speaking of UI, we have some pretty cool Menus in the game now, too. 

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Yang Li has been concepting some real good menu and navigation pieces and we've slowly been turning them into reality. While I can't show them to you yet, you can see them in game on EAE Play Day next week, and can check out more recent concepting in our Images & Video section

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We've also made a TON of crazy new weapons that players can unlock and use. We've even been tweaking the old ones to feel more unique, balanced, and substantial. Darrell's been doing some great design work, Dylan's been making some crazy concepts, and Ruohan's been modeling the guns. 

These changes, and a whole lot more, will be shown off at EAE Play Day this coming Friday so please come out and play the game! We also have a Mailing list you can subscribe to to recieve email updates on the game, so if that's your thing then please subscribe! Otherwise stay up to date here for more reveals and keep an eye on our Twitch page for dev streams!