If you’re looking for the optimum performance, the first things you can tweak are grass distance and amount, changing these to normal or lower will give you at least 10fps. Next would be water reflection, turn that off will give you another 10fps. Finally, tweaking the shadow distance will also give you large performance gains.
For memory reduction, turn down the amount of grass, trees, and terrain.
Follow camera mode (F2)
New water shader
New animal species
New boss type
New attacks for the giant robot boss type
Optimized ai memory and cpu usage
AI behavior changes
New collisions for ai (no more single capsule collision)
Able to run over and damage ai with vehicle
Crashing on glider causes damage
Optimized adventure mode terrain generation
New types of terrain environment generation in adventure mode
Multiple biomes in a single seed in adventure mode
Water level randomized in adventure mode
New npc animations
New native alien animations and attacks
New story segments and missions
New npc characters
NPC no longer collide with player
Edits to some NPC looks
New type of armor set
NPCs can plant, care for, and harvest crops in colony
New textures for building blocks
New texture layout for building blocks
New glass block type
New shapes in Creation Editor
Custom decals in Creation Editor
Custom items in Creation Editor
Inclines in Creation Editor
Server will now autosave
Able to dig continuously in multiplayer
Able to export all objects from the Creation Editor to multiplayer
Steam launcher integration
Simplified Chinese localization
Okay, just a quick update since people always ask. We are having trouble with some new bugs. They are mostly due to the fact that water physics is working. All of a sudden, we need new ways for AI to figure out what is water (plus how to drown properly) and how to save water that has spread to new places. The water physics looks good…even great with the new water shader. It does take a hit on the cpu when large areas of water start moving (like digging out a river), so the faster your cpu, the less it impacts the frame rate.
This doesn’t affect when the game will go on Steam, which is still on for midweek next week. We are going to try to put out a build here, asap, in the next couple of days (not working on Sunday). As we still want you to help us test out the new build.
We’re just a few days away from the a0.75 build. We’ll try to get it out by this Saturday here, but as you know, it’s never a sure thing. We’re still working on Steam and launcher integration (all 3 platforms) and will be testing that out over the next few days. Hopefully, there will be no problems (if there are problems, we’ll probably launch with PC first). If everything goes smoothly there, we’ll submit the build to Steam for approval, if they approve, then PE will be on Steam probably by ~midweek next week. That gives us enough time to fix any major bugs that you may find before then.
We’ve been optimizing a lot of the things in the current build, including the terrain formation speed in adventure mode. It is now about 3X what it was in the a0.72 build. What this means is that you won’t fall off the terrain on a glider or car anymore. Vtols are another matter, but players are making these go at 300-400km/h and we can’t really help that. Another thing about adventure mode is that there are multiple biomes within a single seed now.
We’re still working on block building lod, water physics, and multiplayer general testing, these things will decide when exactly the build will be done.
Below are some screen shots from the rainforest biome and waves on the shore, all works in progress:
We’re coming up pretty quickly to the end of the month, so we’re trying to get as much in as possible before the Steam build. We’re working on several notable areas for the build, they include: the farm building for the settlement, Steam integration for the launcher (across all 3 platforms), more Creation Editor features, voxel water (maybe flowing) and new water shader, better building controls and shaders, tweaking player controls, starting first person control design (what a lot of you want), ai optimization, more enemies and bosses (especially for multiplayer), rainforest biome, and story extension. We want to get the build out before February ends, so we will cut whatever’s not done when the time comes. So far, it looks like everything’s safe.
Here I’ll show you a couple of things, first, the water shader. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s starting to look pretty good:
Next, a couple of examples of the new free-form custom items and decals created in the Creations Editor:
It’s February, 2014. If you remember correctly, we said Planet Explorers would be out by now back on Kickstarter (if you don’t remember, go straight to paragraph two!). Obviously, it’s not. We do apologize for that. We were a little too optimistic with our schedule and personnel acquirement (and frankly, making a RPG is harder than we expected). The game also expanded in scope by quite a bit. So in the end, we have to revise our schedule. We aim to have the game in final form before the end of 2014. This is a lot more realistic and much more attainable. The Kickstarter items will be sent out when that happens. But, hopefully, after following this game for over half a year now, you will have seen enough to trust in us to not only finish this game but make it worth your time.
Which brings us to the next point: Steam. We’re currently selling the preorder for Planet Explorers on our site, it’s doing decently in sales, but we’re not close to breaking even each month. Thus, we’re always very conservative with our budget and it’s been working out for us so far. But, our cash reserve is decreasing, and if we want to make Planet Explorers into a great game, we need to hire a few more developers (from 28 to ~35). For that, we will need the revenue that being on Steam Early Access can bring.
We plan to release our first Steam Early Access build when Alpha 0.75 comes out, probably in the last week of February. What does this mean for you? Anyone with a key already will get a corresponding Steam key. Anyone who doesn’t want to play on Steam can still use our standalone program and we will continuously update the download versions on our own site as well. The first version of Steam of course won’t be perfect in integrating all the Steam functions, but we will try to take advantage of Steam features such as the Workshop and voice chat in game in the future.
For our release schedule, it’ll mean shorter duration and less new content in each new build. We won’t be doing the 4 months that it took to get a0.7 out the door anymore, even though some people actually liked that. From Steam on, it’ll be about 1 to 1.5 months inbetween each build during the rest of alpha.
Well, the old a0.53 build was getting pretty old and different from what we have currently, so we wanted to bring the demo up to date. Now that we have a fairly bug free version in a0.72, we decided it was time. The demo features the story mode up to the fire bear nest, so about 2-3 hours of straight through gameplay. It also contains the build mode for people to try out building things in the Creations Editor. Most importantly, we now have Mac and Linux demos, so you can try out the game before you preorder!
We really thought we left a0.7 behind with a0.71, but alas, there were a couple of serious bugs there that we had to do a a0.72 release to fix them. These are optional downloads though, so you really don’t need to update if you don’t want to.
- fixed not being able to place anything in Build Mode
- fixed the launcher UI layout so people should be easily able to click the opencl options
- fixed music level resetting
- fixed all mobile turrets in single player, no more shooting at the sky
- added zinc to adventure mode
- toughened up the robot boss in adventure multiplayer
- added new ways to get around keynotfound exception (still need field testing)
- campfire now stays on always (for now)
For users without opencl compatible graphics cards due to whatever reason (outdated driver, unsupportive manufacturer, incompatible setup, etc.), please go to options in the launcher and change to cpu under opencl calculation, then launch the game. If your game hangs at 100% or fails to load, it’s most likely due to opencl.
Now we can all move on to a0.75. The key features we’re aiming for a0.75 are voxel water (dynamic will probably be a0.8), new water shader, decals for the creation editor, lod for the building blocks, new story segments, rainforest biome, new ai spawning based on seeds in Adventure Mode, and able to export vehicles in multiplayer. We’re aiming to release this build in late February.
Also, check out this new website for some cool ISOs made by Planet Explorers players around the world.
We’ve been working through a lot of bugs during the last couple of weeks since a0.7 came out. There have been a lot of feedback from players during that time regarding a0.7 on our board and through email. Thanks to all who provided them!
This update was suppose to come out last Friday, but a few multiplayer sync bugs really delayed us (by a week!). Here’s the changelist for a0.71:
You cannot kill the first Puja you meet when you meet up with Tariq anymore
Mobile turrets will stay open once they fire at a target
BG music and combat music will have less mixing time, it used to be 10 sec, now it’s 3
BG ambient sounds are in, and the music will play sporadically
Fixed gun sounds
Fixed footstep sounds after an animal dies
Lobby will auto refresh server list after restart
Changed activation to https server so most people will have no problem activating now
Fixed Gerdy pathfinding
Adisa harddrive mission will complete after 1 hour of game time
Plant fiber drops now up
Robot specs upped
Bury the dead mission NPCs are actually dead now, and burying the ash boxes is working
Up Up Up mission will have the 2 injured NPCs follow easily, not in formation
Placing blocks is now much more accurate
Can pull diagonal in the new building system
One unit of resource will allow you to build 8 0.5m blocks
Stamina and health will no longer drop in build mode
Turrets will no longer fall from blocks
Holes will no longer form when fast travelling
Holes will no longer form in blocks when fast traveling in multiplayer
Fixed some item names
Added a few more fish types
Added a few new animal types in desert biome
Added 1 more mobile turret type (Type 03)
Andheras are again scared of the light
Caves are now a lot darker
CPU voxel option in launcher
Render (OpenGL/DX) option in launcher
Cultivation mission now working
Forest fps problem fixed
Inventory opens when trade ui pops up, always
Able to move and rotate templates in Creations Editor
Shows message when collecting water
Added gold in mineral scanner
Repair is now cheaper
Multiplayer map now marks flags
Multiplayer players now marked as dots on map
Multiplayer players now have a team share inventory besides their own
Multiplayer can now place turrets without crashing
Multiplayer now supports different biome plants and textures
Custom swords, shields, and guns can not be exported in Multiplayer
Multiplayer ai now syncs up and won’t idle
Mineral Scanner now in Adventure mode
Mineral layout now more spread out in Adventure mode
Cutting trees in Adventure mode will not take as long
Able to harvest herbs in Adventure
Fixed grass rendering crash bug
Blocks now generate faster
Blocks now show at a 256m distance
Fixed KeyNotFoundException bug
Fixed several colony bugs
Added colony personnel work animations
Added graphics on the big map to show current alpha invisible wall border
The focus of this build was to get the multiplayer modes more consistent and error free. By adding the shared inventory, players can now share anything with other players on the same team. Also, players can now purchase flags from the shop to place on the map so they can fast travel all over the place.
We’re looking forward to the feedback on the multiplayer.
On Monday, we’ll be releasing a new demo made from the a0.71 build for PC, Mac, and Linux. I’ll also talk about a0.75 then.
A0.71, which will try to fix most of the bugs people are listing on our board will be out sometimes next week. We will be adding in the option to pick cpu for voxel rendering in the launcher, as well as selecting opengl or directx.