We’ve been having lots of meetings regarding the progress of A0.9 this months. So far, the main objectives of a new ai behavior system, a new player movement system, a new ui, the world editor, and their incorporation into multiplayer are all moving forward, albeit at different speeds. The world editor is fairly stable and ready for player testing now, while the rest are still a month away at the earliest. So, we’ve decided to put out an a0.86 build before Christmas with the world editor. Before anyone gets too excited, the game can’t currently read the world editor maps yet (the a0.86 build is still based on the a0.85 branch, not the a0.9 branch), but most of the editing functions are in. We’ll try to put in an early version of the story editor as well if we can get it to work smoothly, no promises though.
Another thing to be included in a0.86 will be the block building system LOD. What this does is to allow block buildings to show up at the farthest terrain setting. We’ll also be testing in the future to see if we can get the resolution of blocks down to .25 meters from the current .5 meters.
Here are the links to the standalone build of a0.85:
We’ve just released the a0.85 build on Steam. It’s mostly a Story mode build with some Adventure mode updates. All old saves are probably not going to work with the current build, so here’s a save package for you to download: SaveData.rar Below is the changelist:
Added player customization
Added several new face types
Added 11 new animal species
Added 2 new enemy types
Added 2 new locations
Added swamp biome
Added mountain biome
Added 7 new NPCs
Added Pujan wall
Added 2 new Pujan towns
Added 4 new rivers to story map
Added natural bridges to adventure mode
Added better town designs to adventure mode
Added new air boss to adventure mode
Added rainforest biome to adventure mode
Changed building block textures
Easier to pick up plants
We weren’t able to get the 64 bit version working with the current build due to the difference in behavior tree libraries, but it is already working with a0.9, so everyone will just need to wait a bit longer for that. We’ll put the standalone versions up on our site probably next week after we’re pretty sure the build is mostly stable and bug free.
Just some screenshots of the swamp biome (work in progress) to get you ready for the a0.85 build. We’re hoping to get it out this weekend or early next week.
Hope you still remember the World Editor we post a couple weeks ago. Today, we’ll show you more details about it with a video. To remind you, World Editor is one of the major things we’re working on for a0.9. It is a program that enables you to launch and edit a world map in the editor, or import maps from other editors such as World Machine. The main tools we’re going to introduce today are different brushes, auxiliary tools and the artifact, a kind of voxel brush that players can generate and share. One thing that we haven’t finished is that editor UI, so there are lots of empty icons, that will be fixed later. We’re still incorporating the Story and Mission editors into the world editor, so we’ll show those later.
One of our long time members on our community boards, Marauder, has recently gotten some serious health issues that has severely impacted his life and family. He wrote his situation here: http://www.gobeyondtherim.com/the-pleas-of-the-fallen/. If you can, please buy his son’s book at the bottom of that page and help him and his family out of a pinch. Thank you! In the meantime, we wish him a full recovery.
Another progress update on a0.85 and a0.9. Some (probably most, heh) of you are wondering why the current update is taking so long, let me clear that up first. Currently, we have most of our programmers reworking/working on several key system, including the UI, AI behavior, World Editor, and Player Skill/Animation systems. All of these are major systems and won’t be done until a0.9, but they do impede on our current progress on a0.85. For example, we have the character deformation system done, but since the UI system is still being worked on, the deformation system doesn’t have a working UI, so it’s inclusion in a0.85 was uncertain until a week ago. Now we’re pretty sure it’ll be in since that part of the UI’s done. A0.85 is also a major art asset update, so we’re waiting on some new scene assets to be done.
We have been doing some efficiency work as well, trying to get the frame rate of the game higher. One of the largest improvements so far is with AI collision detection. It used to be that we would update the collision detection of every ragdoll collider within an AI body at every frame, now we’re only updating the collision of the capsule collider surrounding the AI every few frames. What this means for you is an uptick of about 10+ fps depending on your setup.
Finally, here are some screenshots of the Adventure map procedural improvements, the current canyons look a lot better and we’ve added stone bridges over the waterways. We’re also working on multiple layers of water next as well as better sloping river banks and better town setups (no more flat towns). All of that we’re trying to get into a0.85 in the next couple of weeks.
We’ve been working on a lot of assets for the coming a0.85 build, including lots of new animals and bosses. Most of them are from the swamp and mountain biomes. For a0.85, we’re trying to get the basic animations for these creatures into the game, as well as most of their attacks. We’re trying to get several hundred enemy hit animations done as well, but they might take a while. Here are a few concept arts:
Currently, our team is actually split into two working groups. One’s working on a0.85 while the other’s working on a0.9. Due to all the changes to a0.9, there isn’t too much crossover between the two builds, we’re literally working in two separate branches of the project. Due to this, there are some bugs that we’re ignoring completely in a0.85, since by a0.9, they’ll disappear. Today, we’ll show you two things we’re working on for a0.9.
The first is the World Editor. It’s a program that you can launch and edit a world map with. The world map can be generated in the editor or through other editors such as World Machine. Once you have a map, you can convert it to full voxel format and edit the world to whatever you want, be it cave cities, race tracks, or floating islands. Currently, the largest map we’re aiming for is 6X6km. We’ll also have voxel brushes that players can make and share. If someone made a very cool looking mountain, he can export it and make it a brush, then just paint it into the world. Beyond the general editor itself will be the Story Editor, which we’ll show at a later date. Once the world is done, the player can export it and compress it to share with everyone else. We’re thinking of doing a world bounce system where you can go from one world to another in multiplayer as long as they’re on different servers.
Next, we’re also adding in a tutorial level onboard the Epiphany called the Training Room, it’s like a holographic deck. It’ll actually be the first scene for new players (before the opening cutscene). We’ll have a fairly comprehensive set of tutorials for this feature, but don’t expect many of them to be in when a0.9 rolls around, we’ll add to it as we go. You’ll also be able to directly access this room through the Main Menu. Since the asset itself is done, we might just push this out in a0.85, or at least just the room part of it.
Originally, we were going straight for a0.85, but some of the assets needed for that build are taking too long, so we’re releasing a0.84 as an inbetween build. The changelist:
Colony in multiplayer (no NPCs or farm yet)
Monorail in multiplayer (Coop and Build only)
New objects in the Creation Editor (bed, lights, door)
Time of day is tweaked for Adventure Mode
Ramps added to towns
In multiplayer, NPC followers will no longer be auto released once they die, can be revived
Added currency to Adventure mode, meat is no longer the currency there
Added simple cutscenes for several story parts in Story mode
A0.85 is looking to be late October. It’ll mainly be a Story Mode build.