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Play as an alien plant and escape from a scientific facility, full of secrets and dangerous experiments.
Play as an alien plant and escape from a scientific facility, full of secrets and dangerous experiments.
5,953 backers pledged $144,960 to help bring this project to life.

New boss, new areas and new logo

Posted by Asthree Works (Creator)
65 likes

Hello everyone! We are back from the update hiatus to show you how things are progressing and take on different areas of the development. We’ve had some setbacks the last months regarding the bosses since they needed a LOT more testing and fixing than we previously expected.

Our main problem with the “human” ones is that we wanted them to perform as realistic as they can (reacting to the player, activating traps, taking countermeasures on Subject W’s skills and more) so they prevented us from progressing with other parts of the game until they worked fine. Hopefully the new ones will take less time considering all the experience learned from them. In any case, let’s have a look at some of the stuff we’ve been working on.

The Simbiot

This is the boss designed by one of our top tier backers, Yannis Tanopoulos. It is an hybrid robot that combines the organic properties of a bio-engineered seed with the dangerous AI programmed by the G.E.R. specialists, resulting in a non-stoppable machine. Players will have to discover how to take it out and retrieve the shell ability generated by its core.

Click on the image to enlarge

The design process for the Simbiot took a little while, and it evolved from an animal-focused robot to a human-like prototype (an upgraded version of the cervids). We know that some of the quadrupeds look rad, but we faced two problems with their appearance: 1) this design required problematic animations and 2) the level design of the boss stage was created to match a more platform focused confrontation -the assembly line-, so we decided to go with the biped concept.

The armour idea was there from the beginning, but Yannis realized that we should give it a more organic look since the metallic plates didn’t match the shell effect created by the skill of the Simbiot core. With this in mind we decided to integrate the spikes from Subject W’s shell design, developing that peculiarity on the game’s script and giving it a narrative purpose.

 

 

 

One thing that makes it stand out is that it has 3 different animation sets. After receiving an attack the shell that protects it will broke, showing less pieces of armour with each clash until exposing its core.

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New designs for backgrounds and color grading

Areas under construction

To avoid repetition on some locations we decided to include new sprites to represent work-in-progress sectors of the facility. This designs show structural building materials such as pillars, wall plates, ladders, and cables.

Other levels have one set of wall sprites and for this area we created two: one composed of darker pieces -for the raw background- and a second one for the metallic frame and the plates without painting.

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To emphasize the isolated feeling we avoided to put lightning inside this corridors and added darker Hue/Saturation layers to give an additional somber tone to it.

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Following this concept we created more elements for abandoned elevator shafts where players need to do some platforming and find the correct path in order to advance.

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Click on the image to enlarge

The lightning bulbs serve to identify the gaps on the floor connecting each height.

Cold chamber redesign and chemical area

A graphic overhaul has been made to this stages since we released the demo. We felt that the grading layer (or LUT) applied to the camera killed the tones of Subject W, the enemies, and the interactive elements, so in order to fix this we touched a little bit the color palette. Now the background pieces have a brighter/more metallic look, the strong blue lightning contrast of the friezes has been reduced and the color grading is lighter (the old one looked over-saturated on certain screens).

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The sprites remain practically identical with the exception of the pipes that now have a more volumetric effect accompanied by a parallel shadow effect.

They are also connected to the higher part of the wall instead the low part of the frieze (it was a little odd since this element doesn’t have depth).

The old storage wall plates have been reused for an area where the chemicals of G.E.R. are stored. For this section we can apply a stronger LUT than the one used to the cold chambers, reinforcing the visual sensation of chemical processing (plus most of the enemies of this sector are hazard-suit scientist / cervid robots which stand out more than other enemies on strong RGB LUTs, so it ended up being a win-win situation).

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Surveillance area

The corridors connecting the surveillance sector now have the same frieze design of the server/control rooms, giving more continuity to this area. A different blue-ish LUT has been applied to the camera to avoid color overlapping / desaturation of certain tones such as orange, yellow and green (maps, signals and even UI elements were affected by this).

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New game logo and menu

It’s been a while since our last UI / graphic design update so we wanted to show you the all new Paradise Lost: First Contact logotype.

Some time ago we abandoned the narrow font style used in multiple UI elements because they have readability issues in long paragraphs (problematic in lower resolutions or smaller screens like the Switch one) so we decided to implement a more rounded font on the logo, following the same design lign of the menus. 

Besides this, a lot of games and sci-fi movies use the same kind of aesthetic defined by a stretched height font with fixed-width between letters akin to  A L I E N   (see what I did there with the spacing? XD).

The leaf graphic used on the HUD and other menus was added to close the A / E gaps and decorate the lines of other letters, giving a more distinguishable and original look to the font.

Game menu

Click on the image to enlarge

The main menu has been redesigned too. The list of options and the new logo have been moved to the left, giving more space for the animations to stand out and allowing us to add new lines if needed. The leaf selector and the font follow the same UI design used on the Skill tree, Pictures/Bios and other options, giving more cohesion to all the game menus.

Click on the image to enlarge

Some of you might prefer the old design but the non-pixel font inside the monitor seemed out of place and everything looked too similar to the Super Metroid menu.

Animations for cutscenes

Creating a dialogue sequence

The other big obstacle to overcome as of now is the big amount of animations that need to be done for the cutscenes. On most cases the characters require multiple animation sequences with the start, loop and stop states to read a paragraph.

The first and last states are designed to move from one action to another without cuts, and this is multiplied by the number of poses needed to reflect the mood of a character while doing a scene (hesitant, angry, frightened, etc.).

Only one member of the team takes charge of this so it is taking a while to complete all of them :-/  We try to recycle as much dialogue animations as we can, but sometimes is easy to lose focus on what is needed/what doesn’t worth the time, so planning is essential before we start working on a cutscene.

Monitors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the conversations between important characters take place via videoconference. For this purpose a lot of graphics were designed to show the other person on a big screen, so players can see who the speaker is and what is doing. They are also used to show maps or other info related to the events of a scene.

Scientists

 

 

 

 

A lot of scientist appear on cutscenes so a big amount of animations have been prepared for them. Since we are still waiting for some backers to fill their bio files they are mostly bald until the final images are sent :D

Guards

 

 

 

Guards needed additional actions outside their gameplay routines like use objects, salute, run without pursuing or get frightened.

Leonard White  

 

 

 

 

White is one of the main characters of the game and the responsible of the Robotics section of G.E.R. He will be tracking us down and following our every step in order to stop us. He also works with the engineering labs, where they developed his prosthetic arm.

Fixing things up and tweaking some mechanics

Besides level design, boss development and cutscenes we’ve been upgrading some mechanics and doing an exhaustive work of testing to fix key areas of the game. Here are some of the things done in the last months:

Cervids

We worked a little more on the cervid behaviours. This enemies are able to rotate half of their body to see if Subject W is on their surroundings, causing problems in the way the body turns if we are near them and interact with their patrol. They also had problems shifting from an attack state to the uncovering action at the moment W entered a hideout, launching their electric whip instead of kicking the plant out of it. 

Another fix was related to the way multiple cervids reacted inside a room and how they electrocuted the conducts if W was inside one and suddenly exited from the same trapdoor they were using to generate the electric current (doing it too fast broke them and they didn’t attack us after pursuing the plant).

Saws

The original saws had their patrol area outside of them, which occupied the entire floor of a room. This made them extremely dangerous because when players touched the ground the saw came right after them from any point of said room. Now this area is within the saw and covers a shorter range, giving more time to maneuver.

In addition there's a new script called “first avoid” to force them to go in the opposite direction of players when they enter a room regardless of the direction (it was nerve-racking to see them coming after you while crossing the door).

Recovery time before blocking them with a decoy is a little longer too, allowing players to reach safe platforms easily.

Pushable boxes

This elements move twice the distance that they did before. Some parts of the game are based on moving boxes from one place to another and this make the mechanic less stressful.

Gas grenades with a timer

The grenades dropped on conducts by guards have a time before extinguishing, giving players time to re-enter it again from a trapdoor without the need to respawn the level.

Falling from corners

Subject W’s running and falling actions have been altered in order to properly recognize a platform's corner (running transitioned so fast from one state to another that it jumped states and showed the plant falling with the run animation instead of the slip one).

Persistence of collectibles and room swapping

Now pictures and skill point containers work on both versions of a room. In PLFC a room can change its status while maintaining its current position on the map (for example: from regular lab to lab on flames > both rooms have the same collectible to pic, independently of the state of the level). Essentially, they are different rooms that change from one to another when a trigger is activated. Now this elements detect if they are being collected in any room version in order to disappear on the rest of them (we needed to reesctructure some levels too in order to let players come back for this objects regardless of a level state due to narrative events).

Reinforcement

When the alert state goes off and the enemy has lost track of Subject W the reinforcement exits the room ignoring the “find and seek” state, making things easier for the player to escape.

We also included a new script that allow enemies to call different types of reinforcement depending on our necessities and the type of level that fits them better (cervid, guard, pyroguard...)

Prompts

The interactive prompts have been reworked to follow the player while moving near an object and the button/key graphic has a darker fill to help them stand out on any surface.

Mines

This useful traps now have lower colliders to allow players perform the double jump easier.

Backer bios

We still need some of the high-end backers data to fill their documentation on the avatar form sent to them through Kickstarter private messages and e-mails.

If you are one of them and don’t send us the proper info in a few weeks we’ll need to include you with a design and name of our own choice (the development needs to move on and the bios section/cutscenes of the game have to be closed). Don’t miss that out!

Reuploading the web

Some of you have written us about a virus that infected our web, so we are doing maintenance labors on it and moving from Wordpress to a dedicated space where we can have a better control of anything that involves the site. Sorry for the inconveniences and thanks for keeping an eye on it!

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We are still working seven days a week to have the game as early as possible this year, but sometimes unexpected things get in our way and delay the development process. Being a team of three doesn’t help much either since every member needs to do multitasking on multiple areas, but it seems that we are able to handle everything for the most part. If other setbacks appear on the way be sure that we’ll inform you about it and hope that we can dodge any bullet that comes our way!

Sharkey, Imaria, and 63 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Daniel H. on

      Nice to see you guys still chugging along, keep fighting the good fight!

    2. Asthree Works 2-time creator on

      @Hadbabits: our own house is the office now! haha
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      @Alexander Kluge: no problem. You’ll receive a notification to select version when the time comes.
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      @Jonic Linley: doing in-depth updates is a time consuming labor, that’s the reason we keep doing them every 3 months. Thanks for your kind words!
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      @Alabug: We have no problem moving backers from one of the discarded platforms (Ouya / WiiU) to the PC / Switch version, but a PS4 one will take even more time, so keep it in mind because is not a top priority.
      In any case, we’ll be sending surveys to all backers asking for their prefered version (only eligible if they pledged for the console tier).

    3. Missing avatar

      Alabug on

      This game is now 4 years late for its estimated delivery date. I actually forgot about it for 2 years and only now just remembered, and so I'm making this post to ask about a PS4 version.

      I backed this game for the OUYA and would now like to swap that for the PS4 console version.

      How can I get moved to that list?

      Thank you!

    4. Jonic Linley on

      Great to see some progress! Your updates are always really high quality! I just wish they were a little more frequent! :)

      In a way I'm glad you're taking as long as you are, because the finished game is going to look all the better for it, not to mention I'll now be getting it on Switch! Keep up the amazing work, and good luck getting it over the line!

    5. Missing avatar

      Alexander Kluge on

      I would also be interested to change my PC version into a Switch version.

    6. Missing avatar

      Hadbabits on

      Great work, but how do you keep the lights on in the office after all this time?

    7. Asthree Works 2-time creator on

      @Evan Coolen: we'll look into it :)
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      @Aidan Wallace: thanks for your kind words!

    8. Aidan Wallace on

      The love and dedication being put into this game is really showing. The whole thing looks proffessional, clean and detailed, not to mention expansive. I can deal with the delay in release for a product like this. Keep it up guys, you're nearly there!

    9. Evan Coolen on

      Would it be possible to change PC version to a Switch version?

    10. Asthree Works 2-time creator on

      @Ronsen: you are right about the E. We'll move the leaf to the left and shorten the width of that letter. Thanks for the tip.

    11. Ronsen on

      I'm staring now a while at the new logo/font...and it would be a lie to say I like it. The new font in general is not bad, but something is odd with that leaf adoption. Maybe it's the "E" it just doesn't look nice to me.... leaf is way to far on the right side?

    12. Missing avatar

      thomas herzog on

      Holy Pixels. you guys are getting really good with that.
      Ever thought about doing a small movie in that manner?
      the animations are top notch!!!

    13. Asthree Works 2-time creator on

      @Neo: yeah, we planned to release it on GOG too.
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      @Niki Coppola: Nintendo Switch will be the first console version of the game. If you backed the WiiU version you'll be moved to the Switch one :)
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      @Everyone: thanks for your love!

    14. Silvia Novak on

      Absolutely love reading these updates. Well done guys! It’s looking incredible.

    15. Niki Coppola
      Superbacker
      on

      I originally backed Wii U. is a Nintendo Switch version coming?

    16. Mason Wooley on

      I look forward to these updates more than any others. The animations, designs and attention to detail make it so inspiring to look at 😁 thanks for taking the time to fill us in and I gotta say, I am as excited as ever. Beautiful beautiful work. 😁

    17. Matt Lohkamp on

      lookin' real sharp. I love seeing each iteration of redesign - the logo and title screen in particular. The reference to Super Metroid is fun, but ultimately unwarranted, because this is *not* Metroid, and that's okay! Also A L I E N - this is not Alien, and that's okay! It's got a life of its own and you guys are doing a great job of showing that. Keep up the good work!

    18. Dustin on

      This game is looking beautiful and these updates are mindblowing, keep up the fantastic work! This game is looking to be a dream come true...

    19. Missing avatar

      Neo on

      Hi! Will it be available on GOG?

    20. Yo Chupacabro! on

      I really appreciate how detailed and involved these updates are! Keep up the good work!

    21. Sharkey on

      Great update, thank you! Always exciting to see a new update for this game as I’m still enthralled with the concept and just can’t wait for the final product! =D