Alpha 0.6 Development Update
We're getting so close now! 99% and counting! Not only that, we're now at #23 on Steam Greenlight! This is all thanks to everyone's support. We will be adding the Paypal options (they're the same as the KS tiers) once we have hit the goal in another few hours.
Today, I'm going to tell you a bit about what we've been working on for Alpha 0.6, there are already some changes from what we planned. You've probably noticed we don't update this KS as much as some other projects, and yes, it's our fault. The reason though, is we're all spending our full energy on the game. Here's a look at a few of the key features and how they're progressing:
Base building - there has been a major change to base building. And it came mostly due to efficiency issues. We always discuss efficiency first, because in games with too much freedom, the player can quite quickly overbear his system. First change we made was to let the player build their own buildings in the creations editor, you'll have template parts, then everything else will be all you. The resolution for the houses will be 0.25 meters, at a max size of 25X25X25 meters. There will now be 64 colors available. The buildings will still be condition based, and now we've added a max count for created buildings based on the energy type of the power station. Right now, for a0.6 the order is Power Station > Admin Building > Power Relay Station > Storage > Living Quarters, if we add in any other building types for this build, we'll let you know. We've also added in a triangle reduction system to again, increase efficiency. So the mesh for your cars, guns, and houses will now have anywhere from 10-60% less polygons. If we have time, we'll also add in an level of detail system where if the player is low on framerate or ram, a lot of the objects will auto flip to level 2 detail.
The launcher - this thing's a tough nut to crack. Since we want to do all 3 versions (PC, Mac, Linux) by a0.6, it suddenly became a lot of work. The launcher doesn't just launch the game, it also includes the ability to update the game in patches (which means we have to reorganize our programming structure), registering the key with the computer, and the options menu. Most of the time will be spent on getting the patch updating correct...and getting this to run on Mac and Linux. Lots of work ahead.
Durability for all - yes, we are adding in a durability system, where you'll have to fix things or better things. That steel sword you made? If you add in more steel to compress it, it'll get better stats (to a certain point). If you use it long enough, it'll break unless you fix it. This system will act as a very nice balancing tool for this game. This will also apply to defensive stats for armor, vehicles, and houses.
Better personal system - a lot of people asked us to put in blocking as soon as possible so that they can survive better in melee, we heard you. We will also add in energy shielding for long range weapons (but it'll also put a dent in your own long range weapon damage). Lots of animation tweaks as well.
Smarter NPCs - we're quite aware that our NPCs are a bit on the...imbecilic side at the moment, we'll be adding in more rest animations and logic to make them seem smarter. Also, better pathfinding logic will help as well.
Linux and Mac - so Mac turned out easier to conquer than Linux. All I'm going to say about Linux is Unity can support it better with better tools. Sigh. We're getting pretty close to getting the Linux build working crash free. Close, but so far away.
Aliens vs Natives - We spent a long time meeting about how to do the native's bases. Point is, if the player is on bad terms with them, they'll continue to send troops after you until you take out their nearest base (at which point, they'll focus on retaking the base...and you). The logic in the native base design is pretty good now, they will have an outer perimeter where they have patrols, then several key buildings inside the base for the player to take out. This will be a balancing nightmare over the next several weeks. The natives will also get an update with several new types.
The story continues - the story stopped at the entrance of a cave in a0.53, in the next build, we'll move the story all the way to the redstone mountains (next to the desert). There will be many new faces to meet, several fun locations that we haven't shown to anyone, and quite a few new creatures.
Graphical updates - the terrain will look better. We're working on a tool right now to paint voxel rocks and shapes into the terrain. This will make it look much better. The reason the land looks empty right now is because there are no interesting rock formations or land features, so we're aiming to change that.
Multiplayer - we're testing out the coop building every other day. It's got some bugs and latency issues for us to work out. Currently we're adding in enemy ai (it's a different from single player ai) so we can have coop adventure. We hope to add in base building for adventure mode, but we're not sure if it'll make it in on time. Don't expect versus anytime soon.
See, we're working hard. :) Right now, a0.6 is on schedule for mid-late May.