A SNEAK PEEK AT FUTURE UPDATES
As you know, we published a new big update recently which added x64 binaries, 4K support, damage indicators, a quest, a miniboss and several new areas to explore. You can learn more about it HERE.
But today I'd like to share with you something we are intended to do in upcoming updates, our plans and work in progress. Feel free to share you thoughts in comments, your feedback is very important to us.
WHAT DO WE DO NOW
As you may know, we are really not satisfied with the starting area at the moment. Despite the fact we managed to significantly improve it since it was added, it is still requires a lot of work. Also, there’s no place for a decent tutorial but a small area to show some tips to a player before he dive into action. That’s why it is ought to be changed.
Also, since that’s the very start of the game, it is also necessary to show players what the game has to offer, our strong sides which we believe are:
- open and alive world of space western with complex level design, many secrets and interesting places to explore
- complex non-linear quests which can be solved in several ways
- interesting mechanics (remote-controlled bugs, for example)
- player’s decisions can affect the world and the story
Clearly, there’s a great deal to be done.
That’s an important part of the game but we don’t feel like to hold player’s hands. It also won’t be the same tutorial with a bunch of tips but a small story with quests on the new specially created small area—and we already made the very first prototype.
It is a small open world with some places to explore. The story is connected with main quest and also the Anomaly Area’s conflict—this area known as the starting location at the moment. I will tell you more about the story below.
Quests on the tutorial area will use different mechanics to show player basics and possibilities of the game from digging and gathering to crafting and cooking. Moreover, some quests here also could be solved in different ways based on your choices or how well you explored the area. You will also learn some useful lore about plants, animals and antigravium.
We are working on new assets which will allow us to make the start of the game more alien-looking and interesting to explore. It’d take time to get the result we would like to see but it is worth it.
What is going to change here? At the moment this area lacks proper goals for a player, a strong motivation for the hero, the story is barely present and quests are not involved with it. That’s ought to be fixed.
Let’s start with the story.
As you may know, Anomaly Area is a very harsh place. Its soil is almost infertile, water sources are very limited, it is hard to grow anything edible here. Still, this place is a home for Outcast aborigines. Despised by almost everyone, humans and other abori tribes, they built up a camp on this remote patch of land and trying to survive for many years. Basically, Outcasts exchange scrap they get from wrecks and anomalies for supplies brought by rare merchants.
There are other aborigines in this area called Scalphunters. They don’t get along with Outcasts and are hostile to them and our protagonist. This abori are brutal and prefer to use their victims’ remains as trophies and decorations. They are also blocking the only way out of this area, that’s why poor Outcasts can’t sell scrap for food anymore.
There’s even more backstory to learn but the clash is imminent. And player can affect its result. His action will define what happened to Outcasts and Scalphunters and will change the appearance of the area.
As for our hero, I’d like to avoid spoilers, so I just mention that he has his own motivation to be involved in the conflict. His main quest has its goals in the area. Also, it is hard to leave the area with all the Scalphunters swarming around.
As I said before, we are working hard to make the starting area more alien-looking. But we also lack some simple assets like different types of grass for each biome (most of the ones we use are pretty old), that’s one of the reasons why Anomaly Area looks pretty naked.
Grass, especially the small one is very important in several ways. With its help, you can make roads more notable. Also, it tells a lot about the area, creates its atmosphere. Thus, Anomaly Area should be paved with dry and faded grass able to grow on this wasteland.
When it is done, we are going to make a stress-test for the game to look how well it is going to perform with a lot of vegetation. Once Exoplanet pass the test, we will be able to completely change the appearance of different areas.
As for alien-looking appearance, we are working on a few special plants as well. Some of them are inspired by lithops which are also known as pebble plants or living stones and were designed to be arphant food.
Other plants can be useful for different purposes. There will be new poison stick, for example, which you can craft from two different plants (at the moment, you can simply get it from a cactus plant). This Meat Cage below is just a concept so far but it could be used to push your enemies onto its thorns—yes, we’re so in love with kicking mechanic from Dark Messiah of Might & Magic that actually thinking to do that.
Well, enough talking about flora, let’s save something for future updates. But what about fauna?
I already shared new bitebugs concept with you some time ago in a post about Exoplanet’s roadmap. We decided to make different species with unique behavior (it was actually designed from the start) instead of the old one.
Bugs models are finally ready though they could use a few cosmetic changes. At the moment we are creating animations for them from the scratch. We are also still working on AI, transferring existing NPCs to the new system which allows to create more complex behaviors.
There are other assets which requires some attention. We are working on new barrels instead of the ones we have in the game at the moment.
As you can see, some barrels bares marks of what inside of them, fuel and wastes. Players will be able to explode the red ones to get advantage in a fight or perhaps use the empty ones as a hiding spot when we add stealth mechanic.
What about the rest?
Despite the fact that the beginning of the game is the first priority now, we are also going to create new content for the existing areas. For example, The Scarecrow quest, added in the recent update, will be greatly expanded. It was initially designed as a complex quest with several endings but we need some time to finish it. Anyway, upcoming updates will tell you more about it.
That’s it for today, folks.
If you have any questions, just ask them here in comments or our Discord. And if you enjoyed the reading, don’t forget to click on a ‘thumb up’ button—it will tell us that you care. Thanks.