Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 24, 2011.

Update #50

Lifeless Planet hits Full Beta!

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I'm happy to announce I've finally this week finished the full beta for Lifeless Planet. This is a private beta, but it's an important step in finishing the game. Things are coming together very quickly!

I've also released a new video that features "moving screenshots" from the public beta available on Steam. The video includes some of the positive comments from gamers who've played the early beta:

Of course, this week I sent all backers their Steam Keys which provides access to the limited beta up on Steam Early Access. Once the game is shipped, you'll get the full version. And... I'll be providing you with a DRM-free version through your humble bundle link.

Beta-tester backers can also expect access to more of the full beta. Details on that in a couple weeks or so.

Mac is Coming...and Russian, German, French and Spanish!

I haven't forgotten about my Mac users. Got a new Mac coming in the mail today that will allow me to better test those builds. I will hopefully have that up on Steam very soon, along with other languages. Just yesterday I was able to get Cyrillic characters into the Lifeless Planet font, which enabled me to import the Russian text.

Exciting times, folks. VERY very busy and insane...but exciting! Working hard to get this game wrapped and in your hands. Not far away now!

Dave


Update #49 - For backers only

Steam Surprise!

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Update #48 - For backers only

Steam Early Access and Release Schedule

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Update #47

The Road From Alpha to Full Beta

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Wow, another month... Guess with the holidays and travel that was to be expected. In any case, things are back in full swing. Working on getting alpha cleaned up and ready for Steam Early Access (hoping to have that up in a couple weeks), and at the same time moving ahead with beta. I've received a lot of good feedback from testers and press. I've been fixing bugs, of course, but also putting as many little finishing touches into the game as possible without getting bogged down in the details. Wednesday I finally got real-time reflections working on the astronaut's helmet:

Real-time reflections
Real-time reflections

Of course, it looks even better in-game. Little things like this add up to a huge improvement in the overall visual feel. Lifeless Planet will never be a AAA game, but I'm doing the best in the short amount of time till release to make the visuals the best they can be.

I also added all-time SSAO to the game. This helps objects appear more grounded and connected by shading all the little nooks and crannies where objects meet. The best way to explain this is by showing it with this animated gif:

SSAO in Lifeless Planet
SSAO in Lifeless Planet

As you can see, it helps to make the astronaut connect with the ground a little better as the area around his feet are now shadowed. Without it, the player character and other objects seem to "float" in the world. Wikipedia tells me SSAO was first used in the Crysis games, so quite cool that I can get it working in the Unity engine. I'm constantly impressed by what Unity can do.

One more week to get the Alpha build

A word to beta testers: Get the alpha build while you still can... I'll be pulling this by next weekend! If you want to wait for the full release, that's fine, but if you do play it, please send me feedback. Your input is hugely appreciated at this critical stage. Thank you!

Steam store and early access coming up

I'll update again when we're ready to launch the Steam store and release the early access build. And yes, I'll make sure my beta testers get that build by the date it goes up on Steam...

Thanks for your support, as always!

Dave


Update #46

Lifeless Planet Hits Alpha

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I'm happy to report that over the weekend I played through Lifeless Planet from beginning to end! Finally, after more than two years I can see the entire game. While there's a number of things I want to improve, I can say the overall experience is better than I originally imagined. And of course Alpha is a big milestone in what will be a series of milestones until release (next up: full Beta!). Things will be moving very quickly now...well, right after the holidays!

In a fun commemoration of Alpha, I'm attaching a screenshot below with scenes from all 20 levels of the game. No spoilers here because I've put them in random order and I'm not showing nearly enough in any scene to give away anything significant.

Merry Christmas, Beta-Testers!

I'm looking forward to Christmas tomorrow, but then on Thursday I plan to compile a new build for my beta-testers. Expect to see a bunch of new levels from the Alpha, minus the very end of the game. I know you're itching to play, and of course your feedback is invaluable as I refine puzzles, environments and the overall gameplay. I'll message beta-testers privately when the link is ready. Oh, and I'll post an extended gameplay video in a couple weeks so all backers can get a feel for the later levels.

Steam Early Access Next Month

I'm taking a week off and then upon return I'll be working hard on beta and a Steam Early Access build. Expect that by about the end of January and then we're shooting for full release in April.

Finally, I'm attaching a few new screens. Feel free to share with friends and forums...

Happy Holidays!
--David & the rest of the Stage 2 Studios team


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