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Space! Love! Exploration! Action! As the newest heroic Moon Intern! Fix Machines, Deliver Packages and Fight Evil! Love your Soulmate!
Space! Love! Exploration! Action! As the newest heroic Moon Intern! Fix Machines, Deliver Packages and Fight Evil! Love your Soulmate!
Space! Love! Exploration! Action! As the newest heroic Moon Intern! Fix Machines, Deliver Packages and Fight Evil! Love your Soulmate!
1,609 backers pledged $43,054 to help bring this project to life.

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Full Moon Intern #8


Howdy, Lunar friends!

So for this blog entry on this full moon we are focusing on test builds. First off, we’re happy to announce we are on schedule to release a brand new tester build this coming week. We are aiming to submit that build to our humble store before this coming wednesday evening and hope it goes live within a day or two. We’ll let you know the moment it drops!

Our goal with this tester build is to kickoff a new phase of development where we release 2-3 more test builds per month. The idea is to create a stable build we can iterate and polish. We hope that after a few iterations we will have a nice abstraction of our gameplay, and will be able to add content and renew more interest in Moon Intern, and most importantly, help restore your faith in us. So after this week -- for the first time -- you can begin to expect regular test builds! Yay! It’s finally happening!

In the next few test builds we will focus on gameflow (transitioning between scenes) and a round of Intern physics testing. We are at a point where we can only design the spaces and levels so much without knowing exactly how fast our Intern moves, exactly how high they jump and how floaty the whole thing should feel. We’re messing with these values constantly, but we want the final values and we want to share that experience with you. Once we have a couple of these test builds under our belt (so a few weeks or so from now) we will release more of a road map for these test builds, but for now let’s worry about just releasing this one.

So last month I mentioned a change is coming. Peter, our programmer, is moving to California next month. But don’t worry, he’s not leaving Moon Intern. We’re now working to change how we work to make sure that the distance between us doesn’t negatively impact Moon Intern. It was a big downer when we learned Peter was leaving Chicago, but we're keeping in high spirits about this, as we know Peter is going to have some fresh and exciting opportunities out there. Plus he's never enjoyed the winter here (who really does?). Anyways, we know what the rest of us are going to be working on during Pete’s transition, and it’s mainly going to be buffing and polishing up wherever the current build is at using some tools Peter plans on having done soon.

As a final roundup of everything else going on, the cut scenes script is moving along nicely, as are the mission designs. Character-a-day was still on hold this past month, but will hit full speed again starting Monday morning. Some polishing/rewriting (however you look at it) of some HUD elements is happening now as well. Revisions to scene prefabs and object hierarchies is also happening, as well as the constant finagling with weapons and projectiles. Oh and enemy logic had taken a backseat again until earlier in the week, but are now moving along again.

We hope the regular test builds will help to motivate and add a bit more transparency to our development. We love you guys! As always, thanks for being a part of our journey and bearing with us for 3+ challenging years. Here’s to 3 more--haha!


All of Cosmosaur

Full Moon Intern #7


Howdy, all!

Blue Moon! Update time!

So one of the biggest things we’ve been talking about the last few months is the level generator. We’re proud to say that it’s finally reaching a solid alpha state. Just recently the level generator has had its seed feature implemented allowing us to recreate the same random level over and over again. That might not sound like much, but when creating random levels this is huge to help make each of the zones and distinct places on the moon feel unique. Tracking the seeds that create fun spaces, and the ones that prohibit them will be an important part of testing in the future. Right now we can make short levels, long levels, flat levels, rocky levels or any combination of that with or without buildings, for example a long flat level with a small rocky middle. Or a medium sized level that starts rocky and gradually gets flat and full of structures. We have a lot more to do with the generator in the future, but we're all pretty happy about it's progress over the last week. Next up is implementing art to go along with it.

Much of the last few weeks has been spent writing story, dialog and mission treatments. The character-a-day feature on has even been briefly paused in favor of using that time on much needed story instead. One of our goals with the story has always been to write in all our unique characters from our crowdfunding campaign. That’s a difficult task when there are so many characters to implement. Luckily the “serialized” structure of our narrative benefits from the vast pool of characters we have. The surveys many of you have sent in for your character have been hugely helpful when writing dialog and finding the best places to put each character. Though many of the characters only appear briefly in the narrative, all the characters are deeply interactable and are found in the game world. If you remember last full moon we talked about the day cycle of the story, you’ll know there are plenty of activities allowing room for every character to appear in a unique way. It’s a fun and exciting task, but also very overwhelming.

Weapons are oh so very close to having a lid put on them. We’ve been putting the final touches on the various shot types the last month. Overall, weapons are functioning really well now, and only require some polishing up. A hurdle we had a couple weeks ago was a slight rewrite in the way projectiles are handled and recycled during gameplay, but now that that’s fixed up it's time to move on. Between split, lob, charge, rapid burst and AoE we have plenty of weapon types to play with going into the next round of dev tasks. Speaking of...we’ve talked about getting ready to start development on enemies for a while, but it’s really happening now. We have a whole boat load of enemies on our wish-lists and we’re looking forward to implementing them using all the new weapons we have working.

In the upcoming week or so we are going to also start development on puzzles finally. This will include fuse, hack and wire puzzles as we previously have had among a slew of others including some new ones for the date mini-games. We want to have as big of a variety of puzzle experiences as possible to compliment the wide variety of action experiences. The puzzles have all been redesigned under our new puzzle interface allowing each puzzle to be unique but familiar in control/feel at the same time. Once we get those up and running we're definitely going to have to create some isolated test builds to test the user-friendliness of the whole thing as they are a pretty big crutch of gameplay.

Last month I said we are working on another test build. We still are! We bemoan amongst ourselves for not having it yet, but we’re getting there none-the-less. We won’t release that test build until we can have levels generating in a meaningful way, alongside randomly generating content of some sort (probably enemies, hopefully puzzles too). Lastly, we have some big changes coming soon for our team and our workflow, but they won’t be happening until September so I won’t say any more on that until next update. If you’re still reading this, thanks for sticking with us on this bumpy ride. We love you and look forward to giving you something you’ll really enjoy.

-Larry, Peter, Gewargis & Mason

Full Moon Intern #6


Howdy, good people!

So another Full Moon is here. What’s the deal with us? Well we’re still working on Moon Intern of course. Here we go with the update!

The majority of work done this past month was heavy on expanding the design of upcoming features. This includes puzzle ui, the relationship with Amor, and most of all the actual game flow itself. The new puzzle interface is pretty sweet, and we’ve talked through several user stories to make sure it can handle the bunches of puzzle types and gameplay scenarios we want to throw at it. We’re still working on the new mockups for those puzzles, but trust me when I say the interface is going to be pretty sweet.

We’ve also been working on generating the level flow, as in getting buildings generating, both exterior and interior and making sure the doors all connect right. The buildings also have to work with whatever the mission objective is, as well as offering up many of the diversions and non-linearity offered in the gameplay. Buildings are filling with rooms and connecting their doors now, but we’re still working on properly managing placement of the object at the other end of the door as enemies and npcs are able to use doors and not all those characters are the same height. Little things. Once we can finish rooms in a meaningful way (art, yay!), we’ll be able to release another test build.

Almost all of our weapon shot types have been implemented other than the lob shot now. So besides your standard straight shot we also have spread shot, wave shot, boomerang shot, and lob shot as mentioned above. We still have other modifiers like rapid-fire and charge to implement, but we’re getting there.

The biggest thing that I want to describe today though, is the game flow. We’ve got a pretty clear idea of how we want the game to play now, and we’re going to begin building the systems for that this month. One of our top-level concepts for Moon Intern has always been serialization. So instead of one large story, we want Moon Intern to feature many smaller stories, each with a beginning, middle and end. Another top-level concept is you have a job on the Moon. So using a day-to-day cycle for a game flow really works well with both of these concepts. To create the variety in gameplay we desire we split each day into 5 segments, which all have their own activities to choose from.

  • Morning : Wake up in your apartment, get ready for your day. Mess around with the thingies in you own, pack your bag and choose your method of travel to work. Bus? Personal craft? Don’t forget to eat something before you leave to get that needed boost for the day, or maybe just grab a quick coffee with Amor at the coffee shop. 
  • Clock In : Arrive at Moon Command, chit-chat with your co-workers, visit HR to get a change in duties, upgrade some gear at the workshop or go right to your mentor for your assignment. 
  • Mission : Every day the game will generate a random mission for the Intern. Missions vary greatly in gameplay depending on current narrative, play style, player level and colony health. Missions are generated to be either totally action focused or tech focused, or they can be a challenging combination of the two if the player is deemed competent by the Captain.
  • Clock Out : Return to Moon Command to get your daily pay before clocking out. Choose from a variety of activities including explore and shop in a chosen zone, go to a number of date locations with Amor, or risk your pay and items in the very special high risk-reward endless mode. 
  • Evening : Return to your apartment for the night. Make dinner, invite Amor over, decorate, do some online shopping, or just go to bed early to quickly get to the next day with a hefty boost to your stats.

The day cycle is shaken up in a couple more ways as well. If certain variables have been met, instead of a random mission the player will experience a pre-scripted, non-generated story mission. There are about 4 story missions per story arc and upon completion of a story mission, many parts of the gameplay and narrative will change and this is especially noticeable in enemies, npc dialog and additional level generator themes. In addition to the layer of narrative focused changes to the day cycle, there is a very short commuting scene between each day segment. Commuting scenes add tid-bits to the gameflow like traffic jams, weirdos on the bus, special enemy or character encounters, comedic scenes or stumbling upon a special item to add more variety to each day.

Moon Intern is still alive and I hope before next month we'll have something new and exciting for the testers. The next update will come on July 31st, the blue moon. Until then, hope y'all are having a great summer. Stay cool!

Love, Larry!

Full Moon Intern #5


Howdy, good people!

So this was a much better month than last! We’ve got a new build for testers that we've submitted to Humble (though as of this post it is not yet live), and we’re driving forward with development. I pushed hard to get another test build this month, mostly because it’s been a few months since the last one and I want to make sure y’all know we are hard at work. We almost decided we weren’t going to put out a new build, as we’re trying to focus on the long-run opposed to slapping something together for show which would be nice but not real. I had hoped for this demo to include level generation with working interior/exterior structures to explore, but unfortunately it does not. BUT FEAR NOT! Level generation and exterior structure generation is working together for the first time. See!

Random terrain and a structure generation
Random terrain and a structure generation

As mentioned before, Peter is being cautious with this as we don't want to build features on top of the generator until it's foundation is solid. He doesn't even want the actual art there yet (and that makes me a sad panda). It's looking really great and I'm really impressed. If you're into the technical stuff Pete's describes it as "A building is now placed randomly in the scene using a template image which is then converted into a series of tiles (based on what tileset you want the building to be formed from) and then constructed from the chosen tileset. This is so that building layouts can be tileset/theme independent."

Behind the scenes the inventory is working great as far as knowing what items the Intern currently has, however we aren't communicating that in the menus just yet. In-game inventory and menus are Gewargis' top priority over the next couple weeks though and that will add a lot to the game once implemented. We've got a bunch of art assets in the works for the variety of weapons the Intern can collect and I'm looking forward to seeing them in action. Below is a a screenshot of the HUD art doc as it looked a few seconds ago when I took said screenshot. You can see some icons that describe shot types (lob, wave, boomerang, spread and standard) among other weapon-esque tropes like charge shot and AoE damage.

A collection of the HUD art we've been working on
A collection of the HUD art we've been working on

Mason is having a good time working on the different types of projectiles we'll include in the game. Over the weekend he made a bunch of progress on this, including getting the previously mentioned spread shot working. Speaking of the weekend, as we've mentioned many times before we all have day jobs now so besides working on the game in our spare time, we get together to do "Moon Jams" at least once a month over a weekend. We had a jam over this past weekend and have another couple coming up this month. The jams really go a long way to helping getting this game finished and we're going to try to do more and more of them since they work so well.

Oh right! The second tester build! If you're a tester then you should know you can download the build from the Humble store by accessing your library (once it goes live on Humble's server). When running the test build, we suggest selecting to run it using either 1280x720 or 1920x1080 resolutions. We'd like it if you could report any crashes or such, but don't feel the need to wipe through it with a fine tooth comb. Whether you're a tester or not though, you can watch a quick video describing what it entails.

In the next couple weeks we'll be working to get a lot more of the in-game HUD functional, EP drain when firing weapons, more weapons, addressing animations relating to movement and weapons, interior structure generation, implementing some level designs from early story missions, general bug-fixing and code clean up, more characters, gameflow, and finally cleaning up our website a bit. We're confident we are going to have something fun to play soon and we want the website to be accessible and readable to anyone unfamiliar with us.

As always, thanks for the support everybody. We wouldn't be here without you. We're still as excited as ever for Moon Intern, and will do everything we can to make a unique and engaging experience in gameplay and storytelling you won't be able to get anywhere else.

Love, Larry!

Full Moon Intern #4


Howdy, Mooninites!

This past month we each went about our lives, trying to each get tasks done from our lists. Personally, I wish we could have gotten more done, but we still have some notable events to talk about.

The team recently assembled to discuss some new tasks as well as rulesets for the level generator. The whole thing is a bit intimidating as it’s going to be the backbone of the game, but thankfully Peter was able to make a leap of progress in the level generator a couple weeks ago. He is actively attempting to implement structures into the terrain generator this very second, and I hope by the time the next Full Moon Intern comes around we’ll have a demo that allows exterior and interior exploration. Mason and Gewargis are still on Weapons, Enemies, HUD and Inventory systems, and working close with Peter on that.

I’m honing my blade of pixelart. I moved along on drawing many npc portraits over the last month, making additions to the website almost every day. I’m still working out a new format to present them in, as posting them on our kickstarter page was starting to look a bit rubbish in the news feed. I stuck nose nose the the grinder today and finished redraws of 6 more characters but I still need to color correct them before adding them to the website. With the tardiness of our delivery of Moon Intern, I want to make sure the backers who are becoming characters in the game are drawn as quickly as possible to help fulfill what is arguably our biggest promise. I have hundreds of characters to draw, but still want a sense of quality to adhere to. There’s a difficult to balance to that, but sticking to drawing a character each day really helps. I'm hoping I'll soon be up to 3 a day, and once I'm there I'll be able to have that task knocked out of the park in no time at all.

I’m disappointed we didn’t get a new build out for the testers this month. I really could have put something together, but I just didn’t finish the art I wanted for it, and thus haven’t put the objects into the scene I’m working on. As I’ve talked about previously, the level I’m putting together isn’t terribly advanced, but it’s a place to test some abilities and interactable objects. I don’t want to put off that task any longer, so that’s what I’m going to make my mission to complete this coming week.

We are finally encountering some nicer weather here in Chicago, and it’s time we all emerge from our winter slumbers and shake off our cloudy-day blues. We’re looking forward to a great summer of development, and I hope we can share some good news with you all soon.

Love, Larry!