Tech Updates, More Screenshots and Initial Press Coverage!
Greetings all of you wonderful backers, you!
It has been a very busy first few days for us here at Tethys Interactive. We had always heard that running a Kickstarter is like a full-time job, but we never really fully understood that statement until we made the decision to start one for ourselves. Despite the struggles we've faced early on, it's been going great so far and we are so happy with the overwhelmingly positive reception Astral Terra has received thus far!
Two of the main things we endeavored to do with these updates are: 1) Deliver them frequently (but not so much that you get annoyed ) and 2) Provide informative and interesting updates. We don't want to just post an update letting you know that we're still here, you already know that! Now, let's get into it...
Games are amazing works of art, but they're also marvels of modern technology. As such, we are always working to make our game not just look and play better, but run better under the hood. Most of this stuff the average player will be entirely unaware of, but we want to keep you updated on the specifics of our development process none-the-less. Here's the gist of what we've been working on lately:
- Smoother Voxel Transitions: Astral Terra isn't like most procedural games, voxel games, sandbox games, or really any type of game. We have a lot of things at work here and it's very difficult to get it all working in tandem without any hiccups. One of the best new things that we've accomplished that is, admittedly minor and mostly aesthetic, is the transition from one biome to another. Previously, if you were in the forest and transitioned over to a snowy area, then you would notice jagged lines and an overall unfinished look - but now it's nice and smooth!
- New Memory Optimization: Not too much to say here, the game is being optiomized endlessly to make sure it runs as smooth as possible. Progress is coming along just fine!
- New Triplanar Shader: This means that textures in general are starting to look a lot nicer and sharper across the board. Higher quality textures = overall better looking game. We are extremely proud of the level of visual fidelty we've manage to achieve so far and by the time the game releases, it will be even greater!
- Occlusion Culling Optimization: This really goes a long way to improving how the game runs. Basically it means that the game calculates and displays drawscales a lot more efficiently so your FPS doesn't take as big of a hit, but it still looks great.
- Climbing plants: You've probably seen in a lot of our videos and screens that we have lots of trees and plants in the Fey areas, as expected, but we've expanded this overall. Stuff like vines and climbing and hanging in areas now and caves have stalagtites! It really adds a lot to the overall immersion.
- Dynamic Multi-Threaded Pathfinding: Unity is a fantastic development tool, but it is known to have some limitations. Basically, we're able to achieve multithread pathfinding in Unity and we wanted to make sure that was clear since it's came up in some discussions. Here is more information on how we've been able to achieve that.
Initial Press Coverage
This has been the hardest thing to come by, as is often the case with Kickstarter projects and indies in general, as we often live and die by the press. Thankfully, we have been fortunate enough to get coverage in some places and are trying our best to increase our exposure, but that's a lot easier said than done. We have a few select quotes though to show you what some outlets and blogs are already saying!
Two Dash Stash: "With the constantly changing worlds there is no limit to the wonders that Astral Terra can provide. It’s rare that a game truly leaves me in awe of what they’re doing. Astral Terra is getting to that point. The thought of ever-changing worlds, that I can change on a whim is very intriguing. I hope it lives up to its potential."
Gaming Cypher has our Kickstarter widget featured on their homepage!
United Front Gaming: "If you asked me a year ago if I liked voxel-based, sandbox gaming (think Minecraft), I would have said absolutely not...One of the standout features is this notion of smooth voxels; the world can be manipulated real time as if you were the developer mapping out the environment. It reminds me a little of Microsoft’s Project Spark."
Softpedia: "The guys from Tethys Interactive are trying to provide, through this RPG, a one of a kind experience as everything in the game, starting from the skills that players learn to the world, is unique and customizable...What makes the game so interesting is that it offers the possibility to shape the world that you are in."
Indie RPGs: "Morrowind meets Minecraft; that’s my first impression looking at this open-world 3D aRPG. The graphics are nicer than in either of these games, but it still manages to implement Minecraft’s world creation and destruction mechanics. That it does so in a truly alien-looking, open-ended fantasy world reminiscent of The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind is icing on the proverbial cake."
Thanks so much for your support so far, we are off to an exciting start. With that being said, we still have a very, very long way to go. We really need YOUR help to get there, so tell all of your friends about the game, post about it on forums, recommend it to your favorite gaming outlets and writers, Tweet about it, anything will help us out!
Once again, thank you all and we can't wait to see you out in the Astral Vales!