Dev Blog Post #4

A Bit of Space Dust On The Dev Blog...

Egad, another long gap between blog posts. Shame fills me for much has been going on over the past few months and there is plenty to talk about!

There’s been no shortage of work to be done as we chip away at a mountain of sub-systems and core elements of a game that now has a (crude, but working!) basic gameplay loop. We’ve had multiplayer going for a while now, but getting all of the new features to replicate and play nice online is a healthy bit of doing and always worth celebrating!

Moving Pictures From Outer Space!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending GDC and with all of the publishers, VCs, and other developers I was scheduled to talk with came the need for a small teaser video.

I was a bit hesitant to show the game in meetings while at such an early state, let alone publicly, but we have made a commitment to transparency and inclusion and I aim to stay true to it. With that, I must declare the need for a heavy dose of WORK IN PROGRESS disclaimers.

Work shown in the following footage is in a HIGH state of work-in-progress. All art, gameplay, and other visualizations of the game should be assumed to be temporary, incomplete, and otherwise not a representation of the final game!

So, what was all that anyway? There’s a bit to unpack in this little teaser video (with music courtesy of the great Thomas of URIZEN)!

The video opens up with a group of players entering a derelict ship (reduced to a grey-box environment in this content run). As they explore they manage temporary access to ship power using a large capacitor tool, open power-less doors with a breaching tool, sneak past some simplified zombie-like enemies, and ultimately reach the engine room where main power is restored to the ship.

A short montage then runs, showing an assortment of concept and prototype artwork, as well as some insight into a more art-ish version of a level tile set as seen below:

PS - If you're a senior environment artist laughing at my "kind-of-art" shots, reach out to!

Finally, a brief “post-credits”-esq scene shows a player using the powered-up engine room terminal to activate a set of turrets, wiping out a large swath of proto-zombie threats.

Ok, so that's not it though, right?

Oh, most definitely not 🙂

Where the game is at now is an interesting place – it’s playable even though the experience is extremely coarse, it looks KIND of like a game, even though the visuals are extremely basic…but no one would be convinced that it’s a shippable game at this stage. 

Most studios wouldn’t show this part of the process, which is part of what motivated me to do so, as it’s a critical part of development that every game goes through. Learning to look through our “dev goggles” and see the content for what it can become, and not what it is, is one of the most critical aspects of not just early, but even later process game development.

Promises Made

Last post I promised a deeper dive on the creative direction of the game, which would hopefully give more context to the above screenshots and footage in terms of where the game is going, rather than just where it currently is…but…

OK, I didn’t LIE…but I will be holding off on a big continuation of that topic until the next post since this one ended up taking advantage of some GDC-based video footage and is already getting a bit long in the tooth.

But rest assured, next blog post (hopefully not 3 months from now!) I will get back to the future of the game and what all these prototype versions of things are meant to BE in the long term.

Until then…


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