The statue of M, player in a spacesuit and the bunker entrance.
We made a quite simple stone texture with silver horns. The 3D module itself is available below! If you’re on Windows 3D paint should already be the default tool which you can use to paint the deer.
If you make an awesome painted deer we would love to see it!
Steam steam steam
We made some simple build-scripts for Lunar Soil for easier building and uploading of the game to various platforms. We’re using Unity but when we’re switching target platform we have to sit there and wait all day for the assets to be recalculated, then we have to sit and wait for the build to finish. When working with a larger project like this that takes forever. So now we’ve a simple script that compiles Mac, Win and Linux 32 and 64 bit builds in one go. Then if we want it to; it uploads the game to our internal branch on Steam, itch.io or other places. When uploaded it sends a message to our chat channel.
Yes yes it’s dowwwnloading! Steam is a pretty slick place to distribute alpha builds on.
We have a terrain generation process where we can create detailed and interesting pieces automatically. When these are done we refine them manually to clear some of the rough edges. However, the system hasn’t been able to add textures automatically until now. We are tweaking the system to use more textures based on height now. So we for example, can have icy snow at the top of mountains and sand or dirt at the bottom. Hopefully we’ll have some more interesting outside screenshots in the upcoming month’s posts when this system is ready.
Steam is a good place for us to share some early builds for testing and validation as well as alpha and beta builds; more on that in the future.
Want to follow the Lunar Soil progress? Well then you should continue to read this awesome blog because we’re going to continue posting something new here every week. And don’t forget to play your free copy of Spacebase 19!
Time, time, time. And some survival needs! In this week’s devlog which will be about Lunar Soil we’ll be talking about:
Spacesuit and indoor gear.
How time works in Lunar Soil.
How time affects mood and characteristics.
Why we bought The Sims 4 on PlayStation.
One small step for man, one giant leap for clotheschanging-kind
Each character has an indoor setup with clothes like hats, pants and other accessories (for example backpacks). They also have an outdoor setup with a spacesuit and an airtank. Moreover, main hand and offhand tools are shared between the indoor and outdoor setup. However, we noticed a problem with this; when being in an outside scene and going inside we wanted to show your indoor stuff. When being in indoor scenes we simply loaded the indoor gear. As we’ve created smaller outside buildings, we saw a need to seamlessly switch between the these two states; both for air re-supply reasons and base building reasons.
So to solve this issue, we first tried make an awkward scene transition. This scene transition ended up just punishing players for going inside and outside and slowed down the game pace. Another thought was that you had to take off your spacesuit yourself which was just cumbersome and boring.
So now we’ve landed on this magical poofing super streamlined transition extravaganza (as can be seen below); putting on your spacesuit automatically!
The flow of time at the rate of 42
We implemented and combined our night and day cycles with our main lights for the in-game time-system. Time goes by pretty fast in-game and we’re still tweaking the correct value; Douglas Adams seams to know a thing or two about that as 42 looks to be a pretty good amount of seconds per in-game hour. Time should flow quite fast since we want short days and nights; avoiding having you stucked in long, dark night. Shadow and light will mainly play a role in viability and we might need to take care of designing enough interesting light-sources for base building.
Designing personality traits with time
Time is pretty important in Lunar Soil. It affects a lot of game-systems like character’s needs and physiology, trading and cargo shipment, scientific research, plants growth and constructions. We created some pretty simple but really useful events which we can design around; we have hourly events, minutes, weekdays as well as four parts of the day (morning, afternoon, evening and night). For now, we don’t need monthly or yearly events but we do keep track of months and years as well.
Now that we have this time system implemented we can for example begin to look at how the mental-state of an AI reacts to and will be affected by time. For example, the time system could affect moods and characteristics (that allow different dialogue options) or simply just change the amount of stamina a person has at night that is afraid of the dark. We can start to design personality traits like “morning person” which would give a character bonuses and efficiency in the morning. A specialist miner that only finds rare gems at night – is a another example of this.
The survival needs in Lunar Soil
Right now we’re also digging deeper into the the survival needs of your crew; looking at how to design the UI the best way for both gamepad, mouse and keyboard. We just bought The Sims 4 on PlayStation to see how they deals with the handling pf several characters’ needs for gamepad. Our aim is to make the game super user-friendly which can become tricky as we have many recourse managing systems needing space in our UI. Our UI should be as minimal as possible, adding to the game play, not disrupting it. Looking at how other games deals with similar systems can sometimes add some thoughts when figuring out how to best design our UI – or how to not design it 😉 Being a good designer means playing or investigating many games and how players play them which can give you inspiration and some do’s and don’ts.
Some of the basic survival needs in Lunar Soil are stamina, food, health and air (and of course the personality stuff which we’ll be talking more about later, meanwhile read this post about Big Five). When out on missions these needs will become a somewhat important aspect of the gameplay. When you are low on stamina you will become slow and and for example unable to chop stones. This will force you trying to get home, rest or eat some some super-food. Being low on air means that your health will take damage; if ignored you will eventually get injured and unconscious and wake up in the medic bay.
To survive you must also eat. You will probably have around 100-200 food points. At each stage during the day; the morning, afternoon, evening and night, we’ll reduce the food points by -10, meaning that one day will cost you around 40 food points (how much points that will be reduced during each stage will of course be tweaked until we reach a perfect balance; or almost perfect at least 😉 ).
We actually wanted to have a water need as well, but removed it as it is too similar to the food need. We will have water as a trade-able recourse instead.
Our button-based puzzle game imprint-X got some more love on Steam today.
We added one new small world with 3 unique puzzles and 4 bosses. It’s also updated to the latest Steam SDK for slightly better achievements reporting. Moreover, we updated to the latest Unity version so the Linux version should now be more stable.
The Windows build got some slight frame improvements with the update; however, it was already over 60 FPS to begin with.
The Mac version stopped working completely with the new Unity and High Sierra; crashing as soon as we got into the game. Turns out ironically that if we disabled all Unity’s remote bug tracking and analytics everything started working again.
We also changed the graphics option to default to low on Mac as the Metal rendering part can’t really handle swirly background shaders on retina mode. With that said the shader might be more optimal for OpenGL then whatever the thing Metal is doing. Don’t think we are going to spend any time optimizing for metal right now. The shader works but we’re talking 20 fps here after playing a couple of levels.
Future design tweaks
We might need to change the design a little bit for the puzzles; if you get stuck now you can always take another branch in a world. But what if you get stuck on both branches?! then you’re stuck farming enough hearts so you can use the star-power-up to skip a level.
Some kind of challenging mode with a set of randomly selected puzzles might be a way going at it, we’ll see. The new mini worlds after the first 6 world are unlocked at start so you can jump directly into them without passing go.
We just released a new RymdResa patch. The patch is mostly targeting Mac as we had a pretty strange bug there.
We have had this bug for a while now and some of you might recognize it. When you start the game we load a bunch of sprites and assets. On Mac, these files, sometimes doesn’t load at all and are reported as missing. This can happen when the program reach a max limit on how many files the program can read at once.
This limit should kick in at about 100 files or even more, but in our case it randomly appeared now and then. The ugly fallback hack was to simply re-init the application because then it would try to get the files again and eventually be able to read all the files!
This was fine if the process needed to restart once or twice. But with the recent Mac OS updated this could happen up to 20 times! And as a result the screen would flicker between black and grey looking like the application had crashed for good.
We fixed this now! We updated our framework to a more stable version in which some other smart people already solved this problem for us, so we just had to make it compatible with our stack. However this introduces some problems for older version of mac OS.
If you get this swenglish message or your combination of english + any language Steam thinks it should display to you regardless of your OS settings;
then grampa you’re running on an old OS version, it’s time to upgrade to High Sierra!
But But but what if I can’t?
Pfff! We just upgraded a +6 year old macbook air, so can you! But i’m too lazy! Fine! the old broken mac branch will be available on steam as well, just go under properties in Steam, go to betas and change to mac branch and the old versions should be there.
Right now we’re working on an imprint-X patch with some new levels, but again we have some different mac errors, possibly due to some changes to metal and one of our strange background shaders. But for now, all we got is the not so useful error:
Native Crash – Mono JIT frame (Unknown File).
The hunt goes on. Also you should play our free minigame Spacebase 19 where you can take revenge on the evil RymdResa stones.
Spacebase 19 is now released and available to to all our subscribers!
Play a fun little classic arcade turret defense game. Defend your base, blast asteroids, pickup power-ups (new turrets), keep track of your heat and reach new high scores!
Check your mail for download link!
We have sent out an invitation mail to all our subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed yet you can do it here to get the game.
Spacebase 19 features:
25 challenging levels/rounds with a twist of procedural elements!
6 powerful turret towers to defend your base.
A mini 3 track soundtrack made by us.
Turret heat-system with smoke!
Bloooom, screen-shake and gamepad rumble.
Pretty nice pixelart.
The evil stones from RymdResa.
Gamepad, mouse and keyboard support!
Linux, Windows and Mac support!
The minigame Spacebase 19 will also be available inside Lunar Soil where you can play and win item rewards like gears and in game trade-goods. We wrote about the arcade machines which you will be able to find in Lunar Soil last week, read about them over here.
We love making games so we decided to design a classical minigame where you control a turret and defend your base from incoming asteroids. At your disposal you have a basic turret; you can also pickup new powerful ones with a limited amount of ammo. Make sure you’re not overheating your turret by blasting too quickly! Each mini round has a distinct challenging pattern of hazards, some with randomized and procedural elements to keep it fresh.