The Chinese New Year is here and that means game discounts! There is now a steam sale going on and our games are in it! We decided to celebrate the Chinese New Year with 40% discounts on imprint-X and RymdResa! The discounts are running from February 15th to 19th.
Here come some mediocre salesmanship pitches with some awesome screenshots:
Now you can invite your friends and families into total loneliness and despair as they fly around in our one-of-a-kind-poetic-space odyssey with a fantastic 40% discount on steam! Follow the depressed pilot in an epic adventure, or as Polygon said:
Sail the stars in the world’s most relaxed roguelike.
Our amazing button-pressing psychedelic puzzler. Hack your way into the nanobots and save people, yourself and stretch your imagination of logical puzzles that will blow your mind with their simplicity or break your keyboard in anger because of the said simplicity!
Lately, we’ve been working with a new design problem regarding an old door and some even older coding language. A quick summary of the week:
New room and level-design
working on the door design problem
A side-track in computer networking
Adventures in C++
Bunker level-design progress
Pretty straightforward work on the old slaving-away at the level-design work, it’s quite relaxing once you nailed down the design and just have to execute. Work on the cellar is ongoing and we are wrapping up some of the other rooms like this sleep-work-play-die room. The arcade machine in the picture will contain some mini games like a RymdResa auto-ship-runner.
There might be some more room for moremore2 graffiti in this scene here?!
The door problem
Once you’ve gotten into the bunker you will be presented with a gigantic door of awesomeness, and obviously you would like to have a look behind that door right? What could possibly be behind this thing? Nothing horrible right? right?!
The door problem is about the different ways the player can discover or choose to open the door. We usually solve design-problems like this with staring silently into the void, waving our arms around, drinking tea or just thinking and coming up with solutions to a totally made up problem like the one of the big giant door.
As you play Lunar-Soil you can bring some brilliant AI companions with you on your adventure, these companions have different classes and specializations. So one way to open the door would simply be to find the two key-cards hidden somewhere in the scene.
Another way would be to ask your scientist to make sense of the strange glowing light-thingy-computer. Or you could nicely ask your security guard to open the security-box located in the backroom that holds the key to the shiny security overwrite-key-card box in the cellar? Well you get the idea.
An example of another way to open some other doors in this GIF (by right-clicking):
And here is the cellar in progress.
And now for some nerd stuff:
TCP vs UDP
We didn’t just spend the week running around making things pretty we also wrote a small UDP client in node.js that is connected to our new overlord. And when we did that, we also did some research on the apparently ancient flame-wars (before the age of memes) filled debate about what network protocol actually is the most awesome for things like games. So one thing lead to another so we accidentally coded a TCP server in node.js and then a TCP client in C++, and that’s a perfect segway to our next headline:
Adventures in C++
Now and then it’s hard to wash of the horrible taint and smell of 3rd-party libraries doing all the horrible decisions for you. Most post-release bugs for RymdResa is/was around 3rd-party crap that we cant really fix.
This is actually also the bonus (and a good thing) you get with Unity, you don’t have to care how anything works, write a game and hope that it works. So the urge to actually know what we’re doing hopefully is a feeling most of humans have, right? At least some of us have that feeling, this guy in the jungle totally does. People that have that feeling and are working with game development usually goes back to build an engine from scratch! And then you hear about projects taking like 10 years, what a bad idea!
But to have control over your stuff makes you able to write more lightweight, faster and more different programs, tools and games. A simple empty window doesn’t have to have 2 GB of RAM..
So we are not building another engine, we have just created this pretty little side project that might become a game thing wrapped in anciently modern coded c++ only needing 10MB vs 500MB of RAM.
Oh and also making anything from a lower-level requires like 10000 small things so here is some good things we had to read and study this week, enjoy:
This week’s development-time was mostly covered by pushing forward with levels, lights and some really small system-designs. We spent a week inside a stone bunker in space.
We are using the strange empty bunker as a pilot for all the new gadgets and things we already made like the interactive system, AI etc. Let’s enter the place shall we.
Most of the workflow comes from blocking out the design and then adding life and soul to it through firstly textures, then light. Then we add more details and script interactive elements like buttons, doors switches and then we add some more lights, lot’s of lights and shadows, you know.. making the actual thing..
Stories, poems or just drawing (yes more graffiti, because we ran out of walls!) can be found on screens around the level. Some of them will shed some light of what has actually happened in the bunker. Some will be a picture of a strange pyramid-gadget…
We also worked on some posters…. You should totally signup on Lunar Soils website (it will not increase or decrease any depth you might have accumulated).
We reached a good level of details for the bunker back-rooms…
Space-books and strange machines…
What’s going on here?
If you check the pictures above you can see that the character still needs some more detailed and more stylized clothes! They can’t always be dressed up like some kind of super plumbers now, can they?
We took a break from finishing all the gameplay systems like the one from the last post and made some decals and graffiti! We also worked on level-design as well as overhauling our lightning and quality settings. Lunar Soil contains different types of levels, interior levels like bunkers, ships, moon-bases, satellites, cave-systems and the outdoor world where you have to have your spacesuit on.
When we build levels we usually start blocking out the layout and set the goals for the level, like what we want to happen, what to gain or what to experience. Anyway sometimes its easier to explain design with anything else but words so here comes a lot of picture and stuff!
Here is a volumetric light coming from a emissive glowing area “subtly” hinting about a pressure valve that can be turned to avoid the hot steam over at the red blinking light.
We also made some style progress with some graffiti decals!
Here is a another style for a backroom in one of the levels.
And here is the final result of one off the graffiti pieces in Lunar Soil
You might have noticed that the fellows are dressed up in some strange outfits! Yes that’s right its from Super Vamio! No copyright included! Hopefully we can include some fun outfits in the game like these. 🙂
Also there is AAAAAALLLLOOT of things to texture in a 3d game like this awesome room.
Also had some time playing around with SDL (that is other words for Unity fatigue) and researching a lot of different kind of game-loops that were fun! As well as compiling and certifying exe files (really boring stuff).
Interactive elements and how you uuh.. interact with them! Lately we have been working on how the player should interact with resources in the world. Those resources can be ores, NPC, arcade machines, doors, switches, machines and so on.
The most simple classical scenario in games is when you a player get close to an object of interest and the game shows a hint on screen suggesting what button to press.
This system works fine, you press a button, things happen. But this doesn’t really open up to choices now does it.
In Lunar Soil things are a lite more advanced. You play as the commander of a crew, your character is not the only one that can interact with object and there might be multiple ways to interact with the same object, if you have the right requirements that is.
Let’s say you and your crew find an interesting ore deposit. The ore is pretty basic so you could mine it yourself if you have a pick-axe equipped or you could order one of your miners to try to extract some minerals.
The hint- and interactsystem will also have a button indicator with a sprite displaying the button (and fallback to text). As well as a progress bar which is animated as you progress to chop lose a part of the gold deposit.
We want to make sure that it works on all types of inputs (You can read more about input support in our last post.) So here is the same hint system with keyboard, mouse and gamepad support (xbox one and ps4 layout in the picture).
This hintsystem will be the fast system to issue commands to your crew and the main way you interact. For more complex cases we have the command UI where you have multiple choices with the same or different crew members as well as giving additional commands to your crew.
Also you should subscribe to our newsletter, we might need help to beta test a few things in the future, almost like a pre early-access sort of thing.
We made a lot of progress on editors, gamepad, lava and game-systems
Editors editors editors! We finished more of our in-editor systems and are now working on implementing all or game-systems. The biggest one is the dialogue-system. It has a build-in node-editor, with that we can freely create complex branching dialogue. We have a lot of different nodes that we can use to control the flow of conversations. Behind the scenes we use persistent trigger checkers/setters inside of a dialogue. We might make more components to it as we see fit.
We also use the dialogue-system for mini-games that will be available throughout the game in form of arcade machines. The arcade machines are mostly smaller game projects integrated into Lunar Soil. It’s quite refreshing building a small mini game now and then to test new ideas, or just to get smaller projects out of the system. Hopefully they will be a fun experiences. Players can discover new arcade machines in the world and/or craft them to get the mini games!
The nightmare of gamepad support in Unity
Also we left Unity’s badly implemented input manager behind for Rewired, the built-in manager is not just a nightmare to work with it also not able to handle different setups that well, and rumors about a new official one for years. Lunar Soil will be playable with mouse, keyboard and gamepads. Now we got support for Xbox One controller, Xbox 360, Ps4 controller and all generic controllers out there!
We also have a prototype application controlling the game through TCP from a mobile app. But we discontinue that for now as we it will increase the complexity. We might reactivate this later when we got all gamepad systems in place. The inventory is now fully controllable by gamepad, keyboard and mouse.
From sand to lava
Lava! Accidentally made a lava-shader with emissive pulsing spots, was first thinking of making a red desert shader but ended up more and more like lava so we just went with it. We haven’t started making all the shaders and blocks for various biomes and themes yet but we got the gold temple theme as our base, those will probably end up in temple based dungeons that can be found on the moon. Here is the lava in action
Clothes playing nicely with inventory one of the most important game-systems!
Took another stab at finishing off the clothes rendering system which goes hand in hand with the inventory and item systems most of the indoor clothes as well and spacesuit clothes as well as bags and headgear now work as intended. Still need to finish main-hand, off-hand and the game systems for spacesuits oxygen-tanks (when outside you need to make sure you don’t run out of air!)
As we got the basic AI tamed and in place over the last weeks (still with some bugs from the last post) we are working on the command system and interactive-node game-systems with loot tables etc; more about that in the future.