We've been working on Proven Lands with a super small team for some months now, creating a game in you become an explorer - not just another sandbox item collector. Packed with the real mysteries of physics, biology and chemistry, plus tons of (hopefully) reasonable science-fiction, influenced by Star Trek, Don't Starve and Project Zomboid.
In Proven Lands survival is our strongest concept. It starts with a stranded astronaut -- you. You fight hunger, thirst, strange animals, weather and even the nature itself. Give the pre alpha demo a try, attempt to survive for a few days. Right at this moment you’re able to eat everything with your helmet on (for demonstration reasons) but because we aim to be a hard sci-fi game in the future you’ll have to take off your helmet first before you can eat anything. Your initial spacesuit is weak and old. However you’ll need an armored one to survive against stronger animals and armed aliens later on – oh, and you’ll need better weapons than an axe.
As soon as you’ve mastered the first terrain biome (desert), there will be plenty to discover such as steppes, savannah like environments, forests, big rivers, caves and different planet types such as ice or volcano - each filled with tons of items and characters. The AI game master will watch your influence in a region so after some time more intelligent animals, and perhaps even aliens will start to attack you. First off though we start with simple alien villagers and introduce you to a rather basic storyline. And, because it’s a sci-fi survival game, build devices, smaller machines, factories and before you basically upgrade your “camp” to a small one-man outpost -- similar to an advanced camp in Don't Starve, just deeper, bigger, and more sci-fi.
I’d like to start with some weekly updates from now on, always on Thursdays.
It’s been some busy weeks, but we’ve achieved our internal February milestone. Yay! An important step for the voxel engine, for the game asset production and for the Unity 4 to Unity 5 update as well. The spirits are high.
We’ve also prepared some new player's building concepts for our 3D artists, which - mark my words - is a time consuming step before it finally goes to production. Every concept needs different perspectives in order to make the 3D artist’s life easier. A nice workflow for the asset pipeline if you work with distant freelancers. But see for yourself below.
Furthermore for the most part I worked on gameplay routines of the game itself. Adding missing parts, reworking other gameplay elements and testing of how it feels compared to the quick gameplay of games like Don’t Starve or Torchlight 2 (like: How is the camera in a cave? How does WASD and mouse-click-movement feel? How does item picking feels?).
A funny moment was when the terrain digging drops something like “dirt” or “iron” resources and then they suddenly started to fly up towards the sky instead of falling down. But this weird bug instantly caused Jeffrey and me to have a great idea about gravity devices, weapons or items. Also: See below.
Right now Jeffrey is re-illustrating the UI, it is something we wanted to do for a long time. Up until now the UI had three different styles over time, so we wanted to reduce it to a number of two with a few simplifications implemented. While the 3D designers work on the new buildings, both of the aliens and the players.
Next Thursday I'll tell you more about how we generate a planet with our fancy voxel engine.
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