One of our main design ideals for Eden Star is that the player should always be able to make their mark on the world. Weapons should do damage to anything they hit, and if it does not break, there should still be some visual evidence of its effect.
Something we’ve been having fun with recently is the destruction of vegetation, and making it look believable and (as always) awesome. The following images are a taster of the flora concepts that make up the more lush areas of environment.
When a player sweeps an energy beam over a forest, it would be easy to just make the foliage take damage, disappear and be replaced with a shower of particles, but that isn’t really satisfying for us. The foliage we’re working on has various damage states, and if it is not completely destroyed, can grow back.
Hopefully, this will mean that players will not accidentally transform whole forests into deserts during a firefight!
Combined with the physically reactive nature of our foliage, deforestation never felt so good!
It may be possible to absorb energy from vegetation, so if you find yourself in a forest surrounded by enemies, you have some resources to defend yourself.
This system also allows our levels designers flexibility when creating areas of the world and allows a more dynamic experience. Foliage assets will begin games in different states which in turn not only provides a different visual experience each time you play the game but a different playing experience.
For example, when you first walk into an area you may find many mature plants which have a high energy value when absorbed, but if you restart the game the plants in the same area may not be fully-grown, which means you will not receive the same amount as energy as before.
For gameplay reasons, regrowth of foliage currently happens quite quickly. We are balancing regrowth rates, energy values and the amount of damage each plant can take as we test internally.
If you'd like to tell us what you think, and if you've got some cool ideas, speak up and be heard on the forums!
As always, if you haven’t already, you can play the Pre-alpha Combat Tech Demo now by pre-ordering Eden Star here!
Only $15 gets you the UE3 Tech Demo and full access to the UE4 based Alpha and beyond!