Good morning, fellow backers!
As many of you know, a couple of weeks ago we released the current version of After Reset RPG on Steam Early Access (SEA). As I promised, from this moment on each of our updates will coincide with the release of a new patch. These patches need to show serious additions or corrections that were completed (by the team) between updates.
Today's update is dedicated to addressing the game's first week on SEA, other game development news, and a small contest that was created for our Kickstarter backers and Co-Founders only, which we'll talk about towards the end.
PATCH #033115 RELEASED!
Some of our backers may have noticed that your Steam application After Reset RPG was updated on Tuesday, March 31. Although you can read all the patch notes in PatchNotes.txt (which is in your game folder), I'd like to publish the full list of changes in this update so that any future backers can follow our chronological process from start to finish.
After Reset RPG, Patch Notes #033115
Released on Tuesday, March 31, 2015
• Fixed an error in the application launcher for the WIN 32 version.
• Highlighting system fixed to produce exponentially transparent aura.
• ESC hotkey now returns back to previous menu in the main menu.
• Fixed an issue with the voice of the Prologue narration.
• Fixed the text of narration.
• General description for skills amended.
• Strength STAT description edited (now it says the Strength affects chances to force opening mechanical locks).
FEATURES & CHANGES:
• Door scripts added (with 4 possible stages open/close/locked/sealed). However, you can't hack/lockpick/brake doors yet. Use ALT+Z to change the stages of the doors for tests.
• Tutorial pop-ups added.
• Character speed (walk/run) adjusted to SACPIC mechanics (30/15ft per round for Humans).
• "Game Paused" message is added when you pause the game by pressing spacebar.
• "Game Over" screen for Gyes added. Use ALT+P for suicide and test.
• In-game date/time panel added.
• In-game skill panel added.
• In-game log panel added.
• New Loading Screen arts for the Special Facility level added (they depends on character’s gender selected).
• Animations for normal walk/run (for Humans) added. If your character, your human allies, human NPCs have less than 10% of their HP, they will use that shambling animation.
• Footsteps system added with majority of footsteps sounds.
• Gyes doors sounds added (open/close/locked/sealed).
• All in game sounds are bonded to SFX volume control.
• Various game-over narrations added.
• ECLCC and Plasma Reactor sounds added.
• When the game is paused music and all sounds except UI is muted at 50%.
• Game Over music added.
• Laboratory CCP-5 room completed (capsules, engines, infrastructure added).
About shambling animation. During the game you be able to identify HP of enemies only if you got and set relevant augmentation for your CORE-7 implant. Without it you will be able to see the general state of the enemy (Uninjured/Barely Injured/Injured/Badly Injured/Near Death/Dead). That shambling animation will help you to identify the most injured human enemies. As well as it should attract your attention to your wounded allies and help them in time. Beyond that, it should bring more realism and fun, I believe.
About doors. Every door in the game might have one of the 4 states:
1. Unlocked. You can open/close it without obstacles. You can also break the lock of the door to make it Broken or Sealed.
2. Locked. You can't open/close locked door. You need to use your skill Lockpick to unlock it first if the lock is mechanical); or to use Science skill to hack the lock if is electronic. You can also try to open mechanical locks/doors by force (your Strength STAT affects the results). You can't open electronic locks by rough force. Beyond that, you can break the lock of the door to make it Broken or Sealed.
3. Broken. You need to repair the broken lock before opening it (if the lock was unlocked before you broke it) or before picking/hacking it (if the lock was locked before you broke it).
4. Sealed. There is nothing you can do with this lock. If it is the door sealed - proper explosives are your only chances to cope with this door.
You can ask: why should break any unlocked door? why should I seal it? The answers are in the game-play context. E.g. you can break the door control panel to seal something (or someone) inside. Considering something (or someone) killed almost all personnel at the advanced military base, the brain and smarts of the gamer are the only chance to survive for your character.
Guys, please, keep in mind: despite the skills are displayed correctly you can’t use them yet in this build. We are adding their activation in the future builds step by step with relevance to our in game tutorial pop ups.
A BIT ABOUT STEAM EA:
So, it has happened! The first week of being on Steam was as emotional as going up Mt. Calvary, but we are here! Honestly, guys, we couldn't have gotten to this point without your support.
Right now, many are asking why we released the game on Steam without having finished the Prologue. The reasons behind this decision lay in the fact that we have already started using SEA for distribution management. No more '5 days to prepare, upload, update, fix' for each separate platform (Windows, Linux and Mac). Build synchronization in the folders of my computer happens practically automatically now. By the way, this factor allowed us to fix the problem with loading the game on 32-bit Windows in one day. This means that if you guys run into a serious bug, we will be able to fix it right away and you won't have to wait for half a month for the next patch to come in.
Additionally, you shouldn't forget that we have a contract with Steam that entails specific conditions. Please remember that from the moment the contract was signed we have stopped accepting any donations on PayPal and began to ask our fans to wait for the SEA. Though we are extremely dedicated to our work, we are just an Indie studio and for us each penny counts, and all of it goes toward developing a great product. Thanks to your support, we don't have financial difficulties in completing the Prologue as we planned (though I think it’s going to be better than we planned), I need to consider how the game will be developed from start to finish. This includes the most pessimistic of scenarios. In any case, it would have not been logical to refuse those who wanted to support our work. We didn't mean to offend anyone. On the other hand, it would not have been correct (on our end) to sell user-keys outside of the Steam platform, abusing its trust and not sharing the profit with it.
Anyway, now it is done. We're on SEA and with your reliable moral and financial support we continue our every day work on the Prologue with peace and dedication.
CO-FOUNDER STATUSES FOR STEAM EARLY ACCESS BACKERS:
Almost 4,000 people added us to their wish lists the first week that the game was on Steam. Fifty of them supported us financially by purchasing the SEA. Of course, some of them have probably been following the game and waiting for us to start accepting payments. But most of them are new members of our community and we would like to say: "Thank you, guys! And welcome aboard!"
This is the first news for you. If you are just now joining us you may not know that we try hard to make our dedicated fans happy. We don't do this for marketing or PR reasons; we simply want to show our gratitude.
I didn't announce this part in the news on purpose, but if you have purchased After Reset RPG on SEA before this news came out, you can receive a Co-Founder status for free! To tell you the truth, this feature is not for sale and is only given out on very special occasions. It gives you access to avatars and the closed parts of our forum with additional content. You can read more about the Co-Founder status here: Afterreset.com
In order to receive the Co-Founder status:
- Make sure that you purchased After Reset RPG on SEA BEFORE the release of this article.
- Send us a screenshot or any other document proving the date of purchase of After Reset RPG on SEA.
- Send us the name of your forum account (not your Steam account) that you want us to set to Co-Founder status.
Guys, thank you again for believing in us, supporting us, and writing all of your honest reviews on Steam.
Btw, if you're our Co-Founder already, don't miss our exclusive 8xHD screenshots of the Commander Cell and Alan Bodrick collectible figure from the Fall of Gyes graphic novel add-on: Afterreset.com
As you may have noticed, we have frozen access to support the After Reset OST add-on. Most likely, we will open access right before the official release date, when we are done working with the soundtrack. Nevertheless, our Kickstarter and Direct Pledge backers already have the closed version of the update (if it was included into the list of their rewards). They were able to notice the past update of this add-on.
Guys, you can enjoy a new track "Game Over" :) Just to remind you: the folders with add-ons are located on your computers in the same folder where Steam installed After Reset RPG.
For everybody else, I'm uploading a couple of looped ambiences that we have prepared for different rooms in the Gyes bunker, where all of the Prologue actions will take place: Kickstarter.
"PERSONAL APPEARANCE" FEATURE - FIRST BACKERS:
Friends, our ranks are bolstered today by the first backer who has ordered a personal character model of himself! Of course, it will be available to every player, but to run around as YOU in the game is very cool! I always wanted to have that feature in Mass Effect and Dragon Age :).
The name of this backer is Jacob Ganor and he really looks like Dominic Purcell from Prison Break. We've already sent his photos to our designers. Usually, it takes approximately three weeks to draw a head, but don't you worry, we've employed freelancers we work with on a regular basis to make sure that creating Jacob’s model will not take time away from the main game development.
In addition to financial support, Jacob has also helped us as a military consultant, because he works in the defense industry as an engineer and inventor. "Tony Stark" helped me to determine the final technologies of the light armors for the Civilian Police Departments of the UG and UG's Army MP. No liquid armor, after all. Despite the fact that modern mass media popularize this technology, due to various reasons, it will not be suitable in the underground bunkers of the UG. By 132 AR, the United Governments has almost completely switched to high-energy weapons to protect Underearth. Thus, liquid armor lost popularity to light ceramic armor, which uses Be2B, Be4B and TiBe12 alloys for the kinetic plates and Ceramic Wool Fiber as the soft filling for energy protection. I will save you from technical specifications of patents and other documents, but I will say the following: true technical properties of the materials used for armor will greatly affect game design and characteristics of that armor.
At this time, we are working on light armor for the United Governments Army Military Police Corps, which you will be able to wear in the Prologue.
Thank you, Jacob!
NEW HARD SCI-FI LORE OF AFTER RESET SETTING:
If you have been following our updates, you know that After Reset RPG may well become the first Hard Sci-Fi video game on Wikipedia :).
If you have been following our updates even more carefully, you may have noticed I am very impressed by Peter Watts' short story The Things. After I found out that all of Peter's creative work is based on a hard sci-fi scientific approach, I couldn't stop reading. Suddenly, I discovered The Blindsight, Echopraxia and the Rifters trilogy. It’s incredible! I haven't read anything this amazing for over six years.
Being so impressed with his work I decided to write to Peter and he answered! Just like that, like I answer each one of you, my friends! My complements, Mr. Watts!
Between the books that I read and my talks with Peter, I feel that it's once again raised the bar for my critical approach to the hard sci-fi element that makes up a big part of After Reset RPG. In the past several weeks, together with a small Scientific Council, I have gone over physics-ecology-geography-biology-genetics of Biomasses and Red Zones. I would like to say a special 'thank you' to Andrew Leshuk and Alex Shirokolaev for constructive criticism and pointing out weak spots in the setting, from a scientific point of view. Finally, all of the dark spots in the setting for the Biomass and Red Zones have been lit, and I'm quite satisfied with it as the author. Finally, all of the scientific consultants are happy with the result and believe in the final version of all of the concepts. I think we can write a thesis on each of the mentioned topics :).
What will this mean for the players in the near future? I have prepared quite impressive lore documents that you will be able to find in computers and various literatures laying around Gyes, as you are playing through the Prologue. I also post and update them on the Co-Founders section of our forum. Beware, some do contain spoilers! Nevertheless, there’s so much interesting information that now we can afford to share one of the correspondence fragments without giving out the plot. You will be also able to download this fragment into your Theseus in the game:
EXTRACT FROM THE ARTICLE "GIGANTIC RED ZONES AMOEBAS"
... The Scientific Corps has finished its expedition to the outskirts of the Rock Springs Red Zone. In the course of multiple diving sessions into the depths of a provisional Red Zone perimeter (Van Allen Radiation Outer Belt for this zone is approximately 12 miles) the scientists discovered, filmed and collected samples of incredible creatures that to this day remained unknown to science. One of the most noticeable distinctions of these astonishing organisms is their gigantic size.
Among the most sensational of the found organisms there are huge worms, giant centipedes, spiders and dog-size scorpions. The scientists have also discovered a 6-yard-long amoeba in the area. As a result of this expedition, the list of Surface animals now includes specimens that were unknown to science before this day. Many specimen samples of various life forms were taken and will be passed on for identification, detailed analysis and DNA decoding to various scientific corporations in different cities of the Underearth.
According to Robert Watts, the head of the Red Zones expeditions, gigantism is quite normal for such areas. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the gigantism phenomenon, which can be traced to the fact that animal forms reach such large sizes under extreme conditions, has still not been explained scientifically. In the abovementioned case, we can only presume that there is some type of a cause-and-effect connection between the gigantic creatures we are discovering today and those that lived deep under water and on some remote islands on the planet before the Reset.
We should also point out that the Rock Springs Red Zone expedition was conducted not only to research biological variability, but also to determine the type of an effect Red Zones have on climate change and the possibility of a new biosphere formation on the surface after the Reset.
"Many of the local organisms here live in the dark and feed on radiation that is abundant in Red Zones," said Watts. "Some of the species of the collected invertebrates use the energy of radioactive decay to develop and absorb radiation using the black melanin pigment, which is present in animals and humans. However, judging by the collected samples, the melanin that was 'activated' by radiation is 16 times more effective in the ATP biosynthesis process of these creatures than it is in the cells of all known organisms that populated Earth before the Reset. Some of the footage we saw is shocking! It's amazing to see all these creatures, which evolved right here on Earth, but look as if they came from some unknown planet. In some places, the ground is swarming with these gigantic Red Zone organisms."
HARD SCI-FI CONTEST:
Finally, at the very end of today's update, I would like to hold a small Hard Sci-Fi Contest, which will help you all feel closer to the incredible post-apocalyptical world of planet Earth after the Reset. Your participation in the Contest will also inspire us and give us new ideas.
The point of the contest:
Having ran around Gyes for a bit, you have already encountered something that visually looks like energy fields instead of doors (in patch 030315 you could easily walk through these but that was a mistake. We fixed that and now you need to turn them off at the control console in order to walk through them). Your task is to try and explain how they appear and operate, or rather explain the phenomenon that you see and its properties. Explain it from the point of view of theoretical physics, and the principles of hard science fiction.
The contest is active until our next news-update is posted, which will be approximately in 2-3 weeks.
How to participate:
Feel free to post your theories right in the comments section on Kickstarter (if you are a backer). Or on our official message board here: Afterreset.com
Anyone can post their thoughts and theories under our message-board, but we will only consider the answers of our Kickstarter backers and users with Co-Founder status as part of the Contest.
Various digital add-ons that you don't yet have will be given out as rewards:
- The Fall of Gyes graphic novel;
- After Reset OST
- Wastelander Package;
At the end I would like to add some clarifications and 'suitable' and 'unsuitable' examples. Let me remind you that hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific accuracy and technical detail. One requirement for hard sci-fi is procedural or intentional: a story should try to be accurate, logical, credible and rigorous in its use of current scientific and technical knowledge about which technology, phenomena, scenarios and situations are practically and/or theoretically possible. With that said, you don't have to give us formulas and specifics (though we do love that), because hard science fiction is still science fiction and its plot is usually built on one or several scientific assumptions or hypotheses. In sci-fi, the picture of the world as a whole is usually logical and not contradictory. In the world of After Reset, such an assumption is the possibility of the portable collectors and high-power energy sources for the United Government faction, whose level of technology is equal to 2150-2180 AD, according to the development of modern society under globalization.
For example, let's take the classical light-saber from "Star Wars" (my favorite space opera, although it's not hard sci-fi). In the world of reality and hard science fiction, such a saber cannot exist due to physical properties of light and other constraints of our world. On the other hand, we could reproduce visual and some of the physical properties of such a saber. Theoretically, this is possible using today’s technologies and all we need is to:
- Use plasma instead of light.
- Make the blade of the saber ceramic (the type and structure of which will depend on the type of plasma used).
- Install generators with strong electro-magnetic fields, which will keep the plasma in a form that flows around the blade, inside the blade and possibly inside the surrounding chamber.
- Build a heat insulation and cooling system into the blade.
- Build a hot plasma supply chamber into the guard.
Of course, the result is going to be bulky and not at all graceful. Plus, there's going to be a long train of cords/cooling agents/plasma power supplies extending from it. But we can create a light-saber right now, if we wanted to! Imagine someone from the 80's seeing our plasma stick at work, cutting metal and making all kinds of noise! They would definitely think that it was the real light-saber from Star Wars.
The hard science fiction technology concept approach (which I use when writing After Reset) takes into consideration all known factors, including: economy (how much will it cost to create such an object for a specific function considering current technologies and materials), socio-cultural (what is the role of this object in the culture of the given fraction), and the rational (how rational it is to have this object or technology compared to alternative options).
When the contest is over and we have chosen the winners, we will share our explanation for these "obstacles" (I’m not giving their name on purpose, as to not curb your fantasy). We will also share the best answers to the riddle. Our scientific consultants and all of the game development staff will play the role of judges :).
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Once again, thank you, my friends, for your support and participation!
We can hardly wait for your theories and thoughts on the given task!