Post news RSS Road to Alpha 8: Development Update V

Eleon Game Studio reveals more info about the upcoming Alpha 8: underground layers, AI behavior, survival tent, story mode and much more...

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Hi Galactic Survivalists!

The Experimental version is nearly around the corner! We have already started to refine some of the features that should be playable in the first iteration of the Alpha 8.0 public testing version. In addition, we are currently fixing the remaining major bugs to get the Experimental version ready for release.

1. Planet Update
In the current public version, when you dig into the ground, the textures do not change a lot. This was one of the downsides of the fixed heightmaps as the terrain shader was not very flexible with respect to textures.

In Alpha 8, the 'underground layers' are coming back. Creators will have the possibility to set up to 7 different consecutive layers for their planetary playfields.

2. AI Behavior Update

For the upcoming Experimental phase, we are developing a new AI technology, which will be used mainly for the AI of animals on the planets. We will be primarily using it on few animals on the starter planet.

2.1. Technology
We will be using a new Behaviour Tree technology for the animals. It is a visual tool, in which we can design the behaviour from small AI modules. This helps us to easily create prototypes and reuse the modules between animals.

To make the animal behaviour more natural we are using some new tools.
- Vision sensor - it will simulate vision of the animal. If you get in range and field of view, it will inform other systems of your presence
- Noise system - similar to vision sensor. This system is gathering some of the noises in game and feeding them in to the AI
- Alert level - If the animal can hear or see you, it can get alerted - it can be just a slight disturbance or a strong rage, depends on the alert source strength, was it just a rustle, or a shot in the back? You can now try to go stealthy, slowly and not using items. You can see the animals react by changing their behaviour. Learn to read the posture ;-)

- Fear sensor - similar to alert level, animal has also a fear level. The fear is increased with noises or damage, and decreased by time (as time heals everything) and friends. So if you see aggressive creature in big group, be careful!

2.2. New behaviours

Friendly herbivore:
A friendly herbivore will be eating grass (or maybe rocks, depends on their taste) and roam around the world peacefully. But if it is alerted, it will get cautions and eventually try to run to safety

Hungry predator:
This predator will roam the land, and when it sees a potential prey, it will attack! But if you scare it, it will run to his friends. Beware, it will come back for another bite! And possibly bringing that friends to the party! If it scares you, maybe you can get out of his vision...(sensor).

Curios fellow:
When you come close, it will be interested in you. As you are not on his daily menu, it will just watch, not bite. If you scare him, he will probably just run away... probably!

All behaviours are work-in-progress and more mechanics will follow...

3. New Game Start
In the current public version you can decide if you play the "Robinson Protocol" at a new game start, which is a strictly guided mini-tutorial that should get you started.

For Alpha 8, given the new possibilities we have, we have chosen to get rid of the 'tutorialesque' elements for a new game start. Instead you can choose to follow the "Story path" or not. The story missions themselves will not ask you to do this or that, but give you the general direction and add a few suggestions what to do or not. Simplified example: The task does not say "build a Hover Vessel and go there", but "Go there. Maybe consider building a Hover Vessel first".

As in Alpha 8 you might need to cross longer distances, you can now craft a Survival Tent in your Suit Constructor, which you can use to sleep at night.

The tent might be useful when the nights get too cold while exploring the planet - or when being away from any station with a bed (!) or the Escape Pod.

Story mode: Radar Site, created by Ramachandra

4. New POI Sound
Speaking of nights: as the Story might lead you to strange, unholy places, we thought we need a new POI sound to match those. Thanks to Alex!

5. Art Department
Although a deeper integration of NPC is not part of Alpha 8, our Art and Design team is also working on improving the models. The female commanding officer model is one of the first that got their WIP status approved.

Also here are some pictures of the new thrusters:

Enjoy your day!

Empyrion dev team

PS: As Zirax police files indicate, a Small Vessel has been caught with a maximum speed of 50m/s on Akua :)


Looking very nice guys!!! ^^

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