In the last couple of days we were very focused and worked hard, but now it is done…today, we are very excited to announce that Empyrion has successfully switched to Unity 5. It is a big step in the development process, because Unity 5 will bring a lot of new features, possibilities and improvements to Empyrion:
1. Overall massive performance improvement: we were really blown away about the performance boost compared to Unity 4.
2. Physically-based shader: the new shader looks amazing and nicely simulates the interactions between materials and light (see 2 screenshots below). We are still in the process of converting all textures into the new shader format. We will post another update with more screenshots when we are done.
3. New physics engine: PhysX 3.3 brings huge performance improvements to 3D physics - especially on multi-core processors. This will also allow for more accurate spaceship controls, better spaceship performance, and better physics simulation overall.
4. SpeedTree integration: this will give us unlimited possibilities to create strange and alien-like plants and trees
5. And much more (new lighting features, improved sound system, more flexible animation system, DirectX 11 support, etc).
Finally, we wanted to show you some screenshots of a new fighter model that our friends from the Modding Asylum built. As you can see, the fighter does not need a lot of directional thrusters (2 on each side) - and believe us - this little beast flies fast and is very agile.
As of today, 82.4% were in favour of the “sim-style thruster” placements against 17.6% who voted for "Arcade-style thruster placement”. It was very interesting and inspiring to read your thoughts and comments on the thruster mechanics on the community forum but also on Facebook, Twitter and IndieDB. Thanks for this great feedback!
As a consequence of this relatively clear vote, we have integrated a first set of directional thrusters into Empyrion and we have updated the spaceship controller accordingly. We have taken into account that people seem to want non-invasive directional thrusters that don’t destroy the visuals of their spaceships. Take a look at the first screenshots of the new directional thrusters:
Our friends from the Modding Asylum are currently preparing a whole set of directional thrusters that will be integrated very soon. These are just 2 of their set:
But we also listen to those of you who are in favour of a more Arcade-style thruster placement because we plan to integrate configuration possibilities for the thrusters on your ships later on (i.e., you will be able to configure the force that is applied to the different directions).
This dev update is dedicated to our friends from the "Modding Asylum." We are very excited to show you the recent models they have developed for Empyrion and also some of their truly amazing concept art.
Check out the set of shiny new thrusters they created for the game:
In the above screenshot, you see the slanted thruster, armored thruster, atmospheric thruster and the normal thruster. We love the cool and innovative design of these thrusters…especially the atmospheric thruster:
They have more thrusters in the pipeline for us….but we won’t tell you more at this time ;-)
The artists from Modding Asylum also created a cool landing gear for Empyrion. Here is a screenshot:
In addition, we would like to share with you some renders of the models they are currently working on. Convince yourself of the high-quality stuff they are producing.
We wanted to take the opportunity to thank the Modding Asylum for everything they have done so far for us. It is a pleasure to work with them - they are highly professional and insanely talented artists. Keep up the good work guys - you are amazing!
Today we would like to ask for your opinion about the thruster mechanics in Empyrion. Basically, there are 2 different approaches and we would like to know which approach you would prefer:
1. Arcade-style thruster placement: you would place your thrusters always pointing backwards but you can configure in a thruster-control module how much thruster force is applied to each direction.
2. Simulation-style thruster placement: you would need to physically place (non-intrusive) directional thrusters on each side to which you want to apply thruster force.
Your answer would help us to determine the approach that the community prefers.
Thanks in advance
Eleon Game Studios
Today, we are excited to present you a cool new feature that we have integrated into Empyrion: realistic day-night cycles that depend on the rotation speed of a planet. If you look at the screenshot of the planet Omicron you will notice that there is a illuminated side and a dark side.
The illuminated side is where it is currently day on the planet and the dark side is where it is night - like on a real planet! So, if you are on the dark side of the planet you can take your spaceship and fly to the other side for daylight and vice versa. In addition, the planet rotates around itself inducing a day-night cycle whose length depends on the rotation speed of the planet.
The next screenshot shows the sunset on our new snow planet.
With our day-night system you can actually chase the sunset around the planet if you fly in the direction of the sun with the appropriate speed.
Snow planet at day
Snow planet at night
We also integrated a new lava planet with unforgiving conditions. Be prepared for the challenges that wait for you!
Space view on Lava Planet
On the surface of the Lava Planet
We don't have names for the snow and lava planets yet. So please feel free to suggest names.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next update
In this update, we show our progress on the graphics of Empyrion. With the help of our friends from “The Modding Asylum”, we have significantly improved the shader to obtain some nice reflection effects and we have replaced the old hull texture with a cool-looking modern texture. These are only the first steps towards an overall improvement of the graphics and a coherent art style in Empyrion.
Convince yourself of the progress we have made so far:
Today, we are very happy to present you a new update regarding the development of Empyrion - Galactic Survival. Among the numerous new features we have been working on (enormous asteroid fields, day-night cycles depending on the rotation of the planet, improved shaders, new 3d models and so on), we now have integrated the planetary approach into the game without loading screen!
The new planetary approach is a first version that we still are working on but it clearly shows you how much progress we have made so far. Convince yourself by watching the video:
What makes our planetary approach and space-planet transition really great is WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get"): If you are orbiting a planet and see a mountain or lake on the surface from far away, you can precisely choose the point of atmospheric entry so that you are already close to the mountain or lake when you enter the planet's atmosphere. This will have a big impact on the gameplay: for example to save precious fuel, to avoid or to attack some defense systems on the ground, to sneak on the planet without being detected and so on.
Pre-order Empyrion today:
The implementation of the planetary approach marks a big step towards the release of the Alpha version of Empyrion on Steam Early Access, which is scheduled for Q2 2015. Starting today, you can already pre-order the Alpha on our website: http://empyriongame.com/pre-order.
By pre-ordering the game, you actively support its development and you can save more than 30% compared to the price when it is released on Steam! The Alpha gives you free access to all future updates including the finished game.
Thank you in advance for your support and stay tuned for more updates.
Eleon Game Studios
Credits: Atmospheric entry effect, landing gear and cockpit by "The Modding Asylum". Soundtrack by Rich Douglas (www.richdouglas.net).
Screenshots of planetary approach and space-planet transition:
We at Eleon Game Studios have been hard at work, especially redoubling our efforts after the Kickstarter had ended to make sure we keep on schedule and bring you the space survival game you have been waiting for so long. Today we have some very exciting news to share with you all: it's something that will have a very positive effect on the development of Empyrion and that should also ease some concerns which were voiced during the Kickstarter.
It is our great pleasure to announce that Eleon Game Studios has partnered with "The Modding Asylum: Empyrion Project" - an independent group of highly talented artists, modelers, programmers and concept artists. It is because of their passion for wanting to see Empyrion become reality that they contacted us shortly after the Kickstarter and offered their assistance with 3D models, textures, programming support and their expert advice. We have just a few examples of the amazing work they have been doing below.
The development of Empyrion will greatly benefit from this long-term partnership because it allows us to significantly improve not only the graphics of the game, but bring you a more coherent art style through the entire game.
We are very happy to welcome “The Modding Asylum: Empyrion Project” on board, and together we will make the game of our and your dreams.
Eleon Game Studios
Examples of models developed by "The Modding Asylum:"
I have recently been appointed as Official Community Manager/Representative for @EleonGameStudios, and I would like to Introduce Myself.
I cannot say too much at this time, but I can Guarantee that work continues full speed ahead and things are quite on track regarding Development and the Alpha Version. We will have more News on this Very Soon, please be Patient.
Any Questions may be directed towards myself, and I will do my best to answer them all Completely and Thoroughly.
I look forward to working with Each and Every one of you. 2015 Is the Year of Empyrion, and we will make it an Excellent One.
We are very excited to announce that Empyrion made it on the list of best PC games for 2015 on Rock, Paper, Shotgun (Survival Games)! Check it out: Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Best PC Games for 2015. We are on the same list as Rust, DayZ, The Forest, The Long Dark and Life Is Feudal - that is awesome!
The Alpha release on Steam is still scheduled for spring 2015! Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel because we made very good progress on the planetary approach and we will soon post a new video with a smooth orbit-planet transition (no loading screen) on our channel.
In addition, we have some exciting news that we will share with you very soon. Stay tuned!