Road to Alpha 8: Development Update V

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by EleonGameStudios, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. EleonGameStudios

    EleonGameStudios Developer
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    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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
    [​IMG]

    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).
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    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!
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/cnqpp4jnwaebb5x/EvilWhispering_BiomeSound.ogg?dl=0

    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.
    [​IMG]

    Also here are some pictures of the new thruster models (replacing the old versions):
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    [​IMG]

    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 :)
     
    #1
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2018
  2. spanj

    spanj Commander

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    Holy Crap! - This update is getting serious now! - any clue, tease, nudge on a rough date for the first release? I need to book days off work and life in general.

    PS. LOVE the new thrusters, very cool!

    keep up the good work!
     
    #2
  3. catalina

    catalina Commander

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    omg I love those thrusters
     
    #3
  4. Flash Hendricks

    Flash Hendricks Commander

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    Ah, the tension mounts, yet again. This is all looking very exciting; the model of animal behaviour looks cool and (I imagine?) will provide a template for other NPCs once the bugs are sorted out. Excellent news! And the new visuals look terrific (the survival tent is a nice addition). JUST CAN'T WAIT to actually play with it!
     
    #4
  5. elmo

    elmo Lieutenant

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    Love it already guys
     
    #5
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  6. IronCartographer

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    Noises, like... splashing, perhaps... :eek:

    Very much potential for marine life with the new world and ocean sizes...
     
    #6
  7. Christianholmes

    Christianholmes Captain

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    This is much bigger than I expected, seriously how much longer?
     
    #7
  8. Captain Jack II

    Captain Jack II Rear Admiral

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  9. TK85

    TK85 Commander

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    The new engines look great!

    The idea of the tent is very welcome!

    Eager to test story mode!

    Remodeling the AI is super welcome!

    The new commander ....:rolleyes::rolleyes:

    Alpha 8 will be the destroyer of social lives ... for those who have of course ...
     
    #9
    Valorel1982, TiwBras, Ephoie and 9 others like this.
  10. Sir Winston

    Sir Winston Ensign

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    This update is beginning to look more and more promising! I really can't wait for it to drop! I have a feeling it's going to change EVERYTHING in how the game plays. It's really starting to look pretty cool!

    As for the NPC's the only thing I could wish for there is more variety as well as a bit more animation. More people/beings doing more motions or emotes.

    The Zirax caught an SV doing 50m/s? Tells me two things, the max speed has been increased; and the Zirax now have 'patrol cars'! (Just kidding) The increase in speeds is very welcome!
     
    #10
  11. IronCartographer

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    You did have a lot of skepticism going on, didn't you? And they still haven't detailed repair-to-blueprint, another huge feature... ;-)
     
    #11
  12. Hicks42

    Hicks42 Rear Admiral

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    Finally someone got that order to Big 5 out.

    Muhahahahahaha!

    Social....Lives....(rolls this around on his palate as if tasting the unfamiliar flavor of a new food.)
    I don't get it.
     
    #12
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  13. Damion Rayne

    Damion Rayne Ensign

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    This is truly going to be the single best update to Empyrion yet.
     
    #13
  14. Whoom

    Whoom Lieutenant

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    In the layer picture that looks like voxel mining on a planet. Is that coming (back)?
     
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  15. LiftPizzas

    LiftPizzas Rear Admiral

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    Maybe wildlife should have limited stamina/sprint time, too. :)
     
    #15
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  16. Neil

    Neil Captain

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    Except the player :(. Hope healing over time comes in at some point.

    That aside, GREAT update!
     
    #16
  17. Space Beagle

    Space Beagle Captain

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    ... if only we could paint our NPCs ...

    BTW, my sincere gentleman's nod for you decision to tackle animal AI, now during Alpha 8 - some planets will be truly 'alive', great combinations & future possibilities on the horizon :)
     
    #17
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  18. YBAX

    YBAX Ensign

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    With alpha 8 I belive EMPYRION will be x5 the fun! What you are doing in a single update is modifying a grate game in to a hole different AWESOME game!!! DAM GOOD WORK DEVS!!!
     
    #18
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  19. ion_storm

    ion_storm Captain

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    Screw social life... :D
    I'm dealing with far more idiots than I can handle on a daily basis...
    Bring the update!
     
    #19
  20. ☣.C.H.U.D.☣

    ☣.C.H.U.D.☣ Captain

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    This for SP update right?
    They already have Godmode why does it matter?
    Cool tent....Be more useful in MP setting then anything...

    for what?
    Are all the thrusters going to look the same for that Model?
    Or is this just the Thruster M model?
    And is the thruster model refer to all thruster M models?
     
    #20

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