Eden Star is a product of the GamesLab West Midlands programme.
Creative England GamesLab West Midlands is a programme of investment and support, designed to aid and sustain the growth of the region’s burgeoning games’ industry through the development of innovative games and IP. Working with emerging and established companies, Creative England GamesLab West Midlands aims to create the conditions necessary for the most innovative and commercially astute games companies from around the region to flourish. Working with employers, students and individuals, Creative England GamesLab West Midlands also delivers initiatives to create jobs and ensure the retention of established and emerging talent within the region to sustain the growth it aims to deliver during its two-year lifespan. Creative England GamesLab West Midlands is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and led by Creative England.
This week we have been working hard on debugging, profiling, and optimising. We had help from students at Staffordshire University to sanity test on our development debug server so that we can catch more issues, massive thanks guys!
We have fixed up some annoying bugs and we’ve made some steps towards reducing the load times. We’ve also been working on designs for the next set of shiny new features and UI to accommodate them, including character customisation and vehicles!
Here’s what we’ve been up to:
John - Lead Designer
This week we’ve been designing and replying to everyone on the forums, we are pushing through a final pass on all of the UI in the game and also making sure that the main multiplayer features go into the build as soon as possible, including an in-game player count, server messages and also admin access. I am also trying to catch up on the food items so that the next release includes the new sustenance items and full treatment system.
Matt - Art Director
On top of fixing quite a few level bug fixes that were brought to our attention, I’ve been creating some graphic design guides for our updated multiplayer lobby and upcoming vehicle systems, most of which are UI based. We’ve been having many a UI design meeting to sort out an easy to use server wizard as well.
Me and Tom are looking to begin work on our full character system very soon, which is particularly exciting, everything we have had in the game to date has been filler content to allow us to develop the correct mechanics.
Lee - Technical Director
This week I’ve been helping out with planning some new behaviours that we may want for creatures as we move forward with the project. I’ve also been looking at a few issues around optimisation.
Tristan - Senior Developer
This week I have been looking into profiling and debugging the server performance and putting things in place so we can better catch the more difficult to recreate issues.
Yves - Senior Developer
I’ve been preparing for the community test day which went down really well, we want to make this a regular occurance so that we can make our servers as stable as possible.
Joe - Environment Artist
Lots of designs and UI this week - we’re looking at properly going over the front-end and refining the initial player experience. In practise this means I’ve been working on designs for a new Options Menu, Character Customisation, Loading screen and helping out Matt with some ideas for vehicle assembly and vehicle ‘in-the-field’ menus.
I’ve done a bunch of icons so we should be able to start putting things together soon. Also some minor level issues have been rectified, including problems with getting stuck in things and colliding with invisible bits. Thanks again to our wonderful community for pointing these out!
This week I’ve worked on solving an issue to do with block durability, this involved shifting the health saved to a percentage value, allowing us to retrieve this and apply it to the durability factor that you guys set in your single player and multiplayer games. This should mean that you’ll be seeing correct updated values from this option, there are however some prefabs around the world that won’t conform to this just yet.
Lastly I’ve begun the process of authenticating connecting players on Steam!
Ricky - Developer
Working hard trying to find those big issues like structures decaying under the shield and the damage settings not working correct. We’ve also been using some new detective tools and I was helping with the community to look over the results of our tests.
Marcin - Designer
Hello there. This is my first week back in the New Year, so I’m ready to go. The feedback and support we got from the community, that is you guys, after the Christmas release was incredible, so thank you very much for that. It was a big update with some really big changes, even since the last experimental version, so as it often is, apparently we missed a lot of bugs.
Oops. That’s what I have been focusing on all week. I’ve looked into visual issues with energy turrets, block destruction, and block repairing. I’ve been debugging and redoing a lot of the water mechanics because as it turns out the files got corrupted and were causing extremely random bugs for a few months now.
Now I am looking into a few extra bugs with decorator placement, and who knows what’s next. The other guys are doing their best fixing other, maybe even more pressing issues, but we are looking good to have some bug fix patches ready for you fairly soon, I hope.
Tom - Character Artist
Starting work on super awesome updates to the player character(s)! Including male and female heads and body’s with some nifty customisation options. Stay tuned!
Lauren - Animator
This week I've been going over the server setup menu with Matt and putting a design together for a wizard and preset settings to try make it a bit less overwhelming.
In addition to this I’ve put together some ideas for more feedback in the log when the server is running such as when it has successfully loaded, when new players have joined and updates on time of day, numbers of AI and other useful information. I've also been in discussions about the new designs for melee and enemy encounters as well as talking about the story, introduction and next steps, exciting stuff!
Andy - Lead QA
On Thursday we held a multiplayer server test session with a group of really helpful folks from Staffs Uni. John was able to persuade them into spending the day with me bombarding them with requests while they play Eden Star like the proverbial snake charmer coaxing a timid yet deadly cobra from its wicker home.
All joking aside, the information that these guys helped up to collect was invaluable and couldn't have been caught by me testing alone. Pair this with the fact that all of them are uni students with I’m sure a lot on their plates already only adds to this particular groups awesomeness and the team's appreciation for the effort made.
This kind of play sessions are not only really enjoyable but are such a great help. We will be planning more of these days in the near future, but for now I just want to thank the guys involved, it really was appreciated.
See you in the fray!
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