As I promised previously, we’re going back to monthly updates (SCRUM with 4 weeks sprint). You may have noticed that most tasks ("issues") left all concern programming. So, I'm hiring a couple extra programmers to speed up the development. I found them about 3 weeks ago, our lead programmer interviewed them, and each was given an assignment so we could test their skills.
Well, one of them impressed us and has now joined our team. His task was one of the major GUI tasks involving Tag Panel programming (something you will see under any highlighted objects/creature/items). You can see his work in the new patch.
There is another associate programmer still working on another task that we’ll talk about again in the November patch.
PATCH NOTES #102115
• Preset skills and feats added to default male and female characters.
• Full screen resolution bug for Mac fixed.
• Ability to put non-usable items in the hands slots blocked.
• Camera distance now saves and keeps when loading new areas.
FEATURES & CHANGES:
• Tags added for all highlighted items/objects/creatures/containers on Special Facility level.
• Tags added for all highlighted items/objects/creatures/containers on Science Facility level.
• 3D pile model for loot created.
• Scrap item for broken parts (if your character wears out armor or weapon) added.
• Tag system for highlighted items/objects/creatures/containers embedded.
1. Guys, I know that using default male/female characters to unlock containers, hack devices, and use the First Aid skill was a real pain in the previous update. Now, we’ve preset skills for those default characters. Therefore, you have decent chances for using First Aid, Science, and Lockpick skills.
2. If you’re a regular tester I’d appreciate it if you checked out our Tag Panels for properly highlighted objects/creatures/containers/items over the next few weeks.
ABOUT STEAM "USER REVIEWS"
Last Wednesday I got an interesting message from one of our backers. He indicated that recommendations on Steam don't count if there is no text included in the review box. I mean, I always thought that it didn’t require you to put any text there, just to click on "YES" under "Do you recommend this game?"
Right now we have more than 2,000 people who activated the game on steam and checked it. We thought that Steam didn’t count votes from "retail activations," or that many were waiting for the prologue to be completed before making up your mind, which is totally fair.
Since we’ve discovered this, I’d like to ask everyone who would recommend the game to take a few minutes out of your day to write a short review. A few sentences or a paragraph is more than enough to make your voice count.
Even if you don’t recommend the game, we’d still like to hear your honest thoughts.
SOME FRESH LORE
We received several interesting lore-related questions on our Developer Q&A forum from littleONE. I’d like to share my answers with all of you today. There are no spoilers.
Q: You mention that by 132 A.R. energy weapons almost displaced firearms in the Underearth, right?
A: Indeed. Frankly, that happened even earlier, though that was caused by various economical, technological, social, and geographical reasons. It wasn’t just some egghead saying "wow, the future is coming... let’s get some cool energy weapons like in old Past Age sci-fi movies."
The transfer took time and was motivated by costs. The manufacturing and maintenance expenses of the energy weapons and their ammo turned out to be cheaper than firearms (and probably more sustainable).
Second, the UG technologies by that time allowed a smooth transition to that type of weapon (there is one sci-fi literary assumption about compact and cheap enough sources of generation, accumulation and storage of energy).
Third, geographical whereabouts of Underearth cities (small caves, tunnels, and splits) required specific approaches to personal weapons. The UG’s police department needed silenced weapons, and anyone who’s fired a gun in a confined space knows how devastating it is to your eardrums. This is especially true for the first colonists who hadn’t yet launched the massive construction of the cave megalopolises.
Fourth, social accessibility of atomic printers (by the last decades of the first century A.R.) made these weapons available to the middle class.
Over time, each of the aforementioned reasons led to the eventual abandonment of conventional firearms.
Looking ahead and speaking about the life of the Surface (by 132 A.R.), where the game will mostly take place, I might say that there is almost no energy weapons left in hands of Survivors or Natives. They may be rarely found, rather like the katana in Baldur’s Gate 1. Most of the firearms you’ll find among Survivors are DYI models like:
However, Natives produce quite nice classic rifles as well as ammo for them. Also, the New Confederacy accumulates all working firearms left on the Surface from the Past Age.
Q: Doesn’t everything that is powered by electricity have a massive vulnerability to EMP? Does that mean that any law enforcement or army force can be set out of order by EMI bomb that will burn their energy weapon?
A: Well, according to EWF (abbr. Bureau of Energy Weapons, Firearms and Explosives) of the United Governments, all energy-based weaponry in Underearth can be categorized into four groups:
Group A. The models for open civil market (some of them might have simple and cheap Faraday protection measures).
Group B. Law enforcement grade weaponry (all of them have enhanced Molecular Faraday protection which allows to resist most of the EMI grenades from the open and black markets).
Group C. Army grade models. Most of them are equal to Group B. but they also include special models developed since the beginning of second century A.R., especially for Military Corps with marking "FGO" – i.e. "For Ground Operations"... and that weaponry can even function within the Red Zones... at least theoretically.
Group V. Private models (usually very expensive) developed and manufactured by the private order of privileged corporations. Might have all features from the groups above, but their legality is questionable.
Group Z. Home-made energy weapons (usually don’t have any EMI protection). Most of them, as a spoon or kitchen knife, can’t be treated by the law as a weapon till they are used as a weapon.
Q: I’d like to remind everyone that After Reset setting is a HARD SCI-FI setting. So, EMP should burn out any non-protected electronics. Not just switch it temporary like it usually does in most of "amateur" universes and popular TV-shows for housewives and teens. What about the aftermath of an EMP detonation? What will the Earth of After Reset be like?
A: You’re right. By the 132 A.R. on the Surface you are unlikely to find any working electronics from the Past Age. Most of it was burned out during the Reset. The remnants of it were eaten by corrosion and radiation or by other environmental factors without remorse. However, some "gismos" (out of order) can still be found in arid desert environments (like several states of ex-USA) or in ice-covered ice deserts (like areas of ex-Africa).
HOW THE AFTER RESET WOULD LOOK WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT
In the previous update I said that right before the release of that patch I found our archives of various builds of the game showing how the game would look like without your support. I promised to share those dead-ends of the AR evolution with you for fun. All builds are playable under Windows. Feel free to download them: Indiedb.com
That was our test of animations and "Mass-Effect"-like 3d view camera. Running, jumping, etc. Wasted.
That is how the level design of the Gyes Bunker would look like without your help. After the successful Kickstarter campaign I got into the level design myself – the results and differences you might see in the current build. Wasted.
That is the typical quality of the objects and items we received from most of the 3D modelers before you supported us on Kickstarter. Wasted.
That is character design and his animation I used to receive by 3d character artists and animators. And yes, the author really named it as "BunkerLiver" :) Never accepted. Wasted.
That was the attempt to create proper elevator tile... Better, yes, but far from our current level. Very far.
Anyway, the author suddenly disappeared. It happens very often when you’re just a one-man indie and no one knows you. Some of the freelancers just disappear after 2-4 weeks of work. Others vanish with your prepayment. After the Kickstarter campaign that happened only twice (both with programmers in 3-6 weeks of work).
That was the first test of old GUI before the Kickstarter when we experiment how would AR be in a multiplayer MOBA style. Wasted.
Finally, here is three builds that we test Engine Drone animations before importing them into the game. I bet you’ll enjoy them and will be waiting to assemble and walk around with them in our future updates/patches. :)
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Once again, thanks for your support and cheering!
Back to work on the next update.
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