Hello dear Fractal Space players! The new 0.595 update is now ready to be tested, and focuses on stabilizing the new changes introduced by 0.594.
In the next few days, we will be sending Steam keys to the players waiting to access the Pre-Alpha up to Chapter 4.
We are still not showing / detailing much the newly added Chapter 0 introduction scene, as it was only limited to Pre-Alpha testers.
This 0.595 update will also be set live for the Steam Demo and Xbox One Demo, provided we do not receive major bug reports in fresh New Game runs in Chapter 1 (bugs in next Chapters, or in New Game+ only, do not impact the Demos).
All players will be able to see the new introduction in the Demo by the end of next week.
Let’s take a look at the new changes & improvements of this update!
What’s new in this latest update?
Chapter 0 | Dialogs
First of all, some players were confused about the child’s voice in the introduction, and thought it was only IG speaking. It is not only IG. It’s a conversation between IG and a different voice (a child). It is now a bit clearer in both audio and subtitles.
Chapter 0 | Fog
Animated volumetric fog has now been added to Chapter 0! Having fog was always planned in Chapter 0, but considering both performance and complexity, it wasn’t ready yet.
It should be well optimized already, but is still a heavy addition for some older machines with integrated GPUs.
Performance Mode keeps the fog enabled, but since Performance Mode is now more effective in Chapter 0 from this update, it should allow older machines to run smoother in this scene. Later on, an option for Fog Quality will be added to reduce its performance impact.
The volume of the waves is now increased. You should now hear them more on other shores.
CHAPTER 1 | Dialogs
The update 0.594 introduced all-new re-written and re-recorded dialogs for Chapter 1. One major change is that we wanted to try a more feminine voice for IG, and make it feel like her voice was coming through speakers.
However, we understand IG’s voice may have been a bit too high-pitched and could feel irritating. We have adjusted them all in order to try and reduce this effect, but still keep a mild “coming from speaker” sensation.
Hopefully, the irritating aspect of her voice should be now reduced. We’ll continue working on that to improve it.
In addition, some of the new dialogs are planned to be re-recorded, because even though, we feel most of them are better than their older versions, some still aren’t good enough – so you can expect them to be improved across the next few updates (In this update, already a few of them were re-recorded, but not as much as we hoped).
SHOOTING | Lights
The previous update added the ability to shoot at blinking lights to temporarily disable them (small visual enhancement).
From this update, shooting at dynamic lights that do not blink (most of the time, the ones that can change color, for example lights for buttons, Power Core Slots, etc.), would not react. They now will, just like other blinking lights. Static lights do not (and never will) react, as those need to remain on at all times, for optimization purposes.
SPEED | Upgrade
Speed upgrade was already affecting crouched movement speed. However, this update now allows the player to crawl faster than it used to, after upgrading Speed.
Achievements were added for acquiring Hyper-Speed, and breaking walls with Hyper-Shot.
You’ll need to reset your save for Breakable Walls related achievements to work!
What was changed in this update?
CHAPTER 0 | Changes
A few changes were made to Chapter 0. If you haven’t seen it yet in 0.584, do not read this yet.
- White light next to the Red Platform has been removed to make it darker and more mysterious. If it’s too dark and hard to get there, it will be restored. Let us know if you want it back 😉
- Water visual edges are now less noticeable than before – they can still be noticed, but should be significantly better.
- Interface option, is now ignored during Chapter 0, and will be applied when reaching Chapter 1 (intended)
- Changes to reduce CPU usage after dropping the box on the red platform. This could help older machines with low-end CPUs during this cutscene, but might also result in longer transition time to Chapter 1. Most players won’t feel any difference.
- Performance Mode should now much further increase performance in Chapter 0, as the lighthouse light will now be disabled as well.
OTHER | Changes
- Health Packs: Standing on a Health Pack, will now pick it up properly even if you don’t “move out from it”, if you get injured while still standing on it – or if you now have available space in your Health Backpack (use one from Backpack while currently standing still on it).
If you are full health, standing on a Health Pack, and then enable Hyper-Speed, it will NOT pick it up instantly (intended, to avoid wasting it to heal just 1 HP). It will instead wait for you to disable Hyper-Speed, or be injured externally, to pick it up. These improvements are not applied to Taser Batteries. It will be done for them in the future (less urgent).
- Chapter 3: Shorter relocation to make less visible a visual bug when trying to go around / above the “bigger on the inside door”, just after the Leaf sequence.
- Chapter 3: Optimizations for the area with the musical Hacking minigame have been done (still an expensive area to render, optimizations not finished).
- Chapter 4: The first jetpack path with retractable pillars, will no longer kill the player if he falls slightly lower than the building. It will now relocate instead. In addition, if you try to enter from below, when the laser field isn’t present yet (if you didn’t go through the vent to the bonus area below), it will activate to prevent you from reaching it from outside (as you are meant to use the ground vent from inside).
- Power Core Slots: Slightly improved the self-shadows for those.
- All Chapters: Various optimizations for first-time use of most shaders – should prevent some mini-freezes while playing on older GPUs. If you still have mini-freezes on first usage of game features, it is most likely linked to first audio loadings, on older CPUs.
- Chapter 0: A bug was causing water to be very bright and white, when Chapter 0 was started with Water quality set to Low. Should now be fixed with proper Low quality water.
- Chapter 0: The Beach music would not properly loop and have small “skips” in some cases. Should now be solved and play perfectly.
- Chapter 1: If the box from Chapter 0 was placed too far away from the center of the red platform, it will now fallback closer to the center to avoid having it too close to the player as he wakes up in Chapter 1.
- Chapter 1: Power Core was not always respawned properly when dropped in the Laser Field in front of the time-related keypad for the vent.
- Chapter 2: Recent changes to the Bridge area introduced a new Last Checkpoint softlock when dying on the Bridge (locked in between the double doors). Now fixed.
- Chapter 2: Various static reflections improvements / bugfixes after the “Heads Up” lift, and Bridge areas.
- Chapter 4: Added security system for ending the Sun Control sequence: it should make sure you cannot move the sun at the very last frame when it’s in the correct angle. You could potentially end up with the Power Beam enabled and not all Solar Panels in the sun without this security. To be tested.
- Mouse / Gamepad Rotation: Looking around with mouse or gamepad had a bug that caused it to be framerate dependent. The speed of looking around with gamepad and mouse, should now be fully independent from framerate. Having a mini-freeze can still cause some jittering, but this is hard to fully solve (should be reduced now).
- Camera Smoothing: The smoothing of looking around (enabled by default) is now slightly smoother.
- Mouse / Gamepad Rotation: In addition, when Camera Smoothing is disabled, the camera rotation movement should now feel more reactive and more instantaneous (less input lag), especially at 144+ FPS.
- Moving Platforms: There was still a case in which jump reception on a moving platform could push you a bit too far for 1 frame, offsetting you from the platform at every jump landing on said platform. Should now be fully solved (to be tested with different machines and framerates, though)
- Aim Stabilizer: The automatic movement to aim at the stabilized object, was also framerate dependent, due to a bug. Now fully framerate independent.
- Leaderboards: Exiting Leaderboards page while the active tab was Cycle, and coming back, would result in an in-game critical error. Now fixed.
- Tablets: Current tablet held in hand would become invisible when a cutscene started, but the text would remain in the air, flying. They are meant to be fully hidden during cutscenes, and should now be fully invisible as intended.
- Tablets: A bug would allow picking up the same tablets in NG+ in order to incorrectly increase the completion of the Chapter (Tablets found).
- Crosshair: After or during a cutscene, the crosshair could sometimes be visible again, even if the player currently had an object in his hands (should be hidden in this case)
- Graphics: Changing Graphics Options during a cutscene would provoke unintended flying lights above the player’s hands, and for other various lights in the game during that specific cutscene.
- Chapter 1: Fixed various small lighting and reflections bugs that were reported.
- Catwalk Achievement: Could sometimes be unlocked even if the player walked in water in the first room. Now fixed.
- Reset Save: Improved this system to clearly explain in case the game is not allowed to delete its own save files (antiviruses usually do this). In addition, ensuring that requesting this while the game was already saving, would still successfully reset the save.
- Forced Pause: Fixed a case in which out-of-focus forced PAUSE overlay would remain visible when returning to the Main Menu.
- Film Grain: Could sometimes remain enabled even if it was requested to be disabled. Should now be fixed, but to be tested as there may be edge cases.
- Reported Bugs & Suggestions: Many additional in-game reported bugs have been fixed, and various suggestions have been implemented or planned for future update.
Thank you for testing! We’ll continue working on the various remaining bugs, and re-update over the next few weeks for the next bugs 😉