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Post news Report RSS We’ve Got Animations, Building Mechanics, and More in Dev Update #29!

For August we have a ton of programming updates, animations to show off, additional building mechanics, and updated concept art. Sit down and strap up as we have another big update!

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Game Beats

A lethal virus has infected Treasure Island, San Francisco. It is up to Captain Winter, a U.S. Army soldier working with the Center for Epidemic Research and Control (CERC), to stop the mysterious and deadly Pangu Virus from spreading to the mainland. The Cepheus Protocol is an independently developed top-down RTS inspired by XCOM, Company of Heroes, and Parasite Eve.

In Cepheus Protocol, you will make decisions that will force civilians to either rally behind you or attack you outright. How you decide to combat the virus is entirely up to you. You can fire bombs and leave no trace of human life behind or you can try and save everyone at the cost of your squad's safety. The game features a full day and night cycle and will adapt over time to make the Infected more dangerous as the days progress. The Infected will mutate and adapt to the player, creating a challenge at every turn.

You will control fully customizable teams that you will send into the infection zones to do CEDA Missions, help civilians, or just seek out Patient 0. You will lose men if you aren’t careful and be forced to train and recruit from your player base. Each solider will be unique to a point with randomly generated traits and skills allowing you to tailor them with specific tactics.

You will have to use all the tools in your arsenal and research the plague to discover its origins. You will use your knowledge to cure it to stop the virus before it causes everything to spiral out of control. You will hunt Patient 0, a unique carrier with special abilities that gets stronger as the days progress. You will be confronting and fighting her over a span of main missions and side objectives riddled across the island.


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Modeling

Starting things off with a ton of the Modeler’s work! Vlad worked on a bunch of assets, check out the backyard furniture and some really awesome dog houses!

Garden Furniture

Dog Houses

Dog Bowls

Here are a couple of houses that were worked on as well:

House

Sample House

Peter has been focusing on what the infection pods will look like. Take a look at what’s under the hood:

Pod 1

Pod 2

Pod 3

Pod 4

Pod 5

Now, ENHANCE! Peter started working on the texturing:

Textured Sample 1

Textured Sample 2

Textured Sample 3

GIMME MOAR INFECTION PODS!

Textured Sample 4

Textured Sample 5

Andrew did some work on character hair:

Hair 2

Hair

Additional details are being added to buildings across the map:

Building

Building 2

Building 3

Programming

Behold! Robert requested and here it is - MOBA-related 'waypoint movement'!

Units added to a path will move from point to point on the defined path (you simply drop in a path actor, drop in the points, and in the path actor define the order of the points). Then in blueprint, tell the Path to add an actor to it and watch.

Infected AI also have 'combat routines' tied to it: they'll only fight if their target is within range of a waypoint. If they're beyond that waypoint's combat radius (which is customizable per-waypoint), the infected will go 'meh, not worth it' and go back to pathrunning.

Probably needs more testing, but the basic system is online in our internal build, and should be visible in TopDownExampleMap for messing around with.

You can see in the GIF that I get the infected's attention then run away, and when I get far enough he disengages. Wohoo!

ezgif com optimize 1

Derek worked on wall gates as they are now hooked up to be power reliant, and have a functioning door widget, AND no longer accept regular clicks to open/close.

Power Reliant Walls with Widgets

Further, regular control doors which require players to be in their vicinity now only show their widget when you're close by.

Door Widget for Control Doors

Derek worked on basic healing AI:

#1. He heals!

#2. He follows!

#3. He shoots first!

#4. If told, he'll follow movement orders before going back to healing!

#5. If too low on medic 'healing stamina', will stop to let it recharge a bit before resuming!

#6. He animates!

Direct quote from Derek on this: “This was a lot of work.

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Here’s a preview of what happens when you tell the medic to stop healing:

Medic Toggle Active

Derek worked on some basic civilian AI so that they fight back. A big part of your strategy will be how you decide to treat civilians - will you help them or get rid of unnecessary "weight"?

ezgif com optimize 3

Derek worked on team selection so that your whole unit is selected in one click.

Team Pick

Derek worked on creating a “dynamic obstacle” for the dynamic navmesh with modifiers. Now our buildings will properly update navmesh again.

ezgif com optimize 4

Pic of navmesh with regular buildings after Derek edited down the navmesh box around them:

Navmesh

More navmesh work from Derek which includes the pillbox and turrets.

Navmesh 2

Player built walls have them too!

Walls with Nav

So do gates!

navmesh 3

We got some basic nav on the doors going. They need to be adjusted per-door (and the default settings for DoubleDoor's BP are weird), but here's early results on the nav getting blocked/opening up based on door status:

Navmesh 4

Navmesh 5

And here's an example of what you can do if you manually tweak the navblock to match the door: gates with proper navblock when they're shut!

Navmesh 6

Navmesh 7

Among other fixes, Derek fixed up some logic that was blocking the cursor from being set properly when highlighting targets, updated enemy structures to COUNT as enemy targets for the cursor, and updated targeting logic via right click to COUNT enemy structures as targetable.

AND

Updated right-click targeting to give the right-clicked target a massive threat boost so your units obey your order rather than losing interest.

Targeting Structures Properly

Derek also double checked a few things with the nav:

#1. You'll notice when the nav changes around an object that an 'area' of the nav goes red, right? We were worried that it might cause AI in there to 'stop short' while the nav updates.

#2. Turns out, it's just visual! The nav updates much faster than that - GIF is proof. Notice how quickly the characters change their trajectory when moving to the other side of the door when we open the door, or when they decide to go around when we close it.

ezgif com optimize 5

Also Derek got the generator effect to not appear unless you select a generator. Empty click or clicking on another building will hide them again.

Generator Effect Toggling

Derek worked on some basic patrol logic so units know when to walk back and forth and keeping guard.

Patrol Back n Forth

He also got the Hold Fire display working. If a unit is not shooting, you’ll see it on the Away team panel and on the interaction widget. Here you can see the small red icon above them that will easily identify who’s holding fire.

Hold Fire Icon

He later also added in the icon on the team panel as well!

Team Panel Icon

More work from Derek - can you tell he's been knocking it out of the park!? He also spent some time working on wall building and it’s really starting to come back together after the new meshes. He fixed a ton of stuff (and of course with anything dev, broke some other stuff in the process!). He’s working on fixing some of these things but it is still possible to build something like this!

Building Example

Continuing with buildings, Derek also worked on a new and super fluid way of building fortresses. Here you can see it in action – smooth as butter isn’t it?

Age of Empires Wall Scaling

Age of Empires Wall Scaling AND

He also worked on proper detection when it comes to walls restricted to the base and an example of a quick build!

ezgif com optimize 6

Snap To and From

Finally, we’re so excited to finally show you all the available formations you’ll be able to set for your squad! Which one do you think you’ll use?

ezgif com gif maker 7

Animation

Clara worked on a few different character animations that we can’t really say too much without giving anything away so please enjoy her awesome work!

A1

A2

A3

A4

A5

A6

Tyler further worked on the dead bodies you’ll see throughout gameplay.

A7

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Concept Art

Juniardi worked on some mission tiles (what will show up in mission select).

Concept

Here's another version:

Concept 2

Ashley worked on some additional art for the reporter!

Reporter

More Billboards were created!

Billboard

billboard 2

billboard 3

billboard 4

The Art team did some additional art that you’ll see throughout the world:

billboard 5

billboard 7

billboard 6

billlboard 7

UI

Robert added some buttons so that you can change from floor to floor.

BUTTONS

Level Design

Robert has been playing around with the lights in the hospital to ensure proper atmosphere and also find out why some of the lighting from another floor was leaking into another one. Also not to be confused with a tie-dye shirt.

Lighting

IT’S ALIVE…well, sort of! We’re starting work on texturing the world. Take a look at some of the awesome work the Level Designers have done! Grass has small-scale UV warping and large-scale color variation to help with tiling/repetition and the new rocks use tessellation.

Cliff

Dirt

Grass

Rocks

Sand

Novel

We're excited to start sharing more on the accompanying novel that builds on the story you'll experience in the game! Although we can't share much just yet, we're excited to share that our Lead Game Designer and Writer is already quite a few chapters in!

A little hint we can drop is that there's a whole backstory to this image. Now you can let your imagination run wild ;)

Ship

Bonus Level: Additional Things to Share

You made it all the way down here! Your reward is that you get some extra little tidbits that we didn’t share in the above update or on social media.

Coming soon: Giant mods! Joking aside, we found some of the doors were a little off in the height department…

Doors

Tyler also shared this insanely funny bug on one of the animations:

ezgif com optimize funny

I think we need to call a doctor!

Funny


Recruitment:

We’re currently seeking talented individuals in the various roles. It should be noted the project is post launch compensation and we’re open to flexible schedules depending on each individual. Please apply with the links below (Please note that roles where you need to show work requires you to provide us with a portfolio or website. Submissions without proof of work will be dismissed).

Questions? Email us here: recruitment@halcyonwinds.com


Community Discord Server

Got questions, suggestion, or just want to chat about the game? Come join us on our official Discord!

Comments
INtense! Staff
INtense!

Incredible update, so much detail - sounds like it is coming along

Reply Good karma+2 votes
torbsy Author
torbsy

Thanks so much - we're always excited to show everyone a ton of features and assets for the game!

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Indiegamelover
Indiegamelover

Wow this is a huge post the work alone making this post! ♥ And I have always been in love with those bloody details for the ground. :D

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
torbsy Author
torbsy

Thank you! We just wanted to ensure we highlighted all of the different team's work! I think the virus pods are one of my fave things to show off. They're gonna be HUGE in-game too!

Reply Good karma+1 vote
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