alien gates and first tastes

10/29/2017 -

Chay ho, space hunks. We’ve been working on that sweet, sweet launch screen, fine-tuning ship flight dynamics/sensitivities, and just filling out content since last post. So that accounts for much of the radio silence.

Now let’s talk first tastes: the game’s opening sequence. The game opens with branding and title scenes, from where we try to jump right into immersion. Since the game itself is played within a simulated galaxy, we did a lot work with the loading UI to make it feel like an alien software is loading onto your PC. As nostalgia boys, we have a soft spot for those computer processing sounds of old (or like, from the mid 90’s) so we draw from that to get a “DOS-like” effect as the simulation boots up. We’re shooting for that feeling of having everything SEEM familiar, but not being our world. Kinda twilight zoney… toned down surrealism, maybe.

The alien software loads, and boom, you’re given a gate – the point of entry into the simulation. We wanted to create “default” feels to the UI. Like when you open a fresh new PC and everything on the desktop is kind of ‘lame’ and un-personalized. So yeah, we’re having fun with that. Check out the pics!

 

This here’s that monolithic title screen, in your face baby. You’re about to start a massive space journey. It’s gonne be epic.

lilith open

 

Some loading action as the alien software boots on your PC.

loading

 

Here we go, your personal gate. From here you can go ahead and enter the simulation of an entire galaxy. Of course there are translation glitches — this is bodacious alien software on your PC dangit!

Gate 4

 

rings, pizza hut, easy gel, tweaking

09/19/2017 -

Chay ho! hello from pizza hut!

Lately, we have been refining things. These things include flight controls, the HUD, the positioning of orbital bodies (planets, stars, asteroids), and various control \ input mechanics. Making the ship “feel right” and “fly right” is high on our list of priorities. I think we are almost done there, but there are still things that need to be improved.  At some pizza restaurants, toppings are special and totally unique. If you’ve never been to a pizza hut, definitely give it a try! Pizza Hut is potentially one of those places. Honestly you won’t know until you get there.

We also did some work to get our first sample gas station (“J.T. Dickies and Cousins) loaded into the game. There are some pictures of this below. We’ve been calling it “Dickies” for short. You can’t go to “Dickies” in real life though. The opposite is true of Pizza Hut.

Right now we are chasing down a weird list of tweaks and polish-related fixes — these soften the experience of the game. Sometime in November, a prototype of the game will likely be complete. At this point, we’ll start ramping up the world-building and content creation tasks. But we’ll still be missing lots of the deeper game features. So pete will begin making planets, characters, stories, etc — and I’ll begin working on the remaining gameplay features: character logic, space combat, ground combat, crafting, and questing.

Things are starting to fall together — this is a good sensation (vibe). I have a feeling a small breakthrough is somewhere on the horizon :).  We’ll be freaking Breaking though the crust, and eating this pizza backwards. You could go inside of a pizza hut and give that a shot.

Oh, and I fixed the rings on the planets — they look very realistic now. You know, the rings look like food discs, more commonly know as “pizzas”. Maybe you’ve never had a food disc. Well Pizza Hut didn’t invent the food disc – but they have some. Browse the discs, and enjoy what’s available to you. The search is over.

This is where they make the EasyGel. This is where all the freaking EasyGel comes from. One planet:

pretty_at_last

Notice the miniature ship in this image. When you go into a solar system, the ship shrinks like this, and you get this toy-truck feel to the game. It’s kind of neat. Ignore those computer numbers in the upper right corner. Don’t analyze everything. You don’t have to analyze everything you see.

ringed_planet_wooo

Dickies:

docked_at_dickies2

Here’s a video of the ship cruising around the stars:


Visiting Some Planets – Indie DB

 

 

we made your favorite galactic gas depot!

08/20/2017 -

Mugalo dudes.  We took a little detour from coding and what not and drove along the gamedev scenic route this weekend. We created some goofy content for the galaxy we’re making, including a gas station called J.T. Dickies and Cousins as well as a radio ad for it.

The concept is that these modest gas babies are located across the galaxy here and there, available for landing in case you need a quick refuel, food, or general supplies. I wish I could tell you that this gas station franchise is run by a professional… but well… just listen to the ad at the bottom of the post. Ole J.T. Dickie is doing his best…

The gas station as you approach it:

jtdickies[1]

The entrances have various billboards/ads for items in the galaxy. You know, like star-paste.

jtdickies_view2[1]

Once you land, you can head on in to purchase a refreshing Moop Light ™.

jtdickies_landed[1]

Check out the radio ad for this fine establishment:

 

Here are some other cool pictures (from lately):

mooplight

reticlemagic

screenjunk

A robot is in your spaceship — chat with it! (tell it your secrets)

08/13/2017 -

Chay ho (greetings), surfers. I bet you’re wondering what we’ve been up to for the past few weeks. Oh you know, not much, just trying to create a working version of a dynamic chatbot that’s supposed to mimic AI technology. Did we actually pull that off? Lol, umm, well let me tell you what we do have…

First off, if you wanna skip this reading crap, here’s a link to our website built for the chatbot. We’re using the site to log the different questions people may care about, but we can’t track who is using this thing. Just remember to add a username of some sort before starting. Ask/talk about anything you’d care to know about. Some chatbot answers may be a bit funky because it references game-related content and information, but hopefully that’s “shway.”

This chatbot, called  C.A.M,  is be the basis for your spaceship’s communications system. It’ll be an informational swiss army knife as it defines names, things, and places, and also reports on ship and weather conditions when prompted. We gave C.A.M.  a bit of a personality as well — think chill surfer with encyclopedic knowledge — because honestly that is what Jun and I aspire to be every minute of our existence.

Building the chatbot’s brain is a mix of coming up with prompts — ANYTHING someone may reasonably ask it — and then writing answers to those prompts. Kinda tedious, kinda fun. At it’s foundation, the chatbot has a call-and-response system and no, Elon Musk, it doesn’t have AI learning capabilities that will make it conquer all our human technologies. (yet). We added dynamic elements to the chatbot as well so it’s not just having a flat conversation over and over again, and we hope that creates an ~iLluSioN~ of an AI brain that is looking to learn. C.A.M. can ask you questions, react to your responses, and vary his own interjections and answers so they don’t all sound the same.

If you got a few minutes, have a chat with C.A.M.

We imagine the chat bot will work something like this in the overall UI:

COMM_CHAT_UI

And a video!


Ai Chat Interface! – Indie DB

navigation mode

07/25/2017 -

Ok. Let’s talk about sex Navigation Mode. Navigation mode, is a user interface where you can visualize weather, move through a three-dimensional map of galactic bodies, and plot a course through the cosmos. We wanted these maps to be filled with detail so that navigation feels like a strange nautical voyage. We want to force players to use horse-sense to find the best routes through space. In this game… space isn’t just a big empty vacuum… in real life, space is a massive, scary, empty, vacuum. Yea, there are storms out there, pockets of smooth space, gas stations, fast food chains, casinos, space-buoys, dust clouds, turbulence, varying levels of solar power, so much! Space isn’t empty. Space is a Sea ™.

Now, your mother and I, well… we met at an underground punk rock club, which is the SAME night you were conceiv– sorry, yea, no, we can talk about navigation mode some more.

So we simulated a bunch of data for a small spiral galaxy, visually plotted it on a map, and created a variety of ways for a user to interact with it all. So now, you can pore over galactic maps, read these nautical bones, guess at the weather, chart a course through the stars, and attempt to survive — MuhhAHhhaHHaa. The best way to describe all this is to go through the different map elements that exist.

Okay but, I will say, that safety is paramount. You were only conceived mentally that night — the idea of you as a violence force of energy — it brought us very close. So ok, in the punk rock scene, things used to get pretty off the earthquake scales, and by that I mean both dangerous and hot– ok. oops. Yup. I get it, details would be inappropriate — just — play it cool, and have fun with technology.

Yellow Bogeys

  1. Welcome to yellow bogey nation.
  2. Simple floating space devices that collect weather and time data. As satellite experts will tell you, without yellow bogeys, we wouldn’t even know when to eat breakfast.
  3. They let you know where it is safe to fly.
  4. Dust Density Indicator – amount of dust resistance in the vicinity. (black square).
  5. Solar Power Meter – amount of solar energy that can be harvested nearby. (horizontal meter).
  6. Wind Sock – shows the direction and strength of stellar winds. (pointy line).
  7. Turbulence Indicator – amount of turbulent storm energy in the area. (pink square).
    bango2

 

Storms

  1. Galactic disturbances.
  2. Violently shake / damage / destroy ships.
  3. Getting into a storm is easier then getting out of one, both visually, and technically.
  4. Composed of cells with various intensities.
  5. They have strange names like Jonathan and Sandra.
  6. They have a white vector that shows you where they are currently headed (so you can avoid them).stormspsot

 

Stars

  1. Large burning balls of energy which fill space: often surrounded by planets, rockets, and creatures.
  2. Some have their own weather stations.
  3. Red Zone: This is the closest you can get to the star if moving at high speeds. If you enter that region, you risk burning up in the star’s heliopause.
  4. Green Zone: If you go into the green zone, you’ll enter that solar system.star_post

 

Tony Hawk: 1080p Video Footage

 


Navigation Mode Progress – Indie DB