As if it weren't awesome enough that we're sitting strong on #16 overall of the games currently waiting for the Steam Greenlight, but the new launch of Steam Early Access also means something wonderful coming for you folks.
If and when we do get greenlit, we'll be enrolling into the Early Access program, which will enable us to deliver a playable alpha test to Premium pre-purchasers of Centration. We're not comfortable releasing a specific date for this yet, but I can confidently tell you that it will be before Autumn this year.
Unfortunately one of our long-term developers have left our ranks. Nexim has left Angry Engineers to persue persuits that are closer to his heart. We wish him the best of luck, as I'm sure do all of you.
That said, I am relatively certain that our team (now 24 members strong) will be able to handle development in his absence. In our last team meeting, I specifically thanked every one of our team for the effort they have put into Centration recently, and for the speed at which we have advanced since the beginning of this year. I cannot stress that the team we've put together are working amazingly together, and every morning I wake up to new and exciting updates (or long strings of swear-words and complaining about bugs).
Code & TechnicalBigtoe, our lead developer has been keeping the code monkeys under an almost iron fist - we've got very good updates on Airflow, Physics, our character controller, interaction and the first framework of our networked events backend. Elliot, Karroon and Salp have got their work cut out for them, but they are overcoming all obstacles and making significant progress.
Our airflow system has presented many problems - this is the first time a game (to my knowledge) is attempting to include a realistic airflow / physics implantation into a game like this. Having air volumes communicate with each other, transfer and regulate their pressure and contents, as well as interacting with physics so we can have really cool effects like explosive decompression and force momentum. Some really fun tests going on with that and we're confident that soon we'll have something to show you.
Over on the medical side of things - the health system is proving an interesting experience. It's all relatively simple in comparison to handling airflow physics, but it's not without its challenges. Elliot is being awesome as usual and lots of testing involving bleeding out and suffocation has occured.
Meanwhile, Karroon has been -amazing- at implementing a responsive character controller that uses motion capture efficiently, blends the animations, interacts with the environment and reacts to outside forces realistically. We'll put up a video of this soon - only problem is getting more motion capture data. We don't have equipment yet, so we're using a lot of stock stuff. If you have any suggestions be sure to let us know!
HOW DO I MAP THINGS? Level Design
Nelson, our art and visual lead has been working himself silly among a whole host of real-life issues; and for this we are eternally grateful. We're taking a step back in terms of how we're going to be handling level design.
As much as we'd love to custom-design each part of the station to be specifically made for whatever purpose it serves, there are two problems we see with this approach:
1. It doesn't suit the profile of UniTech as a mass-producing corporation.
2. I don't even want to get into how more difficult it'd make airflow and destruction.
So of course, Nelson being the genius and hardworker he is, has come up with a very usable and realisstic grid-based system, which we can (almost like lego) plop down pieces onto our map that'll simple work with each other, pipes, electrics and airflow included. Pretty cool huh?
Not complicated at all, right?
(Yes, that means the level designer is going to be awesome too.)
ART! So pretty..
Meanwhile on the art side of things, our modellers have been pumping out assets for our Alpha environment, while our concept artists have been drawing some very pretty hings. Below you'll find some designs for some scientific bits of equipment. And a food dispenser. That's not scientific, but people have got to eat, right?
We need power too, obviously. Our stations are fusion powered! This is an early concept of something we'd like to see.
Our electrical system is quite advanced, and we've got lots of gadgets and such to help us manage it in-game. Above are some designs we're working on.
Above are some more designs for scientific and miscellaneous objects you'll find in Centration.
Sound and Music
As usual our resident composer Flalaski is trucking on making amazing music and sounds for Centration. Nothing really to show off right now, but we'll have something soon in our next video update. He's made a few new music tracks too. Might stick one up on Youtube later today, who knows?
That's all for now folks, but we'll see you in a couple of weeks with another devblog!