Welcome to another edition of our DevBlog! We've had a really busy two months and we couldn't deliver our May DevBlog! Let's not tarry here in the intro though, let's get right down to it.
Tech Demo Gameplay Video
I supposed the biggest news is our Tech Demo Gameplay Teaser! You can check it out below if you haven't already. The tech demo was pushed out via a twitch.tv livestream and yielded an amazing response from our community and the public.
The video consisted of a demonstration of our dynamic airflow volumes in action, dynamic electrical grids powering the lights and the consoles, and communication using our internal 'network' between panels and electrical systems. The best part was left to the end, where our unsuspecting crash-test dummy flipped a switch and was decompressed out a huge airlock! There's lots and lots more to sho off very soon!
Check the video out below:
Story and the In-Game Universe!
Since the genesis of Centration, a few of us have been working hard to develop not only the universe of the game but a myriad of companies, events and technology that fill that universe. As we write more and more, the world of Centration not only gets bigger but deeper and fuller. Our goal is to create a fully-realized universe in which the Centration station is but one tiny speck; the latest innovation in a history of expansion, war, treachery and espionage. You have the opportunity to read as we write, to watch the story unfold as it's created with the Centration Wiki. This is an unusual window into how a game world is developed and maintained and all you have to do to take advantage of it is click this button!
In case you don't feel like trawling through the chunk of stuff we've already written, here's an excerpt from the UniTech article to whet your appetite:
Universal Technologies was founded in 2005 by a young Scientist named Alex Fenning who, fresh out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, decided that not enough was being done to aid NASA in their space exploration mantra. Fenning was granted an investment of $3,000,000 USD by an anonymous investor, and proceeded to set up the small company.
UniTech first made a name for themselves in 2076, when they successfully produced and tested new fusion-based engines that could provide efficient and long-term acceleration in space without the need to carry a large fuel supply; the most notable factor of this invention being that it was affordable and easy to produce. NASA contracted UniTech's new technology as soon as it became available. However shortly before the deal could be settled the Monopoly Crisis, the first war between nation and corporation, began and NASA was closed and dissolved by the US Government.
Later, the private space-exploration company SpaceY contracted UniTech for their fusion engines. This gave UniTech the boost they needed to start slowly expanding their corporation. They grew their R&D department and founded a production Facility in Nevada, Texas to cope with demand by SpaceY, who were attempting to put as many space-craft as they could into deep-space exploration.
Behind closed doors, UniTech harbored dreams for deep-space exploration too, having acquired the research from NASA's now defunct warp-drive program. They were unable to pursue this dream however due to technical limitations and lack of funding. As successful as they were, they were not yet quite in competition with the rest of the world's corporations.
Years went by and UniTech slowly grew to become a competitor in the world's economic market. Their technological breakthroughs had not only boosted the privatization of space-travel but also household technology including computing, visual and even food appliances. They soon began providing other research and development companies with their own technology...Trent Hubbard, Writer for Centration
Read the rest here. Keep your eyes peeled for regular updates on the progress of the wiki as well as the other facets of the game coming soon.
A few of our members have had to leave our ranks for personal reasons, and we are sad to see them go. We have however brought on additional talent to offset this loss, so we're happy to welcome to the team:
Matt "Kleid", 3D Modeller
Nick "Knicky", 3D Modeller
Trent "Pyromanter", Writer
Jackob "ThePinkPanzer", Writer
Jeff "JeffDeaf", Writer
We've also reassigned neogoo123 to programming, as that's where his specialities lie!
This week in code
Bigtoe takes us through his thoughts on this weeks progress in programming!
Poor Crash Test Dummy
Our "space homer simpson", as you guys so lovingly dubbed him when his belly showed up on camera in our video, really has a tough week behind him. In order to meet our Saturday deadline for the tech demo, we all did horrible things to him. Karroon was heaping abusive physics on him from all sides, Whinis did his best to shove him around with gusts of air and made all the preparations so Elliot could make him suffocate and freeze to death in the empty void of space.
All the while I was making him use interactive panels over and over again, made him shield his eyes from the flickering lights, and also tried once or twice to crush him under an airlock.
Poor guy. A whole team of programmers working in coordination to make him suffer. Well, I believe we succeeded :)
Looking at our roadmap, I am very pleased with progress in the last few weeks. Airflow is in a state where we call it functional. It will need tweaking and optimizing when the maps grow larger, but so far it's simply amazing. We will definitely show you more of the things it can do in the next demos!
Electrical wiring is functional and waiting to be integrated into our next demo map. Soon you will see the whole system in action, hear generators hum, have airlocks stopping in mid-motion when the batteries run low (just make sure you're on the right side!), and more hijinks! So you better get your rubber gloves ready. For the more delicate-fingered computer nerds among us, the computer and console panels are coming along great. Underneath the hood, there's electronic components that communicate with each other, there's software packages being loaded into controller boards, there's sensors to call upon, ... heck, even the Datasphere (what we call our local, in-station WiFi) is up and running! The framework for all this is there, and as soon as we finish the in-game scripting language,
all hell will break looseorderly programmers will make the station run really smooth and safe.
"Asset Pipeline" or "Asset Crowbar"?
My sympathies today go to our modelling and artwork team. With the progress we're making on the code side of things, these guys are getting swamped with demands from us: "Make me a computer console!", "We need more furniture!", "Give me a cornered, bevelled WallSection with bolt-mounted maintenance panels!" and so on.
But so far, they are keeping up great. Nelson and his team did some amazing work with those generic room tiles. They really captured the mood we are going for with this game. When we get time to set up some proper lighting and some high-detail rendering, it is going to look even more atmospheric. Go Unity! Go modelling team!
One last thing: You guys are amazing. We were all very anxious and excited when we started the tech demo and Q&A session, but you guys were so great and supportive, it felt a little like being a rockstar (in space, of course). Apart from the usual clown silliness (which we will have _special_ ways to deal with when alpha starts *evil grin*), your questions were smart, reflected your enthusiasm for this project, and showed us to no little extent that we're headed the right way and that there IS an audience for Centration!
Thank you.Bigtoe, Lead Programmer