Stellar Overload News RSS http://stellar-overload.com/news <![CDATA[An alien jungle?]]> 1e3d9bd636c65e5f9f59d69a82321186
Let me introduce, from top to bottom, the Agavea, the Globulea and the Pachycereus (which Crounchan calls tirelessly the pachydermus...Disbeliever.)

/img/newsblog/reymantha/alien_vegetal_skir.jpg]]>
<![CDATA[So cute!]]> 872e1f41e06626287f70c84ea29e7a1f
]]>
<![CDATA[All together!]]> f5ed518288178b2fcfa8c72b00058c7a
English speaking, French speaking, Imperium Machina or Rebels, all your comments are now merged!

Of course we are not closed to change in case we realise it's not a good solution.

Hope you'll enjoy ;)
]]>
<![CDATA[Construction materials!]]> 28faff39d9bbf0e6221bbf6be7e97e05
They are at your disposal to...build and only to build. Building materials cannot be used as ressources in craft recipes.

/img/newsblog/reymantha/construction_materials.jpg

For the moment, colors are limited but it is planned to enlarge this choice soon.]]>
<![CDATA[Lumiblob, lumilove <3]]> 52936a3adcfe3142ae5c6e86c0915b2b
/img/newsblog/squick/newsblob.jpg

This little critter is still in concept right now, but you should find them soon lurking around in caves.

What do you think of them?]]>
<![CDATA[Yet another friendly face!]]> a1cd2dc0ddea3e955606d63c4f20f1f2
/img/newsblog/squick/agavNews.jpg

It will be thorny very soon...]]>
<![CDATA[It's in the tree]]> db7ddfceab7925dcf8083b37dee9adaa

The rebels on Istara... What are they building there?

Note that this is a concept art of a rebel base :)]]>
<![CDATA[New building contest: a French garden]]> c1c4b3dcf45c43993b91d55f2bbbb893
You’ll have to build a French garden: regularity, garnitures, sculptures. And you can also build a little cabin if you want to.

Your creations must fit in the blue print you'll share on the Steam Workshop.

The contest’s rules and some building advices can be found here.

For this challenge, you can team up to 3 players to submit.

/img/newsblog/domino/THE_FRENCH_GARDEN_thumbnail.jpg

Note that:

- This contest is directly linked with the Steam Workshop (it is not anonymous anymore)!
- You can only be on the podium once (you cannot be on the first three places with three different constructions)

Take a lot of screenshots and choose the best pictures, you can submit up to 5 pictures!

Note that you will only have 3 votes, beware where you put them ;)

The winning team elected by the community will be rewarded as well as the winning team elected with the developers’ prize. Both constructions will be integrated in the game!]]>
<![CDATA[The Last Stand]]> fed8cd29fbfc427e567079ccf59e54f5
/img/newsblog/bushi/Combat_ia.jpg]]>
<![CDATA[See the world in a better way]]> 47a85f30b2623d376a7547f6fe1bbea7
The detail textures of the block families are going to be updated.

/img/newsblog/reymantha/detail_texture_update.jpg
Down you can find the old ones, up you can find the new ones.
From left to right: "dirt", "wood", "grass", "vegetals", "ore" and "rock".


Coming soon, new blocks with new textures...]]>
<![CDATA[Almost a week ago...]]> b771c8dd2fda19e8e25f51b33176b280
Here are a few memories.

 


Were you there?]]>
<![CDATA[Cubical Challenge #4 Q&A is over!]]> 7001f09bda6b7376c3c29408933691e3 Thanks to Reymantha, Bushi, Guyk, Crounchann, CodingMarmot and Squick!

What do you think of their constructions?

 



See it again on our Twitch channel and on our Youtube channel very soon!

See their constructions on Steam Workshop!

Reymantha,
CodiingMarmot,
Squick,
Guyk,
Bushi,
Crounch.

Congratulations to all our challengers!

Prepare other ideas for the next challenge on April 5th!
]]>
<![CDATA[CUBICAL CHALLENGE #4]]> 9c7a5c8fd10c1fc322229c06db666f36
And this time, come to a Q&A session with NeoM!

Challenge us with some new construction ideas!
Each team member will have two hours to take up your challenges.

Remember: Cubical Challenges are now going to happen every first Wednesday of the month!

/img/newsblog/domino/cubicalChallenge_4.jpg]]>
<![CDATA[Here are our winners!]]> 3e49b75428bed0a825dddcd8cc4021c0
/img/newsblog/domino/Stellargates.jpg

Congratulations to Edocon, Alexc103 and Georgia!]]>
<![CDATA[International Cannes Game Festival, here we are!]]> 52982de7f753fc1460f9bccbe5bc1e68
The entrance is free and we can't wait to meet you IRL!

Three community members will be on our booth with us, so exciting!

/img/newsblog/domino/fij-poster.jpg]]>
<![CDATA[I/0 npc concept]]> e1e5093b1200ee35643b50f2a0805acf

Half robot and half human, who is this mysterious "Girlbot"? Stay tunned!...]]>
<![CDATA[You can now vote for your favorite Stellargates! ]]> 304cb204d5749d9878d07823b4e57949
You can vote here: http://www.stellar-overload.com/contests/stellargates/

We can't wait to know the winners!]]>
<![CDATA[Looks like big bones are back in style...!]]> 9321336c3b6dc6a82fe54f9fee098fa0
I was thus asked to make even more of these giant carcasses. You should probably find them all in the next update...!

/img/newsblog/squick/newsbone1.jpg

Also, how about a little biology class? It's nice to see that we're all the same on the inside...!

/img/newsblog/squick/skull.jpg]]>
<![CDATA[A happy event! ]]> 75786c6d0f7f175bbc3d2d9603bdd884
We know how much you love these brave creatures which pay their devotion for your safety with their lives: The Arkuloids.

No, don't let sorrow overwhelm your mind, it is not the time to mourn, it is the time to be delighted!

Yes be delighted with us! And witness the birth of new Arkuloids*!
Stronger, smarter, faster, and most of all, even more devoted to your cause!

We have the honor to introduce:

The Explosive Arkuloids



These noble servants are ready to sacrifice their lives for you at any moment, literally at any moment!

The Rocket Arkuloids



Real trailblazers, these ones won't let you down!

The Glitched Arkuloids



Even if they can look unstable, be sure that you can count on this explosive's variant to restore balance!

We're not only celebrating the birth of new Arkuloids today, but a new victory in the fight against the constant terror which these so-called "Rebels" seek to propagate!

But let's not let these dark thoughts ruin our day, please be glad, citizens! Be delighted!

This was a message from the minister of Order and Peace.

*The visuals and names you can see on the videos are placeholders, and will change upon release.]]>
<![CDATA[It's all about logic!]]> 1fcab2a83bec2de15372338e1f691239

"I activate a lever therefore...". It's now up to you to finish this sentence and create your own logic.]]>
<![CDATA[A brand new menu!]]> a7dbf3c5924d9f62077edee96d1aff7f

Isn't it wonderful? ]]>
<![CDATA[Cubical Challenge #3 is over!]]> 54f0afd5edff25dbe57622506d66e45b Thanks to Reymantha, Bushi, Vaalac, Crounchann, Blockbuster and Squick!

What do you think of their constructions?

 



See it again on our Twitch channel and on our Youtube channel!

It's getting harder, but the Eiffel Tower is now done!
Prepare other ideas for the next challenge!
]]>
<![CDATA[A minor change in the game]]> 0deca6a9cf48e018dc248d250907cfda Sorry, news about the game have been rare in the last few weeks...

Worth waiting...? :)

Starting in the next version, when you'll detach a small group of blocks from a planet or a vehicle, it will be subject to physical forces, and will fall on the ground.

If one of those groups of blocks is not modified for a while, and if it is not made into a vehicle by attaching a gyrograv block or an aeroblock to it, it will eventually be destroyed.]]>
<![CDATA[Cubical Challenge #3! ]]> 7691c3787c5612ebcd6f9fd9f992f2bf Wednesday 1st February at 7pm Paris Time (1pm in Florida and 10am in California)!

Challenge us with some new construction ideas!
Each team member will have two hours to take up your challenges!

Note: Cubical Challenges are now going to happen every first Wednesday of the month!

/img/newsblog/domino/cubicalChallenge_3.jpg

Bring up some ideas! :)
]]>
<![CDATA[New building contest: Stellargates]]> 59b16f0a42712b37eee275ff176a9717 A new building contest starts today! The theme is: stellargates.
There are different kind of Stellargates in science fiction universes, feel free to use any shapes and any material: let your imagination run free!

/img/newsblog/domino/CONCOURS_STELLARGATE_Ref.jpg
From left to right: Jim Martin, Yann Holmes, Baitak.
*The pictures here are only examples.


You are almost totally free for this contest, your creations have to fit in the blueprint you'll share on the Steam's workshop. The contest’s rules and some building advices can be found here.

Note:

- This contest is directly linked with the Steam Workshop (it is not anonymous anymore)!
- You can only be on the podium once (you cannot be on the first three places with three different constructions)
- You can do your screenshots in flat mode or in nature mode, as you want

Take a lot of screenshots and choose the best pictures, you can submit up to 5 pictures!

The first prize winner will win a figurine of the hero in the orange armor.]]>
<![CDATA[3D spaceships from the construction challenge!]]> b45b7f10b8faafd88d2c81344700a5c5
What do you think? We love them and we couldn't wait any longer to share them with you!

 


Thanks again to all the participants!

Be ready for the announcement of the next construction challenge tomorrow!]]>
<![CDATA[Early Access Update 2 Fix - 0.8.6.2]]> 6d50aa6bbb368d87dd53908901fb8e71
This version is mostly a fix version. Find the full release note here.

Notable changes:

- All the recipes are now known in custom mode.
- Switches and notes are now indestructible to prevent being stuck in the quest line.
- Fixed a synchronization issue between the quest tracking widget and the quest log.
- Items dragged and dropped from a container to the player’s inventory are now correctly counted by quests requiring those items.
]]>
<![CDATA[Cubical Challenge #2 is over!]]> 7a91e64814e4953baa07bf4ae27382c5 Thanks to Reymantha, Angetsu, Crounchann, Bley, Squick and Bushi!

Let’s take a look at their constructions! What do you think?

 



See it again on our Twitch channel!

We hope you really enjoyed it.
Prepare other ideas for the next challenge!
]]>
<![CDATA[Cubical Challenge #2 is tomorrow!]]> 037c6ab37f373965cf172b242647a518
Have fun and challenge us!

Challenge us with some new construction ideas!
Each team member will have two hours to take up your challenges!

/img/newsblog/domino/cubicalChallenge_2.jpg

There is still time to post more ideas on the dedicated thread on the forum, on Facebook or on Twitter.

We will be able to follow the challenge live on our Twitch channel!


What do you think?

Here is what they chose!

Bushi: Medieval tower
Reymantha: a Mad Max-like vehicule
Squick: Dinosaure skeleton
Angetsu: a statue of Domino
Crounchann: the end of the Eiffel Tower
Bley: spatial depot

React live and on our social networks with the #cubicalchallenge hashtag!]]>
<![CDATA[Second Cubical Challenge!]]> 7e45d5daddf0be3d2a573a80264648dd We are!
Let’s go for the Cubical Challenge #2 on Wednesday 18th January at 3pm (Paris time)!

Challenge us with some new construction ideas!
Each team member will have two hours to take up your challenges!

/img/newsblog/domino/cubicalChallenge_2.jpg

Bring up some ideas! :)
]]>
<![CDATA[Musical trip through the swamps]]> ff00f5d84f946c82b1135e99e4bc687c Today, I’d like to let you hear the new music I’ve composed to illustrate the swamps of Istara.



Istara is very different from Merx, mostly because it is a multi-biome planet. The white forest is at the highest point, the sequoia forest is in the middle, and the swamps are located at the lowest point. For a bit more variety, I decided to give more rhythm to the sequoia forest, and to give calm to the other two.

That's why I created this very contemplative music for the swamps, with, as always, instrumental and melodic variations throughout the day. About that, I'll let you discover it in the next patch...
]]>
<![CDATA[Follow us on social networks!]]> 62b6b638352e4a922fc571a798b4ae7b Follow us on social networks so you won't miss any news!

/img/newsblog/domino/follow-us.png

• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StellarOverloadTheGame


• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stellar_overload_official/


• Twitter: https://twitter.com/StellarOverload


• Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PlanetsCube
]]>
<![CDATA[The first Cubical Challenge is over! ]]> 764e2f94c532b5a6aad5b402ccd75dea Thanks to Reymantha, Crounchann, Squick and Bushi !

Let’s take a look at their constructions ! What do you think ?

 


We hope you really enjoyed it. Prepare other ideas for the next challenge!
]]>
<![CDATA[First Cubical Challenge tomorrow!]]> 2467a58e82411773af505148b768ac24
Have fun and challenge us! We have 2hours to take one of your challenges and we will post our creations on the workshop.

There is still time to post your ideas on the dedicated thread on the forum, on Facebook or on Twitter.

What do you think?

Crounchann chose the Eiffel Tower
Bushi chose the Naboo N-1 starfighter from Star Wars
Reymantha chose Goldorak
Squick chose the Puddle Jumper from Stargate

React live here: http://steamcommunity.com/broadcast/watch/76561198049652486
And on our social networks with the #cubicalchallenges hashtag!]]>
<![CDATA[A community manager has arrived]]> c9e9fb2ff56a05fb17fc65b7427cd892 Domino, she will be our community manager.

/img/newsblog/neom/IMG_0533_alex.jpg

This position was lacking since the beginning, and I think it will really make the difference for you in 2017!

She will also help me with the internal team management.

Let's welcome her warmly!]]>
<![CDATA[Happy New Year!]]> 76b774e4000f1b434bc6ae404d2917e8
This year, nothing will block us!

/img/newsblog/neom/Happy_New_Year_2017_v3.jpg

Once again, we want to thank you all very much for your support in 2016. We will do our best to surprise you even more in 2017!]]>
<![CDATA[The Cubical Challenges]]> ef7481499b00f417ea5a274de2ee923f Codename: The Cubical Challenges.
/img/newsblog/neom/cubicalChallenge.jpg
What is this thing?
Simple: you challenge us with some construction ideas, and we have a short amount of time to take up the challenge.

You post your ideas on a dedicated thread on the forum, on Facebook or on Twitter.
Each team member who wishes to participate chooses one challenge and has a limited amount of time to build and post his creation on the workshop.



The first challenge will take place on Thursday, January 5, at 2 pm (Paris time): 2h to take up one of your challenges!
]]>
<![CDATA[Early Access Update 2 Fix - 0.8.6.1]]> 95d5e5bfc3c6771488d6708987dec579
The complete release note is here.


Main improvements:
- localized shortcuts: by default, the shortcut configuration now takes your local language into account. And a new button appeared in the option panel: to reset the shortcuts depending on the keyboard layout (QWERTY for example)
- Workshop window: ergonomics update, bigger blueprints' preview
- We now receive a notification when another player discovers a new secret in a dungeon
- The orange destruction ghost now disappears when it's not necessary (when targeting a metablock with no gauntlet in hands for example)
- Recorder's ghost is now purple (blue is for construction, orange is for destruction)
- You can now use the N key when placing blueprints, which gives access to a new placement mode
- When recording a blueprint, you can now define the pivot point

]]>
<![CDATA[Fuuuuuusion!]]> 572d83f0b42bbec197c208ac12e616e5 Bley and Angetsu.

Bley is here for the level design. Angetsu will handle the quest design.


/img/newsblog/neom/bley_bob.jpg
Bley and Angetsu, fusion attempt... Bletsu?]]>
<![CDATA[Early Access Update 2, it's today!]]> 6081e6d418b6f971d59192d7a0e46bc1
We are glad to present the 0.8.6.0 early access update!
Here are the main new features you will find:


Istara

/img/newsblog/neom/Istara_low.jpg

Our second planet, Istara, has been highly improved, graphically and technically.
Istara is a cold forest planet with three biomes in it: the swamps, the sequoïa forest and snowy forest.
A new population of animals appeared : spiders, brakhs (a local boar) and bees.
New trees were also added: pines, spruces and above all, the giants sequoïas.


New vehicle : the Spacejet

/img/newsblog/neom/spacejetMB_low.jpg

3 new control blocks have been added: the Gyrograv block, the Spacejet cockpit and a directionnal thruster.
You can now get into space by building a spacejet with those new elements!

The thrusters allow you to control the direction of your ship. You will need 6 thrusters, one for each direction to fully control your ship (Forward, backward, move laterally to the left, or to the right, up and down).
If you put only 2 blocks forward and backward for instance, you will just be able to go forward or backward.

Do not forget to check the key bindings options: we added a vehicle section so you can set your bindings according to your preferences, with no effect to the character bindings (on foot).


Workshop on Steam feature : Share your plans with the community!

/img/newsblog/neom/Workshop_low.jpg

You want to show to the community your brand new spaceship you just made? You want to try a house a friend of yours did?
By pressing the “P” key while in game, you will open the plan sharing tool.
This tool allow you to share every plans you created with all your local saves, but also with the rest of the world directly on Steam Workshop.
Just drag and drop a plan from this new screen to your inventory and put it in your world (if you have the right blocks to build it!)
Just drag and drop a plan from your inventory to the workshop, add it and bam! It’s online!


New community feature: Transforming a creative universe into a custom universe

/img/newsblog/neom/modeCustom_low.jpg

Build your world in creative mode, then transform it into a custom universe (“C” button on the universe’s list). The custom mode is your universe with no scenario. You will start with an empty inventory and a knowledge of every recipes.
More options to customise this mode will be added in the future.


New features for the creative mode

/img/newsblog/neom/PoseCreature_low.jpg

You can now put creatures to create your own swarming dungeon! Eww... !

You can now define the spawn point for the players by using the /setspawn command. Use it for example to set the spawn point in front of your dungeon.

You can also enable or disable the inertia using the command /togglemomentum. Our artist team asked for this option, and some of you will definitely like it too!


Recorder improvement, and plan setting enhancement

Right click now registers automatically an object. The algorithm now spreads to all the blocks linked to the one you are targeting. You’d better separate your object from the ground before you do that ;)


New death system

Death is always hard to balance and above all, today we don’t have every tool to do it.
From now on, when you die, you will loose all your inventory but your weapons, ammo and armor.
You will need to come back where you died and click on the bag to loot your inventory.
Make some backup chests before you go kill some monsters, who knows ;)


New quest log

/img/newsblog/neom/JDQ_low.jpg
You can now follow a secondary quest by selecting it from the journal (press “J” key) and by clicking on the “Follow” button on the top right corner.
3 characters will wave at you at a moment during the adventure (at the end).
Keep an eye open ;)


You can also check every modifications and improvements we have done in the last seven weeks on the detailed release note of this new update here.

Note for all the AZERTY players: You need to reset your key bindings manually in the game options, due to the new spacejets mechanics, we currently can’t mix US and FR key settings anymore. We will provide a fix in a future patch regarding this issue.

Note for the builders: you can now access the old “EA1” version to create all the blueprints you want, and then copy them to the new version folder. To access the old version: right-click on Stellar Overload in your game list, choose “properties”, and go to the “betas” tab. Select the “steam_ea1_v0.8.5.2” version in the dropdown list.


As usual, we have open a new section on the forum. Do not hesitate to tell us your feelings about this new version of the game.

And most importantly : Have fun! ]]>
<![CDATA[Istara, coming soon, really soon...]]> c3f89671156b62ec224fb34e83cbdac5 We could not resist to show you more.


Istara has three types of landscapes: the White forest, the Sequoia forest and the Swamps. To find out more, see you on December, 14th ;)

I take this opportunity to congratulate the three artists who worked hard on this planet.

Thanks Crounchann, Squick and Bushi. (do you know them?)]]>
<![CDATA[Your mission if you accept it…]]> 00b1b476913e2ffd466fc51e66d5e88f
/img/newsblog/altalus/QuestLog.jpg]]>
<![CDATA[Istara, coming soon]]> 7e896911ef47c1cc95f21a39e689a8f2
/img/newsblog/reymantha/welcometoISTARA_1_after.jpg
/img/newsblog/reymantha/welcometoISTARA_3_after.jpg
/img/newsblog/reymantha/welcometoISTARA_2_after.jpg
/img/newsblog/reymantha/welcometoISTARA_5_after.jpg
/img/newsblog/reymantha/welcometoISTARA_4_after.jpg
]]>
<![CDATA[Death is only the beginning]]> bd980059ebf09f3f80115650630cfe1d But what happens when a clone dies?


From now on, a bag containing your old stuff will appear at your position when you'll die. You will have to pick it up to get your stuff back. :)]]>
<![CDATA[The community has chosen its favorite constructions]]> 944fcffb7319ae94bda2a3e2b96dee5d
/img/newsblog/neom/Treehouse_winners.jpg

The complete contest result here :
https://www.stellar-overload.com/contests/the-treehouse/

Congratulations to Georgia and Cross, builders of the first five constructions !]]>
<![CDATA[You can now vote for your favorite houses]]> 0a428867a9e81d7339537372ea711b14
Here It is:
https://www.stellar-overload.com/contests/the-treehouse/


In one week we will have our winners!]]>
<![CDATA[New building contest: a Treehouse]]> 7e9b1d9aa56625ffbc864bc1089619bd
Treehouse: an ecologic and futuristic building.

/img/newsblog/neom/HUT_IN_THE_WOODS_SLIDE_00.jpg

The shape of the house in the picture is only an example..


The contest’s rules and some building advice can be found here

One of the challenges of this contest will be to display the full potential of your construction in only one image. Take a lot of screenshots and choose the best!

The 5 houses elected by the community will be integrated to the game, most likely in the EA2.]]>
<![CDATA[Two more artists!]]> a801e2eace5ef6cdd1955ea764d40e19

Dear players,

I am very pleased to announce the arrival of Squick and Bushi in the artistic team.
I invite you to discover their profiles here

Now we are four!
Four times more perfection
four times more goodness and generosity,
but more importantly ...
four times more blocks.]]>
<![CDATA[Version 0.8.5.2 (EA1 Fix) : Mac Version + bug fix]]> 160b80789a7160255c490c2cfa49fd90
Mac users will finally be able to play the game on their computer!

And we corrected some other bugs:
- Fixed a crash when loading or saving a game.
- Updated the game's icon.
- Fixed an issue preventing to loot level 2 recipes and above.
- Removed access to /settime command in story mode.
- Removed green flashes when looking at a vehicle's cockpit or thruster.



Every patch notes can be found here: http://www.stellar-overload.com/the-game/release-notes.html?rn=17]]>
<![CDATA[Introducing Tricia]]> 2692143c16fd42f09eccdaf065900ea5

Tricia is the chief engineer of the rebels on Merx. She completely devoted her life to this cause, meaning she almost never sleeps. She’s so absorbed in her work that she never went out of the rebel camp since she joined. She’s so tired that she regularly tries anything in her experiments, frequently causing thunderous explosions...it’s already her fourth laboratory, in fact, which slightly annoys Orco.
]]>
<![CDATA[Version 0.8.5.1 (Fix EA1), first corrective update: freezes & other bugs & new features]]> 3dcbe82672b4f2f976e5a53984360890 here).
The major one was the problem of freezes some of you encountered, it now should never appear again.
Thank you for all your feedbacks!


We also implemented some new small but useful features during this week:

  • Possibility to use healing items in the action bar, without having to select them. Just use the key shortcut, and it will heal you. You can keep your weapon in your hands!
    /img/newsblog/neom/directUse.jpg
  • A research field on every inventory (the new button on the left)
    /img/newsblog/neom/research.jpg
  • A new camera tool in creative mode! We decided to give you access to our dev tool, which we used to make the trailer. But only in creative mode. See commands /addTravellingWP, /addTravellingTimedWP, /startTravelling, /resetTravelling, /saveTravelling and /loadTravelling
  • There is now a close button on every window in game
  • There is now an icon on the map for each vehicle allowing you to find them quickly
    /img/newsblog/neom/vehicleicon.jpg


Last added element: a free DLC with a music selection.

/img/newsblog/neom/main_capsule_sound.jpg

It's a selection of 24 tracks that can be heard in the game. From the vast plains of Merx to the dark hallways of the dungeons, you can now enjoy the music without playing the game. Hope you'll like it! (Songs will be placed in your Stellar Overload folder in the Steam Directory: ...Steam\steamapps\common\Stellar Overload\Sound Selection)



Also, it seems that you had some difficulties to find the different updates we released before being on Steam. You have two pages for that on our website:
  • The roadmap page showing major features of each “big” updates (and the planned features of the next update)
    /img/website/roadmap-progress/roadmap.jpg
  • The release notes page, where you can inspect in detail each updates since the beginning of the project

These two pages can be found on our website here.]]>
<![CDATA[The Linux version is now available on Steam!]]> a7e7d494d1b918ad9e864a07a5b96d97 <![CDATA[Stellar Overload early access is now on Steam !]]> ad8feedaed6c7a574daf014011be77aa


Official link: http://store.steampowered.com/app/397150

Thanks to all of you, who preorder the game on Kickstarter or here on our website, you really helped us to get here today!

As you may have noticed, there is no Mac or Linux version yet. We had some issues with these versions, but we will push them on Steam as soon as possible.



Most importantly for you: "Where is my Steam Key?"

Each player that already has an access to the game here on our website can get the steam key associated to his license.
You juste have to go to your account page. For each license you possess: just click the "Display Steam Key" button!

On Steam, you need to add the key. To do so:
- open steam
- click the "add a game..." button on the bottom left, then choose "activate a product on Steam..."
- enter the key, and the game will appear in your game list.

If you are a backer that never registered his account on our website, please follow this process.

If you are a backer that chose the first Kickstarter tier, but want to test the early access, you can (with some $) transform your "release license" to an "alpha license". To do that, please go to your account page, choose your license and click the "upgrade" button. You will then see the "Display Steam key" button.]]>
<![CDATA[Introducing Orco]]> 433e52805c1bd3a485d8d78332e97c0c

Orco is the rebel leader on Merx. His troopers see him as a tough but fair leader, demanding but really kind. Former inhabitant of the Verdant Garden, he joined the Rebellion when his mother was captured by robots of the Imperium Machina. Since then he chases them tirelessly, hoping to find her alive one day.
]]>
<![CDATA[Introducing Arthus]]> 9d4f72db2657d1894449586a13cab760

Arthus is the Master Builder of the village. He is the one who built all the houses, and he’s particularly proud of Master Li King Pei’s "Turtle House". He’s a passionate worker who’s having a bad time with aging. Indeed, his memory losses regularly make him forget objects, knowledge, or even the names of his friends. His days are increasingly devoted to looking for the best spot for a nap.
]]>
<![CDATA[Early Access is coming!]]> ea89bf9be9cab0fdae472f89184e2535

The website will be updated today to reflect the current state of the game. The 12th of October, we will update some videos and images in "the game" part of the website to introduce the new gameplay features of this upcoming version.]]>
<![CDATA[Introducing Selia]]> 4defd8dc2b46414594f39b8c83c4f041
Selia is the Craft Master of the village. She designs all the objects that can serve the community: jars, cloning tanks, supplies, but also delicious fruit juices she drinks without any moderation. The vitamins overload contained in these juices seems to make her extremely nervous. Since Orco left, she has trouble accepting the constant tranquility of the village, and secretly thinks about joining the rebels on Merx.]]>
<![CDATA[But where is the stellargate?]]> 08aa47a5f20d2cda305af64a306adb5e The map is also shared with other players of the game session and is unveiled as you discover the planets!

The new minimap (top right corner) and the new planet's map

Have fun!

CodingMarmot.

Note: lots of map's visuals are of course placeholders!]]>
<![CDATA[Introducing JOE]]> b6a3dd2a3ee79ffc197dc33182ecee33

Joe is the sports coach of your village and is one of the first characters you'll meet in Stellar Overload. Every morning, he goes to meet the villagers to offer them a zen training...

But his vision of zen is quite special and can be globally summed up to whistling as hard as possible during the entire duration of the exercises… He says he created a new technique called "Yin Yang push-ups", combining muscle rigor to spiritual escape...even if no one seems to understand what it is.
]]>
<![CDATA[The winners of the first building contest]]> 445d1eec605435cdf4eda473e62211a4
The community has elected its 3 favorite ships, so here they are:

FIRST COMMUNITY AWARD
/img/newsblog/neom/9bdrv1xnmhclgwp.jpg
Georgia, you are the big winner of this contest, your ship is superb!



SECOND COMMUNITY AWARD
/img/newsblog/neom/2hyzt1212fa0f7h.jpg
Fantastic Cyberjasse!


And agreed with Cyberjasse, who expressly asked not to monopolize two of the community prizes, we award the third prize to the next builder in the list. Nice gesture Cyberjasse, thank you!

THIRD COMMUNITY AWARD
/img/newsblog/neom/8eqm9iw5fzscf9e.jpg
Congratulations Paper_Cube!



Congratulations to the three of you for your constructions!
And above all, all the other builders, the 31 participants, who have spent hours building their masterpiece for the greatest pleasure of our eyes, deserve thunderous applause.
Congratulations to all of you, AJ1AJ, Anannoc, arthurj014, BinHawkins, Celliniho, Cross, GaetanGS, EpiC JJJ, Haldor, hyperschnizel, Kioujay, Klajemite, Kuedis, Maxouvita, Nascio, Laqueen88, Lil'Sheep, PauMS, PaulosTheMister, Reazorgot, Senon, Serinexxa, Shoray, Silmar, SnaiXo, Talarean, TBX3, Waric, Wolverine22, xDrink, Xehanort672 !
We will be contacting the 3 winners soon regarding the reward management.


Now, you must all be wondering which space ship we selected. The one we will put on the game’s visuals. We have been hesitating, especially Reymantha who has been decisive in the final choice, so here it is:

DEVELOPERS AWARD
/img/newsblog/neom/iubztjfvwzot6mt.jpg
Him again! Congratulations to you Cyberjasse!


We thank you all for your participation, for your constructions and for your votes. This first experience has really been conclusive and we will be doing it again soon!
]]>
<![CDATA[UI revamping]]> d2cef1433f49fe71127d5bb56525665b We already had some improvements in mind but your feedbacks were really useful.

Our objective was to present the new UI on the first Steam early access version: that will be the case.

Today, after hundreds of hours of work for Reymantha (concept art) and Altalus (dev), I want to present you a preview of this new interface, without going into details (it's a work in progress, some texts are not good):

/img/newsblog/neom/UI_preview_lowrez.jpg]]>
<![CDATA[My Window, I want it exactly here, and nowhere else!]]> 755b88efa68811670d2910d2d78d5048 It is really helpful to remove a wall that you didn’t want, or to dig a window or a door inside an already existing wall.



This feature will also be available in story mode!

CodingMarmot.]]>
<![CDATA[You can now vote for the spaceships]]> 23d314647266a1b5fa753651f4d1afdb
And during this 3 weeks you can also continue to submit new spaceships.


https://www.stellar-overload.com/gallery/contests/summer-2016-building-contest]]>
<![CDATA[The power of light]]> e5ec025e87e54f6c4c7cf77242249909
for my first post, I'd like to introduce a new kind of block, risen from the dark depths of a tormented game designer's brain.
It's a laser, and I'll let you here judge his "atrocible" power of destruction (not for the faint-hearted)



No (real) animals were harmed during the filming.]]>
<![CDATA[Thank you for your feedbacks]]> ee6127584bed1ea5a7c3182157d93c8e
Hopefully some of you will already find some requested improvments in the first Steam early access !]]>
<![CDATA[A new developer has joigned the team]]> e251178d569b571ee89b3cf2b6c42429
/img/newsblog/neom/R0d.jpg
Vaalac, CodingMarmot, R0d, BlockBuster

He has a strong professional expertise in computer science. He wanted to work in the video game industry for a long time. It’s now the case.

More details about him here: https://www.stellar-overload.com/the-team/r0d/
]]>
<![CDATA[Public Notification]]> 32c5d4d2826402f314834b383df54ac1
Effective this day, the use of the "Sticky Block" feature (also know as "secondary fire") of the primitive weapon you call "Blocks-Thrower" to degrade any Imperium's Complex will lead to corporal pursuits.



Any information on the whereabouts of a wrongdoer will be rewarded.

This was an official message of the Imperium Machina for the protection of Order and Peace.]]>
<![CDATA[Upgraded Blocks-Thrower]]> 3cc286ab8d84db5fb34eb862fa455f86 We upgraded it to give it more impact inside the game. It's now a weapon that launches blocks (instead of tetras), slower than before, but inflicting more damage. It's also more impressive visually and soundwise.

Here is a video showing its primary shot.


]]>
<![CDATA[A new start for the STEAM release!]]> 11f1af8c5d0a26dffe9d3b890a25a1a7

Hello !

We are very active at designing the narrative part of the game at the moment . You can already note that you will start the game at the heart of King Li Pei's garden.
Byebye till next news !]]>
<![CDATA[Improved block placement ghost]]> 855b1a4e78f068f434b9553f84d11a92
So we decided to improve the block placement ghost:

]]>
<![CDATA[A survey about the last alpha version]]> 9764ac70f3e2fa48798f75514ced5290
https://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/7TC7PHR

We hope you will participate massively !]]>
<![CDATA[Epic is really epic !]]> bc21103b28f05b9db2ad51d273b08ed5
https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/july-epic-games-awards-75k-in-unreal-dev-grants

That's trully epic !]]>
<![CDATA[First official building contest]]> 93ee436cba5007b954bbb6f4592548db The first official building contest starts today!

For more ease and to be able to answer to all your questions, we put the contest's details and rules here on the forum.

Prepare your pens, your rulers, your blocks and start building!
]]>
<![CDATA[Call to spatial architects: official community building contest]]> e4b0df9725e0ac439b80a3c79ac9a5e8 new Stellar Overload key art. Today we use the tree concept art. But with the incoming Steam early access release, we needed to go further with this picture, sending a more appropriate message. The current picture shows exploration, space, and science-fiction but is missing the adventure, action and multiplayer parts of our game.
So, we chose to upgrade this key art, and among all the things present in it, there will be a spaceship!

And then I said: "What if the players could create this spaceship?".
After months of reflection, and after the alpha 3 release, we found the idea very fun. And we hope you’ll enjoy it too!

Today I am very happy to announce that the first Stellar Overload official building contest will start on July, the 4th!

/img/newsblog/neom/challenge_drawing2.jpg

Process will be simple:
  • During the summer: you will be able to submit as many spaceships as you want
  • At the end of the summer: you will be able to vote for the ones you like the most
  • After the vote: the creators of the first three spaceships will receive a 3D printed version of their ship, before Christmas
  • And we will choose a spaceship, among all proposed spaceships, that will be integrated to the key art


Complete contest rules will be available on July, the 4th.
But if you want to think about your spaceship as of today and be ready before others, it will be a human spaceship that can fly in the game (so your are limited to the current in game vehicle control blocks (T1-T5))
]]>
<![CDATA[Share your videos on Stellar Overload's gallery]]> c2f7ea38ec5fecd3838a6934d9e46ebc
When you submit a picture on the gallery, you will see a "Youtube Video" field in the form.

/img/newsblog/altalus/youtube-gallery.jpg

Just enter a link to your YouTube video into this field to let us display the video in the gallery.]]>
<![CDATA[Fix version of Alpha Blocky Blockade now available!]]> 6ea9d6b4aae6e36153238cac4cde770d download in the new version 0.8.4.1 of the alpha Blocky Blockade.

We will now concentrate our efforts on the Steam version.

You may find the details of the corrections here, in the second post:
http://www.stellar-overload.com/forum/topic/1969]]>
<![CDATA[Experimental Linux version]]> f94aa06f28feaf05c873ae5c9a59ef04 experimental Linux version containing both the dedicated server and the game client.

It is the same version as the version we released on Wednesday for Windows and Mac, which means that the bugs you reported since then haven’t been fixed in this version. Moreover some functionalities of the game client doesn’t work yet:
  • The ingame help page
  • The video played during loading when you go through a teleporter


On the dedicated server side, everything should work as well as on Windows.

For more information, and to share any bug specific to Linux you might encounter, see the dedicated thread “Blocky Blockade experimental Linux version” in the Alpha section of the forum.]]>
<![CDATA[Blocky Blockade: Stellar Overload's new alpha version is now live!]]> 322a2ab9d41afde4781d341aef4b25be download the third alpha version of Stellar Overload (build number 0.8.4.0). This is the last version before the Steam early access release.

 


In this new version you will be able, alone or with your friends, to:
  • discover the rebel camp beneath one of the clones' village, facing the Imperium Machina
  • run through a first procedural and designed dungeon: a fortress of the Imperium Machina and to encounter new enemies: legionaries and their imperator
  • build the first vehicle of the game: an hoverbike (please see the new in game help for more information on how to build it)
  • explore the first planet of Stellar Overload's adventure: Merx with its new generation features and its new animals
  • gather many resources to craft new weapons, armors, ammunitions, tools and other items useful for the adventure
  • equip an armor in the new character sheet (C key)
  • switch weapon's ammunitions using the X key to optimize damage dealt to enemies
  • change the grid alignment used for tools and object placement in story mode or blueprints placement in creative mode using the alignment functionalities (V / Shift-V keys)
  • find every recipe, open every chest in dungeons and villages or by suppressing members of the Imperium Machina
  • take control of the Imperium Fortress and/or activate the Stellar Gate needed for the adventure to continue (in the next intermediate version)
  • appreciate the new musical engine, using WWise, that allow a better musical environment in the game (with dynamic and adaptive music)
  • make use of the improved in game help (H / F1 keys)


This alpha's Original Soundtracks are also available for listening on our Soundcloud.

Other improvements have been implemented. You will find them in the release notes on the download page.

We also opened new forum posts, where you can share all your feedback and / or bugs you encounter.

Have a good game!]]>
<![CDATA[A new alpha before going on Steam]]> 863a28f880e20bee5bdf4b27c679c793
Indeed, some features were much more complicated than anticipated, mostly the dungeons (and the dungeons' editor) and the vehicles.
These two features we started in January are gameplay challenges but also and above all technical challenges, because they are closely related to our blocks engine. We got tons of technical issues to overcome that eventually induced a mountain of work.

So, we will go on Steam after the summer, when we are ready. The goal being to bring the most polished product possible on Steam.

But, in a few days, we will be delivering another alpha version. This is not the Steam version yet, some content and improvements are still missing, but you will be able to test the new features.

/img/newsblog/neom/merx_village_and_more_low.jpg

In order to be able to give you the best possible gameplay, your feedback will be most welcome as always since the beginning of the project.]]>
<![CDATA[To infinity... and beyond !]]> e5a982a9b2ddc88f3f1d8edaae9510a2
That's why I took the liberty to do some minor modifications. ;)


You'll learn more about that really soon!

PS : No comment allowed about my bad driving!]]>
<![CDATA[The clones village]]> 4317910f37d20d9f3db05c1f9ea0014b
With Ross and Monica we decided to share some houses together.
You are invited to the housewarming of our village on Merx.

/img/newsblog/reymantha/News_Clone_Village_preview.jpg

In here, days are fun, birds are singing, Monica is knitting, and my carrots are growing. A pulsing life that we'd like to share with you.
Come at 301 on X, 24 on Y, on the top face of Merx. "

Chandler

PS: "Thanks a lot to the village builder, Mr Reymantha, this god, this genius!"]]>
<![CDATA[Evolutive soundscapes and Surround sound]]> 01f5913775601e34c1bb62e4187f52b0 «Sometimes ago, the sun was constantly shining, but since Cubical Drift gave us a true day/night cycle, I can finally sleep a little better. I say "a little better", because the little birds chirping in my ears all night drive me crazy, and it does not seem quite normal. Can you help me?”
Enrico Balt (carrot juice producer on Merx)

I listened to you, Enrico, and now the soundscapes, like the music, are following the course of the day gradually. Notice in the video below how the birds are replaced by crickets and then by a nightlife ambience. With a music that does the same, you can now sleep peacefully.



A few months ago, I have also received this poignant testimony:

"While I was walking quietly on Merx (I was picking dahlias for a nice bouquet for my dearly beloved), a disingenuous Arkuloid came from nowhere, attacked me from behind and grabbed my last health points. Well, the cloning tank brought me "back to life", but it's not always easy to live with the Imperium Machina, you know. "
Cassio P. (farmer clone on Merx)

When I saw the moving testimony of this farmer, I understood the need for surround sound combined with good localization of sound sources. With the combined powers of Wwise and of the Unreal Engine 4, you will ear the exact location of the naughty Arkuloid who just woke up nearby. When starting the game, Wwise automatically detects your sound configuration and adapts to offer you the best sound experience depending on your hardware. From stereo to 7.1, you can now explore the planets safely... Well, watch out for the Imperium Machina, you never know...]]>
<![CDATA[All Hail Imperium Machina !]]> a27caf9a1cf21901456605792e63106c
We’ve been living in fear for too long, a fear engendered by these vicious criminals calling them-self « The Rebellion » and who, while pretending to bring the so-called « liberty », are committing the most terrible crimes : Thievery, Murder, Looting, Jazz Broadcasting.

But rejoice ! Today is a big day in the fight against the enemies of our people !

Our engineers, working day and night for the Glory of the Imperium, invented the T.A.R.D.I.S* (TActical Retreat and DIstract System) allowing any equipped Unit to move at very high speed on a short distance.

Watch right now our Testing Units try the last technological wonder for peacekeeping !



This was an official message of the Imperium Machina for the protection of Order and Peace.

*The use of T.A.R.D.I.S by any organic creature might provoke nausea, headaches or instantaneous death.
** No test unit was harmed during the making of this film.
]]>
<![CDATA[Color grading!]]> dd9886a397319e0530e8159cd75d109b
/img/newsblog/reymantha/news_jour_nuit_preview.jpg

The graphics of the game have reached a new level. After the clusters (see here), setting the color grading over time allows us to better appreciate the different atmospheric shades of the various moments of the day.

This is what you can see in this 30 seconds video, showing the day/night cycle on Merx.



And if the sun rises tomorrow morning - which I'm pretty sure - and we're outside at sunrise - which I'm much less sure - we could enjoy the color grading in real life! Go on, I dare you!]]>
<![CDATA[Woah !! My very first post.]]> 6dd3f308aeaeb87554e8668ca8021ded Guided by the clear vision of Reymantha, I am discovering with enthusiasm all the possibilities and creative constraints.
Step by step, I am getting my bearings and I let myself be surprised by the clusters and the life they inspire.
Day after day, viewing and contributing to the evolution of this project is a delight.

]]>
<![CDATA[Glory to clusters!]]> bcb53ee99d425677622f02b0351cf98b
In nature everything is clusterized, the trees, the humans, the suns are clusterized. Well ... normal people call it a forest, a city and a galaxy...

Short! artists now have an ultimate weapon to flourish planets.
And Merx is the first on the list!

]]>
<![CDATA[I dreamed about it, Cubical did it.]]> 87ee2054abf39b89a1a589cba26bd94d New Block Times – March 23, 2016
"I heard you", he said a few days ago, when he read the comments of the news about alignment to a grid on the French forum. His neighbors confessed not having seen him since. However, anonymous witnesses state that he hid in his garage to, according to these sources, "develop at once a feature essential for the project’s survival". Here, at the editorial board, we were skeptical and asked our special correspondent to investigate.

After long journalistic tirades, he explained to us that the famous feature enables the player "to choose the alignment offset of the grid with the Shift-V key". Curious, we have been able to do an exclusive interview of the creator, which has resurfaced since this long weekend. He explained to us:
"We couldn’t release the product like this. Since the announcement of the feature (Ed: see our article here), users had bad preconceived ideas of the usability of the grid alignment on different contexts. […] So we thought it was important to compensate this limitation by enhancing the feature".

We asked our popularization specialist, Mr. Dushnock, to translate in more understandable terms the meaning of all this: "Basically, what he is trying to say is that by default it was aligned on a fix grid, that the user was unable to change. For example, if you try to place furniture in a house, it doesn’t align correctly with the floor (if you are unlucky). However you may want to use this alignment tool to place it. So what the pretentious tech guy is doing a poor job explaining is that he added a shift-V shortcut that enables the user to define the current position as reference position for the grid. That’s what you see on the video you showed me. It won’t save the world, but at least it will make the V key useful.".

We have had the opportunity to shoot this exclusive video (that Mr. Dushnock is talking about), where you can see the placement of meta-blocks on customizable alignment grids thanks to the shift-V key:



C.M.]]>
<![CDATA[The cloning tank]]> 7248251f1ec9afa7615d4f69707697bf /img/newsblog/reymantha/Cloning_tank_news_EN_preview.jpg]]> <![CDATA[Splat splat splat !]]> eee033c3d4cd200ae3bf104b4077c3ae It’s still in development, but it will enable you to replace an area of block of the same material with another material.

Look how to make the world more attractive!



Ok or maybe not... It’s the thought that counts!

Of course this tool has a limited area of effect (you can’t paint the whole planet in one shot!), it is yet to be optimized, and will be a real tool (for now it is a simple keyboard shortcut).]]>
<![CDATA[Back to the future]]> 121e974d6e83233065b5dd8cdd758367 But soon, thanks to the "Undo" and "Redo" features your life is about to change.



Can be found in any creative supermarket only. Condition in participating stores.
]]>
<![CDATA[Demolition Man]]> 4fb19cec2f8910cba6af358939f16f22


Currently, the plasma grenade (the green one) has a higher radius and do less damage than the thermal grenade (the red one). Other types of grenades are planned. And eventually, each technology will deal a particular damage type.

Ready to blow up some bad guys?

(As always, this work is in progress and is not final.)]]>
<![CDATA[A new artist joins the team]]> 9c781ab233968d729cc13b18e319be23 Finally, yes, Reymantha is no more the unique artist in a team composed mainly of engineers. He will be able to talk about art with someone who has the same sensibility and who will completely understand his language :)

Let me introduce « Crounchann », real name Sylvain Trabut, who joins the team to assist Reymantha on the artistic side of our beautiful project.

/img/newsblog/neom/news_sylvain-trabut.jpg

Sylvain will bring his artistic and technical expertise to the team. Indeed, since 5 years, he showed all his creative talent working as creative and artistic lead at Ankama on the games Fly'n and Island of Wakfu.
He will also be in charge of more technical parts, like the integration of our 3D assets.

I am really glad that he chose to join our team!
More details about him here]]>
<![CDATA[The Tesla pylon]]> 74d400c30185f238cd99d57da865278e /img/newsblog/reymantha/Tesla_pylon_news_EN_preview.jpg]]> <![CDATA[Aligned... aligned... ALIGNED!]]> cf640b999b99a7697c2a82953da25a16 For example, if you want to place containers with a size of 3x3x3, this will enable you to place them so that they are all aligned with each other:



That’s how it’s done! No more one block shift between stuff, everything right at its place, well aligned!

This feature also works with the tools, so you can activate / deactivate this grid magnetism with the digging gauntlets for example (you won’t need to switch tool to have this feature anymore, all the tools will have it naturally).
But where it really comes in handy is with the blueprints. If you create a set of blueprints of the same size, for example 16x16x16, you can now place them well aligned easily, like I did on the following video with a road construction set:



All with me for a more aligned world!

PS: this is not a political slogan, although...]]>
<![CDATA[The Nexus teleporter]]> 51424cfc667bf9c07de0ddd7904abeb8 /img/newsblog/reymantha/Nexus_teleporter_news_EN_preview.jpg]]> <![CDATA[Turrets]]> 473ed529d855730cb25c66459ae2d709
We heard this important request of yours. Soon, this wonderful tool will be at your disposal on most of the planets, and will get this great quest done for you¹, while you'll stay absolutely safe²!


¹ - In game only. If you'd like to hurt peacocks in real life, I strongly advise you to get medical assistance.
² - Safety is guaranteed in creative mode. In story mode, some unconfirmed reports let us believe there might be a slight confusion between players and peacocks, as far as turrets are concerned...

]]>
<![CDATA[The great Vaalac]]> 141772d98ed8483d8ac78f2bb66adc3a He comes from a land, faraway, where men fight with their bare hands to defend their clans. Risking his life, he retrieved the "code" and this allowed him to rise before his peers. Today he decided to join our ranks, to fight the yoke of the machines. The recovered "code" will surely be useful, and the man that found it even more.
Did we make the right choice? We will have our answer soon, when steam comes out of our weapons!


Yeah, I know, I could have simply said that the development team has grown :)

/img/newsblog/neom/Vaalac.jpg
CodingMarmot NeoM Mick BlockBuster Vaalac Altalus Guyk WonderB Reymantha

Please welcome Vaalac (real name Valentin), who joined us seven days ago and who will help us for the technical and gameplay part of the game.

More on him here: http://www.stellar-overload.com/the-team/vaalac/]]>
<![CDATA[Event at Cannes]]> 80ba22d8979dcb65e745e6ee8ea31278
http://www.stellar-overload.com/news/110/

We will be at stand 0301, named "CreaCannes" (the name of our incubator).]]>
<![CDATA[The dungeons editor's power!]]> d45e1dd14b967689336d5ea7b6442e83 power of the ‘N’ key on the womankind, I finally decided to join the development team in order to be able to benefit, as well, from this unlimited source of power.
But even with Master Blockbuster’s teachings, I still had to find my own path, my own source of power.

And, after weeks of struggling…Eureka! I finally got hold of something strong enough to counter Mick’s Cookies power: THE DUNGEONS EDITOR!

In order to make you shiver behind your screens, here is a picture of my secret weapon:

/img/newsblog/altalus/dugeons-editor-preview.jpg

Beware, I will shortly, in another news, demonstrate my full power!!!
]]>
<![CDATA[The Cookie Wars]]> 9859f6d1fedc6fa3733f9087c9776ed6 Statement by the propaganda chief of the Imperium Machina:
"Many human rebel agents failed in their attempt to sabotage the cookies manufacturing plant, which feeds the population of Merx. Fortunately, the brave legionaries of our glorious army reacted with courage and determination to restore the Pax Machina established by QuASAR, our benevolent and revered leader. However, following this small and inconsequential incident, we decided to close this old and dangerous factory in order to bring a better way to provide food to all the people of our Empire."

Statement by the leader of the rebels:
"This is Emerald Falcon speaking. Today, a handful of heroes conducted an operation on Merx to free the cookies manufacturing plant from the grip of the toasters. We will remember those who didn't return. But the operation is successful. And the inhabitants of this planet will no longer starve. We, the people, are retaking control of what is ours by right. To all, free yourself, fight the machines, join the resistance! "



Statement by the developper:
“So, I was working on the mob A.I. while nibbling a cookie, and that's how they ended up fighting each other. That's science!”]]>
<![CDATA[There is now a marketing expert in the team]]> 51362fc6864852407e713fe55a87fc16
/img/newsblog/neom/News_matthias.jpg
Reymantha, Altalus, Boo, BlockBuster and Mick

You can find more information about "Boo" here:
http://www.stellar-overload.com/the-team/boo

We met 2 months ago by mere coincidence at a networking event planned by PRIMI (a local company cluster) at Cannes. We share a passion: video games!

Looking at his resume, I think we are lucky to work with him. And I trust this will be a good omen for the future of Stellar Overload!]]>
<![CDATA[Steam will be our distribution plateform]]> a38d53bfc613ad7deb65cf48c9763137
/img/newsblog/neom/steam-logo.jpg

What does this actually mean?
We will migrate all of our services on Steam. There will no longer be a shop on our website for early access. Every player who pre-ordered the game (on Kickstarter or on our website) will get a free Steam key (or several, if they ordered multiple copies of the game).

Why did we make this choice?
For several reasons:
- The large number of players on Steam
- Their confidence in this platform
- Offload onto Steam tedious tasks like user management and billing
- Boost the download speed
- Achieve better security
So that our team can focus on the game development, which is what matters, isn'it?

Why won't we also keep the shop on the Stellar Overload website?
As mentioned above, one of the main reasons to use Steam is to migrate some services to get a better quality. Keeping the store would'nt be compatible with that.

What about the forum?
For now, our forum remains active until the early acces release. But eventually, we'll also migrate it, in order to collect all the content in a single point: Steam. This will be easier for us to handle.
About the gallery : We didn't make any decision yet.

So what about the schedule?
This Steam release has obviously changed our schedule. Some other reasons also made us fall behind the planning.
What this means concretely:
- We hope we'll deliver the early access on Steam before this summer
- The final version will be released on Steam when the quality of the game will meet our ambitions and your expectations according to your feedbacks during Early Access

We are now thinking about releasing an "alpha 3" (not yet on Steam) in 2 or 3 months. But we're not sure about it, we'd rather not delaying the Steam version again. We'll keep you informed about this eventual release in March.
]]>
<![CDATA[Dynamic and evolutive music]]> eb7028d073d0fa6ed1948bf48b02c475 "Ch...ch...ch...ch...changes !" David Bowie

Big changes are coming on the musical side of the game. First of all, we're now officially using Wwise, from Audiokinetic. It's a powerful tool that'll give us the ability to push the music integration to another level.

Let me show you in this video how we can create dynamic and evolutive musics on our planets:



The first half of this video
concentrates on the differences between normal musics and underwater musics. When the player goes underwater, the instruments and rhythms change. Even some melodies change a bit ! But the two tracks share the same structure, so all the transitions are smooth.

It's the same system in the second half of the video with the day-night cycle. With these long musics (8 to 10 minutes each) and all these dynamic changes, the musics will never feel the same during our planetary explorations.

Next step : make the same thing for the day-night ambience.]]>
<![CDATA[The Cube (Watts' logbook - Entry 273)]]> a1df30b863e8c963111b331460b20780

“I’m back on Aetherion and currently developping a game-changing weapon in my secret lab. If everything goes well, this new [...]" Click for more...]]>
<![CDATA[Skahar (Watts' logbook - Entry 241)]]> 62a4ec88dd96e1fb2abcf8dea79e2f7c

“Juno is a planet to be remembered actually. I don’t know how I managed to escape all the [...]" Click for more...]]>
<![CDATA[Juno (Watts' logbook - Entry 234)]]> 1721432c941f1954eedea24aafa1b9f7

"My mission for the human rebels against the Imperium Machina made a giant leap on..." Click for more...
]]>
<![CDATA[Aetherion (Watts' logbook - Entry 192)]]> 0523befab7d20073a50ac53b52369fe7

"Nepton being a dead end, I pushed towards Aetherion. I made a deal with the..." Click for more...]]>
<![CDATA[Nepton (Watts' logbook - Entry 165)]]> 5c12aaa1d14d05df75ae978c2827cf21

"Apart from an archeologist who pretends to have discovered clues of a hidden..." Click for more...]]>
<![CDATA[Event in Cannes]]> 12650a246cce60cf34730b3ed0141a95

/img/newsblog/neom/visuel-FIJ-800x600-2016.jpg


For those who are near Cannes at that time, do not hesitate to come and say hello!]]>
<![CDATA[Novo Ares (Watts' logbook - Entry 141)]]> 14b6fba2e37f6ef7391aa1bcb92fc740

"After what seems an eternity, I finally survived the selenii onslaught. I lost some..." Click for more...
]]>
<![CDATA[Selene (Watts' logbook - Entry 093)]]> 5bcb6deb19ac2a76e42c4eeb4d82255f

"As our goals are very similar, I finally accepted the offer of the human rebels’ leader. Months have passed since..." Click for more...]]>
<![CDATA[Istara (Watts' logbook - Entry 062)]]> 6e3b1039687ab6efb0f9df28ff53ff89

“Next stop: Istara. This forest planet is truly amazing. On one hand, sunny skies, lush emerald forests with [...]" Click for more...]]>
<![CDATA[Merx (Watts' logbook - Entry 045)]]> 183639a4343d352019d518af8449561d

“Our scientists are still trying to understand why the human collective bottom has been handed to us [...]" Click for more...]]>
<![CDATA[For the brave builders...]]> 56ec226d8ac3e5dca760b0b2c2efc256 For some weeks, night shadows have been crowling over Tellus, bringing danger and mysteries with them.
Well... mostly mysteries.

Nevertheless, a time will come, during your advantures, where you might want to build a shelter. Of course, 4 classical cobble walls and a roof would just do the job (well... No cobble. There is no cobble in this game!). However, you could also add a touch of creativity and use some of the folowing tools to build yourself a palace:

Shape:

- A world made of blocks is not necessairely made of cubes. You can choose the shape of the block you're about to use by using "alt + wheel".

/img/newsblog/blockbuster/formes.jpg

6 different shapes are available. Will you be able to use them all?!

- Choose the alternative: there are some metablocks (flowers, doors, ...) and some prefab elements (bushes, ...) with multiple versions. You can choose which version you want to use by using "alt + wheel". Create a world full of colored flowers, poneys and rainbows! *_*

/img/newsblog/blockbuster/rainbow.jpg

Erf... I just wanted to show that you can create different kind of flowers.

Orientation:

- Rotate the blocks: Use 'R', 'T' and 'Y' to rotate a block in every directions. Obviously, it won't affect a cube. But in all other cases, you will see the rotation applied to the blue ghost of the block you're using.

/img/newsblog/blockbuster/rotation.jpg

This also works on metablocks, prefab elements like bushes and blueprints created by players.

- Keep trying...'Shift + R', 'Shift + T' and 'Shift + Y' allow you to rotate blocks in the other ways than 'R', 'T' and 'Y'. Because rotations are not that simple and because we always get them wrong, it's good to be able to go back to the previous state.

- Level up! For those of you who already mastered rotations, 'Alt + R', 'Alt + T' and 'Alt + Y' let you get the symetrical version of the selected block. More freedom, yay!

The picker:

- The mouse wheel button allows you to pick the shape and the material of a block in the world to use it in your shortcut bar.

- "Shift + mouse wheel button" this one is tricky. it replaces the shape of the selected material by the shape of the pointed block in the world. Yeah... Just try it to understand.^^

The secret weapon:

This is the ultimate tool for the builders. The one that will impress your friends and get you the girl you want (true story !)... The 'N' button ! The use of the 'N' button is quite mysterious and only a few grand masters know about its existance.

It allows you to get different results when you drag the mouse to build multiple blocks. Here is an exemple:

/img/newsblog/blockbuster/N.jpg

Obviously, I make fun of those tips because we want to work on this gameplay in the future, so that it will become more accessible and fun. But for now, I hope you found some useful tips!]]>
<![CDATA[Discovering the Sol System]]> c8b2eba2b705ed28167970af2dcaee38
Tellus, our blue planet, will no longer be alone in space. A whole planetary system with 7 planets and 2 satellites will be the new foundation of the Sol System.

And that is why, beginning January the 4th, we will introduce every week two new planets in a brand new section of our website. A great journey awaits you indeed, as you will follow the adventures of Watts, genius and descendant of Faradays, through the Sol System.

/img/newsblog/mick/news-tellus.jpg

And as a bonus, we are starting today with the first entry of his logbook:

“My name is Watts. Yeah, no first name. It sucks, I know. Great way to start a logbook also... Whatever, I am currently conducting interesting research on Tellus, our good old blue planet. And I have discovered some fascinating facts.” Click for more...]]>
<![CDATA[Saturday night fever at the Rokh Camp!]]> 3a257765c1747bba628b0c22093f89bf
Here is a picture taken during the party:

/img/newsblog/guyk/colored-light.jpg]]>
<![CDATA[Let’s shed some light!]]> a35d733455988417d457d4d1d447ebd6
Another type of artifact was visible with the dynamic shadows activated: in some caves or closed rooms, like the Rokh Camp’s secret basement, you could see areas lit by the sun even if the sunlight shouldn’t have reached these areas.

To address these issues, we had to teach the Unreal Engine how to use our voxel lighting information in its lighting computations.

 
]]>
<![CDATA[To roll in the grass]]> aaaa241d27be300b26a7eda7a29aac10
/img/newsblog/reymantha/grass_preview.jpg

Some have wished to see more developed flora on the surface of our beloved planet. I have spent a few days working on the design of some plants. Besides a richer visual aspect, these plants will be useful for crafting and even sometimes will allow you to hide.

Rapeseed, wheat, wild grasses, ferns, daisy, clover and lichen are scheduled...

That's all.

For the moment ;)
]]>
<![CDATA[Tellus has been leveled!]]> 38a376fbf57f3e8941908fc035fb88d3 Scientists and explorers have been astounded to discover that this prediction has come true since! The planet is now continuous from one face to the other, as if the world had become extraordinarily uniform and coherent.

A probe has been sent to film the edges of the planet as a proof of this radical change:

]]>
<![CDATA[On a given morning...]]> 91222360f0f461952dca27199c8c8290
“It was not so much a modification of the darkness, as a sigh of relief, a slight relaxing of tension, so that one felt, rather than saw, that the night had suddenly lost a shade of its density... ah! yes; there! between these two shoulders of the hills she is bleeding to death.”

Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist]]>
<![CDATA[The crafting stations]]> 954969523ce8d8ffabf8270939d8b3bb Warning: this post contains artistic parts that might offend your sensitivity

/img/newsblog/reymantha/CraftingStations.jpg

The cooking machine, the Tech factory and the processing unit are essential to crafting in the alpha: The Rokh Camp.
In the final game there will be many others that you will discover, repair or activate to power your quests with more and more elaborate and special items.
They can be machines, places or tools that indicate, with their designs, the nature of the items they offer (about this point, we think we still need some improvements)
It is also a great artistic opportunity to imagine cubic machinery or the future inspired by contemporary tools or production places (kitchen, laboratory, studio, production chain, 3D printer, loom, laser cutters, etc.)

Yum yum!

/img/newsblog/reymantha/Turbocuiseur3000.jpg]]>
<![CDATA[Optimizations]]> edd932c653628729837bff833b096e64
During the last two months, I spent about 2 – 3 weeks working on optimizations in order to reduce the world’s loading time. The aim is to reduce the time required for blocks to pop in the world, which shouldn’t be mistaken with the FPS (frame per seconds).
Since we continuously add new content in the game, this optimization work needs to be done regularly to keep the game playable.

Before diving into numbers here are the key steps of our engine, that we optimized, and their definition:
  • Generation: A logical block model of the world is generated
  • Sun: All the areas reachable by a vertical sun are computed
  • Light: The lighting of each block is computed, using the sun and light blocks information
  • Geometry: The final geometry, which will be sent to the graphic card, is computed


The last measurement (loading 80m) is easier to understand. It represents the time really needed by the game to fully load, at the maximal view distance. The sum of the engine’s key steps can be greater than this time, because it is parallelized.

/img/newsblog/codingmarmot/profiling-poping.png

As you can see, a first set of optimizations was already included in the multiplayer version, and more have been implemented since. Globally we already divided the loading time by two!

Note: These measurements have been done on an i7-4820K @ 3.7GHz with 32 GB RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 using the universe seed 1.

CodingMarmot.]]>
<![CDATA[All stations red alert! This is not a drill]]> 0676e107da52e261f2abb75298952406
/img/newsblog/mick/crafting.png]]>
<![CDATA[Alpha 2 - multiplayer patch]]> e7dd4605ed0db3c50024586ebcafae1e new Alpha 2 version (0.8.3.8), will enable you to explore the game content with your friend again!

 


These past 4 weeks, we have mostly been stabilizing the multiplayer aspect of the game, but we also took the opportunity to improve some features. Here is a list of the main changes we made:
  • New icons for materials
  • Cognitrons around unknown structures are a bit more aggressive and now exist in different tiers (with a variation in color)
  • The plasma gun has been enhanced (area damage, charged fire which can destroy the ground, secondary fire which throws a sticky bomb)
  • You can now swim in water (an oxygen supply icon has been added)
  • The “final quest” object is now deactivated once the stolen plans retrieved
  • The ingredient slots of the crafting window are now filled automatically even if multiple choices are possible

We also improved our engine performances:
  • Divided by 2 the initial universe loading time (the progress bar during the loading when you create/load an universe)
  • Improved by 30% the world generation time, the "popping" time. This is noticeable in game when you pick up blocks or when you travel.

A detailed list of all the improvements can be found in the release note which you can find on the download page.

As a reminder, all the features of the Alpha 2 version can still be found here: http://www.stellar-overload.com/news/85/

I’d like to remind you that the view distance has a drastic impact on the network performance: it’s probably better for now to keep the default view distance of 24m when playing in multiplayer, you will have a better playing experience. Of course will keep working on this issue during the whole development cycle of the game.

Enjoy! And feel free to give us any feedback, good or bad!]]>
<![CDATA[ Important notice]]> 403f371b716c17957aaeb236b8e5a0ab
Lots of mysterious disappearing have been reported at the bottom of the darkest caves, as well as some case of unexpected synthonisation processes. In order to avoid such bad experiences, please take into account the following pieces of advice before planning further exploration:

- In the caves, light up: your suit is equipped with the last torchlight upgrade that you can toggle using the 'L' key of your keyboard. It's always good to see the ground you're about to crash onto.

- Stop destroying the environment while gathering resources: You can select the action area of your gauntlet when it's equipped by using the combination 'alt' + mouse wheel. Different sizes can be 1x1x1 blocks, 2x2x2 blocks, 4x4x4 blocks (Mk2 and Mk3 only) or 6x6x6 blocks (Mk3 only). Save the nature and the nature will save you. Or whatever.

- Make sure you have enough ammunition: When you use a weapon, the amount of ammunition you have is specified on the bottom left hand corner of your screen. If this amount seems too small, we strongly advise you to run. Do not try to hide behind an arkuloid block. This is not a smart idea.

- Choose which blocks your block-thrower will throw. Yes, you can do that! In the inventory window, drag the material you wish to use and drop it over the block-thrower shortcut, in the action bar. An empty block-thrower is a useless block-thrower.



- In case of a massive arkuloids attack, scream. Loudly. It won't change anything, but it will be funny to watch.

Despite those security advices, if any dramatic event should happen, the developers shall not be held responsible for the awful suffering and the terrible death of your character.

Mwahaha!
]]>
<![CDATA[Plasma gun improvements]]> d9af0b0443d3099daa4ed5491283740a
Thus, improvements have been made which give much better results in fight:



And here are the new capabilities of the plasma gun:

    1) Primary fire
    a. Fire a single plasma bullet
    b. Primary action button (left click by default)
    c. Ammo x1
    d. Do not break blocks
    2) Secondary Fire
    a. The plasma bullet sticks to the ground and explodes after 3 seconds
    b. Secondary action button (right click by default)
    3) Overcharged fire
    a. Fire a plasma bullet with a heavy payload
    b. Hold primary or secondary action button
    c. 1.4 seconds loading
    d. Ammo x3
    e. Damage x3
    f. Break blocks depending on the quality of the weapon (eg. T2 blocks are broken if the weapon is at least T2


And last detail, the damages are dealt within an area of 1 meter.

Available in the next release.
]]>
<![CDATA[Huh? Yay! Splash! Gargle! Argh!]]> 2be2f6ce27787b376c851dbbb59a5fe8
No need to send booby-trapped gifts because, yes, swimming is finally here.



At the time being, it lacks some splashes but you can actually jump in water without taking falling damage, swim and drown.

Judge by yourself in the next version.
]]>
<![CDATA[Export and basic copy-paste]]> 44664d1cc21c2e573efbc9cca32e123e
We all agree that it has been really frustrating for builders not to be able to keep constructions from a previous version in the latest release.
That’s why I worked on a basic and temporary solution to enable you to export constructions from one version of the game to another.

It’s only a first iteration, and it’s not really user friendly yet, but it has the advantage of also enabling you to copy and paste constructions!
The basic idea is that in creative mode, you have “blueprints” which enable you to copy a volume of the world. This blueprint can then be used to paste the copied model wherever you want. You also have the possibility to make rotations and symmetries when placing the model in the world!
The copied model is instantly saved on disk. You just need to copy the created file(s) in the “Blueprints” subfolder (you need to create it if it doesn’t exist) of another universe’s save folder to export them. The target universe must have been created with the same or a higher version of the game.

Here is an example where I build a table, copy and paste really basic chairs, and finally make a symmetry of the table and chairs. You can activate subtitles to see comments.


Key bindings used in the video:
  • R, T or Y: rotates the blocks or models. For example, the R key rotates the block or model around the gravity axis.
  • ALT + R, T or Y: makes a symmetry using a plan which is perpendicular to the rotation axis of the R, T and Y keys. For example, ALT + R switches the top and bottom of your model.
  • ALT + mouse wheel: selects the shape of the block or, for an empty blueprint, defines the distance of the ghost block used to define the volume to copy.


More information on the following post: Details on copy-paste and export

CodingMarmot

]]>
<![CDATA[Alpha Craft Soundtrack]]> 7ca06b5dd24613fb68699f2f6ba8a2ee You can listen to them here !

]]>
<![CDATA[Jetpack available now!]]> c3e3918eea3c330d43cf79566b845da4
Every time, I die like an idiot because of a risky jump, because I slip on a stone or because I fall into a hidden hole. And then, it's a real pain to go back all the way from the respawn point to your last location.



Fortunately, it won't happen again if you own the brand new jetpack device. Yes, you read well, a jetpack, folks! You will no longer fall in caves and crash your skull head first on a sharp rock. The use is child's play: once you are in the air (jumping or falling), simply hit and held the jump button to trigger the jetpack til you want to land.

Beware though of your fuel gauge! Even if the gauge fills itself when the jetpack is not used, the fuel tank has a short capacity. And you will have to manage it well if you don't want to run out of gas at 50 feets high. Now, time to go back in the sky. Woosh!
]]>
<![CDATA[Alpha 2: The Rokh Camp]]> cbf157d1e6b3068994d5084a97cba26e The real name of the game
Today we release the second version of the Alpha.

But before that, I would like to announce that the Planets³ project is now called “Stellar Overload”.

Planets³ was the name of our project. One year ago we needed to seriously think about the possibility to continue to use this name. Sadly it was not possible. There were different reasons for that:

  • When you hear Planets³ you don’t think of a RPG, but more of a survival game or a building game. I wanted the name to put the RPG aspect of the game forward, by being directly linked to the story.
  • The pun with the “³” character was not a good idea. A lot of country in the world do not understand it. And this is not web compatible.
  • Also we needed to change the name for legal reasons (trademark deposit)

I know that, without the scenario, it is difficult today to fully appreciate this new name. But I hope that during the development phase (even if we do not spoil the story before the final version) you will be able to like it as much as we do.

The new alpha version


During the last 3 months we focused on introducing the craft system in the game (and everything required to make it work). On the menu:

  • Exploration through 6 different biomes to “harvest” 140 natural resources and find up to 72 recipes
  • Dozens of materials, weapons, tools to craft using the new crafting stations
  • A new enemy : the Arluloids, we introduced in a news some days ago
 

We temporary disabled the multiplayer mode (at the moment, it is not working), we will release a patch as soon as possible to correct this issue.

There are a lot of new elements to discover in this version, but I will not say anything more. I will let you discover this new version by yourself!

Do not hesitate to give us any feedback or your feelings about this new version, we will open new topics on the alpha forum to talk about that.]]>
<![CDATA[About crafting recipes]]> e3d69385da173b2e8bcf0b471292e5c0
My point is that cooking and IT development are not so far apart as it seems. A product is made with adequate tools and ingredients by following a procedure consisting of instructions. In short, we just have to follow a recipe to make a thing.

Remember Grandma when she prepares her so delicious strawberry jam. She puts the fresh fruits in an old copper bowl, then adds sugar, a few tablespoons of lemon juice, stir a bit while heating and tadaaaa! The strawberry jam is ready. As you can see, the key to make things is the recipe.

/img/newsblog/mick/CookingMachine.png

All this to simply say that we spent a lot of time and love establishing the mechanics of crafting in Planets³. And I hope it will provide you as much fun as we have had to do it.

Now back to the code. I put pieces of code in the compiler, add some comments, a bit of refactoring while my computer is heating and tadaaaa! The next release of Planets³ will be soon ready to be played.
]]>
<![CDATA[Biomes soundscapes]]> a2aa3da62290f44567491acdf0a74852 Sound isn’t only music. Having credible soundscapes is important to give the biomes some character.

So, I have created characteristic soundscapes for each place. A soft wind and farmland birds for the grassland, wind in the trees, turtledove and woodland birds for the temperate forest, and so on.

Each biome has a weight so that, when you go from one area to the next, a soft transition takes place. Notice in the video below how we softly travel from the temperate forest to the taiga (around 0:16). The woodland birds fade out progressively to let the taiga birds and a fresh wind fade in.


]]>
<![CDATA[Clean up your mess !]]> e604e56cb92981411fb23928fc5e5d0f
With all the materials you'll gather and all the items you'll craft, there won't be enough space in your inventory !

In the upcoming release, you'll be able to craft containers of 3 different sizes to place them in the world and stock whatever you want.


By the way, did you notice the sidebar Mick added in order to view the items you just gathered? ;)]]>
<![CDATA[We require more minerals]]> 30af4317b256a04a56d0580df12e8b35
In the previous version, there were gems in the Cognitron mineshaft, but none in natural caves, which made them really hard to explore.

We decided to add gems in the caves to give the player a hint of the cave’s volume. They will also be used as ingredients in several crafting recipes. Moreover you can collect gems to use them as light source. Coal and wood won’t help you with that, at least for now!

/img/newsblog/codingmarmot/CristauxDansLesGrottesNaturelles2.jpg]]>
<![CDATA[Textures on our blocks!]]> 2f4e2a29010e854ba0fac11b8210bdc5
Our gameplay based on a frequent material handling requires textures on blocks in order to read quickly and accurately the materials of the world.

/img/newsblog/reymantha/news1.jpg

/img/newsblog/reymantha/news2.jpg

This textures work has started to be implemented to distinguish the major material families (wood, rocks etc). Brightnesses and other relief textures also bring informations to discern rarer materials or higher level materials.

More info soon.]]>
<![CDATA[A wild musician appears]]> 641354f4d3d92c6360d7944b10d14cc1
/img/newsblog/wonder-b/charles.jpg

As a sound director, my job is to design music and sounds to produce the most convincing and coherent sound atmosphere possible. Be on the lookout for the new sounds in the upcoming release…
]]>
<![CDATA[Items, item families and statistics]]> f957abc5632930cf9f1d5e04c3ac274a
In the past weeks I’ve been working on a new feature of the game: the crafting system. A first step was to extend the concept of item in order to make the crafting system interesting and to convey an idea of progression.

Item tooltip

New items stats:

  • Rarity: indicates both the difficulty to find an item, and its value. There are 6 rarity values: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, Legendary and Artifact. A specific color has been associated to each rarity.
  • Primary family: Items can belong to multiple families, among which, one is considered its primary family and is displayed in the tooltip.
  • Tier: represents the evolution between items. In the upcoming release there will be 3 available tiers.
  • Crafting material: indicates whether or not this item is used as an ingredient in a crafting recipe.

Of course there are still other statistics depending on the item’s type, like damage, associated projectile and number of rounds per minute for weapons.]]>
<![CDATA[Biome classification]]> 8319d99c9142d64f9e2ad81041c48aff
But when/where/who/what biomes?

As of today, fauna and flora mainly define a biome. That’s why koalas live mainly in australian eucalyptus forests and are strangely inconspicuous in the Gobi desert.

And you may wonder how to choose a biome location in a world made of tiny blocks?

First off, I have selected the 9 most typical biomes, based on the dozens of existing biomes on our good ol’ planet: hot and cold deserts, steppes and 4 kind of forests.

Next, we can determine the biome using a simple matrix combining both average annual temperature and relative humidity.

/img/newsblog/mick/biomesTable.png

Finally, we just need to know the temperature and humidity at a specific location on the Earth cube to generate the corresponding biome. But it’s another story.

To be continued...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biome]]>
<![CDATA[Something spicy!]]> 7b1c98fa9a2bb96b27f3d0851db97e0d What you don’t know is that sometimes I leave my web code to work a little bit on the game.
Yeah, since Reymantha has been syntonized, someone has to integrate the new 3D assets in the Unreal Engine!

So, because I’m soooo generous, I’ll disclose some of the new elements you’ll be able to find in game:
 

On the menu today, I suggest:
  • The 2 cactus soup (spicy at will)
  • Omelet with ceps (and peacock eggs)
  • Pine nuts for dessert (hmm, crunchy…)

And of course bon appetit!]]>
<![CDATA[Arkuloids!]]> f042fb555493d60629b264d9954b1934
Arkuloids Concept

In the alpha "The Cognitron Mineshaft" you met the Cognitrons;
Today let's talk about the Arkuloids.

Every little block of the world touching an Arkuloid will be "syntonized".
I mean it will be analyzed and transformed to become itself an Arkuloid and so on.
Once Arkuloid, this block will go on with its transformation step by step and will become a super-Arkuloid, a mega-Arkuloid, an ultra-Arkuloid, ... Ok you've got it.

More to come. Unless the Arkuloids "syntonize" me first.

Goodbye and see you so01ç##0101000#@@0111501464'é("é-010&('000101"'é&"11111'²&é"é"(('(é&!!!!!!!!!!!!]]>
<![CDATA[Snowy mountains]]> 5cde3d4968d339fbec02a946c295dad5
Snowy mountains

The new generation system is based on physical parameters like temperature, which made it possible to find snowy mountains.
You can also see erosion in the foreground, but that's another new generation feature I will speak of in another news!]]>
<![CDATA[Pick-up items.]]> 8ed0cceeeba15761820f6d38f0f44d7e
When I arrived last month, my first task was to create the little items that will spawn when you break a block or when a creature dies.

You can also drop some items from your inventory, to give them to another player or to free some slots.

When two of those items are similar and next to each other, they group together so that you can pick them up faster.

Graphics are not final, but that's how it will look like:

]]>
<![CDATA[New news system in blog format]]> c703dd8ae0cd513b474aa0f8ebd41728
This is a first step to allow us to keep you informed on the project's progress more easily.
Now I leave it to the other team members to talk a little bit more about their work and point of view.

So, who's next?]]>
<![CDATA[Progress report]]> c57df60df81fd1dad3bd0be52ae7cbdb News format
We find the current news system too rigorous, not “inde studio” enough and above all too impersonal.

So we thought we should take the opportunity of this post-holiday period to change the way we publish news. By next month, the home page will be revamped to look more like a blog. Less regularly but more frequently than today, a member of the team will talk about what he is working on or how he sees things regarding a specific feature of the game. Of course you will be able to comment these messages like you can comment news today.

Roadmap format


Once again in order to help you better follow the progress of the project, we will also modify the « roadmap » page by visually introducing the next development steps (this modification will come after the home page modification).

For each “task”, you will be able to give your opinion and ask questions.
We hope these two future modifications will give you entire satisfaction!

Steam


Since the beginning of the project, we are really thinking about releasing the game on Steam. We still haven’t decided anything as of today. That’s why, in the FAQ, is written: "We have no plans about Steam for the moment."

But whatever we decide eventually, we think that the game in its current state is not ready for Steam. Indeed the first week on Steam being critical for the game’s success, it is essential that the game is advanced enough to seduce the players.

The game


Let’s speak a bit about the game now!

We have made some progress on the crafting user interface, the possibility to drop items and loot them, and on a new kind of enemy that we will introduce soon. We are currently working on the generation algorithms to place new zones and resources in the world.

We already know as of today that it will be tough but we will try to maintain the release date of the “craft” alpha which is scheduled for September.

Here is a concept art of the crafting user interface that we will introduce in a few weeks:

Craft Concept

This picture reveals elements of our items’ evolution system. More on this really soon!]]>
<![CDATA[Progress report]]> ffd7363ece31105edf559b2e3ced8cef Working on the next version
Since the release of the alpha’s multiplayer version, we have been working on the next version: the “craft version”. The goal of this version is to introduce a part of the crafting system with everything related to it, like the gathering of various kind of resources and 2-3 zones with each a different difficulty level.

We are also designing various models of houses (futuristic, post-apocalyptic) which could be found in the game. Here is a first glimpse of Reymantha’s concept arts:

Houses Concept Art

Moreover, we plan to release, as promised, an intermediate version introducing an exporting tool (really basic) which will be compatible with the current version of the game and enabling you to save your constructions and to import them in the future versions. This temporary tool, is the best solution we found until a real backward compatibility can be achieved. Because this will probably not be possible before a long time.

A new member joins the team


Two days ago a new member has joined the development team: BlockBuster, whose real name is Sylvain Reynaud. He has been developing video games for quite some years now, which greatly motivated his hiring a few months back. He is joining CodingMarmot, GuyK and Mick to work on the game development. You will find more information on him on the team page.

Pictures


A while ago, a member of the community asked to see pictures of the team and its working environment. Here they are:
 
]]>
<![CDATA[Planets³: the alpha version now with multiplayer mode]]> 5c3d20b4c7ee1063ad97be2cad2fc5a3 Multiplayer and some bug fix
In version 0.8.0.5 you are now able to enjoy the dungeon with your friends. But beware, friendly fire is a real danger!

We also took the opportunity to fix some issues (like the possibility to start the fight with the boss from the stairway).

We realized by watching your videos and reading your comments that some aspects of the story were still a little bit fuzzy. So we added some information terminals in the dungeon.
 


As you can see, a new slideshow tool appeared. You can by the way see new pictures of the dungeon in the last news, where the alpha was announced.

Optimizations


You should notice an improvement in the game’s performance. Indeed, we made an optimization pass during these last weeks. We first focused on improving the framerate and then we tried to stabilize it as much as possible.
So you should see an improvement in FPS and your game experience should be less spiky.

Here is an in-game footage, with a view distance set to 128 meters in epic mode. Note that it is smoother than ever. The machine used is a Windows 7 PC i74820K 16Go RAM GTX660 4Go VRAM. (The cloud rendering is a work in progress)



Our team being relatively small, we will be doing more optimizations in the future, but for now we will go back to content creation and features development.

A dedicated server


Today we also deliver a first version of Planets³ dedicated server (for now Windows 64-Bit only). This first version is relatively basic (no user interface and so on…), we will of course improve it during the upcoming months.
For information regarding its setup, please refer to this FAQ.

German localization


A special thanks to TimoH for his translation of the alpha’s dialogs and texts in German.


Next step: a first draft of the crafting mechanism!]]>
<![CDATA[Planets³: the alpha version]]> d3b76357717729cfcca8e7f545ae6ec1 For those of you who preordered a game license eligible for the alpha, you can download it here.

We wanted to surprise you with the alpha: you will be able to experiment a first preview of a randomly generated dungeon. The goal is to show you the science fiction RPG aspect of the game and a preview of our generation engine. We spent almost 5 months to develop all mechanisms required for this new feature. 5 months during which we had to remain silent, to prevent any spoil of this surprise until today.
Even if we are still far from what we will deliver for the final game, we hope that you will like this alpha content as much as we like it!
 


Talking about the story: the alpha is a prologue, the story take place 200 years before the facts that will be related in the game. This allow us to introduce 2 of the main species: the Humans and the Cognitrons. This alpha content will most certainly be used in the final game. So it was not a waste of time.

We leave it to you to discover the rest of the story by exploring this alpha content yourself.

Here is the alpha original soundtrack:




This version is an alpha, so you need to be aware that, despite all our efforts to stabilize the game, you will ineluctably encounter bugs during your playing sessions. You can report them on the forum here :http://www.planets-cube.com/forum/16/

We are open to receive all of your comments, opinions and critics on this delivery (as long as they are constructive). We can’t wait to see all your feedbacks on this first random donjon experience.
And do not hesitate to share any screenshot on our website gallery!

For the Kickstarter’s backers who did not register their account yet, please follow these FAQ lines : http://www.planets-cube.com/faq.html#58.
This operation will activate your licenses and other options you have chosen on Kicsktarter.


So, what’s next?


1. Multiplayer


We have disabled the “join” button in this build. So for the moment, it is not possible to play with friends with the alpha version. Indeed we had some issues with this feature’s development, and it was not possible to do it on time. So we choose to release the alpha without the multiplayer option rather than delay this release one more time. We deeply regret that and we will release another version with this multiplayer option as soon as possible.

Update: the multiplayer option is back...see the following news for more détails.

2. Craft


We finally choose to prioritize the dungeon, so the craft has not been implemented in this version. But you will be able to equip some weapons (will you find them all?) and one armor that will simply reduce incoming damages. We plan to release another version with the craft feature in September.

3. Optimizations


It is planned to continue all the optimization efforts during the next months, and each new release should be more efficient than the last one, allowing the game to run on more and more computers.

4. Vehicles


Vehicles will be the beta main feature. It should be delivered at the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016. There is a lot of technical unknowns that made the beta a real challenge, and that explain the vague release date.



Of course we will continue to keep you in touch of our latest progress via the news. But you need to know that we will change their release pace to one news per month (each first Wednesday of the month).

Once again we want to thank you all for your support!]]>
<![CDATA[Monthly Dev Report]]> 3973bfa27dfaadc37febcd9a34ebdd99
Indeed, for the upcoming alpha release, we would like to have a home page which is easier to read, clearer, simpler, and which puts the focus on the game.

Regarding the alpha, we are doing everything we can to release it this month. We still have some major bugs to fix before reaching a level of stability suited for a release. The whole team looks forward to seeing you test our last 5 months’ work!

By the way, the next news will be the announcement of the alpha. So it is possible that it won’t be in two weeks as usual.

This alpha version not only gives you the opportunity to test functionalities, but it also gives us the chance to test some of the graphic choices planned to be used in the project. The following video shows one of these graphic tests.
It is part of an analysis phase which aims to determine what is feasible and what is not. The artistic direction becomes more refined every day using the lessons we learn from these tests.

]]>
<![CDATA[Clouds, NPC and caves' smoothing.]]> e5286ddc0544089ba3e05d5d8f9e6053
On the development side, we are improving performances regarding the persistence in general. We are also still developing other features, like for example the smoothing of the caves with crystals:

Caves' smoothing

And the interaction with NPCs, which is now possible:

Amy

Also here is the very first test of cloud generation:

First Clouds

On the artistic side, we are still working on the environment, the scenery, the NPCs, the animations… We should have something nice to show you in the next news.]]>
<![CDATA[Monthly Dev Report]]> 9387a88b57a937cdd5a13b20a749dd8c Technical, visual and sound improvements
Forest preview

We are still working on the gameplay but we have nothing to show you today. We worked on the AI, combats, generation, scenery and on the sound environment. In the upcoming days we will be working on the interaction between the player’s character and the NPCs which is required for the roleplay side of Planets³.

Here is a video showing the results of a first iteration on the block explosion algorithms and the implementation of the blocks’ level (the weapon launches level 1 projectiles, the grass and dirt are also level 1, but the trees’ roots are level 2).



And here is another video showing the progress made on the external sceneries.



We have come a long way since the in-game results of 2012!

Game First Steps

Image Gallery


You might have noticed that a new tab has appeared in the website’s main menu: the gallery.

You now have a place to share your screenshots and concept arts.
You will also find wallpapers about the game that you can download.

Feel free to use the gallery and to show us your most beautiful images!]]>
<![CDATA[Musical Choices and world generation]]> a825ad20633fc73e84224279b37add2c Musical Choices
This week we would like to talk about our musical choices, and to let you listen to two of our music.

In the game, the soundscapes (music and sound design) will be a mix of realism and fantasy. Regarding the sound design, it will be a mix between realistic background sounds and fanciful creatures. The music will be composed of orchestral instruments mixed with synthesizers in order to further identify Planets³’s world. In the final game, music will follow in real time the global progression of the player, to give more importance to his actions. It could, for example, intensify or decrease in magnitude according to the player’s progression in a location.

Here is one of the music WonderB created for space:



And one of the music of the moor:



There will be several versions of this music in the moor, with multiple variations, so that the musical experience can always be different.

Development


Of course, we are also making progress on the gameplay and the world generation. The enemies AI is beginning to be interesting (player detection, basic attacks, and so on…), we implemented the death of the player and his respawn, the possibility to regain health, the interaction with objects of the scenery (like a door or an interactive “terminal”), and the ability to equip a weapon.

Regarding the generation, we use what we call “doodads”. A doodad is a decorative element which we place at specific locations, like a tree, or an herb, but also parts of a dungeon or the houses of a village (even if this doesn’t exist in the game yet). And for each of these doodads, we have the possibility to create multiple alternative versions, to render the game less monotonous. We implemented this feature recently, and here is a screenshot to better illustrate it:

Doodads

On this picture you can see that all the trees of a same kind are not identical.

Share our news on Facebook and Twitter


On the Web side, we added a new feature, enabling you to share the news (and it will also be used for other elements of the website later on). By clicking on these new buttons, you are now able to share the news on your Facebook or Twitter account. Feel free to use them to help Planets³ attract attention!]]>
<![CDATA[Monthly Dev Report]]> eec72582bc3cec64ff467356dccd9587 Development
We improved the cave generation tool. Now you can see the first decorative elements: light crystals.

Caves

A significant part of our development time since the last two months is focused on gameplay. We are making progress on the creature’s artificial intelligence, which will bring a bit more dynamism to the combat.

We also worked on data synchronization in multiplayer. For example, the inventory is now handle by the server and replicated to the client instead of being directly handled by the client.

Furthermore all the basic inventory functionalities are now implemented (in the normal mode of the game) meaning that you can now move item stacks around in the inventory and stack / unstack items.
In the action bar, the shortcuts will now show you the total quantity of the targeted item you have in the inventory.
The shortcut used to put blocks are a bit different however. Instead of showing you the total quantity of material you have in the inventory, they show you how many blocks of the selected shape you can put.
So by changing the shape of the selected block in the action bar, the “stack count” will change since a cubic block uses a material quantity of 6 whereas a tetrahedral block only uses a material quantity of 1.

Artistic


We keep increasing the number of animated creatures: Peacock, elephant, hedgehog, tiger, squirrel, deer, humming-bird, gorilla, toucan, tarsier, frog, wolf, fennec, beetle, flamingo, rabbit, mantis, ant and caterpillar are being finalized.

We are also making progress on the structure of the alpha’s scenario.

The team is getting bigger


We would like to introduce a new team’s member: Charles Bardin aka Wonder B, which joined us as music director.

Charles

Until now, Reymantha, the project artistic director, was also taking care of the musical direction with my help (NeoM). But it is not our area of expertise, so things didn’t progress as well as we wanted them to.
We met Charles one month ago, and he brought an additional proposal force to the musical team which is the main reason why we decided to entrust him with the musical direction of the project. This bodes well for the alpha!

Charles is one of the creator of the After Bit web channel we can see on the jeuxvideo.com website.

You can learn a bit more about him by visiting the team’s page which we updated for the occasion (he chose a game icon: “Zelda Majora’s Mask”, the fans will recognize).]]>
<![CDATA[A bit more diversity]]> e93692190f4713b7c9c4d17012007c87 Japanese Maple Tree
We have integrated a relatively large tree, made of approximatively 23,000 blocks: the Japanese maple. This enabled us to sorely test our working tools and to implement necessary optimizations.



Character animations


We also made substantial progress on the player’s character animations: walk, run, jump, strafe, and fly. All of this is now operational.



"Responsive Design" Website


On the web development side, the website is now adapted for an optimal readability on smartphones and tablets thanks to the use of the “responsive design”.]]>
<![CDATA[Monthly Dev Report]]> 7c6b2fd1065adaebe10105ebe2b77ab1
  • A first version of the creatures spawning mechanism
  • The creature’s health bar management
  • The beginnings of the combat system using range weapons:


  • The beginnings of the projectiles rendering and their impact on the environment:



We are also still working on the landscape generation. We now have the possibility to have various altitudes for lakes, cliffs along sea shores, steep hills, more dense forest but more scattered and so on…

Cliffs

And we also added a first iteration of the cave generation algorithm and settings:

]]>
<![CDATA[RrRRrrRrrrrRrrrRrooaaaRR !]]> a20fef6b84e10fd379b44ad2fb554b84
It is an iterative work: AI, animation quality and their use according to the behavior will be improved during the internal gameplay test phases and using the feedbacks of the community after the alpha and beta releases.

In order to prevent any spoil, we only show you the tip of the iceberg.



We have also worked on other artistic aspects of the game, but we don’t want to disclose them before the release of the alpha. We are for example working on specific elements of the story, some of them being useful for the “story arc” of the alpha.

Moreover one of the objectives of the alpha is to improve the landscape generation. We want the landscapes to feel less “mathematical” and offer more diversity in the vegetation. All this work is also in progress.]]>
<![CDATA[Monthly Dev report and More...]]> ce939cbbe79e4ff5018149db4d6965d5 The pre-alpha
This first Wednesday of 2015 you can finally download Pre-alpha version of Planets³!



In order to download the pre-alpha, log into your Planets³ account, and go to my game licenses. You will see a "download" button.

This option is only available for people who preorder the game (here on our website or on Kickstarter). And, as a reminder, every backer needs to register on our website using this form: https://www.planets-cube.com/kickstarter-backers-registration.html

This version is compatible with Win7 SP1 (32 & 64 bit), Win8 (32 & 64 bit) and Mac (OSX 10.9.2 or above).

This pre-alpha is mainly the migration of the prototype on Unreal Engine. This migration has required some adaptations, like the size of our universe, the size of the planets, the sun position, and so on… If your hardware enables it, set the quality on “Epic” in the options, the game will look way better in this mode.

In this version you also have the possibility to play in multiplayer!
To do so, a first player needs to launch the game by clicking onto the “Play” button.
The other players just need to enter his IP address in the IP address field and click onto the “Join” button. The first player’s computer will be the server.

Planets³ Pré-alpha

On the way to the Alpha


In a few months, during the second quarter, we will be releasing the Alpha version. This future release will be offering the following features:

  • Combat!
    The possibility to use weapons and armor sets against enemies
  • Crafting!
    Thanks to the harvesting of minerals, the use of the crafting interface and a bunch of objects, weapons, armor sets and tools for you to craft.
  • A first "Planets³" landscape
    Thanks to the detailed generation of a first zone: the moors.
  • And other improvements like for example a dedicated server, a game “launcher” (to facilitate the downloading of updates) and so on…


In addition we updated the progression chart on the website.]]>
<![CDATA[Last news of the year]]> 15007fabfec41198fdab3cb60d3316e9 The biomes development goes on.
This month we’d like to show you, using a video concept, a preview of a biome’s artistic development.



The relief, the sky, the trees, the foliage, the water, the clouds, the sun, the lens flares, the bloom, the ambient light, the occlusion are important elements subject to the reflection of the artistic team day after day.

We are eager to show you the fruits of this work, in game this time, when we are ready.

The pre-alpha postponed.


Today the quality of the game, migrated to Epic Games’ engine, is not satisfying enough to deliver a version. So we prefer to postpone the pre-alpha for a few weeks and are hoping to be able to release it in January 2015.

For your information, this pre-alpha version is nothing else than the September’s prototype migrated to Unreal Engine with a "simple" multiplayer layer. The new gameplay features (combat / craft) are to be included in the Alpha which will be released a few months later.



The whole Cubical Drift team wishes you Happy Holidays.
See you in 2015 for a decisive year for Planets³ and its community!
]]>
<![CDATA[Monthly Dev Report]]> f0445cc1c6bb6868e19d2feb75203bc7 The UE4 Migration
The migration to Unreal Engine goes on.

We are facing unexpected problems regarding the user interface and the rendering at a long distance, but we are getting there!

Implemented features:

  • Movement synchronization in multiplayer
  • Block destruction, placement and “picking” (synchronized in multiplayer) including wall placement
  • Terrain generation like in the prototype
  • Integration of “pre-modeled” trees

    Juniper

  • Menus and the key bindings configuration window
  • Partial compression of the geometry enabling the game to run on 32-bits platforms
  • Mac version
  • Real-time saving
  • Universe creation / loading window
  • HUD



Remaining features in order to release the pre-alpha:

  • Placement ghost improvement
  • Destruction ghost improvement and tools implementation
  • Display of the inventory window and implementation of all the associated actions
  • Display of the game settings window
  • Correction of some lag and synchronization problems in multiplayer
  • Integration of the animals
  • Improvement of the multiplayer connection window
  • Deactivation of Unreal Engine’s dynamic shadows (not adapted) and restoration of the block lighting model we used in the prototype
  • Setup of the rendering in order to improve it (reflection, particles, textures)
  • Creation of the installers for Windows and Mac
  • Correction of the remaining bugs


The web Tools


We have added several interesting features on our website.

Private Messaging


You now have access to a messaging system working like on some social networks, that is you have the possibility to send messages to people in your friend list.

So a new option has appeared below the nickname of the community’s members enabling you to send them a friend request.

Add Friend

If the person accepts, you now have the possibility to send him/her a message from your account page, in the new “Private messaging” tab

Private Messaging

If you receive spam (through a friend request or a message) you have the possibility to report it using the “Action” button.

A new icon « messages » has also appeared on the top right banner of the website.

Last Messages

English-speaking / French-speaking Forum


We decided to fully split the English-speaking and the French-speaking forums.

You can, from now on, use the language selection button on the top right side of the forum to change the language of the forum and switch from one forum to the other.

Moderators


The application form for the moderators is still open, if you wish to join us, it is here: http://www.planets-cube.com/forum/topic/846.

We will choose the first moderators in December.]]>
<![CDATA[The Animals Family is Growing]]> f79a35b4803f17b5cbd0e674c8351bfc


The project artistic demand implies a great care in the conception.
For each animal we think about design, sound, animation, behavior, loots, action zone and so on …

Tiger 3D Model

Aware that the richness of the world will also depend on the quantity of creatures, the artistic team works on optimizing each step of the production process.

Modelsheet (Reymantha), modelling (Merakline), rig (Martino), animation (Bastien), texturing (Reymantha) are gaining in accuracy and efficiency day after day. Everything is done to expand Planets³’s wildlife.

Animals 3D Models

All the team at Cubical Drift is, as eager as you, to see all these animals roam freely on the planets.
]]>
<![CDATA[Monthly Dev Report]]> 537e96ace86108f14f6afb473679e1c1 A new engine for Planets³
This month the entire dev team focused on the new engine. We needed to take the good decision and to start migrating the game on the new engine. Indeed we finally choose the new engine: Planet³ will now use Unreal Engine from Epic Games!

Unreal Engine

Engine Choice


Guyk and Mick investigated dozen of different engines. Some of them were even specially designed for voxel worlds. But at the end only one of them adapted to all our constraints: Unreal Engine.
The 2 important constraints we have:

  • To regroup advanced technical specifications: OpenGL3+ and DirectX11 full support, access to shader model 5, advanced toolset for creating games.
  • To be able to easily release the game on different platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Consoles.


The migration is not finished yet, but here is a first video of our current progress:



Obviously we focused on the migration of the world generation and the rendering aspect of the game (we cannot make a blocks’ game without blocks!). You can see that we already activated some rendering options: HDR, atmospheric fog, reflection effects, god rays, lens flare, particles effects.

Development Choice


The first challenge was to learn how to use this fantastic engine because nobody in the team had ever used it before. CodingMarmot, Guyk and Mick did take the challenge and successfully migrated almost half of the game in less than 3 weeks.
This month’s goal was to show you a video with multiple planets using our sub resolution engine.

The second problematic was to start « from scratch » for a major part of our code. Indeed it was most handy and clever to use Unreal Engine tools (like the UE script called BluePrints). This way we will go faster in the future and most importantly: we will use the UE Editor. The UE Editor represents all the creation power of Unreal Engine: development simplification, easier to test, to debug, real time debug and multiples possibility of configurations … We couldn’t afford to miss this tool!
For performance sake a large part of our code will still be coded in C++ but we will use Blueprints wherever suited.

Today, after 2 difficult months, we are truly happy with our choice. And we are already feeling the positive aspects of using Unreal engine, in terms of quality as well as in terms of time saving.

Next challenge: to continue the efforts and release the pre-alpha just before Christmas!

And new website functionnalities


Altalus continued to increment the number of our web space features.

Moderation


This month he improved a lot the moderation forum space. This work is invisible but is essential to maintain a stable and viable environment for the community.
By the way, we will soon call on moderators from the community.

« Spam »


He also did make some modifications about spam countermeasures, against all these “evil people” or robots that post undesirable messages.

« My account » space


As we were saying in last news, “my account” space has also been improved.

Furthermore, people who supported us on Kickstarter or during the 2 months after Kickstarter have now access to new features depending on their pledges. They can now choose a name for a monster for example. These monsters that will be randomly generated among other monsters will be a little different from the others (stronger for example).

Features


You also certainly saw that there are new features:

  • RSS flow on news
  • filters, options and possibilities to follow a topic on the forum


Next big feature will be the Forum Private Messaging system.]]>
<![CDATA[Animasia Exhibition]]> f9ea9007ab16626ed78cb25f8cf88e3a Exhibition
Guyk, Mick, Reymantha and NeoM have traveled to Bordeaux for the Animasia exhibition and everything went well! We have met approximatively 500 people and we have had only positive feedbacks about the game and the concept.
It has been a great adventure especially since we had the pleasure to come across a dozen of you!

The team

For francophones : here is an interview realized on the exhibition and which has already been broadcast at the time this news is written :



Web


You have access to some new features on the web site:

  • Kickstarter backers who have chosen this reward can now choose a monster or boss name in the “My account” page on the web site.
  • We added a RSS feed on the news, since many among you have asked for it for several weeks.
  • You now have the possibility to follow a topic on the forum. It will then appear in the followed topics list on the homepage of the forum.
]]>
<![CDATA[Monthly Dev Report]]> 6436f90c4ae78e37958fc2b7e2533a6f Prototype
The construction prototype has been released 1 month ago and we’d like to thank you all for your constructions, critics and bug reports.

This month we have decided to put forward 6 of your constructions:

Backers Constructions
constructions de Mandrek, Dastan71, Wowman77 et Epsilon32


Dev


We focused our efforts on 2 of the most important parts of Planets³ : Multiplayer and rendering optimizations.

Multiplayer


Mick’s arrival enabled us to make progress regarding the multiplayer implementation of the game. We are also putting in substantial amount of efforts on the design and structure of our code.

Rendering


After spending several days of development, thinking, and investigation, we now know what we have to do in order to improve the rendering performance of the game. We even discussed our issues with experts on massive data rendering in french research laboratories (INRIA /CNRS) these last few weeks and they confirmed what we suspected : we have to satisfy some technical specifications.
Sadly Ogre, which is the rendering engine we are currently using, doesn’t allow us to satisfy those specifications efficiently. That’s why we have to replace it.

This was not foreseen and will have a substantial impact on the whole development roadmap.

Some answers to questions you might have:

  • Will this engine replacement have an impact on the release date of the Alpha?
    Yes, undeniably, this will postpone the release of the Alpha by several weeks.
    The Alpha will not be released in 2014.
  • Does this mean that there will be no new content in 2014?
    Perhaps there will be, we will try to release a “pre-alpha” version for Christmas. We hope to be able to include some “simple” multiplayer gameplay and perhaps a new gameplay feature. All of this using the new engine. This will depend on the time needed by the development team in order to integrate the new engine.
  • Have you already chosen the new engine?
    We are still evaluating some of them, and will keep you updated next month.


Our objective is to choose an engine which not only satisfies the rendering specifications we need but also will enable us to increase our productivity in the future (physics, AI, networking, and so on…). So it’s a bad news right now but it will be a great improvement for the project development in its globality.

Artistic note


The following schema represents the different zones of the first planet. The 5 zones on the surface are split up into 17 biomes, with each its topography, its wildlife, its dungeons, its constructions. In this picture we only disclose the topography of the biomes.

biomes

The red deer, the peacock and the squirrel are part of a long list of living beings which will inhabit each biome.

Animals

Web


Aside from the game development, you have certainly noticed that we keep updating our web tool:

  • you can now publish pictures of your constructions on the forum.
  • you can now rate posts and sort them by popularity
  • a new version of the “my account” page has been released, which is clearer, more practical and which will soon be improved with new functionalities (private messaging, web site/forum settings)
  • people who have supported us on Kickstarter and the 2 months after Kickstarter have now access to a new space where they can manage their rewards.
]]>
<![CDATA[Forum popularity system]]> 9cad4845b81692788cd14222679deabf
You can now like (or dislike) messages on the forum. You can also sort messages by “popularity” instead of sorting them by date.

popularity system

We have also inserted a “search” functionality. This will allow you to search for specific “words” among all messages in the forum.]]>
<![CDATA[A new dev team member]]> 1a3d259db4b1138095d457c96b853938 You can find a summary of his profile on the “Team” page of the website here.
Hiring a new developer was planned but not so quickly, but meeting Mickaël before summer, was a wonderful coincidence. Given his generalist profile with a predilection for networking, his video game development experience and his human contact, we didn’t need a long reflection time to decide to hire him!

For those of you who know it, he his the creator of WonderWorld, an independant 2D game project which has lot in common with Planets³.
He has now dropped this project in favor of Planets³.

He has started working with us at the beginning of September and he will be in charge of the implementation of Planets³ network layer. Also he actively participates to the game design and code architecture.

The team with Mick
Guyk / NeoM / Mick / Altalus
Reymantha / CodingMarmot


Since the release of the prototype, the dev team has started a long design and development phase, the goal being multiplayer addition and rendering optimization.

Meanwhile the artistic team started to iterate through the different biomes (animals and vegetation).]]>
<![CDATA[Animasia exhibition]]> 24844589a6bab8e07fbc775d3c71d790
We’ll have a little stand inside the “Forum Emploi Numérique” space on the ground floor.

Animasia]]>
<![CDATA[Monthly Dev report and More...]]> 20c4d33b0bb9a0e92701e79f7bb151ee Development
A fair share of our work is invisible for now, since it consist of engine improvement (world generation, rendering, differential saving, installation …). Even if it is still under development, we have reached a stable version.

The universe is currently composed of several static planets which are quite far from one another, so we decided to increase movement speed in space in order to make it easier to travel between them.

Planets³ - view from space

We added a little arrow above the pickup ghost in order to indicate in which direction the blocks are going to be removed, this is very useful to understand what is going to happen.

Pickup arrow

We implemented a new “block placement ghost”. It displays more clearly that the blocks can be rotated and which shortcut to use to change their orientation.

Block Placement Ghost

Since the press prototype release, we also put effort into the user interface, it now shows what the final user interface of the game will be.

Planets³ User Interface

Artistic note


The “Sculpting³” is really enjoyable each time you contemplate the result. Indeed a beautiful construction requires patience and a good deal of observation to judge the result every step of the way.

The new “block placement ghost” is of a great assistance to help carefully choose the right shape and orientation of each block (we have a thing about the tetrahedric block, don’t you?). Iterate over and over again is the key to realize the sculpture you dreamed of.



You have at your disposal a complete block palette of colored materials. The material choice is relatively arbitrary and doesn’t have much importance in the current creative mode.

Planets³ Inventory

The world generation is basic. The planets’ sculpture (vegetation, landscapes), the design of living beings, of constructions and so on… has been put aside for now.

The light dynamic is also basic (the planets being static). It will require some work to be adapted to the upcoming moving planets.

The world is made of materials which have each their own colored texture. On each block of a given material, this color varies randomly a little bit.In the future, a second layer of alternative textures will be added to paint the materials regarding their nature : woods, rocks, metals, fabrics, crafted materials, and so on...

Planets³ Biomes

The construction prototype


It’s the september’s “surprise”, we are proud to deliver a first version of the project : Planets³’s construction prototype.

This first release is not the Alpha version of the game. It’s the prototype version we gave to the press during the Kickstarter campaign with some improvements. We thought it would be nice for all of you, who have supported us, to finally be able to put your hands on something concrete, even if this prototype doesn’t reflect yet what the game will be.

Information on the game
It’s important for you to understand that your saved universes will very likely not be compatible with the future version of the game. Indeed, given the list of changes that will be made to the game in the coming months, the list of materials itself will not be valid anymore. But don’t let it stop you from sharing your most beautiful constructions !

The shortcut you have to know: F1. It displays main available shortcuts.

We also opened a “Prototype” forum section in order to discuss specifically this release (to report bugs or to discuss improvements you would like to have in the game).

Beware that this prototype is currently only available on Windows 64 bits.

Now it’s your turn!


All of you who have pre-ordered the game with an alpha access can go to their Planets³ web account and download the prototype.
Those of you who didn’t pre-order the alpha access on Kickstarter or on our website during the 2 months after Kickstarter can now upgrade their license to purchase the alpha access.

Everything happens here in your Planets³ web account:
https://www.planets-cube.com/my-account.html]]>
<![CDATA[Give a license]]> d94407845fd3e722112272a92afb3b6f
You will find this option in your customer account here:
https://www.planets-cube.com/my-account.html

For people who have supported the project on Kickstarter:


You must have a Planets³ account in order to be able to give your Kickstarter extra licenses.

If you didn't already register your account, please follow this link:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1247991467/planets3/posts/862093]]>
<![CDATA[A Sculpting³ elephant]]> 161c7badec3e7a48b6f7996c86aca557
Elephant Concept Art

This is a concept art which means that the textures and lighting dynamics doesn’t exactly reflect the ingame conditions. However it displays a more advanced artistic process.

Sculpting³ works iteratively, starting from a rough shape (using the world’s 25 cm square blocks) which is then smoothed using smaller blocks (up to 3.125 cm square blocks) in chosen areas: often the head and the limbs.

The aesthetic dimension oscillates between realism induced by the proportions and a minimalist polygonal aspect induced by the use of blocks which offers a limited choice of sizes and orientations.

The character design promises a great cohesion with the world made of blocks. It will allow us to model any creature and especially to stick armors on some of them. It has also been conceived to be adapted for a specific type of animation, which we’ll be disclosing soon.]]>
<![CDATA[First Monthly Dev report]]> 55dae968e97288c6aa7fa89fc140a1db

Pickup Ghost


Today I would like to present you Planets³’s pickup ghost. As you may know in Planets³ the blocks are 25cm square, so we implemented tools that allow you to pick up multiple blocks at the same time. The following video will give you a preview of our work.



The pickup ghost shows you how many block you will remove at the surface, highlighting the corresponding block faces. But it also shows how many blocks you will remove below the surface.

Textures


This part was a hard one. On the concept presented on Kickstarter, we see all different kinds of textures. The sand and vegetation textures only use single colors, with some color variations. The textures of the trees have a pattern, lines to represent “wood material”. And the leaves are made of another pattern, a sort of green blur.

Today, after dozen of hours of reflection, multiples design in photoshop (pixel art, patterns with numbers, high-def textures …) and lot’s of in game tests we finally chose our way to draw materials in Planets³.
We will stay with single color textures, using color variations for each material (for example the sand could have 6 different yellows). But as we have a lot of different materials in Planets³, single color textures alone was not sufficient, so we decided to add some patterns and effects (with shaders) depending on the material “category”.
For example metals will shine but wood materials could have patterns.

We do have to finalize this work, so we won’t show you screenshots of these new textures today.

Engine improvements


During the last month we also improved the engine:

  • we did work on the multithreaded universe loading
  • we started to change the way we enlighten the planets
  • we changed the topology of the planets, to be more flat, and have less mountains but more abrupt. However the current result is still not definitive since we will have to modify the way planets are generated in order to stick to the concept arts of the planet you saw.

Miscs


  • we added shortcuts management
  • we modified the UI to reflect new design work
  • we added the possibility to change video options from within the game
  • we improved shadows to reduce flickering
  • we improved the support of OpenGL and Direct3D 11. Direct3D 11 support is still in progress but Direct3D 9 and OpenGL are fully operational.
  • we corrected other different bugs
]]>
<![CDATA[Another 3D Armor]]> a860fac4a1cc5d4bf98ffaafd35315ea
Another 3D Armor Concept Art]]>
<![CDATA[ Tiger Concept]]> 13248397e36c2adaf53fa173c2691773
Tiger Concept]]>
<![CDATA[3D character concept]]> 349e1f2b62ef727bbfd18ba3d1db12e8 We still have work to do regarding the integration of the backers in our system, but this should be resolved soon.
On the development side we started to work on the planets rotation, and more specifically on an evolution of our physical engine.
We also started adapting the characters design from 2D concepts to 3D modeling. Here is an example to illustrate the current progression.

3D Armor Concept]]>
<![CDATA[The first arrivals]]> 81d77ff3a19331ab82067a68cc3fa021
Reymantha, NeoM et Altalus
From left to right: Reymantha, NeoM and Altalus


Reymantha just moved from London and will be joining us in a few days. Altalus is new in the team, until now he was working with us in freelance, but we decided to hire him as web developer. He has entirely developed our website and will be in charge of it’s continuous improvement. He’s currently integrating the backers data in our system, and will be developing the forum in a few weeks.]]>
<![CDATA[Backers Distribution]]> fa9a66cbc7087287ec10ed6698929f89
  • No big surprise there, the large majority of the backers come from the United States (38%)
  • As French ourselves we are proud that France is the second most represented country with 13%
  • 11% of the backers didn’t answer to the survey


Backers Distribution

We know that people of some countries (especially in Europe) couldn’t take part in the Kickstarter campaign because, in their country, having a credit card isn’t that common. So we really are curious to see how this distribution of backers will evolve with our online store (that you can find on our website: http://www.planets-cube.com).

As previously stated, we have had an issue preventing people to pay in USD on our website, we resolved the problem for the direct payment by credit card. However the paypal option still doesn’t work in USD, we are still waiting for a response from our bank.

As for the technical progression, we are updating the version of the libraries we use to the latest versions (Boost and Ogre 3D). Updating the version of Ogre improved the dynamic shadow rendering even if some work is still required on that subject. We also added the possibility to use Direct3D 11 (for now the prototype only worked with Direct3D 9) but this is still a work in progress. It is already possible to use OpenGL (which is required for the Mac and eventually the Linux version of the game), but it still requires some tweaking of the shaders to get the same results as with Direct3D 9.]]>