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RrRRrrRrrrrRrrrRrooaaaRR !

2015-01-21 Artistic
Here is a sample of the animation and sound effect work, currently in progress, on creatures.

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.

The Animals Family is Growing

2014-11-14 Artistic
The living beings creation process reaches maturity.



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.

Monthly Dev Report

2014-10-01 Artistic, Development

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.

Monthly Dev report and More...

2014-09-01 Artistic, Development

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

A Sculpting┬│ elephant

2014-08-20 Artistic
We are glad to introduce a Planets³ elephant.

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.

Another 3D Armor

2014-07-17 Artistic
Lots of technical development since a few days. But we would like to introduce you another 3D armor.

Another 3D Armor Concept Art

Tiger Concept

2014-06-16 Artistic
This week Reymantha would like to present you his current graphical research.

Tiger Concept
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