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Monthly Dev Report

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!

Musical Choices and world generation

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!

Monthly Dev Report

2015-03-04 Development

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).

A bit more diversity

2015-02-18 Development

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”.

Monthly Dev Report

2015-02-04 Development
This month has been largely spent on gameplay. We implemented:

  • 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:

Monthly Dev report and More...

2015-01-07 Development

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.

Monthly Dev Report

2014-12-03 Development

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.
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