NEWS FROM THE TEAM

Weekly Dev Update – April 3rd, 2015

Daniel Hi Dr. Nick! These last couple of weeks I've mainly worked on fixing stuff, reworking things and iterating on objects. This isn't very sexy work, it's a lot of grind and technical stuff. But it is something that is vital to an agile and iterative workflow. What would be the point even considering evaluating the current state of anything if you do not have the freedom to change it (aside from learning from past mistakes). Often its easy to go on and just remake stuff, because it feels like you are being more creative. While that might be true...
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Dev Update on Monday!

Hey there Astro-friends! We'll be posting this week's Dev Update on Monday to let Dave enjoy a long overdue weekend with his beloved. No matter how hard we try, the guy won't take time off, so this is an important event for us! Tune in early next week for our update!
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Weekly Dev Update – March 20th, 2015

Adam The Unity 5 upgrade brought about a lot of opportunities, both visual and otherwise. I was able to integrate Daniel's new character models, uniforms, body types, genders and all. I was also able to integrate some of the missing UI and wrap up the desk content. I also had an opportunity to fix some early usability bugs (turns out it's tricky having 3D GUI!). This week has been spent mostly on some new Datapad programs, including the Equipment Manager. Once complete, it will allow us to managed gear assigned to characters in our crew. Since away teams sent out...
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Weekly Dev Update – March 7th, 2015

Dave While Adam was working on the upgrade to Unity 5, I decided to tackle the largest unsolved design problem with missions which is making the traits fundamental to the character decision making. It can't be +1 here -1 there, it has to be integral to the system. Because I need the game to be able to say "this is an ethical decision, and ethical people do A and unethical people do B" (just using ethics as an example of one of the MANY possible aspects of a character personality). Because Astrobase isn't content-driven, I can't just write it into...
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Weekly Dev Update – February 28th, 2015

Daniel Hello everybody! This week I've spent mainly making parts for projectile weapons. The main challenge with this is to make sure all the different pieces work together while at the same time giving enough variety to be worth it. Currently there are well over 1000 different permutations of them. I made a little video to illustrate some options. These combinations are completely random so some might not look as good as others. http://www.new.astrobasecommand.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/projectile_gif_02.mp4 Dave This week I worked on upgrading our procedurally generated planet weather system into something more detailed that I could tie into missions. One thing that's...
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Weekly Dev Update – February 21st, 2015

Daniel Hi Everybody! Since last week I was surprised by Adam with the functionality to combine skinned meshes, which allows me to build characters from pieces instead in-game instead of having to have one mesh per permutation or some other dirty dirty solution to modularity in character visuals; I began this week by weighting the skinning (when preparing a mesh to be animated you bind its vertices to its bones, the default initial skinning is pretty good nowadays but in some areas it is lacking) for all the character meshes we have in game so far. This means that characters...
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Weekly Dev Update – February 13th, 2015

Daniel Greetings! This week I've spent with shoestring budget mo-cap. In other words, from now on I will be able to ambulate just like you humans and my infiltration attempt will be successful. Also, it means that we now have a bucket load of emotive animations to help out with visually indicating how, for example, a conversation between two crew-members is going. Dave This week I've been working on designs for the (hopefully, final) version of the mission system. The difficulty is I need to tie in traits, skills, stats and planet hazards to give characters some sort of non-linear...
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Weekly Dev Update – February 9th, 2015

Daniel Hello! This week I've been working on particle effects. Particles systems are one of the fields in game graphics that are relatively separate from the rest. They exist in the same world as everything else but compared to how a model and its animation have a symbiotic relationship particles tend to be tacked on wherever they make sense. Their main purpose is to indicate states, for example if food is hot you can have steam coming off it, indicating its current state. If a character is poisoned, having puffs of poison come out of him can give the player...
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Weekly Dev Update – January 30th, 2015

Daniel Hi Everybody! This week I've spent making small objects to populate the world with. You'd probably be surprised by how adding a bunch of every day objects helps tie a room together, you know, unless you're an interior decorator by trade or just an enthusiastic hobbyist. A prime example of how the lack of everyday items makes an area feel too empty, even when full of furniture. Of course, in games this means all these objects need to be modeled, uv-mapped and everything. For a game aiming at regular contemporary realistic design choices this means they can load up...
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Weekly Dev Update – January 23rd, 2015

Daniel Hi Everybody! (Hi Dr. Nick!) This week I've worked on the graphics for more social sections. It struck me that we had an abundance of really useful super practical areas, like reactors and command and sleeping quarters. However, what we lacked was somewhere for the crew to spend their time off. Not even in the more militaristic sci-fi settings (Battle Star Galactica and Babylon 5 comes to mind) do they avoid the types of activities that make up normal every day life. Of course these areas might not be the first thing you build but they are definitely are...
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