Dev Update #85: Gearing Up for Alpha 2

By October 18, 2018Dev Updates

It’s been a long road. Okay, a REALLY long road. But we’re finally closing in on our final Alpha 2 goal: a complete UI overhaul. Even better, we’ve made good progress on a couple of our stretch goals, and we are now starting to ramp up for our free Alpha 2 release! We’re back with a new Developer Update this week to fill you in on all the details! And, quick reminder, you can sign up for a free Alpha 2 key on our website!

We had a couple reasons for wanting to overhaul the user interface. The original was clunky and, visually, a bit heavy handed. We wanted to streamline the interface, make it more minimal, but also give better functional use to players. The new interface accomplishes this. Information is better organized and easier to find, and we’ve included a more robust feedback system, featuring helpful tooltips. We have a few minor touches we’re putting in place, but the UI is about 95% complete and should be wrapping up very soon! We think it’s pretty neat (and hope you agree)!

Along with the new UI, we are working on item descriptions for everything in the game. Drills, bits, batteries… these are all parts that were designed by someone or something out there in our game Universe. You wake up as a sentient machine in our game with no knowledge of the outside world or its history. So even these rather mundane items give us an opportunity to introduce you and your character to the world of Gears of Eden. It’s amazing how so much thought can go into the background of a drill bit. But, that’s where we are! We are putting ourselves into this world, asking ourselves how it operates, and how the world that the player experiences is affected by and separate from the world that came before, known as the Null Era. We’re really looking forward to sharing these small details with you in Alpha 2, along with our lore item stories – which give you a broader glimpse into asteroid life from another point of view.

While we’ve been prepping the UI for Alpha 2, we’ve also been working on a few stretch goals. For starters, we have recently introduced a new character into the game that ties into our lore stories and first planned mission chain. That mission chain also involves a drone, and we’ve done some develop on that side as well. Recently we’ve implemented new camera animations that highlight the drone when you encounter it, and we’ve even programmed the drone to go into a malfunctioning holding pattern upon waking up.

But that’s not all! We’ve also been adding some new environmental effects like crystals and a vapor jet field, which will tie into that mission chain we just mentioned. And that’s what is really neat about this phase we are in now on the brink of Alpha 2’s release. All these little pieces are starting to come together. Our prequel stories. Our characters. Our lore items. Our environmental design. We’re starting to connect all these disparate parts of game development to a more fulfilling, more complete experience for Gears of Eden players.

That said, we’re still very early on. Alpha 2 is going to be far from feature complete. But this is really a showcase moment for us. We want to show you what we’ve accomplished so far, and then hopefully build up our audience and raise some support to allow us to keep going. It’s taken us such a long time to get to this point. It’s been a lot of hard work, and we’d really need to ramp up production so it doesn’t take another year to hit our next major Alpha release. We’d like to finish the full demo version of Gears of Eden as soon as possible. And then head into the full-blwon game. Alpha 2 is really the break point for us that lets us know if we’re doing a good job and get to continue this journey with you and for you.

We want to do this together, after all. You’re a big part of this! You can help by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Share our posts, and let others know about our project! You can also join our Discord server. Come chat with us! Give us some feedback! Let us know what you think. What ideas you have. What you like, or don’t like. You can follow us on Twitch, and join our live streams that feature game development, live podcasts, and fun community gameplay nights. If you like any of what you see or hear, there are multiple ways to support our project now. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can sub for FREE to our channel each month on Twitch. You can also support us via our website, or Patreon. We’ll have other opportunities for support coinciding with our Alpha 2 launch. More to come on that soon!

If you’re reading this, you’re already supporting us by giving us some of your time and attention. Thank you so much! We’ll have more updates on our social media pages, and be back with another Dev Update here soon! I also hear rumors there is (finally) a new official Reaching Eden podcast episode releasing very soon! We hope you enjoy it! Thanks again!

 

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