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Welcome back to another weekly Dev Update, where you learn about the past week’s successes, struggles, and everything in between. Now, I say struggles, but this week? Things went pretty smoothly! See, a game should have multiple kinds of interaction dynamics with its player. The easiest form of this is to have the player interact with the game through design choices that rely solely on the player’s action in whatever context the game throws at this. It’s like a platforming level: the platforms may sway back and forth, but very little of the player’s success involves the game reacting to them. In modern games, however, players can expect another level of interaction with the game–one where the game interacts back. The first step to accomplishing this goal is to build an event system.

Event is one of those tricky words, especially in gaming. But in the case of game design, an event is pretty specific: it’s how a game tells you it’s watching you. A little creepy, right? It’s absolutely a conversation though! The way our event system works currently is that each event features two entities, Speaker One and Speaker Two. Of those two, Speaker One is the one that initiates the event. Usually, the player will be Speaker One, but that isn’t a hard-set rule! It could be another object in the game, which would allow for the game to interact with itself, thus creating the illusion of a world that exists whether or not the player is involved. When creating a game focused on adventure and exploration, that’s an important aspect!

Back on topic, Speaker Two’s job is to validate the event itself. It checks whether Speaker One is carrying the proper event data. If it isn’t, nothing happens. However, if the Speaker One does have the proper event data, it’ll trigger! Above, we’ve created a mock-up to demonstrate a triggered event, but it’s just Photoshop while the programmers and artists finalize the system. For now, just like in the picture, the event system is limited to text-based responses, but it’s already quite scale-able, so that eventually we can have it make use of more speakers and trigger different sorts of events!

In the upcoming alpha, this will primarily be used as a dialogue system, which means you will get to hear see our rover talk! This was important to us to give the earliest players a sense of the tone we’re shooting for. Bringing up the alpha begs the question though: what does this mean in regard to the alpha’s release? Well, there’s still some more work to be done with this system and our data collection systems, but once we’ve finished those two tasks? We’ll be ready and rearing to go for our very first alpha! This simply could not have happened without your support and encouragement throughout this process, so we’d all like to extend our thanks to all of you! And, personally, I’d like to thank the amazing team that I get to work with, because I know there’s no way I’d have pulled off even a fraction of this alone.

That’s it for this week’s Dev Update, but we’ll be back next week with more news on how Gears of Eden is coming along next week! Until then, be sure to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to get the latest news on everything we’re working on, and consider signing up for our newsletter! It’s more infrequent, but we like to give out little secrets to those subscribers, and it’ll put you into the drawing for free a free alpha key! Of course, if you don’t want to leave it to luck, you could head over to our donations page and buy an alpha key flat out! It comes with the added benefit of knowing our team is abuzz with validation and joy. That’s all for now though, thank you again and we’ll see you soon!

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