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We’re at an interesting point of development right now. On one hand, we’re having a lot of success. Both the data collection systems and the dialogue/event system are close to wrapping up (at least in the form they’ll take at this time), and those are two of the last things we want to finish before the alpha is ready. What this means though is that this week’s Dev Update is going to be a little more low-key. After all, we’ve talked your ear off about both of those things. What more is there to say about them? We have, however, been concurrently working on some Quality of Life changes to help make the alpha a more pleasant experience for everyone.

The first of them helps with an issue that we haven’t really talked about yet: driving around in the base. At the current stage of development, our base doesn’t have a whole lot in terms of functionality, but we want you to able to explore everything in the alpha in relative comfort, which isn’t yet the case. The base is small and narrow, with some awkward ramps and tunnels, so getting around on a set of wheels doesn’t always feel great or work well. You often end up stuck on your side, or back, or straddling a piece of metal with your wheels hanging in the air (er, space). We’re currently re-working the base to be a little larger and remove some of these obstacles.

Our second Quality of Life implementation can seen pictured above: we now have models of the all resources currently implemented into the game! For the longest time, our spectrometer has revealed resource nodes with floating cubes in the air, all painted a different color to make them visually distinct, and then given a bit of text overhead so that you know what was what. It didn’t look great, but like so many other things that end up being refined, it worked well enough for a development placeholder. Now though, we at least have resource nodes that … look like what they are. This system is going to need more work, certainly, but we’re satisfied with it, at least for such an early alpha.

Another update we’re working on is the inclusion of a Help Menu. Currently, most of us have a document saved onto our computers that explains key bindings and how to do everything in game (for when we forget how to do things like turning on the rover’s lights). We don’t think that it’s fair to have you make a similar document of your own, and maybe it’s a little tacky to just send the alpha with a .txt file and call it good. No, instead we’ve decided to at very least include a help menu that explains controls in the alpha. Some of you may be worrying that this still doesn’t seem like an ideal way to handle teaching a game’s controls/mechanics, and we agree! In later development, you can expect to see a more intuitive teaching system.

I’m really excited! We’re almost there! Our alpha is slowly but surely coming together. If there was ever a time to set yourself up to see all Gears of Eden news as early as possible, that would be now! Be sure to follow us on Twitter or Facebook, and consider signing up for our newsletter! We always put a little bit of special content into those, and in doing so you get entered into the drawing for an Alpha Key! We’ll be back next week with more news, but until then? Thank you for reading and have a great day.

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