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This is a good week, over here at Gears of Eden. We know the first Alpha Release is right around the corner, and we’re working like mad men to make sure it all works as well as it should (at this point, at least). That’s not to say we’re rushing, by any means; we’re wrapping up projects and executing updates … and it’s all just feeling so smooth.

The first major accomplishment of this week has to be our testing system: we’ve been talking about it for weeks, but it is finally finished! It’s actually a little bit amazing, the work that programmers do; it has been a long, complicated process … only to collect a small little box of text about what you did in the game. It is, in fact, less text than in this very paragraph. That’s a relief (both in terms of your privacy and our server space), but with all the work they went through? I feel a little guilt! A little guilt and a whole lot of gratitude, though. Seriously, these guys are wizards.

We also updated some of the game’s UI! A while back, we settled on a certain aesthetic, and we spent some time updating most of the UI to match that. We didn’t have time, however, to update the mining UI! You can actually see the old mining UI in the below video (made by our own Ben Sledge), and as you can see, it’s not awful, but … actually, yeah, it’s pretty bad. This week though, we were able to bring it up to date alongside the rest of the UI’s style (see the cover image at the top of this page), and we’re thrilled about it! Naturally, this update isn’t final (we’re already having discussions about how to make it more intuitive), but you can expect to see it in the upcoming Alpha!

Then, just last night, we implemented the game’s first consumable item: fuel cells! The rover runs off solar energy, and during testing, we kept finding ourselves stuck on the dark side of the asteroid. We made some changes to how the rover functions without energy, but that still didn’t feel like enough, so we came up with craftable fuel cells to give players a quick shot of power so that they don’t need to wait for the asteroid to rotate … provided they planned ahead, of course. We’ll probably expand on this concept and refine it, but right now it’s proof of concept, so we’re plenty happy.

That’s it for this week’s Dev Update, but before I go, I thought it would be appropriate to show you to our newly updated Early Access Info page, where we go into detail over everything related to the upcoming Alpha, both in terms of what you can expect and what we hope for. With that though, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news from Gears of Eden! Next week’s going to be a big one, and I hope you have a great rest of your week until then!

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