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It’s the second week of internal testing! You’d think this would mean things were slowing down around here, right? After all, we’re preparing for a pre-demo alpha; that’s bound to be a mess! And by the very nature of an alpha, it will be, but this alpha will be the first time we let Gears out into the world. You will all find plenty of bugs and goofs on our part, but we want this release to put its best foot forward. Because of that, this time testing the alpha is no vacation, and is in fact a very busy time for all of us.

The artists are hard at work, modeling, texturing, and doing UI work. We recently implemented fuel cells into the game so that the player could stockpile some energy for nights, but we gave it the same UI image as we’d given the second-tier drill bit, temporarily. Well this week, the artists put together 3D models and textures for both of these craft-able items and even textured them! Great work, Ekah and Pedro! In fact, just last night, the first build with their implementation was made available to the entire team! At the same time as they’ve been doing this, they’ve also been finalizing the mining UI that we showcased last week. It’s not quite finished, but they’ll be collaborating with the programmers to make sure that it all clicks together smoothly.

Of course, that’s not all the programmers are doing. We use a Trello board to organize everything they’re working on; it’s a handy tool to track where we’re at with specific programming tasks. Since we started this testing process, that board has been bombarded with bug reports from the team. Like, it’s to the point where one might worry that it might put too much pressure on the programmers … but Reid and Corentin have been knocking it out of the park and making it look easy! Thanks, guys! Already, they’ve cleared up most of the issues we’ve spotted so far, and I can’t wait to see how they handle the flood of reports you all send in! They’re also further developing the dialogue/event system to give the writers a little more freedom and to give you a better feel for our main character and the asteroid it has woken up on.

With a fully functioning alpha to drive around in, the writers (Eric, Sledge and Nick) are hard at work exploring the asteroid, and hunting for points of interest that you yourself might find as well! The asteroid that you’ll be exploring in this alpha has gone quiet after years of neglect, and while we plan on exploring that later in development, at this stage, it definitely feels too quiet (and not in a fun way). To combat this, we’re creating a personality for your rover that will hopefully reward you for finding new objects and landmarks in our world, while also telling you a little about it.

Last but not least, Sledge recently posted a new video to our YouTube channel that gives an overview of the camera systems in GoE. Check it out, and please hit that like button if you like what you see and would welcome more video updates from the team!

So, as you can see, we’re all busy right now, but in a very good way. Speaking of, it’s time to get back to it! That’s all for this week’s Dev Update, but be sure to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to see more about the development of Gears of Eden as it happens! I’d also suggest signing up for our newsletter if you’re interested in the upcoming alpha, since it automatically puts you into the running for one of the alpha keys we’re giving away! If you’d rather just donate your way into the alpha, we won’t stop you! In fact, you’ll be making our day! We’ll be back next week with more updates though, and I hope to see you there!

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