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A few weeks ago, we showed you some of the concept art that has been developed to help us see the future of the player character. Since then, you might’ve seen us tweet about getting that new model implemented into the game! That was a positively thrilling experience, but one that the smarter members of our team (read: everyone but me) realized would come with an added side effect… we’d need to re-animate the whole thing! For this week’s Dev Update, we thought it’d be fun to show off some of our favorite examples and to maybe talk about it all a little bit.

For most of these animations, we had to translate previous functionality to a new design, but in this first video, you’ll see an entirely new part of the rover: an arm! This is going to go a long way to increasing the functionality of the rover and make the game feel a little less… “gamey.” The more we can make interactions (even for small things like resource collection) feel genuine, the more immersive of an experience you’ll have.

Something you may have noticed in the first Alpha Release is that the rover seemed a little… stiff. Of course it did! That rover was one of the first made for the game, made so that we could visualize the game internally. In fact, I’m pretty sure that rover pre-dated there even being an “internal” team! With this new model, we’re doing our best to make sure the rover’s movements feel right. No longer will the rover just slide along as it comes to a stop! Its animation will now react to momentum!

More than that, it will actually respond to the environment it’s on! This is a small touch, and you might miss it the first time, but watch the wheels as they go over uneven terrain. So many times, while taking pictures for Gears of Eden, I would have a shot that almost looked great… except the rover was clipping through the ground or one wheel was up in the air. Not only will this new behavior allow for a more visually appealing experience, but it’ll increase your driving stability which is a very necessary improvement!

Every member of this team has their own personal strengths. I have my own, but I know without a doubt that the art (and its very execution) are light years beyond what I would’ve been capable of. We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m very grateful for the talented people that I get to work with. The Dev Update will be on a short break next week for the holidays, but that doesn’t mean development will stop! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see all the latest info and art from Gears of Eden as soon as its available! Also check out the latest episode of the Reaching Eden Podcast, where we talk with Dave Stanley about his upcoming Skelattack! It was a lot of fun to produce and we hope you enjoy it! If you’re enjoying any or all of this content, please consider throwing a dollar our way on our Patreon site. Thank you!

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