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November 21, 2014, 10:49:53 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsPlanet Explorers - voxel based Adventure RPG
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zede05
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« on: March 11, 2012, 01:29:40 PM »

7-7-14 Update: Alpha v0.82 is here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/237870



Ok, gonna get this devlog started. I was going to do it sooner, but we got really busy trying to put the early build together for a demo at GDC, so...Anyway, I'm part of Pathea Games, a small indie studio. We've been working on this game called Planet Explorers since August 2011.

Planet Explorers is an open world voxel based sandbox adventure rpg game set on a distant planet. The game uses a proprietary OpenCL system based on the Unity 3D engine to allow players to change the terrain in anyway, create new objects in any form, and do it anywhere. The game takes elements from games such as Skyrim, Minecraft, LittleBigPlanet, Tower Defense, and adds more ideas.

In this game, we're aiming for total freedom for the player (or, as much as the hardware limitations at the time of completion allows), which means, the player can build almost anything, weapons, vehicles, etc. On top of that, there will be a story driven adventure, which will probably give motivation to the player to come up with unique ways to complete such missions. The terrain of the game will not be procedural, it will be a continent of about 18X32km.

It's pretty ambitious, hopefully we can pull it off, haha.  Coffee

Here are some screens from the alpha v0.3 build:













Here are a couple of vids:

Alpha V0.6 Trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AljyzPfY0Ao

Alpha V0.5 Trailer
http://youtu.be/BxcaRhmHm18

Alpha V0.4 Trailer 1
http://youtu.be/uMBa5kLxf24

Alpha V0.4 Trailer 2
http://youtu.be/Z3wZM8SVzgI

I'll try to update this devlog as much as possible, but it'll probably be slow going, as the systems we're trying to implement are...hmm, complicated. We're aiming for a playable alpha version (probably closed) sometimes in May and an open beta in July. If you have any questions, just ask them on here and I'll try to answer to the best of my ability.

Here are some other links you can use to follow the game, we'll get a facebook account up soon-ish.

Pathea Games
http://www.pathea.net

Planet Explorers on Indiedb
http://www.indiedb.com/games/planet-explorers

Pathea Games on Twitter
https://twitter.com/#PatheaGames
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 07:49:05 AM by zede05 » Logged

Franklins Ghost
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 02:03:00 PM »

Liking the look of this, will be keeping an eye on it.
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Hypnohustla
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 02:26:02 PM »

You have my attention! Shocked
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eigenbom
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2012, 02:42:46 PM »

Chick is so tomb-raider. :D
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Netsu
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2012, 03:05:11 PM »

Planet Explorers is an open world voxel based sandbox adventure rpg game set on a distant planet. [...] The game takes elements from games such as Skyrim, Minecraft, LittleBigPlanet, Tower Defense, and adds more ideas.

To be honest, this sounded completely ridiculous to me at first, but I watched the trailers and I'm very curious where this game will go Smiley Hand Thumbs Up Right
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JigxorAndy
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2012, 06:00:48 PM »

It looks really pretty already! I'm going to be following this.
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2012, 09:55:25 PM »

Hey.

I get a 'monster hunter' vibe from it.

i like it
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Alex Norton
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2012, 12:36:48 AM »

This is looking top notch! Some great artwork there. Looks like a solid concept. And a super sexy heroine is always a welcome sight!
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2012, 01:24:53 AM »

Looks nice. Reminds me Ryzom http://www.ryzom.com/en/

The voxel part is not yet really well integrated (these high pillars could have been rendered as stone and not grass), but seems interesting.

For now, I like the colorful animals like on this screen http://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/18/17088/03.jpg

Good luck!
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2012, 02:07:50 AM »

Gotta write about this on Pure Indie Games

BRB

//done
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 02:19:08 AM by ANtY » Logged

zede05
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2012, 08:34:49 AM »

Thanks for the comments everyone, it's nice to hear some outside opinions after we've been working hard on it for so long.

Chick is so tomb-raider. :D

The character will actually be customizable, so the main character can be either male or female. Of course we just had to do the sexy female first, heh.

Looks nice. Reminds me Ryzom http://www.ryzom.com/en/

The voxel part is not yet really well integrated (these high pillars could have been rendered as stone and not grass), but seems interesting.

For now, I like the colorful animals like on this screen http://media.indiedb.com/images/games/1/18/17088/03.jpg

Good luck!

Yep, we're still in the process of getting the multi-materials to work properly in the voxel system, the math is a little hard, so it'll probably take a month to get it working properly.  Shrug

Here's a concept art for this grassland area.



Notice how there should be water? Geez, I'm not looking forward to doing that (we haven't even decided what to use for water yet, haha)
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zede05
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2012, 11:09:24 AM »

We've updated the character customization scene with better lighting, next step would be to add some plants sticking in from the right side (it's inside a crashed ship...er...spoiler!).



We're also tweaking with the face customization. It's done through moving a lot of different bones, it's tough to rig. There's probably a better way...we don't have time to look into it. Unless anyone out here might know.

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zede05
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2012, 11:32:59 AM »

And then we said let there be flowers, and flowers bloomed.



I think we're going to figure out multi-materials sooner than we think...you don't hear that too often in the dev process.  Cheesy But I think the ground texture doesn't really fit the slightly cartoony overall look, so we probably need to change that.
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2012, 11:56:32 AM »

Stupendous! Keep going, this looks awesome!
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Netsu
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2012, 01:18:09 PM »

But I think the ground texture doesn't really fit the slightly cartoony overall look, so we probably need to change that.

Maybe it would be different if you changed the ground texture, but I didn't get a cartoony feel at all from the trailers. The graphics looked rather realistic to me, and I was actually surprised when I saw the cartoony face in the character creation screenshot.

The flowers are nice, I really like the environment. Will there be more alien elements? Like the arching plants? Maybe some weird rock formations?
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2012, 02:30:11 PM »

Visual style seems consistent to me. Ground texture could match the grass object in color a bit more, or be more subdued in relation to it. Ground texture "pops" a bit too much.

But. I'm not the dev.

And. It's easy to get bogged down tweaking grass textures, when you need to be working on tens of other things that are more relevent.

Panda Tiger Wizard KEEP GOING! Panda Tiger Wizard
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peous
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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2012, 02:59:05 PM »

I see no problem having these "realistic" textures with cartoon characters. Screenshot seems nice to me.
See http://metavideogame.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/pro06.jpg or http://animediet.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/eternal-sonata-20061220041208402.jpg for example.
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« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2012, 05:19:30 PM »

I'm liking your visuals so far, think they work well together. Maybe just a slight colour tweak of the grass but it's all looking fantastic so far.
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zede05
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2012, 11:19:24 AM »

Maybe it would be different if you changed the ground texture, but I didn't get a cartoony feel at all from the trailers. The graphics looked rather realistic to me, and I was actually surprised when I saw the cartoony face in the character creation screenshot.

The flowers are nice, I really like the environment. Will there be more alien elements? Like the arching plants? Maybe some weird rock formations?

Well, the game isn't that cartoony, we're trying to make a style that's acceptable to the tastes of Western and Eastern gamers, one of the main reasons that games like Minecraft and Terraria didn't do as well over in Asia was due to their graphics. So this style is partially a business decision.

As for the texture, we're actually using Allegorithmic's substance procedural shaders. Currently, the terrain texture's all procedural, so basically lots of noisemaps; while the rest of the world is pretty much hand painted. That's the contrast right now. As such, we're going to do a hand-painted ground texture and plug that into the procedural shader as the source texture and see what happens. The reason we're using procedurals is because we want constant change to the landscape due to weather, seasons, whatnot. It looks very cool, but takes a big hit on the fps right now. We'll see if we can get this in.

As for the flora, we're designing the entire ecosystem from the ground up. This is a particular point that I emphasize to the team, I think it's very important that the plants are similar enough to Earth plants that they don't alienate the player yet at the same time be different enough that the player will feel like it's a new world. This isn't exactly easy, since there also needs to be consistency in the evolution of these plants. We kinda set a few rules such as ~80% Earth grav, slightly less dense atmosphere, etc. to help us come up with stuff. But hey, if you guys have some cool visual ideas for plant life, put it here and we'll see if we can get it into the game.

Here are some designs for the grassland flora:



No names yet...so if anyone wanna help name them, be my guest. heh.

And. It's easy to get bogged down tweaking grass textures, when you need to be working on tens of other things that are more relevent.

True...

Back to work!
 
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zede05
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2012, 06:30:01 PM »

Spend today writing up the scenarios for the first 4 hours of the storyline, kinda fun, some twists that people will not see coming. Also kinda hard, since I have to consider what would happen if a npc character dies or if the player ignores the missions. Since we're a small team, we're only going to model out the most important NPCs, the rest will be generated randomly with the character editor. Here are the first 2 key NPCs you meet:





Then after all that I find out I need to redo the entire game map in World Machine (the original was done in L3DT, which took me a week).  Screamy
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