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Floatlands - a lowpoly survival/exploration fps game

A topic by studiotechtrics created 350 days ago Views: 4,405 Replies: 42
Viewing posts 1 to 40
(Edited 3 times) (+1)

Floatlands is a lowpoly survival-exploration fps game in singleplayer mode with multiplayer to be added later on. You will play a robot as the main protagonist, game world will consist of several biomes: jungle, desert, sea and snow. There will be random events/quests (defending, collecting, exploring) across the world for you to complete.

The idea for a low-poly game came from our project manager Domen Koneski. He was having fun creating some floating islands in Unity3D and the colored only models really looked good to all of us.

The train of thought naturally went to jetpacks and flying around, defending each island from enemies (mobs in the shape of a helicopter). Andrej, our 3d artist, quickly created a helicopter, a main character for a first person shooter, with a cool looking double-barrelled shotgun, a few animations and other assets.



At that time, the first trailer for the upcoming Battlefield 1 was released, which included a massive Zeppelin. We picked up on the idea and incorporated it in this Floatlands game.



We shared a few screenshots of the scene on Instagram and Facebook, the feedback was well beyond our initial expectations, since we immediately got offers for beta testing, requests for PS4 version and suggestions for further concepts. Next step is to gather suggestions, write down a basic screenplay and create new game assets from that.

We're really enthusiastic about this project and looking forward to working with our community! We invite you to share your thoughts and ideas on our website.

www.floatlands.net

Admin(+1)

This looks really promising! Are you planning to playtest it through itch.io refinery? Sounds like it would be a great fit, let me know if you need any help with it!

(+1)

Thx! Now that you mentioned it, we'll definitely think about refinery.

(+2)

Love the art direction and the game play looks fun

sign me up for some fun beta testing!

(+2)

Thx, we plan on releasing beta version at the end of the year.

(+3)

We've been working on improving the visuals of the scene (better foliage, fog and colors), here is a representation of that:

Important part of the game will be the resource gathering aspect – we already created some basic ones:

  • shooting down robot enemies will provide you scrap metal;
  • by chopping trees you will gain wood;
  • sheep is a source for wool;
  • you will also find resources in caves.

Our programmer Vili Volčini was busy creating pathfinding for a basic island, which now includes automatic subdividing, really fantastic stuff. He will explain the whole work process in one of our next posts, so be sure to check it out!

Andrej added some nice assets like stones and caves with stalactites. Speaking of caves, there will be a whole complex of them under the mountains for you to explore. We also added the first animal – a sheep with a few animations and ragdoll physics.

The next challenge is creating wobbly trees – we're already experimenting with wind animations for vegetation. That will certainly add some dynamic to the scene.

We're really happy with the progress of the game and we're looking forward to implementing mobs, weapons and lots more…

Until next time.

(Edited 2 times) (+2)

Hey everyone,

Domen Koneski (game designer and programmer) has been working on the island generator, he added every asset that our 3D artist had for him – from a small firn to a huge tree. With this he also successfully implemented a LOD system and found a cool ambient occlusion system which was also added.


Resource gathering system is now improved, you can now harvest wood, wool, experience points and rocks.



Vili (programmer) explains the pathfinding and reasons why we need this in our game:

Common pathfinding is for ground mobs only. I wanted to have also mobs that fly and walk on walls/ceilings. For this we need special pathfinding, if we wish that enemies find a way to their target. I was looking for a solution and there was none, so I programmed my own. I used oct-trees, which are really just an extension of quad-trees. I constructed oct-tree by casting cube to world for each node – if anything is hit by BoxCast, subdivide. Repeat this until you hit maximum depth of nodes. I used Unity3Ds function 'Physics.CheckBox'. I visualized my algorithm, and pretty pictures happened – what you see next is leafs of solid. You can see this can get quite heavy, because each subdivision generates 8 times more nodes.

If I wanted to have a proper graph, I needed to make it also topologically correct. This means I needed to do flood-fill algorithm to separate free-space from solid-space. This way mobs can exactly know where they can walk (and can't). This is the result of flood-fill. I started from free-space (top most node) and searched through whole space. This way I could separate reachable and unreachable space.

Did I mention before about the resolution problem? Well, there is a big problem. Each subdivision is 8x times more expensive. Time and space requirements grow exponentially. BoxCasting becomes expensive, so does flood-fill. But there is a simple solution: subdivide only parts that need to be subdivided. So I coded a simple trigger, which will mark space that needs to be detailed. Each prefab gets its own trigger. It can be a box or sphere collider. Now, we have proper nodes. Now I needed to generate points (with normals) for each node. I did it by raycasting from many directions (borders of node) and then averaging the points. Also I calculated the average normal – slope, so I can separate ground from wall/ceiling.

Now another step – connect the neighbor nodes, so we get a point graph. Here, I used 'moore neighborhood' for connections, this way I also get diagonals. Then all I needed to do is input this point graph into A* Pathfinding Project made by Aron. That's all for now.

http://floatlands.net

(Edited 5 times) (+2)

Bullet logic & lowpoly robot design


Hey, Domen here. My task was to create at least a reasonable bullet logic which is "kinda" realistic. For starters lets define what a bullet is. For the first N metres (or any other unit) the bullet reacts and is defined as a raycast from an origin point to a direction – in most cases a gun barrel or the middle of the screen (crosshair position). If nothing is hit then proceed with so called partly raycasts – cast a short raycast and if nothing happens move the origin of the previous ray to an end position of that ray.

Here is an ugly paint sketch:


(standard bullet logic)

This got me quite a satisfying result but I wasn't happy with it. Bullet isn't only a ray, it has a volume and there is also gravity that affects the movement of the bullet.

(implementation of basic raycasting system)

The next thing was to implement basic gravity impact to the bullet. I also moved every physics call to the FixedUpdate() so the Unity physics has the time to refresh itself. I also added a simple TTL (Time to live) system, so the bullet "dies" at about 25 raycasts.


(gravity affected bullet)


Here is an example of an instant raycast (black ray) and the partly raycasts (red) which are affected by the gravity, kinda heavy bullet eh? The next stop was implementing the volume of the bullet, which is a simple raycast towards every directon. We can now change the gravity affection, bullet spread, bullet time to live and bullet speed, which is nice if we want to implement some sort of mortars, snipers, or weak pistols. Aaaaand the final result:


Our 3D artist also recorded the workflow of creating a lowpoly robot in Blender. Enjoy!



http://floatlands.net

(Edited 2 times)

Implementing build mode

Hi there,

today we will present you another feature of our Floatlands game – BUILD MODE. Players will be able to build their own structures to protect themselves from threats and store their possessions. This feature is closely tied with the resource gathering aspect of the game. It's simple really, to build any kind of structure you need materials. That is why we first thought out a material scheme.

Elements/materials differentiate between themselves in rarity and later on in tier usability (rare materials are needed for more fortified structures). From basic natural resources and animals that were already incorporated, we now had to convert this into usable materials for construction. Certain materials need to be processed and smelted in order to be used. This is where a FURNACE comes into play:


PLACING STRUCTURES

So, now that we have the materials sorted out, we get to play with construction. Constructing is based on one structure/element (foundation, floor, wall, stairs…) that you'll be able to rotate and snap to another element-thus creating a building according to your wishes. In order for this snapping system to work, our 3d artist and programmer had to create all the elements and assign them locators and snap points. The positioning of these elements works through raycasting.


BUILDING TIERS

For now we designed elements for 3 building tiers: WOOD, STONE, REINFORCED STONE.

WOOD


STONE


REINFORCED STONE

That's just the basics for now. We will update you with our next developments soon!


http://floatlands.net

(Edited 2 times) (+1)

A few keynotes on the developments so far:

  • No timetable for the alpha version yet, but we believe development will definitely speed up.
  • Singleplayer mode is targeted on being a survival and exploring type of game.
  • We have multiplayer mode in mind at a later stage.
  • Questing -> there will be random events (defending, collecting, exploring) across the world for you to complete.
  • Building system is nearly complete -> you'll be able to build and upgrade your own custom base/shelter and defend from enemies (raiding).

Extracting metal will be important for upgrading/fortifying your structures.

Mountains will include a cave system. Caves will also provide lots of options for resource gathering.

Wood tier is the starting level of build mode.

Stone upgrade will make it harder for enemies to destroy your base.

Reinforced stone is the highest tier base/shelter you can upgrade to.

Mockup of the current UI.



http://floatlands.net

(Edited 1 time)

ELECTRICITY

In our previous blog post we showed you the Floatlands build system and different tiers of structures. Then we thought about different props that could be used in the game, and some of them would need a source of energy. Generators will be that source, in fact, there will be 3 models with different power outputs (50W, 150W, 400W).




You will have to fill them with fuel to get them to work. Energy will be used for lights, lamps, defense systems, turrets and more. You'll be able to connect multiple devices to a generator and even go over the output limit, but the efficiency of that extra connected device will be lowered (example: extra connected light will generate less brightness). We already managed to connect several turrets to a generator.



Turrets will target their enemies with laser light and bullets.



Generator interface shows you nearby and connected generators, current power and available power.

Wall lamp connected to a nearby generator.



Power up your lights to see trough dark nights.


We're even discussing various energy sources, like wind (wind turbines), water (hydroelectricity) and sun (solar panels).

Until next time!

http://floatlands.net

(Edited 8 times)

WINTER IS COMING


So, besides the 3 already made biomes (normal, sea and desert) we now finally implemented a winter/snow world and a day & night cycle together with weather system. It actually looks even more impressive in night time. With our build system already quite developed, we experimented in making this winter castle. That's the beauty of custom build mode…




Our 3d artist modified the terrain/mountains, trees, rocks and also recorded his workflow, if anyone is interested in having a look.



Since we decided to go the lowpoly way and use solid colors, we're looking into a similar kind of design regarding user interface and HUD. Domen went through a couple of UI mockups/revisions and also added a compass which already works. For now it shows just mountains and bases, later it will show all relevant points of interest (quests etc).



Last couple of days we've been preparing for the upcoming Slovenian games conference where we will showcase our work so far. A demo scene is in place along with a slightly improved player controller, so our booth visitors will be able to get a very early sample of gameplay. In our next blog post we will update you guys with how it all went (pictures included) and what to expect in the coming weeks and months.

www.floatlands.net

(Edited 3 times)

SLOVENIAN GAMES CONFERENCE

A few weeks back we announced our attendance at the Slovenian games conference where we would present a very early sample of Floatlands. Taking into account that this project is 4 months old, we put ourselves under a lot of time pressure but finally we managed to do it.


So last week we concentrated on setting up a demo scene with a working build mode, the latest UI and an updated player controller. We came to the event with one purpose – to observe and take in the reactions, impressions and live feedback from the visitors and other developers. Of course there was an occasional bug or two, but players were genuinely excited to build their own bases – you wouldn't believe some of the constructions they made.


The conference itself lasted the whole day, it included speakers on various related gaming topics, such as design process, animation, audio, VR, marketing and much more. Throughout the event we met lots of developers with interesting and promising game projects. We were also offered help with marketing which we are so grateful for.


To our complete surprise (since we haven't really thought about the contest) Floatlands had been chosen for the best indie game of SGC 2016. This is a great honor for us, especially because we've been working on this game for only 4 months now. The reward for winning this contest were tickets to Reboot Develop conference 2017, which will take place in Dubrovnik (Croatia) in April. We might also showcase our game at Reboot Infogamer fair in Zagreb in November, so you'll be seeing us a lot in Croatia.


What happened at SGC is just another breakthrough for our team. It's an encouragement and motivation for us to take development onto the next step. We are contemplating about launching some kind of funding project for Floatlands and involve you guys – our fans, more. We will also update our site with a table that shows the procentual progress of the game. This will make the development process more transparent.

Looking forward to the future,
Floatlands team

http://floatlands.net

(Edited 3 times)

ROBOT NPC DESIGN

I artist was given the task to design NPCs for the game, so I started by coming up with ideas. At this point I was mostly sketching different designs, mostly throwing ideas against the wall and seeing what sticks. I progresively refined the design while getting feedback from my team-mates.

When we got the idea we were looking for, I made a colour sketch and drew up some weapon ideas:

Work in progress…

The control rig for the animation is tested for bugs and the gun is modeled and added to the character. Now we can animate movements for the character and add him to the game. You are going to be harrased by this NPC alot in Floatlands, so make sure to run away from him… alot.

Andrej Krebs, lead 3D artist

http://floatlands.net

(Edited 2 times)

ENEMY NPC ROBOTS


GUNNER

Is the most common type of robot in Floatlands. He is equipped with a standard rifle, has a great range and cooperates with other robots very well. He will be found near quest sites or freshly spawned islands.


GRENADIER

Grenadier is more trickier. He is equipped with a grenade launcher, which can cause lots of pain if he sees where you are hiding. He can be terminated very quickly so make sure to have an eye on him.



HARDSCOPER

Sniper will appear less frequently than some other robot NPCs. His specialization is to cover large open areas, so you'll have to watch out for him at every turn. He is likely to camp out in nearby bushes. Terminate him first to clear the path.


ABSORBER

He can be found in a pack of NPC robots. He is absorbing your incoming damage in a great range, so make sure to target him to weaken robot's defenses. It does zero damage and has very little health pool.

http://floatlands.net

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PROJECTILES, BOUNCINESS & PENETRABILITY

Floatlands has another addition – Projectile system. Until now, only weapon animations were present in the game, without actual bullets, so the shooting experience wasn't quite genuine. This chapter will go over projectiles that launch from a weapon, how they bounce from other objects and surfaces, and how much effect do penetration angles have.

The projectiles are drawn with a white line. Velocity verlet integrator was used for simulating bullet forces because it produces almost no error and is simple to implement. If you wish to learn about verlet velocity, this is good article to read: Doing gravity right

Projectiles also support bouncing off the surface. If the angle between a bullet and a normal is right enough, the bullet will bounce otherwise it will stop. Random error is added to velocity after bounce too, so that it's path is less predictable. Shooting bullets into cave gets interesting, because bullets bounce to every imaginable direction.

Lots of games don't have this feature of Projectile penetration, it's a very good gameplay element and this is why it was added. It becomes very fun to play, because you can damage an opponent through a wall. Lets look at some examples, so you can get a taste of what this feature can do.

Penetration calculation includes a huge amount of math. Angle between a normal and projectile direction tells you how orthogonal to surface the bullet is. There is more chance that a bullet will penetrate, if it is orthogonal to the surface. Also, each projectile loses »mass« so that its weaker after penetration. It can also happen that a bullet doesn't penetrate but bounces off instead.

Shooting quad walls: There is also another raycast from another side of collider, (reverse direction of bullet) so that code can determine how deep penetration will be. The deeper, the less chance that it will penetrate (or not at all).


Shooting triangle walls:
From this little experiment it's visible that triangle walls are much more protective against bullets than just straight quad walls.


A little bit of programmers speak:

Every MonoBehavior that will be penetratable needs to implement this IPenetratable interface. Then you can just call GetComponent<IPenetratable>() on collider and if it's not null, you can go on and calculate penetration from porosity and max depth.

<code>
public interface IPenetratable
{
// [0, 1] - measures emptiness of volume
float GetPorosity();
// (0, +inf)
// max depth
float GetMaxPenetrationDepth();
}

Game also includes dynamic crosshair; it reacts to player velocity. Here you can see the crosshair of shotgun reacting in action.


PARAMETERS FOR WEAPON PROJECTILES


  • Bullet spread – how much spread independent of current state. Shotgun projectiles still spread even if you crouch.
  • Weapon spread – how much player movement affects weapon accuracy.
  • Recoil kick: How much it moves your crosshair/mouse permanently.
  • Recoil kick deviation: Randomized kick ammount (deviation is from statistics).
  • Recoil deviation: Temporary displacement of your cursor. This is usually big because it returns to back where you were aiming exponantially fast.

http://floatlands.net

(Edited 5 times)

SMELTING & STORAGE

Hi guys, working hard on various content for the game – recent additions are a Furnace/Smelter and a Storage box, with item system in the works.



STORAGE

There will be 2 variants of storage boxes. Smaller ones will be intended for fast and efficient storaging of your valuables. Bigger ones will be used for a specific storage and you'll have to secure them from outer threats (mobs). Both kind will be craftables only, meaning that the only way to get them will be by crafting. You'll be able to set them anywhere you want (no restrictions regarding that), most commonly in bases/shelters.


SMELTING

There is only one variant of furnace available for now. It transforms your raw gathered resources to a more refined (better) quality (example Metal Ore -> Metal Ignot). This transformed element can be then used for crafting better items (bigger storage box, weapons, other devices). Furnace works only if "fuel" is added as an energy source. The primitive fuel is wood, but you can use oil, coal or any other wooden element (wooden floor, foundation). So imagine that, instead of destroying your wooden base and previous elements going to waste, this way you'll actually get something in return.

When smelting there will be a variable duration period – for smelting rare items a longer time will be needed due to more difficult smelting process. This furnace will fit nicely to your base/shelter, and you'll have the option to make several of them.

http://floatlands.net
Floatlands

(Edited 4 times)

PROCEDURAL ISLAND GENERATOR


We've been working hard lately on reworking our island generator. At the beginning of development we had a weak system, where you placed 'spawner' on an island with a set of rules to follow. This system did work, but as the development continued we have found little to no variations at the end and we became bored of it. Floatlands needed a procedural island generator!

Domen, our lead game designer, started working on his own procedural engine, which first produced simple islands with basic flora on it (trees, bushes and grass). The system can be easily tweaked as the development continues for optimization and gameplay purposes (e.g. too much trees at one spot – too much resources for player).

ISLAND SIZES

Floatlands will have 4 different island sizes and 4 biomes to follow (we are going to add biomes and sizes later on).


Island sizes, from 'shelf' to 'father' island

Size Description
Shelf A tiny bit of an island. Used to create some variation on other islands.
Normal Normal sized island. The majority of Floatlands islands.
Mother Bigger islands. Used mostly for resource gathering and shelter building
Father Biggest islands. Used for exploring. These are dangerous!

Island size comparison from player perspective


ISLAND BIOME

Each island (and perhaps islands around it) will contain specific set of flora and fauna objects. In the first release there will only be 3 major biomes – Normal (grassy, rich with resources), Snow (foggy and cold place) and Desert biome (dusty and dangerous). Each biome will have its own color scheme and weather.

Biome Description
Normal Populated with animals. Lots of resources can be found here.
Snow Foggy and white - rich with minerals
Desert Dangerous place to be


Some examples using our early version of procedural generator:

Normal-sized island with 'Normal' biome.

Snow biome on a 'Mother' -sized island.


ISLAND PATHS

Each island will also have some paths that will connect certain points of interests. This idea is still work in progress but we've already managed to write an algorithm that creates a nice path/spline on an island, regardless of its size.

Procedural generated path. Panorama shot of in-game gameplay, using volumetric lightning.

Here's a quick panorama in-game shot. We started to use a volumetric lightning technique, that explains the shininess! Plan for the future is to add animals, more flora variety and points of interest (e.g. abandoned shacks).

http://floatlands.net

(Edited 13 times)

TECHNICAL PREVIEW


POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Shacks will be free to loot and the easiest way to obtain items. They will encourage you to explore every part of the world.
  • Towers will be heavily guarded by enemy NPC robots and the difficulty to overcome them will vary: more difficult -> more valuable the loot.


  • Radioactive sites will be easy to spot, they will be filled with barrels that will emit visual green smog. Radioactivity will cause you a little bit of damage so you'll have to watch out when deciding to loot there.


  • Flying fortress will be the most difficult to capture (master difficulty). For now it's in concept stage and we can only show you some prototypes.

http://floatlands.net

Weekly update

ISLAND GENERATOR

I've been working hard on an island generator. We were using premade islands lately and when I spawned alot of islands already I've gotten bored of almost the same results. I've changed this so now the mesh/terrain of an island also gets manipulated by procedural generation – in this case I've used Simplex noise. For now you can find three types of terrain:


flat terrain with chance of spawning a swamp/lake

hilly terrain

large hills/mountainous terrain -really nice to explore

I think this would do just nice apart from having different island shapes, biomes and sizes, the variety continues! I'm ought to work on LOD system and draw distance system, so even potatoes can run this game. When I'm done with this I'm looking forward to implement animals, so we can start testing how well can they behave in our beautiful world.

Domen Koneski


UPDATE ON POINTS OF INTEREST

  • concrete tower – heavily guarded by enemy NPC robots; this is just an updated model which is already in the scene


  • wind power stations – these would recharge your robot's energy, but dynamic weather is needed in order for this to work.



    Andrej Krebs, Mito Horvat

VECTOR MATH ACCELERATION

I've been testing Mono.SIMD included in Unity3D for vector math acceleration. It works quite well. Not so sure about PC CPU support yet, but all moderns CPUs should support it. Here is the result of my little test, one million vector additions:

var watch = new System.Diagnostics.Stopwatch();
watch.Start();
int runs = 1000000;
var vec4_0 = new Mono.Simd.Vector4f(1f, 2f, 3f, 4f);
var vec4_1 = new Mono.Simd.Vector4f(1f, 6f, 6f, 6f);
for (int i=0; i < runs; i++)
{
    vec4_0 = vec4_0 + vec4_1;
}
watch.Stop();
Debug.Log("SIMD:" + watch.Elapsed.TotalMilliseconds+ "ms");
watch.Reset();
watch.Start();
var vec3_0 = new Vector3(1f, 2f, 3f);
var vec3_1 = new Vector3(1f, 6f, 6f);
for (int i=0; i < runs; i++)
{
    vec3_0 = vec3_0 + vec3_1;
}
watch.Stop();
Debug.Log("Normal:" + watch.Elapsed.TotalMilliseconds + "ms");

NPC COLLISION AVOIDANCE OPTIMIZATION

I also reworked the NPC collision avoidance algorithm a bit, it works much faster now.



Vili Volčini

http://floatlands.net

(Edited 2 times)

Weekly update

  • LOD, DRAW DISTANCE AND CULLING SYSTEM
  • WEATHER, DAY/NIGHT SYSTEM
  • FORTRESESS
  • BUZZARD - basic craftable aircraft
  • SHEEP ANIMATIONS & BEHAVIOUR

READ MORE

(Edited 1 time)

WEEKLY UPDATE

  • Procedural weather system



  • Flying Fortresses



  • Deer animations


  • Construction asset & building materials

READ MORE

(Edited 1 time)

WEEKLY UPDATE

  • Decorations and vegetation changes

  • Making of the wildlife

  • Pre/post Floatlands buildings

  • Mobs

READ MORE

(+1)

Hey! Just wanted to say that this game looks fantastic! I love the whole art direction and style!

(Edited 2 times)

WEEKLY UPDATE

  • PROCEDURAL ALGORITHM IMPROVEMENTS AND OPTIMIZATIONS
  • DESERT BIOME WILDLIFE


  • NEW WEAPONS CONCEPTS

  • POLISHING ANIMATION CODE, ADDING BEHAVIOUR

READ MORE

(Edited 1 time)

WEEKLY UPDATE

  • DEER-IN-ACTION

  • Hey guys! We found some time to fully implement deer into the Floatlands environment. Vili did a fantastic job implementing a behaviour system (AI) for the critter so they react unpredictably in a procedurally generated world (e.g. deer can get angry/nervous if you stare at them for a long time!)

  • GUI REWORK

    The whole current 'mockup' GUI needs a rework. We've started with the non-static GUI design for items that can be gathered throughout the world of Floatlands. You will easily see items in the world by a tag that pops out when you are nearby. It is still a work in progress (alignment and fonts need to be changed). Here is how it looks so far.

READ MORE

(Edited 2 times)

WEEKLY UPDATE

  • SHACKS AND HELICOPTER – from concept to game implementation

    Previous week we worked on new shacks, which Mito already prepared some concept art for. That made it a lot easier for Andrej. who focused on making them look worn down and patched up with junk. The “buzzard" is a basic craftable aircraft capable of traveling medium to short distances at slow speed. It provides some mobility so you can visit and explore floating islands at medium range. You can however upgrade the key components to improve the performance and add various utilities to the aircraft.

  • HUD LAYOUT

  • ENHANCING NPC ROBOTS

  • ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR

more about FLOATLANDS

WEEKLY UPDATE

  • GUI system

    For the sake of Floatlands we've written our own GUI system that works upon the IMGUI and only uses one render call (OnGUI call) and can be greatly optimized and elements inside of the system can be also recycled (used multiple times). For now you can only draw text, textures, lines and points. This is going to be expanded so we can also draw curves, rectangles and shapes with multiple color definition (e.g. line with a gradient).

  • WEAPONS & ENEMY ROBOTS



  • WEAPONS



  • NATURE IMPROVEMENTS

more about Floatlands

(Edited 4 times)

WEEKLY UPDATE

  • BUZZARD IN ACTION

    This helicopter is meant to be as an accompanied aircraft for traveling medium to short distances at slow speed. It is relatively small and light, therefore we set a very responsive handling for it. However it becomes difficult to handle in a situation where you run out of gas – speed decreases to 50% and the whole thing starts shaking, urging you to emergency land and refill.


  • WEAPON ANIMATIONS

    We started animating the player's hands and weapons for the first person view. For the melee weapons we only had to animate the hands and the weapon slot, but the firearms have moving parts and have their own animations also.

  • POSTER, ICONS & HOODIE DESIGN

    The poster was then cropped and resized for various social platforms as a new banner because we really had to replace the outdated banners. I also helped with some UI icons and a very simple T-shirt logo for shirts we'll print soon.

read more about these updates

WEEKLY UPDATE

  • MORE WEAPON ANIMATIONS
    We have some more weapon animations to show you, continuing from last week. Out of existing concepts, 3 weapons needed to be animated: single-shot pistol, assault rifle and pump-action shotgun.


  • SHOTGUN
    We have also decided to add a pump-action shotgun to the game, so Mito was given a task to sketch out a quick concept, then Andrej modeled it pretty accurately and he is now preparing animations for the game.

  • DECOMPOSE EFFECT
    This effect plays on dead animals. We needed a good looking way to de-spawn animals from this world and this effect is quite right for it. Looks even better in nature.


  • ICONS FOR UI
    To completely revamp the UI we have to replace all the current icon placeholders. Up until now we used rendered images of elements for this purpose, but as you may know none of the games out there use that and it's harder for your eyes to distinguish between that kind of images.

more about Floatlands

(Edited 3 times)

WEEKLY UPDATE

  • DUNGEONS

    Dungeons will serve as a point in the gameplay cycle where you can stop exploring and surviving in the world just to challenge yourself in a procedurally generated fully-closed area full of enemy NPCs. You will be rewarded by rare loot at the end of a dungeon by encountering a final boss or doing a certain task.


  • SHOTGUN ANIMATION

    We made the animations for the shotgun and also added some more animations for all the other weapons for different situations like walking, running and when the player is close to the wall and pulls his weapon closer so it doesn't go through the wall.


  • RESOURCE GATHERING

    We've rewamped the resource gathering system and implemented a better one which uses Vili's proximity sensors and new particle system. You can now mine different type of veins and chop down trees. Everything is then connected with an inventory system which also works flawlessly.


  • PLACEMENT TEST FUNCTION

    Our programmer created something interesting that I can show you: a function that checks if 3D mesh object is colliding with world – other 3D meshes and primitives.

more about Floatlands

(Edited 1 time)

WEEKLY UPDATE

  • ITEM MODELS FOR WEAPONS & TOOLS

    These are models with less detail and without all the fancy moving parts that you will only be able to see when you hold it in your hands and use it. These will be used as items in the world you can pick up.


  • BUILD MODE ELEMENTS

    Our previous build mode elements needed a revamp, so we did a rework on the models.

  • ITEM SYSTEM

    Floatlands has a custom item managment system that uses a really simple file parsing mechanism. This makes adding items or changing their description, crafting times, sprites, drop chances and other minor variables (smelt tiems, rarity,…) with ease. Also we are going to use such model for modding purposes which is going to be added after the release of Floatlands.

  • Other changes and additions:

    - We implemented “ turbo mode" for our buzzard (helicopter), so you can travel at 250% speed when there is more than 75% fuel in your fuel tank.

    - Health managment system: Player can now take damage from different sources – physical damage (fall damage, mellee, etc.), bullet or other projectile damage and explosions.

    - Main Menu: This is really a quick mockup. We have also implemented an update system so we can display announcements or update changes right in the main menu.

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WEEKLY UPDATE

BUZZARD IN ACTION

Buzzard finally comes to life, as it's been a couple of weeks since the first concept design and last week the model was created. This helicopter is meant to be as an accompanied aircraft for traveling medium to short distances at slow speed. It is relatively small and light, therefore we set a very responsive handling for it. However it becomes difficult to handle in a situation where you run out of gas – speed decreases to 50% and the whole thing starts shaking, urging you to emergency land and refill.


WEAPON ANIMATIONS

Last week we started animating the player's hands and weapons for the first person view. For the melee weapons we only had to animate the hands and the weapon slot, but the firearms have moving parts and have their own animations also.


Hammer play & pickaxe

The player and weapon animations are separate, but are then combined in Unity. This makes animating a bit slower but it makes it easier for us to add more weapons and animations later.


Revolver shoot & reload


Bolt action rifle shoot & reload

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WEEKLY UPDATE

MORE WEAPON ANIMATIONS

We have some more weapon animations to show you, continuing from last week. Out of existing concepts, 3 weapons needed to be animated: single-shot pistol, assault rifle and pump-action shotgun.


Assault rifle reload & melee

We have also decided to add a pump-action shotgun to the game, so Mito was given a task to sketch out a quick concept, then Andrej modeled it pretty accurately and he is now preparing animations for the game. Unfortunately we can't show you some examples yet, but here is the shotgun development process from concept to model to game implementation.

DECOMPOSE EFFECT

This effect plays on dead animals. We needed a good looking way to de-spawn animals from this world and this effect is quite right for it. Looks even better in nature.

ICONS FOR UI

Here you can see some icons for elements used in build mode. We also mixed it up with icons for resource materials that you will gather in the game (wood, crystals, fat…).

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PROCEDURALLY GENERATED DUNGEONS
Dungeons will serve as a point in the gameplay cycle where you can stop exploring and surviving in the world just to challenge yourself in a procedurally generated fully-closed area full of enemy NPCs. You will be rewarded by rare loot at the end of a dungeon by encountering a final boss or doing a certain task. There will be a lot of dungeon types, for now we are sticking with cave-like dungeons.

To give you a preview this is how it works – algorithm generates a right tile in a right direction and it makes sure that every room is connected with a previous one so there are zero dead ends or unreachable rooms. This is how it looks inside with prototyping tiles and with work-in-progress real cave tiles.

RESOURCE GATHERING
We've rewamped the resource gathering system and implemented a better one which uses Vili's proximity sensors and new particle system. You can now mine different type of veins and chop down trees. Everything is then connected with an inventory system which also works flawlessly. The next thing about resource gathering is an implementation of crafting system, soon to come!

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(+1)

Progress is looking pretty great! I'm soooo looking forward to flying around all of the different little islands. I had a question, would there be some sort of grappling hook mechanic or item in this game? I'm not sure how far away you plan to have the islands from each other, but if they were close enough together it'd be a lot of fun to swing across to them.

Thanks! Can't promise you a grappling hook at this stage, but we have a funny story. When we presented a first playable Floatlands demo (very early version), players would use the custom build mode to construct bridges between islands, because there we no limitations at that time. :)

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WEEKLY UPDATE

ITEM MODELS FOR WEAPONS & TOOLS

These are models with less detail and without all the fancy moving parts that you will only be able to see when you hold it in your hands and use it. These will be used as items in the world you can pick up.

BUILD MODE ELEMENTS

The visuals of Floatlands world changed during development, consequently our previous build mode elements needed a revamp, so we were doing rework on the models. We did some optimization, but mostly focused on unifying the style with the rest of the game.

ITEM SYSTEM

Floatlands has a custom item managment system, it uses a really simple file parsing mechanism that parses data from external files. This makes adding items or changing their description, crafting times, sprites, drop chances and other minor variables (smelt tiems, rarity,…) with ease. We are also going to use this model for modding purposes which is going to be added after the release of Floatlands.

OTHER CHANGES & ADDITIONS

  • We implemented "turbo mode" for our buzzard (helicopter), so you can travel at 250% speed when there is more than 75% fuel in your fuel tank.
  • Health managment system: Player can now take damage from different sources – physical damage (fall damage, mellee, etc.), bullet or other projectile damage and explosions. Everything is connected with the UI so you can find out that you took some damage.
  • Main Menu: We've managed to copy the main scene for the main menu, so there is a procedurally spawned island behind you with a faster day/night cycle. We've also implemented an update system so we can display announcements or update changes right in the main menu. Keep in mind that this is just a mockup.

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WEEKLY UPDATE

ASSEMBLING THE WORLD

The world of Floatlands will consist of Clusters. Each Cluster has its own set of islands and debris. Island sizes and their biomes depend on the Cluster seed which spawns and deforms every island in there. This technique is very efficient, because if we want to load a game, we simply use the seed that created the Cluster, then we apply the changes to the Cluster (certain trees were chopped down, metal veins were mined, building elements were placed, etc.)

QUESTING

Floatlands will have procedurally generated quests. A quest is a gameplay feature where you will be able to interact with some NPCs, learn about the world, do a task and get rewarded with items and/or experience points (not yet implemented). There will be 3 types of quests available; gather, location (go somewhere/explore) and kill quests. Quests will be triggered by talking to NPCs. These are friendly human characters that have a large role in quests and delivering a story.

ROBOT NPC ANIMATIONS

We've been preparing various animations for the enemy robots, to make them work in any situation. We added run cycles, crouch aiming and made a damaged version of all animations, so we can blend between normal and damaged animations, depending on how much damage they have already taken.


Damaged assault robot walk

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The humans of Floatlands

To give Floatlands some more depth we have decided to add human NPCs in the game. NPC's will be split into clans which will be scattered around the islands. You'll learn more about the clans and their backstory as you'll interact with them via quests.

The farmers

The first clan will be more traditional, simple farmers who have shunned technology, because they blame it for the apocalyptic event that caused the world to break into floating islands. They live simple lives, rebuilding their settlements and farming the land for survival.

The techies

The “techies" will be a second clan you'll encounter in the game. “The farmers" banished them from their settlement because of their reckless nature and progressive way of thinking. They are innovative people that want to simplify their life with the aid of machines and technology. After the split they found shelter in old factories which they rebuild and used as a center of their future settlement. The shelters and other buildings are constructed mostly out of scrap metal and concrete they managed to find in the area.

NPCs

To make the settlement seem alive there will be several NPCs walking around and doing various tasks, some of them will even have quests for you to complete. You'll be able to easily recognize them by their unique appearance. Instead of rustic and rugged clothes, they'll wear more neoteric clothes enhanced with various steel elements.

We also started researching ways to make random NPC characters, by dynamically blending different body shapes and facial features in combination with different outfits. This is made by making blend shapes which are then randomly blended inside the game engine or accessed and set individually.

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WEEKLY UPDATE

World changes

We've focused primarly on optimizing and improving the floating islands. There is still work to do with adding new decorative nature elements such as tree stumps, tree trunks that are laying around the island and other eyecandy things. Here is an example of procedurally generated bunch of rocks with generated LOD levels for when being near or far with the camera/player (bear in mind the rocks behind the obvious changed one are static).

Particle effects & critters

Until now, our scene/world was missing those little things that you don't pay attention to, but they make the game experience better. So this week we were preparing various particle effects – some smoke and fire particles and a few dusty wind effects for different biomes. We also intend to add fireflies which will brighten up the night scene a bit.

We also started working on smaller critters that will inhabit the game, starting with a rabbit. The critters are similar to the other animals so far, but will be smaller and have less detail.

Build mode expansion

Recently we updated our build mode elements, but they still lacked windows and doors constructables to make the buildings look complete. The previous week we implemented the missing elements and fixed some bugs. We also made it possible to interract with those, you can open and close them! Like all other elements, these can also be upgraded to higher tiers.

New biome concept

To further extend the world and add some variety, we will add new biomes. One of those will be a really dense and vast forest. To make everything seem diverse we had to come up with a list of unique assets to characterise the biome. Tall trees and lush foilage will populate these islands, and little sunlight will peak through the tree tops. Here's a quick concept sketch:

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(Edited 2 times)

WEEKLY UPDATE


Night-time improvements

Before, the lighting was dull and weird, now the night has its own source of volumetric light – the moon. To give you a more clear look of how drastically lighting and colors of the scenery change during a one day-night cycle, here is a quick preview of it:


New biome: Scorched forest

To make a more diverse world we have successfully implemented a new biome type called Scorched Forest. This was once a beautiful green land – a little jungle – with great trees and dense grass but the sudden change to the world burned/scorched everything down to the point vegetation adapted to it with its red’ish color scheme.


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WEEKLY UPDATE

Furnace

Furnace is a ‘machine’ that converts primitive materials, found in the world of Floatlands, to more uncommon ones. This conversion is defined by internal recipes and it takes time to produce. We managed to recreate a furnace model with revamped background functionality. 

Item stacking

We’ve seen a performance drop whenever you wanted to drop a lot of items out of your inventory. To optimize this, we’ve created a world item stacking, this means that nearby items with the same ID get merged. To add sugar on top of it, we’ve managed to increase the size of a stack – the bigger the stack, the bigger a certain item is in the game:

single item; smaller stack; bigger stack

Electricity

We have decided to revamp the electric system used in the game – you can have a look at our initial electricity implementation with generators HERE. Our new direction is to have cables and the whole system will be more dynamic as well. I was mostly designing & planning though, so not a lot of programming was done.

cables used for electricity

Villager buildings

In preparation for adding humans to Floatlands we started preparing buildings for their villages. So far we made two barns, water tower, granary and a central firepit.

Villager buildings: barn 1, water tower, barn 2, granary

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