By Andy Egts, co-founder of Zy Universe
Let me just start by saying a lot has happened in this past month! At top of the list, we brought on board a new developer, Jonathan Sledge!
Jonathan was referred to us by Zy Universe lead developer Bob, who has worked with him on a number of other projects. Jonathan will be helping us within Unity to bring Zy Universe to life.
On the art team, Oksana, art director, has been working very hard to finalize our terrain prototype art for the demo level so development can put it all together in Unity and start building core functions from there. Once we like the look and feel of the game, like the movement, physics, combat, and interactions, we’ll replace the prototype art with the real deal.
Matt, the asset artist, has been spending his time over the past month working on the user interface (UI) art and some interactable objects, like loot chests. He's also been working on animating some of the aesthetic environmental elements that Oksana created for the demo.
We also have Matt on another big project for us, and that is to come up with a language for the aliens. What we’ve seen so far is very promising. It’s very exciting to see Matt finalize this so we can start putting alien writings out and see if we can decipher them.
This past month we spent several of our meetings discussing how we wanted to tackle animations.
There was some trial and error, but we think we're on a good course now. Essentially, we’re working on animating directly within Unity for the more complex animations that require dynamic interactions; the best example of this is the character model.
Doing the animations directly in Unity will allow us to create game objects out of certain extremities or parts of the character so we can have very fluid and dynamic animations while giving the players complete control over movement.
In our case, we want the player to be able to aim in a 360-degree fashion, and the character model to move accordingly. (It's been a process, but we're getting there!)
In addition to animations, our dev team has also been working on all of our UI elements and inventory. Pretty basic stuff found in most games that have inventory management, but it's important so that our players can collect all that loot!
Dev priorities right now are physics and collisions, inventory, aiming, interacting with world objects, like the chests and material nodes, and loot tables with randomization.
It's all pretty core mechanics for the time being, but we're still early in the project, so expect a ramp up as we get the foundation built.
In the design world, we are focusing on that last piece, the loot tables, and gearing. We're having constant discussions around what stats players will have, what stat modifiers can be found on gear, what the scale and ranges are for those stats and their modifiers, and how it ties into all other mechanics we have in mind.
This is important for when we start putting loot in the game. We'll need to know what stats each piece will grant players, and how those stats impact everything from combat and progression to the economy and crafting.
On the digital end of things, the website just had some recent updates that will allow our writing team to directly publish new codex more efficiently. Our goal is to post one new codex per week.
That's all for this week! Check back soon for regular updates on development, updates, and more.