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  1. #61 Reply With Quote
    Abenteurer orc_dog's Avatar
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    I remember when i saw this thread ~3 years ago i was thinking nice concept but probably never be completed. I'm glad i was wrong.
    Game looks interesting need some more work but have potential.
    Is inventory limitless? Imho inventory window is too small.
    Good luck
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  2. #62 Reply With Quote
    Quote Originally Posted by orc_dog View Post
    I remember when i saw this thread ~3 years ago i was thinking nice concept but probably never be completed. I'm glad i was wrong.
    Game looks interesting need some more work but have potential.
    Is inventory limitless? Imho inventory window is too small.
    Good luck
    First of all, thank you for your feedback. Of course we have a lot of work to do: a new content, animation and graphics fixes and improves, but we are working hard to create a game we would like to play.

    Inventory isn't limitless. You got a restriction by weight. UI and inventory are going to be completely rework, no worries. It is just an old test UI because we got more important things to do. You can read about everything HERE, ON OUR WEBSITE.
    as-bijou is offline

  3. #63 Reply With Quote
    Amphibians: ancient, grumpy and conservative.

    They can swim, breathe underwater and sell a glass of water to a drowning man.

    Amphibians were the first alien race encountered by humans in their booming interstellar expansion. In fact, Terra was situated on the border of their vast domain, but the outcome of direct contact with humans was deemed unprofitable by their government. The uncivilized savages, who barely escaped self-destruction in a nuclear apocalypse, had nothing to offer the wise and rich race of builders and traders who invented interstellar travel about 20,000 years before the Egyptians built their pyramids.

    But, one day, the savages from a third planet in a yellow dwarf system started to sail the star seas and colonize other planets that were mostly too uncomfortable or too dangerous for amphibians. They extracted the natural resources of these harsh worlds for sale, or to serve as mercenaries in local conflicts for the wise and wealthy. Humans always were and will remain a barbaric, unreliable, and chaotic kin, who are not to be trusted. Unfortunately, these barbarians cannot be ignored anymore.

    The verbal self-identification of the elder neighbors of our race is unpronounceable by humans, who simply cannot produce sounds of such high frequency, so they were simply named Amphibians for their biological features. These calm creatures, who swim and breathe under water, originate from a world covered with jungles and swamps.

    Amphibians are hermaphrodites who can change their sex according to their social status and age:

    • young travellers, explorers, and traders can be female or male;
    • adult warriors, protectors, and builders must be male;
    • elder rulers and parents are female.

    Usually, they live in large communities that could be described as corporations or financial unions of several genetic bloodline clans. Several corporations built a Consortium, the amphibian’s equivalent of the planetary government, where the places are sold on auction. The most wise and wealthy bloodlines rule the planets and struggle to get along, but usually avoid wars and assassinations, proclaiming them to be too uncivilized.

    Amphibians value money and other physical attributes of wealth. They hate wasting their gathered resources by making insecure investments. They are said to be conservative and cautious, when making decisions or picking sides in conflicts.

    Bar na Bas “The Scrooge” is not your typical polite amphibian.On K’Tharsis he learned to shoot first, and then negotiate with the survivors.

    Bar na Bas, nicknamed by the locals “the Scrooge” established his pawn shop in Outpost 74 about 50 years ago. This old amphibian living on a hot K’Tharsis for decades is probably an outcast of the famous bloodline for some unknown crimes and is doomed to live in exile. Despite being a querulous and greedy person, he managed to build connections with lots of important people on the planet and is known as one of the most successful whispermongers in the desert region. Bar na Bas can obtain any information you need, but you gotta pay the right price either in crystals, or, even more dangerous, by fulfilling his various requests.

    If you think that this is a big gun, you are wrong. Bar na Bas keeps his biggest gun under the counter.


    Learn more about Exoplanet: First Contact:


    as-bijou is offline Last edited by as-bijou; 09.09.2015 at 09:59.

  4. #64 Reply With Quote

    We thought you might enjoy learning a bit more about the alien life of Exoplanet we have planned for our next big stretch goal.


    For the first chapter of Exoplanet our initial plan was to introduce the players to the world by releasing Jack into the rocky desert of the Red Erg, a terrain that is very similar to certain areas on Earth, and remains consistent with the Western theme. About 60% of the objects in this desert biome had to be easy for human brain to identify. They still had the Exoplanet visual flair, but it was important that the player could recognize and understand their function. The rest was going to be alien planet components to discover and learn about. But then we asked ourselves: is this "alien-looking" enough for us? Where is this wild, untamed K’Tharsis we are speaking of? The one untouched by terraforming and global climate change, the land that gave birth to the local sentient aborigine race as well as strange creatures like sand sharks? Soon we found an answer!

    It is deep down below the surface that has been scorched by the double suns, in an underworld consisting of enormous caves caused by the spontaneous antigravium explosions that occurred when the planet was still young. The scientists call it a unique underground wetlands biome. It houses lots of prehistoric species of K’Tharsis. Locals call it The Great Mangrove Forest.

    A new biome: alien, weird, dangerous!

    Upon reaching the Alien Mangrove Forest Biome stretch goal we are going to include an entirely new area with new assets, enemies, and a global quest line into the first Chapter of Exoplanet. In this new area players will discover the mysteries of the aborigine race and find last remaining pieces of their ancient unique antigravium based technology. This biome is inspired by the Pellucidar setting created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Indiana Jones movies, as well as Peter Jackson's version of King Kong. All of these along with the good old concept of an alien jungle planet, often seen in the classic sci-fi books.

    The topology of the Great Underground Mangrove Forest is weird and twisted, this region could be described as a conjunction of huge (up to several kilometers in diameter) spherical caves connected by a labyrinth of smaller caverns. It has the structure of Swiss cheese as thick as the planet’s continental crust. Unlike the surface, this enormous maze of caves is full of water and contains something that can be described as an “alien planet jungle”: forests of huge, mushrooms as tall as trees and strange coral-like formations growing to gigantic proportions. This world without sun is lit up by glowing multicolored antigravium and numerous bioluminescent creatures.

    Real world prototype - bioluminescent worms in New Zealand’s caves.

    In The Great Forest you've got to learn new tricks to survive because local plants hunt animals and animals mimic plants. You’ve got to study them and use them to your advantage.

    Exploding mushrooms: young ones can be used as food or medicine, the ripe ones will make deadly explosive traps.

    The original dwellers of the Forest are the savage aborigine tribes, almost untouched by civilization. Cannibals and relentless headhunters - they are the last pitiful descendants of the ancient aborigine empire that was destroyed by an unknown cataclysm. Now they protect the relics of the past, the real meaning of which they forgot centuries ago: great temples, now crumbling and overgrown by mushroom jungles and strange mechanisms powered by antigravium. These amazing mechanisms now lie nonfunctional and waiting for someone to repair them and probably make use of them. Exploring The Great Forest you must learn the language of these savage tribes and understand their customs and traditions in order to become their friend or to hunt them down and slay the cannibals for cash.

    Early studies of the aborigine heads. WIP.

    Humans entered this secret realm in search of ancient treasures and precious crystals and claimed a part of it for themselves - the mobile part. The Raft City ruled by the iron hand of the Blackthorn Mercenaries is roaming the swamps of the Great Forest, moving from one deposit of antigravium sand to the other. The dredges never stop, they work at the brink of overload to cope with Devil’s Throat mine, but there is never enough antigravium sand for the ambitious mercenary leader. A bold plan is being prepared to surprize the Terraform corporate dogs and you might become a part of it. Just make sure to pick the right side in this conflict (the winning one, as Jack always does).

    Raft City never rests: tomorrow it might be unmooring to move to another dredging spot.

    In this new place you will find weapons, armor and gadgets based on the strange ancient technology involving pure antigravium. How could the aborigines who don't even know about electricity make huge rocks fly? Can an anti gravium-powered sledgehammer stop a running arphant? What does the antigravity grenade actually do? Will you be able to levitate using atigravium armor? Find out for yourself. If you manage to obtain and repair those items buried centuries ago in the secret spots of the Great Jungle.

    Ancient antigravium technology. Better watch out or you will be crushed by flying rocks!


    We hope that this biome will satisfy those players who are seeking the true alien planet experience or just want to take a vacation from the desert surface of K’Tharsis. With your support, The Alien Mangrove Forest will become a great addition to the first Chapter of Exoplanet.

    Dear Exoplanet’s backers and other players, our Kickstarter campaign is almost over and this is the right time to summarize our experience and tell you about our plans for the near future.

    This month was one of the hardest experiences we have gone through during the entire 3 years of Exoplanet’s development, mostly because of the psychological aspects of having our game being exposed to the judgement of new people. This is the biggest audience we have shared our concept of an RPG with so far.

    From the very beginning of the campaign we were surprised by how many people reacted positively to our pitch video (which was a bit experimental and contained mainly alpha gameplay footage) and description of our project, so we have put a lot of effort into our updates, trying to tell you as much about the game as we can in this relatively short period of time. We have not released all of the information about Exoplanet’s world, planet K’Tharsis, our characters, or the numerous aspects of the gameplay (e.g. our skill system, crafting and hardcore mode elements), so we will continue to share our vision of the game, insight into the development process, and the results of our work in the upcoming updates here on Kickstarter and on our website.

    Unfortunately, our campaign didn't get coverage from the biggest game-related internet magazines and websites, but despite this fact we have reached two major stretch goals thanks to the support and active position of our backers and several smaller internet resources. We send our heartfelt thanks and feel deepest gratitude to those journalists and authors who interviewed us, and backers who have spread the word about Exoplanet across the Internet.

    It is simply astounding that the content we are producing, our concept of an action/RPG game we started to develop as our hobby and then made it our professional field, has found such a large resonance within the community of PC players. For us as developers, the feedback and the ideas our growing community gives us is more valuable than money. Our goal has always been to make Exoplanet a game that is interesting for ourselves as simple players, not to follow the trends or pursuing a mere commercial profit. It seems that we have found a lot of like-minded people on Kickstarter and that feels great!

    Exoplanet fans, those who believe in our dream, who fought for the media coverage alongside us to this day and defended our views despite all hardships - you gave us more than the funds to finish the development. You have given our small team of 8 a huge boost of motivation and creative energy for long time to come. Together we're going to make Exoplanet even better!


    Learn more about Exoplanet: First Contact:


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  5. #65 Reply With Quote
    Lehrling Alersteam's Avatar
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    As you most likely know, the development of Sahara engine (and actually any game's graphic engine) is a constant and never ending process of research, testing and improvement of existent or adding completely new features to the basic functionality. We've already put to good use our world editor before, pushing it to the limits and creating quite an intricate landscape, but this wasn't enough: our game designer and level designers always wanted to create more complex locations with lots of vertically split terrain levels and non-linear paths, also increasing the scale of each level significantly. Old locations seen in our videos and in playable alpha were deemed too small, so the next prototype level for the Outpost 74 and its surroundings where the players will start their adventure on K'Tharsis has grown about 9 times in size. When increasing the playable and explorable territory like this you obviously will encounter some performance issues – so we came to the conclusion that we need to rework the terrain generator completely. In the last weekend a new stable version was compiled and we have tested it thoroughly, exploring the borders of the playgrounds our new tech can deliver.

    [Bild: NC1dIgI.jpg]
    Terrain is happy to be upgraded

    The results were quite satisfying; the new terrain editor can create patches of land that have adjustable LODs and they generally consume much less processing power, allowing us to increase seamless locations up to 9 times more than before, e.g. with a new height map generation and saving algorithm our prototype level with sides 2x2km eats less GPU and RAM resources than 250x250m in older versions of the editor. The draw distance on these levels should increase as well as creating the feeling of larger and more open world where you can reach every point of interest you can see.

    The next new and really enjoyable for our designers feature that was added recently is the tool that allows us to “drill” or cut holes in the terrain and cut the edges of the terrain patches, shaping them as we want. Now we can create overhanging cliffs and any cave entrances we could imagine with ease, obviously improving our level design capabilities.

    [Bild: Tc4xIk1.jpg]
    Jack is stunned by epicness

    But as we all know very well, the technologies themselves will not make a great game with distinctive visual style, so the steady hand of an art director is required to guide the ship of the game's development to the visual brilliance and integrity. Thanks to our generous Kickstarter backers we were able to hire one for Alersteam. In fact we just signed a full-time employment contract with an artist who was working for us for quite a while and has proven his design and illustrator skills many times before. Having a full time art director is profitable for us in many ways, our game designer will spend more time with the level and mission design and this will produce more quests and better dialogs for the next big updates.

    We were very cautious about this important decision and were considering a trustworthy candidate and only after lots of tests and discussion we actually took this person in. As usual, according to our development philosophy we were looking for an artist who both shares with us views on the process of the development and has sufficient experience of being an art director, which combines with the actual concept art drawing with lots of task-managing and communicating with other departments (like 3d-modeling guys and animators). Finally we decided that Ivan Taranenko is the right person we need to take care of our visual design affairs.

    Here are some examples of his most recent concepts he made for Exoplanet:

    [Bild: 70fKJ4v.jpg]
    A quick sketch of the armored train gun turret.

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    Detailed concept of bounty hunter armor types. The progression from a rookie hunter to an elite is clearly visible.

    [Bild: 9lU5jRE.jpg]
    Check the amount of details!

    In the one of the upcoming updates Ivan will tell you more about his personal game development experience, his tasks as a lead artist in Alersteam and things he is going to change and improve in Exoplanet in order to turn it into a visually recognizable and more immersive game.

    A word about rewards

    While the development of the game goes full on we didn't forget about the physical and digital rewards. Currently we've decided on the posters, mousepads and t-shirts designs.

    Here is a photo of a printed A1-sized poster. This is how it's going to look:

    [Bild: oNEddCB.jpg]
    We will send the poster size like on the wall

    Mousepad design is in similar style:

    [Bild: 2SAaypo.jpg]
    In a real life it looks much better then on photo!

    We've decided on a different style for the t-shirt, which reflects the unknown and aggressive nature of travel in Exoplanet:

    [Bild: e3JVl0J.jpg]
    With hat t-shirt looks better!

    We've almost finished the voting process on the t-shirt sizes. As soon as we're done with it, we'll start shipping, since the posters and mousepads are ready to ship.
    A couple of words about digital rewards, the exclusive wallpapers and badges.

    Unfortunately the production of wallpapers is slower than was expected, since we weren't satisfied by the quality of the first versions and decided to rework them. We're striving to reflect the style and the feel of our project even in these matters. When your friend looks at your wallpaper he should ask you "Wow, what's that game?!"
    Those who've already registered in our forum (alersteam.com/forum) can check out the badge near their avatar and nickname which shows his role on this planet =) The badges' design isn't yet finalized though.

    On another important note, we've improved the pre-purchase feature on our website. Each Kickstarter backer has his own account now with his respective pledge and contribution. You can also increase your pledge via our website now, in order to receive additional rewards, such as t-shirts and others.

    Last but not least – stretch goals.

    Our website alersteam.com has also undergone a visual upgrade. We're glad that because of Kickstarter we could breathe new life into Exoplanet's development, and we'd like that visitors of our blog will know that. That's why we've added a Kickstarter badge.

    There's also a progress bar at the top of our website which shows current progress till the next stretch goal. At the moment of writing there's less than 14% required to reach 80,000, which will unlock the stretch goal Random Encounters.


    Learn more about Exoplanet: First Contact:

    [Bild: R8z2Bc6.png] [Bild: ffgqAp3.png]
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  6. #66 Reply With Quote
    Lehrling Alersteam's Avatar
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    Howdy, dear Exoplanet backers and RPG fans. This update came up to be a bit long and a little late, since we wanted to reach a certain important milestone and show you the results of our hardworking art director and lead 3d artist, who were working on such important environment details like rocks and cliffs. 80% of K’Tharsis’ surface is a rocky desert, and we wanted to build the first levels of our game in this particular biome, to set the player up for a western style at first, before throwing him into exotic alien landscapes. The results of our work are described in detail below, followed by first demonstration of the modular armor system and general ideas for weapon redesign. We’re hoping that both players who know a thing or two about the process of game development and those who are more knowledgeable in this regard would find that kind of information interesting. Have a nice read!

    K’Tharsis’ rocks: on our method of landscape design and decoration.

    In our previous updates we’ve already talked about the process of creating a level and also showcased our heightmap editor that supports terrain patches with holes in them, which allows us to create a more complex geometry such as caves, overhangs and other types of advanced land patches for player to walk on. However, the current generation of gamers wouldn’t be satisfied by a simple heightmapped terrain painted by a couple of different textures as it was done in years before 2006, since generic hills and valleys wouldn’t look convincing even with the help of advanced terrain projection algorithms. Surely, we at Alersteam wouldn’t want to create such simplistic pathetic excuses of levels. Our goal is to create locations that are fun to explore, that have a vertical aspect to them as opposed to plain old and boring runway strip level design, that literally screams “You’ve reached the end of the world” at you, when you hit its invisible borders. All Exoplanet’s locations will have natural boundaries that don’t make the player feel as if he isn’t allowed to go somewhere because of, ahem, reasons.

    [Bild: 148__640x480_more_fog.png]
    WIP: part of our location built with modular rocks and walls

    But you can’t really make an interesting level with soft hills made by heightmaps even with the help of generic rocks. When a level designer wants to create a more interesting terrain with valleys, ravines, uniquely shaped rock formations and whatnot, it’s impractical to achieve this with engine level editor. This is where custom meshes come to the picture, where particular points of interest are created as unique meshes. When working with artificial levels, technical objects, various sorts of machinery etc a large number of different meshes could be created which are then assembled into a specific piece of machinery or a laboratory of some sort, not unlike LEGO. Assembled from simple pieces, in able hands it could be used to create stunning structures.

    Most of the games which inspire us are using the same level creation process or some sort of a variation of it. In our case, it allows us to work mostly without relying on 3rd-party editors for shaping the complex landscape and our terrain geometry. We can just generate a heightmapped patch of a desired size (or several of them), mold it to our desire, cut out holes for caves and various unique locations (a cavern with openings in the stone ceiling for instance, or a cave system at a side of a canyon), and decorate the level with meshes, decals etc, all without leaving our editor. In theory, a modmaker would be able to open one of our existing levels, and be able to change the terrain, add/delete objects and have access to all of our assets right there in our editor, as well as the possibility to add their own assets, import textures, and even create completely new levels from scratch.

    [Bild: 155__640x480_u_c_clifface_editor.png]
    U- and C-shaped walls in editor (the seam is left visible intentionally)

    We’ve started by creating a couple of rockface drafts to help us decide on a final form and by working on a level prototype to find out the scale of assets and distances from which they should be visible without fidelity deterioration. First of all we’ve made some convex and concave walls for the level with a starting height of about 60m, since this is approximately the average height difference in our level’s terraces. The mesh set should contain at least 3 of those meshes for each of those big walls or cliff faces, if you will. They could be easily extended if needed.

    Each of these meshes has a unique diffuse, normal and specular maps in 2048×2048 resolution. We could have used tileable textures of a lower resolution, but a unique texture looks better and emphasizes rock edges and overall relief. Despite the fact that modern PCs have a plenty of VRAM to handle large textures, we don’t want to be too wasteful by making the resolution of our texture maps too large, since in this case the player would usually see these meshes from a distance. Natural barriers that the player would be able to come much more closely would be smaller in size and respectively with a larger visible texture fidelity. Additionally these huge U-and C-shaped walls are modeled as one-sided meshes to lower the polygon count in the scene (the player is not supposed to see their backside), though they are shaped in a way that makes it easier to combine them with each other and with the terrain without visual inconsistencies.

    [Bild: 156__640x480_u_c_clifface_simulation.png]
    Gameplay simulation, from player’s perspective. Camera angle makes a lot of difference

    Flat rock formations are also needed for hiding horizontal seams and building ledges as well as decorating lower cliff faces. These ones are examples of the middle sized meshes, they are limited by 15m in height and from the player’s point of view the texture is more detailed in terms of texel to screen pixel ratio.

    [Bild: 158__640x480_orocks.png]
    Each flat rock has different geometry on its sides for more visual variety

    We’ve also thought about introducing some variation into such surfaces that look the same for example a protruding rock formation. That’s why we’re also making separate rock assets we call I-shaped rocks or simply I-rocks. They are also suited for a larger relief and are about 40m in height, which is of course also could be scaled up or down to some extent. I-rocks can help to decorate larger natural formations or work as standalone assets if needed. We’re planning on making a whole set of such rocks to give our level designers and modders a higher degree of freedom, and more building blocks for their creative

    [Bild: 157__640x480_irocks.png]
    I-shaped rocks can be rotated to show different looking sides

    It’s also important to note that our rock texture doesn’t have a particular direction. This was made deliberately, and allows us to rotate those assets any way we want. They don’t have a visible “up” or “down” sides which makes it easier to fit them into any creative arrangement one might think of. This approach does have a downside of being more generic and less realistic, but in future, due to decals and lighting it won’t be noticeable. We’re also using a well-known detail texture technique, for those who like to check out cliff surface very closely.

    [Bild: 159__640x480_detail_texture.png]
    Detail texture applied to the large mesh: the difference is clearly visible

    Needless to say, unique rock formations will have their own unique meshes, like natural bridges, peculiar obelisks, arcs etc, though those aren’t a priority at the moment. At the final stage of building the level all seams should be well-hidden beneath smaller details like a bunch of smaller boulders and rock slides, broken cliff pieces, flora etc. This way we’re trying to create a more naturally looking environment, where the annoying seams and transitions between traversable terrain and natural vertical boundaries are almost unnoticeable.



    Learn more about Exoplanet: First Contact:


    [Bild: R8z2Bc6.png] [Bild: ffgqAp3.png]
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  7. #67 Reply With Quote
    Lehrling Alersteam's Avatar
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    Dear friends! First of all, we would like to thank everyone for your votes because Exoplanet: First Contact is one of 18 RPGs in TOP-100 of IndieDB Indie of the Year Awards.



    And now we need you to vote for us one more time if you are still in love with space western old-fashioned RPGs. There are 11 other RPG games among upcoming role playing games: some of them really great and we’re in really good company.
    It is very important for us to spread the word and to get attention to Exoplanet, to show it to the world as a game with huge potential. We’re not looking for a first or even fifth place but we would like to be a great upcoming RPG among the others RPG in TOP-100. Thank you very much.

    VOTE FOR EXOPLANET: FIRST CONTACT HERE! Or just click on the picture:


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  8. #68 Reply With Quote
    Lehrling Alersteam's Avatar
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    [Bild: BGCsqrI.png]

    The most popular six-shooter in Exoplanet

    One of the priority tasks for our artists lately is weapon and armor redesign. We aren’t satisfied with current models, which aren’t always optimized for 3rd person view in respect of geometry and detail emphasis. A lot of things that look good from first person aren’t even noticeable from 3rd person view, which means that armor and weapons need to be reworked, some of the details made larger and more noticeable, though without overdoing it to the point of a cartoonish look of course.

    [Bild: nCKWLEy.png]

    Attacked by humans, cyborgs, aborigines and other aliens? The Equalizer can always even the odds.


    Learn more about Exoplanet: First Contact:


    [Bild: R8z2Bc6.png] [Bild: ffgqAp3.png]
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  9. #69 Reply With Quote
    Lehrling Alersteam's Avatar
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    [Bild: BGCsqrI.png]

    Modular armor experiments

    We'd like to showcase some of the renders of modular armor. Currently this system is in active development, so that in the future we would be able to combine various animated large objects (in other words, flexible) such as pants and body armor as well as decorating them with rigid objects and accessories like hats, sunglasses, helms, bracers, backpacks and body armor gadgets.

    [Bild: 152__640x480_modular_armor.jpg]
    Modular light and medium bounty hunter armor. Parts can be combined with other sets.

    [Bild: 149__640x480_bounty_h_lm.png]

    [Bild: 150__640x480_bounty_h_lmback.png]

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    Postnuclear space cowboy?

    So don't be surprised if somewhere in K'Tharsis' plains you stumble upon a raider or a merc with provocatively naked chests, or if you take a resting bounty hunter by surprise, you might have the chance to check out his trendy Sci-Fi underwear.

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  10. #70 Reply With Quote
    Lehrling Alersteam's Avatar
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    [Bild: BGCsqrI.png]
    Happy New Year!


    Hey everyone!

    We're often being asked about our team members, and gradually we share more about those who develop Exoplanet: First Contact. In one of our previous updates you could find out about our lead programmer and about his decision to develop a game using his own engine. Today, in the first part of our update our soundman Mark is going to tell you about new sound recording devices that will allow us to extend the possibilities of our sound design. If you're into tech and videos with unpacking you'll definitely enjoy this one! And of course, a big thank you to our backers: without you our upgrades wouldn't be possible.


    Watch the video on YouTube:


    [Bild: JXwbEao.jpg]


    We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


    [Bild: ht1Z3Ph.jpg]


    Learn more about Exoplanet: First Contact:


    [Bild: R8z2Bc6.png] [Bild: ffgqAp3.png]
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  11. #71 Reply With Quote
    Lehrling Alersteam's Avatar
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    [Bild: BGCsqrI.png]
    Hello friends!
    This year we're gonna try our best to keep you up to date and release updates more frequently. We’d like to tell you more about soundtrack and animal world of K’tharsis this time! Take a look at full update on Kickstarter.

    [Bild: kabarog_15.jpg]

    Learn more about Exoplanet: First Contact:

    [Bild: R8z2Bc6.png] [Bild: ffgqAp3.png]
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  12. #72 Reply With Quote
    Lehrling Alersteam's Avatar
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    The world of K'Tharsis has been through many changes since the last alpha version, and today we'd like to share with you footage of a new location. To achieve the best results, our team has decided to stop relying on bought asset packs. We’ve already told you about making of cliffs and rocks, and now we also have palm trees and other cool models. While this kind of approach does take more time, it allows us to produce more unique and satisfying content for you.


    Unfortunately it also means that our Steam Early Access release date was postponed, but don’t worry: in about a month we will release a completely new closed alpha version for our backers.


    Afterwards, depending on your feedback, we're going to decide the Steam Early Access release date. The first impression is critical, and we're going to take your feedback very seriously, look at the project from another perspective and try and fix all the critical problems so that the Early Access version could deliver much more enjoyable and smooth experience with the least amount of bugs. Also, we’d like to make it up to you for the long wait by offering you more gameplay time! According to our stats, even a cursory look at all of the points of interest in Exoplanet would take a couple of hours, and the storyline and some side quests will help you spread the enjoyment over a bunch of evenings.


    And if you’re interested in joining the discussion and to check out our new alpha version, you can still do this at our website.


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    New Screenshots from Serene Valley location

    We'd like to share some WIPs from upcoming alpha version and notice all our backers (again) that we're about to start the closed alpha testing. Only tiers with immediate access to alpha verion can take a pert. But if you're a journalist, game development industry specialist or blogger feel free to drop a message to pr[at]alersteam.com to join!

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    The indigenous people of K’Tharsis

    We’d like to present you an updated version of the K'Tharsis' aboriginal representatives concept art. It's hard to overrate an importance of a race that is going to be interacted with very frequently during the playthrough, that's why much time was spent carefully designing them.
    Though native population of K'Tharsis isn't very technologically advanced, it mastered the antigravium works long before first humans stepped on their land. They craft from it jewelry as well as more functional items, such as weapons.
    As the worldwide practice shows, a contact with an alien civilization is rarely beneficial to the ecology and population of the less advanced civilization, and aborigines on K’Tharsis weren't an exception. Once lived in their own closed world, they got new neighbors, who slaughtered much of the tribes and enslaved the most remaining. Nevertheless, some of the nomadic tribes are still free and frequently raid humans.


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    One of the consequences of the human invasion is a brute-aborigine. It's a result of genetic mix of humans and of the natives, a huge and strong creature. Usually they're used in mines as unintelligent and submissive workers, though some brutes are both smart and strong, which makes their social status undoubtedly different.


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    NICETIES OF ART DIRECTION
    The visuals of Exoplanet: First Contact have changed significantly since the Kickstarter campaign. The world of K"Tharsis has become much more alive and interesting thanks to new types of plants, animals, rocks and other remarkable assets. Much of this progress wouldn"t be possible without our talented art director — Ivan Taranenko, who is going to tell you about his art career and his work on Exoplanet.

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    I`m watching you freelancer

    I was interested in drawing, as well as in video games since my childhood, but after graduating high school I didn"t even think about game development career and started studying software engineering in a university. After a while it became clear, that I"m not ready to dedicate my life to this particular profession and after getting my diploma I decided to try myself in advertisement by becoming a designer working for one of the agencies.

    It is about that time that I became interested in graphics. A hobby grew into a passion and I realized that this is how I want to earn my livelihood.

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    One of the best Exoplanet: First Contact concepts according to Ivan

    After leaving the job in the agency, I started working as a 3D artist in a game development studio "Meridian"93" which was making desktop strategy games as well as freelancing for larger projects (such as Disciples III: Renaissance). This is where I honed my modelling skills, got familiar with animation and started to devote much more time to drawing, changing my line of work and after a while I became a lead artist.

    Unfortunately, the studio stopped making strategy games and dived full-on into making casual ones, which I didn"t deem interesting and deserving of my attention so I have left the job and started thinking about my own project.

    A couple of my friends joined me — a programmer and a level designer. Together we started working on a small indie game Bravada. We spent two years working on it, and even though at the end our expenses didn"t pay off, I have received priceless experience, learned a lot and got to know firsthand about many pitfalls and nuances of the industry.


    The next significant project for me was Legends of Eisenwald. Here as a freelancer I contributed to the interface of the game, the map and designed the final version of the logo.


    After Legends of Eisenwald I continued looking for a job and stumbled upon an ad on a forum which said that a small indie team is looking for an artist to work on rocks and cliffs. The project looked interesting, but unfortunately I didn"t have anything suitable for that job in my portfolio at the moment, so that same evening I drew a concept and responded. That"s how I became an artist working on Exoplanet: First Contact, and a few months later was promoted to an art director of the project.

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    Terraform corporation reserves the right to interpret the word "pleasure" at its own discretion

    Working on this game is incredibly interesting. I believe that we"re producing beautiful concepts, especially characters and weapons. The unusual setting of space western is also very close to my heart as well as the genre — despite my passion towards turn-based strategies (Disciples) and stealth-action titles (Deus Ex, Dishonored), roleplaying games were always number one for me.

    When I was a kid, my friend got a first PlayStation and we spent a lot of time playing Tekken and Twisted Metal. But I truly started loving games after I found Final Fantasy VIII — I was astounded by its story and how it managed to evoke my emotions.

    Then there were Planescape: Torment, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Fallout, Fallout 2, Gothic — these games were masterpieces. And, of course Gothic II: Night of the Raven — this is probably the best Action RPG that I ever played.

    This last decade changed a lot. We"ve got more powerful and functional engines, more polygons in the models, and the industry itself became more demanding towards highly qualified specialists. All this allowed to bring the visuals to a new level, which in turn affected the work of artists.

    Dishonored"s incredible visual style, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt scenery that shock your imagination, colorful Uncharted 4 artbook, Metal Gear Solid art performed in sumi-e — all of these are wonderful sources of inspiration.

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    Han Solo would like to get his attire back

    But there is also a fly in the ointment. I believe that contemporary games have lost their adventurous spirit: developers copy themselves time after time, reproducing models of successful projects with minimal changes. Sure thing, in this business every mistake has a high cost, but I"m hopeful that at least some of the companies are going to find the strength to change this situation to the good and step away from boring templates. Meanwhile, this lack of adventurism is going to be compensated by indie developers, and I would like it very much if Exoplanet: First Contact becomes such a brave and interesting project. Visuals and appearance play a huge role and are my direct responsibilities as an art director.

    Most importantly, the game must have a consistent visual style, otherwise it"s going to look like a patched blanket — unaesthetic and unprofessional. Therefore it is crucial to look after each concept, model and texture while improving the existing graphics and creating new concepts.

    I spent a lot of time analyzing other games, looking for not only inspiration and references but for concrete technical solutions. As a perfectionist I believe in the ideal result, though I do understand that the process of improving certain things could be infinite. So I try my best to approach each task pragmatically, striving for the optimal combination of quality and spent time.

    So how will the final Exoplanet: First Contact look? It"s important to note, that despite a lot of technical and budget limitations we strive towards realism in the game: that"s why we do not exaggerate proportions, especially in regards to weapons and characters.

    Next we have landscape detalization. Gradually we add new types of plants, small stones — all this significantly affects location"s appearance. Painstaking work is carried out on the sky: the most attentive players are going to notice that we"ve changed the sandy color to standard white-blue tones.

    Nevertheless, the color of the sky is going to change depending on the location. Currently, I plan to create a couple of concepts that are going to demonstrate how the game world is going to look in different times of day and various weather conditions, be it rain or a sand storm.


    We"ve also changed the water: our programmer made it look much more realistic, which is going to be even more noticeable with correct lighting.


    Correct lighting is one of the most important aspects, which is going to allow us to improve the visuals of the game significantly. Right now, Exoplanet doesn"t have the advanced dynamic lighting we want it to have, which notably lowers the beauty of the picture: for instance, objects in shadows seem to be flat and unrealistic. More innovative lighting techniques (skybox, ambient occlusion) are going to allow us to solve much of such problems, as well as unlocking the full potential of existing assets in the game.

    Summarizing, it is important to note that such big project is a very ambitious goal for such a small indie company. But working with the team, I understood that people at Alersteam are passionately driven guys very much like myself: we understand each other well and are solving issues successfully. Everyone is eager to be the most use to the project as possible and are results-oriented. I believe that this approach will let us achieve our goal, no matter how ambitious.

    IN CONCLUSION

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    We"re always on the lookout for new ways to make our project known to even more people. And today we would like to make an important announcement: we"re partnering with www.grabthegames.com. Its owner Rafal has helped us already on numerous occasions and is a close friend of our team. Like all of us, Rafal believes in Exoplanet"s success and is going to help us however possible to reach even more players.

    Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that you can get updates about Exoplanet development not only from Kickstarter but also from other sources, and more frequently. So please, feel free to subscribe to our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other official feeds, and of course don’t forget to check out our forums and participate in discussions — we’re trying to get the news out there daily.

    Furthermore, each your like, share and repost helps us find new interested players, and we’re grateful to each and every one of you who recommends us to your friends.

    Thanks a lot for your support.

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    Learn more about Exoplanet: First Contact:

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    Alersteam is offline Last edited by Alersteam; 27.06.2016 at 18:23.

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