Update 1.8

V1.8 Update

Thank you for sticking with us while we fixed a few things. Here are the update Notes:

Environments
Levels
The Base and Mine environments have been expanded into their own levels. The environments are one of the stronger aspects of CAT Interstellar and the Base and Mine just weren’t up to snuff. We also hated the idea of confining the player to long corridors of dialog. Now the game if much more open and you can explore the world as you please. There are no mandatory quests and only about 30 seconds of mandatory dialog at the very beginning. After that you’re free to play the game and dig into the backstory as much as you like.

HUD
IT WORKS!!! If you’ve been following this game since the start you know this is something we’ve wanted from the beginning and we have finally got it working (Dead Space clone here we come). You now have a 3D HUD for the temp, speed, and boosts left. The importance of the temp gauge will be explained later in the story.

Atmosphere
We added close to a 100 times more dynamic lights and objects. This is something we wanted from the beginning and were finally able to do by breaking the levels up. We also changed the “grab” function to grab vertices and free the rotation. This makes interaction a little more fluid.

pickingUpLight

Menu:
Supports custom resolution.
Key rebinding!!!
AutoDetect resolution on start up.
Improved interface and responses.
Added a Dev Tab.

Game Size:
Decreased from ~7.5Gb to ~4.3Gb
We made massive optimizations to the game in terms of file size. This was mainly due to reusing detail normal maps. Every model in the game has a normal map and most items had a detail normal map. Now we’re using the same detail normal for almost everything. We also atlased the textures we use most often. This won’t just effect download size but also decrease the number of draw calls and load times for levels. This should give an across the board boost to frame rates.

Androids
Animations
The Androids now actually look like they’re talking. They also walk around the environments with various dialogs. This isn’t Elder Scrolls: Oblivion but it should be a little more immersive. The environments have also been flushed out with a lot more Androids. The new dialog system lets us place and edit Androids a lot faster than before.

Dialog
The voice acting has been replaced by dialog boxes. This is a pretty big change to the original design and I really want to know what you think of it. There are a few reasons we switched to this:

Translations are now possible since we’re dealing with text files.

This works effectively as subtitles for VR – The default UE4 subtitles system does not (and probably will never) support VR.

Since the beginning we always had a little heart burn about the androids “talking” to DOG. We originally just hand-waved this and said DOG’s pitch modulator wasn’t working so they had to use audio channels. Not that the androids would be incapable of speaking English but they would most likely communicate over radio waves. This dialog system sort of emulates that. Give it a run through and let me know what you think.

VR
The original idea was to allow the player to swap between 2D and VR seamlessly in the game. What we didn’t expect was how poorly this would work with SteamVR. The solution for this is to separate the conventional build and the VR build using DLC. I know we said we wouldn’t have DLC but this is a little bit of a different situation and it will obviously be free. This should be coming this weekend or early next week.

DOG
Added DOG’s sensor back into the game.
Added animations for jumping and landing.
Added 3D HUD.
Improved interaction logic.
Added toggle sprint.

Development
The obvious elephant in the room is how long it took us to push an update. If you haven’t read our previous announcement about what went wrong, you can find it here. I understand that even with a single developer working on the game this is simply unacceptable. We’ve implemented source control and switched from Trello to a similar in-engine note system. These things wouldn’t have prevented the bug that shut us down but they will most certainly prevent delays in the future. With this new build I hope to be able to push updates as frequent as I have been on the beta branch (average 3.5 days since June 5th). The Dev tab will also make it easier to get more information about bugs in the future.

Community
Lastly, and at the risk of ending up on Reddit as the most unprofessional indie dev ever, I thought we could play a game. We obviously make a lot of cat and dog references and I just got the DNA test back for our dog Ziggy. Here’s the pie chart of the breeds that came together to make him.

DNA piechart512

ziggy512

If you can correctly guess atleast 3 of the 6 I’ll give you a free copy of the game. Just post a comment of what 3 breeds you think he has and I’ll message you with a key if you’re right. Here is a few more pictures to help you out.

Hint: He doesn’t have a drop of German Shepard.

1 Comment

  1. Joshua says:

    black lab, border collie, golden retriever, yellow lab… i can’t think of any more.

    Like

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