Update 2.0.0 (Voice acting, Environments, Achievements)

CAT Interstellar Store

Update Notes:
  • Voice Acting – You now how the option to switch between voice acting and subtitles at the main menu. Thank you to all the community members who submitted voice acting for the game. If you don’t see your submission in the game yet I’m still processing the audio files and it will be in the next update.
  • Destructible meshes – The rock animations for opening up new cave sections was awful. They’ve all been replaced with destructible meshes that your grav lift can blast through. Really interested in feedback on how to make this even better.
  • Music – Rebuilt the music system to be more dynamic in terms of what song plays when. Should help a lot with ambience.
  • DOG’s Light – I’ve doubled its effective distance, thanks to optimizations in other areas, and added an IES profile to make it look a little better.
  • Rock collisions on The Surface are fixed. That’s right, everyone one of them is literally perfect. The collision for those meshes are now based on individual triangles. No matter how much the rock has been scaled up you should be able to climb in every nook and cranny without a problem.
  • Loading screen – Not very exciting but worth mentioning.
  • Ansel screen capture added (More on this at the bottom).
  • Dozens of smaller fixes, Dog’s HUD corrected, DOG’s sensor ability now tied into the flashlight, adjustments to level indicators, timing on speeches, audio volumes, trigger box adjustments, Android interactions, Surface lighting sharpness, landing particles, rock textures, push physics, flashlight added to player android, etc…

If you haven’t been keeping up with the beta branch the game is definitely worth another play-through from the beginning.

Achievements:

Achievements have been added!!! There is an achievement for each level but I also added a number of additional ones based on unique areas in the game to encourage exploration. There are also a few pertaining to easter eggs. I plan on adding a lot more so if you have any requests I’d love to hear them.

On this note I also plan on adding stats. This isn’t really the traditional type of game that stats would matter but right now I’m dependent of forum posts and playthroughs on YouTube to figure out where I messed up. So in the next update not only will your government and every social media site be collecting information on you, but I will too.

Environments:

Almost every environment has been revamped. From very slight changes, like the direction of the SkyLift (Thanks LigH), to massive expansions in The Caves. The Base has some optical illusions that should help convey its size and The Mine needed a little more atmosphere and light work.

Story:

I had to tweak the story a little to reconcile an issue I’ve had since the beginning. If your sensor detects bacteria or “life” it should light up for every single instance of bacteria on the walls of the cave. This turned out to be essentially impossible to do because of the number of draw calls. I think the new “mission” fits a little better but as always I’d love your feedback on it.

To-Do:
  • Cut scene at the end of The Caves (what happens to DOG and Android 42).
  • Signals – Control Mechanics. I’ve been watching all the playthroughs on YouTube and it’s painfully apparent I messed up the control mechanics here. When the cat jumps it gets an additional force based on the direction you’re looking. Looking up gives the cat the highest jump while looking horizontal gives the cat its furthest jump. I thought that by adding the crates at the beginning it would force the player to learn this but it didn’t work the way I thought it would. That is the main road block in finishing Signals.
  • 3D Menu – This will rid the game of everything 2D. I should have something to show in the next week but, beyond fulfilling a lifelong dream of a 3D menu, this is essentially the last piece needed to implement VR.
  • Optimizations (always) – You probably don’t hear this much from Early Access titles but I’ve tried to be good about optimizations from the very beginning. I’ve made few changes to how some of the dynamic lights work so you should see improvements in frame rates throughout the entire game as well as the notorious frame drops inside the elevators. I’d still like to do one more purge of the system and combine/replace as many textures as I can. This won’t make as big of a difference as past purges but each one counts.

 

Ansel

Ansel screen capture allows you to take all kinds of screenshots (Super Resolution, Add Post Processing, and 360 Capture). It will eventually replace the spectator option but for now it is just experimental. I’m in the process of getting white-listed by Nvidia but until then you’ll need to go through a few extra steps to get it working. For more information go HERE. There hasn’t been any negative reports in the beta but I have not personally tested this with and AMD card so if there is a problem just report it in the forums and I’ll push a quick-fix.

VR

First off, thank you for your patience with this. There are two things I’ve been struggling with when implementing VR: How to handle the menu and implementing motion controllers.

The menu is going to be a high priority over the next couple of weeks. I honestly have no good excuse for hesitating on it this long. Similar to the subtitles, there are some obscure limitations inside UE4 when interacting with a 2D UI in 3D space and the idea of building a system from scratch seemed enormous. Those days are over and I’m very confident this new menu system will work.

The gameplay was another issue. Originally the game supported only Oculus with a gamepad because that’s literally all I had to develop with. Playing with motion controllers totally changed how I viewed VR and I really wanted to integrate that into the game but didn’t know how. The plan moving forward will be to stick with the original control scheme: sitting/standing VR with movement controlled by the keyboard or gamepad with one possible exception I’d really like your input on:

I want to change the last level for VR users from controlling a cat to controlling an android with the motion controllers. This would make an interesting dynamic in the community because VR users and normal users would have to share their experience to get the complete story. The VR DLC will be free so you can always go play Signals in 2D. This way you aren’t being denied content or being penalized for using VR and we have some wiggle room to design the last level specifically for VR users. At least that’s how I view it but I’d really like to know what you think. This could totally be an awful idea.

Community

Sorry, but we ran out of animals to DNA test for the community events. Instead, I contacted a shelter I worked for and we, the community, are sponsoring 5 dogs. For those of you who haven’t worked in a shelter, it is extremely difficult to get older dogs adopted (anything past puppy status is an older dog). To try to help with with that we’re paying the vet fees and adoption fees for some of the dogs that haven’t had much luck. For now I’ll just tell you their names, ages, and breeds:

BoJangles – 4 y/o Male Shepard Mix

Sis – 3 y/o Female Pitbull/Shepard Mix

Foggy Nelson – 4 y/o Male Terrier Mix

Slim Jim – 2 y/o Male Rat Terrier

Roxy – 2 y/o Female Doberman Mix

This will obviously be a recurring theme whenever I get updates. I’ll keep the community informed on their status and we should have some videos of them coming soon.

As always,
Thanks again for everything,
Ionized Games

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