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06 October 2023

Skywatch #13 - Development Update

UPDATE: Please note that due to some technical issues with our website, we have replaced any animated gifs with static images within this post for the time being, so don't be concerned if you see any references to gifs only for the images to display as static. We'll try to use video clips in-place of gifs where possible going forward.

It's Skywatch time!

It's an exciting time for the Lost Skies team, as we're preparing the first official gameplay reveal trailer (we'll have more news on that soon). Aside from that, development continues in earnest on the game, here's a look at what the team have been working on over the past couple of weeks.

Character Team

First up, we have another outfit concept to show off from our character team. This design is imagined as an engineer outfit, designed to be a bit "chunkier” than the lighter outfits we've shown so far. This gives you a first look at our heavier clothing/armour, which will offer different stat boosts/bonuses when compared to light outfits, useful for different situations.

Next up from our character team, they've been hard at work on the visual effects and sound effects for resource gathering/mining.

The first clip below shows the VFX that occurs when you hit the rocks 'core' in different lighting conditions and different states. You'll want to avoid doing this as hitting the core too many times with your mining tool will destroy the rock entirely. You'll want to try and mine the stone casing and, in the case of metal nodes, carefully aim for the nuggets of ore that will be visible.

The second clip shows the full mining VFX loop as it stands currently, including SFX and also demonstrates rock destruction due to overmining the core (VFX & SFX should be considered a WIP).

VFX is from the planes around the rock, so the effect becomes more visible as the rocks shell is chipped away.
VFX is from the planes around the rock, so the effect becomes more visible as the rocks shell is chipped away.

Creature Team

We have some new creature concepts to share with you this week from our creature team. First up, we have some more shellfish/hermit crab inspired creature concepts.

And below, we have some updated concepts of our new cave creature that we showed you in the previous Skywatch, this time exploring some possible colour options.

Finally from our creature team this week, a look at our greyboxed cave dwelling creature in action! The VFX are a work in progress, but the idea is that our cave creature will have a few different attacks - from leaping at your, to burrowing underground and re-emerging, you'll have to watch where you step when these critters are lurking nearby.

Ship & Materials Teams

This week, we have a few updates from our ship and materials teams. First up, a look at some of the metal material textures our team have been working on. These materials can be used in a variety of ways, but one application is for the ancient Gall terminals that you will interact with upon awaking in the Ark. The first image below is a concept piece of one of these Gall terminals. Whilst we haven't shared a great deal about the Gall culture yet, their designs were generally far more elaborate and ornate than the Saborian's, which is demonstrated in the metal materials below.

Next up from our ship team, we have a legacy Worlds Adrift barrel model that's being updated for Lost Skies. The barrel is a small storage container that you will be able to place on your ship. The first image below shows the old Worlds Adrift barrel models, and the following images show the model as updated for use in Lost Skies.

The ship team are also continuing to work on a range of ship parts. Below is a look at one of the early tier wooden box engines that's currently being worked on.

Work has also started in earnest on panel variations in the form of half panels etc.

This is super early work, but eventually will lead to the option to have windows and doors on ships. You can see how this is coming along in the screenshot and video clip below.

Please excuse the janky-looking character climbing animations for the clip, this is because at present the panels are paper thin and lack final hitboxes. The climbing is purely to demonstrate that the blank area of the panel grid lacks collision, which means that you will be able to create windows, doors, hatches and low walls that you'll be able to climb through and fire cannons over (careful though! Enemies will also be able to damage internal components through any openings you have on your ship panelling).

All panel textures/materials are placeholder too.

Below is a look at some of the material faces our team have been working on. Again, these should not be considered final panel textures, but this is early work in exploring different material faces for panels and different texture decals.

As mentioned above, right now the panels lack any kind of depth. Below is an early look at the team exploring different wooden face materials and panel face depths, and how this will be affected during shipbuilding.

Finally from our ship team this week, we have an early sneak peak at the ship materialisation visual effect! We wanted to keep this somewhat similar to the VFX that was used in Worlds Adrift, but with some added flair. This is a work in progress, but we'll have more to share soon!

UI Artist

And finally from the team this week, our talented UI artist is hard at work on creating a unique UI for Lost Skies that we hope you're going to love as much as we do. We haven't shared much on the UI front so far, since we want to do a UI themed blogpost in the future once the UI is closer to being finished, but here's a sneak peak at both the current title screen and character creation (WIP).

Community Islands

We're going to finish this post with a couple more community islands from our open development community.

Haar Skerries by Budgie94 - An eerie mist shrouds these barren rocky isles making them difficult to spot amongst the clouds as well as sudden strong winds, this leading to many unfortunate wrecks and groundings over time. This does mean that the Skerries will have rich pickings of scrap and jettisoned cargos, just be careful not to become a wreck yourselves!

Haar Skerries by Budgie94_
Haar Skerries by Budgie94_

A Refined Reality by RitchieJ

The fossil fuel facility has been shut down and monitored by climate activists who reside on the lower islets. The only way to access the generous loot cache is to start the plant up again by solving all the puzzles.

The choice is yours –

Will you wisely chill out, sympathise with the locals and share their simple, healthy lifestyle?

Or will rampant, short-sighted avarice get the better of you?

A Refined Reality by RitchieJ
A Refined Reality by RitchieJ

That's a wrap for this Skywatch, as always we hope you've enjoyed this insight in to the development progress on Lost Skies. There's lots more to share with you and we'll soon have some news to share with you about the next wave of open development invites, so stay tuned!

Have a great weekend and we'll see you next time.