It's time for another Skywatch development update!
This weeks Skywatch is a little shorter than usual, we're sorry to say. There's a reason for this though - our team is hard at work on finalising work on the next playtest build, ready to deliver it to our open development community in the coming weeks. As a result, our internal Skywatch meetings, which our development team use to communicate what they've been working on with the wider studio, have been bumped this week. Don't worry though, we have plenty of cool stuff to share with you in the coming weeks!
On an unrelated note: you may notice that the format of the image embeds has changed slightly from previous Skywatch posts, and you're no longer able to click on the images to enlarge them in a pop-up lightbox. This is due to some issues we had with our gallery widget, which is also one of the reasons our last Skywatch post was delayed. We're hoping to restore this functionality asap, but for now you can still view larger versions of the images included here by right clicking > open image in new tab (wording may vary depending on your browser). We apologise for the inconvenience!
For now, let's dive right in to what we have for you this week.
Our character team have been working on some of the player weapon VFX and animations. First up, take a look at the early Saborian pulse rifle reload animation.
Next up is a reveal for you all! Take a first look at our WIP Saborian shotgun greybox model and early animations for the weapon.
Sticking with the weapon progress for our final update from the character team this week, the video clip below shows some of the work that's been done on the firing animations for our Saborian pistol and pulse rifle.
Work is continuing in earnest on our ship assets. Whilst the basic survival gameplay loops are now starting to come together, the shipbuilding is in a much earlier stage of development, so expect to see a lot more in-depth updates from our shipbuilding team in the future.
For now, we have some new ship assets to share with you. First up, some recently modelled ship railings.
Next up from our ship team is our newly modelled Saborian lamp.
Our ship team have also been working on the new ship canopy asset, which you can see below.
And finally from our ship team this week, we have an early concept piece of the ship repair tool for you to take a look at!
Our first update from the creature team this week is a look at some of the greybox models of our cave crawler critter. The team have been experimenting with different body sizes, as you can see in the screenshots below.
Next up, the following video clip shows some of the new manta flock attack patterns that the team have been testing. These attack behaviours and animations are still a WIP, but we hope it gives you a good idea of how manta's will pose a threat as you explore islands, especially when in large flocks.
Our final update from the dev team this week is a look at some material testing that some of our artists have been working on. Not strictly creature specific, this material could be used for a range of applications.
Our first community island this week is Tall Trees by MisterFizz.
"TALL TREES: THE DOORENING
I'ma be real with you guys I do not understand puzzle logic. But I did manage to make a could of switches that open doors so I've got that going for me!
Anyways the assets for the starting zone remind me of the Pacific Northwest, which makes me think of like, a hidden Weapon X style bunker nestled in the middle of a forest, so I made that here. Honestly it's just made in the "easter egg / look around" kind of style that I made WA islands in."
Don't worry MisterFizz, we know that the puzzle logic can be quite complex, but we'll have some guides ready to explain how puzzle logic works ahead of the public Island Creator launch. Regardless, we think MisterFizz has done an awesome job of making a hidden military-style bunker here and we loved exploring all the hidden rooms and corridors.
Our second island showcase this week isn't actually a community island showcase, but is made by none other than our own Luke Williams aka Eternz, lead designer on Lost Skies.
Verdant Valley by Eternz
We don't want to take anything away from our community islands, but considering only a limited number of people have access to the island creator right now, there aren't a great deal of community made islands to share with you just yet.
That aside, we also wanted to highlight Luke's latest island because we think he's done a great job on it. We loved the hidden cave hangar, complete with cargo containers stuffed with treasure and the islands signature valley.
And finally this week, whilst not an island per se, RitchieJ made these impressive replica assets based on some of our earlier cave crawler models from Skywatch #5 in the island creator that we'd be remiss not to showcase, because they're incredible!
Whilst our cave dwelling creature might not look like the models that RitchieJ based these off of anymore (see above in this post for an updated look at our cave crawler creature), it's awesome that they'll forever be immortalised as island creator assets thanks to RitchieJ's efforts!
Asset 1 for Unnamed Island : WIP by RitchieJ
Watching David Attenborough’s latest drop – 'Planet Earth III' – almost brought a tear to my eye.
Sadly, I can do sweet f-All about those green turtles losing their nesting island due to rising sea levels.
However, I can and will strive to preserve endangered species closer to my heart.
Really concerned that this creature might wither on the development tree and not survive game launch –
So will be creating a sanctuary island or two to ensure their survival.
And that's everything we have for you in today's Skywatch! We really hope you've enjoyed today's dev diary and whilst we appreciate that it's a little lighter on content than usual, rest assured there's lots of cool stuff in the pipeline that we can't wait to share with you all! We're fast heading towards the end of the year now and lots of the team will be taking some well deserved rest over the holidays, but we still have some things to share with you before we head off, don't worry :)