February 9, 2017 by Daniel
With the considerable amount of dev work left and the launch of Mass Effect Andromeda in March, we are more and more looking at April as the launch month for Planet Nomads Early Access. Remember however that Alpha Nomads will have the Early Access build available a month before everyone else – already in March.
Now let’s take a look at one part of the considerable amount of work and that’s the survival mode, closely followed by creative mode. These are the initial two modes you can expect in Planet Nomads. How’s the gameplay different in each one?
The bread & butter of Planet Nomads. If you read through these features carefully, you’ll be better able to visualize the everyday struggles of the nomadic life.
The defining feature of survival gameplay is death. Players can die and if you do, you respawn either at one of your cryo-beds or in the escape module.
To avoid death, you’ll want to keep a healthy life-style. Eat good food (veggies!), drink pure water, sleep enough and avoid poisons, injuries and radioactivity. Your body will reward you with more energy throughout your work day, let you endure more, run faster, and so on. Conversely, if you punish your body with cold or heat or radiation, you will suffer movement penalties, vision impairment, deteriorating health and eventually complete shutdown of bodily functions.
You won’t be alone on the newly crash-discovered planet. Various creatures will be there to make you company, and while some will be a good source of protein for you, others will want to suck the protein from your marrow-bones. It will be up to you to discover which animals to hunt and which to avoid.
When you decide to build things, you will be placing skeletons and welding them to their final stage. Building in survival mode will require materials that you need to find, mine and refine in 3D printers. Those 3D printers and all other functional blocks like wheels, doors and lights need to be powered by generators, which in turn need fuel to generate electricity.
You will use the newly developed multi-tool to mine, weld and cut things through.
The main goal of the creative mode is to let you build with ease and try things out. Everything from the game-design perspective is made with this goal in mind.
Your Nomad character will be invincible. You will have unlimited energy for jet-pack and the tool. Building is instantaneous as seen in the alpha version and doesn’t require any materials (in fact, player inventory will not be part of the creative mode). Building blocks can be removed by right click. All building blocks are at your disposal, and while functional blocks require electricity from generators, the generators themselves don’t need fuel and run 24/7 forever. You may fast-forward the night and enjoy daylight all day long.
Animals will not be part of the creative mode as we want you to discover them in their natural habitat – full of fear and anticipation.
In creative mode you may save and load at will.
Game Development Progress
Some of the above will be taken from the alpha or has already been developed. We’re going to rework tool-handling animations as the tool and its handling is new. The player attributes and conditions are coded in. We have been working on animals – their visual evolution, animations and sound effects. Together with the AI that will guide their movement and behavior (nearly finished). We are working on the skeletons for the building blocks (1 stages each). Half of the harvestable and edible fruits and veggies are in. Skipping the night is work in progress at the moment. Inventories of the player, printers, workbenches, generators and containers are in. New, more hi-tech status GUI (or HUD) is in the making! Sound effects are a huge category that’s constantly expanding.
The first two biomes – deep forest and jungle – are all done. Both visually and gameplay-wise. The density and dispersal of mineable ores and crystals are set. As well as the spread of edible plants, bushes and trees. Populating the animals coming in shortly.
This is how the new jungle looks today (Early Access version).
The badlands are next for Petr to put in the necessary game-design elements.
More news and biomes coming in the next episode of Nomadic Journals. Bits and pieces leaking on Twitter and added on Trello too.
Thanks for following the development and stay cool, Nomads!