For Alpha 16, we paused on new feature development for a bit to go back through our gameplay and fix up areas to make progression more clear, and fix usability issues. YouTube videos of people playing the game were actually extremely helpful for this! If you have a favorite YouTuber who plays our game or you think should, feel free to post in the comments and we’ll start watching or reach out to them. 🙂

Ecology Progression Added

We’ve added in some quests to help guide users through the process as they unlock additional features in their Ecology Module.

  • Now, when the user first begins the game, the biodomes will be locked from travel.
  • When the user reaches Level 2, they will receive a quest from Dr. Reneau that unlocks the Amazon Biodome, and then the rest of the biodomes.
  • At Level 3, they will receive a quest from Dr. Reneau that unlocks the H.E.L.O., too.

Right now, what the biodomes and H.E.L.O. are is explained through the dialogue of these quests, but we’re working on in-game cinematics to improve that experience in the future!

Other Progression and Usability Improvements

  • The onboarding quest “Welcome, Citizen” has now been lengthened in order to encourage the user to learn how to use their customizable apartment and will require them to return to place their bed before the quest finishes. It also has an improved prompt at the end for what to do next in the game world.
  • All other quests have been turned off until “Welcome, Citizen” is complete.
  • Added improved feedback to indicate leveling up.
  • Updated the nameplate design for all animals and NPCs outside of the H.E.L.O. You can also now select animals by clicking on their nameplate.
  • Updated the nameplates for animal species so that it is easier to see what you have left to do for Researching a species or when it is complete. Updated the Biodex to match.
  • Updated the timer UI above the animal’s head for the tranquilicer ability.
  • Improved the Tools UI, including supports for gaining new Tools. For example, when you gain a new tool, you will now see the button glow and it will highlight which one is new. It will also be automatically added to the hotbar if you have space. This should greatly improve the experience of picking up new Tools and quickly being able to use them.
  • You can now find every available animal in every biodome while populating your Biodex. In other words, if the Biodex says that an animal lives in a biodome, like the armadillo, you’ll be able to find it there, instead of needing to go to its ‘default’ Mojave Desert biodome only to find it.
  • You can now see the Biodomes in the Biodex information even before you have Researched/Unlocked that portion… so you know where to go to even research the animal!
  • Improved the visual design of the Biodex info popups.
  • If the DNA extractor can’t be used, it now appears darker on the hotbar.
  • There is now a new type of quest prompting: the telecommunicator! It is used in the new Ecology progression quests only so far.

H.E.L.O. Improvements

  • The plant’s model gets updated in the H.E.L.O. as its status changes, for a visual representation of its health. In other words, you’ll be able to see when plants become low on leaf or are dying.
  • The baby plants (non-mature) are now 50% size of the adult plants.
  • The Data Tool now has a mouseover tooltip on the Food Available bars that reports the food required and food available.
  • In the Data Tool, if there is no animal in a category, its “food available” bar is now a dark blue, and the arrow pointing to it is also blue. This is so it has a neutral state when essentially the category does not yet apply.
  • The Data Tool arrow from Decomposer to Plants is now indicative of Detritus Level, and there is text explaining if the detritus level becomes problematic under the Decomposers now.
  • Updated the appearance of the HELO Tool Buttons (Add Life, Time, and Data Tool).
  • Fixed it so that when a swarm is dead, and before the territory marker goes away, the in-game model should disappear so it doesn’t look like there are insects while it says population 0.
  • Updated to a permanent H.E.L.O. Welcome Message on Dr. Reneau’s opening UI.
  • Fixed an issue where after a reproduction cycle, the territory marker for plants was getting stuck at 0 weeks and not restarting the cycle.
  • Animals now stop the reproduction counter when the population is only children.
  • Added a a reproduction counter on “always blooming” plants, too!
  • Fixed an issue where flowering plants’ reproduction counter says “X weeks until fruiting” when it should instead say “X weeks until reproduction.”

 

Bug Fixes / Tweaks

  • Fixed the issue where users could not abandon quests.
  • Fixed up holes in more furniture pieces for Custom Apartment Room
  • Removed Sunflower shadows in Great Plains
  • Changed the appearance and wording of the high ping warning message.
  • Updated the visual appearance of the shop tabs, and made a label “Clothes” instead of “EquipItem.”
  • Updated the appearance of the Level 3 blocker on the Research Tree.
  • Changed prerequisite quests for Animals with Shells so you can’t accept it until you’re able to get into those biodomes.
  • Fixed instances of getting 2 confirmation messages for the same action when DNA Matching on quests.
  • Fixed an issue where particle effects that are attached to static meshes (as in bees on trees) do not show up currently in HELO or the base biodomes.