Progress on Beta 1

Finally, sun lit my house too. We started writing the plot and ark of our game. Before that in the team there wasn’t much focus on storyline. However, now we have the arc.

The story line has been shaping very well – it is a dystopian futuristic space colony plot. The Earth has been left behind, along with all of its surviving citizens, and now has an enemy in the face of the galactic colony that started from the old world.
The characters are the Phoenix Empire, the space station manager, the player, the scientist from the old Earth, the radio broadcaster.

About 300 years ago on Earth there was a war that has unclear origins and sides, in which nuclear weapons were used that damaged the planet and its atmosphere. Moreover, because of the radioactive fallout big portion of the population died and the future of the living was marked by genetic mutations and famine. At that point humanity had advanced enough to have started slowly colorizing the near planets and had space home in the orbits of different planets. There were inhabitants of the space-home which had taken permanent space residency, but it was still an expensive way of living so they were only the chosen few. The story told to the citizents of the space nation about the happenings on Earth is that because humans were divided they fought against each other which brought destruction to the planet, made it uninhabitable and unescapable, so it is supposed there are no survivors. In reality the war wasn’t because of division on Earth. It started as a conflict between the powerful and rich inhabitants of space didn’t want to comply to the motherland’s law and didn’t want to share their extraterrestrial resources with the poorer population left on Earth, so the nation which started the galactic project helped them to wipe out the Earth and it’s population. Planning took years, the last valuable resources from Earth were taken to space and then masking it behind a political agenda they destroyed their brothers.
The Phoenix Empire is the new intergalactic human nation that has started from the orbital colonies around Earth. In the last 300 years they have been drifting away from the Solar System creating stations in further planets even galaxies. The government is run by computers with human intervention by a board of directors, chosen by the population every 10 years. After they left Earth, many were doubtful about the events on the planet, so the story about the divided humanity was fabricated by the then-people in charge in order to keep peace on the colony. Although, it is not a totalitarian government in charge and the free media is one of the major ways for the citizents to have a voice, the story about Earth echoes through time. With the advance of technology and civilization interest in the origins of the human kind wasn’t present. However, the newly elected government is worried that such interest can arise and thus decides to go back to Earth and finish what their ancestors have started by diminishing the planet.
The space station manager sends the player, or first human satellite on a pretend mission of space exploration that will be broadcasted and added to history books in the Empire. However, unknowing even to the manager, who is in contact with the player, there is a bomb attached to the spacesuit that is to be detonated once the destination Earth is reached. There is no knowledge available to the mission control and player that they are in the Solar System from which their kind originated.
In the orbit of Earth the player and the space station which is receiving the recording, see a satellite and hear a recording that is playing from it. The recording and the satellite are proofs that humans have survived on Earth and have continued to develop after the attacks. They also proof that they don’t know the attacks were organized by the colony and think that they have been left behind and are searching for the others if they have made it.
The player knows little of this in the beginning of his journey and has to go through challenges in order to get to the final destination – Earth. On the way he sees artificially created objects, which hint at the survival of the old world. Once he gets to Earth she/he starts to realise what is happening and recalls a speech made in the Empire about the origins of humanity and the old world and realizes that there is a discrepancy between the reality and the stories told. Then he there is a malfunction of the trajectory of his path and he uncontrollably starts going towards Earth’s atmosphere. Then there is a message that pops up and asks if he wants to detonate the bomb that will be the end of Earth.

Sound and Alpha

Opening of a drawer, screeching of a door behind you. I don’t need much more than that to freak out, no visuals, no story – just a noise behind me. Gives me goosebumps even when I play it on my computer from youtube. I love this sound effect because with very small sound you can raise someone’s heart rate like crazy. It is disproportionate and very effective – I love it.

Project –
The project is going super well. My teammates are creating some awesome things in terms of design, sound, and experience. I have very high hopes even for alpha.
My part – making an environment for now, is going also very well because of a free asset that I found which has many, many elements of space that look amazing and I wouldn’t have been able to do them on my own for sure. So, I am combining things to make them look pretty, ordering them and mostly trying to fill in all of the space around the user without making the space super full of things. This however poses a problem of optimisation because of the big space that has many many prefabs, particle systems and etc. So, my biggest problem is combining a full and beautiful environment that can actually run without lagging because it is so heavy. For later versions most probably different prefabs will be triggered only when the player looks as them (raycast yey!) so that it is not so heavy on the machine.

Cities and Signs (4) or Sin City

In the description of the city of Hypatia Marco Polo tells the story of his first encounter with the place, how he wondered around and what he was searching for, rather than give a direct account of the city’s architecture or construction. Although, Calvino tries to evade just mapping out a city, he rarely relies on Marco Polo’s interactions of a place in order to give the city life.

However, Hypatia’s account is given almost exclusively by the story of Polo’s adventure there. This sets the first important point about the city – it is not the architecture that makes this place special but people’s interactions with it. Marco’s account is lead by his discovery not of beautiful ladies but of suicide corpses, which points to the unhappiness that the place brings to its citizens. The fact that the corpses are left outside on the open, not hidden or buried, points to the awareness of the act and maybe even the need for it; it also points to the ignorance of the living citizens of their fellows’ lives. Such an environment reminds either of business that doesn’t allow for time for funerals or that the people choose to be ignorant. As Polo proceeds to the sage, the reader slowly realises that “sage” doesn’t have the usual meaning here. It symbolises someone indulging in a library’s gifts. Then Polo understands that the place is a place for indulging, for enjoyment, for passion and happiness. He sees that the citizens have in Hypatia anything and everything that they might ever want. The only problem is that such a place is very hard to leave – the only way to do it without having regrets would be to let go of oneself forever – jump off the high towers into the waters and become food for crabs.

The library is falling apart, which again shows the ignorance of the people who live in Hypatia. If the place for knowledge is left to rot, probably so is the whole city. Only things that could bring pleasure – gardens and park, are kept. The streets are probably damp, full of trash and empty of people, as they have no where to go – they are already in the best possible place. The palace is also left to rot, only prisoners working there, no ruler is to be found, which points to the possibility that he is also indulging in some garden or another. However, the existence of a beautiful palace, staircase and dome show that there was greatness in the city in the past and that there must be something or someone, probably the prisoners, who are working to keep up the heaven for everyone else. The remote papyrus cabinet also points to a long history of the place. It seems that Hypatia is not what it used to be.