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Discussion in 'Gaming Section' started by Max Bacon, Aug 22, 2016.
Planet Nomads Official Announcement Trailer
Navigation System & Vehicles Are Back! The Final Alpha Update
We won’t bother you by saying how much hectic things have been over here – just this little note. Now to the things that have been happening!
Final Alpha Update Next Tuesday/Wednesday
This is the final alpha update, because afterwards we’re going beta! (Early Access, Game in Development, Preview title… you name it). We’re hoping for Tuesday, but could be Wednesday too. Below are some of the new things. More details in next week’s changelog on Steam.
Vehicles are Coming Back
That’s the most important aspect of the next update. Pavel has reworked the suspensions to work with the new building system. There’s still a bug when you deconstruct vehicles – specifically when you separate the two grids (wheel from the vehicle). It’s either getting fixed or you don’t mess with that.
Navigation System Operational
Yes, we’ve heard your loud complaints. We hated getting lost ourselves. We did something about it. Let us tell you that it’s absolutely incredible knowing how to get home. The possibilities that opened and the widening of the action radius is truly game-breaking (in the best possible way).
Beware of Caves
Caves are now part of the game. We had to rewrite the way world objects are generated to be able to spawn them inside caves (which fixed levitating objects too). The caves and cave-like formations may be weird sometimes, but always a great sight.
Optimizations Are Part of the Update Too.
One of the them is the fact that game objects (e.g. trees and rocks) were previously initialized in all their voxel states. So after a 2-minute jetpack flight, you got some nice 433,731 objects in a scene. They would eat half a gig of your RAM. Thanks to Tomas’ rework, there are now only 32,085 game objects in the same fly-by. They eat 90 MB of RAM. All this is an under-the-hood change with no effect on gameplay or visuals.
Among other things we did to make the game run smoother are: less colliders on water bodies, different work with textures, and last but not least – more rich graphic options for the game, such as water reflections, motion blur or terrain and object visibility distance. So you can turn off exactly the performance killers that are most affecting your machine.
As was said earlier, more details in the changelog.
We are experimenting with planet sizes. Next week’s udpate will feature a planet that’s only 32 kms in diameter (half the size of the original one). We believe this will make the gameplay more interesting – being able to travel through different biomes faster. This is not part of the optimization initiative, but a purely gameplay thing – we might be wrong with our assumptions, but that’s on you Nomads to let us know how the game feels with smaller biomes. It’s a starting point for planets with varying sizes too.
After yesterday’s brief unnerving experience where the Planet Nomads’ Steam page ceased to exist, things are back to normal. Who would have thought that switching the game to Early Access would be such an adventure (tip to fellow devs: Enable Early Access right away).
We’ve also pushed the survival update to the main branch and asked Valve for another review (it was rejected before, because Survival was not part of the previous alpha build). We should be up and ready in a couple days and then there’s nothing standing in our way to Early Access release on 18th April.
So that’s about that. We hope you’re going to love the new update and thanks for all the feedback on our forum.
Take care, Nomads!
Our friendly bear.
Coding GUI and game builds.
PN’s diligent QA lead. Mostly known as destroyer of things.
Your point of contact for all things Nomad.
A jack of all trades.
Video editing wizard and master animator.
The father figure, bringer of ideas and visual equalizer.
Public Release Delayed, but Not for Kickstarter and Preorder Nomads
Our Dearest Nomads,
We have to admit this Easter holiday weekend has been the craziest weekend we ever had during the development of Planet Nomads. As you probably know Planet Nomads was supposed to launch tomorrow…
During the past weeks everybody on the team has been working so hard on hitting the release deadline that we somehow lost sight of what’s really important – to make Planet Nomads into an exciting and highly enjoyable survival sandbox game that is amusing and joy to play.
Fortunately we do have a burning and passionate community that’s been showing signs of us going astray. Even more importantly, the Alpha Nomads voiced their concern about the future of the game, should it release in its current state to the general gaming public.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
The reason why you are learning about the delay one day before the intended launch is that for a long time we felt like we had no other choice but to launch. We felt responsible to keep our promise to every Nomad who preordered the game or backed it on Kickstarter. The more we fought this, the more the Alpha Nomads kept pushing back and the more we knew they had been right. The initial panic and heart-squeezes were quickly turned into action. We had one of the hardest decisions to make and then it hit us.
Every Backer and Preorder Nomad Can Play 18th April
We can deliver the current version of the game to every backer through Steam just like we did with the alpha version (and soon the same will be possible on GOG). That way we keep our promise to the people who have been following the development of Planet Nomads and know what the game is and what’s it going to be. Kickstarter and Preorder Nomads, you will get a key in your e-mail tomorrow, little after 4 pm Central European Summer time (GMT+2). This marks another stage of the game; one that could be marked as closed-beta. To people looking forward to becoming Nomads themselves we apologize for the inconvenience of waiting a few weeks longer than intended.
Why Is the Launch Delayed Then?
The game deserves to have many of its details to be better. The tiny details that create the first impression and perception of a game. It would be a shame to let Planet Nomads go out without them. We saw what we were able to achieve in the past few weeks and we know a few weeks more will do wonders for Planet Nomads fighting chances.
We are confident Kickstarter and Preorder Nomads realize the game is in an early stage of development and only going to grow and improve from here. You will find the current version reasonably polished, and ripe with potential and things to discover. However, there’s a chance somebody seeing Planet Nomads for the first time might not have such understanding. The perception of Early Access titles has changed dramatically over the years and moreover there are users who don’t clearly understand what Early Access is about.
We counted on possible negative reviews stemming from misconceptions about Early Access titles to be balanced by ratings from our backers, but alas, with the September 2016 update on Steam, review scores from Steam keys distributed outside the Steam ecosystem (e.g. via Kickstarter) are no longer calculated to the overall rating.
When Is Planet Nomads Early Access Happening?
As mentioned above, a few more weeks will be enough to prepare Planet Nomads for public contesting. We have agreed on May and are now figuring out the exact date. We’ll have a series of meetings so that every team member can express what they’d like to add and how much time they need for that. We’re then going to match that with the Alpha feedback one more time and make a final decision. On Thursday we’ll let everyone know the May date and also the features that are getting a tune-up.
We realize this is a very non-standard situation. We are fully aware of the consequences, but know this has been a carefully weighted decision and one we believe will work best for Planet Nomads and its growing gaming community.
This has been a long and tiresome process, so we’ll keep you updated in the upcoming days.
New Public Release Date Is Set. Now the Changes
First of all we hope that all PN backers with “Digital Copy of the Game” as part of their rewards have received the game key. Try this page if not.
Now, on Monday we decided to make a bold move, which stirred a lot of emotions. Enough for a long while, if you ask us. Fortunately no death threats. In any case, there was enough backlash that we’re certainly not going to postpone the May release.
We’d like to take a moment to thank everyone for their patience, to thank those with understanding for our decision, those who defended us and Planet Nomads against the pissed ones and those who didn’t lose faith in our ability to deliver the game to you. Come to think of it, we’d even like to thank the pissed ones because at the end of the day they show that Planet Nomads matters.
Planet Nomads New Release on 25th May 2017
That’s right. The upcoming survival sandbox game Planet Nomads launches as a game under development on 25th May 2017. It will be available on Windows, MAC and Linux as Early Access game on Steam and as a Game in Development on GOG. It will also be available on Humble Store.
The Changes That Will Be Happening
We’ve held a big meeting on what can be done in a month and decided on three core aspects of Planet Nomads that will improve the first impression the game’s going to make. It’s optimization, playability and immersion.
We’ve been continuously optimizing Planet Nomads throughout the whole development process and generally speaking the game is friendly on hardware as shown by the minimum system requirements. However, as Alpha Nomads and Youtubers have experienced, performance spikes and stuttering is plaguing the game from time to time – we’re now using deep profiling of the game processes to figure out what exactly causes these spikes. The optimization steps will also include reducing the number of colliders on game objects and using the newly developed tool by Tomas that spots every texture and model that have been blown out of proportion in terms of polygons and size.
On one hand playability is a term we use for balancing of survival. From the rate of your stamina decreasing, to the number of inventory slots and the number of resources required for building. But it also includes the way the game unfolds for new players. Generally speaking we’ll be making the game more user friendly. Make the progress through the tech tree more intuitive. Turn building into a more fluid and faster experience. Introduce un-intrusive tutorials and explain various game mechanics. So the blinking lights on your vehicle when you don’t have enough juice to power the wheels are not reported as a bug, but a complex feature of the game’s electric system management.
An overused word these days, but one that perfectly suits what we’re trying to achieve here. You can expect a more powerful experience when playing the game. This includes better animations of the main character and a more impressive multi-tool wielding. We’re going to use a subtle screen shake where appropriate and introduce full-screen image effects for various game events – mostly when you are poisoned, tired, taking damage or generally close-to-death. So that you get sucked into the game and can better relate to your character’s unenviable fate.
The list is not new. We’ve had these features planned, but as development goes, the core game mechanics such as physics, world generation, survival and crafting took longer than expected. Now that we got another month of work before release, we reviewed the features and prioritized the most important ones according to Alpha Nomads feedback.
We’ve already started adding these improvements as you can see in Tuesday’s 0.5.1 patch notes on our forum and on Steam.
Five weeks then! We’ll make them count.
Public Release Postponed to May
The toughest decision yet. Turned out for the best.
Announcing New and Final Early Access Launch Date: 25th May
The five extra weeks bought for Planet Nomads are bringing their results already.
Nomadic Journals #11 on the Latest Patch – Survival Changes and Optimizations
It is time for new Nomadic Journals. These ones are pretty short and straightforward as everyone is working around the clock to have the best possible version of Planet Nomads on 25th May when we launch.
Nomadic Journals #11 on the New Patch
Optimized, Less Grindy, More Challenging
Today’s patch focused on balancing survival based on your feedback, Nomads. Survival mode is now less grindy, as blocks and items need less material, mining is faster and the size of stacks increased from 50 to 70. At the same time, it is now more challenging to survive as weather affects your well-being, there’s less food and more traveling is needed. You are on an unknown planet after all, and your survival shouldn’t be a walk in the park.
Here’s a complete list of changes on Steam or in our forum’s thread.
We now have roughly two more weeks of work ahead, during which we will a) collect feedback on the latest update from you and further balance the survival for the better; b) we’ll keep optimizing; and c) make it more immersive with even more new sounds and particles. We’ll also make PN more accessible for new players with tutorial hints.
Game Access 2017
At this moment we’ve packed a company computer and the big Nomad roll-up and are heading to showcase the newest Planet Nomads update at the Indie Expo in Brno. Daniel will be giving a talk about work at Craneballs and how Planet Nomads has been the most amazing thing that has happened to us so far.
That’s about it. 25th May is the new and final Early Access release date and Planet Nomads will be launching on Steam and GOG on 25th May.
In two weeks, we’re going to have more news on the development for you. For now, enjoy the new update and let us know your impressions on the alpha forum.
Take care, Nomads!
One Week to Launch and Set Planet Nomads on the Long Journey Ahead
If you are already playing our sandbox game, you have probably noticed yesterday’s 0.5.6 update. It includes improvements to ease the onboarding of new players (beginnings of a hint system), further survival balancing such as increased inventory and the newly added sleeping bag for making camp anywhere you like.
There are important bug fixes. The automatic transmission finally works as intended and you can climb steep hills in your vehicles again! You can also use your vehicle to run over trees and bushes as they have their HPs set correctly. You can put Emergency 3D Printer on your vehicle now that it has a correct weight.
All these changes now have priority over new content to secure the future for Planet Nomads and make the game enjoyable. Balancing survival is an ongoing process so if there’s something still bugging you, let us know on the forum.
What Awaits Ahead
We’ve been focusing a lot on polishing the game for launch next Thursday and you guys are interested in the future and want to know what happens next. We are too!
We know where we want to take Planet Nomads, and some clues can be found in the list of upcoming features in the Early Access part of PN’s Steam page, but how and when we get there all depends on so many variables and what happens after launch that speculating at this point seems pointless and we hate empty promises.
What parts of the game will people like? Is there something game breaking that needs to be fixed/improved/changed and requires our full attention? What are the players saying?
Fortunately we will know that very soon. On Thursday 25th Planet Nomads launches publicly and the launch weekend will tell it all. We will then have a series of discussions and meetings and let you know about the future of Planet Nomads and the next steps of its development.
In seven days it happens. Don’t forget to tell your friends and your favorite Youtuber!
Carladius has already been roaming around the planet and taking pictures such as the one below. He’s streaming these adventures on his Twitch channel.
Take care, Nomads!
Planet Nomads Is Now the New Survival Sandbox Game on Steam and GOG
Two and a half years later and Planet Nomads is finally here. The game would not be here if it weren’t for you backing the game and wandering with us during the development journey. It would certainly be nowhere this good if it weren’t for the Alpha Nomads who did a tremendous amount of work in the past couple of months.
We have reached a new milestone together and five hours after launch we can already say this is only the beginning.
WATCH THE LAUNCH TRAILER
WATCH US HIT THE BUTTON
DIDN’T GET YOUR KEY YET?
We have sent all the remaining keys on 18th April (check your e-mail folder). Alternatively use our nifty tool to get your key resent.
WE’LL REPORT TO YOU NEXT THURSDAY
We realize you want to know what happens next. We do too! We’ll see how the launch weekend goes. Then we sit down to make a plan. Then we let you know on Thursday. For now enjoy the game. Leave a review on Steam. Tell your friends and your favorite Youtuber.
Take care, Nomads.
-Your friendly peeps at Craneballs
Nomadic Journals #12 – Ingenious Spotlight and 2-Month Sprint
A new episode of Nomadic Journals is here. I’ve been joined by Peter today and we discuss the future of Planet Nomads (it’s all on the Trello board you know so well).
It has a new section called Ingenious Spotlight which features Nomad Dave’s mobile base and Jimmy’s tree roads. And a mysterious survival box full of goodies.
Anyway, check it out!
Until next time, Nomads.