Pine DevBlog #76 - Surfaces and Snowtops

Posted in Development Blogs

Another very productive week! With the team currently operating at a capacity of 10, we're making awesome progress on big and small things alike.

We're building editors for features, effects and polish, which greatly speeds up the way we work in the project.

One of those is a brand new surface editor, which allows us to select all prefabs and tag it with a certain surface. This is important for footstep sounds, ranged sounds and VFX to appear/sound correctly.

We now have an extended weather editor, as well as a brand new "Night Visuals" editor that allows us to enable/disable objects or turn on lights at a certain time of day. This includes fireflies, lanterns and more.

Our terrain improvements are also getting further. A new angle-selector brush makes painting splatmaps (textures) on our terrain a million times easier, and it makes it look a LOT better because of perfect and objective blending.

On the content side we made awesome progress too. Here's a look at one of the Outfindings, the Conducting Lantern:

The role outfits for species are coming along nicely too. Here's the gatherer basket for the Cariblin, for example:

We've also continued dressing the biomes, and the smaller snow biome (top of Mount Telkin) was the last one to be done. New snow textures and snow vegetation!

Until next time!

Pine DevBlog #75 - Grounds and Guards

Posted in Development Blogs

Time for another short devblog! We've made some good visual progress and are excited to share what we're working on.

The terrain is getting a huge revamp. Both tech (splatmaps and the groundcover drawing), design and art are currently passing over it to make everything look more natural, have a better structure and run way better.

We're also working on new ground textures to better match the improved quality and style of the game:

We're blocking out more Vaults too... without giving too much away, this one in the swamps begs to be explored, no?

We're also working on finalizing the outfits for species roles - the guard is done now for species, which is a tabard that shows what they're up to.

We have more cool stuff in the pipeline - putting a lot of sounds in, working on our material detection system to diversify them, working on the weather editor... good stuff!

Also, something cool to show you soon... (WIP)

Until next time!

Pine Monthly Recap May - More to Do

Posted in Development Blogs

Hey all!

We are eager to share some cool stuff we worked on last month, and to tell you all about where we’re headed.

We are now deepening out the final player mechanic, which means there’s gonna be more to do for the player. This is essential when building the questing system, so that we know exactly what options the player has. This is all building towards the content alpha milestone, which concludes our alpha phase at the end of this month.

Here are some highlights!

Puzzling in Vaults

An important part of the main quest comes in the form of Vaults, small designated areas filled with puzzles that hold the Outfindings (important tools). We’ve been working hard on our trigger systems, grabbable system and cutscene systems to fill the Vault blockouts with cool puzzles and interesting gameplay. We don’t want to spoil too much, but here’s a quick glimpse at the Dry Bay Tower (with work-in-progress visuals), one of the three!

New interns!

Give a warm welcome to Andréa and Félix, our new environment art and programming interns! They joined the ranks to make awesome art and tech for Pine.

Food Pinning

A much requested feature in the game also made it in: food pinning! We didn’t like it much that you could eat in your pause menu, which takes you out of the game completely. With species also taking food ingame, we thought it only fair to give the player the same option. Check out the top left here:

Testing “energy” and Mixtures

A bit of an interesting thing we decided to try out is an energy mechanic. A very specific goal we had for this is that it was vital to not make it a grind, or feel like a survival mechanic. However, the purpose of it made it worth trying: we want to place the player in the simulation more. As species have to find food and rest all the time, it might be good if the player gets a sense of that loop too. There are a few states:

The changes made by the energy system are very subtle: jump height tweaks, running speed, sprint time, attack time, etc. By eating foods, you can regain energy (or even drain it as a tradeoff for health), and we’re also implementing a resting mechanic soon to let time of day pass too (mockup):

We’re currently testing out how it works. The last thing we want is to make it feel like a stamina system, or to make it too intrusive. It might not work out, but playtests will have to point that out.
To boost up your energy even more, we also conceived the idea of Mixtures: potion-like consumables that can grant temporary status effects or boost your health or energy. Players craft these and can use them in preparation of situations ahead. More soon!

The swamps are getting denser

As one of the last areas that needed a lot of assets and setdressing is the swamps – specifically, the Soggy Fields! In May we took to fill that up, and it’s getting quite dense.

There are quite a few new trees for this, as you can see in the previous blog. Next step is adding water over the surface, and adding a lot of this ground vegetation!

About the planning

Lastly, it’s time to give some less joyful news: now that we have planned the whole project out to the end, it’s clear to us that a Q4 2018 release for Pine is too ambitious. We’d like to take a bit more time to round things up better and give you a better game as a result. This is no huge surprise to us: the estimate made during the time of the Kickstarter was a rough one, with a lot of question marks about the content still. Also thanks to your feedback, the game has gotten a lot better and more focused since, so the end result will definitely be better for it. We hope you understand!

Importantly, we aren’t pushing the game back much – but more on that soon. In the upcoming month we’ll have a big announcement, so we’re really excited to share that soon. Here's a hint of what is included...

As always, all feedback, questions and comments are welcome. Feel free to reach out through pine[at], on IndieDB, on Reddit, on our Discord server, Facebook or Twitter.

Pine DevBlog #74 - Beeches and Buildingblocks

Posted in Development Blogs

Time for a devblog! As mentioned, we've been lowering the frequency quite a bit, in order to make sure we're not spoiling too much and to focus even more on developing the game.

With regards to that development, we're making some really great progress. A region system, trigger system, working on the Outfindings, an updated main character... Lots of important steps to completing the content structure of the game.

One of the more important mechanics that was properly added recently is the new eating mechanic, allowing the player to heal only during gameplay. This changes the way you fight a lot and makes it a lot more dynamic and interesting! You can pin food to your HUD (3 foods at the start of the game) and eat from there. We will be working on a 'heal preview' functionality and more polish later. Check the top left UI here:

We are currently prototyping the first Vault, the Dry Bay Tower, to greater detail - having meshed all the building blocks, the design team is now busy with creating every layer and all puzzles in between. Without spoiling anything, that blockout looks something like this:

The swamp assets are making good progress too, as we're building large trees, small trees and more vegetation to put in the swamp area (Soggy Fields). Check out the first trees:

The river tool is also being used to great 'length', as we're placing the first rivers and it seems to work nicely!

More soon - we'll keep you updated as we go along. A lot of the work is related to the new Hue, so we're holding off a bit on that - soon!

Until next time!