June Dev Update: Steam Greenlight, Artificial Intelligence, Scouts, New Feline Concept Art, Naming Races and more…

juneupdate

Hello everyone! It’s certainly been a productive month here at Brain and Nerd, not to mention a very, very busy one! Between Game Development, two more Work Experience students, preparation for ‘Q-CON’ and preparing to launch our Steam Greenlight page we’ve certainly not been short of things to do this month!

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We’re very pleased to announce that the Predestination Steam Greenlight page is now LIVE! We urge all our Backers, Supporters, Friends, Friends of Friends, Acquaintances, Steam Friends, Social Buddies, Random Strangers, Wandering Monsters, Robots and Pets to go and up-vote PREDESTINATION! Help us to deliver Predestination worldwide on the PC’s most popular and widely used platform! We’re also on Desura and IndieDB, and we have a wishlist page on Good Old Games so be sure to follow us on those as well!

Q-CON!!

With Queens University Belfast’s ‘Q-CON’ Gaming & Anime Convention just one day away, we’re preparing for an absolutely mammoth weekend of fun and hard work and we’ll be in full force to spread the word about the game! With over 2200 attendees last year, Q-CON is only getting bigger, and our own Brendan and Tina will be doing a talk at ‘Q-ED Sessions‘ which will hopefully lead to some more interest, and maybe ultimately allow us to secure a few more pre-orders!


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Development of the game is running along smoothly. Brendan has taken his previous hard work on the tactical fleet combat and has built upon it by working on the first iteration of the Fleet AI. At the moment, the AI is able to work out all of the possible moves that it can make, and evaluates all available moves based on a set of parameters.

The AI considers variables like how much damage it’d take if it moves, how much damage it’ll deal back to the enemy, whether the move will enter firing range, or simply put it closer to the enemy just to name a few examples. Certain Races can be set as more aggressive by valuing dealing damage over a strong defense, or can be made more safety conscious by preferring safer moves, like evading enemy weapons range, over dangerous or riskier moves. While this is all very much work-in-progress, it’s definitely a step in the right direction!

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We wanted with Predestination to allow the player a number of options for Scouting planets, while also reducing the need for busywork as your game advances and your empire grows. I asked Brendan about what he has been working on as far as Scouting and he has come up with an interesting way to do it- here is what he has to say about it;

‘In a few previous updates, we’ve talked about Predestinations full planetary exploration system. At the start of the game, you have one colony on a largely unexplored planet, and you’ll begin sending out scouts to survey areas for resources. You can either manually tell the scouts where to go or just set them on autopilot if you don’t want to micromanage them. The design goal is to make it so that manually directing your scouts will provide a small advantage in the early game, but that this advantage will become increasingly obsolete as the game goes on and more advanced scanning technology is developed.

In the old system, the player didn’t really have any way of knowing where the resources were, so manually directing your scouts wasn’t much better than setting them on auto-pilot. This month we solved that problem by adding a new game mechanic that shows roughly where resources are. A large circle is drawn on the map around each resource, and the resource can be anywhere inside the circle. The circle first appears when you get close, or you can perform a scan from orbit to reveal them. You can also now send your scouts directly to any point on the map and they will head there and scan any square in their path. This all combines to make manually scouting an interesting hunt for resources.

Scouts were also taking far too many turns to explore, so I removed the need to return to their home colony to refuel. Each colony will now launch a scout when it’s created, which will work autonomously without returning to base. The scout will disappear if its colony is destroyed, and you can launch more by building the appropriate building in the colony. To make all of this work, I had to develop a brand new auto-scouting system that lets the scouts work together. The autopilot now weighs up the distance to nearby hexes with their distance from the nearest colony so that they will always explore outward in circles. They also prioritise unexplored areas near new colonies, producing decent results without a lot of micromanagement. Check out the video below to see three scouts working together’

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We introduced the Feline Race back in March and asked for your feedback. Based on this feedback Connor has been hard at work, and has provided us with new artwork for this race! After having a massive brainstorming session we’ve decided on a name for them; ‘The KazzĂ­r.’

We think it fits the vibe of who they are, as well as the new design artwork very well… speaking of which- we’re really excited to be able to show you the new artwork that Connor has done for them! We tried to incorporate the spirit of what Nuala came up with, combined with an art style that is more reflective of the Predestination universe. We absolutely love the result!

Feline Race Artwork

Feline Race Artwork

Name Decided for Aquatic Race!

We also discussed the Aquatic race quite a bit this month, and again, after a lot of discussion, reading the forums and plenty of deliberation we’ve started fleshing them out. We decided to name them ‘The Zl’oq.’ These guys are anything but elegant, so we think it sounds sufficiently brutal! It’s a very guttural sound that you could imagine coming from a sea creature.

A full race reveal with example Starting Techs and some interesting gameplay unique to the aquatic race archetype will be coming soon!
Wish us luck for Q-CON!

We’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of you, our backers and supporters, for your continual feedback, your suggestions and your support! We wouldn’t have made it this far without you!

Thank You Very Much!

– Enrico, Predestination Staff

About Enrico Lauro

Voice Actor and Script Writer @ Brain and Nerd

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