Babylon Playtest Build
Welcome to the Babylon playtest build! Up until recently, we’ve attempted to follow the traditional game development model and use a numbering convention to highlight specific builds. However, the team felt it was confusing any time a major build was released to our community, and now that we’re starting to gain momentum with our Pilot Program, it makes more sense for us to use an easier kind of naming convention. So…welcome to Project Genesis: Upgrades X4 — Babylon.
For this release we are focusing on three major areas of feature development:
- Community-Based Feedback
- New Features
- Build Stability and Production Grade Code
There has been a fantastic amount of high quality feedback provided by you all. Whether you’re discussing play balance in Discord, creating wish-lists for features, or are operating as a Test Pilot and filing bugs in Jira, we’re using all this great input to focus our development priorities. We’ve implemented the following systems to address feedback we’ve received via Discord and your responses to the surveys you’ve filled out at the end of the closed playtest sessions. ~60% of the feedback has clustered around two significant areas:
What to do and Where to Go
The largest amount of feedback has oriented around reducing confusion around objectives. This really hampers new players, especially as our veterans go “kinetic” and start the assaults right out of the warp gates. However, we’ve improved the objective system by fixing the bug where all objectives show (including the opponent’s objectives on your capital ship) as well as including range finding as a part of the first person shooter HUD once you’ve performed the breach and board maneuver.
What is Happening and Who is Doing it
In addition to helping players know what objective they should be focusing on, we’ve also implemented an extensive notification and HUD system. This system now reports to your team which objective your opponent has completed with both visual and audio updates.
Local Warp Field
We’ve also added a new “local warp” capability to the ships, so that they can safely escape back to a non-conflict area. This warp capability should help improve the readability of “transference events” — ie. when a piloted ship is attempting to complete a defensive maneuver and transferring awareness back home to defend the capital ship base.
These tactical maneuvers are a key part of Project Genesis FPS to space combat gameplay. They allow players to quickly re-position themselves to key locations on the battlefield so that they can better respond and react to opponent tactics or their team’s needs.
One of the most significant additions to Project Genesis, is our new user interface. This system will see some significant changes over time, but we’ve built the core foundation that should help users navigate the world of Project Genesis quickly to get in and jump into the fight.
New Character: Technomancer
Our latest character model introduced into Project Genesis is called the Technomancer. This avatar was the second character under development after the Hacker.
Lore alert: Having shifted close to neo-mania, this particular model rides on the edge of sanity, preferring to incorporate concepts and techniques that are not tested or rigorously applied. This sort of cognitive exploration and adoption influences its asymmetrical look as it leans into novelty over stability.
Under the hood this avatar was used to help us take another pass at our rigging and animation system in a more standard and inter-operable way. This should allow us to add characters more quickly as well as easily attach weapons and FX to the skeletons.
One of the biggest areas that we’ve invested efforts into is our game infrastructure. For the Andromeda build, the infrastructure investment oriented our ability to get feedback from you, and get the build into your hands (either the bleeding edge Test Pilot builds, or the exclusive playtest builds).
In the case of Babylon, we moved the last of our prototype configurations into a more robust system. For those who are building in Unreal, this means that we moved the final portions of our core game mechanic Blueprints into code in a process called “refactoring”. This will drastically improve stability, and extensibility, and our ability to iterate quickly on the key system that allows us to let players transition from 3rd person space combat to first person skirmishes. The areas affected are: FPS, 3P space combat, ship/avatar configurations (big hangar update), and weapons.
With all of these significant upgrades, we move Project Genesis into the next phase of development: feedback implementation. This counts for both meanings of the word: 1.) giving in-game feedback to the player via a new notification and objective system and 2.) prioritizing and incorporating feedback from the community.
Our Test Pilots are actively hitting the insider’s builds, the Pioneers are creating some exceptional content, the Ambassadors are helping our growing community, and our playtesters are starting to become positively lethal Pilots. Now that our fundamental distribution apparatus is complete, and we’ve moved into production-grade development, things are about to start moving quickly.
Onward and upward!
Interested in joining in on the fun?
If you like the idea of a hero shooter in space that includes fast 3rd person space combat, Project Genesis might be the the game for you. Join our Discord and sign up today on the www.projectgenesis.com website to see what is new from 8 Circuit Studios. If you consider yourself a veteran pilot, a skilled FPS combatant, or are a content creator who is into the latest and greatest games, check out our Pilot Program and our Steam page here. You’ll be able to get early insiders builds ahead of the more casual players of Project Genesis.
About the Author: James Mayo is the Founder and Navigator at 8 Circuit Studios. He’s a self-purported veteran of the games industry — starting his career at Nintendo way back in 1990. You can find him occasionally blabbing about blockchain games on Twitter.
About 8 Circuit Studios: 8 Circuit Studios is a small independent game company made up of game developers and crypto-enthusiasts with big aspirations. They are working hard to develop rich gaming experiences on the Ethereum blockchain and whose vision is to contribute to the metaverse one game at a time. For more on 8 Circuit Studios, be sure to follow them on Twitter,YouTube, Facebook, or join the conversation on Discord.