Hey everyone, merry Christmas, it's time for another update! For starters a lot has happened since GDC last spring and you may recall us saying something about a “planetary rings” video. This video was originally meant to be the last video we release before launching our Kickstarter (KS). Previously we were hoping to release that video and launch our Kickstarter before the end of the summer and, well, things didn’t quite work out that way. That’s primarily due to the usual culprit: most of us are working in our spare time which makes it difficult to estimate timelines because things come up with health, jobs, and other general life type things.
What does “coming together” mean? For starters we have all of the animations and shots for our Kickstarter video mocked up in-engine. Accomplishing this was dependent on numerous art assets, engine features, and of course the creation of the actual animation curves. Most of our materials are finished and half of our art team has moved on to fun things like lighting and particles/effects. We still have a tremendous amount of polishing left to do however all of this stuff we’ve been talking about for months is finally starting to come alive.
On the engine side we’re wrapping up the last of the major features we wanted to get done for the KS campaign. Early in the year we had another programmer, Kimmo Kotajarvi, join the team and we’ve spent a significant amount of time working on tools, art pipeline, particles, cross platform support, optimization, and HDR. You may be surprised to see HDR on that list as I wrote a blog post about our HDR solution a couple of years ago. Previously we were doing what most games do with regard to lighting by using realistic “ratios” of light instead of realistic “quantities”. Late last spring we decided to finally switch our lighting pipeline over to realistic quantities of light so we could really show the impact that stars of various intensities have on objects in space.
While we’re still committed to our plan of keeping most of our new content under wraps until we launch our KS campaign we will be releasing new content mostly in the form of art and/or screenshots. If you’ve been following us on Twitter, G+, or Facebook, you should have already seen some of this content coming out already. Overall we’re very excited as we move into 2015, while launching this KS has taken a bit longer than we originally hoped we’re confident most of you will be pleased with the results!
Here are some fresh screen shots including a few teasers of the new content you will see in our final Kickstarter campaign video: