Dev Blog 09 – Getting Ready for Alpha

Josh Duffenais Dev Blog

Welcome to our ninth official Dev Blog. The big news this week: Alpha is on its way! We’ve also got a customary update from the art team and a look at the new and significantly improved HUD system.

Alpha Release

We’ve finally set a date for the start of Alpha releases. The the first of our Alpha builds will be available July 14 2015. In order to get access to it and future Alpha builds, make sure you’re registered on the official forums. Once you’re registered just look for the Alpha Test subforum for download links and a place to post your feedback. We look forward to seeing you all there!

With Alpha release on the horizon we will also be reaching out to our Weapon Designers in the coming weeks. If everything works out we will be able to test out the prototypes of some of your weapons in the Alpha builds.

Art Updates

In preparation for the beginning of the Alpha our Art team has been working around the clock to update some old and familiar ships with a sleek new look using the new Physically Based Rendering system we discussed in one of our early Dev Blogs.

We featured the work-in-progress model of the Arckin frigate in a previous update, and now we’re happy to unveil the fully textured ship! These shots were captured in-game, so this is exactly what you will see in the upcoming releases. Sleek, menacing, and glowing with energy, the new frigate is ready for its offensive against humanity.

Even the smallest ships are getting a new coat of paint; this little drone belongs to the TDF and is used for targeting exercises and recon into dangerous areas. If you played the public demo you might recall blowing more than a few of them up in the tutorial.

HUD Overhaul

On the programming side our main task has been updating the entire HUD system. With the new system we have greater control over the scaling, rendering, and content of each individual HUD element. This huge increase in flexibility will let us create content much faster, and in turn put more time into polish and cool features. Check out the video below to see one of the new features that you, the players, will be much more interested in.

We’re now rendering the HUD to an actual visor mesh allowing us to do some very cool things, like motion you see above. Along with that effect, you can also see some of our new motion blur implementation. This is a feature we’ve always wanted and now that its finally here its everything we could have hoped for. Supporting both camera blur and full scene object blur its an effect you have to really experience to appreciate. Our Alpha testers can look forward to that and everything else on July 14th!