Hello everyone and welcome back to the Project Orion dev blog! This month we’ve been hard at work on missions as well as a new flight and combat tutorial. The art team has been working on the updated Orion, as well as other assets both big and small. Let’s get to it!
In our last dev blog, we showed you a very grey and very much work-in-progress version of the new Orion. This month it’s quite a bit less grey. In fact, it looks absolutely amazing (and I can say that objectively, since I’m not the artist).
At this stage the modeling and texture work is nearly 100% complete. Any changes beyond this point will be minor, typically to fix UV or texture issues in hard to see places that can easily be missed. We expect to have the new Orion in the next Alpha release.
The new Orion isn’t the only thing to come out of the art department this month (if you can call three people a department), we’ve also got a brand new OSA ship ready for combat. The ship you see below is an Outer Systems Alliance Crusader-class frigate. Coming in at 273m long it’s a very serious piece of military hardware.
Finally, we’ve got another work-in-progress model ready to show, and that’s the new space elevator for one of our early missions. This is part of a complete redesign of a mission that, to put it bluntly, sucked. We’re confident that we’ve learned from our mistakes and the revised mission will be as fun as we imagine it will be.
Something that came to our attention this month while working on the next Alpha update was that our testers might have a hard time playing the game. Why? Because we don’t actually teach them how. Yes, we forgot the tutorial. We figure that not having a tutorial is something that can be overlooked pretty easily when you’re the developer of a game because you forget that not everyone has played it for many, many, many, hours.
Explanations (or excuses) aside, we’re working to rectify this issue by providing a comprehensive flight and combat training mission. Keeping to the trend of disguising the tutorial as part of the game world, you are on one of the final test flights for the Orion before it is deemed fit for combat. You’ll run though all the basic flight systems before moving onto shields and weapons, and finally some drone combat. We also plan on providing a free flight mode in this area so players can practice their skills and test their loadouts away from the danger and pressure of a real mission. As with the new Orion we’re looking to have the full training mission available in the next Alpha release.
We’d like to give a quick update on the state of the Alpha testing for those not in the alpha test, or Alpha testers that missed the update. Earlier this month we released version 0.3.1 for testing. It was a fairly substantial update that included checkpoints, new sound effects, music, explosions, and a number of other improvements.
Our next update will center around the new training mission, the new Orion, and any other features that are ready to go at that time.
And that brings another dev blog to a close. One last thing to mention in case you thought we’d forgotten; the new gameplay trailer is still high on the to-do list. One of the main things we wanted featured in it was the new Orion so now that it’s almost flight-ready we’ll be getting started on the trailer very soon.
Thanks for joining us for another monthly update, and we hope to see you next time!