Stellar Overload
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Stellar Overload:
a futuristic adventure game set on cubical planets
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Adventure, construction, Multiplayer More Information A music that serves the story Listen
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First Monthly Dev report

2014-08-06 Development
Yes, it’s one week late, but we wanted to release the first monthly dev report with the new website.

Pickup Ghost


Today I would like to present you Planets³’s pickup ghost. As you may know in Planets³ the blocks are 25cm square, so we implemented tools that allow you to pick up multiple blocks at the same time. The following video will give you a preview of our work.



The pickup ghost shows you how many block you will remove at the surface, highlighting the corresponding block faces. But it also shows how many blocks you will remove below the surface.

Textures


This part was a hard one. On the concept presented on Kickstarter, we see all different kinds of textures. The sand and vegetation textures only use single colors, with some color variations. The textures of the trees have a pattern, lines to represent “wood material”. And the leaves are made of another pattern, a sort of green blur.

Today, after dozen of hours of reflection, multiples design in photoshop (pixel art, patterns with numbers, high-def textures …) and lot’s of in game tests we finally chose our way to draw materials in Planets³.
We will stay with single color textures, using color variations for each material (for example the sand could have 6 different yellows). But as we have a lot of different materials in Planets³, single color textures alone was not sufficient, so we decided to add some patterns and effects (with shaders) depending on the material “category”.
For example metals will shine but wood materials could have patterns.

We do have to finalize this work, so we won’t show you screenshots of these new textures today.

Engine improvements


During the last month we also improved the engine:

  • we did work on the multithreaded universe loading
  • we started to change the way we enlighten the planets
  • we changed the topology of the planets, to be more flat, and have less mountains but more abrupt. However the current result is still not definitive since we will have to modify the way planets are generated in order to stick to the concept arts of the planet you saw.

Miscs


  • we added shortcuts management
  • we modified the UI to reflect new design work
  • we added the possibility to change video options from within the game
  • we improved shadows to reduce flickering
  • we improved the support of OpenGL and Direct3D 11. Direct3D 11 support is still in progress but Direct3D 9 and OpenGL are fully operational.
  • we corrected other different bugs

Another 3D Armor

2014-07-17 Artistic
Lots of technical development since a few days. But we would like to introduce you another 3D armor.

Another 3D Armor Concept Art

Tiger Concept

2014-06-16 Artistic
This week Reymantha would like to present you his current graphical research.

Tiger Concept

3D character concept

2014-05-25 Artistic
This week’s update won’t be very long, things are progressing smoothly.
We still have work to do regarding the integration of the backers in our system, but this should be resolved soon.
On the development side we started to work on the planets rotation, and more specifically on an evolution of our physical engine.
We also started adapting the characters design from 2D concepts to 3D modeling. Here is an example to illustrate the current progression.

3D Armor Concept

The first arrivals

2014-05-11 General
This week we’d like to share a picture with some of the team members in front of the studio’s office.

Reymantha, NeoM et Altalus
From left to right: Reymantha, NeoM and Altalus


Reymantha just moved from London and will be joining us in a few days. Altalus is new in the team, until now he was working with us in freelance, but we decided to hire him as web developer. He has entirely developed our website and will be in charge of it’s continuous improvement. He’s currently integrating the backers data in our system, and will be developing the forum in a few weeks.

Backers Distribution

2014-04-27 General
This week we’d like to present you some statistics about Planets³'s Kickstarter campaign and more specifically the 13 first countries in number of backers:

  • No big surprise there, the large majority of the backers come from the United States (38%)
  • As French ourselves we are proud that France is the second most represented country with 13%
  • 11% of the backers didn’t answer to the survey


Backers Distribution

We know that people of some countries (especially in Europe) couldn’t take part in the Kickstarter campaign because, in their country, having a credit card isn’t that common. So we really are curious to see how this distribution of backers will evolve with our online store (that you can find on our website: http://www.planets-cube.com).

As previously stated, we have had an issue preventing people to pay in USD on our website, we resolved the problem for the direct payment by credit card. However the paypal option still doesn’t work in USD, we are still waiting for a response from our bank.

As for the technical progression, we are updating the version of the libraries we use to the latest versions (Boost and Ogre 3D). Updating the version of Ogre improved the dynamic shadow rendering even if some work is still required on that subject. We also added the possibility to use Direct3D 11 (for now the prototype only worked with Direct3D 9) but this is still a work in progress. It is already possible to use OpenGL (which is required for the Mac and eventually the Linux version of the game), but it still requires some tweaking of the shaders to get the same results as with Direct3D 9.
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