Saturday, January 11, 2014

NOWHERE - Alpha 91 - Sailing

About three months have passed since the release of Alpha 75, and it's about time for an update. This video walks you through the changes in Alpha 91 of NOWHERE, which you can download right away from your Humble Store account, if you have backed the game or are about to do so.

Windows, Linux and Mac OS X builds are online.

- NEW: The readme.txt has been updated to reflect latest changes. Check it out.
- NEW: Procedural terrain! Alpha 91 demonstrates the earliest incarnation of the kind of landscapes you can expect to see in NOWHERE. After a short one time seeding, the game starts off with three Nowherian shells, which are uniquely grown for every game; All shells are depictions of the same Nowherian at different stages of his life. The smallest shell has an age comparable to the human age of 10. The second shell is about 20 years old, while the third shell is about 60 years of age, and has an average diameter of 600 to 800 meters. While these bodies are still just gracefully rotating shells, in the finished game, Nowherians will live within and around each other, functioning both as agents with artificial intelligence and housings to other agents.
- NEW: Instead of a propulsion system that would get you precisely where you would like to go, you are now equipped with a much more energy efficient tether, which works as a mixture of a rope and an anchor, or some kind of electromagnetic umbilical cord.
- NEW: Previous alphas have been using the Bullet physics system, which was difficult to control from Python, badly documented and therefore hard to tune right. The library has been replaced with the OpenDynamics Engine, which, while not as excessively featured, is more accessible, well documented, exposes better treatment of hard collisions and, most importantly, is fun to use.
- NEW: A completely overhauled rendering system. The engine now uses deferred high dynamic range rendering and lighting, normal mapping, cascaded exponential variant shadow maps, screen-space ambient occlusion, motion blur, depth of field rendering and wide bloom to improve color fidelity, surface plasticity and depth perception. These improvements help players greatly with navigating an abstract environment, and establish the basic system requirements of the game. They also help us to maintain a basic visual quality level even when models and textures are still placeholders.
- NEW: Video quality can be controlled with the command-line switch --video-quality and provides seven different presets to balance presentation for performance. Check out the readme.txt for more information.

Known problems are listed in the supplied readme.txt.

Up Ahead:
- Populate the colony with Nowherians.