Posts Tagged indie game

Species 0.5.0 is out!

Species 0.5.0 is out, and with a second alpha release under our belt we are now a totally professional games development outfit- pfffhahahahah I can’t say that with a straight face.

I do, however, feel like we’ve reached a milestone. 0.5.0 introduces several massive new systems (including temperature, grazing, 3d trees and a water plane) and dramatically changes the look, feel and scale of the game. It’s also a lot less clunky and a lot more streamlined than 0.4.1 was, and the evolution itself is much more interesting and unpredictable than before thanks to tweaks and bug fixes.

Get it here: http://www.speciesgame.com/

It’s still an alpha release, of course. It still has it’s fair share of bugs and oddities, and a long way to go. But we’re on our way.

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Controls
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Left-click to select a Creatures or Species, or Use the Selected Tool.
Use the buttons on the UI (or C/X/Z) to switch between Creature/Species/Ecosystem Selection Modes.
Use the Details And Statistics Button (or Tab) to discover more about the selected creature, species or world.
Use the buttons in the top-left (or ~, 1, 2 or 3) to set the Time Accelleration

RTS Camera
– Pan: WASD, Up/Down/Left/Right, or move the mouse cursor to the edges of the screen
– Rotate camera: Q/E, or Right-click and Drag
– Zoom: Scroll the Mousewheel, Shift/Ctrl, or Page Up / Page Down

FPS Camera
– Move: WASD, Up/Down/Left/Right
– Rotate Camera: Right-click and Drag.
– Toggle Flight: Press Spacebar
– Rise/Fall: Q/E.
– Sprint: Hold Shift.

Orbital Camera (activates in Creature Detail Mode)
– Rotate camera: Right-click and Drag
– Zoom: Scroll the Mousewheel, Shift/Ctrl, or Page Up / Page Down

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New Features
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Biomes (x23)
– Now each with a distinct ground texture, grass billboard, and vegetation type.
– Based on a variable fertility/temperature map, continually updated in real time.
– Biomes include snow, swamps, forests and lava plains.

Trees
– 3d Instanced models (thanks Jade!)
– Edible foliage (because only lollypops uniformally decrease in size as you eat them)
– More realistically scaled trees. (creatures can now walk under the tree’s)
– Hereditable tree simulation.
– Tree’s influence biomes.

Grass
– Biome-specific Billboard grass (purdy!)

Water Plane
– Creatures float, and swim at 1/3rd their normal movement speed.
– Has a heavy influence on fertility.
– Water replaces the crater in prevent

Disasters
– Player triggered only, for now.
– Temperature (enables global warming and ice ages)
– Fertility (enables droughts)
– Water height (enables floods)

Grazing
– Grassy biomes are grazable, providing a secondary food-source for herbivores.

Music
– 5 tracks, set to play randomly with 3 minutes of quiet between each track.

Species Names
– Species now have randomly generated names, (with genuine bio-latin-gibberish!)
– The blank slate slugworms are now officially known as Primum Specium.
– Names mutate during a speciation. (closely related species will have similar names)

New World Page
– Pretty new biome-compatible preview map
– Creature-type Preview Thumbnail
– A variety of new options, including statistic modifiers, vegetation growth parameters and diet efficiencies.

Other features
– Simulation Time tracked. (because everyone likes knowing how much time they’ve wasted)
– Revive Button
– Species List (w/ populations) visible on Ecosystem page.
– Flash of red text when creature hardcap is reached.
– A number of new head types.
– etc.

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Tweaks and Fixes
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Usability
– Explainy Tooltips
– Redundant selection-mode buttons
– New players should be able to find their feet a lot faster. (hint: bottom of your legs)

Fat Torso Mutation Bias
– Fixed.
– Creatures now evolve into a much greater variety of forms. (this is honestly one of the biggest fixes )

Thin Legs
– Increase speed, but come with a stamina cost
– Vice versa for thick legs

Facial Feature Mutation
– fixed an issue that was suppressing the expression of facial features (Species: now with even more hideously surreal faces!)

Meatpile/Corpse size
– Smaller on both counts. (RIP my massive fields of meat. You will be missed)

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Cheers!
Qu

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IndieGoGo Campaign

Species will be on IndieGoGo by the end of the week.

This crowdfunding campaign has been a while in development: the FAQ has been promising it since at least April, and the backstory is long, arduous and painful, so I’ll spare you that much and move on to what we hope to achieve with it.

The obvious one is funding for basic expenses. Species has website costs, business costs and software costs to cover. At the moment the project is acting like that housemate who eats all your food and doesn’t pay any rent. Friggin’ pre-teens. GET A REAL JOB.

Less obvious, but waaay more exciting, is expansion costs. Development so far has been done part-time by myself, our artist Jade, and our sound developer Brain Sugar. Paying them, spending more time on it, and possibly (if things go really well and we find the right person) expanding the team, could accelerate the games development significantly.

And more exciting than either of those for me personally, is publicity. I’ll never be able to measure Species’ success by money: instead I want to see people playing it, enjoying it, talking about it, studying it, learning from it, raging at it, calling it science, calling it blasphemy, giving me suggestions and idea’s I can steal use to make the game even better, and generally just PLAYING IT. Wait, I already said that one.

Anyway, this campaign is the perfect excuse to go against my introverted nature and shout madly from the rooftops, and encouraging who supports the project to do their own shouting until everyone who wants Species to succeed is raising their voices to heaven in a beautiful, amazing chorus of- no who am I kidding that would sound like someone torturing a load of cats. But it’d still be pretty cool.

There will of course be tiered perks/rewards for donors, including the classic preoreder-the-game entrance-level perk. Above that, we’ve limited ourselves to stuff we can deliver digitally to keep production costs down. This will include (among other things) the soundtrack, “playtester” status, several ways to get your name into the game, an exclusive copy of 0.4.1 I’ve been working on in the background, and a few chances to influence the development of the game for high-tier donors.

Oh, and we’re also makkin’ a proper trailer and upgrading the website to look less like a dogs breakfast. That’s why the forums are down (actually they’re down ’cause I’m an idiot who really should learn to read installation instructions before trying to upgrade stuff. But we’re working on fixing them. Will keep you updated)

Cheers,
Qu.

PS: And don’t worry: 0.5.0 development will continue apace through the course of the campaign. MULTITASKING!

PPS: The vast majority of humans think they’re pretty good multitaskers. They’re not. They’re embarrassingly terrible at it. But they think they’re multitaskers because they’re pretty fast at switching from one train of thought to another, something the average human brain is actually remarkably good at. So yeah, I won’t actually be multitasking, I’ll be switching, but shouting that as a way to punctuate the end of a sentence is nowhere near as much fun.

PPPS: Spare time? What’s that?

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