Greetings interstellar maroons,
Glory upon thee, tributes, nu, jizya and pilgrims of the human legions whose blood cleanses the Islands of Nyne, the time has arrived to enter the dome to claim your place upon the pantheon of the champion lanistae freed through victory in combat, or find final comfort under this terra mollis of our lost Earth.
Who the heck wrote that, what happened to Rob and Jake?
To introduce myself, I am known as Litoralis or Littoralis or just @lito , arrived on these shores recently as the new community manager and praeco for Define Human Studios. Part of my goal is to be the man on point when it comes to disseminating information to and listening to conversations within the community, about the rapidly evolving game we all call IoN.
We also convinced Rob and Jake to take a weekend off before we enter the Closed Alpha Launch. Speaking of which, the Alpha Launch being the reason all of us are reading this anyway, let’s get to the meat of the update.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 26 - Steam keys delivered to pledger emails
We are hoping to deliver all Alpha keys TO THE EMAIL ADDRESS ATTACHED TO THE KICKSTARTER ACCOUNT OR PAYPAL ACCOUNT USED TO PLEDGE by April 26th. Please look in your promotions, offers, spam and junk email folders as Kickstarter updates and the mass emailer suite we use sometimes gets sent there.
FRIDAY APRIL 28 @ 6PM EST - Closed Alpha goes live on Steam
At 6PM EST on the 28th, servers will go online and everything will go perfectly according to plan as these things always turn out
CLOSED ALPHA - WEEKENDS ONLY
The regular Closed Alpha servers will be online ONLY during the weekends starting from Friday at 12 PM EST to Sunday 11:59 PM EST and will go on until further notice.
EXPERIMENTAL TESTING BRANCH - WEDNESDAYS & THURSDAYS
If you're interested in opting in to our experimental test server and break all the things alongside the devs, feel free to join our password protected community testing server - available on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Details on how to access this will be included in the email delivering you keys.
PAYPAL CAMPAIGN ENDING MAY 7th @ MIDNIGHT
You read that right- May 7th will be the last day anyone will be able to purchase Islands of Nyne before it's available on Steam Early Access (Date TBA). We only have a limited number of Alpha keys available so if you've been wavering, now is the time to join us. Remember, pledging now gives you a $5 discount. Here's to hoping we don't run out of Alpha keys before the 7th!
Our PayPal campaign can be found here: http://islandsofnyne.com/paypal.html
Ok! now let's see what the boys have been cookin up this month in prep for Alpha launch day and beyond!
- Chris - Programmer
- Keith - Barista
- Timo - Character Artist
As the team moves towards the Alpha release, Define Human Studios has been building out the roster. Over the last month, three new additions to the team, @CBproductions a programmer with extensive experience in UE4 multiplayer melee combat implementation with a love for RPGs (he'll fit right in), @lito, a community manager and marketing specialist who is just off of a few years at the Squad game, and Timo, an extremely talented and experienced character artist that's going to bring some more life to IoN.
Level Designers have been working daily on expanding the play area and performing improvement passes on the existing areas, then working on transitions between areas to balance long range and close quarters engagement. There has been replacements in foliage with optimized and generally higher detailed models, terrain optimization and performance optimization sessions, and testing of various tweaks to lighting and shaders this month. If you can't already tell from the pics and vids posted on here, Lead Level Designer @ooParanoia has been working hard on global lighting. Colors look a little different, and there's been an overall decrease in saturation. Is this a good move? Not sure yet, but the lighting tweaks will continue regardless! The level designers would also like to give a special shout out to @KKB, who has been a meticulous bug hunting fiend.
Where to start in Game Design, not sure so let’s start at the beginning? Start of round spawn mechanisms are being tested, major tweaks to the on screen placement of weapons in ready position, tweaks to the animations of the weapons drawing and aim down sights timings, dry reloads, wet reloads, melee animations, and hand arms movements in general.
The shotgun has been tweaked to allow for pellet based rounds where each pellet has it’s own damage calculation, and the pellet spread has been tweaked. The knife, let’s talk about it.
The knife is now a inventory item that materializes in your hand, and can be thrown. And it then rematerializes if you pull it up in inventory again. Let’s call it a Work In Progress tech demo of future concepts.
We've recently added in jump pads for more gameplay variety. Jump pads will be placed in strategic locations to help you get atop certain POI's and quickly traverse large distances, providing you with a convenient escape route if you're pinned between the plasma field and cliff.
Our next big attachment that we've implemented is the Suppressor. A crowd favorite, suppressors allow you to quietly dispatch your foes as they greatly reduce the noise made by your weapon. They'll also keep your opponent guessing as they reduce muzzle flash and bullet tracer visibility. Suppressors come at a price however, they reduce the damage and projectile speed of your weapon. These babies will require lots of testing in the coming weeks so that we can balance em just right. Expect some balance issues Pre-Alpha squad!
Shield Impact Effects
We've added a shield impact effect to help distinguish when you are dealing damage to a player's shield (sparks) VS their HP (blood).
Our character artist Timo has been cooking up IoN's new default battle gear and is currently working on the ION Standard helmet. We're looking to make helmets a little more interesting in IoN; picking them up will give you an improved HUD that gives you more information about the ongoing battle. We are currently testing some options so you can expect to see some cool things here soon.
This month has been a monster productivity marathon for our sound designer @TomWrightSound, who along with new programmer Spectral have been remixing and adding existing sounds, and adding new sounds to the WWise audio system to allow for a much improved, much more diverse soundscape in game.
Here's a taste of a few things he's been working on:
Tom cuts no corners when it comes to his sound design. He's picked up shell casings for each weapon type in ION and more, so every weapon will have accurate shell casing drop sounds. If you ask him about the possibility of using pre-existing samples found online he will ignore you.
There are quite a few more sounds Tom has created, but showing them off now would spoil some of the surprises we have in store. You'll have to stay tuned
When i first joined Define Human, one of the issues I raised was the ‘programmer art’ minimal UI, but was promised that the designer who made my favorite NWI Insurgency era UI was working up the future UI of Islands of Nyne, and I would do well showing some patience. Well since then Brad, aka DeadPixel, has been showing off the mockups, and @Zenity
has been steadily integrating the designs into the game. The functionality is all there, but there's still quite a few bugs that need squashing before we roll it out. We hope to have the first iteration in game soon after the Closed Alpha launch.
As you could probably already tell from the previous screenshots, we've recently added in a crosshair. As much as we love the minimalist HUD, we've been experimenting with a small crosshair and so far we like the addition. If we decide to stick with it, we'll include different style crosshairs to customize your experience, as well as an option to disable it for our hardcore players.
Dev Hunt winners
Congrats to our latest round of winners!
April 8th Winners:
On a laptop
Screenshot of the month
See you in the dome!