Empyrion Alpha Experimental 8.0 - Part 1

Posted on April 25th, 2018 03:03 PM EST
empyrion updates alpha

Hi Galactic Survivalists!

Today, we are very excited to announce the release of the first EXPERIMENTAL version of Alpha 8!

You’ve been patiently waiting for this day, following nearly half a dozen dev blogs and various teasers about the new features coming with Alpha 8.0. Now it is your turn to play and give us feedback! :)

Be aware that this is still a very rough version - so expect bugs and unpolished features. We wanted to release Alpha EXP 8.0 as early as possible to get your feedback!

CHANGELOG: Alpha Experimental 8.0.0 (Build 1591)


Instead of detailing all the features, we just highlight the main Alpha 8 features and recommend reading the feedback threads below for more details.

1. Larger Planets:
Increased size from the current 8x4km (32km²) up to 64x32km (2048km²) playfields, i.e. the planets in Alpha 8 will be up to 64x larger than in Alpha 7!

We would like to give you an idea of how big these planets are. Do you see the spire base on the other side?

It looks quite far away - right? However, if you look at the map, it seems to be just in front of you:

- Actual size of a planet will also be reflected in the orbit
- Tilted planet axis so that the day/night ratio depends where you are on the planet (eg longer days and shorter nights on the northern hemisphere and vice versa on the southern hemisphere)
- Improved outside view of the planets in the orbit

2. Random Generation of Solar System:
- Each time you start a new game, a new solar system is generated with a different amount of planets and POIs
- You can control the generation process via a configuration file (number and type of planets, POIs, extension of solar system etc)

The above screenshot shows the new 3d sector map of a random solar system

3. Procedural Terrain Generation:
Procedural terrain generation is back - no fixed heightmap planets anymore

4. More Diverse Biomes:
Realistic biome distribution based on humidity and temperature:

By changing Temperature, Humidity and the Seed, we obtain a very varied biome distribution:

5. Underground Layers and Voxel Mining:
- The 'underground layers' are back. You will have the possibility to set up to 7 different consecutive layers for your planetary playfields
- In addition, the old Voxel mining is back as well

(depending on the resource, a playfield creator can decide whether to use the Alpha 7-style sub-surface rocks or the pre-Alpha 7 Voxel spheres)

6. Removal of Red and Green Wall:
We finally removed the red pole colliders and the green wall so that you can now cross the poles and you do not have to be afraid when you cross the green wall (the current version is still WIP and will be further improved during the EXP phase)

In the above screenshot, we are in the far north (actually the sun never sets here) beyond the former red wall and we are looking north. Pre-Alpha 8, this area was blocked. If you continue in this direction you will actually cross the north pole.

7. Updated Terrain Textures:
We improved the visuals on a planet by replacing almost all terrain textures

8. New Decoration Placement and Rendering System:
We integrated a new system for the placement and rendering of the decoration objects on a planet which allows for a dense vegetation that is rendered very far with little performance impact

9. Own Editor to Generate your Planets and Solar System:

- We developed our own Solar System Generator (SSG) to generate your planetary terrain and whole solar system
- The SSG editor will be distributed with the game on Steam

The editor features a full preview for planets, orbits and the solar system

For example, you will be able to preview the POI and resource distribution in the SSG as well as the NPC spawn points:

Note: You will now also have the possibility to place POIs and Ore Deposits by BIOME

10. New Suit and Survival Mechanics:
- We tried to have a more survival-style game start by giving the player only very basic equipment
- We integrated a very limited "Suit Constructor" (slow, can craft only very basic items like a food item, bandages etc) and a Survival Tent
- Added new Survival Tool for basic defense, rock drilling and deconstruction
- Sleeping in Escape Pod, Survival Tent and Beds in Single Player

11. Improved AI Behavior:
- More realistic behavior of the ground AI (vision sensor, noise system, alert level, fear sensor)

- Added AI bomber drone (it is part of the AI drone waves > currently used on Desert planet)
- New controller for AI Planet Vessel - it now more like a large and heavy ship
- New controller for space drones

12. Repair-to-Template:
Restore your ship to a previously saved Repair Template (feature is still WIP and will be refined during EXP)

13. New Status Effects / Diseases:
Fully revamped Status Effects, medicals and diseases mechanic

14. New Food and Food-item Drop System:
Fully revamped Food templates and Ingredients drop mechanic

15. Updated Models and Consistent Texturing of Old Models
We updated the textures on almost all 3d models to a new unified coloring and metallic workflow in order to have a more consistent look. In addition, we replaced some models such as the thrusters for CV. Here is the M Thruster CV:

... and as a teaser, here is a preview of the XL Thruster CV:

....and much more. For the full changelog, see https://empyriononline.com/threads/alpha-experimental-8-0-part-i.37392

When you play Alpha 8.0 the first time, please note that it is now a quite DIFFERENT experience in many game-start related aspects, compared to version 7.6! The distances are bigger, the drops are different, the mechanics got changed, new possibilities added and a lot of stuff got moved around.

This is also relevant for all our server owners and scenario builders: the changes to the planets resulted in a new file structure and a few new definitions, so that most of the playfields you have set up and are using right now, might not work with Alpha 8.0 without making the necessary changes. Please check the SSG Documentation for more details!

Said that, as always with an EXP version, we do NOT recommend to start building scenarios or playfields based on the new version right away, but possibly wait until Phase 2 or 3 when most initial feedback changes might have been integrated. If you want to set up a new savegame for your server for the duration of EXP, we strongly recommend using the Default MP scenarios - as this would also help us to get the maximum feedback out of the new settings.

As a PLAYER, we absolutely RECOMMEND to first read through ALL of the feedback threads posted below to get yourself up to date on the new and changed game mechanics BEFORE starting any new game!

This is true for the new game start in particular, as, due to all the changes on planets, playfields and features, we are basically back at the drawing board in terms of game start balance. Alpha 8.0 is literally throwing a lot (not all!) of the old methods, that worked the same and were never really changed since approx version 2.0 (or even v1.0) and a few things you might have gotten accustomed to, in terms of what happens when and what you get for game start, out of the window in favor of the game now living up to the "Survival" tag in its name a little bit more again.

Changing the game start and trying to give it a improved "Survival Experience" in that early game stage actually IS intentional!

Said that, this will possibly make or let some game elements feel harder in this first Experimental version, until they are fully balanced out and all new features are polished again!

We will do this together in the coming weeks of Empyrion Alpha 8.0 Experimental and, as always, iterate on your feedback for the upcoming 8.x updates!

Both, as a player, creator or server owner, please keep the aforementioned in mind when playing AND while giving feedback. :)

Thanks in advance for your dedicated help, improving Empyrion Galactic Survival! :)

Let’s roll!
Empyrion Dev Team
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