Gears of Eden is an indie space game set in the distant future featuring a story-driven adventure that includes open-world exploration, crafting and missions. Take control of a sentient machine and search for answers to your origin as you mine, craft, and explore!
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November 28, 2018

Dev Update #86: The Next Level

Alright, humans. We've been super busy here at GoE HQ, and I'm excited to share some of our latest updates with you this week! I'm titling this post "The Next Level", because, as we sit here on the precipice of our free Alpha 2 release, there are so many things we are doing to make significant strides forward with our little space robot game. Let's start with some of the in-game updates and branch out from there!

I'm very happy to announce that, for the first time ever, Gears of Eden has persistence! We're working hard to include as much persistence as possible in our Alpha 2 release, but already we can now store and retrieve the rover position as well as the battery charge level! This is the first time that playing Gears of Eden hasn't meant starting over from scratch! Next up on our list of things to add to the persistence system are player inventory and equipped parts. At the very least, we'd love to get those two items added to the save system prior to launching Alpha 2, so stay tuned for more news on this soon.

Another thing we are polishing up for the Alpha 2 release is the environment in Gears. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been going in and adding areas of interest to the game. These areas serve to break up the monotony of the asteroid and provide unique features and geology. We've even introduced our first area that contains an environment effect mechanic: a vapor field of toxic gas venting from the surface that damages your components! Rumors say there may even be an important item in this dangerous area... so bring some repair kits!

In our internal testing builds, we also have recently introduced two new items to the game: sand and glass. Sand introduces our first RNG-based resource. As you drill and collect other elements, such as iron or cobalt, you now have a chance to also collect silicate-rich sand. Each time you do not collect sand, the chance goes up. This small introduction has a number of immediate effects on gameplay. First of all, if you are trying to mine sand, you can't just go out and get what you need. You must mine another element, and pick up sand as a crit drop. Secondly, if you don't want sand, it acts as a filler for your cargo space. This means you have to manage your inventory more carefully, and provides an early incentive to upgrade your cargo hold (something that was previously sorely lacking).

The sand is used to build our first second-level crafting resource in the game, glass. In turn, glass is now used in the recipes for solar panels and spectrometers. These changes make the crafting chains a little more challenging and rewarding. We will be looking for feedback on these system during our Alpha 2 testing window, but if you want to get a sneak peek and provide early feedback, be sure to join our gamedev streams on Twitch.

The UI upgrade we've been working on is completely done, and we're really down to filling out the persistence system and squashing bugs. We should be announcing a release window for Alpha 2 very soon, so please continue to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for the latest information (and be sure you have signed up for a free alpha key on our website).

As for our larger next steps, I would really appreciate your attention here on the state of the game. With Alpha 2, we really need to make some leaps forward in growing our audience and gaining support. We've done just about as much as we can as a team of decentralized indie developers without funding. We're all working on this project in our spare time, and that means develop can be slow and painstaking. We'll be launching a fundraising campaign to correspond with Alpha 2 to help us develop more quickly. We are also trying to exhibit our game at PAX East in late March. If you're unfamiliar with PAX, it is a large gaming convention that draws over 80,000 fans and is held in Boston. It's not cheap to go as an exhibitor. It will cost us several thousand dollars to attend. Money we do not have. So, this is really a make or break moment for us as a development team. I'm leaning toward putting up the money personally to go and see if this can help provide the exponential growth we need - but it also means if we aren't successful, we might be too far in the hole to keep going. We've raised less than a thousand dollars (without a dedicated campaign) in the 2+ years we've been actively developing, and spent many times that already. So, unfortunately, money is a barrier moving forward. That said, I am exploring the idea of having our booth sponsored - so if you know of any business owners that might be interested, please help us get in touch. If you're interested in helping support our booth personally, let us know as well. You can find us on our Discord server, or reach out to us on social media. Otherwise, we would appreciate the support of all of you when we're ready to roll out our fundraising campaign and Alpha 2 launch to help us spread the word!

Thank you so much for reading. That's going to do it for this update! In case you missed it, we have some brand new robot-themed shirts and mugs available on our DesignByHumans store! And, as a reminder, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you get a free Twitch subscription to use every month. We'd appreciate you using that sub over on our Twitch channel if you aren't already using it! Thank you so much for being part of this journey with us! I'm really excited about Alpha 2, PAX, and am hopeful for the opportunity to take Gears of Eden to new heights in 2019 with all of you!
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October 17, 2018

Dev Update #85: Gearing Up for Alpha 2

It's been a long road. Okay, a REALLY long road. But we're finally closing in on our final Alpha 2 goal: a complete UI overhaul. Even better, we've made good progress on a couple of our stretch goals, and we are now starting to ramp up for our free Alpha 2 release! We're back with a new Developer Update this week to fill you in on all the details! And, quick reminder, you can sign up for a free Alpha 2 key on our website!

We had a couple reasons for wanting to overhaul the user interface. The original was clunky and, visually, a bit heavy handed. We wanted to streamline the interface, make it more minimal, but also give better functional use to players. The new interface accomplishes this. Information is better organized and easier to find, and we've included a more robust feedback system, featuring helpful tooltips. We have a few minor touches we're putting in place, but the UI is about 95% complete and should be wrapping up very soon! We think it's pretty neat (and hope you agree)!

Along with the new UI, we are working on item descriptions for everything in the game. Drills, bits, batteries... these are all parts that were designed by someone or something out there in our game Universe. You wake up as a sentient machine in our game with no knowledge of the outside world or its history. So even these rather mundane items give us an opportunity to introduce you and your character to the world of Gears of Eden. It's amazing how so much thought can go into the background of a drill bit. But, that's where we are! We are putting ourselves into this world, asking ourselves how it operates, and how the world that the player experiences is affected by and separate from the world that came before, known as the Null Era. We're really looking forward to sharing these small details with you in Alpha 2, along with our lore item stories - which give you a broader glimpse into asteroid life from another point of view.

While we've been prepping the UI for Alpha 2, we've also been working on a few stretch goals. For starters, we have recently introduced a new character into the game that ties into our lore stories and first planned mission chain. That mission chain also involves a drone, and we've done some develop on that side as well. Recently we've implemented new camera animations that highlight the drone when you encounter it, and we've even programmed the drone to go into a malfunctioning holding pattern upon waking up.

But that's not all! We've also been adding some new environmental effects like crystals and a vapor jet field, which will tie into that mission chain we just mentioned. And that's what is really neat about this phase we are in now on the brink of Alpha 2's release. All these little pieces are starting to come together. Our prequel stories. Our characters. Our lore items. Our environmental design. We're starting to connect all these disparate parts of game development to a more fulfilling, more complete experience for Gears of Eden players.

That said, we're still very early on. Alpha 2 is going to be far from feature complete. But this is really a showcase moment for us. We want to show you what we've accomplished so far, and then hopefully build up our audience and raise some support to allow us to keep going. It's taken us such a long time to get to this point. It's been a lot of hard work, and we'd really need to ramp up production so it doesn't take another year to hit our next major Alpha release. We'd like to finish the full demo version of Gears of Eden as soon as possible. And then head into the full-blwon game. Alpha 2 is really the break point for us that lets us know if we're doing a good job and get to continue this journey with you and for you.

We want to do this together, after all. You're a big part of this! You can help by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Share our posts, and let others know about our project! You can also join our Discord server. Come chat with us! Give us some feedback! Let us know what you think. What ideas you have. What you like, or don't like. You can follow us on Twitch, and join our live streams that feature game development, live podcasts, and fun community gameplay nights. If you like any of what you see or hear, there are multiple ways to support our project now. If you're an Amazon Prime member, you can sub for FREE to our channel each month on Twitch. You can also support us via our website, or Patreon. We'll have other opportunities for support coinciding with our Alpha 2 launch. More to come on that soon!

If you're reading this, you're already supporting us by giving us some of your time and attention. Thank you so much! We'll have more updates on our social media pages, and be back with another Dev Update here soon! I also hear rumors there is (finally) a new official Reaching Eden podcast episode releasing very soon! We hope you enjoy it! Thanks again!

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About This Game

In the distant future, the dawn of an intelligent machine civilization is taking place in a remote star system. Humankind is remembered only in myth and legend.

You awake alone, afraid, and disoriented on an abandoned asteroid in the depths of space. Wait. Awake?

You were never meant to be awake… you were never meant to experience the confusing phenomenon of self-awareness. You are a machine after all, programmed for the express purposes of deep-space surveying and exploration. How, then, did you come to be alive? And what is the purpose of this newfound sentience? There must be answers out there… somewhere…

Let’s find them! Gears of Eden is an open-world role-playing adventure game that features exploration, mining, crafting, missions, and more! Set in a gripping story that explores the hidden past of a machine world and the dangerous implications of its future, Gears invokes a slowly unfolding narrative that reveals itself through gameplay.

Your journey begins on an abandoned mining asteroid in deep space. Gather resources, repair and upgrade your components, and start searching for others as you seek answers to the mysteries surrounding your creation.

So, how are we making this happen? We are starting with a very light proof-of-concept demo version of GoE. This showpiece will give only a small taste of what the full game will offer. Our aim is to complete the demo, reach a wider audience, grow and develop the full game. But we can’t do it without your help!

Here’s what we're working to provide in our first full demo and full release. If this sounds like a game you might be interested in, please add us to your wish list, follow us, and visit our website to see how you can get involved in Gears!

GoE Demo Version

  • Take control and play as a sentient rover
  • Open world exploration of one location (small asteroid)
  • Resource discovery and mining
  • Power and inventory management
  • Crafting and upgrading of tools/parts
  • Base interactions and upgrades
  • Drone deployment (make your minions mine for you)
  • NPC interaction
  • Story driven mission (limited in demo)
  • Narrative Content (limited in demo)
  • End game conditions/story

GoE Full Version

The features in the full version will depend on the success of our demo, budget, feedback, and a lot of interaction and communication with our fans. These are some of the features we already have in mind to get you started!

  • Character customization
  • Modular ships with customization
  • Base building (power stations, solar arrays, communications, defense, etc.)
  • Alien life mechanics (combat, resource trading, etc.)
  • Markets and trade economy
  • Multiple locations with unique challenges
  • Richer story with an unfolding narrative
  • Mini-games
  • True multiplayer interaction
  • And much, much more!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP SP2+
    • Processor: X64 Dual Core CPU, 2+ GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Discrete Non Mobile GPU with 1 GB Ram
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    • Additional Notes: Requirements subject to change during development

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