ARTIFICIAL is a first-person physics based puzzle game situated in an underground colony on asteroid 2031 XT.
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Q3 2019
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Planned Release Date: Q3 2019

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Recent updates View all (2)

May 20

ARTIFICIAL - DEVLOG 02

WELCOME
Welcome to the second ARTIFICIAL dev-log!
I was hoping I would be able to release these every week but It seems I'm going to adapt a more manageable bi-weekly format. Otherwise I would bore you by talking about uninteresting parts of the development process. So let's get into it!



MONSTER CUTSCENE
Final game is going to contain numerous cut-scenes. At one point player will be thrown into deep abyss by a huge mechanical monster. I handled visuals and animation, but working with audio is not really my strong suit. Fortunately I happen to be working with two skilled freelancers. Devel Sullivan takes care of all ambient music of ARTIFICIAL and Vlad Drahan helps me out with most of the SFX. We managed to put together this scene and I'm really happy how it turned out!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfnbQQK45bM

PIPELINE PROBLEMS
Sometimes unpredictable life events can get in the way of development. One of these days I woke up motivated for work, thinking how much stuff I'm going to get done... then I found out about clogged pipe in the garden. I kinda ended up playing real life minecraft for the rest of the day.



CONVEYOR BELTS
Conveyor belts can be found in almost every level. They can carry various objects, they can be truned on and off again, but mainly - they are important part of various puzzles and level design in general.
I never thought that there can be so many issues one can run into with such a simple mechanic.



The most common issue being objects bumping into the wall openings and then getting stuck. This usually ended up in a huge pile of objects wiggling around. I realised that instead of just pushing objects in the direction of the belt, I also have to write a small piece of code to keep the objects centred. This solved most of the "bumping" issues and objects started to happily ride on the conveyor belt.

Conveyors can also affect the player. It's great fun, but player's body is not really a physical object (from the code perspective) so a small bug appeared where player could be pushed into walls from time to time and get stuck. I've managed to solve this by projecting a capsule into player's new location (each frame before moving them by conveyor) and checking it for any collisions. If collisions occurred, it meant that player would be teleported inside a wall or some other object.

I also realised that conveyor belts are pretty long and sound which they make cannot really be emitted from a single point in space. I had to write a small script which compares position of the player relatively to the conveyor belt, and moves the sound emission point to the part of the conveyor belt closest to the player. This way the sound feels like it is always coming from the conveyor and not some static point in the room.



MUSIC
I've already managed to introduce Devel Sullivan up above - he is the guy who stands behind all ARTIFICIAL's music. We currently have multiple finished tracks so we figured that we could show you a little sneak peek.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW6_R_PWyFw&feature=youtu.be

ENVIRONMENT POLISHING
One of the things which take up most of the time is getting back to old levels and improving them both visually and gameplay-wise. For me, working on ARTIFICIAL is a huge learning process. Most of the time, new levels end up looking far better, than the older ones. It's definitely not a bad thing, but it creates a huge visual inconsistency. That's why I have to revisit old environments from time to time and make sure that I'm still happy with how they look and how they play. Below, you can see small example of how one of the environments changed over time.




DISCORD
ARTIFICIAL is mostly a one person Indie game and that's why I'm often relying on opinions of people from my Discord community. Feel free to join in if you would like to help out, or just see more screenshots and videos from development!



JOIN OUR DISCORD!
@ARTIFICIALGAME ON TWITTER

Thanks for reading this far and see you in two weeks!
- Ondrej
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May 6

ARTIFICIAL - DEVLOG 01

WELCOME
Welcome to the first ever (hopefully) weekly ARTIFICIAL devlog where I would like to summarize some of my recent work on the project and take you behind the scenes of development!



Project is in a phase where most of the key mechanics are in place. Only thing missing is content. That's why I'm mostly focusing on creation of new levels, and occasional polishing.



CRISIS AVERTED
Last week of development started by unexpected power outage which occurred in the middle of the night. Let's just say that my laptop's hard drive didn't take it very well. Fortunately, every change on ARTIFICIAL is automatically uploaded to the cloud so all I had to do, was to power up my desktop and wait for 200 000 files to download.



I also had to set up up proper colours on my desktop screen which turned out to be pure hell. Most of ARTIFICIAL areas are pretty dark, so working with proper screen settings is crucial for my work on environments and their lighting.



UPGRADE
Converting the project to newest version of Unity engine was also loads of fun. Scripts were spitting out errors, models went missing, but 15 minutes of googling solved most of the critical issues.



TESTING
Couple of friends stopped by to do a small play test. I let them wander through first 40 minutes of the game while occasionally scribbling down notes about possible improvements in level design. In one case, all players got confused just because I showed a tutorial message for object pushing mechanic little bit too soon. They started to push random objects near them, instead of walking another 5 meters where barrel was visibly blocking a pathway. It shows pretty nicely that one should never underestimate importance of testing on other human beings.



I have spent quite some time on polishing & fixing problematic areas which were hard to navigate. Most of the issues were easily solveable by adding a few lights or points of interest that show up as a small piece of floating UI text describing important items and locations in the current level.



There were also some more interesting issues discovered during the play test. I had to increase the range from witch you can interact with objects, because picking up objects from under your feet was sometimes little bit tricky and required you to crouch. Crouching had to be remapped from 'C' key to Left Control as people who don't have a pair of baby hands like me, had hard time pressing it. I also had to disable collision detection for power lines and increase fall damage, as players could sometimes walk on them and parkour through whole areas.

DUMB WAYS TO DIE
ARTIFICIAL currently uses a library of almost 100 sound effects. This time I was implementing SFX for various death scenarios. Players can fall and break their legs, end up cut by lasers , get shocked when touching electrified objects and much more.

Worker drones also got their fair share of SFX upgrades. Now they randomly emit beeping sounds and you can hear their thrusters as they fly by.

Death by fall SFX - Youtube Link
Death by laser SFX - Youtube Link
Drone SFX - Youtube Link



DISCORD
ARTIFICIAL is mostly a one person Indie game and that's why I'm often relying on opinions of people from my Discord community. Feel free to join in if you would like to help out, or just see more screenshots and videos from development!

JOIN OUR DISCORD!
@ARTIFICIALGAME ON TWITTER

Thanks for reading this far and see you next week!
- Ondrej



0 comments Read more

About This Game

ARTIFICIAL is a first-person physics based puzzle game situated in an underground colony on asteroid 2031 XT.

It goes without saying that something in the colony went terribly wrong. You as a player, will be thrown in the middle of events, which will gradually reveal more and more about the world around you.

There are many obstacles and traps you will encounter on your journey several thousand meters underground. Some of them more intelligent than the others.

Features:

  • Progress through 3-5 hours of original story.
  • Run, jump, climb and crawl through dozens of handcrafted environments.
  • Solve physics based puzzles.
  • Interact with your surroundings by pushing, pulling, carrying and throwing almost any object you can find!
  • Maneuver around lasers, hide from turrets and sneak around your enemies!

But mainly... Experience the world of ARTIFICIAL yourself!
Coming Q3 2019

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Win 7,8,10
    • Processor: Dual Core 2.2
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2 GB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
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