Exoplanet: First Contact - All News
Monday - December 23, 2019
Exoplanet: First Contact - Dev Blog #3
A new developers blog for Exoplanet: First Contact has been made available, talking about a world of players website for the game and what they changed in the tutorial and it comes with many images.
As I have said many times before, we are not satisfied with the starting area and intending to create a new location with a brand new tutorial. And today I am going to show you some results because this dev blog is about our work in progress in this area.
We've created a set of 60 pieces brand new rocks inspired by Shadow of the Colossus remake for PS4 with some help from the lead environment artist of this project (you can learn more about it in our previous dev blog), a lot of new grass, improved the engine with new tools and features and completely reworked the original idea of the location.
The new location is 500m², it’s a godforsaken place confined between the desert and rocks with an old aboriginal cemetery and an abandoned mine.
Tuesday - September 10, 2019
Exoplanet: First Contact - Build 0.36
A new build for Exoplanet: First Contact has been made available, adding new quests, lockpicking, world design improvements and an updated roadmap.
This update brings new mechanic to the game. Lockpicking. We were working on this feature for a long time, and now proud to share it with you. Keep in mind, though, that this is probably not the final iteration, so your feedback will be really important.
What do we have at the moment? There are two types of locks in the world of Exoplanet: mechanic and digital. You need a key to open a mechanic lock or a code to open a digital one. But since Jack is not very law-abiding guy, other methods also could come in handy, ain’t it? And all you have to do is to find the right type of lockpicks.
How does it work? Every lock has ‘health’ and every lockpick can damage it for certain amount. Lockpicks breaks during the process. When lock’s health disappears, it unlocks. Locks could be pretty simple but you can also find complex ones with more health, so it is wise to get as many lockpicks as you can find.
Monday - July 22, 2019
Exoplanet: First Contact - Dev Blog #2
The latest dev blog of Exoplanet: First Contact is a lot about the looks of the game. In the blog they show the improved looks of some of the characters, rocks, plants and other stuff. There are a lot of images, so head over there if you are interested in stuff like this.
Monday - June 24, 2019
Exoplanet: First Contact - Build 0.33
A new build for Exoplanet: First Contact is available, with an updated roadmap and the following additions and modifications:
Just as I mentioned in the previous update, means community choice, alterations made with your feedback.
- added more details to cliffs to the east and southeast from Anomaly Lake
- added Training Grounds
- added Farmer's Cave
- added Guard Tower
- added Electrical Substation
- detailed the cave where looters who robbed Jack are hiding
- improved snipers' nests at Cutthroat Pass
- added new furniture for Outcast Camp made from scrap metal
- brand new Big Hat appearance
- improved framerate
- improved loading speed
- fixed bugs with shadow resolution reset bug, that could cause performance drop
- fixed stretched textures on some GPUs
- bug fixes and optimization
- improved algorithms of interaction with in-game objects
- expanded functionality of scripting and dialogue systems in preparation for future quests
- fixed a bug that caused sound of hitting antigravium crystal with the pickaxe to play after Jack already stopped mining
Thursday - May 30, 2019
Exoplanet: First Contact - Dev Blog #1
The first developement blog for Exoplanet: First Contact is now available.
Hey! As we promised before,s you may know, the starting area lacks a lot of assets so far but we are working on new ones all the time to make it more interesting and immersive. For example, we put a lot of efforts to improve Outcast Camp, create a lot of assets for abori’s culture and life. , we are going to share news about Exoplanet’s development, its progress, and future changes, and this post is the very first in a row. So what do we do now?
This is a sneak peek at some assets we are working on at the moment, its development from concept art to models. Some of them are already available in the game, some will be pretty soon, and some will appear a bit later.
Old ruins, idols, graves, coffins, and tombstones—some of these culture objects you can already find in game but mostly we are saving all that for the new tutorial, there will be an abori cemetery in the area.
Wednesday - May 15, 2019
Exoplanet: First Contact - Build 0.32
Exoplanet: First contact has been updated to version 0.32, of which the changelog can found here, like this on AI:
As you may know, Exoplanet is developing on our own custom built engine and still has a few legacy issues from old demos. If you ever play the game, you know that our AI system was pretty basic and limited for complex sequential actions. For example, we had an issue when some players managed to get rid of most of the Scalphunters in the cave on their own during the quest, ignoring other interesting possibilities it offers, not to mention that our hero is pretty weak in the very beginning of the game while Scalphunters being described as very tough to eliminate.
The thing is, this AI system is very old and has a great deal of restrictions, that’s why some time ago we decided to create a new one and transfer every character to it. It wasn’t an easy task and it is surely took a lot of time. Transfer of the protagonist alone took two months due to the fact that some parts of old NPC’s AI system was used for controlling Jack’s action as well, and this spaghetti code had to be resolved. But I am glad to report that we finally managed to finish this. From now on, our protagonist as well as all other characters and animals are working with the new system.
What does it mean? Now everyone has their own behavior tree which could be expanded as we like to create more immersive and complex things like daily schedules for NPCs, special attacks and different combat behavior for enemies and animals and much more. That’s another big task for us and we are going to release these updates gradually, over time.
Next to that their roadmap has been updated as well.
Friday - November 09, 2018
Exoplanet: First Contact - Future Updates
An update for Exoplanet: First Contact shows us what we will see in future updates. It is a lenghty update, but here is a part of it.
That’s an important part of the game but we don’t feel like to hold player’s hands. It also won’t be the same tutorial with a bunch of tips but a small story with quests on the new specially created small area—and we already made the very first prototype.
It is a small open world with some places to explore. The story is connected with main quest and also the Anomaly Area’s conflict—this area known as the starting location at the moment. I will tell you more about the story below.
Quests on the tutorial area will use different mechanics to show player basics and possibilities of the game from digging and gathering to crafting and cooking. Moreover, some quests here also could be solved in different ways based on your choices or how well you explored the area. You will also learn some useful lore about plants, animals and antigravium.
We are working on new assets which will allow us to make the start of the game more alien-looking and interesting to explore. It’d take time to get the result we would like to see but it is worth it.
Monday - October 29, 2018
Exoplanet: First Contact - Update #10
In this update for Exoplanet: First Contact, the developers talk about how wonderful it is to have crash reports, their engine finally runs on 64 bits, better 2K and 4K support, a damage indicator and a changelog for the new update that is available.
2K / 4K & LOW RESOLUTION SUPPORT
Due to the really old UI which will be completely reworked from the scratch later, some players complained about small fonts on 2K / 4K displays which make it almost impossible to read.
We are glad to inform you that we managed to adjust our UI and it should feel much better now if you have resolution more than 1920x1080. Please, let us know if it works fine.
Also, we made few tweaks for 720p as well. I hope it will please the ones with old laptops and proud owners of 4:3 displays.
Another important feature is damage indicator. Since Exoplanet has gunplay mechanics, we believe it is necessary for players to know where bullets come from. Probably, that's not final, so let us know what do you think.
Thursday - May 31, 2018
Exoplanet: First Contact - Update #9
There is a new update available for Exoplanet: First Contact, with information about the roadmap:
We also updated OUR ROADMAP, and you can find something new there (you can easily track changes with Menu button on the right) as well as take a sneak peek to some screenshots from our draft storyboard for Exoplanet intro cinematic.
You can learn more about our roadmap HERE.
The addition of a crash reporter and a changelog:
- All terrain was repainted from scratch using multiple textures
- Improved design of Outcast Camp, added many new buildings, new Big Hat cave in a high mountain
- Revamped the camera so it should no longer feel wonky and should feel super smooth
- Added a slight camera shake effect when firing weapons (togglable in game options)
- Fixed camera getting inside character models in some cases
- Fixed camera micro stuttering
- Added hit effects for some mobs that didn’t have them
- Turned off Jack’s head tracking in some corner cases that resulted in weird neck angles (shooting, aiming, hitting, using items, sleeping, resting)
- Prevented most cases of dialog participants playing identical talking animations one right after the other
- Added new outfits for abori Scalphunters
- Jack can now fall from ladders when he is heavily damaged (more than 10% of his health in one shot) or if he is weak due to being low on health (has less than 20% health)
- Jack should no longer fall from ladders without reason
- Adjusted ladder starting and finishing positions to be more precise
- Poisonous alien cactus bat now must be crafted from a cactus head and a stick (or firewood)
- Added a tutorial hint for crafting the alien cactus bat
- Automatic reload (togglable in game options) now triggers on firing last ammo cartridge and on equipping a weapon with an empty magazine
- Automatic reload sequence can be interrupted
- Fixed not being able to shoot immediately after automatic reload ended
- Rewrote the resting and waiting time skipping system
- All guns automatically unload ammo from their magazines on pick up
- Only equipped guns visible on Jack’s model are allowed to keep ammo in the magazines
- Removing guns from visual slots on Jack’s model unloads ammo from the magazine into inventory
- Holstering weapons equipped from the inventory or the hotbar assigns them to the corresponding visual slots (and keeps ammo in the magazines)
and a lot more....
- Added a new NPC Carry The Stone with a brand new quest “Scan It”
- You can now also talk with Carry The Stone about “K’Tharsis is a harsh mistress” quest
- The “Family relic” quest has a suitable ending now
- Zak’s whistle should no longer just disappear from Jack’s inventory on quest finish
- Fixed arphant Molly’s focusing issue and tweaked her dialog to reflect Jack’s knowledge about her
Monday - April 23, 2018
Exoplanet: First Contact - Roadmap
Last week, Alersteam have made the roadmap for Exoplanet: First Contact available.
Some of you asked us to create Exoplanet’s roadmap, because this way you can see where the game is going, track our plans and progress, leave your feedback and ideas about future changes.
We liked the idea, because we always carefully read everything that community says and thoroughly discuss all the feedback and suggested ideas. We believe that’s a very healthy relationship and very grateful to everyone who support us. And today we finally want to share our roadmap with you.
We’ve checked your suggestions about the way our roadmap should be done, took a look at the way other developers did it and ended up with Trello. We believe it’s very simple, intuitive and comfortable (that’s why we actually use it ourselves among the team).
The next step was to decide what’s going to roadmap. Of course, we can’t place everything. Also, some features could be changed or even removed due to a number of reasons (lack of budget, for example).
Tuesday - April 10, 2018
Exoplanet: First Contact - Update #7 and New Trailer
In another update for Exoplanet: First Contact, a new trailer has been made available.
Exoplanet is in Early Access for a year, and we managed to significantly improve the game thanks to your help and honest feedback. Of course, there's still a lot of work to do but the game is evolving. And we would like to thank you guys for being with us, we wouldn't make it without your support.
The new trailer is a gameplay trailer. We couldn't achieve a decent result with the old one due to the lack of optimization, lack of time and, most important, lack of content back there. Hell, there was some footage from the old Kickstarter demo! Anyway, thanks to the really good editing, we managed to get you into the game. And we hope the new trailer will help us to find more beautiful players around the globe who really care about the old-fashioned exploring action RPGs.
Don't forget to like the video on YouTube and share it with friends if you like it. And, of course, let us know what you think:
The update continues with a changelog of the lates version of the game.
Monday - April 09, 2018
Exoplanet: First Contact - Update #6
A new update for Exoplanet: First Contact has surfaced, detailing what is already available in the game since last year.
It is an important update for us, because in it we have reached not one, but two major milestones, which open big possibilities for the future updates. The characters have received a makeover, with new faces, facial hair customization as well as skin tones. This should help a lot with making them more memorable as well as move away from the feeling that they are identical clones with different hats. The second big change, while invisible to the naked eye, is no less important: the switch of all non-aggressive NPCs to the new AI system, which should finally allow scripting believable behavior in the future updates. We hope that you’ll enjoy playing this update!
Monday - October 23, 2017
Exoplanet: First Contact - Design and Harvesting
The recent update for Exoplanet: First Contact is about the design of a canyon and harvesting antigravium crystals.
It was late June when our game designer asked a very reasonable question: "Why the hell our location name is Windscream Canyon but there's still no canyon there?" Highly inspired, he decided to make a rough example of this canyon to share with us.
Of course, as almost every rough draft it wasn't something really good-looking. I reckon, some people can even say that this screenshot is pretty ugly. But I fell in love with the idea because I saw huge potential and beauty in this draft.
There was a lot of work to be done. Creating new areas, especially that big, is always really hard. You should thoroughly plan every single piece of an area, all the trails, catwalks, hideouts and points of interest to make exploration interesting for a player. And of course, the hardest part is detailing. Without details the location appears empty but you also should make sure you don't overdo it with too much detail. That's why we are still working on some old areas: everything ought to be flawless.
Friday - June 30, 2017
Exoplanet: First Contact - Status Update
The Expolanet team provides a status update on the development of the game.
Thanks to raised funds we were able to hire several specialists and freelancers and managed to significantly improve the game. Sure, we have to admit that the very first build was also very raw but we were ought to fulfill our promises to you and release Exoplanet on Early Access at least till the end of the year. Moreover, because of the delay, we invested a lot of our own money to the project, and Steam could help us to get additional funding for hired professionals. It was a risky move and we expected a tough time. Well, we were right.
We knew that the game is still very raw so there was no advertising campaign. Our primary goal was testing and gathering feedback. Positive and negative reviews were scrupulously analyzed to improve Exoplanet. Of course, overwhelming majority of negative reviews were due to the lack of optimization. We are aware about the problem but it is hard to fix it very fast due to its size. Anyway, we are working to improve optimization with every Exoplanet’s update.
Also we have made an impressive amount of work for such a small team as Alersteam. Improved and significantly increased location, new quests, NPCs including traders and enemies (their AI is very primitive at the moment but it will be greatly improved) and much more. We are working hard to make the world of Exoplanet a deep and immersive place, make it interesting for a player.
Tuesday - June 27, 2017
Exoplanet: First Contact - Update #4
Update number 4 of Exoplanet: First Contact, which is currently in Early Access, has been made availabel last week.
Dear players, we gladly present to you the latest update! The new starting area was heavily overhauled and vastly expanded. We've added new locations, characters, quests and things to do in this area.WORLD
You're very welcome to hop into our Discord server and tell us what you think about the new update.
Here is a brief list of changes with the most impact:
- New starting scene
- Vastly expanded new starting area
- Started working on splitting the world into two distinct biomes
- New rocks and cliffs assets
- First version of distant land
- New NPCs
- New traders
- A new dangerous mushroom
- New sand textures
- Lots of minor edits and polishing.
More update info at the link.
Monday - December 05, 2016
Exoplanet: First Contact - Going to Early Access
The Steam page for Exoplanet: First Contact is now live to support their move to Early Access on the 9th of December.
Sure there is still a lot of work to do but we believe it's a good start. With your help and support we were able to improve our game and approached to release date. Since the end of KickStarter campaign Exoplanet has completely changed its appearance and this difference is clearly visible right away.
Your Steam keys will be ready in a few days, we will notify you about that. Please note, that currently the game has bugs and placeholders, and numerous game mechanics are implemented in part, or some not at all. Nevertheless, we are going to improve performance and add new features with regular updates so you can see progress of the game in real time.
Monday - June 27, 2016
Exoplanet: First Contact - Art Direction
In update #24 for Exoplanet: Firts Contact we are introduced to Art Director Ivan Taranenko, who talks about the game and his art career up to now, which includes games such as: Disciples III: Renaissance, Bravada and Legends of Eisenwald.
Working on this game is incredibly interesting. I believe that we're producing beautiful concepts, especially characters and weapons. The unusual setting of space western is also very close to my heart as well as the genre — despite my passion towards turn-based strategies (Disciples) and stealth-action titles (Deus Ex, Dishonored), roleplaying games were always number one for me.
When I was a kid, my friend got a first PlayStation and we spent a lot of time playing Tekken and Twisted Metal. But I truly started loving games after I found Final Fantasy VIII — I was astounded by its story and how it managed to evoke my emotions.
Then there were Planescape: Torment, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Fallout, Fallout 2, Gothic — these games were masterpieces. And, of course Gothic II: Night of the Raven — this is probably the best Action RPG that I ever played.
This last decade changed a lot. We've got more powerful and functional engines, more polygons in the models, and the industry itself became more demanding towards highly qualified specialists. All this allowed to bring the visuals to a new level, which in turn affected the work of artists.
Dishonored's incredible visual style, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt scenery that shock your imagination, colorful Uncharted 4 artbook, Metal Gear Solid art performed in sumi-e — all of these are wonderful sources of inspiration.
Tuesday - April 05, 2016
Exoplanet: First Contact - New Alpha Coming
In a month or so a new closed alpha will be released for Exoplanet: First Contact.
The world of K'Tharsis has been through many changes since the last alpha version, and today we'd like to share with you footage of a new location. To achieve the best results, our team has decided to stop relying on bought asset packs. We’ve already told you about making of cliffs and rocks, and now we also have palm trees and other cool models. While this kind of approach does take more time, it allows us to produce more unique and satisfying content for you.
Unfortunately it also means that our Steam Early Access release date was postponed, but don’t worry: in about a month we will release a completely new closed alpha version for our backers.
And if you’re interested in joining the discussion and to check out our new alpha version, you can still do this at our website.
Friday - February 19, 2016
Exoplanet: First Contact - Guns
The latest update for Exoplanet: First Contact is about guns in the game.
We have a small update for you today, since most of the time is spent working on the main quest hub level - we'll be able to show you first results soon.Meanwhile the weapon concept art is slowly but surely getting its 3d model representation, and our hero has acquired not only a couple of new firearms, but also some blades that can turn the hostile representatives of K'Tharsis' fauna into a nourishing meal.Actually, arming the colonies isn't very welcome by the corporate dealers: unarmed colonists - especially aborigines - pose no threat. However, not all of the planet’s people are on the same page on this issue, since guns here are necessary to survive.
One of such people is Mr. Willson, an aspiring local entrepreneur and craftsman, who managed to dig out ancient blueprints of a primitive but functioning pump-action shotgun. After substituting some of the materials to more available ones, he and his sons started small-scale manufacture of the Willson&Sons 12 gauge Leadthrower.
As a base for the visual design we've chosen an archaic by today's standards stencil of the Stevens/Savage 520 shotgun (Ward’s Western Field Model 30) 12ga model, since it reflects the western style perfectly.
Monday - January 18, 2016
Exoplanet: First Contact - Music and Animals
In this update for Exoplanet: First Contact we learn more about the game's composer, Matt (Bison) Steed and some of the animals in the world of K'Tharsis.
Thanks to our artists, the hornhog is almost ready to go grazing in the prairies and scare off travelers. The final version, colored:
Aside from wild animals, K'Tharsis also has livestock. Despite highly developed technology, a frontier planet removed from major trade routes has its own laws (more like lawlessness). A herbivorous arphant that just needs grass can be a better investment than a vehicle that not only consumes expensive fuel, but can also be disassembled and sold off as parts. In case of an arphant you at least have a small chance to find the thief and punish him according to the full extent of a Wild West law. Hardly anyone would transport the offender to a meeting with local representatives of the law across 200 miles, therefore it is as simple as your word against his. Often the thieving criminal is incarcerated inside a prison tree (we're gonna show it in one of our future updates) where he is slowly being digested alive. One might think that it's a very harsh punishment, but for the poor farmers the arphant might be the only source of income that helps make ends meet for a whole family.
Monday - December 28, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Life on K'Tharsis
In this update for Exoplanet: First Contact, we can learn more about Mark the sound designer, the main character in the game and a small bit about life on K'Tharsis.
And now let's talk about the graphics. K'Tharsis is a pretty populated planet which doesn't entirely consist of rocks among which Jack Sharp wanders. There are also simple peaceful (or not, who knows?) settlers.
And of course different representatives of the fauna. Hornhogs are pretty aggressive and tenacious as well. It's a good idea to left them undisturbed unless you're confident in your ability to take them on!
Saturday - December 12, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Development Update
In a development update for Exoplanet: First Contact, information is provided about some of the guns in the game, experiments with armor and landscape design and decoration.
In our previous updates we've already talked about the process of creating a level and also showcased our heightmap editor that supports terrain patches with holes in them, which allows us to create a more complex geometry such as caves, overhangs and other types of advanced land patches for player to walk on. However, the current generation of gamers wouldn't be satisfied by a simple heightmapped terrain painted by a couple of different textures as it was done in years before 2006, since generic hills and valleys wouldn't look convincing even with the help of advanced terrain projection algorithms. Surely, we at Alersteam wouldn't want to create such simplistic pathetic excuses of levels. Our goal is to create locations that are fun to explore, that have a vertical aspect to them as opposed to plain old and boring runway strip level design, that literally screams "You've reached the end of the world" at you, when you hit its invisible borders. All Exoplanet’s locations will have natural boundaries that don't make the player feel as if he isn't allowed to go somewhere because of, ahem, reasons.
Thursday - November 05, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Status Report
A new status report for Exoplanet: First Contact is available and talks about the updates to their Sahara engine, some new concept artwork and some images of the rewards presented by a woman who likes Fallout.
As you most likely know, the development of Sahara engine (and actually any game's graphic engine) is a constant and never ending process of research, testing and improvement of existent or adding completely new features to the basic functionality. We've already put to good use our world editor before, pushing it to the limits and creating quite an intricate landscape, but this wasn't enough: our game designer and level designers always wanted to create more complex locations with lots of vertically split terrain levels and non-linear paths, also increasing the scale of each level significantly. Old locations seen in our videos and in playable alpha were deemed too small, so the next prototype level for the Outpost 74 and its surroundings where the players will start their adventure on K'Tharsis has grown about 9 times in size. When increasing the playable and explorable territory like this you obviously will encounter some performance issues – so we came to the conclusion that we need to rework the terrain generator completely. In the last weekend a new stable version was compiled and we have tested it thoroughly, exploring the borders of the playgrounds our new tech can deliver.
Tuesday - October 13, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Sahara Engine
In an update for Exoplanet: First Contact we get to know Alexander, the creator of the Sahara Engine the game is using and we get more information about the engine.
I was interested in game engines since I was in school, where I tried to write my own 3D API, while DirectX and OpenGL weren't as widespread as today. With time, my tech experiments inspired me to create my own playable projects. My first attempt to create a complete functional game was a pretty standard RTS, where the player's objectives were to build a base, gather resources and capture the enemy's territory. AI was written in a primitive scripting language, pathfinding algorithms and an OpenGL-based renderer - all of that made a small virtual world, in which the computer opponent was easily beating me, his creator. It was incredible, the feeling of being a creator of "living" creatures, who could surpass me. At that moment, I decided to dedicate my life to making video games.
Most of my free time was spent learning more about the technical side of game development. My research yielded in enough experience, that allowed me to develop multiple 2D and 3D projects using custom engines for mobile platforms. Afterwards there were a couple of projects for PC, but unfortunately, they were never released.
Wednesday - September 30, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Interview @ opnoobs
Opnoobs have interviewed the Exoplanet: First Contact devs to learn more about them and the game.
In your bios you state that Exoplanet will be “mature” title. With it being a relatively broad statement in the video game industry today, is the emphasis on maturity being focused through narrative, gameplay or both?
We understand maturity not only as certain types of 18+ rated content (sex scenes, extreme violence, consuming alcohol or taking drugs etc.) that you can put into your game for attracting more audience, but as rather as serious mature themes, moral dilemmas and situations the player will encounter in Exoplanet. Our thoughts about war, government corruption, historical events that should not be forgotten, postcolonialism, modern society and its problems, even our view on the current state of the game development industry – you can read it all between the lines in Exoplanet. We do not state or preach something though. A mature player, who is involved in this discourse will recognize these themes and act as he desires, according to his own moral compass, while following our story. Others will probably see Exoplanet as an adventure on a fictional cruel and wild alien planet and we are perfectly fine with that.
Oh, and don’t forget the dark comedy humor and a healthy dose of sarcasm, targeted at cliches and boring super-serious AAA games.
Wednesday - September 23, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - After the Campaign
After the successful Kickstarter campaign for Exoplanet: First Contact, the devs are talking about their next steps.
We’ve hoped that after our Kickstarter campaign we’re going to take a little break, rest and continue developing Exoplanet. However that wasn’t the case. While the campaign was running we’ve gathered so much feedback that we’ve still didn’t manage to get through all of it.
During the first week after the end of the campaign Kickstarter was gathering funds from the backers. Some payments however couldn’t be processed, so an additional week was required, so the people could fix their payment details, and most did. Statistics show, that at the end of the campaign about 10% of the backers withdraw their pledges, though in our case the percentage was minimal and didn’t affect the final sum much. This shows, that every single one of our backers made a deliberate choice and believes in Exoplanet: First Contact, a fact that we really appreciate.
Now we have a final list of the backers, therefore we’re planning on starting shipping the physical rewards, taking care of services and other details. According to Kickstarter, funds are going to be transferred in a timeframe of up to two weeks. We’ll start shipping the physical goodies as soon as the transfer is confirmed.
While taking care of logistics, we don’t forget about the actual development of the game. During the campaign we’ve come to know experts that offered to help work on the project. That allowed us to start development of new assets, for which we didn’t have resources before our success on Kickstarter.
Thursday - September 17, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Kickstarter Ends Successfully
The Kickstarter for Exoplanet: First Contact has ended successfully - Update #14:
2,331 Space Cowboys Have Made It Possible!
Congratulations! WE DID IT!
Our Kickstarter campaign has ended! It’s been a time with many emotions and hot debates. Your feedback has been so inspiring, and has reminded us that there is still a lot of work to be done. The worst thing that can happen to a developer is that his project goes unnoticed, so we must thank you all for your support and participation. Thank you so much for sharing our journey. Thanks to you, our dedicated backers, we can now move to another stage in the development!
We are also happy to have reached two stretch goals! You have made it possible to choose among several background stories for the main character (each granting its own set of perks and bonuses), as well as customize the spaceship interior. As for the other stretch goals, they will be available in our website. You can still support us there, and we’ll be adding some add-ons within the next weeks. For those who have asked along this Kickstarter, you can now contribute through PayPal. We have been told that it will take a couple of weeks to receive the funds from Kickstarter. We plan to deliver the digital rewards within these two weeks, and start sending out the physical rewards later on.
Monday - September 14, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Interview with Alex Pischenko @ GameSkinny
Jason Green (GameSkinny) has interviewed the lead developer of Exoplanet: First Contact - Alex Pischenko.
Some developers make video games for the public, and some make video games for the heart. Activision, Ubisoft and EA Sports make their franchised games yearly to meet public demand. Whether or not the developers behind the closed doors enjoy this work is a whole other matter, but these games are made with profit in mind.
Now, with the advent of crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Patreon, developers can make the games for passion, not just profit. And that's exactly what the team at Alersteam did with Exoplanet: First Contact.
Exoplanet is an action RPG space western. When you're not shooting guys, you're shooting aliens. Instead of riding horses, you can ride a creature twice that size.Exoplanet: First Contact puts players in the shoes of Jack Sharp, a space cowboy who's unfortunately stranded on a deadly planet named K'Tharsis. This planet isn't known for its rich generosity, and everything Jack is surrounded by may want him dead. Players can shoot a vast array of guns, craft new loot, and struggle to survive in the harsh environment of K'Tharsis.
Alex Pischenko, the lead developer on Exoplanet was kind enough to answer a few questions about the game.
GameSkinny: How did Exoplanet come about? Was it sort of a light bulb moment or a brainstorm of ideas? If you had a completely different idea at first, I’d love to hear it.
Alex: Finding the right proportion of genres we are happy to work with as well as the rather uncommon setting for our début project was not an easy task. We knew from the beginning that it should be a 3rd person action/RPG game, but tended to give more attention to the action components. Also the first vision of the setting was a lot darker, gothic, filled with vampire and steampunk themes.
Then we watched Firefly and fell in love with the idea of transporting the western character and situations in the future where people will colonize distant worlds. We were so fascinated by this idea that we did a research of this genre and found out that there were probably no proper (in our understanding) RPGs in it, released at least in the last 5 years. The decision was made: Exoplanet (exoplanets are any planets in star systems other than our Solar) will be more RPG-oriented and will feature a mix of fictional technologies and races with realistic and understandable motives for the character. So it was a long process of thinking ignited by a spark brought by Firefly (and probably other classic Sci-Fi movies like Dune, Star Wars, Alien, etc). [...]
Friday - September 11, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - The Next Stretch Goal
The 'Build your Ship' stretch goal for Exoplanet: First Contact has been reached and they are now looking forward at the $150K stretch goal, which looks to be too far away as it requires more than doubling their current funds and there are less than 2 days left in the Kickstarter.
Hello backers, we are so grateful for your support and happy to announce that we are coming into the home stretch with over $62K thanks to your support! As a treat, we thought you might enjoy learning a bit more about the alien life of Exoplanet we have planned for our next big stretch goal.
For the first chapter of Exoplanet our initial plan was to introduce the players to the world by releasing Jack into the rocky desert of the Red Erg, a terrain that is very similar to certain areas on Earth, and remains consistent with the Western theme. About 60% of the objects in this desert biome had to be easy for human brain to identify. They still had the Exoplanet visual flair, but it was important that the player could recognize and understand their function. The rest was going to be alien planet components to discover and learn about. But then we asked ourselves: is this "alien-looking" enough for us? Where is this wild, untamed K’Tharsis we are speaking of? The one untouched by terraforming and global climate change, the land that gave birth to the local sentient aborigine race as well as strange creatures like sand sharks? Soon we found an answer!
It is deep down below the surface that has been scorched by the double suns, in an underworld consisting of enormous caves caused by the spontaneous antigravium explosions that occurred when the planet was still young. The scientists call it a unique underground wetlands biome. It houses lots of prehistoric species of K’Tharsis. Locals call it The Great Mangrove Forest.
Tuesday - September 08, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Amphibians
In this Kickstarter update for Exoplanet: First Contact we learn about the Amphibians,an alien race.
Amphibians were the first alien race encountered by humans in their booming interstellar expansion. In fact, Terra was situated on the border of their vast domain, but the outcome of direct contact with humans was deemed unprofitable by their government. The uncivilized savages, who barely escaped self-destruction in a nuclear apocalypse, had nothing to offer the wise and rich race of builders and traders who invented interstellar travel about 20,000 years before the Egyptians built their pyramids.
But, one day, the savages from a third planet in a yellow dwarf system started to sail the star seas and colonize other planets that were mostly too uncomfortable or too dangerous for amphibians. They extracted the natural resources of these harsh worlds for sale, or to serve as mercenaries in local conflicts for the wise and wealthy. Amphibians always were and will remain a barbaric, unreliable, and chaotic kin, who are not to be trusted. Unfortunately, these barbarians cannot be ignored anymore.
The verbal self-identification of the elder neighbors of our race is unpronounceable by humans, who simply cannot produce sounds of such high frequency, so they were simply named Amphibians for their biological features. These calm creatures, who swim and breathe under water, originate from a world covered with jungles and swamps.
Amphibians are hermaphrodites who can change their sex according to their social status and age:
- Young travellers, explorers, and traders can be female or male.
- Adult warriors, protectors, and builders must be male.
- Elder rulers and parents are female.
Monday - September 07, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Kickstarter Update #11
In Kickstarter update #11 the Exoplanet: First Contact devs show 22 minutes of gameplay:
We believe that this simple quest will be a great example of the things you should expect in Exoplanet’s Beta, and the final release of the Chapter (on a much larger scale, of course). Longer missions will involve more factions and will include complex objectives with many optional goals. Short or long, they all will have common features: those that are our design pillars for creating quests that we would like to solve ourselves as players. From the perspective of a game developer, it’s far more difficult to work on such non-linear quests than on the standard ”filler” side-activities or heavily story-driven main quest missions. Luckily in the last 3 years, we have proved that our team never gives up facing this kind of difficulties.
According to our design philosophy, all quests in Exoplanet must follow a set of rules:
- K’Tharsis is a wild planet where homo homini lupus est (in our case the proverb works well for the aborigines and other aliens too) and everyone on this cruel Frontier world wants to make profit of the others –including the NPC’s, who will try to manipulate Jack Sharp. They are not “vending machines” stuffed with quests for players to take advantage of them.
- Players can refuse to do certain quests or abort the mission if they don’t like the outcome or the actions that must be taken to complete it. The world will react to this decision, though.
- Patient players will always make more profit and get extra rewards. Impatient players can kill everyone and rush for the quickest way to achieve their goals. Sooner or later, they will face the consequences of their deeds.
- All the actions that players take during a quest must be visualized (e.g. items will be placed on or removed from locations, NPC’s will spawn and disappear, the environments will change adding new dangers, various events will be activated, etc.).
The final result should resemble gameplay sequences similar to those you can see in the video above. Please be aware that this is still work in progress and many things will change, including the options to solve this particular quest, and its consequences. At the end, there is still a possibility that someone is willing to pay for slaying Angry Jag and putting his head on a stake, starting another quest or, why not, an entire chain of them. You will be able to discover this by yourself in our upcoming alpha patches.
And last but not least, we must thank Julian Höning for lending us his great voice to make the commentary for this update. Julian is our candidate for recording English and German voiceovers for some of the characters living on K'Tharsis. We believe he will make a perfect fit for certain NPC’s. Please share your thoughts and let us know what you think of his voice in the context of Exoplanet!
Wednesday - September 02, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Stretch Goal and Main Theme
In a lengthy update on Kickstarter for Exoplanet: First Contact, the team announces a new stretch goal and more information on the main theme of the game.
In many modern RPGs companions are a standard feature, but sometimes it can be annoying to manage and control them. Some developers go even further and make interacting with companions and completing their personal sidequests an important part of the core gameplay that cannot be avoided if you wish to get the “good” ending. We at Alerstam think that all of the game’s features should be enjoyable and not punish the player for avoiding some activities they are not so fond of.
In Exoplanet all of the companions activities are completely optional and in fact there is a special achievement called “Lone Wolf” for completing the game without using their help. They may still appear in some quests on their own behalf, but if you would rather walk the lonesome road and like quiet moments of solitude - then just leave them at your ship to do the daily chores. Or don’t even invite them aboard in the first place. You are the captain after all.
Sunday - August 30, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Tales from K'Tharsis
In an update for Exoplanet: First Contact we are given a few tales from K'Tharsis.
We often mention that development of Exoplanet brings our team a lot of fun and creates many quite emotional moments. Over the last years this game became not only our hobby, passion, main job but our lifestyle. When you work that much on something, you start to see even relatively simple things differently, from a different angle. You get surprised and shocked by your own creation and you learn a lot from it. You get laughed on and trolled by your teammates. And that is great. Because this shows real friendship and camaraderie. Today we would like to share 2 stories that already became legendary in our team. We hope that these will help our backers and other players to understand what we are as persons, not just producers of game-related content. The tales from K'Tharsis await you. Here we go.
The Green Rocket.
by Alexander Pischenko, lead programmer
This story happened with me when I was play-testing our first functional sidequest in the alpha version and taught me that you never know what your own engine and tools can create. Share them with other creative members of the team, like scripters and mission designers, and prepare for the results. They can be sometimes terrifying or harmless and funny, like this little incident, and lead to an interesting idea for a cool feature of just a small but fun addition to the game.
One of the quests in the current alpha version includes catching a bitebug mutant. This creature feeds on crystals to obtain special powers. To test this quest, I set the bait, a valuable large crystal, outside of the bug-hive and waited for the mutant to come out at night and eat it. To make the waiting easier I increased the speed of time via editors hotkeys (setting the campfire and the waiting mechanics were not implemented yet). Right at midnight the green insect appeared and trotted on its six swift legs to the bait. The bug is supposed to have a preset timer in his behavior script to chew through the crystal. For about five seconds it’s agro radius is supposed to have decreased so it can easily be grabbed, even by a slowpoke player. The mutant was not designed to attack the player, only to escape. But when I walked to the creature to catch it and was ready to press the “E” button, which stands for the Interaction in Exoplanet (e.g. grabbing and picking up things), the bug jumped on my character with a speed of an attacking cobra. It bit poor Jack with a high pitched predatory sound, then left with a tremendous speed leaving a green trail of particles behind.......
More of this story and another one at the Kickstarter page.
Friday - August 28, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Funded
The Kickstarter for Exoplanet: First Contact has been funded today, so it is time for the stretch goals.
We’re 100% funded, which means the game is going to be finished. All this couldn’t be possible without you! Every single pledge, retweet, like and share counts, and has helped us reach our goal. Thank you all again!
We’re super excited that we really made it! We promise we will do everything in our power to deliver an amazing game experience for you, our players. We’re also happy that there are so many old-school RPG fans around the world! You guys rock! Thanks for all your comments, questions and nice words.
We won’t stop here! You know we have launched several stretch goals to add new features and scenarios to the game.
- $50,000: When starting a new game, you will be able to choose from several background options for Jack Sharp. These options will give him bonuses for certain skills and sometimes unique perks, affecting the gameplay in many ways.
- $60,000: This stretch goal is heavily inspired by one of the most important Firefly TV-series concepts and by the one of the most popular mod categories for open world RPG’s, as well - the building of a home or a mobile base for the player.
- $80,000: In our vision of the Exoplanet’s complete state, we see a global map as a convenient mode for travelling between locations and finding new ones. Global map will become a new level of exploration of the game’s world, similar to Fallout 1-2 or Wasteland 2, to give you a contemporary example.
This Kickstarter will continue until September 12, so there is still a chance to join us and become part of Exoplanet: First Contact.
Wednesday - August 26, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Interviews and Reddit
On top of that there is also an Ask Me Anything at Reddit, that is still going on for a few hours.
Tuesday - August 25, 2015
RPGWatch Feature - Exoplanet: First Contact Interview
Farflame volunteered to ask the people of Exoplanet: First Contact a bunch of questions and they gladly agreed.
RPGWatch: You stated that you aren't happy with modern RPGs. So what do you miss or dislike in modern RPGs?
Alexey: Many things. We miss the breathtaking sensation of discovery, the feeling that there is a new living and breathing world that lies ahead, with hand-crafted landscapes and quests and with detailed simulations of its inhabitants' daily lives. These days developers take a set of rules and fill it with content. This content might be professionally and well crafted, but you can see this approach from a mile's distance. The world might be huge and detailed but uncomfortable, it feels like cardboard decorations for the role they want you to play. Not a world where you can live an alternative life.
Also we miss new, not clichéd settings, for example the low-magic fantasy like the first 2 Gothics and the crazy mix of cultures you can find in Morrowind. The Witcher 1 was a breath of fresh air with its Slavic mythology and bestiary as well. These days developers are not taking any risks to miss their hard won audience, they choose good old heroic fantasy with brick-faced heroes and huge shoulder pads or "realistic" variation influenced by George Martin and his followers' books. Personally I would like to see a game set in Jack Vance's "Dying Earth" world, grotesque and not pretending to be so serious. Or Mass Effect gameplay mechanics in a Firefly TV-series universe... Or the Dune universe. Lots of interesting settings and opportunities but nobody takes the risk to create a AAA title like that.
Alexander: The gameplay and level design, that gives you freedom of exploration, not hindered by quest markers and other "guided experience" gimmicks. You know, we really "lived" in some games like Bethesda's TES III or on the island Khorinis in Gothic. Why? Because their creators designed them, so you can find your way without taking a look at the map and constantly using a fast travel system. It was more interesting to follow the road and see where it leads, than checking if there are some question marks, showing the location of the quests or other activities on the map of this area. We like the more ambient storytelling through the details, observation of the events in older games. That is what we want to achieve in Exoplanet: we don't want to hold player's hand but to invite him into adventures that we design. In modern games the guided "cinematic experience" kills this feeling of freedom for us.
You can still pledge for their Kickstarter, if you haven't yet and like what you read.
Exoplanet: First Contact - Devil's Throat Mine
Next up for the Exoplanet: First Contact Kickstarter is some lore about the Devil's Throat Mine. The Kickstarter itself is currently at $27K out of a requested $45K, with 18 days to go.
The aborigines of K’Tharsis have a saying, that could be roughly translated as “sky-fallen demons’ footprints are filled with blood of our kin”, which accurately describes the history of this remote world; full of tragic and bloody events, that demonstrate the greedy and contemptuous attitude of humans toward nature, native aborigines and, even their own kind. The story of the first contact between the two civilizations (humans and aborigines) started when smuggler captain Lee Brennigan crash landed on K’Tharsis and discovered antigravium. This lucky discovery led the entire star cluster to an epidemic of a classic Gold Rush and caused the deaths of billions. Greed and ardor led the adventurous from all across the Known Space to a far corner of the Galaxy, where a fierce competition resulted in unbelievable cruelty. Ownership of the rich deposits rapidly changed hands, with the original proprietors vanishing without a trace. However, the most grim stories aren’t told about bloody massacres between freelance prospectors and bandit gangs of the first colonial wave. They’re about a unique, extremely deep mine in Hatton’s crevice that was opened much later after the initial booming colonization and was named The Devil’s Throat, for a reason.
The mining site called "Lucky Strike" was registered 30 years after Brennigan’s landing on K’Tharsis by none other than the late Diamond Dave. Probably he was not the first to claim this patch of the double-sun scorched K’Tharsis’ land for himself after putting a dozen bullets between the eyes of those who tried to challenge his rights, but surely he was the smartest among the previous owners. Dave quickly understood that the treasure in his hands was too big for a lonely small fry to keep. He started to hire the less fortunate adventurers as workers as miners, paying them more than his competitors. He didn’t forget to invite the various armed and dangerous types to be his guards. Dave wasn’t stopped by the fact, that lots of them were outlaws and cutthroats in search of easy money. This proud owner of the most profitable private mine on the planet was charismatic and paranoid enough to keep his position for some time.
Friday - August 21, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Kickstarter Update #5
New stretch goals for Exoplanet: First Contact are announced in Kickstarter update #5:
In the last days we have been getting a lot of questions from you, our backers, and some media representatives about the stretch goals. We decided to release them as soon as we reached the 25% funding mark. A small spike of backers is now bringing us close to the 30% of the initial goal! Our heartfelt thanks for the new backers and those who decided to upgrade their pledges. The time has come and here are our Stretch Goals for Exoplanet: First Contact Kickstarter campaign!
- $50,000 Origins
- $60,000 Your ship is your home, your crew is your family
- $80,000 Random Encounters
Thursday - August 20, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Kickstarter Update #4
The Kickstarter Exoplanet: First Contact has reached 11k of the 45k goal:
10k reached! A sandbox FPS,RTS,RPG game - all the things we want to do in a fantasy world!
Our campaign seems to take the marathon tempo, so we are working hard to increase our publicity, contacting lots of sites and other game-related media as well. We have some good content prepared for upcoming Kickstarter updates. Expect more detailed lore and game design articles to be released soon, as well as some info about our team and also fun stories from the history of Exoplanet's development!
This is followed by a shoutout for Civcraft - they have reached their Kickstarter goal already:
CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria, a Sandbox FPS, RTS, RPG game.
Yes, you got it right! These developers mix all the genres together and it looks pretty cool to us! Check it out! To be honest, we wanted to do many of these things while playing fantasy RPG's, Skyrim or first two Witchers for example: to add a little bit more strategy and sandbox to the standard RPG soup. But we couldn't. We really wanted to build a kindom, become a ruler, a person of true importance, and to influence these game's worlds on many levels. Not only by killing monsters in dungeons but by building a town, raising a faction.
CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria seems to offer all these dreams in one package. This project's campaign has already achieved it's basic funding on Kickstarter and is aiming for some great stretch goals. They need your support right now!
Monday - August 17, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Kickstarter Update #3
Here is the third Kickstarter update for Exoplanet: First Contact about the discovery of K'Tharsis and Jackpot Town.
Three hundred years before Mister Sharp set foot on the surface of this dangerous planet, no one knew or cared much about the remote double star system named in charts, Tharsis-831. It was situated deep in the poorly explored territory, which will be named Rogue Worlds a couple of hundred years later, after the devastating Human-Orha war. For most of the space travelers Tharsis-831 was just an ordinary binary white and red dwarf star system, the type that rarely gives birth to any life on its planets and contains enough valuable resources to risk one’s neck exploring it. The system was neglected and avoided by prospectors, merchants and even outlaws on the run because it was situated too far from contemporary trade paths and too close to the Orha autocracy space, to the home space of the race that was always overprotective when it comes to trespassing their borders, even potential threats. In short – this system was an ass-end of the galaxy and would have stayed like that if not for the laziness of one very irresponsible smuggler captain. Ironically, the first town on the planet was named in his honor, if being connected to this particular town that way could do any honor at all.
Friday - August 14, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - What's That Chapter
In the first update for the Exoplanet: First Contact Kickstarter campaign, it is explaied what those chapters entail, that they talk about in the campaign.
During the first days of Exoplanet’s Kickstarter campaign we received a lot of questions. One of the most important is “what is a Chapter in your vision of the game?” Many people think a Chapter is an Episode, a relatively small part of the game, that could be released as a DLC for instance. But we strongly define it as different thing!
We want to focus that a Chapter is a complete game with a full storyline and quests. The player won’t feel like he only saw the first TV series episode, but he took part in a complete adventure like one movie of The Lord of The Rings. Our decision of 10+ hrs of gameplay is our minimal delivery, and this covers the main story only. There will be sidequests and exploration activities, that will allow you to get to know K’Tharsis in detail and to discover new options for the main quest. Side quests will lead to non linear gameplay, and as a result increase replayability of the game. One more important callout is that every quest is unique and hand crafted. You will have unique experiences, not the same one when different NPCs ask you to make similar activities. Consider it like higher quality gameplay, not quantity. So it’s really 10+hrs, + sidequests + exploration + replayability.
But this is not all what we have in store. In our plan we have several major stretch goals, that add to the game additional activities that will increase gameplay hours twice or more and add new experiences. The stretch goals will be revealed in following updates.
We are starting with Chapters, as we understand our current limitations. We are not a big studio and we don’t have a big group behind us. So we decided to be honest and use a word that we can handle. I strongly believe many gamers understand that $45,000 is not enough to make a game for >80 hours of quality gameplay. That’s why we decided to go with several large and logically separated Chapters, and move some ideas to stretch goals. If we have enough funding, we can implement more gameplay and content in this Chapter as we already have ideas and desires to implement more features and content for the Exoplanet’s world.
Wednesday - August 12, 2015
Exoplanet: First Contact - Kickstarter Launched
Farflame let us know that the Kickstarter for Exoplanet: First Contact, a RPG based on Wild West in space, has been launched.
Exoplanet: First Contact is a single-player, story driven action RPG set in a Space Western universe. Here, real and fictional technologies meet the cruel and unforgiving, yet romantic reality of the Wild West.
You are Jack Sharp, a daring adventurer, stranded on a dangerous, wild planet known as K’Tharsis. K’Tharsis is a former mining outpost, gradually becoming a ghost colony as the Antigravium Crystal Rush is over and the inhabitants struggle for survival.
Exoplanet is inspired by games, movies and fictional worlds that changed the team’s vision of the RPG experience. We mixed the best of TESIII: Morrowind, Gothic, Fallout with the Firefly TV-series and the Dune Universe. These are the main ingredients defining the look and feel of Exoplanet.
Nostalgia alone isn’t the best foundation for a new universe, and that is why Exoplanet: First Contact is made with modern technology and hard-core game design.
Information aboutExoplanet: First Contact
Play-time: 10-20 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· To be announced
· Publisher: GrabTheGames