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April/May Polish Update:

Hey everyone!


These last two months have mainly focused on playtesting and creating/polishing some of the final mechanics and areas that will be visited throughout Chapter One. We have also been hard at work on some fun cinematic and gameplay animations that will make the environment more interactive as you make your way through it.



Playtesting Information:


About a week ago, we started doing a 2nd large-scale playtest with all of the Kickstarter backers and some third parties, and have begun to modify things in the game based on that invaluable feedback. The first couple of playtests are always a bit nerve wracking as reports of extremely strange bugs and enemy interactions come in, but we are happy to say that we have ironed out most of the major issues and will be continuing to improve based on feedback until launch -- and then for the foreseeable future after that!



New Cinematic Animations: 


Since we have started to work on the actual sequence that will take place in Chapter 1, we wanted to begin setting up some of the animations that will play and give life to the events that take place in this chapter. 


There are a couple more cinematic animations to do, but these above are some of the smaller ones we are about to implement for some events that happen to the player as they make their way into Site-113. 


Prop Animations:



Along with a couple of new animations for the player, we have also been working on creating some animations for various props that will be encountered throughout the game. These interactable and animated props help breathe life into the environment, and we are very excited for players to encounter them since they're all included in some pretty important sequences. 


A couple of these props still need their sounds implemented, which you will see as a general theme throughout most of the videos, but luckily we will be working on a large sound overhaul this month and the next -- so things should start coming together for that pretty quickly. 


New Props [Bathroom]:


We've recently created some props for various types of bathrooms that players can find throughout the game, this was mainly to give spaces a "lived-in" feeling and allow certain areas of the facility to look as though they would be part of an actual massive facility housing thousands of employees. 


Some of these props are planned to be interactable too, so we encourage players to attempt to mess around with them and see if they can figure out how to "break" them open. 


New Props [Oil Spills, Signage, Cords]: 



In order to populate the environments more and give extra details to certain areas, we have been working on some extra props to fill in some areas with things that make sense and, as we will see a little later in this post, can also have a pretty large impact on gameplay if used correctly. 


We've been creating some signage to help guide players around the facility too, as well as a couple of fans and other props which will be animated and make things feel even more alive in the areas you'll be visiting.


Quintet Soda and Vending Machine: 




Because we are kind of obsessed with small details, we have been working on an in-universe soda/energy drink company called Quintet. You'll be able to find and purchase various drinks from vending machines located around the facility, and this mechanic should even be available in Chapter One!


These drinks have a small use too, and they'll be able to restore some health or give a temporary boost to energy depending on the version you come across. For reference, the Quintet+ bottles are the energy drink version which will give a small boost to stamina while the normal Quintet bottles contain the soda variation which will heal you. 


The vending machines themselves help introduce the idea of an in-universe currency system that will be stored on your special keycard and available to see in your Codex. This currency will be used to purchase things from vending machines like these and also used to buy things from merchants -- so be sure to have some spare credits! 


Information Kiosk:



We've been working on some fun interactable signage that will display information about various containment chambers, locations, and facts that players can take a look at throughout their journey in the site. These kiosks can also sometimes have interactable buttons that will impact something in the environment --- so if you see one be sure to take a closer look!


SCP-3199's Fleshy Nests: 


To really amp up the SCP-3199 environments, we've started creating some subtle fleshy tendrils and other bits that are used by SCP-3199s as a safe place to nest and lay their special eggs. It's in these nests that you can expect to find a very large infestation of the creatures with the Elder variants being particularly aggressive to protect their young. 


These areas are still WIP but the flesh is pretty much done and ready to be placed around the nests and surrounding areas to create a very disgusting location that will be an interesting place to traverse regardless of the playstyle you choose. 


Interaction Animations [Valve and Door Prying]: 




As you roam around Site-113, you'll come across various obstacles and puzzles that need to be solved for you to progress. One example of this is the new interactable valves, which can be used to turn on or off gas lines and can be used to set traps or even block enemies off your back if used in conjunction with the welder. Of course, like a lot of the puzzles there is more than one way to solve it and fire extinguishers can simply be thrown at them to extinguish the flame and allow one to safely pass through. 


Another example of an interaction mechanic is the new pryable doors, which will be sprinkled around and used to break up certain sections by requiring the player to interact with them before they can pass through. We have a very specific use case for these in mind -- which you will all see when you play! 


Also, do not worry about the number of QTEs that are being showcased -- we are making sure to spread them out as well as adding an optional accessibility setting that will allow them to be completed by holding the corresponding button rather than tapping it. 



Improved Tunnel Lighting: 



As part of our ongoing improvements to the overall lighting within Chapter One, we have been experimenting with certain new lighting methods and have been able to get some very pretty water-caustic effects that are quite performance-friendly. This, along with some new post-processing and volumetric fog effects, has started to make the newly lit areas of the game look very pretty while also maintaining a lot of performance through carefully set-up static lighting. 


These areas are coming together very nicely and we cannot wait to show them off in our trailer and for you to see them in-game! 


Dome Interior [WIP]: 


In the last update, we saw this dome section coming together and we are happy to say it's now fully put together in-game! Of course, it still needs forestation, ice, and the disgusting flesh that are all staples of the three unique zones you'll be visiting in Site-113. 


We will be putting it together over the coming months though to record some really cool cinematics in there, so you can expect to see updates with this massive area for the next couple of months! 


New Mechanics [Fire Propagation and Fire Extinguishers]: 





Interaction with the environment is a core gameplay pillar of SCP: Fragmented Minds, and we have been designing some new mechanics to allow players to actually utilize their environment to trap enemies or even impact the environment itself to open up new ways through levels. 


We've created a new system for fire that allows the welder to be used essentially as a match to ignite puddles of oil or gas leaks -- which can have devastating effects if there are any nearby flammable objects. 


However, to also allow players to put out the fires that will exist in the environment, we have also set up new fire extinguishers that can be used to extinguish flames and even freeze enemies -- a mechanic we used in the demo we released way back when and wanted to bring back! 


The sounds for these mechanics will be implemented shortly too, so stick around to hear how those will sound since we are using a new audio middleware program that gives a lot finer grain control over how audio sounds than we previously had. 


Combat Mechanic Update [Damage Animations]: 



We have been doing some playtesting recently, and a lot of testers wanted us to add animations to help understand when they are actually doing damage to enemies. Since then, we have created a procedural animation system that will play when hitting an enemy and makes it extremely apparent when you have done damage to an enemy and when they are stunned. 


Physics-Driven Doors:  



While most of the doors you'll see around the game are variations of airlocks or vent hatches, we wanted a type of door that can be affected by the environment and by enemies. We have since made a special type of door that can simply be opened just by walking through it or kicking it but can also be opened by props and various random creatures that might want to take a peek at what's behind them. 


Crane Platforms: 



There are several areas in the game where platforming is absolutely encouraged and a new feature will be a form of moving crane platforms that can be used to traverse the environment in different ways -- or can be used to get back up to a certain spot if you're unfortunate enough to have fallen down. Platforms like this will usually need to be activated and powered through a crane controller, so make sure to always look around for one nearby. 


Controller Support:



Something we have been working on recently is ensuring the game has controller support natively baked in, and we are happy to report that we are starting to switch up all the controls to be compatible with controller and making sure they are hot swappable so players can pick and choose how they want to play without the inconvenience of needing to restart to switch input methods.


This is still heavily WIP but it's coming along quite nicely and we are so excited to see players able to use multiple input methods to play how they like!


UI Overhaul:



We have begun switching over all the developer testing UI to the actual final UI designs that will be found throughout the entire game, and we just finished up with the save station UI and hacking PDA UI and are currently in the process of finishing up the inventory UI.


There are still a couple more big UI pieces like the HUD and settings menus that need to be finished up, but you can expect to see those likely in the next update!


SCP-049:


It's a loosely kept secret that we have officially finished our design of SCP-049, and while we would love to share all the fun images of him here, we want to really do him justice and will be making a small animated reveal trailer with his design instead! You can expect that in the coming months, so make sure to subscribe to our YouTube so you don't miss that!


What's coming next? 


Over this month and the coming ones, we'll be doing a lot of sound implementation to get everything switched over to our new audio system. However, we will also be doing most of the remaining sequencing stuff and some fun NPC animations that have actual face motion so we can't wait to see how those turn out. We will also be finishing up the remaining UI bits and adding the last little tweaks based on playtesting that should help make the experience all the more enjoyable and fun to play.


We're also working on getting the last remaining cutscenes and voice lines done to wrap up pretty much everything that's left before we can call Chapter One done -- and we are so incredibly excited to share it with you when it launches!


We will have an official release date for Chapter One set in the coming months, so keep an eye out!


THANK YOU!


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