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January and February Mega Update: Playtesting, New areas, animations and more!

Hey everyone, and welcome to another mega update!

This month and last we have been hard at work getting things settled with the first official playtest, and we are very happy to share that we have made some substantial stability enhancements with this new feedback as well as some small tweaks to features and how things are presented.

Kickstarter Playtesting News:

One of the most nail-biting periods during the game development cycle is when players first get their hands on a playtesting copy of the game since even the most tried and tested systems are bound to break when players play just a bit differently.

During our first round of playtesting, we found plenty of bugs both big and small with some notable ones giving some very comical moments throughout the testing period. However, we released a couple of hotfixes during this time and fixed most of the large bugs, which has taken the game to a MUCH more stable state in general.

We have a vast array of notes for general improvements based on the current feedback, but of course, we are always open to more.

For those of you Kickstarter backers who have not gotten the opportunity to test – fear not! We will be opening up testing in batches and these batches will include all Kickstarter backers from $50 and up. We are currently testing with $100 backers and up to get the big fixes out of the way and then will be adding more sequencing and finalized pieces to the game to polish it out to completion. During this time, playtesting will be open and will remain that way until launch so playtesters can test as much or as little as they’d like while we push changes to the game based on their feedback.

Space Hangar 07: 

Space Planes landing at Terminals outside the Site-113 main facility need to land somewhere, and we have since constructed a type of Space Hangar that will be used to store these large spacecraft. 

Cargo, power generation tools, and all sorts of supply items come through these massive hangars since it's one of the most important ways Site-113 can restock supplies from their direct connection with Earth -- so it may just be worth having a look around since you never know what you may stumble across! 

Workplace Hazard [Unfinished Cave]: 

Despite a plethora of OSHA violations, Site-113 is an ever-expanding facility that needs to make room for new areas to do research, store items, and even store anomalies. In order to do this, they cut deep channels into the crust of Mars and begin to tunnel massive sections out to fortify them and prepare roadways and transport tunnels. 

In some cases, complications may arise from active magma tubes which, if left unchecked, can have catastrophic consequences for any surrounding architecture that cannot withstand the heat (human flesh included).  

Train Station [Non-Final Lighting]: 

The most important method of transportation between the auxiliary terminals and the inside of the Main Site-113 station are several rail systems that link each distinctive zone together. Each rail line starts and ends with a train station, which generally houses two sets of tracks for inbound and outgoing trains. 

There will be looting opportunities in these stations since they were once a bustling hub of site personnel going between the Space Hangars to the inside of the facility, and for those departing from Site-113 back to Earth. 

The Lobby: 

A key location you will become very familiar with is the Lobby. Here you will find access to several locations throughout Chapter One, and will experience some pretty important plot events here. 

We are really excited about this environment too since it has an extra special surprise in it that we cannot wait for players to experience. It's our first time trying something like it out and we hope everyone enjoys what we have planned. 

Advanced Lighting Test: 

As part of our ongoing visual enhancements, we have begun testing fog as well as different types of post-processing effects and special lighting profiles. We are quite happy with how these changes are coming along but there is still more we'd like to do before we call anything final. 

We will be sharing more lighting enhancement updates as development progresses, but these environments will also be seen in-game too -- so let us know what you think about the changes as you see them implemented in-game! 

Concept Art [Reality Anchor]:


Reality Anchors are an incredibly complex device used by The SCP Foundation to help stabilize reality and stave off effects created by reality-bending entities. The device is designed to be portable in order to accompany MTF units into the field as well as allow it to be safely stored and deployed quickly in emergencies. 

The in-game usage of the Reality Anchor is something you will see in a later chapter, but it's got quite the impact on gameplay and we are very excited to be developing some really cool mechanics alongside this device that we think players will love. 

Concept Art [Explosive Barrels and ID Card Readers]: 

Those of you who played the demo may have encountered our explosive barrels, which fit the demo's style and look pretty well. However, we have decided we want to redo their look to match the new style we have for the game and have come up with a design that we think fits the look and is easily distinguishable, which should allow them to be used to great effect when zapped with your trusty welder! 

Something we are going to be trying out is the idea of using the keycard mechanic to activate certain terminals as well as being able to use personnel keycards to unlock their personal computer to get data, open things, and just generally interact with the world in a deeper manner. This is something that may be seen in Chapter One, but that really just depends on the time constraints. You can expect to see it in Chapter Two and beyond though. 

Inside Site-113 [Early Architecture]: 

Those of you who have been following the project for a while probably are very familiar with the first concept image we have posted of the interior of Site-113. After much planning, tweaking, and designing we have finally completed most of the architecture that is required to actually create that beautiful concept shot in-game. 

This has been an incredible environment to create since it clearly ties everything you will be doing together and gives a drop-dead gorgeous view of the interior of Site-113 that is going to be a real spectacle to look at. Of course, there are many adjustments still to do to these architectural pieces such as adding the forestation, ice, and flesh but these will be done in the coming months and we should have it ready to go for people to experience in Chapter 2 and beyond! 

New Animations [SCP-3199 Elder Door Pry]: 

There is something distinctly terrifying about not being truly safe -- even when behind closed doors. This effect is key to making players uncomfortable and we absolutely wanted to bring an atmosphere like this to the game. 

In order to do this, we decided it would be fun to enable the SCP-3199 Elders to pry open doors if they know the player is behind them or if there is some noise in there that they would like to investigate. After an elder prys open a door, it will break and remain open forever -- which can give players an easy escape should they juke past an Elder that is searching for them. 

New Animations [Valve Spin]:

Environmental interaction is a cornerstone of SCP: Fragmented Minds, and we have started making a couple of animations for the player interacting with items in the environment which can be used to dynamically change what is going on around the player and even to kill enemies if used properly. 

Sequence Animations [Waking Up and Cryopod]: 

One of the last things we have left to work on are these special sequence animations that help tell the story of the game and immerse players into the world through various events that happen around them. 

Those who played the demo might remember we had some sequence animations, and these new ones are a massive improvement in quality over those previous animations. We are super excited to finish these animations up as well as the associated voice acting and audio design, so make sure to keep a lookout for the next update or just experience them in-game for yourself! 

Power Core System: 

Puzzles are a large gameplay element, and we have started designing the Power Core System, which will act as an enhancement to the Fuse Box system. These power cores can be found in various places in the world and used to power generators, specific doors, or even whole Fuse Boxes to provide an extra layer of challenge and progression to the existing power-based puzzle system. 

We are also planning on allowing players to throw broken power cores to shock nearby enemies and water, which can make these handy cores even more useful as an actual weapon to combat the hordes of creatures you'll find throughout the game. 

What's Next?

For the next couple of months, until launch, we are planning on running several phases of playtests to test the new mechanics, sequencing, voice acting, and hunt down and squash all the bugs we possibly can to create the most polished experience possible.

We will also be adding some cool fire mechanics in shortly as well as the throwable fire extinguishers which will have a similar function to the Cryo Grenades you might have tried out in the demo. These will be useful in dealing with enemies and putting out environmental hazards wherever you may find them.

Puzzles are also a main focus of the coming months, and we will be building out the functionality to ensure that they function properly and are fun to interact with as well as recording all the dialogue to go along with them. It's going to be a pretty packed couple of months up to launch and we are just so eager for players to get their hands on everything that has been created!

We are going to be showing off an extra special new SCP that we have been working on shortly -- so make sure to stick around for it's reveal!

Special Thanks:

We are quickly coming up on the one-year anniversary of working with our amazing programmer Matthew (known as Radinque). He has done an incredible job of bringing the AI to life, creating really unique mechanics, and polishing up the advanced movement system to a point that we could not have dreamed up -- and that is just scratching the surface.

The team is extremely grateful to have him on board and we are so excited to see what the next year brings -- so thank you Matthew for all your fantastic work!




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