In this rather large update, we will be showing off the new advanced movement system, some new environment concepts, actual environments, new mechanics and some new animations! It's been an incredibly busy month with tons of things being worked on, so let's get into it!
New Movement Animations [WIP Demonstration]:
These last two weeks we have been working on over 160 animations for player movement and weapon usage, as well as interactions with the world. We have been focusing first on creating a very smooth movement system that will allow players to traverse the world in a fast-paced and controlled manner which we think will elevate the experience and allow for a ton of different ways to approach puzzles and enemy encounters.
The vaulting, sliding, and mantling systems are currently being polished to ensure they work consistently without any issues in a variety of environments, and initial testing has been very promising -- so you can expect even more improvements as the system is refined!
The next piece to this system will be the combat animations, which we will soon be implementing and are super excited to start showcasing since they are a huge step up from the animations showcased in our demo.
Chicken Animations! [SCP-3199 Elder and Baby Variants]:
Both the Elder variant and Baby variant of SCP-3199 have been getting their new animations to start preparing them for their star role in Chapter 1! There are quite a few animations that have been designed for these creatures but these are the newest. We are focusing on creating animations for these characters that are threatening and realistic but will also help create a legitimate stealth/survival experience through dynamic sleeping and detection animations.
The babies now have their new calling animations which will provide them a direct link to the Elders, which can cause serious issues for players who are not stealthy around them since Elders are extremely strong and can do a ton of damage if you're not careful!
There are a few more animations we need to do for these characters before they are done, mainly the screaming animations and attack pattern animations, but they are nearly ready to go and we are so excited to showcase the new efficient AI system we have been cooking up for them in another update.
New SCP-3199 SFX:
The Elders have finally started getting some new SFX in, and we are incredibly happy with their new direction! These sounds are still WIP and are going to be tweaked but we have what is essentially the raw sound signature of these guys down and will be working from here to start creating the bone-chilling screams that you can expect to hear in many areas throughout the facility. These sounds are also being created with a lot of flexibility to them, so disembodied screams and other scary sounds are going to be included so we can really start to amp up the atmosphere to a whole other level.
The Babies are next up and we will be creating their sounds based on the sound signature of this creature and will be refining it over the next week or so until we are confident enough to show it off here, so keep an eye out for that update!
Environmental SFX [Hume and Electricity]:
Something we are focusing on for Chapter 1 and beyond is environmental interaction. We strongly feel that players being able to interact with the environment is key to an enjoyable and deep experience, especially when that interaction can change some aspect of gameplay in a meaningful way. Above are two examples of new mechanics (with new SFX) that will do just that!
The strange purple liquid (which has WIP VFX and is missing the lighting bolt SFX) is known as "Hume" liquid and is going to be a key component to gameplay in Chapter 2 and beyond, but it also will make an appearance in Chapter 1 and be a hazard that players should watch out for. However, they can use this liquid to their advantage if they see Hume containers and can use it to cause havoc for unsuspecting enemies. Hume Liquid's main usage, however, will be in Chapter 2 and more information will come later for exactly what it will be used for -- but we are very eager to showcase it since the mechanic it's attached to will change gameplay in a massive manner!
The new lighting and spark effects are actually part of a prop that is currently being modeled, which is a large wall transformer. Players can damage most transformers they come across which will start to release these massive energy beams which can stun and kill SCPs and people alike.
A great strategy these damaged transformers can be used for is laying traps for creatures that may be unfortunate to walk through them, as well as being used as a distraction to allow easier sneaking around enemies, lending a hand to cunning stealth players.
Right Side Tunnel Concept:
This is a concept for one of the later sections of Chapter 1, where a lot of stealth-focused gameplay will take place. We are very happy with how this environment has turned out conceptually and are eager to get started on the models to bring this unique environment to life. We encourage players to take note of these concepts since in-game there is going to be a very interesting addition that will make this area challenging and also quite entertaining to be in.
The overall art style of this area is very brutalist and has lots of moving parts, so ambient effects are going to make up a lot of the atmosphere in this area, which will also lend itself to the horror and allow a lot of tension building as players traverse through these large open spaces.
Power Wire Connector Concept:
Connecting power between the Fuse Boxes and Power Cores (which are featured down below) are these wires. Players will be able to visually tell which direction power is flowing and will be able to follow these wires to find either a power core or fuse box, depending on which direction they choose to follow.
These wires will also dynamically respond to changes in power and will give a very easy-to-understand visual cue as to the status of any particular machine or power core with just a glance.
Fuse Box Demonstration [WIP Mechanic]:
A new mechanic we have been working on quite extensively for the past few weeks is the Fuse Box system. This is a very flexible system that will be used in a variety of situations throughout the entire game like powering generators, unlocking doors, and routing power to secret rooms to grab new and unique loot items. The sounds are placeholder for now but the system itself is actually fully functional.
You will notice that it's possible to place fuses in their respective slots which can be used to open and route power through to other machines or areas after they are fully calibrated. This will require players to be on the lookout for fuses but will also enable players who keep one or two spares in their inventory to dynamically alter their playthrough by unlocking other routes or doors that would have otherwise not been accessible if they didn't have a spare fuse.
Fuses are still having their UI worked on, but these will have a cool glowing effect so they will be very visible in the dimly lit environments of Site-113. Fuses will also be a purchasable item from vendors, so having a couple of spares should be quite simple for players to accomplish and might just lead to some serious upgrades for those who take the risk!
These systems will have attached wires soon which will visually show where power is being routed from and where it's going to, so players can simply follow the wires to figure out where certain areas are and to determine which wire powers which machine.
The new power core system is one that directly ties into the fuse box system, with these cores being the main source of power for systems that exist around the facility. Players will sometimes need to find and replace these cores to advance through sections but may also be required to use the nearby fuse fox to properly route power through the environment to power what they need to.
This power core system will send power through the special wires (which we saw above) and will visually let players track where power is going and to which device it is directly powering. We are extremely excited to finalize this system and get it set up in the environment since it's going to be a really cool mechanic that will allow for a lot of flexibility in how levels are designed and how players decide to approach certain situations.
Sometimes life gets messy and you get a few scratches...
However, with the new healing system we are creating you will be able to heal those wounds and more with the simple press of a button! These new syringes will be found in health stations and other various areas across the world and will allow players to heal themselves or to apply certain boosts depending on which questionable substance a particular syringe has in it.
In subsequent chapters, the player will be introduced to their syringe gun, which will let them fire syringes (like the one on the far left) to inject targets at a distance with tranquilizer syringes or other devious substances to achieve the desired effect.
Players must be careful when they choose to heal since healing will utilize an animation that can open them up to attack if they heal in combat -- so always choose where to heal wisely!
These airlock hatches are a new model and a unique way to traverse some areas in Site-113, given you can find a way to power them. Players will find these in many areas as an alternative path through areas and some can make stealth and even combat sections significantly easier if the player puts in the effort to activate them -- and who knows, maybe there will be some extra goodies for you in certain vents...
NPC Concept Design [Scientist]:
A new NPC we are currently working on is the Scientist! This uniform will be one of the standardized variations that personnel within Site-113 use in their day-to-day lives. However, as time went on and the facility started to crumble, so too did the uniforms of many of the people who lived there -- especially those who were forced to defend themselves from looters or various horrifying creatures that have been running loose in Site-113.
We will begin working on this character shortly and are excited to start sharing progress reports for how it's coming along, as well as the new facial animation system we have been testing!
These are the ID Keycards for Site-113, and you may notice that there is a wide variety of colors for each card. These colors are directly tied to key rank, and higher rank cards will tend to have a darker color to them.
However, these cards will be used for more than just activating and opening doors and will also be used to store currency and certain special clearance that players can use to get around the facility. Mechanically, these cards work in a special manner in that if players find a keycard that is a higher rank than their own they must find an ID Scanner to transfer the clearance from the higher rank card onto their own -- along with any currency present on the card.
Once the transfer is complete, any currency from equal-level cards or lower-level cards will directly transfer onto the player's card to prevent needing to constantly find ID Scanners to transfer currency back and forth between cards of equal or lower rank.
Players can also find keycards tied to a specific personal safe, locker, or area and instead of being forced to find an ID Scanner to transfer clearance, players can simply bring that card with them to unlock the specific thing that is linked to that individual's card.
One of our latest new environmental pieces is the new airlock. These will be special transition rooms that will take players from pressurized areas in the facility to lower-pressure (or no-pressure) areas that also have little to no oxygen.
These have a cool animation they will also play, and will take players through a sanitization/pressurization sequence once they pass into one and activate it. We will be showing off the animation once we get it set up in-engine and recorded. The sound design for these is also something we are putting special emphasis on too -- so we will be sure to make a video on it the moment it's ready to be shown off!
WIP Airlock Transition Room:
Here we have a room just outside that airlock room we showed off in the last update. This room is currently being worked on and has a very large amount of props that will help populate later areas in Chapter One and the game in general, so this area is actually quite important to get detailed props and materials made for -- and we will be showing those off in the next update.
This area also leads into the Sky Bridge environment, which we are also incredibly excited to begin on since it should make for a very pretty area we think players are going to get a breathtaking view from, so look out for that in the coming posts too.
Something we have been working on recently is creating more living/organic items to add to environments that will help show the age of the facility as well as how unkept it has been as players make their way through and uncover the story of Site-113.
However, plants and other greenery also break up a lot of the visuals in environments and just generally give a more lived-in feeling -- which is something we have been working hard on to ensure every single environment looks like people really and truly did live and work there. These plants are also extremely important for Chapter 3, which is located in the Aquaponics Zone of Site-113 and will have a lot of plants and organic things that will make that a super unique environment, and we'd like to have a nice library of custom-made plants built to bring that zone to the next level.
Keycard Reader and Crane Control System:
Two new interactable props we want to call out are the Keycard Reader and the Crane Control Station. Both of these props will be interactable whenever you may come across them in the environment -- but their functions are very different.
Throughout the facility, there will be several types of keycards (shown above) and these will all have a different access level and various amounts of credits stored on the card. Players will, naturally, start out with the lowest-ranking keycard and a starter amount of currency. However, as players progress throughout the world and find new keycards with higher access levels, they will need to use those Keycard Readers to transfer the higher rank onto their personal card -- along with any currency stored on the card.
After the transfer is completed, players can collect currency from their current keycard level or any lower-level cards without needing to find a keycard reader to transfer anything. Players can also find keycards that are tied to specific individuals for unique items or locations. These keycards can be stored in the inventory and will not need a keycard reader to transfer clearance.
The Crane Control System will work differently, and players can use these wherever they find them to interact with nearby cargo cranes to drop or pick up nearby cargo. These can be used to clear paths or crush enemies depending on the unique situation the player may find themselves in.
We've also been hard at work on some more models to populate the environments, and these new fences and gates will be located in a lot of areas you will encounter as you make your way through the game. We can't show off where exactly these will be used yet -- but just know we're excited about it and hope you are too!
Another environmental model we have been working on is breakable vents, which you will be able to melee open to move through vent systems located in many areas in Chapter One and beyond. These will be lit up to show where they are through the darkness and can be very rewarding if you choose to make your way through an associated vent system.
Since Site-113 has its own spaceport, we wanted to create models that would embody that feeling that people really did once travel and work here on their way to and from Earth. So, to support this, we have been working on several luggage models and cabinet models that mechanics and other support staff would use to keep things in Site-113 and its spaceports running smoothly.
WIP Tram Concepts:
Those of you who played and completed the demo we did last year may have seen the tram that arrived at the end to take you deeper into the facility. This new design is functionally the same as the prior design but this time features a ram on the front that can be used to clear materials off the tracks that run throughout the entirety of the facility and connect each zone together.
We have some plans to use that ram on the front for an objective or two -- so stick around through development to see how that will come together!
New Prop Concepts [Generator Console and Cargo Elevators]:
Featured in two new environments will be the Generator Control Station and the Cargo Elevator systems. These will both be pieces of objectives that you will need to interact with in order to activate certain unique power systems or to reach different floors in a particular area.
You can activate the cargo elevators by simply interacting with the terminals close to them and these will allow you to travel up or down -- depending on the situation.
Cave Environment Concept:
Environmental diversity is a large piece in creating memorable experiences for players, and just within Chapter One alone, we have planned for several very unique environments like this cave system in order to take players to different styles of environments where they can interact with and experience unique things within those specific environments.
These can also act as areas of rest from specific enemy or creature encounters and will allow the progression of the story and even opportunities for dialogue that would otherwise muddy up the scary and tense encounters that we are looking to maintain throughout the game.
Combat Animation Overhaul:
Something we have been working on for a bit now is the combat animation overhaul -- and we are extremely happy with how complex this new system is. The animations have not all been implemented yet but the fluidity of motion in combat as well as the ability to interrupt and charge animations has led to the building blocks for what will ideally become an incredibly robust system that all melee and combat will build off of for the entire game.
We are still working to implement the blocking animations and some last polish animations to blend things together nicely, but overall the heavy lifting for this system is now done and so far it looks and feels fantastic in-game!
Turning Polish Animations:
Another core piece of the movement system we have newly implemented is a turning-in-place system and some new crouching animations. These animations help bring the entire movement system together since the player will no longer slide around when turning and will actually physically move the legs to keep up with mouse rotation.
We have also added some new unarmed animations for crouching that bring the hands onto the screen which really helps to sell the sneaky aspect that crouching has in this game.
NPC Facial Animations:
The release of Unreal Engine 5.2 has brought along a totally new technology called MetaHuman Animator. This technology enables developers to use an iPhone or similar camera to capture face animations through video data and translate that information onto a 3D face rig which can be used with ANY metahuman character.
This has been an incredible game changer for us since we are now able to capture high-fidelity face animations for any NPC and process them in about the time it takes to make a cup of coffee. The results we've achieved with this technology are extremely impressive and the above video is a completely raw take with zero editing done to the character!
We will be using this system extensively along with our motion capture suite to bring the NPCs and other characters to life in a way that will help tell a fantastic story and will allow the animations and characters to look amazing while doing it.
The next things we will be focusing on are finishing off the hacking mechanics, AI systems and finalizing the player movement systems before we begin doing sequencing for creating the specific encounters that players will have throughout Chapter One. We are also working on a lot of new VFX and SFX that you can expect to start seeing associated with their animations for both SCP-3199s and the player/NPC.
We are super excited about all of the new stuff we are going to have to show off shortly, especially the new combat mechanics and AI systems since those are crucial to creating a solid gameplay experience that is both enjoyable and replayable.
We've progressed a lot of these systems really far and things are shaping up to be really cool -- so thank you so much for sticking around and checking out these update posts! Please feel free to share your thoughts and feedback down below, and we will see you in the next update!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR AMAZING SUPPORT!