Astroneer: Early Gameplay Footage

Astroneer: Early Gameplay Footage

This week at GDC, the developers at System Era Softworks showed off a very early build of Astroneer to Giant Bomb. The 30 minutes worth of footage is very exciting, showcasing exploration, some survival mechanics and the complete lack of UI elements (which I am in love with). After the video below, I’ll sum up some of the most interesting elements in a sort of Astroneer Cliff Notes:

 

Notes from GDC 3/16/16 Astroneer Pre-Alpha Demo to Giant Bomb

  • General Information
    • This is the first time we’ve seen Astroneer hands on!
    • Super Early – Pre-Alpha State
    • Running on Unreal 4
    • Open World Exploration where your main purpose is to find resources for Earth. A Game about being an Astronaut.
    • All voxel based, but has smooth boundries. Don’t want it to feel like a voxel based game.
    • Will be Multiplayer. 2 Player works great currently. Early Access will likely support 4 players.
    • Interacting with Objects: Blue Circle for Main Interaction, White Circle is Secondary (Click and Hold) Interaction.
    • Art style is intentional: Zero Textures in game. Choice in terms of Game Development Resources. Quicker turn around on additions and changes.
    • Start of Game information is still pretty up in the air. New Payers will start on a friendly planet, with a basic habitat module.
    • No Quick Travel. You need to consider your supplies and how to get back.
    • The plan for Early Access is to have Solar Systems, but not Galaxies. They do have some plans to add in the ability to travel to further galaxies.
    • Idea for servers to be Solar Systems, and Server Hives to represent Galaxies.

Astroneer_2

 

  • The Worlds and the Environments
    • Completely Transversable Worlds with Multiple Biomes (No Star Wars Planets)
    • You can dig to the core…and there, things will break. At the center of a planet, you’ll have zero gravity, just like you would in the real world.
    • Planets are randomly generated based on a set of rules. Trying to strike a balance between procedural generation and design.
    • Procedurally generated discoveries: Wreckage, World Discoveries, Mystery Secret Stuff…
    • Different Biomes: Icy, Plains, Desert, Shard . Each offers different challenges, rewards and environmental hazards (Sandstorms, Geysers, Acid Rain).
    • You’ll be able to travel between planets, moons, and other celestial bodies;
      • Some Planets will be more dangerous that others.
      • You’ll be able to take equipment with you between planets.
      • You’ll need to consider fuel needs to get between planets, but Astroneer will not have orbital mechanics (Quote: There’s Kerbal Space Program for that!). CHoice made to help make the game more accessible.
  • UI (or lack there of)
    • There is almost no UI at all in Astroneer. Everything is almost completely Diagetic, i.e. in the world.
    •  Backpack is a 3D Interface showing Oxygen and Energy. Inititally has 8 slots to hold resources and equipment

Astroneer_1

 

  • Resources and Tools
    • Resources/Minerals are indicated by Color and by Shape. (Yellow Star, Purple Hex-Star, Pink Cone)
    • Deformation Tool allows you to dig through terrain and lay it back down. Will gather mineral flecks up, slowly build up 1 Unit of a Mineral. Takes Power from backpack to run.
    • Crafting is done through various 3D Printers.
      • What you can build will be discoverable and is intended to be based on your goals in the game.
    • Players will have a Handheld Printer which will let the build the most important, consumable survival tools (Batteries, Tethers, etc.)
    • Tether Poles are a major exploration tool: allow you to charge while on the move, show clear pathway, provide light.
    • Emphasis on many ways of getting energy: Solar, Geothermal, Power Generators running on Coal, (?) Wind Power (?), (?) Nuclear Power (?).
    • There will also be various non-powered systems (i.e. Rappel Lines)
    • You’ll have access to Surveying tools to locate specific minerals as needed.

Astroneer_4

 

  •  Surviving
    • Energy is depleted gradually, and is used up to power tools you use. Run out of Energy, and you’ll start running out of Oxygen. Run out of Oxygen, and you’ll run out of life.
    • In Demo and likely in Early Access, Habitats are likely to be a source of constant power.
    • There is fall damage. Depletes Energy

It’s wonderful to see Astroneer in action, and our thanks to the team at Giant Bomb for showcasing the features and developers so fantastically.

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Editor-in-Chief of IndieHangover.com. With a soft spot for epics, sagas and tales of all types, Jacob approaches games as ways to tell stories. He's particularly interested in indie games because of the freedom they have to tell different stories, often in more interesting and innovative ways than Triple A titles.