Announcing Planetfall - first steps to a game

Our first devlog, exciting!

Let's start with a short introduction. We're Epic Teddy Games, two game developers from Belgium. After doing some smaller projects, we felt it was time to start working on a game that we've both been talking about for a while. After a few weeks of hard work, we're proud to present a first glimpse at what might - at some point down the line - become a really cool game. We're calling it Planetfall.

What is it?

Planetfall is an MMO game set in a not too distant future when mankind has started colonizing other planets. It will feature a persistent world that is shaped entirely by the players. You'll be able to explore the planet, harvest its many resources, craft items or build factories and hire NPCs to do the crafting for you, or just go outside to discover strange places and fight or tame the alien wildlife. And there's even more on our roadmap - but everything will be revealed in good time. This first post will be about how we've gotten to where we are now, development wise. More details about our plans and our vision for the game will be the topic of a future devlog post, because right now the roadmap is still somewhat in flux.

For those of you who are really curious - here are some of the ways you will be able to play Planetfall:

  • As a tycoon game - Harvest resources, build factories, manufacture things and sell it to the population
  • As a trading game - Buy resources in one location and sell them somewhere else for a profit
  • As an exploration game - Explore the planet, visit other player's houses or build your own
  • And much more...

Now, back to the development. Prepare for talk about bugs, and screenshots filled with placeholder artwork.

Milestone 1: an MMO server

For our first development sprint, which we started working on about a month ago, we focused exclusively on building a great underlying MMO engine that will power the entire dynamic, persistent world. A lot of work has gone into performance tuning, designing an efficient communication protocol, and building a good foundation for both server and client. This proved to be a lot harder than we expected (not in the least because both of us are a tad perfectionist), but the end result is a well-architectured codebase that we can easily build upon. Unfortunately, most of that work is hidden deep within layers of code, and as such there isn't much to actually show on a devlog like this one.

Milestone 2: an MMO client

In our second sprint this past week, we almost hit two additional milestones on our roadmap. And one of the things we did get to cross off our list was adding some visuals. We designed a nice GUI (read: it's not too shabby for a very first alpha build), we made some 3D models, we implemented the first proper user interfaces, and voila:

What you see here: some open windows in our GUI, the current player (in the middle, without nametag), and another player (with nametag). The build mode grid is enabled and we've built some test buildings together.

So many bugs

Of course all of that didn't come to be without running into a few bugs. Along with the classic bugs caused by a new engine and framework, obscure library documentation, or test code that we forgot to take out, there were also a couple of bugs that were a bit more... Let's say 'interesting'. We both had a good laugh when our player model suddenly decided to turn into superman and launch into the sky, never to be seen again. And who could forget that time when the building grid suddenly decided to become a disco floor...

Turns out one of us forgot to return out of a loop. It made for a rather hilarious ten minutes of hunting down the offending method.

But in the end it all turned out fine, and I'm sure I speak for the both of us when I say we're very proud of what we have so far. We're still quite a long way from any form of public release (alpha/beta or otherwise), but we plan to post regular updates here on Itch about the progress we're making.

That's all folks

That's it for this devlog. We don't have a fixed development schedule, as this is a hobby project and we both have day jobs, but we should have something new to show within the next couple of months. For now, I'll leave you with a couple more screenshots we made during the past sprint.

First tests with the building grid

Inventory window and tooltip with a beautifully rounded (ahem) float number (and yes, that's a player stuck in a wall there on the right)

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