dev-update

This Week In Indie Games: June 2 2019

For this recurring segment, we will be highlighting the five biggest stories on IndieDB for the prior week. Whether it’s demo releases for upcoming indie games, Kickstarter campaign announcements, or important stories that affect the indie gaming as a whole, you’ll find them rounded up here each week.


The Week of June 2 2019


A lethal virus has infected Treasure Island,San Francisco and it is up to Captain Winter, a U.S. Army soldier working with the Center for Epidemic Research and Control (CERC) to stop the mysterious and deadly Pangu Virus from spreading farther. The Cepheus Protocol is an independently developed top-down RTS inspired by XCOM, Company of Heroes, and Parasite Eve. God knows what will become of the world if her or this infection spreads to the mainland.


My name is Slawomir and I am developing “This is The End” game in my spare time, as a hobby project. The game combines the squad-based strategy features of XCOM with survival elements; it is based in a steampunk + vermintide setting. I am doing the development alone; I am working with a pixel artist who creates the graphics for the game.


Build a unique truck and use it to race against other players through challenging skill courses! Includes a powerful in-game level editor. Bad at skill courses? Not a problem! Just equip an arsenal of explosive weaponry and drag everyone else down to your level!


In Drafting Tales you play as a new writer working from your small apartment. Your goal is to become a well-known and successful author! You produce works of literature, whose quality depends on the genre/topic combinations that you select and the effort points that you allocate to your work’s literary elements. As you gain experience, you unlock new work types, genres, topics and purchasable items which provide you with perks, allowing you to improve your works and progress in the game.


FRIDAY

Monthly dev update for King under the Mountain – a simulation-based strategy game inspired by Dwarf Fortress, The Settlers and Prison Architect. This month with an overview of how mods actually work!

dev-update

What’s up, doc? Dev Update #26

Game Beats

A lethal virus has infected Treasure Island,San Francisco. It is up to Captain Winter, a U.S. Army soldier working with the Center for Epidemic Research and Control (CERC), to stop the mysterious and deadly Pangu Virus from spreading to the mainland. The Cepheus Protocol is an independently developed top-down RTS inspired by XCOM, Company of Heroes, and Parasite Eve.

In Cepheus Protocol, you will make decisions that will force civilians to either rally behind you or attack you outright. How you decide to combat the virus is entirely up to you. You can fire bombs and leave no trace of human life behind or you can try and save everyone at the cost of your squad’s safety. The game features a full day and night cycle and will adapt over time to make the Infected more dangerous as the days progress. The Infected will mutate and adapt to the player, creating a challenge at every turn.

You will control fully customizable teams that you will send into the infection zones to do CEDA Missions, help civilians, or just seek out Patient 0 . You will lose men if your arent careful and be forced to train and recruit from your player base. Each solider will be unique to a point with randomly generated traits and skills allowing you to tailor them with specific tactics.

You will have to use all the tools in your arsenal and research the plague to discover its origins. You will use your knowledge to cure it to stop the virus before it causes everything to spiral out of control. You will hunt Patient 0, a unique carrier with special abilities that gets stronger as the days progress. You will be confronting and fighting her over a span of main missions and side objectives riddled across the island.


What’s up, doc? Dev Update #26

Over the last few weeks we’ve been working on refining mechanics to ensure the fun aspects are coming together. We’ve had plenty of various technical issues to address and more to come as we proceed. But we’re pretty darn confident that as the next few months pass we’ll start to see it all come together flawlessly.

The team has been working away on tightening up a playable build of the game and fixing bugs here and there – we’re excited to show you more in the coming weeks. As always, we welcome all feedback, suggestions, and any other ideas as we love to hear from our community! While we have a pretty good idea of what Cepheus Protocol will be as a whole, we want to make sure that you’re also part of this journey.


The Internal Build Tests

We refined and cleaned up the lighting in various Main menu Sequences and worked to start applying some layer of polish across the board.

The Level Designers worked on ensuring some of the places the Infected spawn are nice and even throughout the map to make it exciting for you even while walking longer distances on the map.
You’ll be able to do your best pirate impersonation as they made it easier than ever to go to the docks for faster traversal on water.

They also worked on the navigation in the hospital while also ensuring the proper proportions and layouts are there to create the best experience during gameplay.

A couple of the level designers were focused on the interior of the house of one of our main characters in the story, mapping out the floor layout including the first and second story (they also included assets like a big flat screen TV and beautiful island for the kitchen).

The internal build saw vast improvements to gameplay and squad movement across the board. We started aiming for 1-2 builds a week to continually stress test and determine what’s working and not in gameplay. Heck we even got the dynamic weather system in!
Thermal vision is now fully functional – we think it’s one of the coolest views in the game!

We also had a case of ghost (invisible) AI that were catching Captain Winter and the squad off-guard but no need to worry about invisible Infected anymore as that has been fixed!
Much of his work this month was with the Spawning System which is an integral part of the game. This includes Infected, pods, and more. Here’s a preview of the spawn logic in action:

We worked on rain, water shaders that will allow the grounds to simulate water gathering on the floor adding another level of believability.

We also got a handy loading screen in with tooltips over the past few weeks!

Peter remade and cleaned up the infection growths that will spawn and infect various zones across the game. Currently we are in the middle of balancing these nodes out and ensuring they are always guarded and a challenge to fight.

Andrew and Peter finished all the civilian clothes, we’re only choosing to show some of them and started optimizing and ensuring everything looks visually appealing.

Peter made some refinements to Chelseys Jogging outfit in the main menu cutscene

We also worked on various optimizations across the island in the hope of bringing back as much performance back to the gameplay.

Intro Cutscene Blocking Out


Tero took front and center blocking out and situating how placement will be for the Alcatraz island shots in our intro cutscene. It’s still a work in progress

Concept Art


Some splash screens were drawn up to brainstorm what they might be in final release.We usually won’t be able to show you much because spoilers, but our Artists did make this awesome Captain Winters concept art even cooler than it was before.

Ashley touched up a few promo pieces

A steam trading card among others were tweaked and refined

Jon further tweaked and played with different UI prompts for grenade toss indicators


Bug Fixing and What’s next!

General Changes
The team started work on the mini-map and will keep working on it in the weeks to come.
Different Infected and squad animations are a work in progress and level designers have been finalizing details on the interior of different buildings.
Make sure to get your umbrellas ready because we’ve also added dynamic rain (and it looks awesome!).
Overall object/player detection has been top of mind for the team and they’ve been hard at work ensuring your squad won’t be bumping into different things throughout the world.

We’ve been tracking all the various bugs and over the next weeks to days we’ll start squashing them across the board. We also recently made a trello board just for the team to document and work together to resolve them.

Just thought i’d share this amazing Ragdoll bug we had tonight on our build!

Recruitment

Currently we are seeking talented individuals in the following roles. It should be noted the project is post launch compensation and we are incredibly willing to work with any individuals schedule that might be interested. Feel free to send me an example at with your reel.portfolio and/or website.

  • 3DMax Animators
  • Prop Modeling
  • Level Designers

Email : recruitment@halcyonwinds.com

Community Discord Server

We started a Discord! Join it and support the game we’re still turning on the lights so it will be more filled in over the next few days!

dev-update

Are We there yet? Dev Update #25

Game Beats

A lethal virus has infected Treasure Island,San Francisco. It is up to Captain Winter, a U.S. Army soldier working with the Center for Epidemic Research and Control (CERC), to stop the mysterious and deadly Pangu Virus from spreading to the mainland. The Cepheus Protocol is an independently developed top-down RTS inspired by XCOM, Company of Heroes, and Parasite Eve.

In Cepheus Protocol, you will make decisions that will force civilians to either rally behind you or attack you outright. How you decide to combat the virus is entirely up to you. You can fire bombs and leave no trace of human life behind or you can try and save everyone at the cost of your squad’s safety. The game features a full day and night cycle and will adapt over time to make the Infected more dangerous as the days progress. The Infected will mutate and adapt to the player, creating a challenge at every turn.

You will control fully customizable teams that you will send into the infection zones to do CEDA Missions, help civilians, or just seek out Patient 0 . You will lose men if your arent careful and be forced to train and recruit from your player base. Each solider will be unique to a point with randomly generated traits and skills allowing you to tailor them with specific tactics.

You will have to use all the tools in your arsenal and research the plague to discover its origins. You will use your knowledge to cure it to stop the virus before it causes everything to spiral out of control. You will hunt Patient 0, a unique carrier with special abilities that gets stronger as the days progress. You will be confronting and fighting her over a span of main missions and side objectives riddled across the island.


Are We there yet? Dev Update #25

The development of Cepheus Protocol, like any game has had many iterations and changes from the initial idea. Our game can be somewhat difficult to place into any one genre. RTS like, but with limited resources, and resource management, in a survival like setting. Challenging with open zones to explore, yet story driven as well. What can we do to make this game fun and interesting? That question is always on the back of developers minds, just as its a question our team is always asking. Some idea’s seem to work, while others dont, and some idea’s are still yet to be implemented. One can’t truly know though what really works until its shown to the public and openly discussed, and that’s why we’re excited to say that towards the end of this month we’ll be showcasing our game more openly, discussing deeper mechanics of it, and planning for playable builds in the future which we can show off, stream, and allow you to see how, and where development is progressing.

We are very excited to be making this big hurdle, and we need you to help see us through. Regardless of how interested you are, any feedback, suggestions, and interesting idea’s are welcome, and helpful, and we will be looking at everything said by our community as we progress into the summer and fall. While we have a very concrete idea of what Cepheus Protocol will be as a whole we want to make Cepheus Protocol a game for you that our community will be happy to support and ultimately enjoy playing at its release, and we cannot do that without you.

Isaac Cudd,

Assistant Producer


Level Design

Is in the best place it has ever been in. As it stands all exterior zones have been approved to push ahead for final testing. Any changes past the 14th will be on a basis to balance gameplay.



Programming

Weapon Armory

The system for swapping between gear at the player barracks was added and setup!


Derek worked on the Land Mines and the buildable turret emplacements.


The motion detectors were also added


Animation

The various creature AI’s were created and implemented.

Across the divisions we worked on the unique classes, got the flamethrowers situated, Spiters implemented, Juggernaut & Blowup working. We setup a system for classes like the Juggernaut to summon infected to them plus add in various utility skills like jumps, acid spits and charges.

As you can see we got the Riot shield working to help protect units and form defensive walls in gameplay. The flamethrower was brought online as well over the past month.

A togglable flashlight was added for situations during the nighttime that is player controlled.

The juggernaut was giving his earth shattering ground smash!

Night vision that was added that works better as the night gets darker, but also affecting your units line of sight negatively if its still light out.

One mechanic that we are extensively working on is the ability for civilians to gather and demand to be allowed into your base for safety. This could in doing allow the infection into your base and put everything your doing at risk. But the positive is when you are exploring the world some civilians will hear of your good deeds and be less likely to shoot/engage you. In some cases these riots or gathering can turn violent or even gather a nearby infected horde to your base for chow time

Image from GyazoImage from GyazoImage from GyazoImage from GyazoImage from Gyazo


General Changes

The UI has given a new fresh paint coat in terms of layout. We are still experimenting with the colors and icons. But overall its looking pretty rad. This is the latest concept preview we are toying with and trying to figure out if it will work for what we are trying to do.


Base and Unit management was refined in an attempt to make it more user friendly who was assigned to “Away” and “Defensive” teams. Away teams are defined as units that can freely move anywhere. Defensive teams are defined as teams that can only move inside the base perimeter freely.

Base building system was refined over the last few weeks and moved to the bottom right command menu

We also chose to refine the way we give units ammo instead of automatically doing it.

Silencers are now attachable to certain weapons for added stealth


Modeling

In all there were over 100 assets modeled over the past month in the level design section below you’ll see more of that. Here are a few cool teasers!


Concept

We got a LOT done in concept but sadly i can’t show a lot of it due to spoilers. Sorry 🙂

Recruitment

Currently we are seeking talented individuals in the following roles. It should be noted the project is post launch compensation and we are incredibly willing to work with any individuals schedule that might be interested. Feel free to send me an example at with your reel.portfolio and/or website.

  • 3DMax Animators
  • Prop Modeling
  • Level Designers

Email : recruitment@halcyonwinds.com

Community Discord Server

We started a Discord! Join it and support the game we’re still turning on the lights so it will be more filled in over the next few days!

dev-update

Internal Playtesting Starts Dev Update #24

Game Beats

A lethal virus has infected Treasure Island,San Francisco. It is up to Captain Winter, a U.S. Army soldier working with the Center for Epidemic Research and Control (CERC), to stop the mysterious and deadly Pangu Virus from spreading to the mainland. The Cepheus Protocol is an independently developed top-down RTS inspired by XCOM, Company of Heroes, and Parasite Eve.

In Cepheus Protocol, you will make decisions that will force civilians to either rally behind you or attack you outright. How you decide to combat the virus is entirely up to you. You can fire bombs and leave no trace of human life behind or you can try and save everyone at the cost of your squad’s safety. The game features a full day and night cycle and will adapt over time to make the Infected more dangerous as the days progress. The Infected will mutate and adapt to the player, creating a challenge at every turn.

You will control fully customizable teams that you will send into the infection zones to do CEDA Missions, help civilians, or just seek out Patient 0 . You will lose men if your arent careful and be forced to train and recruit from your player base. Each solider will be unique to a point with randomly generated traits and skills allowing you to tailor them with specific tactics.

You will have to use all the tools in your arsenal and research the plague to discover its origins. You will use your knowledge to cure it to stop the virus before it causes everything to spiral out of control. You will hunt Patient 0, a unique carrier with special abilities that gets stronger as the days progress. You will be confronting and fighting her over a span of main missions and side objectives riddled across the island.


Internal Playtesting Begins

I think it goes without saying that Indie Game Development is hard grueling work, it’s certainly not for everyone. Every aspect has to be planned out and hand crafted to ensure for consistency, But in the end when it all comes together is when It all really starts to shine, the level of collaboration the accomplishment and having something you made its priceless.

Over the past 2 months we’ve worked internally after burning through a few deadlines to get our build in a fully playable state. For the most part we succeeded and in doing so set the path towards weekly “sprints” where the development team started to engage in large scale development/meetings 2 days out of the week. We’ve accomplished significant strides in the core gameplay loop, but in the process we also discovered area’s where we were falling short logistically and Game design wise. It’s an important aspect of game design, self-reflection and ensuring what you’re making is actually fun and your approaching it in the most effective manner.

Conan OBrien Plot Thickens GIF - ConanOBrien PlotThickens Plot GIFs

With every coming week, our builds have gotten far better and with the greater levels of collaboration across the team it only stands to improve as we work closer and closer to our internal dates. We’ve seen a huge interest in applicants wanting to join the team from level designers to Voice actors. So this Friday, I’m taking the time to put in a huge blog update on where we are currently and where we need to go before we’ll even consider a closed QA testing session.

I’m sorry did you think that was a good idea? Think again.

Hospital Game Opening/ Diegetic Interface Design and core gameplay evolving over time!

The opening mission, we spent a lot of time behind closed meeting discussing this zone and the level designers that were involved in short, it just didn’t have the level of detail we wanted from the zone and level pacing after playing through it several times. Short story we torched the section to the ground after learning more about how our systems were coming together and how to effectively communicate that in the first mission. So Chris our writer and Game Designer put together a briefing packet for the next version. For the time being this mission is on hiatus as its redesigned and retooled following the reevaluation of the game’s opening mission.

Shortly after being put on hiatus, roughly 2 weeks after the level designers finished the major sections of the levels allowing us to switch over Davis to combat this zone.

Elevation and its role in RTS Games

Initially based on the amount of AI we wanted in levels early in the first playtests we realized how expensive it might turn out and well not fruitful at all to keep any of our varying heights for the larger mountains/hill regions. In early playtests it was extremely buggy, unfun and the sight based line of sight system would have required a major revamp to support making sure AI can actually know when you pitch their heads up and down slightly for different elevations. In future zones we’ll experiment with this more, but it was a bit out of our scope and based on doing research on RTS games and comparing and contrasting between our level design, the level of steepness and general elevation changes were a recipe for disaster. Not to mention adding dynamic systems like this would have affected the max amount of infected we could spawn and bring that targeted 40-60 down to a much lower number for lower end systems.

So we cut our losses, we flattened out the zone, talked about it over several long meetings and situated a new plan for how gameplay would operate in those starting zones. From here we did a basic blockouts then passed it over to the concept artist division for a few paint overs and finally settled on a layout we felt fit the gameplay and look we wanted.

What Worked…? At least for the most part…

Catready Coolcatready GIF - Catready Coolcatready ImReady GIFs

Core Combat is fun

We noticed that running around the island, the moment you step off the base it turns into another sort of game all together in essence a tactical shooter with its emphasis on clearing out city blocks, trying to rescue civilians trapped in their homes or roofs. To be honest watching these systems come to life from a game design doc we wrote 7 months ago was inspiring. In these early builds we are only focusing on side missions, ensuring they are fun and helping us flesh out the core gameplay here and there plus just balance adjustments. But we’re certainly not going to let this be enough, over the next week sprint we’ll double down on the quality of these missions, get VO done for them and ensure they are fun and a good splash of randomness to keep the player entertained and funded between the primary missions.

UI

From playing the build we realized also the build we had cobbled together just wasn’t cutting it. It lead to a lot of confusion from non-programmers playing the builds and we put together a plan to rehash and cleanup the UI so it properly conveyed all the gameplay mechanics and features of the game. Right now we’re prototyping with a HUD like this, it should be finalized over the next few days and then we’ll have a paint over session by our concept artists for the final version.

Live Rendered Main Menu Sequences

After one of our Cutscenes guys had to drop out over the last month due to time availability I took over the Cutscenes with the help of the animators and worked to get concepts and proof of concepts situated. Over the course of several days, I wrangled together the animators and got this basic blockouts situated from an animation standpoint. As the weeks go on level layout, lighting and final texturing will be adjusted and prioritized.

Character Customization and Civilian Spawners

In all we got a robust system modeled, animated and skinned plus with my coding implementation for an easily added to clothes/armor pool for adding new variants.

We setup dynamic systems that populate the city based on the day and varies them across the zone filing in civilians and infected alike. As the days progress in game we work to slowly tick up the infection rates and enabling our civilian barricade system that allows neutral AI to hold up and fortify city blocks and neighboring zones. Through this system randomly spawns holdouts of civilians each play through providing unique challenges. In the early play-tests you would come across civilians either fleeing from infected or welcoming you with dialogue. If your reputation was low they would run away from your units fearing for their lives.

Recruitment

Currently we are seeking talented individuals in the following roles. It should be noted the project is post launch compensation and we are incredibly willing to work with any individuals schedule that might be interested. Feel free to send me an example at with your reel.portfolio and/or website.

  • 3DMax Animators
  • Prop Modeling
  • Level Designers

Email : recruitment@halcyonwinds.com

Community Discord Server

We started a Discord! Join it and support the game we’re still turning on the lights so it will be more filled in over the next few days!

dev-update

A build delayed, a plan reevaluated Dev Update #23

Game Beats

A lethal virus has infected Treasure Island,San Francisco. It is up to Captain Winter, a U.S. Army soldier working with the Center for Epidemic Research and Control (CERC), to stop the mysterious and deadly Pangu Virus from spreading to the mainland. The Cepheus Protocol is an independently developed top-down RTS inspired by XCOM, Company of Heroes, and Parasite Eve.

In Cepheus Protocol, you will make decisions that will force civilians to either rally behind you or attack you outright. How you decide to combat the virus is entirely up to you. You can fire bombs and leave no trace of human life behind or you can try and save everyone at the cost of your squad’s safety. The game features a full day and night cycle and will adapt over time to make the Infected more dangerous as the days progress. The Infected will mutate and adapt to the player, creating a challenge at every turn.

You will control fully customizable teams that you will send into the infection zones to do CEDA Missions, help civilians, or just seek out Patient 0 . You will lose men if your arent careful and be forced to train and recruit from your player base. Each solider will be unique to a point with randomly generated traits and skills allowing you to tailor them with specific tactics.

You will have to use all the tools in your arsenal and research the plague to discover its origins. You will use your knowledge to cure it to stop the virus before it causes everything to spiral out of control. You will hunt Patient 0, a unique carrier with special abilities that gets stronger as the days progress. You will be confronting and fighting her over a span of main missions and side objectives riddled across the island.


A build delayed; a plan reevaluated
Update Dev Update #22

We also twitched streamed last night a full review of our build and discussed problematic zones. Take a listen here! These videos expire in about 30 days so watch them soon! Over the past 2 weeks we had quite a few technical issues crop over from animation to level design and we’ve been working to optimize, get in the final elements and test them internally.


Concept Art

Some mood paintings were suggested for the ending cutscene shots.

Some artists worked on the next chapter of the main section


Level Design

Thad worked on finalization of zones 7, 8 and 9.

Vesa worked on the final construction assets


Programming

Derek worked on the various walls and building systems


Modeling

Dimitry worked on the Commercial Set some more over the week

Elfrain worked on the Parking Complex modular set

Vlad worked on misc objects

Fabian worked on the yachts and various boat types and the patio area meshes

Roberto worked on the drawers


Clara and the other animators Bree and tyler worked to get the infected and military animations imported back into the engine for our next internal deadline.

Recruitment

Currently we are seeking talented individuals in the following roles. It should be noted the project is post launch compensation and we are incredibly willing to work with any individuals schedule that might be interested. Feel free to send me an example at with your reel.portfolio and/or website.

  • 3DMax Animators
  • Prop Modeling
  • Level Designers

Email : recruitment@halcyonwinds.com

Community Discord Server

We started a Discord! Join it and support the game we’re still turning on the lights so it will be more filled in over the next few days!

dev-update

A Xmas Update! Dev Update #22

Game Beats

A lethal virus has infected Treasure Island,San Francisco. It is up to Captain Winter, a U.S. Army soldier working with the Center for Epidemic Research and Control (CERC), to stop the mysterious and deadly Pangu Virus from spreading to the mainland. The Cepheus Protocol is an independently developed top-down RTS inspired by XCOM, Company of Heroes, and Parasite Eve.

In Cepheus Protocol, you will make decisions that will force civilians to either rally behind you or attack you outright. How you decide to combat the virus is entirely up to you. You can fire bombs and leave no trace of human life behind or you can try and save everyone at the cost of your squad’s safety. The game features a full day and night cycle and will adapt over time to make the Infected more dangerous as the days progress. The Infected will mutate and adapt to the player, creating a challenge at every turn.

You will control fully customizable teams that you will send into the infection zones to do CEDA Missions, help civilians, or just seek out Patient 0 . You will lose men if your arent careful and be forced to train and recruit from your player base. Each solider will be unique to a point with randomly generated traits and skills allowing you to tailor them with specific tactics.

You will have to use all the tools in your arsenal and research the plague to discover its origins. You will use your knowledge to cure it to stop the virus before it causes everything to spiral out of control. You will hunt Patient 0, a unique carrier with special abilities that gets stronger as the days progress. You will be confronting and fighting her over a span of main missions and side objectives riddled across the island.


A Xmas Update Dev Update #22

Past this Dev Blog: We will be omitting certain tasks people have done throughout the week in sake of spoilers! Sorry :), but over the past 2 weeks we worked to resolve, optimize and ensure performance was stable. We brought on a few new animators to help out Clara in wrapping up the gameplay animations and generally to start on cutscenes in January.

We also had to let a few level designers go as they didn’t have the time we were looking for, best of luck to them! We took a few days off this week for XMAS but right after we’re hitting it pretty hard up to new years to apply some final coating for our build. In some cases we would see very low frame rates across our hardware so now it comes that time to optimize our code and levels and get them ready for internal play testing.

Our website went up this week as well folks! There are some story hints here as well!

We’re also now twitching daily or every few days based on our schedule pop in once in a while share the love! Drop us a subscribe to follow as we work on the game!


Level Design

So over the last 2 weeks we had quite a few delays relating to the holidays and personal life issues. So the goal was how could we apply the final layer of polish? As a few months ago a level designer that has finished the previous right island had applied an auto material that well put the performance to be lack luster. So Over the last few week Dimitry whipped up his own custom setup that would bring performance back to more management levels for the Shader Complexity levels. Said quite frankly Auto material setups for a game we want to be as widely enjoyed across different hardware configurations was simply a bad idea.

So Thad, Vesa and Anthony and Derrick started out with this layout and brought it up to par with this layout.

Vesa pretty much knocked the Military base outta the park over the 2 weeks. As with the police station

We also talked Mission planning layout and the final paths for some mission objectives to force the player for the opening tutorial to bring them to the military base. Suffice so say we settled on the red path.

Thad worked on several zones and took over zones 7-8 to wrap them up before the 30th. He also did Chesley’s house for the mission that takes place there.


Early Play Tests

Add silly bugs like this where the Cougars would bump into each other or skid nearby friendly ones into the water. xD We tweaked these up over the past few weeks to ensure everything was honky dory for their path finding and overall mass to how they respond to objects.

We had some odd bugs with the player Camera not being able to zoom in so we ended up making the camera a bit more simplified and adapting an approach of doing it via the spring arm component and trace channels prebuilt into UE4.


Character Modelers

Peter, Andrew and Clara worked on Retopo of various character customization objects for all the characters

Vlad worked on the boats

Dimitry wrapped up the Voyager ship textures

Cara worked on the Thunderbolt

Elfrain modeled the different tiers of the gates you can build

Vesa worked on misc objects


Programmers

Thad whenever we talk programmer to him ^

Derek and i worked across all the various divisions to support them and make sure mission scripting, Infected and Civilian zoning systems were operating .He also managed to finish up the defensive stricture system

Setup gates and enterable segments

He put together a debugging tool for Dimitry for tweaking the handling.

I worked on some minor systems like adding it so units talk and bark out dialogue when you issue orders, change out temp tracks to our composed theme and music and basically helped out across the board to ensure everything was running smoothly.

Came up with some icons for the game we went with 1111.

juniardi did some steam backgrounds WIP to experiment with

Ozan worked on mood paintings to help the cut scene artists better get a feel for the lighting and general color pallete

dev-update

Steps to our full Alpha Build Dev Update #21

Game Beats

A lethal virus has infected Treasure Island,San Francisco. It is up to Captain Winter, a U.S. Army soldier working with the Center for Epidemic Research and Control (CERC), to stop the mysterious and deadly Pangu Virus from spreading to the mainland. The Cepheus Protocol is an independently developed top-down RTS inspired by XCOM, Company of Heroes, and Parasite Eve.

In Cepheus Protocol, you will make decisions that will force civilians to either rally behind you or attack you outright. How you decide to combat the virus is entirely up to you. You can fire bombs and leave no trace of human life behind or you can try and save everyone at the cost of your squad’s safety. The game features a full day and night cycle and will adapt over time to make the Infected more dangerous as the days progress. The Infected will mutate and adapt to the player, creating a challenge at every turn.

You will control fully customizable teams that you will send into the infection zones to do CEDA Missions, help civilians, or just seek out Patient 0 . You will lose men if your arent careful and be forced to train and recruit from your player base. Each solider will be unique to a point with randomly generated traits and skills allowing you to tailor them with specific tactics.

You will have to use all the tools in your arsenal and research the plague to discover its origins. You will use your knowledge to cure it to stop the virus before it causes everything to spiral out of control. You will hunt Patient 0, a unique carrier with special abilities that gets stronger as the days progress. You will be confronting and fighting her over a span of main missions and side objectives riddled across the island.


Steps to our full Alpha Build Dev Update #21

Over this week we worked to border up the remaining assets that needed adjustment, adjusted across the board to ensure all the various systems were ready for a huge alpha its the final stretch towards our alpha build, fixed and ready to go. We set various small quotas meetings to ensure we would be ready.


Programming

Derek worked on further tweaks and adjustments to ensure the walls and defensive structures were functioning and infected could properly damage them we had quite a few issues this week relating to this.


Level Design

Thad started on Chesleys final house authors and inherited the mountain region of a small section remaining to do final quality passes

Joel worked on the hospitals to try and get it ready to go.

Thad adjusted a few roof adjustments we gave him

Anthony worked on a barracks closer to what we wanted for the zone

Robert- Worked on HLOD early testing and working to get build performance optimized to ensure everything is silky smooth

Vesa worked on the baseball stadium


Dimitry worked on the container ship in the cutscene

Cara worked on the thunderbolt mesh for airstrike callins


Character Modeling

Fabian finished the last monster class

Peter worked on adjustments for Female Winters outfit BDU


Maik worked on some promo for the website launching latter this month

Jon finalized the last hud revision for the playtest

Nico Kaeber worked on some elite guard infected types for Chesley

Juniardi worked on steam related cards/badges

Recruitment

Currently we are seeking talented individuals in the following roles. It should be noted the project is post launch compensation and we are incredibly willing to work with any individuals schedule that might be interested. Feel free to send me an example at with your reel.portfolio and/or website.

  • 3DMax Animators
  • Prop Modeling

Email : recruitment@halcyonwinds.com

Community Discord Server

We started a Discord! Join it and support the game we’re still turning on the lights so it will be more filled in over the next few days!

dev-update

Steady Ahead we Go Dev Update #20

Game Beats

A lethal virus has infected Treasure Island,San Francisco. It is up to Captain Winter, a U.S. Army soldier working with the Center for Epidemic Research and Control (CERC), to stop the mysterious and deadly Pangu Virus from spreading to the mainland. The Cepheus Protocol is an independently developed top-down RTS inspired by XCOM, Company of Heroes, and Parasite Eve.

In Cepheus Protocol, you will make decisions that will force civilians to either rally behind you or attack you outright. How you decide to combat the virus is entirely up to you. You can fire bombs and leave no trace of human life behind or you can try and save everyone at the cost of your squad’s safety. The game features a full day and night cycle and will adapt over time to make the Infected more dangerous as the days progress. The Infected will mutate and adapt to the player, creating a challenge at every turn.

You will control fully customizable teams that you will send into the infection zones to do CEDA Missions, help civilians, or just seek out Patient 0 . You will lose men if your arent careful and be forced to train and recruit from your player base. Each solider will be unique to a point with randomly generated traits and skills allowing you to tailor them with specific tactics.

You will have to use all the tools in your arsenal and research the plague to discover its origins. You will use your knowledge to cure it to stop the virus before it causes everything to spiral out of control. You will hunt Patient 0, a unique carrier with special abilities that gets stronger as the days progress. You will be confronting and fighting her over a span of main missions and side objectives riddled across the island.


Steady Ahead we Go Dev Update #20

Prop Modeling

Dimitry worked on some “fake interiors for the buildings like the ones you can find in the new Amazing Spider-man. Plus he got the ship for the main menu implemented in the city as they rework certain elements

Efrain worked on civilian barricades

Plus just the Turret upgrade for walls


Level Design

Vesa worked on the military base and Baseball stadium

Thad put the final layers of polish in this section before being assigned to a new section

Anthony got bogged down with work as with Derrick so they should have more to show next week.

Joel worked on the intro cutscenes and hospital entrance


Programming

Derek implemented the building system/volume zoning

I worked on the AC130 call in and ability to directly control it during its pre-set flight path for manual targeting.


Concept

Ashley did various more paint-overs for Clara

Jon worked on selection and UI elements

Juniardi worked on steam chat emoji’s


Character Modeling:

Peter worked on Chesleys gameplay outfits plus Main Menu cutscene outfits

He also worked on dozens of base variants of civilians to populate the city with, John took the males and hopes to have them done in the next few days

Fabian finished up some adjustments and is rolling into the next to start texturing

Andrew worked on BDU’s and final skinning plus putting in the male mesh

dev-update

Turkey Stuffed Update! Dev Update #19

Game Beats

A lethal virus has infected Treasure Island,San Francisco. It is up to Captain Winter, a U.S. Army soldier working with the Center for Epidemic Research and Control (CERC), to stop the mysterious and deadly Pangu Virus from spreading to the mainland. The Cepheus Protocol is an independently developed top-down RTS inspired by XCOM, Company of Heroes, and Parasite Eve.

In Cepheus Protocol, you will make decisions that will force civilians to either rally behind you or attack you outright. How you decide to combat the virus is entirely up to you. You can fire bombs and leave no trace of human life behind or you can try and save everyone at the cost of your squad’s safety. The game features a full day and night cycle and will adapt over time to make the Infected more dangerous as the days progress. The Infected will mutate and adapt to the player, creating a challenge at every turn.

You will control fully customizable teams that you will send into the infection zones to do CEDA Missions, help civilians, or just seek out Patient 0 . You will lose men if your arent careful and be forced to train and recruit from your player base. Each solider will be unique to a point with randomly generated traits and skills allowing you to tailor them with specific tactics.

You will have to use all the tools in your arsenal and research the plague to discover its origins. You will use your knowledge to cure it to stop the virus before it causes everything to spiral out of control. You will hunt Patient 0, a unique carrier with special abilities that gets stronger as the days progress. You will be confronting and fighting her over a span of main missions and side objectives riddled across the island.


Turkey Stuffed Update Dev Update #18

State of the Game

Over the week we got further elements relating to the main menu screens, level design interiors and gameplay mechanics integrated. Naturally our development was also slowed a bit by the rush of the holidays as well! We expect things to pick up even more as the team works to construct and get our big end of the year build constructed and everything just starts to come together.

Exciting News! We also formally started recording of the gameplay and SFX script and all VO roles have been cast for the project.

Haley C. McCarthy was cast as Dr. Juliet Wu

Jordan Haro was cast as Male Adrian Winters

Natalie Hitzel was cast for various Misc Roles

We will announce more over the next few blog posts!

Level Designers

Joel worked on the main menu’s and collaborated with Clara to get the main menu sequences created. Final character shaders should be in within the next week or so! So say bye bye to those gray boxed characters

Joel also worked on a third main menu, but some of the poses were rather meh, so we requested a few paint-overs for new poses and hes collaborating with Clara to get them finished.

The first missions hospital planning and roof landing for the cutscene were constructed and scripting was done.

Thad worked on his interiors and play tested and ensured his zones were functioning properly. While they build and create their requisition lists.

Thad worked on a basic blockout for the TV Station interior while he waits for final assets to finish his blockout.


Vesa worked on finalization of the bank

Vesa also worked on the skyscraper interiors and getting that fully meshed out

Derek has been having navigation related issues so we did a few pow-wows and get them situated over the past few weeks. Building and getting them situated to ensure areas play as intended.


Concept

Ashley worked with Clara throughout the week doing paint overs of character modeling progress to help guide the progress of her creation.

Jon worked on a few icons that will appear above your units as you play to give feedback to what is affecting your units.


Programming

I worked on the call in’s and got the Ammo Drop situated and fully working so you can correctly call supply anywhere on the map via this abilities panel.

Over the last week we also moved away from units have unlimited ammo and adding resources you’ll have to manage like the amount of bullets they currently have to make players make more tactical decisions on which engagements they can take and which they should run from.

Derek worked on the building wall system and got that situated with various prototypes and proofs of concepts. Including setting up the zones you are allowed to build inside.


Character Modeling

Fabian finished the holy poly of our last monster type.

Andrew, Robert and Clara pondering some hair meshes and converting them so we could properly use them in the engine. So we started that process and hope to be wrapping the various hair styles up over the next week or so.

Andrew also worked on the base BDU for all males and female and is currently finishing up the morph targets for the differences between male/females.

We brought on a new character modeler Peter, hes currently working on various gameplay armors plus winters main armor type. Hes hoping to have this done over the next day or so and fully textured

John experimented with some hair modeling techniques

Clara did further character modeling adjustments following a few paint-overs by Ashley!


Modeling

Dimitry worked on the boat seen in the main menu scene

He worked with Clara to get a better skin/eye shader working in our game build.

Vlad did the AC130 and got some adjustments passed his way as with some retaining walls for the level designers. Over the week he’ll work with Efrain to get all his vehicle textures in the engine as well.

Efrain test further extensive testing of his assets to ensure the collision and all aspects played nicely in combat and general gameplay.

Recruitment

Currently we are seeking talented individuals in the following roles. It should be noted the project is post launch compensation and we are incredibly willing to work with any individuals schedule that might be interested. Feel free to send me an example at with your reel.portfolio and/or website.

  • 3DMax Animators
  • Prop Modeling

Email : recruitment@halcyonwinds.com

Community Discord Server

We started a Discord! Join it and support the game we’re still turning on the lights so it will be more filled in over the next few days!

dev-update

Interrupting your regularly scheduled program for a Whopping Sized…

Game Beats

A lethal virus has infected Treasure Island,San Francisco. It is up to Captain Winter, a U.S. Army soldier working with the Center for Epidemic Research and Control (CERC), to stop the mysterious and deadly Pangu Virus from spreading to the mainland. The Cepheus Protocol is an independently developed top-down RTS inspired by XCOM, Company of Heroes, and Parasite Eve.

In Cepheus Protocol, you will make decisions that will force civilians to either rally behind you or attack you outright. How you decide to combat the virus is entirely up to you. You can fire bombs and leave no trace of human life behind or you can try and save everyone at the cost of your squad’s safety. The game features a full day and night cycle and will adapt over time to make the Infected more dangerous as the days progress. The Infected will mutate and adapt to the player, creating a challenge at every turn.

You will control fully customizable teams that you will send into the infection zones to do CEDA Missions, help civilians, or just seek out Patient 0 . You will lose men if your arent careful and be forced to train and recruit from your player base. Each solider will be unique to a point with randomly generated traits and skills allowing you to tailor them with specific tactics.

You will have to use all the tools in your arsenal and research the plague to discover its origins. You will use your knowledge to cure it to stop the virus before it causes everything to spiral out of control. You will hunt Patient 0, a unique carrier with special abilities that gets stronger as the days progress. You will be confronting and fighting her over a span of main missions and side objectives riddled across the island.


Interrupting your regularly scheduled program for a Whopping Sized Dev Update #18

State of the Game

Well folks we’re closer then ever before to having the first build internally for being able to play all the mechanics and systems together in a complete playtest with mission scripting. As we near December everything will fall into place and leave us in a position to play the first few hours of the game and start to move resources around to polish and tweak aspects before we start to seek private QA testers. We’ve come an extremely long way since starting development of this game in late June and in about 6 months we would have gone from idea to actual game you can pick up and play. I think thats a huge milestone for our development team coming up in mid December.

So what does this mean for you? In Q1 of 2019 we will be starting to seek outside QA testers that will be required to sign an NDA to pickup the game and be the first to play it. Tell us what works, doesn’t and give us feedback to help inform our design processes. Over the 2-3 months we project we’ll address balancing and QA sessions we’ll start to reach out more to the community plus give out free keys to our play-tests and rely on you guys for feedback.

We have also cast all VO roles and will start to make announcements over the next few weeks as we lock them in and get their approval to announce their casting. Now i leave you with the latest version of our Theme composed by our brilliant composer Georg Mausolf


Programmers

Robert: I worked with Andrew and Derek and tag teamed the vehicles getting them fully functioning and plugged into the motor pool build system. We got all the vehicle transports functioning and even got the Striker Guns so it properly targets and defends itself.

Derek worked on the Away and Defensive teams settings that allow you to fully staff and setup which units wil have free rein to move outside the base perimeter while other units outside these “Away teams” are restricted to guard patrol and protect player bases.

Chris Na worked on further main menu mock up designs we chose a few and passed it over to the cutscene artists to flesh out and create in a 3D space for our dynamic 3D main menus.

Juniardi worked on further mood painting and helping the level designers structure their look latter in the game.

Ashley worked on our Youtube page banner

Jon setup icons to appear above units for visual information on their current status effects


Character Modeling

Clara worked on the Skin shaders and going for simpler art style approach to skin shaders.

She also worked on the Poses for the “Live Main Menu”. She’ll be doing the final poses and setting them up over the next day or so and working to finish all the main characters for our big internal build.

These will be 3D Menu’s that the camera will pan around while your just idling on the main menu of key moments of the games story arcs.

Fabian got the Spitter done and started on the last enemy class.


Level Designers

Vesa worked on his assigned grids and finalization before he moves onto the final grids for the left island.

Joel worked on the hospital starting mission and doing blockouts to get it situated for mission scripting.

Anthony meshed out the barracks arena parring some final discussions relating to gameplay its getting close. We are getting some paint-overs done for these sections to help flesh and make this area pop a bit more! While he works on the exterior for a week waiting for those assets.

Derek P worked on the interiors for various warehouses and misc structures.

Animation

It should be noted we’ll be expanding our animators in November to start cutscene work and to work with Clara and getting the final elements situated. Expect to see more progress in terms of animation from these base animations over the weeks to come!

If your an animator or interested in helping out shoot us an email!

Recruitment

Currently we are seeking talented individuals in the following roles. It should be noted the project is post launch compensation and we are incredibly willing to work with any individuals schedule that might be interested. Feel free to send me an example at with your reel.portfolio and/or website.

  • 3DMax Animators
  • Prop Modeling

Email : recruitment@halcyonwinds.com

Community Discord Server

We started a Discord! Join it and support the game we’re still turning on the lights so it will be more filled in over the next few days!