Story Time Wednesdays, Unit 108 Edition, Vol. 6 – Finals Week, Animation Work

Members of the Community,

CMRobbie here!

Our SoCal division is currently in the midst of university finals, so work has slowed down somewhat recently. However, we’ve prepared a quick Streamable link that shows off all of our new progress since the last Story Time update:

As demonstrated here, we’ve been continuing work on both Deacon and the beach level, with even better animations for Deacon, sound effects for the turret cannon enemy and a brand-new Ferris wheel structure that will be used for platforming in the future.

Here are some high-quality gifs of a few of Deacon’s new animations on the right, compared to their original versions on the left:

Previously, the Dash was a single held frame. This new animation shows Deacon curling into it from a running start.

The previous jump was rather awkward and choppy, with Deacon jumping with one arm outstretched and the other held back… I suppose like a certain plumber. This new animation has him crouching down first, and then jumping up with both hands in front of him, which transitions much more smoothly into a held “falling” sprite.

We’re missing a few middle pieces here, but this is Deacon’s most recent (and likely final) run animation compared to the version of the animation seen in the trailers and demos. You can see that it’s much more fluid and natural looking… oh, and he actually uses his arms properly now. My high school Track coach would be proud.

All of Deacon’s animations are being looked at one by one, and most (but not all) are being tweaked or redone entirely. We’re also drafting some new ones for a potential combat overhaul, so stay tuned!

Also, some of you might remember that all the way back in Volume 4, we teased the final member of Eden. We’ve been having some issues with their somewhat non-standard design, but rest assured they are still coming. With finals out of the way this week, productivity levels will likely rise a lot over very soon; No Promises, but we’re currently aiming for an August or September release, and we’ll have plenty to show off between now and then!

Regards,

Community Manager Robbie

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Story Time Wednesdays, Unit 108 Edition, Vol. 5 – Turret Enemy & Animation Rework

Members of the Community,

CMRobbie here! Development has changed course slightly this week and I’d like to show off a bunch of new animation work.

First, let’s take a look at a brand new enemy we just put a wraps on, this cannon turret that will be lining an upcoming beach-themed level.

Not just fodder.

The turret marks the first non-target enemy implemented into the game, and it currently tracks Deacon’s movement before launching a deadly straight shot.

Don’t worry, it won’t be a one-hit kill in the final game. Probably.

One major development on the coding side of this enemy was adding a set range to it, so that it didn’t snipe the player from across the map at the start of the level. Just how much range it will have, as well as how telegraphed it’s shot will be, is something that will be fine-tuned between now and release, but here’s how it looks at the moment in developer mode:

Math class flashbacks.

In addition to polishing up the cannon enemy, we also reworked Deacon’s animations a bit. Down below is a gif of his new jump animation, as well a link to a Streamable that shows off his new run animation and our current progress on the beach level. More reworks like these are likely to follow, as we’ve been experimenting with the ratio of “smooth and fluid” versus “snappy and impactful” in some of our animations.

Streamable link

For one final, showcase, here’s the turret’s death animation:

With that, we’ll see you next week for more developmental updates!

Yours,

Community Manager Robbie

Story Time Wednesdays, Unit 108 Edition, Vol. 4 – Commanding Your Attention

Members of the Community,

CMRobbie here! It’s that time of the week yet againzos. If you saw our new podcast earlier this week, you probably already know who this volume is about – Commander Chance, founder and leader of the Eden militia force.

Sorry podcast viewers, we didn’t actually end up giving him timbs. Game cancelled.

Not even those working under him know that much about his history, but locker room rumors suggest he lost a great deal to an android uprising in his home country – wherever it is – and founded Eden to save others around the world from similar fates.

Talking to the Commander in the Eden base hub level will bring up the level select menu, as the Commander is the one who carries the access data for Eden’s short-range teleportation systems. Unit 108 is currently planned to feature 6 main levels, which can be tackled in an order of the player’s choosing. We created the idea of a hub world in order to add a little personality to the game compared to just having a basic mission select screen.

Instead of leaving you with concept art, here’s a timestamp for when he shows up in our podcast, so you can watch Aiden design him in real-time! (10:40 if it doesn’t load properly.)

We’ve still got one member of the hero team left to show off. They aren’t as central to the plot as the Commander, but we still had a lot of fun designing them, so please stay tuned and get excited!

See You in Seven Solar Cycles,

Community Manager Robbie

Story Time Wednesdays, Unit 108 Edition, Vol. 3 – Violet Stratford Tunes In

Members of the Community,

CMRobbie here, welcome to another Volume of everyone’s favorite development blog with “Story Time” in the title that releases on Wednesdays, Story Time Wednesdays!

The past two volumes, we looked at Eden members Deacon Gray and Vee R, two of Unit 108’s main protagonists, both of which were featured in the announce trailer and free demo. This week, we’re introducing for the first time a new member of the cast, Violet Stratford.

Nice vest.

Violet is Eden’s top mechanic, and the creator of Deacon’s various cyborg systems. Her trusty wrench is actually a multi-tool she designed herself using nanotechnology similar to Deacon’s weapons, meaning she can morph it into different tools with the press of a button, such as a screwdriver or a blowtorch.

In the game, Violet manages Deacon’s upgrades. Bringing her parts and data from defeated enemies will allow her to boost Deacon’s stats and unlock new abilities. Deacon may be currently equipped with Eden’s most cutting-edge technology, but there’s always room for improvement!

Now, for a fun development fact – usually, Aiden is the one to make all of the character sprites, but he and I actually collaborated on Violet’s, with input from Arren during the process. And despite what I said last week about us having our art style down for supporting characters, Violet actually went through dozens of revisions. So, I now humbly present a curated gallery of the evolution of Violet’s sprite:

And with that, we’re done for this week, but there’s still two more Eden members on the way within the coming months, as well as information on new mechanics – err, gameplay mechanics – and levels as we implement them.

Stay Tuned,

Community Manager Robbie

Story Time Wednesdays, Unit 108 Edition, Vol. 2 – Vee R Suits Up

Members of the Community,

CMRobbie here! On the last volume of Story Time Wednesdays we took an in-depth look at the protagonist of Unit 108, one Deacon Gray. This week, we’re going to talk about the other character seen in the demo; if you didn’t catch it from the dialogue box, his name is Vee R.

Nice shades.

Vee R is a member of the android-fighting NGO “Eden” alongside Deacon Gray. Vee R serves as the Virtual Reality technician for the group, and is responsible for creating and running VR training missions for new recruits like Deacon.

In-game, talking to Vee R will allow you to access the training stage at any time to test out new strategies and maneuvers. Vee R is also quite knowledgeable about Deacon’s AI and weapon systems, though not as much as a certain other character…

Vee R is an absolute expert at coding and hacking, however, and even created the K. Target boss from scratch while bored one day.

K. Target went through more revisions that you’d think, but fewer than you’d hope.

I don’t have a full gallery of concept art for Vee R this time – by the time we got to the supporting characters, we pretty much had our art style down. But still, here’s my original draft for Vee R compared to Aiden’s in-game sprite:

Pretty one-to-one I’d say.

Check back next week for another character introduction!

Keep it classy,

Community Manager Robbie

Story Time Wednesdays, Unit 108 Edition, Vol. 1 – Deacon Gray Goes Online

Members of the Community,

CMRobbie here! Last month, we announced “Unit 108”, a sidescrolling action platformer about cyborg hero Deacon Gray.

But just who is Deacon?

Truly a fridge of power.

Without giving away too much of the game’s backstory too early…

In the not too distant future, undergrad student Deacon Gray was part of an archaeological expedition in the fabled “Alabaster Region” when an army of rogue androids attacked the area, leaving him and several of his colleagues for dead.

On the edge of existence, Deacon was found by members of “Eden”, an elite task force dedicated to fighting back against android attacks. They used cutting-edge cyborg technology to restore him to life, and out of both gratitude and vengeance, Deacon joined Eden as a soldier, receiving additional implants to give him combat capabilities.

Deacon is equipped with both a laser sword, which he calls “Rydeen”, and a high-powered energy blaster, nicknamed “Firecracker”. An on-board AI called the “Variable Strike” or “VS” system allows Deacon to switch between both of his weapons on the fly.

Pose for the fans!

The VS System, in gameplay terms, is something we hope will encourage you, the player, to approach levels creatively when the game releases. Want to play the game like a run-n-gun, hanging back and peppering enemies from afar? You can do that! Want to play the game like a hack-n-slash, dashing in and slicing up enemies from melee range? You can do that, too!

Until then, I’ll leave you today with a gallery of our concept art, so you can see a little more of how Deacon came to be.

And finally, Deacon’s current, in-game model, as seen in the trailer! Look at ‘im, sliding around like a madlad.

Until Next Time,

Community Manager Robbie

(P.S. – check out the episode of Crymetina Critiques featuring Deacon here!)