Hello everyone, we’d like to begin this update by thanking you all for your patience during our development process. Throughout these last months, we’ve been hard at work on SCP: Pandemic, and are excited to update everyone on our most recent progress.
This is the first of what we aim to be regularly scheduled development logs to keep everyone up to speed with where we are and what our plans are from here on out. We aim to have something to show every month, and updates will be posted from mid to the very end of the month in order to allow us more time to polish things before being put on show.
Starting from April, we have a lot to catch everyone up on. This month we will be discussing our departure from the Squad code base and the opportunities this means for the project, as well as highlighting general progress on the game’s development, from new environments to improved sound design.
The Departure of Squad’s Code Base
During our development, we have made the decision to step away from Squad’s code base and focus on creating our own. We are aware this might be a disappointing decision to some of our followers, but we believe this was the best move for this project in the long term for multiple reasons.
Working with Squad’s codebase (also made in Unreal Engine) was a great opportunity for us, however, as we began to modify the game’s code to better fit the project’s needs, we quickly became aware of the caveats of working with an unfamiliar external codebase. After trying to bend the codebase to work for our project, we decided that it would be within the project’s best interests to create our own codebase in order to better fit the project’s needs.
Alongside but unrelated to this change is the development of our future plans for SCP: Pandemic. To ensure that we can continue development on this project, to implement all of the planned features and future content, we have decided to make an important and integral change to the game: SCP: Pandemic will no longer be free-to-play on release and will instead be a paid title. This has come down to the fact that the game has evolved from the small scope proof-of-ability into a fully fledged title, with larger content goals for a better experience and overall improved game. We truly appreciate everybody who has already donated to the project and to those people who have helped us get this far, and we truly believe this change will ensure that the game will continue to be developed for as long as possible and will help to increase development speed where it is truly needed! Anyone who has donated to us previously will still continue to receive the game at launch as before.
Things have been busy within the sound department, more specifically the ongoing improvement to audio quality and specialization. As a development team, it is important for us to create an enjoyable horror experience, and one of the key elements to achieving this is with immersive and atmospheric sound design.
Our focus right now is on the more generalized sound effects that players are expected to hear most commonly, for example doors (of which there are many). We also have our focus set on replacing the placeholder sounds currently in place for our weapons with authentic, handcrafted ones. Expect more on this in future archives. On the subject of overhauling, our enemy design is one of our main priorities to get right at this point within our development. Proper zombie voice-acting is in the works with more than a handful of variants planned for the final release.
Ambience is crucial in creating the tense atmosphere we want in Pandemic, and our audio team has been hard at work expanding our list of ambient and cinematic audio tracks. We continue to work hard in creating our official soundtrack for use in Pandemic and future projects within our studio.
Art and Design
With our established direction for the game’s design, we are hard at work at finalizing existing assets and environments as well as introducing new areas to explore. Those who have had the chance to experience our alpha build may remember the large, empty space accompanied by a server room and mess hall area. This blockout has since seen some pretty drastic changes to better fit the concept art and start to expand it into a more realistic environment. This comes alongside the first iteration of the final layout as we continue to work on the gameplay plan for the initial Pandemic map.
Existing rooms continue to receive some love as we work on additional details to fill the facility and make it feel alive. One of the ways we achieve this goal is through the use of additional assets to help occupy the space along the walls, like wires, electrical boxes, and trims.
We are just as excited to showcase some weapons to be expected upon release, as of right now we have the following weapons implemented:
- MP5 Submachine Gun
- Galil Ace Assault Rifle
- M9 Sidearm Pistol
That may seem like a small arsenal of weapons right now, but don’t worry.
We have many other weapons in the works as we speak and will share more information on that when we have something to show.
In light of our departure from Squad, we have been hard at work creating our own character controller to better reflect the control and feel of the game we aim to achieve. As of right now, we have all of the essentials needed for a first person shooter with some additional features still to be developed. These existing features include:
- Deadzone aiming
- Sights and scopes
- Bullet Ballistics
Weapon deadzone can be configured/disabled with a slider.
In addition, we are now able to update to the latest version of Unreal Engine in order to take advantage of better performance, lighting, and stability both in runtime and during development. A more up to date engine allows for a smoother development process and a better experience for players.
In addition to this, there are many smaller but still noteworthy developments over the past months:
- Many existing bugs from the alpha build have been squashed.
- Proximity-based player respawning has been introduced.
- Networking and performance in general has been improved upon.
- Interaction system has been improved for higher ping connections.
- A UI overhaul in the works, taking advantage of a more unified design, starting with our menus and HUD and continuing from there.
- Good progress has been made on the horde system for driving overall zombie behavior, expect more info on this soon
Future Development Plans/Conclusion
To conclude our first development log, we feel it would be appropriate to leave behind a taste of what to expect in the coming months of our continuous progress:
- A total layout and redesign of the current map.
- New enemy AI overhaul in progress and actual Psi-Z designs are now in progress.
- ‘Enemy Dismemberment’ system for satisfying response to damage.
- Enemy AI visibility/light system (for stealth mechanics).
- Continued updates on our UI system and design.
- ‘Common Area’ and general environment progress.
Thank you all for your continued support during our development journey, we look forward to seeing everyone next month where we’ll have more to show and talk about!