Hi! This is the Haunted Space team for the second dev diary.
It’s been a while since the first installment of this diary, as we’ve been hard at work improving our product. There are several areas we have been focusing on during this time, with a number of important updates across the game world that we are really excited to share with you!
The Neterunian Tree
We are finalizing the implementation of the third area of the Galaxy of Neterun, the Ancient Tree of the Neterunians, which is a much wilder place than its predecessors, where Imperial control has never fully arrived. For this reason we have focused on introducing new creatures and Alters, or dangerous ghosts of the galaxy. The Tree is full of areas that, like wrecks at the bottom of the sea, were once functioning but are now destroyed and inhabited by strange creatures. The Tree represents one of the vital hearts of the galaxy, a living but ruined space where ancient alien structures have been used as the basis for new raider ritual sites.
We want to make the Tree a truly dangerous place to explore, where the player never feels safe because of the menacing presence of the Alters, the creatures, and a raider cult that worships them. The Tree is shrouded in a thick interstellar cloud… can you make it through unscathed?
Alters are one of the most threatening presences in the Galaxy of Neterun. They attack the raider’s mind directly, damage the Soul System, and there are some areas of the Tree where their presence is so overwhelming that exploration is virtually impossible. If you see shadows in the star clouds, stay away from them. So the player will have to use the Tree as a guide, trying to figure out how far they can go without tearing their soul apart, and using the resources at hand to deal with the ghosts wherever possible.
The work we are doing on the Alters is extremely important to us, as it will not only affect this new area, but the entire game world, making it a true cross-cutting feature of the Galaxy of Neterun.
New creatures and a new weapon
We will introduce several new creatures, more or less dangerous and with different behaviors towards the players, and we will revisit those already present in the game world. In the tree, it is easy to find evasive creatures that try to escape the raiders because they are frightened by their presence, but also much more threatening creatures that are not afraid to defend their nests or simply to hunt. Some will hide, some will chase you, some will flee: it will be up to the player to figure out how and when to confront a particular type of creature in order to collect the creature’s precious sonic matter. In this way, we will introduce a greater variety of enemies, highlighting the presence of life in a galaxy dominated by soul-machine hybrids.
But this battle will not be unequal: we have developed a new type of ship-mounted weapon that does a lot of damage to creatures, but is less effective against raiders.
A new Colossus and more ancient technology
Long ago, the Tree was a technological jewel of the Neterunians. Today, all that remains of that glory… or does it? Without spoiling anything, the Tree is not as dead as it seems, and we have introduced Neterunian defensive weapons that the player will have to learn about.
We also added a new Colossus that threatens the life of the Tree and has colonized part of it, using its long tentacles as a weapon. Our path will inevitably cross with this new giant threat, and we will have to be good to make it out alive.
A new raider group
Although the Tree is a dangerous place, it is not completely uninhabited by raiders. The dominant group in the area are the Malaxdon, a kind of raider sect that worships the creatures and seeks to defend the balance, or the Tree ecosystem itself. The Malaxdon have their own ritual symbology, consisting of square geometric shapes upon which they have built their central temple, the Equilibrium. They hate anything that could alter the Tree’s vital balance.
We have continued to work on Events, which were previously only used at certain times in the second system, the Pit. With this update, we are able to have a number of new encounters throughout the game world, expanding the event system to include specific quests as well as random encounters. We hope this will make our galaxy even more vibrant and fun to explore!
And much more, but the rest you will have to figure out for yourself!