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Population Zero Pre-Alpha Report

4 February 2019

Last Friday Population Zero servers were open for another Pre-Alpha test session, where we introduced players to a new game build (0.04.02). Along with server and game optimization we introduced a new alien creature known as Kso, a new health regeneration system, equipment durability, a new building tier and a map expansion. The team has also worked on resource spawn points, character movement improvements, optimization and environment loading principles.

The next Pre-Alpha test will be held as soon as we are done with player’s feedback for the latest build. We hope that our players  will be able to dive back into the mysterious world of Kepler and continue the world exploration as soon as next weekend. Everyone who has taken part in the previous tests are eligible for the next one, and as usual we will also send out more invitations to those who applied for Pre-Alpha.

You can apply for pre-alpha if you haven’t done so before and don’t forget to check your email for an invitation.

Technical feedback

  • This time around we tested the server load and invited even more players! Our servers successfully withstood the stress tests and we are smoothly moving towards the goal of massive and densely populated servers.
  • Some players experienced issues accessing the servers. We gathered feedback and technical data related to this issue and addressed this problem, and hopefully all the colonists can now safely get to Kepler during the next playtest.
  • We also received plenty of bug reports, like pink textures or visible level stitches across the Savannah. This information is very important, as it allows us to fix the shortcomings for future tests.

Game feedback

  • New movement mechanics
    We got the most positive feedback on this feature. We knew that character movement wasn’t satisfying and should have been addressed too. Players seem to really enjoy the new mechanics – now the character is easier to control and movement became smooth and impactful.
  • «Need more Sangvira!»
    Despite the fact that we significantly increased resource spawn points, colonists still experienced difficulties in finding some particular resources. We will keep an eye on this issue.
  • New planet inhabitants – the Kso
    Players warmly welcomed Population Zero fauna newcomers. Four-legged winged creatures diversified the Kepler’s fauna. We will further improve Kso animation in the future builds.
  • Combat
    Players faced difficulties with hit registration, animation, and delays during battles. We are looking into this issue to deliver a better combat experience.
  • Inventory
    Sometimes the players felt a lack of space in their inventory. The backpack has enough space to gather a particular amount of resources that hampered creating of new items and improvements. Inventory space is always a hot topic to discuss so we will be monitoring the situation.
  • Technology tree
    The Tech tree system is updated with every new build. Sometimes players do not understand clearly what they spend to learn a new technology. UI improvements will help to solve this problem.
  • Gathering
    Much feedback was focused on gathering process. Players want to receive more awareness of what they gather. We will continue optimizing the gathering process.
  • Bug reports
    The playtest has not been without journeys through the map and problem areas where players got stuck. When such issues occurred our tech team pointed out those areas and got the players out of trouble.

Current build changes

Bug fixes
We’ve fixed the majority of bugs reported during the previous test session. Please, report all the future bugs on our Discord or Official Forum in pre-alpha test channels.

Future build plans

  • New animations: resource gathering, combat, actions
  • New biomes
  • UI for the quest system
  • Factions: character appearance modification changes
  • New types of creatures

We are excited to receive more feedback during the upcoming playtests. Your support is priceless for Population Zero’s development. You can always get in touch with us on Discord and stay tuned for any updates and new content via Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. It’s amazing to see so many players having as much faith in the project as us.

Thanks, colonists! And see you in the next test!