Lacuna Passage - Devlog #70 - Exterior Modules and Development Roadmap

First and foremost, let's go over some of the development progress since our last update. Lately it has been easier to share what we've been working on in video form, so check the video below to see our progress on the habitat exterior modules.

That's all well and good, but now we would like to share something with you that we probably should have done a while ago.

We are officially launching a publicly visible development roadmap.

Since we are such a small team, a lot of our development planning happens across lots of different mediums (Google docs, Trello, email, Skype, etc). I had been using that semi-disorganization as an excuse to keep our overall progress hidden, thinking that our devlog posts were enough to keep our backers and followers happy. Thanks to feedback from a few very honest backers I have finally decided to prioritize a more presentable public roadmap.

We have been using a progress tracker called Trello for quite some time now, but various aspects of the game have been split among several different private boards and we haven't done a good job of maintaining a consistent approach to documenting each feature or piece of art. So to rectify that I have recently been working to consolidate the major elements of the Survival Sandbox into a single Trello board where you can view tons of information.

Lacuna Passage Survival Sandbox Development Roadmap

The link above will take you to our public board where you can explore all the features we have planned for Survival Sandbox v1.0 and beyond. We are still planning for the Story Mode as well, but none of that will be covered in the Trello board in order to avoid future spoilers.

If you are not familiar with Trello you will see that we have organized the "Board" into several main "Lists". These cover the high-level categories of game development which are then broken down into "Cards" that detail specific features and art.

We have also leveraged the color coded card labels to help visualize our overall progress at a glance. Above you can see that the first label on each card shows the progress we have made on that specific feature. The second label on each card shows when that feature can be expected. SS1.0 means that it will be available in the first Survival Sandbox v1.0 release on Early Access. SS+ means that it will come in a later update as a feature addition. Of course, all of this is subject to change, but we want to be as transparent as possible with our current plans so that you can more easily follow along. This roadmap will always be visible directly from the navigation on the site (which is also linked in the navigation at the top of this site).

These cards should also be a great way to revisit older devlog posts that cover the more detailed development decisions that went into specific features. As you can see above, some cards have links directly to the relevant devlog posts. So instead of having to search by keyword on our blog, you can browse the entire feature list on Trello.

As of the time of this writing, there are still a few sections of incomplete cards with only titles and labels. I will be working through those remaining cards over the next week to add more descriptions, images, links, and progress checklists.

If there is anything you think I've forgotten to feature in the roadmap, please let me know! The most obvious omission is a visible release schedule or timeline. I understand that this may be frustrating considering how behind we are with the release already. I can tell you that we have a release window in mind, but we cannot discuss it at this time until more details are worked out with some third parties. Thanks for your patience.

Our attempts to feed Naga in a special chair for her megaesophagus condition...

Our attempts to feed Naga in a special chair for her megaesophagus condition...

And for those of you who remember our post back in April about our dog Naga... we have some sad news to share. We discovered that she had a skin condition called dermatomyositis in addition to a swallowing disorder called megaesophagus. Her megaesophagus became so severe that she developed aspiration pneumonia. After fighting with her pneumonia over nearly three months she began to lose strength and we made the incredibly difficult decision to let her go. Megaesophagus is not a curable condition, and while some dogs can be managed with strict dietary assistance, Naga's case was too much for her. We have been devastated by her loss. She was only six months old and we wanted to show her so much more of the world. For those of you with dogs, hold them tight ♥♥♥

Lacuna Passage - Devlog #10 - Pre-Alpha Gameplay Teaser

What’s that? In-game footage you say? Yes! We have released our first pre-alpha gameplay footage.

I had considered doing some commentary over the video to explain some of what is going on, but I didn’t want to talk over the awesome music. So instead I will try to break down some of the new stuff here.

The biggest addition to the game in the last couple weeks has been the datapad. This is one of the tools that will be an invaluable resource for you as you explore and document the planet’s surface. We are trying to keep all the HUD and UI elements as immersive as possible, so nearly all the game’s menu screens will be contained within the physical datapad.

Audio playback is one of the datapad’s many functions (some others I’m sure you can gleen from the other menu items). In this video we hear an audio log from a previous crew member who discusses a drilling site where he accidentally left behind some tools. Despite his intentions he never did return to collect them as we find out later in the video (hmm, what happened to him?). Luckily he gives us the exact coordinates of the drilling site. In the final game you will have the option to input these coordinates as a custom marker on your compass, but for the purposes of this example the compass marker is automatically displayed.

On our way to the site we come across a decent sized dust devil which makes for some cool moments with the dynamic soundtrack. Moving on, we trek across the lowest point in the valley, eventually making our way to the drilling site. The music builds as we reach our destination and indeed we find the wayward tools. At several points you will notice a blue outline around the tools. This is an optional feature to help some players find key objects and locations. It can be turned on and off at any time just as is demonstrated in the video.

Finally we look upon the setting sun. We have sped up the passing of time just to show the full range of lighting effects. In the game time will pass quickly, but not quite this quickly. One real-world second will equal about 1 in-game minute. And as you might expect, Mars can be a foreboding place in the dark of night.

Thanks for watching our first gameplay video. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.