The Four Worlds of Shattered Planet

The shattered planet is a varied wilderness. It’s always shifting and re-configuring itself, but it’s still a planet, with all of the ecosystems and climate variance you’d expect from a vast landscape. We’ve hinted at three of the environments available in the game at launch, but we thought we’d take a moment to describe them a bit more in detail, as well as finally show a bit of the all-new fourth environment.

So, not counting a few ‘special’ places you might find, the four major environments are:

Rawhide Valley

This desert is a popular hunting ground for mutant humanoids, due to seasonal nests of both crablets and other, more meaty species. The brush here is quite tough, and has even grown its own defense systems against intruders, but is also dry and flammable.

Known species inhabiting Rawhide Valley:

  • Crablet
  • Crablet Queen
  • Snipeseed
  • Nest Hatchling
  • Nest Guardian
  • Tribal Hunter
  • …?

desert

New Pampas

This lush grassland overgrown with carnivorous plants smells sweetly, with fungal spores floating on the breeze. Somewhere in the grasslands is the heart of the mutant lands, where territorial chieftains meet. If you’re not careful, the overgrown Snaptrap plants can push you over cliff-edges with their massive jaws.

Known species inhabiting New Pampas:

  • Venomous Crablet
  • Seedling
  • Snaptrap
  • Tribal Guard
  • Tribal Chieftain
  • …?

grass

Yendor Corporation Labs

The shifting of the planet revealed a previously underground facility. Its security measures remain active, with highly sensitive turrets, lasers, and sentinel robots patrolling its corridors.. but untold secrets locked away in its vaults. Make sure to bring something to jump over or teleport past the deadly turret fire! Strange energy signatures indicate intelligent life may lie deep within…

Known species inhabiting Yendor Corporation Labs:

  • Mechano-crablet
  • Turret
  • Slicer Droid
  • …?

labs

Contaminaria

This heavily irradiated zone is in the midst of a wildlife rebirth due to high mutation rates. Mutant shamans choose this place as their peoples’ graveyard, though scarce food and toxic water make the fight for resources more deadly than ever. The mutated snow-tunneling crablets often make their homes in what appears to be solid ice, jumping out to surprise unsuspecting prey.

Known species of Contaminaria:

  • Snowtunnel Crablet
  • …?

snow

More Worlds Someday?

Of course, there’s plenty more interesting (and alien!) environments we’ll keep developing after the game launches, to keep the game fresh and exciting. Jungles, beaches, ruins, tidepools, deltas.. there are so many possibilities! We’ll be sure to ask for your input when we get to that stage. For now, we have to focus on the environments we do have, making sure they’re as rich and exciting to explore as they deserve.

If you have ideas for new worlds, or suggestions on how to make our existing ones even better, you’re always welcome to comment below, tweet at us or write on our Facebook wall!

A Long Screenshot: Chillin’ in the Desert

Tanya here. Yesterday, I was working on the game, fixing up some spreadsheets and texts and so forth, and realised that I had been listening to the same cool song for about 30 minutes. I went to find out what it was… and it was Shattered Planet!

So here’s some flutes to make your day (or evening) more mellow, and maybe more mysterious? All praise for the music, of course, should be directed to Ryan Roth. The soundtrack will go on sale simultaneous with the game, so keep a few bucks earmarked!

Environment Design: The Shattered Desert

Hi guys! Tanya here!

Today I’ll go into some detail on our environment design, using the Desert as an example, since we haven’t shown it off much yet and it’s the first area-type the player encounters. I’m actually from the Mojave Desert of southern California originally. I spent most of my childhood chasing lizards, catching kangaroo mice, and climbing the Rocky Mountains… when I wasn’t allowed to play NES, anyway.

joshua-tree-national

An environment’s atmosphere comes from every element — the landscape, the colors, the wildlife and lighting. Xin, our artist, starts by painting the terrain we need. For the Desert, we knew we wanted basic tiles of Dirt, Sandstone, and Brush. We want the Desert to feel desolate and dry, but not lifeless.

deserttiles

Now, before you think, “those aren’t very interesting! Where’s the life, the juice, the oomph?” … we started out going super-detailed, with intense painterly details on each tile…

badtilesjpg

And yes, they were beautiful! BUT when they’re tiled all together, 10×10, it looks terrible. Dirt starts to look like meat!

badtilejpg

We might still sprinkle details like these throughout as a rare treat, but for now, we’ve had to forcibly tone down the contrast and details of any one basic tile, for the betterment of the whole.

Next, he paints combinations of each tile-type with another, so that the world generator can smoothly transition between regions. For example, a half-Brush, half-Sandstone tile should always buffer between Brush and Stone areas.

deserttileshalfsjpg

The final terrain layer is composed of “crumbly bits”, as we call them, which help reinforce the idea that you’re on a shattered planet. They match at least half of the tile-type they’re generated next to. For interior levels, these take the form of metal struts and frames. For exteriors, they’re more like chunks of earth and rock.

deserttilescrumbsjpg

And then, at long last, the fun part — we can add gameplay! Bushes and rocks are obstacles that get in your way and help with the ambiance. As for enemies, you might have seen our Hatchling and Nest Guardian back when we first concepted them in July, and now they can finally romp and hunt in their natural desert habitat. Combining all of the elements together gives us a flavorful, unique Desert environment that feels significantly different from the others.

deserttileswithstuffjpg

So, with no photoshopping or other trickery, here’s a screenshot taken directly from the game while it’s running:

desert2jpg

The next step will be adding in a flavorful background for each environment. We want to keep the lonely, dark feeling of the desert at night, but something a little bit more interesting than plain black.

BgDesert

Unique story encounters can also happen in the desert — finding unearthed skulls, old campfires, lost hatchlings, or even strange stones can lead you on mini-adventures into the unknown. Just like home?


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Announcing Kitfox!

XRL_portfolio2

We’re a scrappy little team that’s here to stay! Nice to meet you!

We formed in May 2013 with a shared vision of bringing the joy of exploring new worlds to mobile devices.

We are currently at work on our first game, tentatively titled Shattered Planet, to be released this winter to iOS and Android. Make sure to say hi on Twitter!

More concept art coming soon!