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Development Update #8

Development Update #8

Hello Citizens,

We hope you enjoyed our April Fools announcement regarding Mankind Reborn: Drift Heroes, we know we sure did!

After publishing our last development blog, we have made significant progress regarding game lore, level design, audio, so needless to say, that’s precisely what this Update is going to emphasize on. In an effort to enhance the game’s atmosphere, we have chatted with a bunch of voice actors to get them started on recording numerous city announcements/advertisements, so the world will feel much more lively and make each faction exist in the game world. Most of these have been recorded and mastered already. The examples are included below. Hope you like them! :)

A day after this development blog, we’ll be releasing our seventh faction — Guns of the Conclave! Missed our sixth faction — Followers of Eternity? We’re blasting these out at full speed, come on, you should keep up!

It’s also worth noting that we’re going to be ditching the old launcher and replace it with Steam, as it gave us way too much trouble for what it was worth. This, however, does not mean we’re going live on Steam just yet, but instead, we’ll utilize its distribution platform for more comfortable testing sessions. This is currently in the works, and we’ll iterate on that later down the line.

All in all, it’s been a very productive month, and we are moving toward Alpha at a steady pace. We hope you like this development blog; if you do, let us know in the discussion thread and share it to those who would be interested in joining us in this endeavor!

 

PLANETARY TRANSPORTATION

Our first iteration of vehicles is now included in the game. Vehicles will only be usable on worlds with a vehicle depot, which will mainly just be large open worlds like Mars and Aurora. They’ll be primarily used for transportation — more information regarding vehicles will be posted as we move further down development with them. As it was first intended as an April Fools joke, the mechanic has indeed been implemented in Mankind Reborn now. Illegal street races, anyone?

QUANTUM GATES 

We have successfully implemented our very own, in-house designed, Quantum Gate model. Quantum Gates is our first method of traveling between worlds. When clicking on the world icons in the UI, we’re pulling data from that server and displaying it on the user interface. You’ll be able to see; if the QG network is active in that world, the taxes on specific services, mineral density on the world, and any other relevant information. This travel method will be live during the upcoming April test, and we’ll have seven worlds to play with, there will be other travel methods added down the road, mainly the Hyperloop and shuttles. Earth will use a hyperloop system, in order to travel between worlds, players have to go to the subway. To travel off-earth, players will have to board a shuttle.

All the lore behind travel in Mankind Reborn can be found below in the Lore section of this development Update!

Your input hasn’t gone in vain! We have taken your suggestions into account regarding voice lines and have reached out to two voice actors, one of which happens to be our very own music producer and the other one is a female called Leah. All of which have done a tremendous job if you ask me! Listen here!

 

 

Union City Lower District

Location: Earth
Theme: Dark, Dirty, Ruined, Construction & Mining, Unfinished buildings, Slums
Subway Connections: Union City Leisure, Union City Industrial
Shuttle Connections: None
Quantum Gate Connections: None

Background:
Lower Union City is not recommended for tourists to visit, though there has been a recent social trend among wealthy youths to ‘slum it’ in the area, with a resulting trend in homicides and thefts.

In 2117 to fund the building of Copper City on Venus, North Star Mining entered into a series of profitable mining contracts on Earth. Included in these contracts was the rights to a series of mines around Union City itself. North Star immediately began exploiting the sites – the most famous of which would become what is known today as Lower Union City.

By 2118, North Star Mining had built its first set of worker’s housing but had come into issues with indentured workers escaping into the nearby city. To this end, NSM Black Star security and the Union City Police Department entered into an arrangement and built the North Star Containment Structure – nowadays just called the Wall. The Wall successfully prevented escapes by indents and increased material output by nearly 50% during the critical phases of the Unification Wars.

In 2135, North Star, in the midst of a round of construction to upgrade the area, declared the Union City Mine to be unprofitable, unfortunately for the hundreds of indents and other workers in the North Star ‘Company Town’ the expense of transporting them to other areas was more than the expense of cancelling their contracts. Those that left could but many workers found themselves jobless with only the most basic of housing walled off from the rest of the city and travel restricted by CPC officers who viewed them as little more than criminals.

Over the next two decades, the population of Lower Union City grew as the Founders, and the CPC found a convenient place to dump dissidents, petty criminals, and malcontents out of sight and out of mind. Though the travel restrictions on Lower Union City residents were lifted in 2158 housing and employment, remain scarce in this area, and CPC patrols rarely venture beyond the old NSM checkpoints and Hyperloop Station.

 

Union City Council Quarter

Location: Earth
Theme: Bright, Clean, Open, A lot of greenery.
Subway Connections: Union City Leisure, Union City Upper
Shuttle Connections: None
Quantum Gate Connections: None

Background:
The Council Quarter of Union City is one of the most recognizable areas in all of Union Space. Home of the Union Council and its Agencies the Council Quarter spans the East River.

North of the river is Union Plaza surrounded to the East and West by the CPC and TDC HQs respectively and to the north the Union Council Building a three-story building with public and private areas and the famous Council Chamber where the laws and policies of the entire Union are debated and determined.

Spanning the river itself is the majestic Founder’s Bridge so called for the fact that until 2156 only founders could cross it (the adjacent Nóng Bridge was removed in 2157 leaving Founder’s Bridge as the only way into Union Plaza from the Council Quarter Hyperloop Terminal.)

South of the River is a small open plaza and a series of roads leading to various high-end shops and cafes and the famous Founder’s Rest exclusive nightclub.

 

Union City Leisure District

Location: Earth
Theme: Relaxed, Dark, Neon.
Subway Connections: Union City Council Quarter, Union City Lower
Shuttle Connections: None
Quantum Gate Connections: None

Background:
If it weren’t for the requirement that all Terrestrial and Stellar visitors to Union City be routed through the Klorfson Memorial Spaceport in the Industrial District, the Leisure District would be the most visited place on Earth – possibly even the entire Union.

The District is bisected by the Shizi River, east of the Shizi the district primarily is focused on nightlife with many clubs, bars, and restaurants that fill every evening with locals and visitors alike. Neon signs blare out advertisements in Union Standard Chinese and Terran Standard English directing the attention of revelers to the hottest joints in the city. The Eastside area has a notoriously high crime rate and many rumors place the secret headquarters of the mythical ‘Syndicate’ here.

West of the river life is slightly more sedate; shopping centers coexist with middle-class housing and the Union renowned Yǒufú De Xīn (Blessed Heart) Hospital stands near the forefront of bionic medicine.

 

Asset Gallery for Creating Levels

I’m sure most of you are wondering if we have the necessary resources to make these white-box levels look pretty? Well, take a look for yourself. Images speak louder than words, right? ;)

 

Khimarra hasn’t sat still either. We have been toying with the concept of adding various skin tones, and that’s precisely what we’ve done. Later on, we’ll be taking a look at implementing hair features. Take a look!

 

 

 

Traveling in Mankind Reborn

 

Hyper Loop

Potential name: Pressurized Internal Maglev Passenger-Pod System (PIMPS or PIMP System)

Early conception and development

With initial concept designs and ideas beginning in the early 20th, The Hyper Loop concept itself was not introduced in a public forum until the 21st century. These early “open-sourced” schematics proposed a system of internalized pressured pods traveling amongst a depressurized maglev track inside of tubes. While the tremendous cost of implementing such a project could prove beneficial and groundbreaking, funding was never established due to many skeptics estimating the budget would reach into the tens, if not hundreds, of billions of US Dollars. The other cause for concern arose from safety due to power outages or terrorist attacks. Even without the funding or backing, many universities and other organizations continued to research and improve designs through the 21st century with some producing short mile-long test variants to prove the concept in practicality.

First implementation

As Union City was being founded in 2080, the growing concern of easier and more accessible travel began to rise. During a conference in 2081 to discuss new methods of public transportation, The Hyper Loop system was pitched against numerous other ideas. The company responsible for producing the concept was Jiǎng Trans-line Enterprises. Responsible for assisting in traditional Maglev lines, Jiǎng Trans-line Enterprises proposed that they could develop the required track and tube technology with the assistance of other companies to supply the pressurized passenger pods that would travel The Hyper Loop. The companies that would eventually collaborate to produce the pods were Epsilon Aerospace Dynamics and Fuschi Industries. Jiǎng Trans-line Enterprises was awarded the contract to develop the Hyper Loop System in 2083 and would begin its production in 2090 as it took 7 years to excavate a path for the Hyper Loop System to run along as officials did not want to disturb operating subways or railway lines. By 2093, the first stretch of the Hyper Loop was completed linking what is now known as Union City Council Quarter and Union City Upper. In 2094 this first stretch of the Hyper Loop was put into full operation and would prove an outstanding success.

Modern Hyper Loop

With the Hyper Loop System proving successful, further tracks began production immediately to link all of Union City together. Many of the older subway and railway lines would remain open through The Hyper Loop’s construction to ensure the populations could move about. By not building over the current infrastructure, the excavating and clearing process took a total of 15 years. The project was eventually sped up by the forming of the Terran Union in 2098. By 2108, each Hyper Loop track was being manufactured in the cleared areas with each stretch being completed shortly after the other. Union Leisure to Union City Upper and Union City Council Quarter being completed first in 2110, followed by the lines connecting Union City Industrial, and Union City Lower. With the full Hyper Loop System in place by 2125, numerous modifications and upgraded have been made to increase travel times as well as passenger capacity. Once the Hyper Loop was completed, old inner city subway and rail lines were repurposed due to a lack of necessity and many of the old tracks and stations were converted into lower cost properties to “hide” the eyesore of poverty. Now in 2160, the Hyper Loop System is a critical avenue of public transportation within Union City, allowing citizens to reach destinations within the city swiftly.

Off-world Shuttle

Off-world shuttles act as an essential link between colonial worlds and date back to a time before the creation of The Quantum Travel Network. These shuttles are physical transport ships designed to take passengers and cargo from spaceport to spaceport. Each shuttle takes off from one spaceport, travels to its destination, and lands at another spaceport. The most well-known instance of this travel dates back to 2099 when Union Spacelines was founded to improve travel for the recently formed Terran Union. With the support of Terran Union officials, Epsilon Aerospace Dynamics and Fuschi Industries (Epsilon Aerospace Dynamics being a smaller and newer company subcontracted by Fuschi Industries) founded in 2095. The first initial shuttles, the Space Passenger Shuttle (SPS) SPS-2098 was developed by Epsilon Aerospace Dynamics and Fuschi Industries. Working hand in hand, the two companies were able to design and develop the SPS-98 underwent rigorous trials for two years before taking active service in Union Spacelines in 2100. During this time, the two companies would apply similar technologies to the passenger pods for the Hyper Loop System Project in Union City. The first editions of the SPS-98 only held ten passengers, unlike the modern SPS-98 MkIV variant that carries 20 in 2160.

Union Spacelines first began operations as offering an open line of transportation to the Moon and Mars in 2100. These locations made suitable destinations due to the colonization efforts of the second Space Race in 2075. With the route to the Moon and Mars now publicly open, public transportation was available to civilian visitors and businesses alike looking to expand their interests on a new planet. This advancement would become an advantage for Avalon Enterprises as they began shifting resources towards the growth of Mars as well in 2101. In 2108 during the ‘Marsquake’ incident, Union Spacelines were utilized to help evacuate those on Mars during the event.

The SPS-98 MkII would come as an improvement in 2115, followed by the SPS-98 MkIII in 2130, and lastly the current variant: the SPS-98 MkIV in 2155. With each revision, travel times were lowered, greater distances could be achieved, and passenger capacity increased to 20 on MkII-MkIV. Epsilon Aerospace Dynamics would release the Cargo Space Transport Shuttle (CSTS) in 2120, a streamlined version of the SPS-98 MkII designed explicitly for cargo transport rather than passengers. The CSTS-20 would prove itself as a viable option for smaller amounts of goods for immediate delivery, receiving its own MkII version in 2145.

With the success of standard passenger and freight shuttles, Epsilon Aerospace Dynamics would go one step further, working with a luxury-oriented company, Geppo Flek, to introduce a premier “first class” shuttle designed to transport the rich and wealthy in style rather than the standard models. The shuttle was unveiled in 2158 at Union City, designated PCTS, Premier Class Transportation Shuttle. The PCTS was dressed internally in leather and suede along with precious alloys decorating the trim.

Even after the discovery and implementation of Quantum Gates in 2150, Off World Shuttles still remain a viable means of transport. This is due to the limited locations of Quantum Gates leaving the shuttles to be vital in transportation lines between locations not outfitted with Quantum Gates. Today, “Union Spacelines” reaches out far past the Moon and Mars, allowing travel between multiple locations aboard the SPS-98, CSTS-20, and PCTS variants, giving passengers and cargo a direct line between numerous destinations depending on their departure location.

Quantum Network

Fuschi Industries
One of the most influential corporations of the past hundred years is Fuschi Industries. Founded in 2085 in Union City, the leading directors were key in supplying the early corporate militias that secured the city’s borders and eventually pacified the local region to the extent that the Union itself could be founded. In the post-2098 Union, Fuschi Industries became one of the TDC’s preferred contractors supplying a variety of aerospace options including the iconic Léiniǎo (Thunderbird) Air/Space Interceptor that, although retired from active service, still delights crowds at any air-show. The successes of their aerospace frames allowed Fuschi to have an active and advanced research centre (operated in conjunction with the Union City University) this paid off for Fuschi in 2109 when Dr Simon Cheung created what is now known as Quantum Abridgement Theory.

While it took until 2121 before Fuschi and Dr Cheung were able to properly develop the first prototype Fuschi-Cheung Drive, the ability to break the light barrier and achieve practicable interstellar travel is truly the first step in the so-called ‘Rebirth of Mankind’. This ability to break the bonds of our solar system and to venture beyond allowed humanity to settle on other worlds, necessitating several vital political and social changes in the 2130s.

Fuschi caused another stir in 2150 when, after years of mainly focusing on more efficient FTL drives, and on the building of interstellar craft for both government and civilian usage, they unveiled the Quantum Abridgement Ansible capable of sending electronic data nearly instantaneously across vast distances. Combined with the Ansible, Fuschi released a series of molecular disassembler/assembler pads that most people refer to as Quantum Gates. These ‘gates’ could break down a person into an electronic signal at the point of origin, transmit to another active gate, and then reassemble them at their destination. The near instantaneous travel that this provided (at first between New Terra and Union City but the network is growing rapidly) played a major role in the series of political reforms that occurred in 2156.

World LoreMoonbase

Colonizing The Moon

In 2075 at the beginning of the second Space Race, North American and European interests grew in efforts to colonize both the Moon and Mars. North American and European space agencies would compete in this effort with SASA to follow alongside support from the Copper Mining Group, which later became North Star Mining. By 2076, North America and Europe began a joint development on the Moon while SASA would turn its interest towards asteroid belts. Each hub was constructed relatively close as both agencies came to a mutual agreement to assist each other to minimize the risk of catastrophic failures. These two hubs were connected by a single corridor to ensure each hub could be closely watched over to avoid any interference of one by the other. Both hubs were completed and fully operational by 2080 and both agencies were forced to combine efforts for future developments due to manpower and budget restrictions.

The Rise of The Terran Union

With the formation and eventual rise of power of the Terran Union, Moonbase would shift ownership from North America and Europe to the Union following negotiations in 2103 by Sir Alistair McDowell and the AAF. Under control of the Terran Union, Moonbase would see further development with the construction of additional hubs. The TDC also established an outpost here, acting as a stepping stone to other colonies for ease of movement for government troops. This outpost serves both as a checkpoint for troop movement as well as a fortress-garrison for the immediate defense of Earth. With the establishment of Off-world shuttles and eventually Quantum Gates, Moonbase would become one of the major transit hubs for all of mankind venturing outside of Earth.

Modernized Moonbase

While the Moonbase has existed for some time, it has seen numerous upgrades since its initial construction to ensure quality of life changes to meet ever-higher Union standards. In 2160 Moonbase currently consists of multiple hubs that are joined via medium size connector corridors. Each hub is dedicated to a specific use such as medical, upscale residential housing, production, mining, and a travel hub with a Quantum Gate. The Moonbase is one of two locations travelers must pass through in order to travel between Earth and outlying colonies.

Tooltip:

Well-maintained and upgraded numerous times, Moonbase is a premier transit location for all traveling to and from Earth. With a direct shuttle line to Union City Industrial and Quantum Gates to Venus and Mars, Moonbase is a highly frequented travel location for businesses and citizens alike. For many, Moonbase serves as a home away from home with an upscale residential area. With both TDC and CPC’s presence, you can feel safe and secure during your time at Moonbase.

Clia 5A48

Serving as the Terran Union’s most recently colonized frontier world in 2160, Clia 5A48 has had little along the lines of development in its two years of construction. Established for its mining resources, Clia 5A48 has little to offer compared to most Terran Union colonies. Besides the mining facility, Clia 5A48 is equipped with low-grade industry equipment for production as well as a joint mess room and bar. Even though lacking in general infrastructure, Clia 5A48 retains luscious green scenery made up from numerous forests accompanied by numerous rivers and waterfalls. In order to travel to and from Clia 5A48, use The Quantum Gate to Getha as no other sustained travel routes have been established. Not long after the founding of the colony, the Terran Union has publicly called for settlers and works alike to seize the initiative to inhabit and develop the new world in order to enhance the value and viability of a potential vital colony for the ever expansion of the Terran Union.

Tooltip:

Serving as the newest colony and frontier world in the Terran Union, Clia 5A48 is the adventurer and entrepreneur’s dream. While only containing a mining facility as well as a low-grade industry for production, Clia 5A48 remains a well kept and functional foundation for the creation of a much larger and successful colony. With Quantum Gate access to and from Getha, citizens and businesses alike can begin their endeavors here while finding rest and refuge at the local mess room and bar. With its new architecture, lush green scenery and numerous rivers and waterfalls, it retains the feel of an emerging diamond in the rough waiting for the right people to polish it up.

Aurora

So-called because of the spectacular effect of the almost constant bombardment of ionized particles on the planet’s atmosphere Aurora is a desolate world. Aside from the spaceport, TDC outpost and mining areas there is little in the way of human development.

The reason Aurora was never fully colonized is simple. In 2145 an excavation team searching for high-value metals discovered a series of buildings of obvious alien origin. The TDC immediately quarantined the area and continues to do so while Union scientists investigate the ‘Builder’ ruins. The effectiveness of this quarantine has waxed and waned over the previous decade and a half with artifact hunters breaching the quarantine on a regular basis.

The ruins and the artifacts that come from them tend to have a psychic imprint, and many find them eerie but somehow compelling, and there is a strong underground trade on Earth for Builder artifacts.

Mars

After the destruction of the New Colombia Colony in the aftermath of the Marsquake of 2108, there are just three domes easily accessible from the spaceport on Mars. Mars was never heavily colonized despite predictions in the 21st century that it would be mankind’s first home away from home. The fear of teratogenic fallout from New Colombia combined with the need for reconstruction efforts on Earth after the Unification Wars, and the development of practicable FTL drives led to Mars becoming somewhat sidelined with even the promised terraforming efforts being half-ignored by the Union.

St. Vincent’s Dome is the first, and often the only, dome that visitors to Mars see. Connected by a short enclosed walk to the spaceport the dome is the primary residential and mercantile area on Mars. The wild-west ‘mining town’ feel is deliberate and is as much a tourist attraction as the buggy rides outside the domes, the saloon casino near the center of town is a prime example of catering both to the local miners and to the tourists.

Ishtar Dome is known primarily for being the headquarters of the “Guns of the Conclave” and is geared towards their use although there is a public Quantum Gate and small throughway in the dome.

Haephestus Dome is where the mining and refining facilities of Mars are located and is fairly utilitarian and industrial – forcing miners to head to St. Vincent’s Dome if they’re looking for some rest and relaxation.

In the next development update, we’ll most likely talk about the first implementation of the Bionics mechanic along with the lore behind it all. We will hopefully get to show off the first prototype of apartment entry and our placeable furniture mechanic. Khimarra’s currently researching a bit more regarding hair implementation, so we’re looking forward to that as well!

 

Union City Industrial District

Location: Earth
Theme: Dark, Narrow, Winding, Rundown, Industrial.
Subway Connections: Union City Upper, Union City Lower
Shuttle Connections: Space Station One, Moonbase
Quantum Gate Connections: None

Background:
The first thing visitors to Union City notice is, of course, the Private Jack Klorfson Memorial Spaceport (often just called the Klorfson Spaceport). Named after the first recipient of the Union Star, the Klorfson Spaceport is the only authorized landing and departure point on Earth for Stellar travelers both Agency and civilian. One of the sights most familiar to frequent travelers is that of recently graduated TDC recruits stopping by the Commemoration Plaque to pay their respects before heading to their first postings off-world.

Outside of the Spaceport and Hyperloop complex, the Industrial district lives up to its name and is a warren of manufacturing centers, food and chemical processing plants and transshipment hubs. The crowded, polluted streets are broken up by the majestic headquarters of Oda Zaibatsu that dominates the immediate skyline away from the Spaceport.

Description:
The Industrial District of Union City is famous for its high crime, heavy industry, and transient population. The general atmosphere is busy but dangerous, the lighting is fairly dark and there are plenty of narrow alleyways where a mugging could occur when the night cycle comes around. There should be plenty of trash and areas where shipping containers are stored.

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