January greetings

Hello everyone!

Time to take a look at what we’ve been working on since the holidays. As those who read the previous blog post know, we’ve made Barotrauma’s test versions open to everyone who owns the game, but there’s been a lot going on in our studio besides that too.

We’re approaching the end of the development phase with the [UI update – let’s see what we end up calling it for real], and many of the UI changes were released to the players on the test version yesterday. Soon enough, the new UI and everything else that comes with it will get to our publisher’s QA, and after that, to all of you. We’re looking forward to it!

As the UI is nearing…well, best not to call it done, but hopefully a lot better than it was before, we’ve also been working on the campaign overhaul a bit. Here’s (another) sneak peek of the upcoming shipwrecks, and a new concept piece:

Shipwreck in Barotrauma
This is not really news anymore, but one new explorable location type will be sunken submarines. Be sure to take enough oxygen with you!
Concept painting of explorable outposts in Barotrauma
Long time, no outpost concepts! Here’s the newest one about what the storage area of an outpost might look like.

And on the topic of concepts, there are some new creatures planned for later updates – both new and reworked old ones. The following pictures are first drafts, so they’ll probably still change a fair bit before making it all the way into the game, but they look pretty exciting (or creepy, depending on your taste) even now.

New Barotrauma monster concept
It doesn’t even have an official name yet, let alone an estimated time of arrival; what we do know is that it has a penchant for theft.
Reworked coelanth concept for Barotrauma
Reworked endworm concept for Barotrauma

Oh, and here’s a competing take on the endworm, by our audio designer who likes to dabble in some Barotrauma art in his spare time. Which do you like better?

Endworm A’s head immediately became the punchline of a joke too…

Barotrauma's endworm as a handmaid
(Actually by the very same artist who made the endworm concept.)

On a more serious note, there are also ongoing game balance improvements, mostly related to creatures, mission events and level generation. This is one of those never-ending jobs behind the scenes, and an area where getting a lot of feedback from our testers and non-testing players alike is really crucial. Let’s see how the latest tweaked values work for you!

Related to the never-ending balancing tasks, just yesterday we had an impromptu workshop about how to improve the karma system, since we’ve heard a lot of players find the normal karma decrease really confusing and may opt out of using the system entirely. We’re going to rethink it a little to make it less confusing (such as by cutting back on those karma decreased notifications, at times when they’re not actually important) and probably write a bit more about the changes later on. For now, you can read this old blog post in case you want to find out what karmic justice on Europa is all about (currently).

That’s all this time – time to call it a week, after a day when we probably broke our record for most finished tickets in our issue tracker in a single day. To wrap it up, here’s another excerpt of the streaming session we had with a few of our players towards the end of last year. Hope you have as much fun watching as we did playing!

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  • February 5, 2020
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    not me

    Ballast Goblin?

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