It was a dream come true to be part of an E3-adjacent summer showcase last year, so you can imagine our excitement when the call came again! At Future of Play Direct we revealed a brand new gameplay trailer that takes us further "inside" the game world. Let us know if you spot anything interesting in the new environments!
We've also released a big update to the demo thanks to all of your feedback from the last few months! While much of our development has been focused on later stages of the game, we've still managed to squeeze in loads of improvements and fixes to the current demo experience, some of which are highlighted below:
Improved Drone Behavior
We recently created an entirely new companion AI system for Alfie, but a complex system like this is never really "done". We've fixed all sorts of edge case issues that have come to light as well as continuing to improve how intelligently he navigates the world with Kai. As just one example, Alfie's now much better about getting out of your way so you won't run into him all the time!
We heard all of you! You want to pick up everything that ever existed in this world of ours😂 So, you'll now find that most anything that looks like it can be picked up now can be. We'll continue to expand this and add even more objects to explore, collect and use leading up to release. An inventory is in the works as well!
Brand New UI
In a game like Arctic Awakening, a great UI is one that gets out of your way and lets you focus on the game world. Up until now the UI was mostly just placeholder and often a distraction from the overall experience. So, we've finally gotten around to a full re-design that is cleaner, more consistent and easier to navigate/read. It also creates a much stronger foundation for the rest of the game.
Probably the most frequent feedback was about the lack of a true options menu. It's finally here.. well, mostly! We plan on adding even more settings before the full release (such as look sensitivity, control re-mapping, quality settings, etc), but the new menu now covers subtitles, language, resolution, refresh rate, VSync, fullscreen/windowed, vertical/horizontal invert and full audio controls.
Improved Gamepad Support
We've had gamepad support from the start, but with the UI overhaul we put more of a focus on getting gamepad support on-par with keyboard/mouse. In general, gamepad lovers are going to feel more at home in the UI. We've also added a completely re-designed dialogue choice UI that maps to the controller layout.
Dialogue was sometimes hard to hear and music was sometimes too loud. We've been re-working the mix, adding ducking and making various other improvements to improve the overall audio quality and your ability to always hear what the characters are saying.
There's still quite a bit of room for improvement, but we've continued making strides with the performance of the game. In general, it should use less CPU, GPU and memory. It should also be more stable and more resilient to crashes.
Pacing is critical in a game like this, so we've continued to put focus into refining this based on feedback and what we've been seeing with how players interact with different parts of the story. In particular, we've added more to do after getting the fire started as well as other adjustments in the demo and beyond.
Everyone's favorite stuffed dino from the opening scene is no longer lost for good! If you don't manage to snag him before the plane goes down (spoiler!), then fear not! Just like the rest of the supplies, the little guy had to land somewhere out in the forest. Right...?
Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!
A lot of the work on this update revolved around bugs and general polish. We've read all of the reports and already fixed the vast majority of issues that have been reported. This is by no means a finished product, but it's much more stable and polished than even the recent London Games Festival demo. Keep those reports coming, we really do read them!
The best way to keep up on future updates/demo availability is by following/wishlisting our Steam page. You can also join our Discord, Twitter or newsletter for future updates and chat with us and others about the progress of the development!