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Development Diary #5

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Development Diary #5

Hey survivors,


We’ve got our second update for November ready to go. We’re still tinkering with the format, feel free to leave some feedback for us to work with.



Project Status


Dead Matter has shifted directions quite significantly since our game was funded on Kickstarter. We originally had a goal of more or less rushing the game to Early Access to try and accrue more funds in order to continue development, essentially using the funds we would have attained via Kickstarter to pay people to create assets that we simply had no idea how to approach.


Because we got significantly more funding than we originally needed, we have decided to aim for a much more refined Alpha that ditches as many third party assets as possible. While this may cause us to push past the Q1 2018 Alpha test we will keep the community up to date as the situation changes. We would much rather have an Alpha that leaves a good first impression on people playing it as well as a proper snapshot of what's to come in the future.


Thank you for making it possible for us to achieve our dreams, we appreciate the amount of amazing support from all of our backers.



Backer Rewards Update


@Stevec and @Conco are going to be rolling out some updates to our website that will allow us to have a homegrown solution for distributing Steam keys as well as Kickstarter rewards. This has been delayed for far too long but there were some really important hurdles we had to take care of.


This updated section on the website will also be used to sell pre-orders in the near future. If you've missed your chance during the Kickstarter campaign, don't worry. We've got your back.

The updated site will have a development roadmap as well as more details for our Alpha testing periods.


Inventory - jooni


I’ve been working on an inventory concept based on a concept by @Dusty I wanted to do a video for this but I also wanted to flesh out a lot more of the features before I went ahead with that.


Here’s the current layout (please excuse me re-using the same icon for literally everything):

Please note that the M14 + slots underneath it are just a test placeholder.


In our current system you can wear clothing, each article grants more inventory space and more carry weight. Any articles of clothing that do not provide slots are kept in the bottom bar (Helmet02 for example). This inventory system has been a work in progress, majority of the foundational code was written a while ago but since then I’ve added a UI as well as any missing functionality that the foundational code was lacking.


I’ve also been working on a hotbar, one of the goals we’ve got once we can get animations rolling in is we want a pose for every item to be created, so that majority of them can be held in your hands. There are 4 slots for weapons, and 6 slots for items.



I’ve also been putting some polish into how dragging/dropping items worked, the inventory rewrite had effects like this in mind and made it a lot easier to implement.





I’m going to be showing off a lot more of the game now that more of the UI is cemented in place. Unfortunately, I ran into some personal issues, so I couldn’t grab a video for this development update. Sorry folks.



Concept Art - Vitka





Unfortunately, due to schoolwork and the approach of finals, I haven't had as much time as I'd have liked to have dedicated to working on certain concepts; however, I was at least able to put together a potential outfit/character concept.



Calgary has a big love of its 'wild west' roots, so it felt wrong not to have at least one concept of a cowboy-esque ensemble.

I started out by doing up a bust portrait painting of the character's face, which then evolved into the ideation value blocks. Once we zero in on the final outfit design, I'll be revisiting this character concept and polish it off with a full-fledged full body portrait.



New Trailers

@Nomad whipped up some more trailers that will be towable in game. He hasn’t given me any commentary so feel free to enjoy some eye candy.







Updated Trailers

@Nomad updated some of the trailers from the last development update and added a bit of wear to make them look a bit more lived in.




Service Rifle

@Dustyworked on a Service Rifle that is mostly inspired by the C7 assault rifle used by the Canadian Armed Forces.



It’s fully customizable as all our weapons thus far have been. @Dusty has also been working on some attachments. These attachments will be universal but are currently being tested on the service rifle.



This is simply a teaser for now, but we’ll be showing off a lot more attachments as well as some gunplay next update.


Concept Art - Kurisil

Just like the last batch of Concept Art, I like to block things out and establish easy to identify features on each of the Bandits. Me and Vitka both explore different design options which will ultimately be discussed and finalized for production artwork.



For the spawn props I explored different things that would be found in a typical bandit hideout. These will eventually be turned into in game assets by our Environment Artists.



Environment Art – Chaoss

I’ve been battling a nasty flu and migraines the last 2 weeks so I’ve not gotten as much done as I’d have liked but I have gotten the first set of suburban house windows in and finished the high poly meshes for the stairs as well as the railings, and banisters for the stairs (not pictured)




Vehicle Upgrades - Shirk

Over the last couple of weeks, I've spent my time retrofitting our existing temporary vehicles to allow us to use the new vehicle system in place that Johnny has implemented. The new system is flexible, giving us more freedom to design our vehicles. Independent tires can be added and removed at run time, meaning they can be swapped out for different types of tires such as Summer tires or Winter tires, providing differing amounts of traction in certain weather conditions.  Another small note to add is that with the recent addition of towing, certain vehicles will be equipped with hitches, which are required to tow anything. Parts of the vehicles like the trunks and hoods can be opened and may contain various kinds of loot, so having working doors is a requirement. Once Johnny does his magic these vehicles should bring some more life to Dead Matter.





In the next few days I’ll be working with Yad to implement a system for randomly generated license plate numbers, which will give a unique plate per car. This will give us the potential option in the future for custom vanity plates with different colours, text and logos.




Some of you might have also seen the dash that I had made, which is fully functional, from the gauges to the fuel light and check engine light turning on. The video shows the dash turning on and then running through some stuff such as hazards being turned on, and the battery light turning on. The dash isn't currently connected to the car in the video, so the values shown are just for testing.







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On 12/2/2017 at 1:44 AM, SnowMan said:

Although I don't like the idea of the possibility of the Alpha being pushed back, I like the progress you guys have made and am willing to wait that little bit more for the game you guys want to release 


I'm not excited about the possibility of a delay either but in the event there is a delay we'll tell the community why and be around Discord and the forums in order to address any questions people may have.


There are easily ten examples of games that came out WAY too early. There are easily ten examples of games with countless delays and interest dying off. 


I don't think Dead Matter slipping into either of these categories is impossible which is why we're going to be communicative. We have full intent to prove that a delay means something. I'm glad you seeing our progress has left a good impression.


We've worked very hard on this game and while we could've fucked off and then come back out of the blue we value our community far too much to do that.

Edited by Yad

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1 minute ago, MajesticMaerlyn said:


Quote of the day. I am so glad I backed this project. It's really shaping up to be the game I was hoping for.


I'm glad to hear, it feels good knowing we've got tons of support.

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3 minutes ago, jooni said:


I'm glad to hear, it feels good knowing we've got tons of support.

I have most of my gaming community chomping at the bit for this game, 40+ strong group :D

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Will there be more trailers added at a later date? I think the only one missing is a boat trailer (if boats will be in the game), though from my visit to Alberta, I didn't see many lakes or rivers. I think other than a boat trailer, the modding community should be able to make trailers if the player base feel more types / styles are necessary.



40 minutes ago, jooni said:

There are easily ten examples of games that came out WAY too early. There are easily ten examples of games with countless delays and interest dying off. 


It's sad that too many titles went to early access too soon with months between updates, and while delays aren't desirable, an estimate of when Dead Matter would be ready to go into early access is just that, an estimate. I for one would much rather several delays than it being released too soon.



40 minutes ago, jooni said:

I don't think Dead Matter slipping into one of these categories is impossible which is why we're going to be communicative. We have full intent to prove that a delay means something. I'm glad you seeing our progress has left a good impression.


Absolutely! Communication is the simple way to maintain public interest, especially if there are delays. I think people just want to know what's going on and be reassured that progress is being made, and you guys are doing just that. :)


Keep up the great work!


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Im glad to hear you not gone put it out on EA just yet!


Really love those trailer's. The gasolines and water drums in particular!


Hope they will have a huge part in the game.

Think of the senario.


- Okej gang listen up!

Jill and Dan have just returnd from the patrol. They spoted a trailer with a gasoline drum on it. As you all know we are sort of fuel. We need it to our pump so we can get water up from the stream and fuel for the generator to get electricity.

- So what's the problem?

- The problem Joe, is that our truck only have gasoline to take us half the way to the spot. If we risk it, we will have to walk the rest of the way to get some gasoline and then back to refill our truck. IT WILL be a huge risk!



Edited by PeaceFul

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I get excited about every new update! I'm so happy you guys are taking the time to deliver something you are all proud of, really shows you give a sh!t about this and it makes me happy. its been a long time since I've seen a development team be this passionate. I'm glad I backed this project. 

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This is amazing, I really look forward to seeing more of this. The iterations of things look great and the detail is phenomenal. Keep up the good work. I think it's a smart route to wait a little longer and polish as much as possible for a steam release as well. Survive the nights did the same thing and they are looking good as well. I really think you guys will have a FANTASTIC game when it releases. You guys should think about adding an RV into the game too for mobile home station. Upgrades etc. I love how big this map is going to be as well, I was never much of a DayZ fan but their map was nice. You guys also seem to have a lot that other survival games don't, the security systems on houses that alert zombies, the cars that you can do so much with, the customizations, etc. I really can't wait to see where all this goes. :D

Edited by Rick Grimes
wanted to add more

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Honestly a little sad about the delay, I was really looking forward to playing. However when I saw the video of that dashboard I realised how much effort the devs are actually putting in! Keep up the good work lads :)

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Fantastic work, everyone! It'll be great to see these assets in action once everything gets implemented, and the attention to detail is astounding! Seriously, just wow.


Jooni, don't stress on the delay, you lot are always around and showing us that you're working on the game our and your dreams. The community has your back, man. Thanks to all of you for being around and communicating with us. 

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