April 2022 Update: Our Humble Beginnings

From the stars to solid ground, we’re laying out the basics and answering some questions!

Hey there, folks! We’re keeping our heads down and staying hard at work, but this update, we wanted to give you all a peek behind the curtain! This month, you’ll get to see how Lightyear Frontier is being made, where it all began, and a space to answer some common questions (as well as questions from the community)! Let’s get to it then, shall we?

Forming the Frontier

From the earliest points, Lightyear Frontier was focused on the immediate experience first and foremost, which meant getting your ride right: The mech! In prototyping, the team looked at a variety of options with possible functions and tools the mech could have while maintaining the “frontier” aesthetic; if you’re building things from the ground up, it’s got to look and feel like it!

The mech’s design began in a low-poly style, and over time, the design changed to add more detail and share some inspirations from real-world automotive technology (diesel engine running/idle audio, exhaust design, etc.). This gave more weight to the grounded feeling the team was looking for in the design.

To add onto that, our belief is that Lightyear Frontier should FEEL like you’re interacting with the world around you. A lot of our earliest development was focused on not only what felt practical, but what a good pace was for the activities that the farmer does. Repetition is key to consistent harvesting, but we don’t want it to become too much of a chore or a slog.

Additionally, first iterations of the mech actually included the mech having hands! We worked to figure out how hands could best suit the interactions the mech would have with the world while still remaining committed to the unique feel of operating a mech. In the end, we chose tool modules instead to emphasize a mech-centric design, making Lightyear Frontier stand out from other entries in the farming genre.

Questions, Answers, and More Questions!

We’ve had our FAQ up for a bit (you can check it out on the Discord), but we know some of you are curious about the more in-depth questions about Lightyear Frontier! So now, with a little bit of testing and elbow grease, it’s ready: Our brand-new Question Command! Pop into the Discord, head over to the #community-questions channel, and use the “/question” command to ask your question, and it’ll show up in the team’s Codecks board!

For shorter questions, we’re still giving answers on the Steam forums and in Discord; for the quickest response, you can ask your question without the command or check out the FAQ on the Discord. The team will select some of the most popular questions from the Question Command-submitted list and include them in future content updates! You can vote on your favorite questions, as well!

For now, let’s briefly expand on some questions that you, the community, have asked us!

QUESTION 1: Can you speak to the type of progression or gameplay flow you’re hoping for?

The best way we describe this right now is “semi-nonlinear design”; part of progression will be reaching specific tiers of research and technology, but how you, the player, navigate those tiers will be entirely your choice! This also feeds into another design concept that we’re looking to implement on a fundamental level, which is providing a variety of solutions to particular problems or roadblocks you might encounter while playing. You’re trekking through a new world, aren’t you? Then you should be able to solve problems your own way!

QUESTION 2: What kind of crops, products, and production methods will we see? Since this is an alien world, it’d be great to see a variety of weird and unique crops instead of the usual tomato/potato/carrot/etc earthen variety.

At the start of the game, we want the players to encounter plants and materials that are fairly familiar (with an added alien twist, of course) while they start to navigate the planet. As the game progresses, however, players will soon discover more and more wild, crazy, and weird crops and other resources the Frontier has to offer.

Ideally, Though

(Jetskis are just as an example and NOT a current entry for consideration… Unless someone suggests it.)

On top of our brand-new question command, we also have a Suggestion Command on our Discord, as well! We know y’all have some really cool thoughts on what could be part of Lightyear Frontier, so much like the question command, the team will be checking out suggestions that have been submitted over time. If something seems like it would be feasible, you might see us talk about it in a future update! Hop onto the Discord, head over to the #suggestions channel, and use the “/suggestion” command before your suggestion, and it’ll enter it directly into their developmental overview.

Ex-seedingly Small

Huh, a new plant seed? Let’s see what springs up! For now, though, let’s give our soon-to-be bud some rest and water! We’ll see what pops out of the ground in good time.

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