Blog - Devblog #36 - Update 0.3 and Inventory 2.0

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Devblog #36 - Update 0.3 and Inventory 2.0

What’s up space survivors how’s the vacuum these days? We know that some of you probably wonder why the silent treatment over the past weeks? Well, we have decided to leave this plane of existence and transcend, leaving our mortal…Wait, wrong script! Ok jokes aside, there was a good reason for the silence as all of us have been rather busy working on the next update, aptly tagged 0.3. Why do we say aptly? Because it represents a substantial step towards the idea of Hellion that was in our minds when we started this project.


Major improvements are on their way and we are about to start revealing them one by one in this and future devblogs. Due to the sheer amount of work that is going into the 0.3 features (old and new) it might be some time before the update arrives at Hellion, but it will be worth it!


Inventory 2.0


As mentioned in our last blog we had decided to take the old inventory system apart. We kept the good parts, threw away the trash and introduced fresh concepts and ideas, many of which have been suggested and requested by the Hellion community for a long time. We analyzed the feedback, mixed in some of our own ideas and the result was the Inventory 2.0, a complete visual and functional overhaul of the original system.


“Redesigning the inventory did not include just simple interface changes, but rather a complete re-work of both item functionality and the way character interacts with them.

Looking back to 2016 when we designed the first version, we weren’t aware of the full scope of requirements a game like Hellion would put on the inventory system. So when we started working on the overhaul, we realized that the entire system was so hard coded that it forced us to go back to the beginning. We had to start thinking about how the interface in a survival game should function and then added Hellion’s unique requirements. If I had to say which game mostly inspired this rework, it would be Rust, due to its simplicity and the amount of information it provides, Stefan Lolic said, Hellion’s UX developer.

Abandoning the old radial menu gave us a lot of space and allowed us to use inventory not only as a tool for transferring items, but to also help players understand the systems and items around them in a simple and easy way.

Probably the hardest part of refactoring was adding new features onto an old base and avoiding mishaps that could have compromised entire base functionality. So we had to tread very carefully.

But as we started writing the code from scratch, we began finding new options and solutions that would have been impossible with the old code. And that’s how we got to transportable crates, proximity item slots…”, Stefan concluded.


Interface improvements


Time to show a few short clips of the new inventory in action. Let’s start with an old annoyance that has tormented many a space miner since their arrival in Hellion: Mining Drill and the infamous canister/battery swap.

Ahh, much better now, thank you!


As Stefan mentioned, the old radial menu is gone, replaced with a more intuitive breakdown of item slots and upgraded with a character view and a simple drag and drop system which allows for much easier item management.


Proximity slots


This was one of the much requested features. As many players noticed, looting items from shelves was far easier than putting them back in, making sorting your storage a rather time consuming process. With the proximity system in place, looting can now be done directly from the inventory and allows players to add or remove items from any nearby item slots. Of course, the old interaction system is still there and you do not have to open inventory to take or place items.


Let’s just take these…


...and put them where they belong.


Suits, helmets and corpses


Next on the list are suits and their inventory slots. As before players will still need to equip a suit in order to gain access to various item slots, like helmet and jetpack, however it is now possible to remove an entire suit along with all of its equipment at once, as well as equip it. This allows players to create “sets” with the equipment they want to use for specific tasks, like mining, repairs, etc. Or to use suits as portable item containers.


When looting a fallen enemy, you can choose to take only the items that you need, or take the entire suit with everything in it.

I need your clothes, your helmet and your motorcy… ehrr, ship.


Transportable crates


Finally lets talk about storing all those items. Shelves and lockers are great when you need to quickly gear up, but sometimes you just need a way to store items you come across without putting them on display. This is where transportable crates come in. These large storage containers can be taken on a salvage run to increase your carry capacity, or on a mining run, to hold all those extra canisters. They can also be placed in ships and modules for extra storage space.


That’s one heavy box, better put it down…


We know you are all waiting for some news and updates on development, and we appreciate your patience. Piece by piece, a big picture of what the new update is all about will be revealed.


Fly safe,

Posted by Zero Gravity team