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Session Name: Mining Your Own Design: Crafting the Crafting System in 'Astroneer'
Speaker(s): Aaron Biddlecom, Elijah O'Rear
Company Name(s): System Era Softworks, System Era Softworks
Track / Format: Design
Overview: Expanding an existing system is difficult when you already have a game. Players have tastes already, and you have an existing audience to please. Mining your own design gives you the insight to confidently navigate these issues. System Era overhauled the crating system of their game Astroneer in the final Early Access update before launch. The space-faring survival crafting game has a unique set of constraints with its diegetic inventory system and real-world aerospace influences that made updating such a core system a delicate operation in a live game. The two developers in charge of the update walk through the process of deepening their understanding of the game's existing design, and how it allowed them to make extensive changes without destabilizing Astroneer. They'll discuss the stumbling blocks encountered along the way, how they overcame them, and how the feature fared looking back.

GDC Summer 2020

Aaron Biddlecom

System Era Softworks

Elijah O'Rear

System Era Softworks

free content

Design

Design