Announced last June, EarthNight from developer Cleaversoft is a runner for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.
In a new update today, Lead Developer Rich Siegel announced that EarthNight has been delayed from 2015 to late 2016. He explained, “Rest assured, we are working as hard as we can to finish, but we all feel in our hearts that we have something special here and we need to finish what we started the right way. We are getting there, and I promise we will ship this game as soon as it’s ready.”
Running at 1080p/60fps on PS4, EarthNight will include cross-buy, cross-save, and cross-play when it releases next year.
A hand-painted runner made to “elevate the endless runner genre with console-quality depth and design,” Earth Night sees each run beginning in space. You must then traverse eight layers of the atmosphere, alternating between skydiving and running on the backs of dragons on the perilous journey down to Earth. Unlike other endless runners, there is an end – the planet’s surface is the final world: EarthNight.
Siegel discussed the hand-designed procedural generation in EarthNight:
We’ve broken down each dragon (level) into three chunks: a beginning, middle and end. Each of these chunks has at least five hand-designed variations that spawn procedurally according to a set of rules. This means the most basic dragons have 125 different potential layout variations. The first world contains four different dragons and therefore offers 244 million potential seeds. By World 2, there are over 59 quadrillion seeds and the finished game will have about 6.93 x 10^39 possible seeds. Basically, no matter how many runs you take, your path to EarthNight will always be different.
Even though there are endless seeds, over time hand-designed pieces will become familiar. Recognising patterns with so many seeds may sound impossible, but keep in mind that the first world only draws from 60 unique possible chunks (15 chunks for each of the four dragons). The player will become acquainted with the first dragon pretty quickly since they begin with it every time.
Additionally, each dragon’s chunks fit into a theme. For example, the blue dragon in the first world is pretty easy and a good opportunity to regain health, while the black dragon is absolutely brutal. So despite the layouts being random, your dragon selection has consequences.
The EarthNight team also adds Special Effects Artist Doug Holder, who previously worked on Uncharted 3 and The Last of Us.
[Source: PS Blog]