Em-8er - TERRAIN BUILD Live Stream Thread - June 11th, 2019


Community Manager
Jul 26, 2016

Today Grummz showed off the terrain demo for Em-8er! Are your minds blown? Are you teary eyed from all of the firefall feels? Are you a hype filled rocket ship? Or is that just me?

Well enough of my excited fan boy rambling.. Check out the video! https://www.twitch.tv/videos/437739035

Any feedback you have should go down below.

Sound off gatestriders, the devs are listening.
- Ronyn


Omni Ace
Omni Ace
Jul 27, 2016
Holy Copa flashbacks batman! I remember doing the first PVP tests on Firefall and thinking it was really impressive, literally just being able to walk around on the checkered floor, while using the jetpack.

The next time I jumped in, Copa was modeled, and that first zone was real. This seriously takes me back to those times. It feels like a crysis-inspired Copa Cabana island. It feels exactly like how I would want a starting zone to be.

Way to rock it guys. This is amazing. Can't wait to glide around and really get my hands on a working mech preview!!! :D


Omni Ace
Omni Ace
Jun 10, 2017
One of my only complaints was the textures on the red reefs seems a bit low res, and sticks out in comparison to the surrounding textures and flora, which look very nice in comparison. That, and there's a slowing, mouse-accel feeling when in third person. First person felt perfect. Otherwise, the general art design and "Copa" feel is friggin awesome and has me very interested in the future of em8er. Good work!


PIghead Elderberry

Kaiju Slayer
Jun 4, 2017
Having fun running around and then ended up crouching and moving crouched. I noticed that often my right leg would kind of bend in a weird way (as if my hip were broken) and swing to the front left in a very disturbing manner.

This was always taking place as I crouch-walked down a gentle downhill slope. It was not evident on flat terrain or going up the slope. Walking down a slight slope and to the left a bit across the slope as going down it made it happen most.

I agree orange coral up close remains low detail vs rest of things...

I use Win-G for movie captures, but it did not appear to work in the demo??
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Jul 26, 2016
Montana, US
I am one step closer to getting my wife into Em-8ER. She was watching the recording of the stream with me and said if it were a world builder (i.e. creativerse) she would be all over it. I started pulling up Coral Forest vids to show her and she didnt hesitate to comment the similarities.

Looking forward to getting this running on the laptop today after work and diving in. Life has been pretty challenging this year and one thing that has been a sweet break to that has been the team's updates.

Simply gorgeous, Grummz! After the gliding stream and now this, two weeks cant go by fast enough!


Kaiju Slayer
Happy Kaiju
Jul 27, 2016
Island of Tofu
crysis-inspired Copa Cabana island
Was thinking exactly the same!

Firefall's cell shading style made it unique in comparison this is more realistic but should we compare it directly hmm.

This is an interesting read and some parts that made me ponder with some quotes below

"Stylized graphics are a popular style across all common gaming platforms:
computers, consoles and mobile devices. Because of its visual adaptability, the style works well with any game genre and it can be altered to suit nearly every gamers’ needs, whether the target audience was an adult or a child. Often stylized graphics were technically less demanding, which
allowed the games to run on older hardware as well, thus increasing the player base for the games".

"Even though the style is often treated as an alternative option to realistic
graphics, stylized graphics have an advantage over realism with their ability to put focus on the gameplay or narrative while at the same time remaining timeless for a long time. It is hard to say how stylized graphics will develop in the future but as long as there is realistic graphics there will be always be a need for an alternative and artistic styled games and thus there will always be a place for stylized graphics in one form or another".

"Stylized graphics are the most flexible and versatile out of the three
graphical style categories. Since it basically fits right between abstractionism and realism, stylized graphics can be tailored to get the most out of the gameplay and to customizing the game’s appearance to cater to a certain audience".

Then i looked at this and thought nice as if i was in an anime

After another search i saw this and thought nice also

Not entirely sure how it will all look in final completion but do hope it has a style that makes it appealing and not go fully realistic

what do you all think?


Omega Founder
Aug 29, 2016
For sample these Landscape mountains and hills is similar what Firefall had (really nice),
foliage need more future tweaking toward fantasy style than real life style and options would be nice to have section choose smooth ruff edges of textures or something (specially with foliage). With medium settings foliage feels like it doesn't belong there with these nice hills and mountains. But other way from far watched terrain looks nice.
Jul 28, 2016
South West Colorado
It is very reminiscent of it's predecessor. The team did very well. The female Rag-doll needs some help. Love the vistas opening like FF. I found my way to the top of a hill and looked down on the beach, OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait for the next update.
I was expecting an Icy wall like a melding curtain looming where the glaciated ice had been melted away (have not found the edge yet). Extremely high ice cliffs might be too much realism, but not tending to one's garden my allow the glacier to encroach on an Army's lands (A slow closing of the Melding/ice meters per day based on neglect/mismanagement of resources).
Love the Look. Love the feel. I can almost here Laura Post's A3R0 telling me my next assignment (feeling nostalgic for everyone's favorite TSgt).


Omni Ace
Omni Ace
Jul 26, 2016
The transition from login screen to the in game world was stunning! The small things like that really demonstrate just how much thought and passion has been put into this game. Keep it up!

In similar sentiment to others, I'd like to see the vegetation have a slightly more fantasy look & variation. However, I love the nod to Copa and I think that was a smart move including the coral.

Perhaps it'll be prevalent in earlier terraforming stages, but I think including remnants of the volcanic activity would add some diversity to the terrain. Traces of lava rock around the map could help. Perhaps some that has taken on a unique shape.

A marshy terrain from the melted ice/snow for one of the mid terraformed stages would be neat. Return of the Culex Firefall creatures perhaps?? ;)

Would love to see some native creatures in the environment. Perhaps some eggs of ancient creatures were frozen in the ice of Em-8ER for all this time, and upon melting due to the terraforming they were able to hatch and thrive? Maybe a bit far fetched...

That being said, I cannot wait to see the map at NIGHT! I'm crossing my fingers for a beautiful, fantasy, star filled sky that really lights up the world. Some anomaly in the sky similar to the aurora lights would be neat.

Overall, I'm loving the terrain so far and can't wait to see it in its final form! Kudos to the team!
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Active Member
Nov 16, 2018
I don't like being that zoomed into the character, this is my primary concern over having shoulders that will take up a quarter to a third of the screen. Changing the FOV helps, but is that the same thing as zooming out?

I recommend implementing an unlocked camera so i can turn to see my own unit. I know this isn't important here, but it will be later. It caught Grummz at one point during an earlier pre-terrain stream.

I recommend having another tab in the settings screen with a simple document to list all the controls.

Curiously, when all settings are at Epic, it works well, but when I turn post processing to low, the panning becomes jerky.


Overall I'm generally unimpressed. It took me a while to figure out why. I think what stands out as bad is that there's grass growing straight out of rock. A solution that occurs to me is to have life only growing out of fissures or cracks, or patches of dirt. (I see areas that are more sandy, and it works there). The "patches" feature is already going to exist, as there is a snow/lava concept coming later. I recommend beginning it here and now, and then it can essentially be "re-skinned" in that other terrain type. This is especially awful when trees grow out of the red blob things.

The broader-leaved plants and flowers look fantastic, but the grass and grain seems wrong. Where the other plants have a sort of 2D look that really suits them, it doesn't work for the grass. I think this has something to do with the jaggies around them in particular (and I'm at max). They do look odd when they move, like they're bluring into a new position. This would work at some distance, as that's basically the visual effect we get in a distant field, but grass is so sparse and so near here that the movement is overlain on the rocky/boring background and not on more grass, so it really stands out.

I'll give the mandatory thumbs down on the odd red-pink blobs. I hope someone else likened these to No Man's Sky. Consider specifically mimicking coral. There is a certain kind of alien feeling where things are half-recognizable but out of place. Scattering moments of "this belongs underwater, doesn't it?" would keep hinting at terraforming.

The trees look terrible. The bark is awful and the leaves appear too flat. This works for ground plants, but not for taller things. This will become obvious when boosted jumps and gliding come in. Will trees have impact on gameplay? I can clip through them right now. It's a whole other problem if they do, and it would also demand destructible terrain, which is inappropriate for this game, and shouldn't be considered. In Firefall, the trees were mostly pushed right next to rocks.

Some trees aren't planted into the ground, and have a base with a flat section that pokes out of a curve.

I once found an invisible wall near a hill.

Again, I'm not happy. A closer reproduction of Firefall would have worked. In fact, I just went to view some gameplay to compare. Some thoughts..

Firefall had barren spaces with life being at the edges. This is something like how people make paths as they walk, stripping areas to bare dirt or rock. Consider making that the theme, where there is a contrast between lower places, higher places, and curves.

For example, the starting area (like this Copa-inspired area) could have barren low areas, broad-leaved plants only around the curves of hills, grass only around and on the hills, and trees only next to them.

A second area could do something different.. thick hip-high foliage, but only in the low places, and utterly barren at the top of hills.

I wandered around a lot more, and I am seeing things like this. I guess I spawned in a particularly ugly area..

I got into an area with reeds. Those look really nice.


All the previous features of all earlier previews ought to be cooked-in. Have all the other consoles and posed figures also in this demo.

So to sum it up.. it's not great, and it's barely good. Is it something I can forgive because I'm running around playing the actual game? Not really, it's distracting. Can I forgive it because it's stylized? No, because it doesn't have a clear style.

I realize I'm a harsh judge, but this is charitably a 3/10. What do I compare this to?

Minecraft has a brutally simple theme, which is forgiven because it's consistent. It gave an awe I still can't place.

Anthem is absolutely beautiful, but it uses a lot more system resources than Ember would, just to look good. Plus it doesn't have many players in one place.

No Man's Sky feels like a good middle ground to compare to, and it has a simple and beautiful theme that so far outstrips anything I see in this terrain demo. I think one thing that really makes it work is that blades of grass and some broad-leaved plants always face the viewer. I went looking for some good terrain examples, but most gameplay ignores the landscape entirely. I did find this:

I also did end up bumping into this:
looks amazing.

I think this is a style issue, and would be improved if the realism was cut back. We recognize things like grain, grass, leaves, flowers, bark, etc., but make a stylized, simplified, version of these things and find consistency. Hell. Here's an idea.. you already have a notion that you want more stylized characters.. well.. go and examine the anime that inspire those styles. What does their terrain look like? I couldn't find anything really, as there's a strong focus for mecha in urban warfare. I did find a lot of great fields, but that doesn't seem to fit either.

Anyhow, maybe some of this is useful..


Kaiju Slayer
Happy Kaiju
Jul 27, 2016
Island of Tofu
Could you imagine if the omniframe was cell shaded even the pilots themselves and other things semi realistic hmm

I'd really like to know if Grummz and the rest of the dev team would lean more on the cell shaded side or go realistic but what if they wanted to go semi realistic?

What is their view?

This is something i have kept thinking since looking at the Terrain demo maybe semi realistic... i don't know
Have to appreciate that this is an early update to see and things will improve with each update.

Saw this and thought how exhilarating going down mountains/hills gliding or using the bike!

As pilots going up icy hills may be slow and fustrating :D