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  • Writer's pictureCharlie O'Regan

Planet Nine: Personal Alpha Devlog 1

Updated: Dec 5, 2022


We just finished off the second week of development for our major production at the "Academy of Interactive Entertainment" this year. Whilst this is my first devlog I will try to catch you up on what I've been doing over the past two weeks of development.

The game we are currently developing as a team is in Unreal Engine 4, and here is the elevator pitch:

Planet Nine is an atmospheric, first-person puzzle game set in a factory on an abandoned mining planet. The planet has been overwhelmed by a photosensitive toxin and the light is the only means of safety. Player’s must use their wits and the light to solve complex puzzles and escape the planet…

The Team



Week One and Two

During the first two weeks, after pre-production had finished, I spent most of my time on refactoring blueprints and systems whilst also getting our production project to the same position or a even better position than our prototype project as quickly as possible.

In this time frame I specifically focused my efforts towards getting the physics interactions and the generators interacting with the "powerables" which are objects that the generators can power to make the object do something, for example, opening a door. The way these mechanics work in the game is through the "Tech-Grip" being the multi-tool in use by the players.


The Tech-Grip is a multi-tool developed by Nova Corp for use by factory workers, this tool can be used to manipulate objects or transfer charges from one power source to another. I am currently the one responsible for the functionality behind this tool.

Concepts by Kye Harrison

Sculpt by Petra Crispin

Physics Interactions

The physics interactions are a fairly simple system with blueprints in Unreal, using something called a physics constraint I could set an object I clicked on to be constrained to this component, like a spring almost.

As you can see in the above GIF the interacting with physics objects is currently working really well, and I am happy to say with some slight bug fixing and tweaking this is really close to being in a finished state.

Generators and Powerables

With the generators and powerables being such an integral mechanic within this game it was important to me that I made these as friendly to designers as I could, this is currently achieved through a simple array of references to the powerables on the generators giving the designers the power to use multiple powerables on one generator or multiple generators to power a single powerable.

Currently I have worked on a few different powerables, including; a single door, a double door, a moving platform, and different lights that can be turned off and on or even flicker. A lot of what I had just mentioned were working in the prototyping stages of development however these needed considerable work to bring them close to a more polished state.

Here are some examples of these working in engine.

Moving platform powered by a generator.

Physics based doors powered by a generator.

The doors specifically are quite interesting, I was asked by one of the Designers to make is so the player could put a physics object between them and the door would stay stuck open on the object, so I had to go about the doors in a different way than I usually would by making them entirely physics based (which was a challenge in amongst itself), this was achieved by once again using Unreal Engine's physics constraints.


So this has so far been a really great experience and it feels like everything is going really well on my end, and I would say the teams end as well. I can't wait to keep updating everyone with these blogs in the future.

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