Several weeks have passed since the Seamoth Update, and Subnautica development continues at full speed. Major updates are arriving on a roughly monthly basis at the moment. While it will be a few more weeks until the next update, now is a great time to take a peek at some of the sweet underwater gameplay being worked on behind the scenes.
Not everything you read about in this post will make it into Subnautica. Throughout the development process, ideas come and go, concepts are favoured then discarded, and gameplay mechanics iterated upon. Some of what is on show here may end up in an update some time in the next few months, and some might never be seen again!
When playing Subnautica in Survival Mode, managing a supply of fresh water is a big deal. There is not currently a way to produce fresh water on a large scale. This new concept for a water filtration machine could change that:
Along with fresh water, sea-bases might soon be able to serve as production facilities for food. The subsistence of a lone explorer on an alien world is a contemporary theme: Many of us on the team have read the Martian, and will be going to watch the cinema adaptation over the coming weeks. Charlie has been in a super-creative headspace thinking up potential underwater farming gameplay. Here is a concept of what aquaponic facilities might look like in Subnautica:
Why stop at cultivating plants inside a sea-base? Here are some of Cory’s notes on what a large sea-base aquarium might look like, capable of containing larger ocean critters:
Scott has been putting together an animation set for a creature called the ‘Sea Treader’ – A large, tripedal life form that can… poop!
Artwork for a sinister, unique biome called ‘Lost River’ is starting to pop up. This concept shows off the vibe, in the centre of which lies a massive alien skeleton:
Lost River could feature new flora and fauna, as variations of existing life-forms.
The creature skeleton at the centre of Lost River might end up being so large that a vehicle will fit inside. Here are some notes from Cory on a work-in-progress model of the skull:
The PDA has been receiving some TLC from Slava. A new messaging system will allow the PDA to deliver narrative messages crafted by Tom. It might also be able to display images captured while exploring the ocean. Which is to say, we are basically re-inventing the iPad in waterproof form.
To see more of what is being added, tweaked, and changed in Subnautica go to the production Trello board. Keep up with every individual change by visiting the checkin and changes list. Get notified when a new Subnautica update is available by subscribing to the development mailing list!