Redesigning our Research Cores to be 👀mesmerizing👀


One of Techtonica’s core (pun intended) gameplay pillars is unlocking and upgrading tech. You do that through scanning and research. Research Cores are the research currency in Techtonica.

In order to unlock tech on your tech tree, you’ll need the right count and color of Research Cores. They must be built and placed to count toward your tech tree, too.

We had these Research Cores in the demo, too! But the asset back then was temporary, and we knew we needed to overhaul them before launch.

What do they look like now? How did we get here? Do we have any hints about the full functionality?

Dig in, Groundbreaker.

Remember the Cores from the demo? Well…

The Research Cores players built in the demo were pretty basic! They were a placeholder asset that we leaned on to get the Alpha and demo out the door for player feedback.

We wanted these things to do lots more, but here’s what they used to look like.

And here’s what they look like now.

Research Cores are bigger, have a completely distinct look and feel, and we worked to give them a mesmerizing motion.

Yes. We upgraded the thing that you’ll use to make your own upgrades. The irony is not lost on us.

Finding the right look and feel for Research Cores

We started designing the look for the Research Cores with a relatively straightforward desire in place. We wanted a framework design that showed off the core and provided a six-way connection. Here are some early 2D takes.

We wanted the Cores to feature a glowing circuit pattern that was super pleasing to look at for players. So we took some of these illustrations and worked them up in 3D.

We landed close to version E in the sketch above.

A hint at what’s to come…

We’re not really ready to share all the fancy things that come with the Cores. We will say this, though.

We want to enable players to eventually automate just about everything in Techtonica. That’s true for Research Cores, too, and there may be one more machine in the relatively near-future pipeline.

We’ll share this new machine in a post as we get closer to launch.

Thanks for reading this week’s update, Groundbreakers! We’ll see you next week with more.

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