The latest update for System Era’s spacefaring sandbox game Astroneer is, in many ways, a tribute to studio co-founder Paul Pepera, who passed away suddenly in 2017.
Astroneer players on Reddit first uncovered some images hidden in the game that resembled photographs taken by Pepera, and fellow co-founder Adam Bromell took to Twitter to share other aspects of the Wanderer update that pay homage to Pepera’s work and legacy.
“I wanted there to be a way for Paul to have a permanent fingerprint on Astroneer; something that would go unchanged during the life span of the game,” tweeted Bromell.
Players can track down seven historical probes (originally modeled by Pepera) in the update to unlock a suit designed to reflect his interests and mannerisms, taking cues from the color of clothing he wore and photography equipment he often used. Some of the suit’s animations and even its height are nods to Pepera as well, explains Bromell.
Those subtle touches and other memories the Astroneer team worked into the Wanderer update are explored in detail in Bromell's full thread. “We miss Paul and while the Wanderer isn't meant to be Paul-in-a-space-suit, this update [serves] as an everlasting reminder of who he was and what he was about,” wrote Bromell.
For the mission itself, @RileyGravatt & @staymighty had the great idea of mixing in more things about Paul that people might find, should they be curious about the sounds that each historical probe emits.— ADAM ðŸ (@adambromell) September 30, 2019
Run the audio through a spectrogram renderer and you'll find... pic.twitter.com/BIyvEvtemi