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Atoph’s Lair: Star Atlas Roadmap Scan #20

The group is divided as they fight for their lives against monsters and terrors never before seen. Their prowess and mental fortitude are tested, and a sudden encounter reveals more about the monster’s past.

The Digger (Star Atlas weekly lore Inspired Derivative Art) /// Metaverse in Light Speed Expansion /// Immersive Blockchain-Powered UE5 Experience

“ Lesson nº 83 — Whenever you explore the depths of an unknown world, make sure to bring proper hydration, food, jetpacks, accessories, and night vision or lanterns. Statistics show that 13% of the deaths in the medium-risk zone come from being ill-prepared to deal with the common dangers of the depths. And if you find any monster, make sure to turn back and call the nearest Council of Peace office. Don’t try to engage with them, as they will make the world fall over your head, literally…” The Most Successful Guide of Common Sense Learnings for the Benefit of Space Exploration

As soon as the tremor started and the rocks started falling from the ceiling, Wenn and Yago’s instincts kicked in, spurring them to take cover under one of the bigger rocky formations of the shaking cavern.

They both drew their pistols and aimed, waiting for Atoph to emerge from the tunnel. After years of friendship, they didn’t really need to talk to convey their plans to one another. They both waited for the monster to appear while scanning the cavern for an opening to go after Pawn and Fang, who they could hear were getting farther and farther away.

And then it was there.

As the creature slithered out of the tunnel to the gallery, Wenn realized it was not Atoph who appeared, which was good news, but a giant, nightmarish lizard-like creature known as ‘diggers’ by our explorers with their limited knowledge of biology. Even worse, its body appeared to be made from the very same magma of the nucleus river.

When Yago saw the enormous creature, a flood of memories and emotions took control of his mind. Memories that weren’t his. The beast roared, and its voice echoed and shook the damaged gallery even more. Yet, to Yago’s surprise, he somehow was one hundred percent sure he understood what the creature wanted.

It was calling for someone.

“Father, wait!” Fang’s shouts echoed through the dark tunnels, followed only by the sound of his steps on the cold rock. The path forward was filled with weird spiky mushrooms and dangerous rocky formations coming from every direction that required Fang to slow his pace to dodge them or face serious injury.

The Mushrooms in the depths of Gerio (Star Atlas weekly lore Inspired Derivative Art) /// Metaverse in Light Speed Expansion /// Immersive Blockchain-Powered UE5 Experience

His father was now only a distant, tiny light moving even further away. Fang’s increasing panic drove him towards a crazy and dangerous idea that would only occur to a young, desperate, and overconfident Punaab.

He started his jetpack and jumped, attempting to fly in the narrow dark tunnel.

Pawn wasn’t as athletic as her brother, so she started to fall behind, and the challenging terrain of the tunnel made it even harder to catch up.

The awful scent that she had smelled for a while grew in intensity. She could tell that it was coming from the strange mushrooms that were growing in the caves. Upon a quick examination, she discovered some sort of pollen falling from them, and she realized that something was wrong.

A few seconds later, she saw a sudden burst coming from afar and deduced her brother’s recklessness. She tried to shout, but the sound of the jetpack roaring to life covered her voice, and she could only view a tail of fire stretching deep into the cave.

She was left alone in the dark, save for her head lantern, but the younger Punaab doubled her pace as she felt her brother was in danger.

The giant digger started to move as if investigating the gallery. Wenn could see that the creature didn’t have proper eyes but some scintillating lights that came from two small holes on its head. Her giant body was now moving with care, a series of precise and calm movements as if it realized the gallery was at the risk of collapsing.

Suddenly, some movement from Yago caught Wenn’s attention. His friend simply sat on one of the rocks on the ground, moving his hands to his head as if in pain.

The creature seemed to catch the movement or the noise in some manner and slid its enormous muscular body in Yago’s general direction.

Yago barely noticed the creature approaching. Then something like a film started playing in his mind in a quick succession of scenes.

First, he was a small grayish worm, the same one he saw in his dreams after his battle with Atoph. Even in his limited worm cognition, he could feel that the stone he ate was not like the others. Something was wrong. It retreated, far away from the other worms, his instincts kicking in, telling him he was a menace to the others.

The worm was alone for years, excavating the depths of the world and eating minerals and rocks and any other animal smaller than it. Then, after growing big and fat, the worm made its home in tunnels close to this gallery and started to mutate, realigning itself in a different form.

After months, it had become something different. It was no longer a simple worm, but it was bigger, more muscular, and now it had tentacles. Sliding its body was no longer necessary. Even better, it had developed the first traces of awareness. It knew that it could get even stronger. It just had to eat more, and that’s what it did.

For years, the creature hunted every single animal in the tunnels. Finally, it perceived that it could pour part of its essence into other beings, animating them, and used it to spread its domain across the depths. They didn’t last long but served well for hunting smaller beings.

Nevertheless, the creature was getting more and more unstable. Sometimes random memories of fear, pain, and grief would take hold of it. In its rage, the creature would become partially undone, as if its body started attacking itself.

By this time, the creature had met the giant diggers that ruled the depths, and whenever one of those giant lizard-like creatures appeared, the creature hid from them as they squashed the creature’s minions with a simple swing of their tails.

Nevertheless, the creature desired those predators. It felt that if he acquired one of them, it would become complete, stronger, and stable. The beast then started to craft a strategy to kill a digger.

Against all odds, Fang’s strategy seemed to be working.

He was flying above his waist level above the ground and saw the light of his father steadily growing in the sinuous curves of the tunnel. He was catching up! Soon his father would surely perceive that it was him, his son, coming for him, and everything would be all right.

“It’s me, father! Fang, your son!” shouted the Punaab again, with everything he had in his lungs.

And yet, a single moment of distraction, caused by the light ahead of him stopping, was all it took to mess up the Punaab’s rhythm. The tip of his jetpack hit a nasty stalagmite, causing him to crash on a bed of the weird mushrooms that populated the tunnel and roll until he found a break on one of the tunnel curves.

His luck was that the exploration suit he was using was of very high quality, absorbing most of the shock. So a few bruises, some slight difficulty breathing, and destroyed jetpacks and bags were the best case ending he could have hoped for and received.

After a minute regaining his composure, Fang saw the light moving again. He got up and started moving. He tried to shout, but the voice wasn’t coming, and after making another curve, he found himself at the door of a colossal underground cave.

Due to the crash, the Punaab had lost his lantern, and the only fountain of light he could see was his father’s, about fifty meters ahead.

The Punaab suddenly heard a voice echoing in the cave:

“Hello, my son.”

The creature was getting dangerously close to Yago’s hideout, but the Mierese stood there sitting with his hands on his head. Wenn figured he had no choice but to drive the creature away from him, so the human lieutenant took aim with his pistol and shot the end middle section of the monstrous lizard body, hoping to make it retreat.

The plan was partly successful, as the creature started to roll up on itself, tensing the muscles of its body and searching for its attacker. However, even though no great harm was done, it was visible that the creature didn’t like the effect of Wenn’s shot.

Wenn found himself in the path of the creature which let out a high-pitched scream that resembled the nightmarish sound emitted by Atoph.

A few instants later, the creature lunged towards Wenn.

Yago was now totally immersed in memories.

He saw the creature observing the giant lizards in the depths, analyzing their habits, and preparing an attack. First, it considered going for one of the newborns, but their parents constantly watched them, and when one of the parents was hunting, the other would be there to protect their offspring.

The creature understood that its best shot was against one of the young adults. This species cycle had the habit of leaving their families to find a partner as soon as they were not deemed infants anymore, and the male and female lizards stayed together forever once they found their pair.

The males of the species were incredibly proud and would never back away from a challenge before their partner, and the creature used this knowledge to drive the young male to his trap.

Once a suitable pair was found, the creature challenged the male digger and drove him to a fight zone where he could use his tentacles to tear down the ceiling over the male lizard.

The plan worked, and the attack wounded the male digger, but the creature underestimated the tenacity of the young male, and the battle dragged on for hours until the lizard managed to mortally injure the creature.

Full of anger and pain, the creature condensed its conscience into a piece of its flesh, and as the winning dragon ate its defeated body, Atoph became a parasite of the digger, and slowly started to fight its conscience for the control of the body.

The digger sensed the attack and left his partner, fearing for her safety, and went deep into the entrails of Gerio, hiding from her to fight off this horrible infection.

Ultimately, neither of them won, and the creature gave birth to Atoph, becoming a mess with many consciences constantly fighting over control. However, the digger’s lingering conscience never let itself, or its manifestations, ever come close to his partner.

That didn’t stop the female digger from trying to find her consort, and even after years, she was still searching and calling out for her partner in the depths of Gerio.

Inspired by the Punaab’s early idea, Wenn used his own jetpack to dodge the creature’s lunge. Then, he shouted to Yago: “Get a grip, Yago! We got to move now!” As he kept shooting the creature’s body.

Yago was finally coming to his senses. He finally understood what was going on, and upon seeing the condensed conscience of the monster, Yago had a hypothesis on how to kill the creature.

He just needed some breathing room to explain everything to Wenn, find Atoph’s main body, come up with a plan, and save the Punaabs.

“Piece of cake for us.” The hero’s voice said in Yago’s head.

“Shut up!” Yago replied mentally while joining the battle with the creature and trying to give Wenn room to maneuver.

After a few moments of flying around, shooting, and dodging the monster attacks, the battle halted after a familiar nightmarish scream resonated through the whole gallery.

It was Atoph calling.

The digger instantaneously stopped fighting Wenn and Yago, and for a second, she was paralyzed by the calling it heard. Then, in the next instant, it started moving full speed ahead toward the tunnel, searching for the origin of the sound.

Yago understood what was happening and realized he had found his opportunity.

“Wenn, we need to follow her. Get your jetpack ready. Let’s try to stay above her to cross the river.” said the Mierese, adjusting his gear.

“What the hell, Yago?! What are you even saying? Her?!” Wenn asked, gliding to Yago’s side with his jetpack.

“I will explain on the way. Let’s go!” Yago said, flying after the digger.

“He’s finally lost it,” said Wenn, shaking his head and flying after his friend.

Weekly Project Report

Project: UE5 Showroom — R1

Concept Art: DONE /// Art: DONE /// UX/UI: DONE /// Game Design: DONE /// Blockchain: DONE /// Game Play: DONE

Updates: Product distribution method locked in.

Upcoming activities: Finish product distribution preparation.

Project: SCREAM v1.0

Game Design: BUILDING /// Blockchain: BUILDING /// UX DESIGN: BUILDING UI: PROTOTYPING /// Game Economics: BUILDING /// Web: BUILDING /// Art: BUILDING

Updates: Continuing to define explicit requirements for core gameplay mechanics and game systems design. Working with the economics team to define player leveling and ship progression strategy. /// Testing starbase upgrading. Updating movement system. Completed Starbases crafting. Cargo, Crafting, Player Profile, Points Program and Points Store Programs all ready for internal auditing. /// Working on Crafting, Inventory, and Cargo wireframes and information architecture. /// Continued building SCREAM screens and elements. /// Working on player leveling and ship progression strategy. /// Started combat game functionality. Updated camera controls. Updated movement functionality. Continued to work on the outliner. /// Working on starbases and planets. Added some Starbase assets into Playcanvas.

Upcoming activities: Continue to define explicit requirements for core gameplay mechanics and incorporate feedback from SCREAM stakeholders. ///Build, peer review, and test programs on testnet, then audit. /// Review wireframes with Project Stakeholders. Continue to iterate until wireframes are approved. Hand over wireframes to UI team. /// Continue to build out UI screens and elements. ///Determine SCORE to SCREAM transition strategy. /// Build towards playtesting and validate gameplay loops that require higher fidelity game. Add in fleet management (fleet formation, disbanding…). /// Convert into 3D assets to be added into Playcanvas.

Note: all on-chain programs associated with SCREAM will undergo cybersecurity and threat modeling prior to the official launch.

Project: Star Atlas DAO — Usability Improvements

Product Design: R&D /// UX design: BUILDING /// Web Team: BUILDING /// Blockchain: BUILDING /// Economy: DONE

Updates: Requirements for Proposals in progress./// Dark Mode in progress. /// ATLAS locker UI/UX improvements. /// Analytics preparation Multisig wallet audit complete.

Upcoming activities: Locker Activity Streams. /// Improved POLIS Locking Period Controls Rewards chart improvements. /// Publish dev tools for POLIS and ATLAS locking.

Project: Graphic Novel

ART: BUILDING /// UX/UI: BUILDING /// Blockchain: BUILDING

Updates: Creation of the first few episodes are in still in progress./// Progress made on UI mockups for comic reader. Release and distribution preparation works are still in progress.

Upcoming activities: Final UI design for comic reader.

Project: Play.staratlas.com

Features/Bug fixes: Star-atlas-portal Live updated to v0.5.45 PRE-ALPHA

Features in pipeline: Mobile improvements. /// Sorting and table refinements. /// User driven improvements (survey and interviews). /// New Homepage / Landing Page. /// [Program] Royalty fees and ATLAS locking. /// [Feature] Implement improved error states. /// [Feature] Price column accessibility updates. /// [Feature] Beginning work on graphic novel.

Known issues: [BUG] Coinbase wallets can not buy or sell ships on the market. /// [BUG] Some users still can not remove ships from the faction fleet when their wallet was compromised on another app.

Project: Marketplace Royalty Fees

Web team: BUILDING /// Blockchain: BUILDING /// Econ: DONE

Updates: Back-end calculations done. Front-end calculations in progress. /// RPC calls completed.

Upcoming activities: Front-end calculations done.

ABOUT STAR ATLAS

Star Atlas is a next-gen gaming metaverse emerging from the confluence of state-of-the-art blockchain, real-time graphics, multiplayer video games, and decentralized financial technologies.

Using Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite, real-time graphics technology allows for cinematic quality video game visuals. In addition, blockchain technology using the Solana protocol establishes a largely serverless and secured gameplay experience. Non-fungible tokens obtained and traded within Star Atlas create an economy that replicates tangible world assets and ownership. To learn more, visit StarAtlas.com, join a faction at Play.StarAtlas.com and send your spaceships on a deep space mission by enrolling them in a Faction Fleet.

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Disclaimer

The updates in this report are provided for informational purposes only about the Star Atlas game and metaverse, for which ATMTA, Inc. is the lead developer. Except for statements of historical fact, the statements included herein are forward-looking statements that are based on the beliefs of ATMTA, Inc.’s management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to ATMTA, Inc.’s management. Although ATMTA, Inc.’s management believes these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. ATMTA, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change except as required under applicable law. These forward-looking statements are, by their nature, subject to significant risks and uncertainties and include, without limitation, statements about ATMTA, Inc.’s business prospects, future developments, industry and market trends and conditions, strategies, objectives, and goals. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and undue reliance should not be placed on them. No financial, tax, or legal advice is given or implied.

Atoph’s Lair: Star Atlas Roadmap Scan #20 was originally published in Star Atlas on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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