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Hurtworld Update #127

Tom

Hey Hurtworldians,

Most of what I’ve been up to has been work that went into the 0.5.6.3 hotfix patch we released on Friday, other than that I’ve started working through the vehicle and visual override changes but we are still iterating over those changes and don’t have them locked down solidly just yet.

Vehicle crash system fix

Because the Goat and Kanga have exposed drivers seats (as opposed to the Roach who’s driver seat is protected and covered by the chassis) we use two special components constructing these vehicles, VehiclePassengerUnsafeEntry (this stops players from entering when the seat is being blocked, for example when the vehicle is upside down) and AttachedBodyCrash.
AttachedBodyCrash attaches another physics body to the vehicle via a joint, this joint simulates the player’s connection to the vehicle and if it breaks due to too much force being applied (usually by catching your head on a low ceiling or landing a large jump) a crash is invoked.
When a crash is invoked with an attached body we were previously assuming due to being fully physically simulated that this attached body would be in a safe location that we could spawn the ‘crash vehicle’ into. Unfortunately this assumption proved to be false so I added an extra safety line of sight check between the vehicle and the crash spawn location, if any terrain, base or machine is in the way then we kill the player instead (it is a crash after all and this almost never occurs unless the player is specifically trying to exploit).
Hopefully this will put an end to the crash vehicle exploits but if you see any more please keep making noise about them, I am determined to wipe them out for good!

Minor 0.5.6.3 changes

  • Made beds rotatable
  • Updated to Unity 5.6.6f2 (If using the SDK please switch over to this Unity version)
  • Fixed shack markers disappearing on server restart
  • Setup Beretta ironsight world items and icons
  • Fixed some minor SDK issues (world items now add any missing required components @ build time rather than runtime and passive equip effects now automatically display their tooltip rather than having to explicitly opt in)

0.5.7.0

So far I’ve been merging in the vehicle refactor I did a few months ago to make things less of a tangled mess in the backend, make setting up vehicles in the SDK easier (still a lot we can improve here but we are moving in the right direction) and making it easier for us to add new vehicle types. This has gone really smoothly and I’m back to parity with the pre-refactor code, this means I’m ready to start rebalancing handling and crashing as well as adding vehicle insurance and full customisation.
I’ve also been setting up the extra Beretta attachments Mils has been working on, 0.5.7.0 will add the red dot sight plus 2 silencers to the Beretta.

Mils

I got the cute little Red Dot for the Pistol done this week. Came out nice and should make aiming down the sights a much nicer experience for the anyone playing in First Person (I dislike Ironsights personally) This Red Dot will just look cool in general on the gun as well as be functional. We’ve gone about as far with parts as we are willing to go right now. I’m onto making the masks/designs for now. I’ll be adding the usual Veil and Section 8 skins while adding a custom design also. I already have a couple of good candidates.

BerettaRedDot BerettaRedDot

I’m also working on some UI stuff to make transitions between item states more visual and less wordy. This will save us from having to convert this information to other languages and hopefully make the information easy to decipher.

TEHSPLATT

Played a ton of Hurtworld over the weekend to gather some information on what we need for a good map. I learnt a lot and also had a lot of fun. During my play time I noticed myself returning to specific spots to gather resources and realized that these spots followed the formula we have been discussing, large open areas that allow you to mine safely and see who’s coming. These large open areas are also great for building and just existing in in general but in the current Mangatang map there is a lack of those areas, and I constantly find myself subconsciously drawn to areas where I can see who’s around me while mining. Mangatang also has a lot of transition zones that do nothing more than act as the in between for gameplay/playable areas and this can make a lot of the map feel like you’re in limbo. I’m currently working on keeping these transition zones as small as possible in the new map I’m working on, and trying to keep these large open areas as frequent as possible while also trying to balance not making the map feel empty. I’ve attempted to tie the town events into the world a lot more, so they don’t feel so disconnected, this will work better when I create new town events  that I can design for specific biomes and parts of the map. We are restructuring the shape of the map to make it easier to reduce/increase the size for varying player numbers. Something else I’m focusing on in this map is making sure the roads feel good and actually feel like they belong where they are placed. Here’s some pictures of stuff and things including the general idea of the new Mangatang layout.

MangatangV2 Progress

mangatangv2concept

Spencer

This week I’ve been hunting down the last of the localization issues, in the process rebuilt the way we display item transitions. Item transitions are the ways items can become other items like steaks getting cooked, ore smelting, owrongs going moldy etc.

Previously we had just a bit of text that had to be hand written for each item, this was a pain in the ass to translate, it also told you very little about what was actually going on with such transition. Part of ItemV2 added the ability to synchronize more complex item data to the client for tooltips like the state of each transition, we just hadn’t built a UI to display it.

Here is my programmer art version of some transition panels which Mils is reskinning now to be a bit prettier.

steak going off
iron smelt

These now show how long until something will change state as well as if it qualify’s for the transition. Mechanics are exactly the same, you can just see whats going on.

With better transparency we can now introduce more interesting item effects like for example rare loot that explodes and kills you after an amount of time if above a specific temperature, food being poisoned by toxin etc. Nothing in concrete yet.

Hurtworld Update #126

Tom

Hey Hurtworldians,

Since last blog I’ve been working on getting 0.5.6.0 released, working on bugfixes and polish for upcoming 0.5.6.x minor releases and planning our next 0.5.7.0 major experimental release.
I’ve been really happy with how the temperature changes have been working out and we are now doing a much better job of both gating the player from blasting through all the content and also communicating what is happening through the thermometer UI.
With this core part of gameplay in a much better place I believe there is one other core system that needs a similar rework: vehicles.
This blog I’m not going to talk so much about what I’ve been doing but rather what kind of changes we are planning on for the next experimental release, most of these are goals rather than implementation details at this stage so don’t take anything as a concrete promise but rather an idea of the direction we are headed.

Incoming 0.5.6.x fixes

  • Fixing weapon attachment tooltips so they show item category (so you can see what weapon to attach them to)
  • Ragdolls no longer block interaction LOS check (can pick up loot ‘through’ a creature’s corpse)
  • Made binary effect sync for proxies much more efficient in terms of network traffic
  • Fixed null reference exception in item ammo storage on player disconnect
  • I’ve also been looking into exploits that abuse the vehicle crash system and am aiming to have these fixed up for a hotfix patch with the other changes later this week.

0.5.7.0 Major Feature Plans

Visual Override Changes

Whilst I’ve been pretty happy with the variety of different looks I’ve been seeing out in the world (no more ‘Ronald McDonald’ syndrome), the visual override slots are currently too easy to use for their storage value alone and offer the player too much gameplay advantage by allowing them to easily carry a second set of gear. Unfortunately this effectively punishes the player if they use the slots to wear items they think look cool instead of choosing to carry whatever makes sense stat wise to carry as a secondary gear piece you can swap in and out.
To fix this problem I’m going to try introducing some extra friction into the system. Firstly I’m going to remove the visual override slots from the character window and move them into a new wardrobe machine specific for this task. Secondly I’m going to introduce a small amber cost when equipping/unequipping these slots.
These changes should make using the override slots as extra storage non-viable so players can feel free to use these slots for cosmetic reasons only as originally intended.

Vehicle Insurance

Currently the risk/reward ratio on vehicle ownership feels out of balance, they require a large investment but are extremely easy to lose.
Our aim is to get players to invest long term in their vehicles through fragment upgrades, panel attachments and visual customisation but currently there is no way to protect your investments like we have added to the item system through amber protection.
To solve this we will be introducing a vehicle insurance system, we are still working out the exact implementation but the basics are that you’ll be able to create a new instance of your claimed vehicle for some kind of cost (most likely amber).
Claiming insurance on a vehicle will destroy the already existing vehicle if it exists but we don’t want to make this an instantaneous process otherwise there will be little to no value in stealing another player’s vehicle (we definitely want to keep incentives and rewards for stealing vehicles).
I’ll be explaining this system more as we get closer to 0.5.7.0’s release and work out the implementation details.

Vehicle Customisation

It’s finally time to bring vehicle customisation back! We’re pretty happy with how the item customisation is working out so we’ll be adapting this to work with vehicles. We’re going to make the chassis and panels individually colorable with the spray can items to allow for a greater range of options and also to make achieving a full respray more of a long term aspirational goal rather than something that can be achieved with one drop.

Vehicle Chassis Spawns

I’ve been seeing a lot of feedback from players that they miss the vehicle chassis world spawns and disassembly wrench farming from legacy Hurtworld (yes, we are reading lots of feedback even though we don’t have time to give proper replies).
We all agree that this has been a regression but at the same time we don’t want to just roll it back to how it used to be because we think vehicles were too difficult to acquire unless you were a player who could effectively control the chassis spawn areas.
My aim here will be to reintroduce the vehicle chassis spawns whilst also retaining a reliable way to acquire vehicles that can be consistently worked towards like the current airdrop system.
Again this will be explained in more detail closer to 0.5.7.0 as we work it all out.

Vehicle Handling Changes

Another bit of feedback I’ve been seeing a lot of is that the new vehicle handling doesn’t feel as good as the old handling, especially so in the case of the Kanga (and yes, everyone thinks the Kanga is too easy to crash).
In my last round of changes I tried to make handling more realistic by changing the traction model and making weight have a much larger influence over vehicle behaviour.
In hindsight I agree that the vehicle handling has regressed and I think that I’ve been giving too much importance to realism (within technical limits) and not enough to consistency.
Vehicles are also extremely sensitive to latency seeing as they are simulated server side with no client side prediction, because the rest of Hurtworld copes pretty well with large latencies we have many players playing in regions they are not local to placing extra pressure on this issue.
Whilst we have some plans for client side vehicle simulation prediction in the future this isn’t something we are going to be able to roll out soon so for the meantime I’m going to be doing a pass on balance handling to improve consistency and high latency response.
At the same time I’ll also be making it much harder to crash the Kanga, especially when doing large jumps/drops without a nice smooth landing.

We are currently aiming to release 0.5.7.0 on the 24th of May

Mils

I managed to get a few small jobs done that needed doing this week. Firstly I recoloured the rare creatures that are now in the game. These had to look as different as possible from the standard creature colours. This is our current solution to make the rares stand out. Splatt will probably make some mesh modifications down the line so you can tell a rare by it’s silhouette as well as colour.

Below you can see the regular creatures on the left and then the rare to the right. There is a larger shot to show the colours and a smaller one below to show the colour difference at long distances. Players will need to be able to identify the rares and go and kill them in cold blood and reap their beautiful Fragment bounty.

RareCreaturesRecolour01

I also fixed up the Icon Poses for the pistol, since they sucked on the last patch. The new Ironsight poses look down the sight so you really get a feel for what they are. I got around to optimising some of the older vehicle textures in the project and other odd jobs as well. I’ve moved onto the red dot for the pistol this week, and then probably next week I’ll get onto some tasty skins for the pistol after that.

BerettaRedDot

 

Spencer

This week I’ve been focusing on ironing out bugs in the Item system that have cropped up lately. There are still some underlying issues with item serialization that have been hard to track down, but for now I have added much higher fault tolerance when errors do occur.

I’m really happy with the current experimental patch and have been playing a ton. It’s actually quite difficult to run a studio at the same time as putting in enough hours of game time to keep up with our playerbase even for a single wipe. This week I’ve been focusing on getting to end game, in the process sharpening my PVP skills and getting to know the current state of Hurtworld beyond the first 10 hours of progression. It doesn’t make it any easier that raiding the developers is seen as a trophy, in the last 4 days I think I’ve been properly raided 4 times. Maybe I’m being targeted, maybe this is just normal Hurtworld life and I need to stop acting like a filthy casual. Either way, I’m still kicking ass and learning a lot about what is working and what needs tuning. The results of which Tom has gone into sufficient detail about already.

TEHSPLATT

Hello, this week I’ve been running a bunch of tests trying to figure out exactly what works in the map and what doesn’t, running back through Deimans Land a lot to see why certain areas that don’t appear to follow any rules feel good to run around in. Figuring out road placement is a huge one, roads should be a mostly safe zone for cars, and if players with vehicles don’t feel like they can take their cars on the roads then they are pretty pointless. One thing we noticed in Deimans Land was that generally one side of the side would open out to a big space where it was easy to see who’s around this made it much safer to drive on roads. After figuring out a lot of the formula and what can be done in map magic and what can’t I made a basic test map with everything taken back to basics, this showed us how the map felt without a bunch of other fun things to mask anything bad. After running through this process I sat down and actually drew up an interesting layout on paper using large height changes to sit roads and towns on top of so things don’t just feel flat and unloved but also treating the map like I would a town event and making sure line of sights are correct and things are balanced this involved not worrying about the stamping process or any of the limits brought on by the tools but just designing an interesting map with all the things we have figured out kept in mind, then I can figure out the technical limitations. Unfortunately I don’t have anything interesting to show just yet but by next dev blog I definitely will.

Hurtworld Update #125

Tom

Hey Hurtworldians,

Since the last blog I’ve been working on a temperature mechanics overhaul and implementing the visual override system as well as a few smaller changes and bugfixes.

Temperature Overhaul
Shortly after last blog I worked on rebalancing temperature levels in biomes and thermal protection stats on gear but wasn’t able to arrive at anything I thought was a decent improvement over what we already had, ultimately there were too many moving parts to this system and its complexity was never communicated well to our players.
I decided to make this system simpler allowing us to better communicate game state to players and allow the system to be much more predictable (ie. Make it much easier to work out how much thermal protection you need to survive in a biome and make the derivative timers on the cold and hot ui stat bars reliable).

To achieve this I’ve implemented the following changes:

  • Players now have a safe temperature range within which their internal temperature will return to or stay at the baseline
    When players are in an area outside their safe temperature range their internal temperature will change in proportion to how far outside the safe range they are
  • Safe temperature range starts at 10-30 degrees celsius
  • Cold/Heat protection no longer dampens internal temperature changes directly but instead now increases the low/high temperature limits respectively
  • Nutrition no longer affects internal temperature directly, instead a ‘well fed’ buff is given when at 75% nutrition or greater that gives heat and cold protection
  • Cooked steaks now add a ‘nutritious meal’ buff for 5 mins giving both heat and cold protection (this stacks with well fed buff)
  • Added a thermometer to the ui showing the current external temperature plus your temperature limits (no preview yet as its still programmer art)
  • Changed temperatures to be consistent throughout daytime or nighttime with a very short transition between the two (used to be constantly blending between a peak during the day and a trough during the night, because the temperature was constantly changing like this the derivative timers on the cold/heat ui stat bars would never be accurate as they were calculated for the temperature at this instant)
  • Made cold biomes colder during the day (not as cold as night but protection is still needed to survive) and hot biomes warmer during the night.
  • Rebalanced Red Desert to match Snow biome. Ultranium has been downgraded to be an equivalent of Mondinium rather than an upgrade, it can be mined with the Titranium pickaxe. Ultranium is used to craft high tier cold protection gear and Mondinium is used in high tier heat protection gear. Ultranium pickaxe is now equivalent to Mondinium.

I’m hoping with these changes players will be able to understand the system a lot better so they can tell where their limits are and what kinds of stats they need to complete the content they are targeting. These are some pretty large changes so I’ll be watching feedback closely and will be trying to fix any glaring issues ASAP post patch release.

Visual Overrides
The other major task I worked on was implementing visual override slots for the player. These can be accessed from the character menu just under the equipment tab and when items are equipped in them they remove the visuals from the normal slot and replace them with its own visuals.
Items in these slots obey the standard drop rules meaning if they are not protected they will be dropped. We made this choice because even though it won’t affect much this week as we are making gear auto-protected (see blog #124) we don’t want these slots to be gamed if we give them special protection rules and revert the gear auto-protection plus we have modders to consider as well (who may not setup their gear items with auto-protection).
It won’t be ready for this weeks patch but we plan on making an item modifier to ‘mute’ an item, removing its stats but making it auto-protected at the same time effectively turning it into a look only item.

Other small changes + bugfixes

  • Fragment drop rates increased
  • Adjusted bor hitboxes so it’s easier to land headshots around top of head
  • Removed no build zone on ownership stake that was previously used to reserve the spawn area
  • Buffed radiation protection fragments to match toxin protection fragments
  • Campfires can now be placed in no build zones.
  • Fixed Ultranium node’s effect zone being placed on the wrong layer (was intercepting projectiles)
  • Fixed binary effect tooltip timers showing incorrectly
  • Fixed biome client effects not playing
  • Fixed Melee Major AttackSpeed Fragment applying the wrong mutator (was applying the minor mutator)

Mils

I’ve made a new Muzzle Brake for the Pistol which is really sexy when added on. Gives the gun a whole new persona. I love these things. They remind me of badass 80’s action films with ridiculous guns and even more ridiculous ‘one liners’ This was quick to make as it is pretty much one piece of metal.

MBrake_Reign

I also got the extended mag done which came out nice, this was pretty easy because most of the modeling was done on the previous mag. I built the extra base bit and then got through the texturing pretty quick. The pace I’m getting through these I may be onto making the designs (skins) by Monday.

MagJournal

I also got the Iron Sights done and they look real nice. We’ll have to figure out how close we want the viewer to get to them and what Field of View we want to use with them also. These have a nice highlighted green mark on each so you can find your aim easily in low light. I made the finish on these the black oxide to contrast with the grey of the gun body to change things up a bit.

Ironsights01 DownSights

TEHSPLATT

Hello, this week has been a lot of refinement on the Mangatang revamp, the first pass I did was way off, a lot of the ground generation in Map Magic was designed for a smaller map which meant it didn’t scale properly. I also didn’t measure the distance from shore line to the first hills which meant when you actually spawned in you were a million miles away from reaching any thing. One of the main things was lack of grass and trees being too scarce and spaced too far apart which means when you’re running there’s nothing close enough to you to signal how fast you’re moving which can make things feel endless and exhausting. After running around Diemen’s Land some more I noticed you felt a lot more enclosed and then Spencer pointed out that my hills were very short compared to the original ones, this happened due to some stamping issues that caused the hill steepness to increase and meant I had to squash the stamps, leaving the hills pretty small and pathetic. I’ve gone back through and recaptured a lot of the original hills and am currently re-stamping them while also making changes to the layout as it’s pretty noisy at the moment. Here you can see the difference between the first pass I did and latest.

Mangatamgv2 changes

Spencer

Not much of an update from me this week, I’ve working on the tedious task of updating our Localization and filling in the enormous amount of missing translation data with the new V2 items. Hella boring work but needs to be done before V2 can go live. If you run Hurtworld in non English mode expect things to get a lot better soon.

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