Hurtworld Alpha Update #6
Quick update to let you know where we are at. Although we’ve been quiet for the last few weeks we are very much working our asses off to bring you the best Hurtworld possible.
Since our closed alpha started, our alpha signups have gone nuts! Thanks to everyone who has streamed and recorded videos of the Alpha so far, without you guys nobody would know we exist <3
This is also partially the reason for a the delay on updates as Mailchimp became stupidly expensive for the number of people that signed up. We’ve now moved to a cheaper mailer so updates should be more frequent. If you signed up for the Alpha but don’t want to get spammed by my nonsense, the unsubscribe link at the bottom won’t remove you from the running for an Alpha key.
Something that came out of the alpha tests was that servers were struggling at around 17+ people.
This is much lower than we wanted, so I have spent the last couple of weeks doing a major refractor and performance optimization on both the server and the client to ensure we can handle around 50 players at once.
As you might have seen in other early access projects, doing major architectural changes to a game that is already in the wild takes much longer to get anything done. So while we could just throw it out now and fix things later, we would be building on unstable foundations and the work to fix them would increase tenfold.
These changes should fix all memory leaks server and client side, along with removing most lag spikes where the game would freeze for a second or two.
Structures also build in one tenth of the time, making joining older servers MUCH faster.
On the client side, we have heavily optimized the player model, and created a cut down low lod skeleton to be switched in when there are lots of people around to keep framerates smooth.
Another area that needed some love was security. We designed the Hurtworld network infrastructure to be as cheat proof as humanly possible. All player movement and bullet detection is done server side, meaning the only cheating possible is a local area ESP and Aimbots which can be targeted by something like VAC.
However something that we glossed over with security was object interaction (storage crates, workbenches etc). Previously with the right hacked client, a player could interact with any object in the world from anywhere. As part of the refactor, I changed the interaction of items to be based on direct line of sight of the player on the server. Theoretically, if you have a storage create inside a locked room on a Hurtworld server, it is physically impossible for someone to access your items is without legitimate explosives.
Fortunately the hard part is over. However, as with any serious renovation, we now have to start the process of a full regression test as I have modified thousands of lines of code and there will be bugs.
While I’ve been busy fixing the foundations, the rest of the team have been powering ahead with new content!
We have decided that the rest of the content we have in the pipeline will go into the first Steam release. We feel that micro updates once a week don’t really give the content the experience it deserves, especially while we are in closed Alpha and player numbers are limited.
Post Steam releases will be similar to TF2 updates, with lots of content that compliments each other. When we drop an update we want it to be a reason to take Monday off work rather than login, look at a new item, and logout. We know survival games are best experienced with lots of people, and getting to figure stuff out at the same time / race for first to do something is a big part of the fun.
After major releases we will put out rapid hotfixes to keep things stable and work towards the next major patch.
When do I get an Play!?
For those who don’t yet have an Alpha key, we will be releasing another batch in the next few weeks to test the new performance changes.
We plan on releasing on Steam as Early Access in roughly 2 months.