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Hurtworld Update #30

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Spencer

This week we’ve been all hands on deck getting the new construction system stable and balanced. We are pretty happy with the stability for the most part for now, thanks to everyone who submitted bug reports.

Explosions

I spent the last few days digging a little deeper into C4 explosions, in real in game scenarios they were doing heaps more damage than we intended. After working on re balancing the damage I found a rather large bug in the way we apply damage to individual structure pieces that could sometimes (quite often) get the wrong attachment on a building. This could result in objects a long way from the explosion taking damage when they shouldn’t. This will be fixed in the next patch which should make explosions much more predictable.

Raiding Balance

Currently all the durability and armor stats for construction pieces are identical for different materials. This was due to the fact that material strength didn’t really correlate to cost to obtain in the current metagame (wood was the hardest to build with despite being the least durable). To avoid re-balancing gathering costs and therefore recipes of everything we put off configuration of the resistances. One thing we didn’t think of was just increasing the construction cost for the more durable materials (duh!), and as a side effect of recreating all the construction pieces we did this anyway. That allowed me to start tuning the construction piece durability to be tiered based on material.

While exploring this balance, it has become clear that placing 1 C4 to destroy a whole base isn’t much fun. What I am working towards now is nerfing the crap out of C4 explosions, and giving a massive buff to detcap drop rates. Meaning C4 will be common place, but creative uses will dictate your ability to get into a base. Now that explosion force can be reflected off other objects, tighter spaces will be key to doing maximum damage.

Lower barrier to entry on vehicles

This is the first wipe I’ve had the time to actually play a comparable amount to the rest of you to get a feel for the journey from early to late game (Due to the fact I wasn’t madly patching bugs after release). A large focus of mine being getting that roach kitted out as soon as possible. I’ve come to the conclusion that the barrier to entry on vehicles needs to be lower. While more hardcore players will likely be thinking “I can get 5 cars by day 2, its 2easy”, there is a bit more to it.

As most of you know, chassis’ and container crates spawn rate scales linearly with the number of players online at any given time. This is to stop the person who doesn’t sleep getting an entire maps worth of spawns over night, while people in the day have to fight over them. This works for the most part, however as the rates are simply based on players online, not players in the area, the first few people to get to red desert / snow towns and setup a base get an unevenly distributed portion of the spawns to themselves. For the first week of any wipe, 70%+ of the players are tottling around Valley and Fortress while a limited few are churning through 70% of the loot spawns on the map.

This effect is compounded by the fact that once you get a vehicle, town hopping to grab the loot takes 1/10th of the time. So while half the server is fighting over the 3 or so loot crates in fortress and valley on foot there are 3 or 4 people gunning around the remaining 4 towns uncontested.

I can’t think of a nice solution to cap the progression of players who progress fastest without requiring a contest over areas. This just sounds like an ungly system that people will end up gaming with alt accounts anyway so I am opting for just increasing the spawn rate of chassis’ and crates.

Along with this, in the slightly longer term, we will be adding destructibility to vehicles. For this to not suck, vehicles will need to be much easier to get otherwise the risk of crashing into a tree would stop you from driving it. Ideally some form of vehicle will be easy come easy go, and we will be adding higher tier vehicles which are much rarer for those who want to continue the loot chase.

Holding towns

Another thing that came to my attention this week, is that the mechanic of holding an area for control of its loot yield isn’t currently working in towns. It seems to work ok (bar infamy crapness) around the resource rich valleys in the starting areas as people fight off others from building bases nearby and harvesting their resources. It is fundamentally broken in towns.

The reason for this is the speed at which the loot re-spawns is far too slow for it to be worth holding onto a town beyond clearing it once. You do a single run, stash it and do something else for 10-20 mins before trying again. During that time 3 people probably went through and looted the one spawn that came up, end up with a boring low yield for everyone. Its never really worth shooting anyone in a town as they can likely make it back before anything respawns.

Secondary to this, the towns provide too much cover, making it easy to slip into a town while others are there, and easy to escape. No real presence. Ideally running into a town would be an announcement, that you claim this place for the next 10 mins or so, anyone else around will either need to make peace or fight for it.

My plan is that increasing the crate loot spawn, and putting some new materials in those crates that aggregate to something you need will make the end-tier loot game much more fun and combined with infamy changes make the conflicts more worth while and challenging for a reason other than being a troll.

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Workshop

We are starting to see some pretty awesome content coming out of the community on Steam workshop. From a whacky recreation of cs_italy to some totally new full size survival maps, even one with a city (Different to the one Mils is working on)!

We will be looking at getting some of them either featured or running on Official servers in the next week, vote for your favorites here:

Steam Community :: Hurtworld

Next week

Next week I am moving back on to Item V2 / Gunplay / Infamy changes described in previous blogs. Should hopefully have something workable in the next couple of weeks.

Gavku

Still on construction stuff at the moment. Going through some of the new things we added and seeing what has been breaking, as well as chasing up on some of the issues people reported about since the update.

Its been great seeing a bunch of new screenshots coming through with people being creative in regards to how they use the new construction system and prefabs.
A community member Jester did a rad vid of whats shes been up to. Below is a screengrab form the video.
JesterGas
I also stumbled across a cool chateau like construction by a player called Morte.
Morte
And a Brunswick hipster townhouse by community member KowaIMT2
KowaIMT2
Now that we feel fairly confident with the process, we are making a bunch of extra pieces like single doors, hatches, fireplace, various lamps, window slits on the diagonal walls etc.

Cow_Trix

I’ve been mostly implementing new construction attachments, fixing bugs relating to the patch, and putting in some new features as well. It’s been really awesome to see all the buildings you folks have made over the last week. Some awesome stuff there!

We’ve got some new construction attachments coming soon – so far, a trapdoor and a single door.newAttachments

I’ve also been working on some features that will come in very handy as we grow the construction attachment library, and for when we hopefully release a way to mod your own into the game. Part of the maintainability problem with the attachments is that there are lots of attachments that are very similar, but not quite exact. There is really nothing different about a wooden wall and a stone wall, apart from health and material. But stuff like attachment points, validation configuration, visualisation, all that data has to be maintained. This can be a bit of a nightmare with three material types. Now, construction attachments can inherit properties from another attachment. So we can have a “master wall”, and all other walls will get that information from it. This makes it much, much easier to do things like put in new material types and make quick changes to common attachment pieces.

One of the biggest pieces of feedback we’ve received is with the new Build Limit system, so I want to take some time and explain our motivations for introducing this system, and also how we’re improving it to make it a better experience for you. Build Limits are a pragmatic solution to the problem that arose in the Infiniwipe servers in the last patch. Simply put – people build BIG bases. And I’m not talking a few levels. I’m talking gargantuan, sprawling structures that were millions of polys. We had lots of players tell us that they couldn’t even join these servers on low-spec machines, let alone get a decent framerate. Build complexity is fairly straight-forward, for objects that you build with the Construction Hammer. The complexity is how many vertices they are (with a few caveats, it’s not exactly the vertice count but safe to say it has a direct correlation). So simpler construction objects will take up less of your build limit. So if you hit it – go and delete those trusses! Importantly the build limit is configurable. Ask your server to increase it if the population agrees that their graphics cards can handle it! But be aware that you may be preventing lower-spec players from playing with you.

However, we could have done better with Build Limits. Owrongs have a fairly high memory cost – something that is on our todo list to fix. It doesn’t help that people seem to enjoy planting a few thousand of them – and then that happens a few times on one server, and then everything crashes. We put owrongs into the Build Limit system with a very high cost, as a temporary solution to this. However, this has confused a lot of people and I think had them hit the Build Limit far before we intended, with quite small bases. What I’ve done this week is split the Build Limit into an arbitrary amount of categories, so there is no longer just one. Now there can be a per-cell limit for structures, machines, plants, and whatever else we need to put some cap on, but these limits don’t need to overlap. Again, all of these limits are completely configurable if you’d like to run a server with different ones. So, all of you that hit that build limit because of an Owrong farm, you’ll be getting a lot more room to breathe in the next patch.

I’ve also made the UI much more usable at lower resolutions, especially with things like chat and stat readouts. Check out this before/after comparison at 1024×768.

after

Mils

I’m still adding flair to the major buildings in the cities as well as working on all the new icons that went into the build system.

I wanted the structures that adorn the outside of the buildings to perform a visual role but also I wanted them to be a bit functional. You can actually run down some of the shapes that have been added to the outside of the building as seen in the following image.

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I also took inspiration from the local buildings here in melbourne which use a lot of brightly coloured geometric shapes on the out4er faces of the high rise buildings.

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I also made a multi use column to break up the square shape of the regular buildings.

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And what city would complete without the trusty scaffold.

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Will be getting back into full swing with the city now that the update is squared away.

Hurtworld Update #29

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Spencer

Hi Guys,

The new construction system has really come together this week. We’re really excited about getting it into your hands. We also completed automatic Workshop downloads on the client and the server. If you are working on a map and want to test it downloading from workshop, update your server and client to the devtest branch of steam. Then host a server with w- followed by your PublishedFileId.

host 12871 w-663477235

The server and any connecting clients should auto download the most up to date version of the map from steam.

Users who were having issues getting a PublishedFileId with the Steam uploader, I pushed out an update today that should fix the issue. When building the map, ensure you build for all platforms and that you have installed Windows, Linux and Mac build support when you installed Unity. If you aren’t sure, re-run the installer. Once you are ready for other people to see your map, you must set the visibility to public (it defaults to hidden).

Ladders

I spent a few hours banging out a ladder system that mimics Counterstrike pretty closely and am pretty happy with the results. If Gav can get the construction piece sorted in time we “may” have ladders in this Friday’s patch!

For the rest of the week I will be in full test mode then back onto the ItemV2 update.

Gavku

Construction construction construction! We have been implementing and testing a bunch of the assets I built last week,  basically setting up their attachment points, volumes, rotational points etc then attempting to use them in game. There is often a lot of back an forth as new issues arise as we begin to add more pieces, like creating spaces between prefabs that we don’t have the ability to fill, or realizing that we need the ability to rotate a piece to accommodate a type of construction etc.

We now have roof pieces at 3 varying angles that will help add some different shape and personality to players bases.

Note: Textures are placeholder

Huts1
Construct_01
 Also we will be adding in arches and a variety of sized pillars and rails.
Arch
Construct_02
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Also in the works are pieces to offer more functionality like smaller trusses, hatches, ladders………..and stairs 😛

Cow_Trix

I’ve been keeping on working with Gavku on the new construction stuff. We’re starting to get into the satisfying part – making awesome buildings! I’ve also been working on a new UI to organise the rapidly growing assortment of attachments. It’s a tricky usability issue that’s taken some serious restructuring. We’ve ended up with a four-tier filter system, structured roughly as Category → Shape → Size → Material.  You can see me selecting a normal, 3m wooden wall below (although forgive the work-in-progress icons, etc).

menuWIP

How a filter UI works is that parent elements determine what child elements are shown. You’ve probably used one before – like in eBay, when you’re refining your search for an item. Here, I’ve selected the wall category, which then shows me all the types of wall in the second row. Not all different types of wall have different sizes though, so selecting one that doesn’t will hide the third row. Similarly, selecting something that only has one material will hide the fourth row. It’s a vast improvement over the old grid-menu, which was pretty non-viable with the amount of attachments we’ve ended up with.

We also implemented partial attachment points, which are a very cool thing which you’ll probably never notice. But I think it’s cool. Basically, an attachment point can act like normal, and always show up when you place something down. Or, now, attachment points can be partial. In a sense, their only half, or a quarter, or whatever proportion of an attachment point. Another attachment needs to be placed in such a way that another attachment point overlaps it, with the same rotation, in order for the point to show up. So what’s the point of that? Consider placing a doorway on a foundation. Where do you put the attachment point? On a 4mx4m foundation, that’s easy – just put them right in the middle, on each edge. But now we’ve got a 2mx2m foundation – where do you put that attachment point then? It doesn’t really work out as nice, and you end up being able to put the doorway kind of half hanging off the edge of a foundation. But if we put half of a door-frame attachment point on each corner, then when we put multiple small foundations together, those points will overlap. So place two 2mx2m foundations next to each other, and their overlapping half door-frame points will overlap and create a whole new place to be able to place the door-frame. So what does that mean for you? tl;dr – attachment points are now smarter and will show up in more intuitive and sensible ways.

Something that I’ll definitely want to look into in the future is mod support for Construction attachments. This refactor has removed a lot of blockers that would have prevented modding being possible with the construction system. Now, the potential is there to allow the Steam Workshop support to tie in and allow people to upload custom construction pieces. I gave a quick screenshot in the last blog post of the editor UI I’ve created to create and edit construction attachments in a user friendly way. That’s had a fair bit more work done on it, and I think it’s ended up pretty intuitive. When we do start allowing modded construction attachments, we’ll be sure to include the already existing ones so you can see how they’re put together.

Mils

Unique is the word of my week. I have been toiling on some dressing pieces for the buildings, things to sell it at street level, larger things to make the buildings memorable.

The awnings on the buildings are starting to fill out the street level as seen below…

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Creating memorable buildings is pretty important. Unique structures will allow players to keep their bearings whilst running round a city that uses a lot of the same shapes and textures. These are really helping to breath life into the city as well.

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There are also construction pits that can be added modularly to create sub level areas. Most of the brain strain is behind me now I think. Dressing the city is really giving me a buzz as all the hard work starts to pay off. I’m looking forward to exploring this place and finding all the sneaky stash spots that evolved whilst creating it.

Hurtworld Update #28

skoogleridle

Spencer

Its been a very productive week (and a bit) as we push through some really substantial changes to the Hurtworld core.

The deeper we get into the meaty changes we are working on, the more things present themselves as something that should be completed sooner rather than later, delaying the big patch.

In the interest of giving you something to play with in the meantime, we are packaging up an update of things that don’t affect the overall balance of the game for release around the 22nd of April.

This will contain the extended construction system / explosives system (without armor and other new properties), it will also enable Steam workshop downloads of custom maps.

Steam Workshop

I’ve been seeing a lot of awesome maps being made in the map SDK over the last couple of weeks so I decided to spend a bit of time over the weekend integrating the first pass of Steam workshop.

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This came together quicker than I thought and works really nicely. No command line tools or manual configuration. Just click a few buttons and your map will be live to the public.

Once this goes live, servers will be able to pick any map on workshop by its id (eg “w:663388709”) and have it automatically download on startup. Players connecting to the server will also download the map seamlessly on connection.

There is now very little work involved in extending workshop items to other things like construction prefabs, guns (in itemv2), even creatures!

Full Wipe

We’ve had a good run with the infini wipe servers. Not long ago a server couldn’t handle 20 days without a wipe, we are now at 65 days with (for the most part) decent performance.

However with the new construction upgrades, we will need to do a full wipe of all servers. If all goes to plan, this will go live on Friday the 22nd. Save games and will be available for download for those who want to keep their epic structures in their own private server.

Mils

As mentioned last week I have been reducing poly counts across the board. I removed some poly’s from the brick windowed buildings that to be honest would not really make much of an impact to the look from street level. We decided after that to take out a lot of the floors from the buildings and put in some ‘filler’ meshes.

There are two filler meshes for each shape, they span 3 & 5 floors vertically. (as seen in the following images)

Poly1

This will dramatically reduce the polycounts of the buildings to a level that will maintain our fps standard. While it would be nice to have floors on every level, this is just not possible given all our constraints. No work was wasted in this process, there are simply less floors in the buildings.  There will also as with most other games be ‘blank’ buildings that have all the same outer structure of the other buildings, but no interiors except perhaps the first and second floors.

Poly3

The image below illustrates another challenge I faced, which was separating the stairwells from the buildings floors. The stairwells are a single 20 storey piece that is attached to the roof of each buildings. This made it easy to create a one piece fits all scenario, which saves on adding more meshes. The walls of the stairwell, whilst not visible in these pics, are attached to the filler pieces, and so span the 3-5 storeys where you cannot access the floors.

Poly2

Gavku

After finishing off an art/optimization pass on the standard construction pieces. I have been working with Sean to come up with some construction assets that will hopefully give the players more freedom in regards to the functionality and look of what they wish to build.

ArrowSlits

The diagonal walls already seem to work quite nicely, as do some of the basic wall piece replacement assets like arrow slits, and shuttered windows.

Castle

Some of the construction pieces that I believe will have a big impact on the look of players bases are things like fencing/railing, building trimming, buttresses, and a shingle like tile construction system that allows the players to choose the angle of their roof! It is going to be a bit of a balancing act between giving the players a lot of flexibility with small pieces, and the need to keep polycounts reasonable.

Pieces

This week I also had the added pleasure of having to reformat my pc, which always ends up being more of a hassle than I remember it being 🙁

Cow_Trix

I’ve finished up for now on explosions – they’re now much more physically based. They do things like reflect off surfaces, be blocked by things, and in general just act much more like explosions do in reality. For instance, if you’re in a hallway when an explosion goes off, and the hallway is strong enough to withstand it, you’ll actually get more damaged. But if the hallway isn’t, and is ripped apart in the explosion, more force will escape outwards and won’t be reflected at you.

This is what an explosion looks like on the server, reflecting off a player, some buildings, and terrain.

An explosion on the server

I’m looking forward to tying this in to the construction revamp, with being able to build with materials that better withstand explosions, and being able to structure your base in more interesting ways to be less raidable.

I’ve also been working with Gavku to get the new structure pieces in, which also means a fair reworking of the whole system to open it up to things like modding later on. The ultimate goal is that, much like the map SDK, you will be able to create new construction items and upload them to the Workshop for use in servers and stuff. Want a server where you can build Buddhist temple style buildings? Soviet era bunkers? Medieval villages? Part of this revamp is making those things possible.

A lot of things have been touched in the last week with this revamp, including starting to redesign the UI, how attachment points work, how collisions are done, and how we sort construction attachments. We’re adding in a lot more types of attachments, like pillars, buttresses, trimming, and windows, and figuring out how to put these all together in a way that works. More on this in the next blog post.

editor

 

Dazzler

Spencer: Dazzler isn’t in the office today, but here is a snippet of the new skoogler idle:

Dev Blog