Press Kit Wiki

Hurtworld Update #86

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Spencer

This week has been fairly chaotic as we pushed out our third weekly experimental release. Its been awesome to start getting you guys playing with the concepts we’ve been cooking for a while. Despite still being very rough, I’m really happy with how the new mechanics are working out.
If you missed it, you can read more about this weeks update —-HERE—-

The road ahead
We’ve enjoyed doing smaller short lived experiments, but nothing really compares with full blown persistent survival. The next few update cycles will likely focus on refining the new survival concepts, making the progression clearer and a lot more rewarding. At some stage I’m sure we will do more crazy experiments, but for now we are going to drill down on the progression survival side.

Weekly experimental updates don’t leave us a lot of room for house keeping. We have a decent list of things that really need attention so can focus back on making the content awesome. To do this we are going to do a 2 week experimental cycle this round, meaning the next experimental content update and wipe will be on Friday the 30th of June.

FPS FPS FPS
We hear you, something is being far greedier on the GPU than it should be and the UI is destroying the CPU while open/dragging. This will be our top priority this week to make sure everyone can get into ItemV2 and get back to solid FPS.

VOIP Robot Earbleed
I’m half way through implementing a brand new VOIP solution that should fix all our problems, and slightly improve performance. Unless something goes wrong, this will be in the next patch.

OSX
OSX should be back to working now

Other stuff
There are lots more annoyances that I’ve been meaning to get to, like fixing hit feedback sounds, balancing weapons better etc which we will focus on getting up to scratch this week.

More details on the patch for the 30th in next weeks dev blog.

Tom

This week I’ve been patching up exploits in the main game getting 0.3.8.6 ready to go and also helping get our latest experimental build out.
Some players had discovered a nasty bug in our construction system where if you rotated the construction item just before it was placed you could put the system in a state where it knew of the new rotation but hadn’t updated the construction validator. If you placed the construction item in this state the validation checks would run on the old rotation but build the item at the new rotation.
If you could get your item so the old rotation was legal but the new rotation was blocked this would allow you to place your item in the blocked location (such as inside a player) which was then leading to all kinds of issues. To fix this one up I made sure the validator updates itself before running the validation checks during the deploy step.
0.3.8.6 contains mostly bugfixes but we did make a change around structure attachment dependencies, now structures dependant on an attachment point (like doors, windows, even walls need some kind of a base to attach to) will collapse after a small time even when the construction cell is claimed (previously this check was only running in unclaimed cells) so it’s time to put door frames back on your doors!
Another change in 0.3.8.6 I’m excited about is changes to the inside rock checker, by distributing the check between client and server we can afford to run this check a lot more often, so much so going inside rocks and other geometry should almost instantly kill you.

DoorFrames
I’ve also been working on the experimental branch getting the last release ready. As well as making more progress through our bug list I also spent some time setting up the clothing items that are coming out of blueprints. This was really fun to play around with setting up different pools of potential meshes for different tiers, potential colors that can be assigned at whatever scope we choose (per tier, per item, per mesh etc.) and potential stat rolls as well.
I didn’t get as much time as much time as I’d like to set everything up, most of the gear is picking colors from a potential pool set at the tier level but after doing this we agreed it makes more sense to have color pools set on a per mesh level (so firstly a roll occurs to pick a mesh, then the custom colors are picked from a pool specific to that mesh) but this takes a lot longer to setup and I only got as far as creating specific pools for pants items in this release.

BackToDiemensland
This coming week I’m hoping to make some real progress on the performance problems some players are experiencing. I took a quick look at this earlier last week but couldn’t find anything obvious that would be a quick fix easy win so the experimental content became the priority. There are many improvements I can make to mesh baker performance so I’ll be starting there and seeing what else I can do.

TEHSPLATT

Dived into fixing up one of the old machines this week, added a spec map and gave the albedo a pass but quickly found that due to the original way the model had been baked (with a single smoothing group) it was causing the spec to show up with lots of weird artifacts which means I’m going to have to go back and harden specific edges then re-bake the model. The albedo could still use some love as it’s just a blue blob at this point (which is how they are in real life but could still be more interesting).

cncmachine_pass2devblog

Finally learned the skinning process (learnt a bit more after this picture hence the artifact). I’ve always stayed away from rigging and skinning as it seemed terrifying but It was something I needed to learn, this picture was my first attempt and compared to the how it was after copying the skin weights it’s a lot better, unfortunately I some how missed the artifact lower down the characters back and need to go and fix it. Skinning is a complicated process that takes a lot of practice to get good at.

VestSkinnedDevBlog

Finished off the blue print case for this experimental build which involves a lot of blue print drops that needed a container. The case has an RGB mask on it so it can be colour coded to the rarity of the drop. I would like to make a legendary treasure chest for legendary drops that’s a lot fancier than this basic case.

LargeHardCaseDevblog

Cow_Trix

Hey folks! This week I’ve been tinkering away at our map creation tools, implementing smarter tooltips that let you compare items, and fixing some OSX issues.

With the current experimental build, it’s pretty important to be able to compare two similar items and be easily able to tell what one gives you versus another. You find a blueprint, and want to be able to quickly tell if it’s worth investing in. I implemented a quick version of a comparison tooltip that compares the raw stats of your equipped item and the item you’re hovering over, check out a screenshot below.

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I’m pretty happy with it, but it has a few drawbacks and won’t properly compare some effects between items. In future we should set up a dummy entity stat object, and simulate the actual raw values of the stats we care about when we simulate equipping both items. This means we can give more meaningful and realistic feedback when comparing and displaying an item’s effects.

I’ve been plugging away a bit more at the map workflow, trying to get an easy way to pick up and clone parts of the world. I want it to be as simple as drawing a rectangle, capturing a chunk of the world with everything (trees, terrain height, grass, splats, objects) and being able to use that as a stamp arbitrarily around the level. I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how that’s going to be structured and how that’s going to work, and there’s a good start there, but no concrete results to show just yet.

I’ve also been fixing some of the major OpenGL issues that Mac and Linux users would be experiencing. It turns out that some of the things I thought about shaders and AssetBundles were incorrect, and it turns out shaders must be built with the target platform. There was also a screen-flip bug, which has been a pretty common one with Unity post effects. Why everyone just can’t agree whether the top of the screen is 0 or 1, I will never know. This means that Experimental should be getting much more Mac/Linux friendly soon. There won’t be a dev blog from me for a while, I’m off on holiday for two weeks.

Mils

Diemensland got a few new towns this week. I made 3 large towns that hold a fair amount of crate drops. I wanted them to inhabit some less known areas of the original map. We wanted these to each have an individual feel. I used a lot of the assets from the city to create the base structures of the towns. I hope these add more to the map that has for so long been the same. They should push players out to areas where they don’t usually go. This will also cause new shortcuts between towns that people don’t usually take also.

Below; A screen grab from the Unity Editor of the 3 new towns.

DiemenslandNewCities

Darlington; This was somewhat copied from a small town I grew up in by the same name. One of my favourite places where nothing has changed much over the years. It was supposed to mimic real geography and I think it did that fairly well. It looks nice at night when the street lamps come on. Needs an asphault road laid through it still, but the feel is there.

NewTowns_0002_Layer 1

Boreas Forge; The name Boreas forge comes from a Greek god of wind and winter. I wanted this to have a mountain stronghold feeling to it. An epic path leads up to the top with many nooks with loot crates to be found. This can be seen from the north road that leads past the two winter towns below. I like how it looms from the mountainside.

NewTowns_0000_Layer 3

Cratora; Three crater-like conjoined plateau’s at the end of one of the Red Desert roads. This place is a strange halted construction project where something huge was once to be built but never made it. This was due to the great Tokar uprising. This town has a 3 distinct areas. One an industrial storage area. An administration tower. Finally the Maze of Insanity from which few men ever escape.

NewTowns_0001_Layer 2

Hurtworld Update #85

Spencer

The first week of our aggressive experimental development cycle has been a challenging one. With bug fixes from the first release we only had a couple of days for the new build. Half of the features didn’t make it in which we have been working on over the last few days. We will put out a patch tomorrow that will add some point to playing on the experimental servers this week.

We’ve been collecting performance data from people on the city build, and as expected we have a lot of optimization to do there.

Experimental Content Update 3 Plans
This Friday we are heading back to the land of survival. We will be introducing some new blueprint mechanics, doing some more work on our procedural map workflow to hopefully make the map much more interesting (and big, and improve performance). Our aim is to start tweaking the balance of full loot so that its not so punishing as you progress further into the game.

Nullius Tests
Something new I tried with the current map is adding more negative space to the playable area by adding very large wasteland type areas around focal points that require vehicles to traverse. As there weren’t really much reason to move between cities, these didn’t serve much purpose.

nulliustests

I did however end up pushing our tech a bit further with support for very large maps. The current nullius is 12km x 12km, I am going to keep this size for week 3, and add back in some of the classic Hurtworld biomes as smaller chunks among larger wasteland.

Mils

What an epic week! So we bit off a bit more than we could chew this week, but we still got some stuff out there to test with the community. It was an epic push on Friday to get as much of our stuff into the test map to try and see how it runs. While we saw a lot of problems with the build we made, we learnt a lot from it. This was the idea. I learned that my cities are waaaaaay too big. While we will keep the big city asset in case we want to use it later, we may be removing a lot of height from it, by knocking out the filler floors. We quickly found that running up all those stairs was just so tedious. Not necessarily the running up, but definitely the running back down. Also the size horizontally may be too much as well. I had to do a specular & gloss map for the city textures. This is no small feat. The Albedo (Colour) map is 259 layers by itself. The Specular & Gloss texture is that but x 2 so 520-ish layers for that one. Man what a mission. The reason for this is because the city runs on 4096 textures, to improve performance and use less draw-calls. This was quite a slog to get everything not only looking right but looking the same. Not only are there these mega-layered textures, but parts of the city have tiled versions of the texture within the 4096 texture sheets but as separate textures. These were created to save poly counts on places like the outer windows on the building exteriors. These also had to look the same as the other textures. Example of the Cities’ 4096 textures below.

CityLayers

I’m also progressing nicely on the AWM Sniper Rifle. Top is the High Poly, Bottom is the Low. I really like this gun. *drool

AWM

Tom

This week I’ve been working on bugfixes and our experimental city survival map type.
Unfortunately we bit off a bit more than we could chew trying to get a new game mode happening in about 2 days and we weren’t able to get everything in that we’d planned leaving it feeling a bit empty and aimless.
We’ve got an update coming out very soon which should start to address some of these issues, the compass is working now (see below) and will show the locations of all machines within 2km. Gear machines sell gear crates, gun machines sell gun crates and ATMs allow you to deposit and withdraw scrash (although the ATMs have a few bugs still to address).
I’ve also given the guns a balance pass cranking up the power of the ar15, fr18 and shotgun, I’m interested to hear what you think of them now.
We probably won’t do too much more work on this gamemode this week, just whatever things will port over to the main game like balance changes.

ThingsToDoInCity

I’ve also been working on a bunch of ItemV2 changes and bugfixes including changing structures with an attachment dependency (like a door or a window) to depend on its attachment even when the construction cell is claimed. We made this change because we think bases constructed this way look odd, don’t make sense and we don’t want such an unintuitive tactic becoming the dominant strategy.
Another change we made was reducing the maximum field of view we support from 100 to 80. We made this change because we think 100 vertical field of view is excessive for a standard 16:9 setup and it was causing us issues with people being able to see through walls with their fov cranked right up. Rather than make the character controller fatter or bring the camera’s near culling plane in closer (which would reduce the precision of the depth buffer causing more shadow flickering problems) we thought this was the best solution.
I’ve been seeing reports however that this isn’t working so well for our players on ultra-wide screen setups so we’ll look at switching it over to a horizontal field of view picker and limiting it this way.

This week I’m going to start working on the performance issues, continue to build on our loot trees and item rolling and keep working through the backlog of bugs and changes.
I also plan to patch some exploits that have popped up in our main branch and roll this update into the experimental map update at the end of the week.

Cow_Trix

Hey folks. This week I’ve been searching for memory leaks, getting the city experiment out, and looking into changing the road workflow into something less destructive.

Firstly we had some nasty memory leaks on the server that needed a look. It turned out we weren’t pooling some high frequency objects correctly, namely the paths that creatures used to navigate the world. So every time you chased a creature, the server would leak. This was an easy fix at least. The second biggest leak was items, which Spence made some good optimisations for.

We got the city out to you all on Friday, and I had a good play Saturday. Definitely a long way to go, but an interesting experiment that definitely stress tested our pipeline and showed the places that needed improving. One of these places is with elements of our map creation process being destructive, especially with the road tool. To mitigate this I’ve started putting together a non-destructive workflow where the road tool captures snapshots of an area, and only stores deltas when it makes changes. With this, we can let the road tool mess around with the terrain as much as we want without worrying about having to regenerate the map all over again. Check out a gif of it in action above.

TEHSPLATT

Pushed out a lot of assets this week trying to get all the assets we need for these experimental game modes. Balancing fast production and assets that don’t look awful can be difficult. The funnest things this week were definitely the Utility box and ATM machine. The Utility box was/is going to be used as a minable resource node in the city, so it had to stand out while also fitting in. I’m terrible at any sort of Graffiti, so the graffiti was done by Mills and is all Hurtworld related which is cool. The ATM machine (and slot machines not shown) were needed straight away due to it being the night of the build so we agreed a back alley make believe style ATM would be a great fit, the slot machines were done in the same style but if they are going to become a permanent part of the game I would like to re-do them as proper slot machines.

UtilityBoxATM

Next on the list was making a new loot crate that looked like the old one but was much lower in poly count. The original box was about 1200 triangles while the new box is a mere 12 triangles and with the help of a normal map comes out looking pretty similar even with 6 flat faces. I also made a small scrap metal pile world item, it kind of looks weird when it’s upside down but it’s not too bad, I would like to touch up the specular map a bit.

BoxsScrap

I finally got to something that’s been on my to-do for a while now, re-UVing the military vest. The military vest was one of the first assets I made and I was still in the habit of optimizing every single bit of UV space for mobile platforms, this creating horrible symmetry on the camo patterns, so I’ve finally gotten round to fixing it and I’m much happier with the result.

Vest_reuved

Hurtworld Update #84

Spencer

ItemV2 has landed. Even in its broken ass state, its been awesome to get back into the rhythm of a playable game and reconnect with the playerbase somewhat. I’ve been madly filling in gaps in the gameplay in the week leading up to the experimental release. Post release we’ve been all hands on deck fixing up all the bugs in our new systems. There is something magical about having a really broken game to fix, the amount you can get done in a day seems so much more than grinding away on a big system.

Things are starting to get a bit more stable in the back end. We’ve been mainly focusing on system issues rather than balance / content issues as most of the current content will be changed week to week as we push out our experimental patches.

Content Patch This Friday
As promised we will be releasing a rather drastic content patch to go out this friday with a wipe. It will include an entirely new map, and change up the gameplay a lot. As we will also be spending a lot of time fixing bugs this week, we don’t have a heap of time to put into the game mode, however we think with some cut corners and art we have up our seleeve we should be able to put something awesome together.

Urban Survival
This weeks experimental map will contain some incarnation of the City Mils was working on a while ago. Guns and vehicles will be plentiful, holding territory will be lucrative and difficult. We basically want to create chaos that will result in lots of:
A) Gunfights
B) Sneaking around
C) Getting killed and raging
D) Trying to jump kangas out of skyscraper windows

What we plan to get out of this experiment, is get a feel for how we are going to incorporate the city into the larger survival game. We will also get a chance to benchmark the performance of the City art and lodding systems, and most of all just get everyone running around it, see what modifications we need to make to get it into the master branch.

It’s experimental. Expect a broken unbalanced fun test of more of our new systems. By the time people figure out how to exploit it and ruin the game, we will be back with another experiment the Friday after! I would throw up some screenshots, but we haven’t even started working on it yet. It should be a good test of how much we can bang out in a couple of days with our new systems.

Last nights patch didn’t work
Some of the files didn’t update from our new build system and didn’t actually get released last night when I pushed out the patch. Guess that’s what I get for doing 4am builds. I have a new patch waiting to go out now which should sort out a lot more issues however steam publishing seems to be offline so I can’t push it out. Will do it asap.

Cow_Trix

Hey folks! Busy week last week getting the ItemV2 experimental build out and fixing all the little bugs that came up in the process. There’s definitely some more work to be done in the map tools, in optimisation, bug fixing and workflow improvements. The map tools unfortunately were not in a state where we could easily and quickly iterate, and we had to leave some stuff out like the roads.

There were loads of little bugfixes here and there, I implemented TehSplatt’s cool new world items, and I reimplemented emotes with a much nicer structure that means that hopefully down the road, when we redo how the player animation is structured, we’ll be able to easily add new emotes as mods. I think the new emote menu is a vast improvement over the old massive one, as well! I also took some suggestions from Spencer and reworked how we setup Item poses and attachments for their world items and icons, so that is a lot more intuitive and simple now. Things like the binary effect UI needed fixing, as well as some savegame serialization issues with binary effects.

Then it was onto localization, which I think we can do a lot better than what we currently do. Currently localization is a community-driven effort, but we’re the bottleneck. In the future, I’d like to allow people to author localization mods on the Steam Workshop that people can subscribe to at will, instead of having a bunch of central embedded localization data included in the game. I’d also like to write a little widget for picking localization keys in the editor, as often we’re setting a field to this very specific type of string data.

This week I’ll be working through bugs you all have raised on the ItemV2 branch! There have been some interesting ones already that should be fixed in the patch coming out today. Please keep them coming on the Steam Forums, it helps us loads.

Mils

It was really good to get the basic ItemV2 to you all last week. While we were rushing around putting last minute stuff into the game we got quite a lot done. Firstly I got the grey boxing on the Recurve Bow to a good place. I made 3 basic sets where all the parts are interchangeable. Below is an image of the breakdown of components that the bow can have. There’s the Riser; the grip part in the middle that the character holds. The Limbs & Strings; a single mesh for both that does all the bending etc. The Arrows; they go ouchies when they are in you. Finally The Rests; the little bit you rest your arrow on.

RBowGreyBoxes_0000_Layer 6

These are the 3 designs that we will be testing. They are very simple geo right now, but we may be adding them to V2 soon to test out.

RBowGreyBoxes_0002_Layer 3 RBowGreyBoxes_0003_Layer 2 RBowGreyBoxes_0001_Layer 4

Lastly, while the coders are mega busy patching and fixing the inital V2 release I’ve been working on this…

Yes it’s the most beloved sniper rifle known to man. We’ll at least to us. The AWM or Arctic Warfare Magnum. Such a beast of gun! Spencer describes it as ‘having chunk’ In the best sense. I agree that it is super satisfying to look at, so we are making this instead of the other thing that was in the Deathmatch build. Below are 3 Stock variations that we can add to it. I felt I should concept these so that we could get a feel for them. The rest of the parts will be easy to copy from reference.

AWMStocks

TEHSPLATT

Finished off the the priority world items (Cash, Planks and Cement) last week. I think they came out pretty nice. As some of you may know, Cash has replaced Amber, this was partly due to Amber potentially needing a custom shader to look good, which would have taken too much time for not much gain. The wood planks were surprisingly difficult due to them being so simple and we were originally going to have the world item as a single plank but it was very hard to make it recognizable as just one plank so a stack seemed like the best option. I’m enjoying doing items with branded design layouts on them like the ammo boxes and now the cement, get to hide a lot of dumb jokes in them.

CashPlanksConcrete_ForDevBlog

After finishing off the priority world items I went through and set up all the icon lighting and poses. This process took a while as all the items needed to read nicely at smaller sizes without having intense lighting changes that would make them look like they were rendered under noticeably different lighting setups. Items like the Detonator Cap have a different icon to their world item due to readability in the world.

IconsFordevblog

Had a go at re-doing the large fallen tree that players gather wood from. I tried to keep it simple while also adding a bit more detail than the original as it was very lacking in the detail area. I went a bit further and tried to do a different style for each biome. The Beach log is still very similar in terms of look and colour. The Red Dessert log is much lighter in colour due to it having constant direct sunlight a large portion of the time. The Forest log has had it’s saturation bumped up along with the addition of mushrooms and moss to give it a more lively feeling. The Snow log was darkened to make it stand out more among the white and was layered with snow.

Wood_Log_large_Concept_Foredevblog

Tom

This week we made the big push to get ItemV2 experimental into your hands. First up was implementing sleepers and unfortunately in my rush to get everything ready I made an oversight and forgot to consider the combat logout timer which was disabled in editor mode and ended up creating sleepers at the wrong time leaving both the sleeper and the player in the world until the logout timer ran out. This caused a whole bunch of problems where if you killed the logging out player the items in the loot drop were also in the sleeper and doing things like splitting the stack and throwing the items out into the world were causing a whole bunch of nasty issues including item duplication. We’ve fixed the sleeper creation timing in 0.4.0.2 along with a host of other item/inventory handling bugs to ensure this can’t happen again even if we were to create sleepers at the wrong time.

After the sleepers I gave the vehicles a pass to bring them into line with the live game. While doing this it became clear that vehicles are over complicated to setup and there is too much configuration that has to be duplicated in too many places (for example wheel slot inventory mappings have to be explicitly setup on both the server and client versions of the vehicle when under our new system they can be derived by the vehicle’s storage config object), we definitely need to improve this and derive configuration where we can but obviously we have higher priority concerns right now!

Right now we’re a mix of excited and exhausted, we made a big push to get ItemV2 out to you all and obviously it still has many issues. We haven’t been taking a break though and should be dropping our 3rd bugfix patch around the time this blog goes out.
Speaking of bug fixing we’ve been getting lots of good feedback and error reporting but it could be even more useful if you could include your game log and a dxdiag file (for windows users only, see the pic below). These files can be uploaded to pastebin.com and then linked in the post/email/message/etc.
This gives us way more info to help find and reproduce your error.

dxdiagHowTo

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