Press Kit Wiki

Hurtworld Update #41

Mils

The dirt bike is coming along nicely. The low poly for the 3 wheel designs and one of the body kits are done. I decided to model all the wheels and the body kits at the same time to make sure I don’t go over our poly limit. One of the wheel sets (the one on the right) that most resembles a standard dirt bike tyre, stretched our poly budget a bit more than previously thought. I had to use mesh to get that nobbled tread silhouette which increases the poly’s significantly for that design. Once the 2 other low poly body kits are done I can check the combined polycounts of that tyre set with the other body kits to make sure we aren’t blowing out our poly budget.

I also made some updates to the raid drill which you have now probably been playing with. We split the machine into 3 parts to make it’s creation and use more interesting. I had to update some of the mesh, textures and icons for it.

Kanga_3Set_Progress01

Cow_Trix

I spent this week getting the Raid Drill out and fixing a few bugs that came up from that patch. That was a mostly smooth process, and now we’ll be looking at the feedback from you folks and metrics on the drill’s usage and uptake.

It’s always a balancing act when releasing a new gameplay mechanism, and it’s almost a statistical impossibility we’ll get it exactly right first time. The question then becomes – do you balance a new mechanism erring on the side of caution and maybe buff it later, or do you release a possibly overpowered mechanism and maybe nerf it later? Both tactics have advantages and disadvantages. If you err on the side of caution, and release a mechanism that may be under-powered or not viable, then you have less uptake on the mechanism and some players might be disappointed. If you go the other way, you will get good uptake as the mechanism dominates the meta, but it will be frustrating to be on the receiving end of it and a nerf will have to be quick, as damage is being done. Personally I prefer to err on the side of caution, simply because in the time it may take to re-balance and buff, generally, damage isn’t being done. You have the frustration of this new thing is useless!, but not this new thing is destroying the game!

My new main task, and what you’re going to be hearing about for the next few weeks, is making a new map to go hand-in-hand with the ItemV2 update. This map will integrate a lot of new assets, including the cities that Mils has been working on, as well as experimenting with some different layouts and structures. While Diemensland has been a great map that we’re proud of, Diemensland is just an aspect of Hurtworld. Part of this, which is what I’m doing right now, is looking at Diemensland and trying to learn some lessons from it. I’ve been pulling apart savegames and analysing them, seeing where people play, build their bases, hide their loot, and more. There haven’t been too many surprises, and we were glad to see that a lot of the design decisions we had made had had their intended effects on player behavior. You can see some of the aggregated maps below, showing where on the map certain objects are. So, the most populated part of the map is the transition between the Forest and the Starting Beach, which makes sense. You’ve got the Dome, Valley, and Fortress all in a small area, it’s resource rich, survivable and accessible. There are way too many workbenches.

Workbenches

Workbenches

Vehicles

Vehicles


Structures

Structures


Storage Chests/Lockers

Storage Chests/Lockers


Ownership Stakes

Ownership Stakes


Shacks

Shacks


Owrongs

Owrongs

It’s some interesting data that has given us a lot to think about when planning this next map. I’ve also been looking at the community maps that people have been playing and liking, to see what they’ve done with layout and flow.

Gavku

Nothing overly exciting from me this week, just more clothes in the form of jeans and tshirt, trying to round out all the standard/base clothing items. Once all these standard issue type gear is done, I will jump onto things like jackets, footwear, and gear more in line with some of the concepts I had posted previously.

JeansU

TShirtU

GuyG

Next week I will post up a fully kitted out new character next to the current one to give everyone an idea of how different they look.

Tom

This week I’ve been refactoring the core of the vehicle system. I’ve been trying to simplify the code base making it easier for both ourselves and modders to work with. I’ve removed serialization from variables that were being overridden by equipment and environmental factors (eg. Throttle torques, traction modifiers, fuel efficiency etc.). Each component is smaller now and the separation of responsibilities is clearer which makes it easier to work on and maintain as well as making it easier to setup new vehicles.
For example here’s how the vehicle motor and controller classes look in the sdk when comparing versions.

sdkRefactor

I’ve also been able to squash some bugs and move some edge case handling back into the main general simulation. This will lead to more consistent handling with less seemingly random spinning out and flipping over.
I also found several cases where the forces we applied weren’t being affected by the vehicle’s weight, I’ve been rebalancing these so in the average case the handling should be roughly as before but with a particularly light or heavy vehicle (depending on equipment and passenger numbers) you should notice more nimble/sluggish handling respectively.
With these changes in place, this coming week I’m going to do some experiments with client side prediction to try and remove the input delay vehicles currently suffer from. No promises as it’s a tricky problem and for a persistent world style of game where death is potentially costly we think it’s a better experience to have a bit of input delay rather than have players rubber banding and teleporting all around the place.

I also spent a bit of time this week poking around our AI system and doing some research as that’s my next area of focus after vehicles. I’ve been looking into using the state machine / behaviour tree system Spencer has been using for item v2 which should mean it’ll be faster for us to create new content and also open up NPC modding.

Spencer

Didn’t get as far as I wanted to with recoil this week, as the more I dug into the requirements for the recoil system it became clear that the entire camera system needed a rewrite. The reason for this was that the server had no knowledge of the clients camera positioning, and our camera logic was wildly inconsistent and spread all over the project.

As the rabbit hole deepens, like all other systems being touched on this journey, I decided to rebuild it with all the missing features we want to have soon:

Ability to look over your shoulder aka headlook

Just like the Arma engine, this feature is useful when sprinting and you want to look left and right without having to change direction. To do this I needed to introduce the concept of more than just an aim angle. I also needed to add the ability to restrict the camera movement rotation left and right depending on situation, which needs to be fed back into the input controls (mouse angle) on the client, but also enforced on the server

Look restrictions in first person in a vehicle

When in first person in a car, you shouldn’t be able to spin 360 degrees. We wan’t your facing direction to be properly animated soon, and if you have look freedom we can’t really come up with a decent pose in a lot of situations without looking like the exorcist. This meant using the view rotation restrictions mentioned above, but extending it to be able to be restricted dependent on parent rotation (the vehicle). There are also different situations for vehicle seats, like the tray seat on the Roach could have full rotational freedom (including legs), the passenger seats should be able to change aim direction while their legs are locked forward in the seat, and the driver should only be able to change his headlook direction while his aim is fixed forward. This made things pretty complicated, but I’m sure now we can handle just about any camera / look scenario including…..

Shooting from Vehicles

Probably the most requested feature we’ve had, something I’ve wanted to add forever also. There were a LOT of issues we needed to iron out to make this possible, but with the camera restriction, and concept of facing direction, aim direction and look direction cleanly separated I decided to have a crack at solving the other issues.

The biggest of which is the paradox of your own player on your screen being ahead of server time, shooting from inside a vehicle on your screen that is behind server time (as the server owns it), and reconciling the hit registration. Normally we only have to apply antilag on the object being hit by a gunshot (rewind your target on the server to the point they were at when you shot them, to determine if you actually hit them). But in this case, the server has no idea where you actually were when you fired the bullet, as by the time the server simulates the gunshot happening, you may be 20m further down the road.

To solve this I created a concept called parent simulate time, which when in a vehicle, your client sends to the server each tick some data indicating what time its parent was at when your machine simulated the tick. I then had to add a history buffer of vehicle positions on the server, so when simulating a player inside a vehicle firing a bullet, the server can rewind the vehicle position to where the client thought it was when it fired, and simulate the bullet from the exact same trajectory (before moving the vehicle back to where it was).

Parent simulate time also paves the way for awesome stuff like being able to walk around in the local space of a parent object! (Think moving platforms / standing on moving vehicles)

As I still have the equipment / camera system in pieces on the floor, shooting from vehicles isn’t up and running yet. However, all the roadblocks stopping us delivering it should now be removed. Fingers crossed it will make it for itemV2!

No Touch On Server

This is one of the most annoying bugs we have currently, is caused by our server side authentication system for interacting with objects like chests / machines. The server has a concept of touch, in that if you look at an object on the server and nothing is blocking your line of sight, you are added to a “touching list” that allows you to interact with the object. Without this, players could send packets saying they are interacting with your chests and remove items from them. Distance checks aren’t enough as they may be just over the other side of a wall.

This fails when the server doesn’t agree with what you are currently seeing, which happens a lot inside 1 level buildings in third person, as the server has no idea what you are actually looking at because it doesn’t run the full camera logic. Now it does, so the servers view of what you can touch should be 100% accurate. There was also a bug where the clients interaction view would be offset by the clientside interpolation smoothing which is purely for rending and shouldn’t affect simulation logic. This made a few scenarios where the server and client would disagree on what you touched, or even what you hit with a pick. This will also be fixed in ItemV2.

Hurtworld Update #40

Update

We will be releasing a small update for the raid drill on Thursday. See below for details.

Mils

Three concepts I have been working on for the Kanga dirt bike are mostly done. These are nearly ready to move into the modeling stage. There are still some elements I want to change to give each body kit a unique silhouette.  The base bike also may need some polycount reduction, which I will address once I get the low poly modeled for the body kits. My target polycount for the base bike whilst equipped with any of the body kits and a set of wheels is 10,000. This is about what the Goat quad bike sits at.

Kanga04Kanga01Kanga02Kanga03

Gavku

So this week I had to get up to speed on our skinning pipeline as there was a few roadblocks that would occasionally arise forcing me to jump back and forth on multiple tasks. Chris (Dazzler) took me through it in a fairly thorough manner and so far so good. I used this to skin up a smoother version of our player model onto the game rig so that i could pose it in a way that generated better results out of marvelous designer.

I used this new pose to start the initial geo for a player jumper, which I then go through to the entire gear creation process  and came out with the jumpers below.
JR
JG
JB
I have also started to further unify the look of all the player assets which has meant going back to facial and head gear and treating them the same way as the rest of the gear ie: baking out normal maps and setting up their shaders.
DingoBeard

Cow_Trix

The raid drill is pretty much done! I’m just waiting on some icons, and polishing up some of the client-side effects. It took me a while to nail down a mechanic for the drill. I previously mentioned how we wanted it to be something that you couldn’t just set-and-forget, something that would require some attention while it was running. I originally implemented this whole thing where it was all these counteracting forces, and you could set how much coolant you pump in to cool it down, and the RPM would drive the temperature up, and it was “realistic”. But while it did end up quite nicely simulating a real thermodynamic system, it didn’t end up being particularly fun or intuitive.

I ended up vastly simplifying the system into something a bit more arcade-y. The main mechanics are still heat, and jamming. Running the drill at a high RPM will mean you do more damage with it, it runs hotter, and jams less. Running at a low RPM means that you do less damage, it runs much less hot, and it jams more. The trade-off then is how long you have to react to a jam. When running the drill at low RPM, you will have substantially longer to react to a jam before the drill overheats, catches fire and blows up. At higher RPM, you may only have a few seconds.
Another element to the raid drill will be recrafting it. When the raid drill breaks through a wall, or is disassembled, it will break into three component parts – the base, the motor, and the drillbit. You’ll need to pick these pieces up and recraft them back into a drill, in a workbench. This should hopefully make players be quite choosy and careful about placing the drill, as it’ll be a few minutes before you can re-place it.

I also finished up on the UI, which included a bit of new feedback for item slots, where they can now have a progress bar. In this UI they will show the use of the fuel and coolant, but later I think we can use these for showing things like durability.raiddrillUI

As I have a habit of doing, I also did some small improvements to some other areas in my spare time. Removing building pieces with the hammer has changed. Now, a ghost will appear that will show you exactly what you are removing, and the removal is based on a raycast rather than removal points. To me this feels a bit more intuitive and less likely to remove things you didn’t mean to.

removalGhostUpgrade

I also implemented basic structure decay! This means that when a structure is in an unclaimed territory, and has not been altered by a player in an amount of time, it will begin to decay. Given enough time, it will decay entirely. The purpose of structural decay is to decrease the buildup of garbage on long-life servers. While stake-decay has improved this a lot, there is still a fair few situations where structures are left abandoned, and are either to inconvenient for other players to destroy completely, or it’s just not worth it. It will also show a clear visual indication of what bases are abandoned as well, as they will be visibly damaged. We think this is another step towards servers being truly infinite-wipe (although don’t take that as me saying that all servers being infinite-wipe is something we’re moving towards). Of course, structural decay will be totally configurable and able to be turned off, for community servers. So, some questions for you all – how quickly should abandoned bases decay? How long should a structure be abandoned before it decays?

Tom

This week I’ve been working on vehicles again and everything is getting closer. I’ve moved the motorbike and all the wrecked vehicle corpses over into the sdk along with the ‘crash vehicle’. The crash vehicle is essentially an invisible vehicle the player enters when crashing and can’t exit until the crash is over (which is how crashing runs behind the scenes). This will allow local and custom servers to mod motorbikes and the crashing behaviour (things like damage amounts, collision thresholds and if and how the vehicles can crash) as soon as the changes go live.

I’ve also been extending our suspension system so wheels can now have suspension paths that aren’t straight up and down the vehicles up axis. This allows us to animate the front suspension in a more realistic manner. I’ve also created options to animate parts of the vehicles using simple ‘look at’ targets. Making the motorbike swingarm look at the rear wheel through this system is how the rear suspension is being done. Again this will all be available in the SDK and will apply to any vehicle type, not just motorbikes.

I’ve also been working on doing more with the vehicle stat system. Vehicles now transition between healthy and unhealthy states depending on their health switching various visual effects on and off. I’ve also hooked the vehicles up so they are tracked through the environment properly and can be affected by things like heat and wind. Now rather than just have a script turn on flame particles after a vehicle explodes we can have it triggered by the heat of the explosion. I’m hoping this will lead into other cool emergent behaviours like cooking meat on an overheating vehicle or using Mondinium campfires to burn up a garage from the outside (can’t promise this will make it through balance testing!)

Spencer

This week I’ve been working on the ballistics system rewrite and implementing our new hit verification system. During development we had server side hit verification running properly, however due to it constantly breaking and denying hits that should have been allowed, we were forced to disable it. This is back up and running again, and bullets use a fraction of the CPU and bandwidth they used to. Although not a high priority, this system was a blocker for the recoil system which definitely needs to go in as part of ItemV2.

I’ve also been looking at ways to fix the 3rd person sight / cross-hair so that its actually accurate.

camera-offsets

This is a logical problem rather than a bug. If you are looking from an angle different from where the bullets are fired from, a dot on your screen won’t represent the bullets path, instead the bullet will move across your screen requiring a different aim depending on how far away the object you are shooting (as you can see in hurtworld now)

Other 3rd person games cheat here, they do things like raycast from the third person camera to determine what is being looked at and then aim the gun towards that point.
This works fine for hitscan weapons (bullets doing their full cast in the first frame), if you are aiming at your target you will hit it. If the bullets are projected like say a bow, this gets significantly harder, as most of the time you won’t be aiming at your target, you will be aiming above and in front of them. Ray-casting from the camera hits nothing but sky, we are back where we started with no idea what the player is aiming at because we don’t know the depth of what they are aiming for.

raycastcheat

The second option is to just fire from the third person camera position all the time and make the tracer look like it came from the gun somehow, this has the issue of players being able to shoot around walls without being seen as bullets can come from places where your player can’t be seen. Some games do a sanity check to see if the players view is blocked, if so fires from the players perspective and hit the wall.

I will be experimenting with this option for now and see if we can make it feel good, otherwise we may just leave it in the shitty state and people can go first person.

Hopefully will have a first cut of recoil by this week.

Hurtworld Update #39

Spencer

This week I’ve been migrating over the sprint functionality into the new Item architecture and fixing up a few issues that have been long standing with the way we handle sprinting. Our old implementation was held together with sticky tape, which you can see if you fire a rifle while running and the muzzle flash goes off pointing into the sky despite the bullet going forwards, also by sprinting just after swinging a pickaxe where the sprint would play over the swing animation.

We had to explicitly tell the movement simulator a timeout for the player not being able to sprint after doing certain tasks. We set this timeout wrong in a bunch of places because we had to predict the amount of time each action would take, not to mention remembering to do it at all whenever an item pulled you out of sprint. There was also an issue where we had no way of delaying an action on the equipment until sprint had finished, we would just do the action instantly and try to snap the animation.

Now each state in the state machine can flag if sprinting is allowed in that state. This information is fed to the movement simulator as an intention rather than an actual sprint value. Due to the fact that sprinting doesn’t start and end instantly, just because a state disallows sprint, doesn’t mean we aren’t still blending out of sprint. The movement simulator feeds the actual sprint amount back into the state machine blackboard so the equipment can make decisions based on the real sprint value.

In the clips below, you can see the CheckSprint states holding up the fire transition until the sprint transition has ended. (Projectiles are disabled as I am still working on that system)

I also had a play around with the arrow draw mechanics of the bow, previously the fire/draw was a single animation. Adding new states in the simulation that was written in code was a massive pain in the ass and hard to get right. Now its trivial.

Other sprint upgrades

Strafing while sprinting will no longer pull you out of sprint, it will now change your sprint direction left / right slightly. And as per the 10 requests per day, you will no longer need to hold down shift after initiating a sprint. I am not going to put in an autorun at this stage, if you need to leg it over very large distances and afk we are doing something wrong in the design of the gameplay. I would rather fix the reason you need to do this, or put something in the way to kill you if you were to do that.

Mils

I’m the honorary member of the Crusty Demons this week. I’ve had a lot of fun as I always do modeling vehicles. This low poly dirt bike base is looking sweet. We made the fuel tank look like it’s been built out of sheet metal to give it a bit of a scavenged look. I still have some dents, damage bits and maybe some geo to add to the tyres, but the base of the bike is mostly there.

I’ll do up some concepts on Monday for 3 sets of fairing designs. After the concepts are locked in I’ll do the high poly modeling, UV mapping, normal baking and texturing for the base core of the bike.  After that I’ll build the 3 body kits (fairings) I may build some wheel variations after that but could be doing some work on combining the cities with the map.

Note: The spokes will actually be partly transparent normal mapped texture, to save on polycount.

Kanga01

Cow_Trix

I’ve been working on the raid drill this week! It’s been coming along pretty well. Functionally, it’s pretty done. You attach it to wall, insert fuel, press on, wall die. I’ve been trying to make it look super cool as well with a lot of small touches, that I hope will make the machine come alive a bit. For instance, some parts vibrate, and the drill bit will glow as the drill gets hotter.

However, we don’t want operating the drill to be trivial, something you set and forget. You’ll be able to control the drill’s RPM, where a higher RPM means more damage, but also more heat and quicker fuel consumption. If the drill does overheat, it will explode, taking out anyone nearby. It won’t take a rocket scientist to control, but nor will you be able to leave it alone. The drill might also jam sometimes, and require interaction to be unjammed. These are things that I’m currently playing around with, and trying to get something that feels interesting and dynamic, and where there’s no “stable” setting for the drill. You can hear it quite a way off, which will hopefully make it a risk as you have to announce your location. I imagine that the drill may take some balancing once it’s out in the wild, and the optimal raiding strategies change around it.

I also finally got round to fixing some cross-platform issues with the SDK, where it turns out the Mac OS filesystem has some… issues.

Gavku

Not a whole bunch from me this week. I finalized the textures/materials for the vests and moved onto more gear, specifically some pants.

VE

It was whilst doing this I realized I would need to modify the player character model, extending the mesh of his torso down a bit further than it currently is. Since I was already going to have to change his UV’s I ended up moving them all around to better make use of texture space. I then baked and fixed his existing textures to fit the new UV’s.

We also decided that he should have a normal map in order to bring him into line art-wise with all his new gear. In order to do this I edited the player model, removing tris and tweaking some of the poly flow so that it would sub divide with a minimum amount of artifacting. I then took this mesh into mudbox and did a pass adding some detail and cleaning up some areas. Another plus is that it helps to smooth out a bunch of the lighting errors we would get in places like his ear and underarm etc.

PS2

PS1

 

Tom

This week I’ve been continuing on with vehicle changes. I started with hooking up damage and the broken leg debuff into the crash system. When you’re crashing, large collisions will be able to hurt or even kill you and you can also be left with broken legs like when taking fall damage. Here’s a quick gif of me sliding down a hill on my bike and caving my head in on a cliff.

I’ve also done a bit of work polishing how the camera works with vehicles. Now when entering a vehicle in first person your view will automatically shift to the front of the vehicle. When exiting in both first and third person you’ll stay aiming in the same direction. I’ve also added a setting for vehicles to force them to be in third person camera. Although I added this setting to force third person during crashing it should also be a help to any vehicle modders who are using car models without the interior.

Lastly I’ve been adding destruction to the vehicle system. Vehicles now have health and they will explode into a burnt out shell when it runs out. The size and force of this explosion will be increased depending on how much fuel is in its storage. The burnt out vehicle corpses that get left behind can also be harvested for resources with the right tools. Obviously this is a significant change that we will have to rebalance things around but we want to make vehicles easier to obtain now that they will be less permanent.

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