Recently I’ve been working on water mechanics and quality of life fixes. This update I will go into a bit of detail about the next content patch scheduled for Thursday the 30th of May.
Over the new few weeks we will be bringing to life as many of the creatures as possible that have been long in limbo waiting for some upgrades to the AI systems. I have held off putting them into the game thus far as making reskinned boars is pretty boring…
The first member of the team I’ve been working on is a long time favourite of mine, the Skoogler. Heavily inspired by the cassowary and the turkey is a large flightless bird that proper mess your shit up. He will likely come in in later parts of the progression and will be the first creature that constant running away won’t save you.
In addition to being able to run down anything, I’m currently working on a new system to enhance the skoogler AI so they hunt and migrate in packs. They will communicate with each other and try to circle their prey while hunting. Packs will also regenerate members if not completely decimated which may provide benefits for farming, or problems if struggling to fight them off.
Here is a sneak peek of the Skoogler in game:
Other animals on the way are the MonkeyBat, the Big Cat, the Rafaga (Bird) as well as bringing back the Antor (giant mosquito) and the Dart Bug (scorpion type thing).
Theres a ton of work to do getting AI varied on all these creatures as well as filling in missing animations etc, I will aim to get everything in game atleast then possibly iterate over AI further in coming patches.
Whatup?! So I’ve been working on the MAC10 for a bit and now it’s happily ensconced in the game. I won’t bore you with any details about that because you can play with it now all by yourself. I have been working on some other stuff though.
Firstly something we have wanted back in the game since before the earth cooled is the Glider. We had one of these very early in development and it was a lot of fun to race each other in one of our very early test maps. So I’ve create a basic Glider mesh for Spencer to use as an early prototype. This is similar to a real glider. Whether we change the look of this down the line drastically, we haven’t decided that yet. This is on hold for now but I just wanted to make a mesh Spencer can use to prototype with.
Also we have decided to go ahead with rockets for the Mozzy. These are looking mean in their first stages and should be a lot of fun in game when done.
Since the last devblog our plans for an upgrade to Unity 2018 started running into some serious issues. We rolled out an early build to a small test group and quickly discovered several shader compatibility issues as well as a nasty memory leak.
I tried to fix these issues and whilst I made some decent progress into the shader issues, the memory leak refused to show up in any meaningful way in Unity’s profiling and debugging tools.
With tough issues still to fix that were essentially destroying the very reason we were upgrading (performance and stability improvements) we made the tough decision to indefinitely delay the Unity upgrade.
Because we had been working in the 2018 version we had to transfer our work back into the 5.6 version, this was easy enough for the codebase but significant changes in serialization patterns made backporting assets a trickier process that couldn’t really be automated. This is why 0.7.2.0 ended up getting split into 0.7.2.0 and 0.7.3.0 a week later with all the assets.
Going forward we will continue to investigate solutions to our upgrade issues but if we cannot fix the problems on low spec machines we will not be moving ahead with an upgrade.
I’ve also been working on bugfixes to go into the 0.7.3.1 hotfix patch that we just released. The most significant fix there was probably the ‘Roach peeking’ fix.
Because the Roach’s rear seat FPS camera position was outside of the vehicle collider it was possible to position the Roach so the rear seat could see through walls.
To fix this up I changed the Roach’s rear seat into an unsafe entry type of seat that performs an overlap and line of sight check on an entry attempt and blocks the passenger if either of these fail (this makes it work like the Kanga and Goat driver seats).
The other major change was adding an attached body component to the rear seat. Now when a passenger enters the rear seat the vehicle connects another simple capsule physics body to the vehicle via a joint and this simulates the vehicle/passenger connection. If this joint receives too much force it will break (for example, someone trying to push your head through the wall by using a spear on the vehicle) and on breaking it puts the passenger into the crash state.
Kangas and Goats also have this attached body component running on their driver seats.
I’ve also been working on making the tether system more stable, removing the tether break limits and allowing multiple players to have active tethers in the same tether network (think like a tug of war scenario). This change was planned to go into 0.7.3.1 but we found some last minute pooling issues that caused us to delay it until the next hotfix, we are now looking at releasing this fix sometime before the next wipe on the 16th of May.
Hey, this week I’ve been working on creature animations. We are currently trying to get all the old creatures up to scratch, this means figuring out what animations are missing and filling them in while also deciding how exactly their game play is going to work. My specialisation is not in animation so there is a bit of a learning curve but nothing I can’t handle. The hardest challenge going forward will be the Monkeybat as it’s a combination of a two creatures that walk in interesting ways so I will need to do a bit of research and also step up my walk cycle game as this creature is missing pretty much all its animations. Here’s some of the test animations I have been working on. Trying to match the quality of the original creature animations is going to be a pretty hard thing to do but my main focus is just making sure the animations don’t stand out as stiff low quality place holders, more like, medium quality place holders haha.