The finished touches are on the Mozzy ready for the next release! This week I’ve moved on to an optimisation and stability pass on V2 in the leadup to the official V2 launch coming very soon. My goal is to ensure that V2 is a performance boost from V1 for all players before we release it. I don’t think we are far off from that. Our main regressions are an increase in town rocks, terrain texture counts and poor town event optimisation.
I’ve spent a lot of time working on a utility for MadMaps that managed the consolidation of terrain textures and grass details.
Mad Maps is our in house level editing tool, available free in our map SDK and available on the Unity Asset Store for third parties. As our map is made up of over 250 stamp assets it has become a pain to manage linking up every asset using the same output texture and grass definition. Too many of these end up adding draw calls to the Unity terrain renderer that can be costly on low end systems. We previously had about 19 textures being written to the terrain requiring 5 separate draw passes (4 per pass), we hope to consolidate that number to 8 ideally which should speed up minimum performance greatly.
I’ve also been working on ensuring our network infrastructure is as solid as possible in preparation for the influx of players after the release. There are still some niggling issues that came out of the structure manager load balancing updates that possibly cause structures to not load properly that I want to get sorted.
The Mozzy patch will be launching early Jan, I will announce an exact date after the new year.
I need to Axe you a question…
I got stuck right into the old models that you see quite early in the game this week. Firstly the Stone Hatchet which was looking like it was out of the pre-v1 alpha (and probably was) This bad boy was fairly quick to redo. Having my custom materials is great because where things can be reused I do reuse them and when I want something fresh or a bit different I have a good base to build from. Using existing materials I can then assume that they convey the same reflection and gloss values that have previously worked for that kind of material.
The Stone Hatchet pretty much used materials I have used before so was super quick to get this one ready.
Next up was the redo of the Axe, this one also used materials I have used before with exception to the wooden handle. I wanted a more wood grain stripey wood for this one with a very matte untreated look. This came out really nice and the RGB mask we will use to colour the higher tier axes looks nice too.
Since 0.6.5.0 release I’ve been scrambling to fix all the problems for the follow up 0.6.5.1 patch.
Between disappearing vehicles and some overly generous weapon drop rates in towns we figured rather than pushing a hotfix ASAP we would spend a little more time tweaking the balance numbers and delay 0.6.5.1 until Thursday the 19th of December where we will wipe the servers again to bring everyone back to a sane baseline and be able to test the new loot balance properly.
I’ve fixed the disappearing vehicles (sorry about this one, bad slip up on my part) and also rebalanced the vehicle distribution somewhat. Whilst all vehicle types were spawning properly inside the ‘Servo Wars’ towns the randomly scattered chassis spawns around the map weren’t spawning Goats leading to an imbalance in the opposite direction to what was intended (Goats should be easier to attain than the other vehicles).
In 0.6.5.1 Goat spawns both in and out of towns have had their probability bumped up above the other two vehicle types and this is also reflected in the loot crates dropped in the vehicle towns.
I’ve also toned down the drop rate for vehicle masks and removed the vehicle protection fragment from the fragment loot trees.
Map markers for vehicles have also been fixed so owned vehicles should always appear on the map as long as you are within 500 meters of it (before this fix the vehicle would have to move with the owner in range for it to display).
I’ve also rebalanced the military town loot as we were a little overly generous with the guns that were dropping. Whilst the chance of having a gun drop is staying more or less the same we’ve changed the drop rates between the different types. Now you’ll be be much more likely to find a pistol than anything else and both the AR15 and AWM have been significantly reduced so they’ll be rare drops. Weapon attachment drops have had the same changes made (pistol attachments are common, AR15/AWM are rare).
We didn’t want to totally remove the powerful weapon drops, aside from them being an exciting item to get we think their power is mitigated especially in the early game by players not being able to afford to protect them (so it will drop if you can get the kill) as well as not being able to craft any ammo and having to rely on looting it instead.
This week I’ve been carrying on with helping out with the optimisation pass, I had to go through the Outpost town event stamp and replace a ton of stuff with the crates I made. All these town events are built using basic Unity primitives at first to map out different lines of sight and make changing areas an easy task. When it comes time to polish these events all those basic primitives need to be replaced, unfortunately, during early stages of making these events we didn’t really have any good assets for filling out spaces so without thinking, I kind of just jammed a ton of small assets together and ended up blowing out the poly count by way too much, especially for such a small event. Those crates I made are very low poly and fill in a good chunk of space, not to mention they have been correctly sized to the player to make designing cover easier. Managed to shave the poly count of the Outpost by almost 50%, so that’s good. Also getting ready to start running every prefab used in the town events through simplygon so we can start loding them to really help with performance. Reorganised all the splats and details in the project, had a few hiccups with that, cut down heaps of duplicates. Currently re-stamping everything and trying to work through a couple problems.