This week I’ve been working with bugs yet again although these guys are a little different. Yes, we’ve heard you and we think its finally about time we added some of the new creatures sitting around in our backlog for update 0.4.5.0 on the 8th of September.
After getting my head around exporting from Maya for use in Unity I’ve gone through all our unimplemented creatures and brought their assets into the engine ready for setup. The two bugs coming in 0.4.5.0 were our most complete assets having a full set of animations and only requiring minimal code changes for implementation. Some of you who’ve been following us for a while know we’ve got some other creatures in the backlog but these won’t be ready for 0.4.5.0, they are still missing some animations and/or have animations that are incompatible with our current AI code (ie. a creature with a leap attack where the animation controls the leap movement, because the animations run clientside only we have to develop a system that can mimic this movement so it can be synced). Once we have the new bug creatures in we will look at solutions for the other creatures like retargetting animations.
So far the dart bug is up and running in our internal build but we still need to tweak and refine a few things on him. The dart bug can be tricky to spot, he spends most of his time underground and whilst he is burrowed you will see him throwing up debris particles while he is moving.
He’ll popup briefly to try and get some attacks in and you’ll need to make the most of these opportunities to get some hits in of your own before he burrows again to reposition.
Heres what it looks like so far, please note the projectile and the particle effect are placeholders along with spawn locations and loot.
This is the other new bug coming in 0.4.5.0, I’ll have some more details on him next week.
This week I started on the polish for the biome, made some new rocks of all different shapes and sizes which should allow us to make some more interesting natural land marks. I have plans for lots of other small dressing items like vines and moss along with rotting tree trunks and piles of leaves, stuff like that just to liven up the biome. We learnt a few things about how Unity handles PBR this week, it likes to boost the Fresnel up pretty high as soon as any Specular value is added which causes a severe sheen at glancing angles on the terrain, even though this is annoying, it’s nice to finally know what was causing it.
In other news I created a mask for one of the new creatures, the Dart Bug. This was kind of a hard mask to make due to all the different shading and highlights, as I only have 3 channels to work with I had to do some pretty tricky stuff with blending on all the different channels. I tried to make sure I could match the colours originally intended by the artist before they new it was going to need a mask. Here’s some random (non finalized) colour schemes I came up with using the mask.
So amongst doing a lot of testing of last weeks build I got some time to work on the AWM stock and I almost finished it. Just needs a few scratch and wear layers to meet up with the style of the rest of the parts. Oh and of course I will make the LOD’s (level of detail) meshes.
This stock is not a real stock per say, but a mixture of a stock from another rifle and the previous stock I made. The handle section needs to match the AWM body so I added some interesting cut-ins on the handle part and made it match up with the part above the handle.
I did a lot of gameplay testing and really found the latest V2 to be the best yet. I built a decent sized base in the build biome and hoarded plenty of vehicle parts. Really enjoyed it.
I also did a little more work on the roads, but they are on hold for the moment until CowTrix and I can sync up projects and push it the last few steps. We need to lock in the road meshes and make sure they work properly before I go making a few different road textures for them. Got some good ideas for the texturing on those.
Heya folks. Last week was spent tweaking, polishing and playing the new iteration of Mangatang, as well as looking at some artifacts and bugs in the map tools. Had a good playthrough on EU East on Friday night, and had a lot of fun getting hounded by everyone! A lot of time was spent last week polishing some details and rough edges on the map, adjusting spawns a few times based on internal playtesting, and working on the rendering and integration of Mils’ new assets combined with Spencer’s efforts at road blending. I also put in a few of the stamps that Splatt was working on, which you can see as the awesome farms and buildings in the new build biome. So most of the week was integrating assets, playtesting, and tweaking map glitches away.
I started to address some bugs and needed improvements that have come up with the map tools, but haven’t yet gotten this to a usable state. I’m hoping to spend the first half of this week getting these bugfixes and improvements up to a stable level, before starting on more content and polish for the next iteration of the map. There’s still a fair bit of the map that feels empty or unmemorable, so we need more stuff! Looking forward to this polishing step and putting in all kinds of cool stuff for you guys to find. I also want to try and improve performance substantially in the map, as we’ve regressed a fair bit in that regard. Potato mode gives us room to breath, but we need to keep our standards on FPS up or we’ll find ourselves in a powerpoint hellscape of optimization in no time at all. More on this next week!
Last week I spent far too long fixing the VOIP plugin, I had to re-implement it from scratch to understand what was going on with it. Turned out to be a simple fix by totally ignoring the lies Unity was telling us about what sample rates a persons microphone can record at. On the bright side, I learnt a lot about audio signal compression that I will be able to upgrade our VOIP to the opus codec when I get a chance (Same voice compression Skype and Discord use).
Today I pushed through a long overdue upgrade to our EAC SDK version. We haven’t upgraded in a while, and its likely that the EAC outages we have experienced recently were because we were using an old version that required each client talk to EAC directly. The new version makes this much simpler and should be more stable. I also hope that this will fix the OSX ItemV2 EAC issue, I haven’t got my hands on a Mac today so haven’t yet tested this.
If you have a mac and want to help test, please switch to the DevTest branch and connect to the devtest server launched from the ItemV2 Experimental launch option (and post on the forums if you had more success).
Next on my list is designing and authoring the Hot progression of biomes into mangatang and the new style of progression. This includes a slight rework of the map to expand the build zone into multiple biomes with soft gating, shrink the hard gated zones and add in a new parallel progression. This stuff won’t go live until the 15th of September.
The SDK is also becoming fairly stable internally, I will try to get onto packaging up a more complete ItemV2 SDK this week with some basic documentation.