Hi Guys, we missed the blog last week as we were flat out no sleep finishing last weeks build. I’ve been playing a lot over the last couple of builds and am pretty happy with how the recent changes have played out. Bed respawn timers feel reasonable and alleviate pressure on constant re-spawning and harassing people, amber protection creates a fairly well balanced trading of value in skirmishes, I’ve been getting very attached to my pimped items and the current upgrades are only the beginning.
Bringing back fixed location Hotspots somewhat
One of the main reasons for making town events and meteor showers was to stop people controlling hotspots by building a base next door and constantly respawning and running in naked taking no risk. Bed respawn timers have reduced pressure on this slightly, so I am less afraid of making specific areas of the map more valuable than others. Currently most loot is evenly spawned across a biome, I feel we now could do with something in between town events / meteor showers and standard ground loot. Something to aim for when nothing is going on.
Server stability and Performance
While we’ve been focusing on gameplay, its obvious our server performance has degraded a lot. There are also a couple of crashes we need to track down. This is my 100% focus this week. We a also have some big new optimization options available to us that we didn’t before that means we can finally fix some of the major bottlenecks in our network protocol. I’m optimistic we can get some big perf wins here, and possibly increase our official player cap on V2 servers once I’m done.
Rare Creature Spawns
We’ve done it before in various experimental builds, we will be adding it back in the next patch. Rare variants will look different, be harder to kill and give better loot. Now we have a more stable foundation to add to and perfect items as rare loot in Fragments, I think this will be an easy win to add another layer of depth to the creature farming system.
We will be aiming for a faster patch this cycle, back to 2 week increments. We will aim for the next patch to be released just before easter on Thursday the 29th of March. This patch will contain rare creature spawns, hopefully performance and stability fixes as well as another pass on the map from Splatt.
The new system that upgrades your gear now has a name, These will be called ‘Fragments’ While I was waiting for the crew from 3D Coat to get back to me (which they did and fixed the bug in the software, thanks amigo’s!) I pumped these out. They are simple abstract objects mostly, because we didn’t want them to describe only one thing, Having them just as eye pleasing simple objects allows us to use them in more diverse ways. There are colour masks on these so we can vary them a lot and some even have emissive areas on them. I sketched these up for Spencer to pick the ones he liked. Some got a bit too detailed and he preferred they stay simpler. I will design from just parts of the ones that look too complex so that I can still use portions of the designs.
The names of these are only descriptive names for within our project so we can easily differentiate between them while working with the files. These names made these feel like pokemon and I have to say ‘Slurnagon’ is pretty amusing 😛
The completed models in game with sample colours on them.
I am back onto the Mozzy graphic skins now that 3D Coat is working again.
Also, since this Devblog is a week late, it’s kind of a double whammy, so I also got the skins done on the chopper. They came out sweet! There is a nice mixture of different designs to give any player a good amount of variation, so they can make their heli a one of a kind. GET TO DA CHOPPA!
Hello, this week has been a pretty good week in terms of beind the scenes progress with the map. Last build was a bit of a mess, I was pretty new to the tools and had never really run through the full process of building the map before so it got a tad chaotic and the released version had a lot of manual fixes in it to height and placement of objects which is the opposite of how we want our map building pipeline. This week I’ve been thoroughly going through all the loose ends in the stamping pipeline making sure that none of the manual clean up has to be done everytime something small needs to be changed in the final map. One of the main problems was the roads sticking too far out of the ground which had to be fixed by pulling the entire road net work down in the final scene which caused a bunch of other problems. I’ve also added some smaller points of interest to the start biome, these were meant to be littered throughout the entire map but getting the map to stable point seemed like a higher priority and with these smaller stamps working as intended it means adding in a ton of even subtler stamps will be a breeze. Over all, I feel like I’ve really got my head around the stamp tools (apart from a couple bugs that are out of my hands) and building the map and believe I can bring it to a new level now. Below are some of the points of interest stamps I set up as testers.
I’ve also been working on some new textures today just to help with building the town events and any other town related stamps. I’ve been making sure they are pretty simple and modular so they can be stretched and scaled without any really noticeable grossness. I’ve been using substance designer for pretty much all of them as it allows me to make changes really easily to things I did all the way at the beginning of the texturing process. This is a little junk scene I was using to test them out.
Since the last devblog I’ve been working on the recently released 0.5.3.0 patch plus its hotfixes.
I didn’t quite get the coloring window complete by our internal cutoff and chose to cut into our testing and polish time slightly to get it in but I think it was worth it. The coloring window isn’t totally finished however, this week I’ve started working on a manual preview camera controller to allow you to rotate and zoom around the item preview rather than it just auto-rotating, hopefully I’ll be able to get this into the next major experimental patch but no promises on that front just yet.
Another change I’d like to make is having the application of new item masks run through the coloring window so you get a preview of the new look before deciding to apply the mask, this change is unlikely to make it in by next patch however.