It’s been a while since our last devblog as we’ve been a bit overwhelmed with the V2 release, our systems haven’t been under this much pressure from player numbers for a while and it’s exposed some bugs and performance issues we weren’t totally aware of. We’ve been working our way through these issues as our highest priority, we’ve already made several improvements and fixed bugs and we’ve got more fixes on the way to roll out soon.
With our servers getting smashed performance has become a major issue and the area we’ve been working on the most post-release. Whilst Spencer has been busy making huge improvements to our networking library in terms of memory allocations I was altering it to decouple the socket read/send operations from Hurtworld’s main thread. My implementation seemed ok in testing but after rolling it out we discovered it had made us more vulnerable to DDoS attacks so we rolled this change back for the time being however I’m working on a more robust implementation now and hope to have socket operations back off the main thread soon.
In more successful performance improvements I’ve also massively improved how meteors and air drop cargo planes are synced. Previously these were sending position and rotation updates every couple of ticks when in reality their movement was deterministic as long as starting position and rotation matched on client and server so I refactored these to just need a setup message rather than several updates per second to all players.
I’ve also been improving performance of world item generation (whenever an item exits an inventory and enters the world like dropping it from a backpack) by taking our item renderer components from a prewarmed pool rather than creating them on the fly. This helps with both cpu time and memory allocation however our world item generation is still a bit overly complex and there are more wins to be had here, I’ll be making more improvements here soon hopefully.
I’ve also been working on a bunch of bugfixes including improvised bows not being recolorable, Mozzy chassis not being recolorable or maskable, fixing options resetting to default and fixing always getting denies for hits against Mozzy passengers.
I also massively improved our camera collision detection so hopefully abusing strange camera angles and aspect ratios to peek through walls into bases to find ownership stakes is now a thing of the past, if anyone is able to still reproduce this please email me at email@example.com
In terms of upcoming stuff in the next patch I’ve added an inverted pitch toggle option for helicopter controls, fixed up the in game changelog not displaying properly, attached owrongs and bandages properly to the hand bone of the player skeleton and added proper handling for an error that could occur during shutdown that would stop a server restarting normally.
I’ve also got an entity update timing change which should smooth out low performance situations much better leading to less ‘dropped’ update frames.
Plan of Attack
We will be wiping all official servers Friday 1st Feb (Today) @ 7pm AEDT.
At the same time we’ll also be releasing another small update with bugfixes, improvements and other small changes that will require community servers to wipe when they update to it.
We’ll be merging some of the low population servers and keeping an eye on the situation, spinning up fresh servers where we see demand.
These servers will run a 14 day wipe cycle after which we’ll be releasing a proper content update (0.7.1.0).
After 0.7.1.0 hits we plan to do content updates either on a 4 or 6 week cycle (not 100% sure yet) which will line up nicely with 14 day wipes, on non-content update wipes we plan to make balance changes and other small tweaks to shake it up a bit for the next cycle.
We’re still listening and evaluating demand for other wipe cycles but there are advantages to us being consistent with wipe cycles across official servers (easier to balance for instance).
As the other guys have mentioned there’s a bunch of stuff backed up from the last Dev Blog, so here it is in one big flood.
The Pickaxe; This took a little longer than expected as I went down a path of trying to make a modular pickaxe that had 1 of it’s diggy bits get swapped out with each tier of pick. I ended up hating this after I realised that if 1 side only changed it made no sense. You would have an iron pick tip on the other side that never changes. We would have to make entirely new tips on both sides and ended up deciding to just make individual cool new Pickaxes down the line. For now the Pickaxe works pretty much like the old one but just looks better and matches up with the other redone tools.
Here’s the concept of the initial idea that I ended up hating.
Here’s the plain Iron looking Pickaxe
Lastly some nice examples of what colours players may choose.
Since this is a late Devblog, I also got the shotgun done 😀
This has been irking me for a while. I like the model but the textures and details just weren’t there because of the shift in style. This now looks really nice and I feel it will make you actually want to use the shotgun again and enjoy owning one.
Also this is the first thing I made after the release of V2. We decided it would be good to be able to store your resource blocks somewhere. Right now the only safe place to store them is on the back of the slug, the blast furnace, which is strange and equipped on your player in your heavy slot to the right of your hotbar.
I also made this mask called ‘Shogun’ I’ll be adding a few new masks this week to give the players more customising options.
And, and, and… I made some sunglasses. 🙂
Made some Shutter Shades today, they’re looking nice too. 🙂
I also made this! This is an off the top of my head design that definitely has some influences from other designs I’ve seen before. Can you figure out what they might be? 🙂
So, lots of stuff has been done leading up to release but you guys have probably seen it all by now so I’ll skim over it, got the map into the best state it’s been in, one of the main things was fixing 99% of the steepness problems around the map, I took all the main hill stamps we use in game and smoothed them out and gave them each a couple interesting features, like flat spots for building bases on. I then spent some time making Kanga jump puzzles that have been placed around the map that give out jump medals when you complete them.
I’m now making some new gear in a way that I originally wanted to do it when I made the military pants and helmet, I wanted to make sets of themed gear but we just didn’t really have time or a huge need for it, but now that V2 has been released it’s a good time to do some pure art stuff and stay out of the way of the programmers.
The last couple weeks have been flat out keeping everything running in the wake of the massive player number spike. Now that that servers aren’t crashing much anymore I’m focusing on fixing the constant rewinds that happen every 20 seconds or so. We should have a fix for this within the week along with a bunch of other critical bugs and will be able to start moving on to new content.