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Hurtworld Update #121

Spencer

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.

Next Patch
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.

Mils

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 😛

Concepts01

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.

FragmentsFirst4

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!

CHopperwithSkins

TEHSPLATT

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.

Pointofintereststamps

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.

Random Textures

Tom

Hey Hurtworldians,

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.

Hurtworld Update #120

Mils

Hey there mi amigo’s. So I got into a jam with 3D Coat, where my layers weren’t exporting to Photoshop correctly. Basically my transparency isn’t working and so I had to ask the experts on the forums what is happening. I wanted to finish the skin designs for the Mozzy but got held up there. In the meantime I have started modeling the bed which looks pretty cool so far. The bed had to be big enough to look reasonable but not too big that it filled a whole foundation cube in space. When I double checked the models I could see that the length of 2 metres actually looks fine, and this happens to be the length of the character so full steam ahead on that one. I had a lot of fun simulating the bedspread with Maya’s nCloth functionality. This can be a dark and winding path but it certainly paid off for me this time. 😛 This is not complete yet but it’s looking good, and I’m getting decent poly counts too.

BedConstruction01 BedConstruction02

Okay so managed to finish the bed today (Monday) so snuck it in. Came out well there’s some funny scratchings on it too. You can see the 3 LOD’s that I made for it the closest one is the full mesh, then the 2nd and finally 3rd.

BedFinal01

TEHSPLATT

Afternoon, nothing much to show this week as everything’s been technical fixes to bring the map tools up to good usable point. For the next release my game plan is to make the map a lot more interesting over all, this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now but due to the tools not being artist friendly I haven’t been able to do much. The hardest part about taking on this task is making sure I stay focused on the bigger picture, it’s very easy to dump a bunch of time into the art side of things instead of carrying on with the general feel of the map. The stamp tool we have is a pretty huge help with this kind of stuff cause you can stamp subtle changes to height or vegetation without disrupting the other things in the land making everything feel disconnected. Currently I’m in the trail and error phase for a lot of things so probably the most interesting thing I have to show visually is this Substance Designer beach grass I was testing out to replace our pretty out dated old grass. I tried to give it a more stylized and kelpy feel.

Beach Grass

Tom

Hey Hurworldians, this week I’ve been continuing the work on item upgrading and crafting.
Crafting times have now been removed from all items and you are able to specify how many times you want to craft a recipe so making full stacks of building materials will be much easier now.
Adding crafting count into the crafting window was done as just a quick change, a proper overhaul of the crafting window to reintroduce categories and probably show more information about what items upgrade into is still part of our plans but won’t be making into this experimental update.

CraftingCount

On the item upgrading side of things I’ve been going deep into the configuration of our items, assigning compatible upgrade types for most equippable items (for instance a pickaxe can take upgrade types of weapon, melee weapon, tool and pickaxe). I’ve also been creating more ‘upgrade gems’ (may not be gems by patch release) so that there are many options for every item and just about every stat we use can be altered. We’ll be playing around with the exact mix of stat assignments and upgrade point values (items can only take a limited number of upgrades) through the rest of this week and the next to try and find a decent balance for release.

Unfortunately I didn’t get into expanding item customisation just yet but still hopeful of getting there by the end of this week as thats our internal cutoff for features for the March 15 patch and all the work next week should be bug fixes, testing and polish.

Spencer

Hey guys, this week I’ve been on the respawning refactor. My goals are to continue our work on balancing out the punishment for death and try to eliminate any scenario where death isn’t something you are concerned about.

Death Tax
My original plan was to have the ownership stake consume some resource when ever someone spawns at it, which would have likely been amber. This has a heap of issues like the one idiot who dies all the time burning all your amber, your stake de-authing because respawns consumed all the amber etc.

After more thought I realized that there isn’t really a good reason to couple the respawning mechanics with the ownership of cells, so decided to decouple the 2 functions of the stake and introduce a new machine for each player, the Bed.

Bed
The bed serves as a spawn point for one player, and will have much harsher respawn cooldown requirements than the previous systems. Likely something around 3 mins cooldown after respawning once which will be shared across all beds. For scenarios where respawning quickly is vital I introduced a buyback system similar to DOTA where you can put an amber supply into your bed and depending on how long left your bed has to cooldown, you can consume amber to respawn instantly instead of waiting out the timer. Respawning at the noob beach will always be an option regardless of cooldown.

Hurtworld Update #119

Mils

The Mozzy now has it’s first body kit. This turned out nice and consists of 5 parts. Front Panel, Roof Panel, Left Side, Right Side & Tail. Now these will get passed onto Tom to implement with the rest of the Mozzy’s Chassis. I’ve started on the skins/designs for the paintwork now too, and I have a tonne of ideas, so we may end up with a lot of designs depending on how they work out.

MozzywithPiranha01

TEHSPLATT

Afternoon, this week has been an intense one. Started added in all the town events using the map tools and after climbing up the learning curve for hours upon hours I eventually got something that resembled a map. It took a ton of iterations  but I got something out that was playable, though it had a few bugs. The map tools have their ups and downs, they do a lot of things well but also do some weird stuff in their current extremely early state. We’re pretty close to having a nice quick map creation work flow in Unity but it definitely needs it’s kinks ironed out. Building maps can be a very long and tiring process, the constant back and forth of building, testing, re-building, re-resting etc. takes its toll. I tried to go back through and rebuild the map from the ground up using the biome specific stamps so that nothing was hacked together but due to previously mentioned kinks, that all went south pretty fast and we had to revert to the original map that was released and then manually change that. I also made a quick scroll world item for the item naming system.

Scroll2

Tom

Hey Hurtworldians, this week I’ve been fixing bugs and working on our item upgrading and crafting systems.
For the recent patch release I worked on fixing amber protection for your sleeper, this was a tricky one to track down as everything appeared to be working correctly from the killers end (The loot dropped would contain 80% of the amber protection cost as expected) but the protected items wouldn’t appear when logging back in. This was because after the sleeper was killed the protected items were still inside the sleeper inventory which would destroy all its contents when it was destroyed. Even though we had written the items into the player’s save those items didn’t exist anymore when it came time to load them. We couldn’t move the items into the players inventory either as that only exists when the player is actually logged in, instead we moved to a solution where we spawn a ‘ghost sleeper’ with an inventory to hold on to these items until the player returns.
I also worked on fixing camera smoothing on automatic vehicle perspective changes, fixing shigis in the starting desert dropping the wrong loot and fixing the low level of detail bush billboards not being properly alpha culled (leaf textures would appear with a square green background where they should have been invisible).
Since the patch released on Friday I’ve also worked on a fix for spears doing way too much damage when thrown plus helping to track down the issues with the ‘Servo Wars’ town capture events, these fixes should be going out in a patch later tonight (or are probably out now by the time you read this).

Other than the bugfixing stuff I’ve been working on the next iteration of item upgrading. You’ve seen a rough, early version of this in the most recent patch with the pickaxe attack speed gems. Our plan is to massively expand our range of item upgrades and offer upgrades to most equippable item types across many stats. Applying an upgrade will be worth a certain amount of upgrade points and each item will have a limit of how many upgrade points can be applied.
We’re also going to overhaul crafting, more items are going to become upgrade items like the pickaxe where the base item is part of the material cost to get the upgraded item. As well as this we’ll be transferring your item upgrades from the base item to the upgraded item so nothing is lost (unlike what’s currently live where upgrading your pickaxe will wipe out all the gem upgrades).
We’re also going to be making some other crafting changes I’m sure you’ll be happy about, removing crafting times and allowing you to craft multiples of a recipe at the same time (multiple crafts might not happen for the next update as it requires ui changes but it’s definitely on the way).
As well as the item upgrades I’ll be taking another look at item customisation and allowing players to find and equip their own masks and colors, we’re still in the process of fleshing out exactly how this is going to work so I should have info about that in the next dev blog.
We’re aiming to do the next major experimental release on the 15th of March.

Spencer

This week I’ve been looking a bit further into the future as our experimental branch gets a bit more stable, looking at what we have on the roadmap to implement that will fit well with our current direction and prioritizing development.

Features we plan to get into the game before moving experimental to the core branch:
– Refactor how respawning works
– Flesh out item stat modifier content
– Item / Gear / Vehicle customization of colors and paint masks
– Helicopter
– Slug
– Heavy slot loot
– More World Event Types
– Multiple iterations of map polish / handmade areas
– Rare creature variants
– SDK Documentation / Release of our basecontent mod source

This seems like a lot of work but most of these features are mostly implemented and just need shuffling balance wise to slot into the current metagame. Our main focus here is not trying to change too much in terms of balance, and phasing in new features slowly to ensure we don’t end up too far from the mark.

Once we officially release the Experimental branch we will make an effort to increase our player base once again. For now we are happy with where things are and appreciate the core playerbase that has helped us get this far and provides good feedback each update.

My priority this week is the new respawning mechanics, then I will be moving on to help Tom flesh out item upgrades. That, bug fixes plus a map update will be the majority of next patch going out on the 15th of March.

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