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Hurtworld Update #96


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 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 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, 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, 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.

Divergent01 Divergent02


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.

Hurtworld Update #95


Bonjour! So I tackled re-texturing the roads this week. This was not an easy task. We had a fair bit of back and forth not only with the art side of the texturing, but the technical implementation itself.

The challenge was to see if we could get the road mesh to blend with the textures underneath the road mesh without having a visible seam. You can see below that this was pretty much impossible to achieve without shader magic. We tried making textures that are very similar and making the colours the same. We also tried to layer the exact same texture as the terrain texture into the road texture. These attempts still resulted in a seam between the two. Pretty hard to avoid because the two normal directions of the road mesh and the terrain mesh would reflect light at different amounts. While on one side of the road this would be close to invisible, on the other side of the road the seam would be fairly obvious. Spencer ended up making a road shader that by using a mask texture for the edge of the road, the road mesh would then inherit the terrain texture underneath. This is a truly quality solution to the problem and looks great. I’ll let him show you the spiffy images in his part of the Devblog.

RoadsDev_0001_Layer 4 RoadsDev_0002_Layer 3 RoadsDev_0003_Layer 2 RoadsDev_0004_Layer 1

This is the last version of the road meshes that are going into this Friday’s build. There’s still a bit of work to do on this but that will come online with the next experimental release. The new shader won’t be in this build either, we need a bit more time to iron out the kinks. I have some work to do on making sure the mesh has enough ‘shoulder’ so that it doesn’t stick out of the terrain where there are large dips.

RoadsDev_0000_Layer 5

I also got some work done on the next stock for the AWM. This stock isn’t an AWM stock, but I have modified it to fit. Should lock down the low poly today then jump back on the roads tomorrow.



This week I’ve been continuing bugfixing resulting in the patch we released last friday (patch notes here).
The hammer exploit was a particularly tricky one where if you equipped a construction hammer and put it in removal mode then stood facing somebodies shack and then switched from first to third person perspective you could make the construction hammer get a lock on any removable machines inside. This happened because we were applying an offset forward to the third person camera line of sight check so you don’t hit anything between the camera and your player. Unfortunately this lead to a strange race condition for one frame on perspective switch where the construction hammer would update, see that the perspective was now in third person and apply an offset to camera position. The camera position however would still be in the first person position as camera updates run at the end of frame so we can make sure the camera position is up to date after applying animations and other position updates to entities. This meant that first person position + an offset was ahead of the character and when facing a shack while being close to it, it was inside the shack!
This problem was then made worse because the next frames hammer update would be from the correct position but find the shack during its line of sight check. Because the shack is a type of machine that doesn’t have a removal point the hammer wouldn’t find a new target so the machine inside would stay selected as the removal item.
To fix this one up I’ve removed the offset from the third person camera and also made the construction hammer reset itself (dropping the target) when it hits a machine without a removal point. Big thanks to everyone who pointed out this bug to me, it would have been very hard to find without reports.

Although the bugfixing has been taking most of my time I’ve also been working on a new healing item to go into on friday. The item is used by holding down your fire button and this starts the circular progress bar filling up, while waiting for it to fill you cannot move. After the progress bar fills up the item is consumed and you are healed.
We are still working on tuning the numbers for both charge time and heal amount.


Hey folks. This week I’ve been working on the next iteration of the map, which has some substantial and very experimental changes that I’m excited to finish and play. If all goes well, this map should be out in a week or so. The biggest change to this map iteration is that there is the addition of Splatt’s new biome, which is looking pretty awesome. In terms of gameplay, something we’re going to try out is that this central biome will be the only place in the map where you can build a base. This “build biome” concept is pretty new to us and we’re not sure how it’s going to play yet. It will mean all players will be building bases in close proximity, which will hopefully mean easier and more frequent PVP encounters. You’ll want to build your base, and then make expeditions outwards to collect rare resources, loot towns and get the best cars. Take a look at the basic layout below. The brown, boring bit is currently just radiation, but in future that’s going to be a parallel string of biomes that have a parallel progression.


This map progress has meant working on tools, fixing a lot of bugs and performance. There’s a lot still to be done on this, and Mangatang is a big, complicated level. Currently spending a bit more time than I’d like looking at progress bars, but when a map needs to be done I’ll prioritise stability with seat-of-my-pants optimisation anyday. Still, looking forward to further optimising the whole process. Mils has been working on new road assets that are looking sick, and we’re finally getting some decent looking intersections in game. In fact, I’d say that this build of the map has the most complex use of the road tool yet. Good to see it getting pushed to it’s limits!



I spent most of this week working on creating a generator for Splatts new biome in WorldMachine / MapMagic. Part of this involved a little project to do better rock placement for slopes so they don’t get put underground and don’t hover above the ground. This ended up being an iterative solver that works quite well. We configure each surface rock with 3 points that all need to intersect the terrain.



Road Blending
I also spent a bit of time working on building a shader our roads can use to blend properly with the terrain splats without needing heaps of different road textures. The result came out pretty good and can be used on other things that should blend with the terrain like rocks possibly.


Voip has been broken in ItemV2 forever, I thought I fixed it a while ago, turns out my PC is the only one in the world that works fine with our ingame voice. This makes it really hard to debug. Nevertheless I’ve been digging to the bottom of it and should have a solution very soon.

We are on track for our experimental wipe release this week. I’ve been pushing to get better at planning what we’re doing, step one is getting the build ready ahead of time so we can announce the time, lets see how we go.

Next weeks experimental wipe will be released at 5pm Melbourne time (which is 7:00 am UTC)


Hello people, this week I’ve been setting up little scenes to stamp into the new biome, trying to keep them semi realistic and in line with the actual buildings and areas that exist in the real world version of this biome like farms and little out posts. I’ve been trying to add some easter egg and skill based loot hunt areas to each scene although I didn’t get time to go as in depth as I’d like with it on all of them, I would love to make it so you actually have to solve a little jump puzzle that involved advanced movement while finding the best way to get to the loot boxes. Just about to look into building some more world assets to help out with making these scenes because we have stretched these current assets pretty far. Here’s a few examples of the scenes for stamping.


I also sliced up the cliff rocks ready for Spencer’s placement system so we have some interesting rock formations on top of some of the larger hills which will add some cool areas that are great for stalking far away targets from. I really like the way the placement on these rocks works with the placement tool, it immediately places them how I would have placed them manually which is perfect.


Hurtworld Update #94


Heya folks. This week I’ve been refining the map, trying to address some of the issues I spoke about last week. To save you going back and reading, the biggest issue is navigability and giving players landmarks to be able to place themselves. It’s a bit of a time consuming process to create these little landmarks but it’s lots of fun. You may have seen a few already in the map, including a few radio towers, little rock formations, small buildings with some loot, and more. There will be plenty more of these to come, as I think they’re really important in making the map feel alive and interesting. I also added a secondary tier of roads that branch off the main road, and a few stretches of fence-poles and powerlines. These linear map elements do a great job of orienting yourself, I found. You can come across a trail and follow it, and be pretty sure you’re going somewhere interesting.


This coming week I’ll be looking into integrating Splatt’s new biome into the map, and continuing to add features and landmarks. I have loads of ideas of what landmarks I want to do, and it’s just going to be a case of what we can do quickly and with the assets and time that we have.

Something else we’re going to have a go with is changing how resource hotspots work, to be a bit more explicit. Currently there are valleys where resources are found more often, which we call hotspots. You can tell you’re in one of these because you get the No Building effect, but it’s kind of amorphous and unclear. Instead of having blobby increased areas of resources, we’re going to put distinct features in valleys that denote that in that small area, you’ll find a bunch of a certain type of resource. For instance, the area below would be of a flint area, where a few flint nodes would spawn. Looking forward to seeing how this will affect farming and contesting resources.



I made a skin for the AWM last week, it actually has 3 colours, one major and two minor flourishes. This will be a nice simple skin people can use to colour their AWM like the standard weapon. We wanted the default colour to have that green that the real gun has. I’ll jump back on the colour masks when the other parts are complete. Speaking of which, I started working on another Stock for the AWM. This is going well, I hope to complete it this week. I am also working on a new road texture for the main roads that run throughout the game. Lastly I’m working on a texture for the offroad tracks that we now connect to the main roads. This will help players find their way back to the main road, which will in turn help them make their way through the biomes.

AWMColourMasked NewAsphaultRoad


This week I’ve been working on the and hotfix patches. As well as some changes I mentioned last week, this included:

  • Vehicle disassembly and spear flipping not working due to some missing colliders
  • Fixed scale of some world items
  • Configuring new workbench visuals
  • Configured new improvised bow and longbow visuals
  • Fixing incorrect low LOD on bor AI
  • Setup new arrow recipes for each workbench tier
  • Fixed some missing materials on roach attachments
  • Made rancid steak once again stackable

As well as these fixes I improved the character customisation system so it will store your customisation options. These options get saved as part of your server identity so you can have different looks saved to different servers. The last customisation options you played with are also saved locally onto your computer, if the server doesn’t have your identity saved (eg. first time on server or a fresh wipe) then it will try and apply your last saved options. I say try because these customisation options can be different from server to server based on the mod configuration they are running. If the options cannot be applied they are clamped to the closest possible valid configuration (internally the customisation options are saved as array indicies).

This coming week I’ll be working on the upcoming patch due to release on the 25th of August (more about this one next week) as well as continuing on with bug fixes, today I’ve fixed a bug where our mesh baker would occasionally double up sets of gear as well as fixing an exploit with the construction hammer.
I hope to release these fixes in another minor patch this week.


Took the test biome I’ve been working on to the next level and worked out some real environmental rules to make it feel more realistic, which is something we discussed a lot, things like making sure the peaks and valleys make sense based on how the erosion would have happened in the real world, these sorts of rules are very important for creating biomes that don’t feel weird and out of place. While I’m still having a bit of trouble with the correct scaling of the world the biome is really starting to come together and genuinely feels fun and interesting to run around in. The next step is taking the assets and using the environmental constraints to generate good looking maps, hand crafting every single peak and valley would be extremely time consuming and in my opinion still wouldn’t look as good as a procedural terrain bound to rules set by the specific biome it’s trying to replicate. I would very much like to do a pass on all the biomes currently in game and see if I can add a little more life to them using the knowledge I’ve gained creating this biome.



Last week for me was spent on authoring content creatures, resources and loot for Fridays patch as well as bug fixes. Today I’ve been getting started on creating generation templates for Splatt’s new forest.

This biome is very different from the other biomes so far in that it isn’t massively dependant on rocks and has much more open spaces. It looks amazing right now, the challenge is to make it fit into the game well.

The first step to building a generator for the map was attempting to write a map magic template that can handle all the nature and terrain parts. This got us a bit of the way there with painting valleys and trees and a basic heightmap:


The main struggule here was to create the heightmap with good enough erosion not to need rocks to mask the sides of the hills. MapMagic is great but lacks the power for terrain generation of dedicated tools. After going through a few different ones I’ve settled on World Machine which kicks ass for anything heightmap generation related.

After a few hours of tinkering I’m pretty happy with this generation formula for the first cut of our new biome:


World machine doesn’t integrate directly with Unity, however it can export high resolution heightmap images, which MapMagic can import with ease. We can then run procedural tree planting and splat painting as if the heightmap was generated by MapMagic itself.

Another kickass feature of World Machine is its ability to export flow maps (which basically shows the path sediment was moved down during erosion), they can also be used as inputs for procedural texturing, planting, and opening gates to hell(they look awesomely creepy)


Balance Stuff
I got to play a heap of the latest patch over the weekend. Was great to murder a few of you on EU West!

I’m really happy with our progress over the last couple weeks, but obviously there is a heap of stuff we can improve on:

  • General balance of most resources need work, I collected a lot of info while playing, should be much better next patch
  • PVP Weapons need a re-balance. Not much reason to head out with anything more than a bow right now
  • Points of contention need to be more focused, you should know what you are fighting over, and be rewarded when you win
  • Retiring resources as you progress feels shitty. Takes the fun about of the progression a bit. Will transition resource types less rapidly
  • The deeper the progression gets, the less its worth investing in your base as you just need to stick around to get the next workbench. Possibly will make common areas buildable and high tier biomes all nobuild meaning there will be reason to fight over the hub zone and build up a base there.
  • Raiding (other than camping doors) should be a part of the game earlier and accessible to more players
  • Next experimental wipe will be on the 25th, and will likely include another big update to Mangatang along with some other stuff we will go through in next weeks blog.

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