So I got the AWM Receiver finished last week, I also got the first stock finished. Now we have a fairly complete version of the AWM. The next part I am moving on to is the Scope. I figured if the Scope gets done by Friday, we can have it looking a lot better in the game. These three components are the majority of the guns surface mass. I can then reposition the attachments from the AR15 to quickly create components for this gun. I suppose the more parts I make for each gun, the quicker production will go on each subsequent gun. Looking forward to sniping some craniums down the scope. 😀
Hey folks! This week I’ve been polishing up the new map tools to get ready for Spencer’s map making. The stamping system turned out pretty good, and I’m pretty happy with it. There are a few optimizations that wouldn’t go astray, which I hope to get to in the coming week, as well as one or two features. Firstly, I implemented a quick in-scene preview so you can get a rough idea of what the stamp is going to look like before you stamp it – check it out:
I also implemented a data inspector, so you can look at a few different bits of information in a window, like what the splat maps for a stamp are, or what the heights of a terrain layer are. I also fixed a bunch of bugs related to blending the terrain layers, and we’re in a pretty good state now I think with minimal artifacts. Been thinking about how we can tie all the other pieces in to this system like roads, and what optimizations we can use to speed things up. One of the optimizations I’ve started playing around with, and have had some promising results with is Compute Shaders, so we can do things like blending arrays on the GPU. As well as this I’m looking into sectioning off a bit of the terrain and only recalculating that particular segment.
Another issue was that we’d end up with massive levels once you placed a bunch of stamps in them, as Unity would serialize the entire stamp data for each instance. I managed to get around this issue without having to create other assets by just implementing a simple custom instantiate button when you select a stamp that puts it in the scene, but then destroys the data container and sets the prefab as a redirect for that data. This hopefully will mean that levels won’t blow up in filesize when they get a lot of stamps in them.
This week I finally got around to implementing the character customisation preview. I fixed a bunch of bugs related to blending the terrain layers and
When doing this I found a bug in our shader that we use for anything that can be recolored, this bug was causing the alpha channel (transparency) not to be written to properly so when writing to an empty texture the result would always appear fully transparent. This bug was also causing problems in our icon renderer where we were using a work around to overwrite the alpha channel based on the depth texture (a grayscale version of the texture that represents depth, it is used for many image effects).
With this solved we can remove this extra processing step and speed our icon renderer up further.
I’ve also made some improvements to the inside rock checker after receiving some reports about some false positives killing you when below a rock. It turns out what was happening was that after the raycast hit a rock I was starting the next part of the raycast from the hit position. Unfortunately this position could have a small amount of jitter making it offset slightly from the ray. In certain configurations where the raycast was hitting the rock at a near parallel angle the offset could accumulate leading to a raycast that wandered from its origin. To fix this instead of using the reported hit position I use the original position offset by the length of the cast, this ensures no jitter occurs and the raycast always stays in position.
I’ve also been making some changes to the early game for the upcoming ItemV2 update on Friday. We’re adding a basic handcrafted bow to the player’s crafting list which does less damage than the wood bow (no 1 shot headshots) but offers an easy early game way to defend yourself and hunt Shigis without having to master long range spear throwing.
Also in an effort to keep the beginner area more beginner focused we are disallowing ownership stakes being placed in this first biome. We also thought machine removal was restricted until too far in the progression so I’ve been adding a machine removal function back into the construction hammer, not all machines will be removable however such as the ownership stake and the firepit.
I’ve also been doing some bugfixes that will show up on Friday, the standard roach engine will now fit into the engine slot again instead of the paint mask slot, machines will drop their inventory correctly again when they are disassembled and you’ll be getting sensible ratios of iron ore and stone from the red drill once again.
Still working on creating a decent biome palette, still not there but definitely come a long way with my understanding of what works and what doesn’t, even though I have been warned about all the things that don’t work, It’s a lot harder to see those problems before they happen than you would expect. As you can see in this example, the top image is extremely dark, even the lighter grass below in shadow isn’t as dark as the top image in direct sunlight. This was caused by matching my colours to a reference that was already in shadow, thus causing me to darken the entire palette. The palette in two images with the lighter grass is still a work in progress, at this point I’m trying to stop the grass from looking boring and flat. Due to performance we can’t use large dense areas of grass, to get any sense of large planes of grass we have to use a flat texture, however, grass has many different shades and irregularities in it which can be hard to represent with a flat texture. What I’m trying right now is having different shades of the same grass as splat maps and randomly colouring different areas along with a dirt splat map to break up the grass. I believe with some more work and proper colour matching this could be a viable option.
I also made a military style helmet to go with the military vest and pants, now that I understand skinning a lot better I can actually skin things to move with the correct body parts which is nice.
This week I’ve been focusing on the content redesign, fleshing out what is going into this Friday’s patch, and starting to work with the new map tools to create our latest map: Mangatang (Probably shouldn’t let Mils name things…)
The current formula (subject to change) for this map is a spiraling progression that starts in the center of the map instead of the edge with large cliff faces preventing wandering into certain death.
Here is a super rough sketch of what I am working towards:
We will be separating the progression into initially 2 parallel paths with different technology and benefits with minimal cross dependency (Hot and Cold).
Instead of needing to go through the red desert to be able to farm metal in the snow, we will have different resources needed to progress in each. Each progression will have its technology perks, likely end game players will want to gain the tech from both and possibly combine them to progress through the end game content.
For this weeks experimental build we will be focusing on the cold progression in isolation for both the new map and item progression, reserving parts of the map for the hot progression to be added for our next patch.
We are aware that this may cause more traffic and proximity between noobs and high tier players and lead to griefing. Will keep an eye on it and see how it plays out. Let the experiments continue!