Press Kit Wiki

Hurtworld Update #19

Spencer

Hey guys,

It’s been a pretty chaotic couple of weeks due to the DDOS fairy visiting us more and more frequently. Battlemu1e has been hard at work moving all our servers to new providers that have rock solid DDOS protection, which should fix all the downtime. Battlemu1e also left without adding his devblog update describing the exact state of all the servers so you’ll have to head to reddit for that.

Since the content patch we have been experiencing some CPU issues which appears to be caused by the fact that every man and his dog has a car now. Cars with wheels cost a fair bit of CPU, and since the patch pretty much all chassis on populated servers are drivable in somebody’s base chewing up our megahertz. We will be putting out a patch in the next couple of days to hopefully address this issue along with getting kicked out of vehicles bug.

MAP SDK

This week I’ve started work on getting the first pieces of the map / gamemode SDK up and running.
I am still very much in R&D phase, testing out what is possible, finding ways we can leverage Unity to do the heavy lifting for us.
The first step is to allow content creators to author maps using a free install of the Unity editor running out Mapping SDK “ShigiTools”.
ShigiTools is a set of helpers that currently supports:
  • Terrain heightmap generation
  • Procedural detail, tree & grass scattering
  • Procedural texture painting,
  • Rock placement,
  • Biome definitions,
  • Loot spawn locations
  • Occlusion analysis
The learning curve on these will be steep, so don’t expect a point and click level editor like GTA 5. They will however be powerful.

shigitools

The challenges I am currently working through are how we will package and distribute map files.
Ideally, the process will work like this:
  1. You download and install a free version Unity 5
  2. You load up our SDK project
  3. Edit map until satisfied
  4. Run command in ShigiTools to compile and export a Unity asset bundle containing everything your map needs.
  5. Put asset bundle in folder on server and client
  6. Host game on new map
Distribution of asset bundles could be done lots of different ways. Likely we will use Steam Workshop to serve up files. In an ideal world it will work in engine just like Dota2.
Our game framework already supports multiple maps, which will make integrating maps just a matter of loading them into the engine. What we don’t support currently is multiple configurations for all the things inside the map like Biome stats and visualization, Creature Stats, Player metabolism, Machine behavior, loot tables, items etc.
Step 2 of this process will be taking all this configuration data which is currently in Fluent C# code and moving it to configuration scripts that are loaded at runtime (XML or something similar)
There will be some challenges here but nothing we didn’t plan for.

Why are you working on this before you’ve implemented feature X?

The sooner we do this, the sooner we reap the benefits of the content the community will create, hopefully that will give people a more sustainable flow of content while we work on engine systems and new features. Also because I feel like I’ve been on a bug fixing treadmill and need to get into some juicy engine system code.

Mils

What started out as a simple skyscraper ruin, has become a bit of an epic idea. I made one floor of a square shaped Skyscraper/Office Building with an inbuilt stairwell, which you then stack. This instantly gives you a rough concrete multi storey building with a fairly low texture and polygon overhead. It looks like we are going to break these into smaller pieces and create large format building prefabs.

Cities03

We hope to be able to create buildable cities with this method. Possibly, you will be able to take hold of the whole thing by locking off the stairwell and adding windows or walls to the outside. Whether these are built from scratch within the game by players or pre-built in the map, or both, is unclear as yet.

Cities02

I have added Elevated Highway sections, some signs and lights, which we would like to add also. These are built conservatively so as to keep the polycounts and texture counts down also. Performance is always taken into consideration.

Cities01

Cow_Trix

Recently, I’ve had fun implementing all the new traps, putting in a few fixes for chat (hopefully the next patch will be the last of those tags becoming visible), and implementing some new features. We’re going to try ownership stakes having some form of upkeep – nothing too strenuous or annoying, but something that means that if someone isn’t online for days, their ownership over a base can be contested. Of course we’ll make how long totems last configurable, for casual players on slower servers.

I’ve also been working on the Wrench, a new tool that can disassemble cars into loot. Hopefully this should allow people to finally trash all those crappy chassis.

Finally, I’ll also be looking at drills, and rebalancing them to be slightly less overpowered than they were pre-nerf. We’ve got lots of feedback about what you guys think the drills should play like, and what their place in the meta is, so I’ll be trying to take that all into account.

Dazzler

I have been working on the new creatures. They are all rigged up  and being animated (For the layperson, rigging is where you create all the controls and skinning to animate the creature). Here is a sampler of the yet-to-be-named dart bug. It get aggressive and shakes like a rattle snake before flinging ranged darts at you from it’s back. The weak point is the end of the tail, the rest will be pretty well-armored.


Ant
Wasp

Hurtworld Update #18

TrussNoOne

Happy New Year Hurtworldians!

Welcome to our 18th Devblog, the first of many for 2016.

Spencer

Over the last week I’ve been flat out fixing bugs and exploits, while sorting out our new server infrastructure. While I should have probably got someone else to do it for me, roping people in and bringing them up to speed over XMas / New Years is easier said than done. The servers still need work, but all of the administration work has been now automated.

The only reason official servers will go down from now on is due to DDOS attacks. We are being attacked roughly 4 times per day at different data centers around the world. We can freely move our game servers to different machines with a click of a button now, so as we find better providers that can tank the attacks we will be moving to them. Until then all we can do is wait for the attackers to get bored.

The good news is with most of the admin work and major exploits out of the way, I can start implementing everything the Art crew have been producing over the last month, and can start thinking about working on some more drastic gameplay changes like raiding and loot mechanics.

The wipe schedule for most of the official servers is coming up soon (You can see the time left in the server browser). Like last time, we will provide the savegames for anyone that wants to continue to play their progression in their own server.

This week I will be working on more small features like respawn location, then start looking at endgame as a whole.

All the content you’ve seen so far will likely go out sometime next week. We will have more concrete release schedules once we get into a rhythm, for now we still have to deal with things as they come up.

Dazzler

I am back from a Christmas break, finishing up pistol in next day or so. Have implemented all the First person work, the stateflow for the 3rd person animations is a bit more comprehensive, but almost there. Timings will be tuned up a bit yet, but it is feeling pretty fun. Here is a quick snippet of run and gunning. Take that tree!

After the pistol I am onto rigging Gavku’s wasp and making the bastard buzz! 😀

Mils

I have been busy creating a few more items which will cause your enemies untold despair. A new suite of traps are in the works. These items will give players the capability to turn terrain into pain.

We have a Landmine, Poison Snare and a type of bush that can cause lacerations. It will be interesting to see how cleverly people use these to affect the meta game.

The concept art for the Poison trap explaining (the fairly obvious) method with which it’s triggered.

PoisonTrap

The Poison Trap itself, screenshot in-game.

PoisonTrap

The Landcrab Mine, in all it’s deathly glory. Designed to be fairly visible, so it acts as a deterrent as well as packs a punch.

Landmine

The previously mentioned plant which cuts the player combined with these, should give a comprehensive suite of base protection or ambush creation tools.

Gavku

I have been continuing with player gear, specifically head gear, rounding out the last of the creature based masks with two stitched together Yeti masks and a set of nailed Tokar beaked masks.

yetimasks

tokarmasks_max_1024

We figure that the player needed something a bit more stylish than the stock beanie to help keep their head warm, so I made a Hurtworld styled Ushanka.

WinterHatUNITY2

I now get to move on to doing more creatures ( woohoo! ) We have no shortage of mammals in the game, so these next couple are to be insect based. The first one, shown finished below, is a design based loosely on a flying ant and modified to bring some pain to the player 😉

flyingantmax

Keeping with an insectoid theme, I am now in the process of modelling up a desert biome dwelling creature who will attack the player by flicking thorns from its tail as it curls and uncurls. The very tip of its tail being a weak point which can be see in the concept below.

Bug4

Hurtworld Update #17 –

The Hunt

Spencer

Hey folks,

Another insane week keeping the wheels on. Priority one has been servers and bugs.

Bugs

I just released a patch that should iron out some of the biggest gamebreakers we’ve been seeing this week.
People breaking into bases using exploits (not HAX!) has been fairly common and a tough one to fix. The main issue here is whenever 2 objects occupy the same space, the Physics solver does its best to separate by pushing things away from each other iteratively. When a player gets literally stuck between a rock and a hard place, the solver would end up pushing them through one of the objects. Some players figured out how to exploit this to push yourself through walls. While this is a dick move, it’s not achieved by hacks.

One of the biggest ways people were glitching into objects was caused by us not checking if there is space for your head when you stand up. As the standup process is unstoppable by the physics solver, players could get themselves into rocks and other objects by “teabagging” surfaces.

The latest patch blocks coming out of crouch if there isn’t room, this should greatly reduce the number of exploits possible. I would say makes them impossible, but I know how crafty you guys are at breaking into bases.

We are almost at a point where we can start putting bounties on exploits. For example anyone who can break into a freestanding sealed 2×2 base and capture it on video can claim some sort of reward. We aren’t there just yet, but we are close.

Servers

It takes surprisingly long to get a shitload of dedicated servers spread across the entire planet. No single provider has data centers across all regions, different ones make you jump through verification hoops. Good news is they are starting to pop up now.

We ran our first dedicated Linux machine on a dedicated box in Hong Kong overnight which has been running superbly. The next phase is to start rolling out in scale to all our machines and building our own management software to ensure a server never stays offline ever again and we can focus on building the game not restarting servers. We have enlisted the help of a talented gentleman to build our custom server management interface and expect to have it operational over this week sometime.

The migration to new machines won’t cause a wipe.

But Spencer where is the dam content? What is the road map? When are you going to implement feature X?

I’m glad you asked (a million times :P)

While cow_trix and I have been stomping bugs, the Art team have been pumping out a feast of content for us to put into the game when we get a chance to implement it.

We have seen other projects get bogged down in micro content updates that don’t really amount to any real gameplay changes. We want to avoid this cycle by focusing on how the game plays rather than the stuff that’s in it. We also want to make sure what we have in place is at the level of quality we want before moving on to add more stuff. If you look back on most Early Access games, the level of quality you start with doesn’t often change over the years of development. Generally the need to keep pumping out content to keep the hype rolling outweighs the need to fix what’s already there.

As we’re playing the long game, we are going to do things a little different. Each month we will pick an aspect of the game to flesh out and go hammer and tongs, rip out systems, add gameplay mechanics, sexy up art and ultimately bring it up to a level of quality that matches whats in our vision. Before each phase we will gather feedback from you guys, put forward our intentions and iterate like crazy to get something we all love one thing at a time.

An example of this would be gunplay. We describe Hurtworld as a Hardcore FPS. While our gunplay is a bit better than other survival games mostly due to performance, it’s still pretty sloppy compared with born and bred shooters. For the gunplay iteration we would build a Deathmatch mode, open up official deathmatch servers and spend hours in gunfights tweaking recoil patterns, antilag offsets, interpolation settings, bullet drop, reload times, impact feedback, damage effects, gun and impact sounds, server tickrate, server jitter hiding,weapon vs weapon balance, basically everything that affects you in a gunfight. Just patching in some recoil along with disparate other things doesn’t really focus on how the game plays, it’s just reacting to gaps that we already know are there.

So where are we at now.

This month our focus is on engine foundations:
Making sure we can cope with any number of players smoothly
Giving players the tools to find the best gameplay experience consistently
Making sure the small number of people who would ruin things for everyone else fade into insignificance
Putting systems in place to manage how we will move forward from here
Patching any gaping holes in the initial metagame

Once we get through this first month of stabilization and growing pains, expect big things. We’re just getting started.

Mils

I’ve been working on a bunch of new items, another beastly looking wheel and an earlier stage storage chest so you can get collecting a bit sooner.
Today I am also starting on an array of traps. Among them are Landmines, Claymores and other craft-able items that you can spring on your enemies causing then many a headache. These will not make it into the game for a while as we have a lot of more important issues that you have all raised that we need to deal with first.

BikeBladeWheels

Crate

Gavku

Still be working away on character content. For these first rounds of newer gear I have been focusing on using the Hurtworld wildlife, which I showed some of last week with the Bor Masks. I have also made some Shigi Masks as well as Forest Shigi masks. Hopefully get around to making some headgear from the various Tokar’s and Yeti’s as well.
We also now have the finest of Bor-tech backpacks for all of your scurrying needs.
Currently I am working on some winter headgear 😉

Shigi_Masks

fs_mask1

BorPacks

Cow_Trix

I’ve been working on a bunch of little things for the past week, mostly bug-fixes. Right now I’m giving the chat a bit of love, and packing some more features into the server browser.

Dazzler

I have been working on steam fixes around trying to talk to ‘all of you’… ‘all of you’ is a huge number of people which is great! Meeting some really great players, I gotta say. Getting all Gavku’s work into player model and started FPS Pistol animations too.

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