Press Kit Wiki

Infamy – State of the Union

infamous

jitsuin requested a dev response to the infamy questions. Its about time we addressed this and my response became so large it deserved its own Devblog.

Lets start with the logic behind infamy

One of the main goals of Hurtworld was to create a survival progression with something closer to that of an RPG. Where once you can handle the starting area, you get some more gear and move up in the world, find better stuff, keep going. What we have currently is a prototype of this progression, it works in some cases and not in others. Once we can get the formula right we plan to create many more tiers of loot and PVE challenges.

The more you let a player progress while still in full loot, the more they have to lose. Add on to that fact that in a PVP environment, a death can be caused by wrong place wrong time and there is nothing you can do about it.

So we have established that we have players carrying possibly weeks of progression that could be lost on death, and being killed could be caused by no fault of their own.

Lets look at ways that other games deal with progression loss

Rust: Materials for a full kit of gear can be farmed relatively quickly, the main progression here is blueprints. If you have the blueprints, even from a fresh spawn you can get back up to speed quickly. Towards end game, items you are holding generally don’t have any value, meaning a death doesn’t set you very far back. Being raided is a larger setback but still doesn’t take away your blueprints. Blueprints look to be replaced by MMO type levels soon. Levels will have the same effect as blueprints, progression that can’t be looted on death.

Day Z: Gear is easy come easy go, a lucky run through Cherno as a fresh spawn can kit you out completely. Death truly does lose everything but the progression ceiling isn’t very high here (based on my time playing the mod, not sure how it is now)

Ark: Though I have never actually played this, my understanding is much of your progression is tied to the level system. PVP seems to play out much like an MMO where higher level players will always win against lower level players. Gear doesn’t seem to hold a great deal of value.

Where does Hurtworld store progression value?

Currently in Hurtworld I would say on average 70% of progression value is stored in gear, 30% stored in your base. Nothing is bound to your character. The reason full loot sucks in Hurtworld, is that losing 70% of your progression (which could be weeks of work) in a single bullet to the back of the head isn’t fun. Its not hardcore, its just stupid. We store much more progression in gear than other games, nothing is secured in your character. Our progression is going to get much deeper and its already too much to lose in one death. Full loot is not the solution!

Lets separate the 2 parts of infamy as they are unrelated

Although these are tied together under one system, there is really no need for them to be related. Our two goals for infamy are:

Punishment for death

People should always fear death. Currently sometimes they do not, this needs to be fixed. However they should not fear death so much that there is no point to living. Investing in progression is pointless if you can’t secure it to a point.

Punishment for murder

The decision to kill someone should come at a cost, this cost should always be lower than death, but never become trivial. This is broken because the punishment for death is usually too low. The prospect of losing a core piece of gear is usually far worse than losing what you have gathered this farming run.

This is a consequence I didn’t foresee

Given the fact that the value of your gear constantly increases, a single farming run diminishes in relative value the further you progress. Meaning the cost of death with no infamy decreases vs the cost of losing a piece of gear due to gaining infamy. AKA Shooting someone sometimes costs more late game than death. This makes the formula above much harder to balance.

The second factor at play here is that with no infamy and all materials banked in your base, death has absolutely no punishment. This needs to be fixed first.

How do we fix it?

We have a few options here, we will probably require a mix of the following:

  • Add more or an altogether different penalty for death so regardless of the situation, you don’t want to be killed. Ever.
  • Change the penalty for murder to something that doesn’t benefit the person being killed. It was a nice perk that an infamous player would become a target to gain items from, in practice it rarely plays out like that. It would probably work better if the penalty didn’t benefit anybody else like it currently does.
  • Reduce the penalty for murder late game, we aren’t trying to discourage PVP
  • Shift some of the progression value from gear to another place like your base, then making players drop more items on death, as losing less progression value wouldn’t be as devastating. This would give players of a similar progression something to gain by killing each other that might outweigh the murder penalty. If balanced right, the murder penalty would be more expensive than what you stand to gain from killing fresh spawns. A problem this opens up is that progression invested in your base can be shared across teams (investment in production facilities etc), giving large clans a big advantage. We could add machines that can only be used by the owner, however as the reasoning for this isn’t clear to the average gamer, we would be barraged with “Why can’t I use my friends C&C machine, this is stupid!?”

The important thing to see from this isn’t that any of these things are the golden bullet to the problem, but that there are lots of complex elements at hand. Every choice a player makes in the game comes down to priorities. The questions we care about here are: “Is it worth shooting this person in the face?”, and “Death, am I too afraid of it or not afraid enough?”. Most of the suggestions I see are only valid for one scenario, and would be exploitable in another. A balance that works for early game will likely be totally broken late game and vise versa. Something that works for players with full gear will likely be broken if someone just runs around naked with a single weapon. Something that works in a 1v1 situation will likely be broken in a 1v5. Not everyone plays the game the same way you do.

We need good feedback on these systems, not knee jerk reactions to patch notes. See how something plays before giving your opinion, and please give it in a way that doesn’t make us dread reading feedback.

We will be adding in changes to address the above points over time, its not going to be perfect over night. Its an iterative process, good games take years to build, not weeks.

Hurtworld Update #23

CityRoads4

 Cow_Trix

New Sounds

We’ve got a whole bunch of new sounds coming soon! New ambient soundscapes, impact noises, creatures sounds… Expect everything to have a good going over. We’ve even got per-biome ambience!

AFK Kicking

One of the big problems we’ve had with official servers is people going AFK (most of the time to reduce infamy). This frustrates a lot of people trying to join busy servers, and rightfully so. Hurtworld will have in-built AFK kicking in the next patch! Players will be kicked when inactive for a set period of time, by default 30 minutes. This should free up servers a lot, and means that the player count you’ll see on a server will always be active players.

Changes to InfamyINFAMY

Previously, being killed by someone while you weren’t an Outlaw would reduce your infamy. Talking about this part of the mechanic, we couldn’t really find a justification for it, and it creates a situation of players being used for infamy sinks. This is when one player murders another over and over, to reduce the latter’s infamy. You still won’t gain infamy from killing Outlaws, and you’ll gain less if you kill someone who has some infamy.

We’re also making it so you can see if a player is an outlaw, which is related to a new cool system I’ll talk about below. Outlaws will now have red nametags, so ya might want to think twice before trusting those people. Not that you trust anyone in Hurtworld, of course.

As I briefly mentioned, the afk kick should impact infamy as well. No longer can you just afk it away.

I infamy is a touchy subject for a lot of people, these changes are just another iteration. We will keep tweaking it until it works for everyone.

Player Effects

Currently, there’s no real way to tell what’s happening with another player, in regard to their stats. Are they cold? Poisoned? On fire? Unless you asked them, there was no way to tell. Coming soon will be effects that show these things happening, which will make setting someone on fire just way more satisfying. This system is shaping up to very extensible as well, and I can’t wait to push it to it’s limits. For instance, the infamy nametags are implemented with this system. Or, we could make it so you could set machines and creatures on fire! Or poison them, irradiate them, hell, even get them wet – and now we can give visual feedback on all of these states.

Burn baby, burn!

Burn baby, burn!

Spencer

This week has been mostly a continuation of map sdk for me. While I would love to have some new shiny features to show off each week, some things take a bit more time. Only working on tasks that fit into a weekly schedule would massively hinder what we can achieve. I know you guys are starving for new content, know its coming soon.

We found some big regressions in Unity 5.3 that made vehicles undrivable which is now fixed, and a few more issues around compilation and dependency resolution of shaders in asset bundles working on different platforms. Nothing too exciting but a roadblock we definitely needed to get through for the SDK.

Everything appears to be stable in 5.3 now. I am in the process of updating our build server so it can handle building of the SDK bundles and maps from separate projects which should be done by tonight. If nothing new comes up I should be able to put a new SDK steam branch out tomorrow.

SDK Documentation / New map project

Probably the biggest piece of work left before you guys can start making awesome maps is me documenting the map making process. To make this project a bit more fun, and likely a lot more usable for everyone, I’m not going to be writing massive Wiki pages on how everything works. Starting this week I will be starting a series of screencast / youtube videos where I will create the second official Hurtworld map using only the SDK tools you guys will have access to. Once completed the map will be released as an official map.

The first episode will be a crash course in getting from concept to gameplay in 20 mins or so, then we will look deeper into the more powerful tools that are available inside our Shigitools package.

Once basic documentation is down, I will start work on the engine to Steam workshop integration allowing people to join servers and autodownload the latest version of a community made map.

Dazzler

I have been chipping away in animation land this week. 1st task was setting up explosion ragdoll parts for the two insects, so that they give a satisfying ‘splat’ and send arms/legs/heads flying. Next was a redux of the bow sighted animations so that they do not obscure your target. Lastly, I have rigged and begun animating the cat that Gav showed in the previous blog. Looking forward to seeing it hunt! (funny co-incedence… the gyfycat came out as “PlumpWelloffCreature”… pretty apt for a cat 🙂 )

 

Gavku

Ok look. I read the forums. I read reddit. So I know what everybody has been asking for since we first launched. We have unfortunately been way too busy to act on these community demands. But now, finally, I had some time to create what Hurtworld has been sorely missing……….

I made a Skoogler!!!

SkoogMUD

Its design is based on large birds like the Cassowary, as well as prehistoric winged raptors. Its main attack will most likely be trying to disembowel players with its taloned feet, probably by leaping towards them. It will also have a limited flight ability, maybe something similar to say a chicken, where it wont be off soaring the skies but can glide and use its wings to cover short distances quickly.

SkoogMAX

Mils

Working in the city…

So I’ve been building the modular road and sidewalk part of the cities this week. It’s looking and feeling quite good. This should be able to handle most grid type road structures. There are now around 70 – 80 individual meshes in the city now. My layer palette in Maya is getting a bit owned .

CityRoads2

CityRoads6

CityRoads4

CityRoads3

Note that some of the surfaces don’t have specular (shiny) values so don’t look as snazzy as the the rest. I thought it better to get the look right first.

I think adding some old broken garbage bag piles, rubble piles and whatnot should give it a lived in feeling. Some planter boxes, garbage bins and smashed up stuff would be good.

This would be an ideal place to get cars, perhaps we will split the car spawns and loot crate spawns to the different areas? Not sure as yet though.

CityRoads1

CityRoads7

Hurtworld Update #22

sign

Spencer

Greetings Hurtworldians!

Welcome to another episode of the goings on around the studio. In this week’s (late) edition, we are mostly tied up with Map SDK and Unity upgrade fun. As you can probably tell I’m pretty excited about it… I may have just had too much sugar this morning. We’ve got some more stuff to kill you, cow is up to his usual trix and mils has been making more progress on cities. At this rate you ‘ll be able to build a poor mans GTA5 in our level editor.

Due to the surgery state of the project, the next patch might be a week or two away. We could push out the micro changes and keep what we are doing in a separate branch but that would just slow down the awesome stuff, and who doesn’t like awesome stuff!?

Map SDK

I finally made some good ground on the map SDK this week. Previously we had one single project, with references all over the place between map prefabs / utility scripts / assets and engine code / runtime dynamic prefabs. To ensure the map framework is rock solid we needed to make sure we could build Diemensland using it. Which meant completely decoupling all our map assets and code from our main project.

This was a much needed cleanup that completely isolates everything map related from our core game engine, making the core much more lightweight and easy to enhance. The other benefit of this, is now that Diemensland is isolated, we can release the entire source project used to create it!

This will give map makers an end to end example of how the pipeline works, along with all our source assets like rocks, textures, trees and set pieces to use however you please. Think an area of the map would be better slightly different? Change it and branch off using Diemensland as a base!

mapeditor

When do I get it?

Right now everything builds, and can load custom built maps into the game at runtime. We still need to integrate this with Steam Workshop so users can ensure they have the latest version of custom maps simply by joining a server running it, without having to leave the game. This will take another week or so, but for now I will release the base version of the SDK for people to start playing with. For now you will only be able to load maps into the engine by placing them in the maps folder like the old days.

Our only blocker at the moment is that we are waiting on some confirmation of legal issues with Unity in regards to distribution of assets acquired from different sources, these won’t stop what we are doing but might change the way we let you use our assets.

This integration also touched almost every file in the project, so we need to go through some serious regression testing to ensure all the references match up still. When we’ve gotten confirmation from Unity I will throw whatever state the SDK branch is in onto a Steam beta.

If you want to get an head start, you can download a free version of Unity 5.3 here:

Download Unity

Start playing with the terrain tools, importing models / textures (there are heaps of free ones on the asset store) and start designing your masterpiece. Copying it across to the SDK later will be trivial.

Anything you can create in Unity besides scripts will be importable into Hurtworld!

Cow_Trix

UI and Input

It’s been a busy week! The upgrade to 5.3 meant I had to fix a bit of regression in the UI, as Unity did some breaking changes between 5.1 and 5.3. While I was at it, I made UI perform significantly better. The biggest quick win was changing how we hid UI that was being unused. Previously, we hid a lot of things by just setting the object to transparent and keeping it active. Now we’ve got it so windows are completely deactivated when not being used. Another big win was changing how we activate and deactivate the Unity EventSystem, the system which figures out things like where your mouse is on the UI – which should give performance gains across the board.

Something that’s been broken since day one has been mouse remapping. Finally got around to giving that some love, and it’s working well. This is still an experimental feature, so please report any bugs you can find with it.

I’ve also been working on putting in some more feedback into the UI. Firstly, mining a resource will now show the health go down on the object as you hit it, as an overlay on your crosshair. Secondly, Binary Effects (think buffs, debuffs, i.e. “Broken Leg”) will now display above your hotbar in standard MMO style, with more information about exactly what they’re doing to you. I think this will give us a lot more legs on a system we haven’t really explored much. Think items that buff/debuff you, diseases, potions – all that cool stuff!

WIP - it probably won't look like this.

WIP programmer UI design, but you get the idea

Ownership Stake and Vehicle Claiming Tweaks

There’s also been a few tweaks to the recent Ownership Stake/Vehicle claiming features that were implemented in the last patch. We released that 12 hours of tooting before a stake deauthorises is… probably too much. This is now set to 20 minutes before deauthorisation. Hopefully this will stop the toot spam a bit!

There have been two changes to vehicle claiming. You can now only claim drivable cars – that is, cars that have an engine/gearbox/wheels. This should help stop freshies claiming every chassis they come across. The second change is that you can now disassemble claimed cars, but it will take much longer than a unclaimed one.

Signs

Something else that I’ve implemented recently is signs! You can place these on pretty much anything. Label your chests, make a welcome mat for your base, warn people of hazards, all that kinda stuff. Can’t wait for you peeps to show us what you do with these.

sign

Finally, there’s more reason than ever to fear the cold. Blizzards are coming – and when they hit, you don’t want to be out in the open. Take cover and avoid the chill.

 

Gavku

I have begun work on some new creatures! Yay! This time I’ll be doing some big cats. Pretty much before starting any new creature I will browse for similar  animals, or animals that may display traits that I think might be helpful, usually saving a few out as reference taking into consideration body shape and colour. For example I may save out some images of birds if their plumage has a certain colour range I like, even if the intended creature more resembles a rat.

If I am pretty sure what direction I want to take it when I am sketching up a reference sheet, I will colour one up, as I often then cut up that concept and paste it onto the uv’s as a texturing starting point.

BC_Ref3

This guys obvious influences are lion/sabre-tooth/ tiger/ caracal , as well as the African wild dog and hyenas.

BC_Wire

BC_Colour

 

Mils

So I’m trying to build more interesting parts to the city buildings, the parts that give it that believable human touch.

Levels2 Levels1

This is tricky because I have to balance the logical repetitive design of all the bits whilst making them look good and not having things in the wrong places.

Walls5 Walls4 Walls3 Walls2 Walls1

It’s a kind of sadistic but enjoyable mental Rubics Cube. The texture (below) file so far has around 130 layers in it and is 4096 x 4096 resolution. This is in the upper limit of texture size. The whole city is built on the one texture, this is to save on ‘draw calls’

CityDiffuse

 

battlemu1e

This week I have been monitoring server performance and population. The Official 14 Day and Infini servers have retained a decent population and will continue in their present form. 7 Day Servers have seen fairly low population and will be dropped from the official servers at the end of their current wipe schedule. This will free up some room to potentially introduce a full loot server to regions that currently don’t have this type of server (looking at you Australia). I will be looking at introducing this to coincide with the Full Loot scheduled wipe next week and it should leave each region with 1 Official, 1 Full Loot and 1 Infini Wipe server moving forward.

On the back of some reports I have also spent a lot of time on official servers tracking down lag issues. This is an ongoing problem but we are making strides in isolating some of the causes. A big shout out to Theeotown of O Town NA E Infini Wipe as well as [OG]bigfukinmegaboat and the boys from [OG] on NA W Infini Wipe for helping me reproduce some of these problems. If you have any information or want to report any issue related to lag on official servers send me a message on Reddit or Steam. I’ll also be doing the rounds on the official servers over the coming weeks so feel free to say hi if you see me around. Now that DDoS issues are, for the most part, behind us sorting out lag is a priority.

On the subject of DDoS I expect that CHINA, SEA and SA servers will be migrated to new hardware over the next couple of days which signifies the end of server migrations as well as the stability issues these servers have had over the last week. For players on SA servers this change will also drastically reduce the latency problems you have been seeing the last few days.

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