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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.

Hurtworld Update #16 – Post launch roundup…

Greetings from Hurtworld

Hey guys,

Spencer

This last week has been insane! We went from our tiny closed alpha of ~20 people online at a time, to over 10000 concurrent users across 1000 active servers in just 7 days. We still don’t quite believe that number is real.

This update will be short and sweet, once things settle down a bit I will lay out our roadmap in detail.

You guys have been thrashing the new build, tracking down heaps of bugs and giving us loads of awesome feedback.

With so much going on it’s easy to get caught like a deer in headlights watching it all go by. We’ve been trying to read everything everyone’s posted, we were drowning in communication but I think we’re finding our feet.

This week I’ve been in full damage control mode. Putting out patches, breaking stuff, fixing it again etc. The main focus has been keeping everything running and patching out any major exploits that come up.

Exploits
The first wave of exploits were caused by our own bugs. All that we know of are now sorted. The next wave of exploits that are starting to pop up are client side cheats.
I am aware of a few security holes in our server protocol that I’m working on patching right now. We also plan to implement Easy Anti Cheat this week which will give us access to an extra team of people dedicated to hunting down and stopping client side cheats.

Metagame
I’ve been collecting heaps of feedback on things that affect the metagame like respawn time, infamy balance tweaks, loot frequency etc. Unfortunately I haven’t even had a chance to play the game since launch I’ve been so flat out, so I can’t really make judgements on these mechanics until I can really experience them myself. Priority one is stomping out cheats, metagame will be next on the agenda.

Official Servers
We don’t have enough, some keep disappearing. We’ve outgrown our current operation and need rethink our approach. I have someone on the task of sourcing our own dedicated servers and will be automating more of the process so we can manage the official servers much better. This might take a week or two but will be worth it.

Cowtrix

Spencer: Cowtrix wasn’t in the office for this dev update so I will summarise. He built the awesome new server browser, put more languages in and has been on bug fixing duty.

Gavku

Well its been a pretty crazy week for which we have all you guys to thank…..SO THANKS!
Once things settled down a bit I have gotten back to cranking out content.We wanted more ways for players to be able to individualize themselves, so I have started to make a bunch of masks crafted from the various Hurtworld animals. First up is a BorMask as they are probably still my favorite creature so far 😉
Oh yeah and we have a handgun now!

BorFace
Pistol_HW

Mils

Wow, what a week! In between responding to as many emails and forum posts as possible, I also managed to work on some wheels. So I’m working on more sexy wheels for the cars. This new wheel is inspired by the style that suits, 1960’s – 70’s muscle cars. I have a bit of a passion for these vehicles.
Will be making a few more varied sizes and styles over the coming days. Will be nice to see you all rolling these down the road soon.

hotwheels

Dazzler

Pretty intense 6 days! I haven’t posted that much on Forums in 6 years! Good to get to know a lot of you. Anyway, will keep the support coming, but I have animation tasks that I have to get moving on. First up is taking the Pistol from Gav and making it move. Few small bugs and improvements to be made to state-flow too (they will go in with patches). Expect some gyfycats in coming weeks!

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