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