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Hurtworld Update #93



Heya folks. This week I worked on getting the new Mangatang map out and working, and ironing out some of the workflow in map making. I’m pretty happy with how Mangatang worked out, and with a bit of polish I reckon it could be really fun. Probably the biggest issue with it right now is something that has been an issue in Diemensland, which is memorability. I made the map, and even I get pretty lost on the ground level. There are two main ways I see of solving this problem. The first is by changing the flow of the map, so there are more direct channels that lead from one biome to the next. Secondly, there needs to be significantly more unique features. This is exacerbated a bit by our reuse of stamps in the level, which lead to what was unique in the stamp becoming mundane in the map. We’ve talked a bit internally about what these features could be, and hopefully we’ll have many more distinct rock formations, more small outposts and cool little geological structures so that players can build up a much better visual/spatial knowledge of the map. There’s definitely some other things we could try, like being able to place more markers down for your beacons, or maybe even a minimap. It’ll all have to be some experimentation and a lot of playtesting, which is what I’ve been doing today. I’ll definitely be working on increasing the variety and uniqueness of the stamps we have, and reducing the reuse down to a minimum.

On the technical side of things, the map tools are capable of creating a cool map, and it’s going to be very easy to change things around to how we want them. However, there’s a lot we could do on the performance and QoL side to just make sure that things don’t break when you use them in an unexpected way, and that big maps can be quickly altered. It currently takes about 6 minutes to completely reapply the whole stack of the map, which isn’t a huge amount, but it’s enough to slow things down if you’re not careful about doing partial recalculations. I think the biggest potential comes from what I’ve mentioned previously, Compute Shaders, and these will take a bit of work to get up to scratch.


So I’ve finished the first Scope for the AWM, I got the Magazine finished also. These are both looking great. Now the AWM has much more of a complete feel. Today we a did some more testing in game also to get a feel for what major things need fixing. We have been listening to everyone’s posts about game breaking issues in the new map/progression. Was nice to get valid feedback which we can use to sort out the progression. Now, here is a nice bunch of shots of the new parts. 🙂



Spent this week fleshing out the Grasslands biome I’ve been working on. It’s starting to feel pretty nice to run around in, I plan on adding focal points and little structures as a test to see how it feels when you have some small land marks mixed with big ones. Making a map feel interesting is definitely a challenge as it can be restricted by gameplay mechanics. Varying types of ground textures have helped this test biome a lot in my opinion, the grassy ground is mixed in with an underlay of dirt on top of that I can add a yellowish dead zone with dead looking grass to break it up and then to top it off I have more dirt covered areas under thick clusters of trees where light wouldn’t have much of a chance to hit the ground. I’m planning on placing more rocks that fall in line with how the erosion of the earth actually happens and also changing their colour a bit to sit nicer in the environment.



In this image I’ve done a paint over of a radio tower with a few shacks and a couple other things to see how it would feel to have these small land marks. I feel like these sorts of things add a lot of interest to the map and stop it from feeling like a series of never ending hills. It’s similar to looking at a noisy picture with no place for your eyes to rest, it can become extinguishing without points to settle at.



This week I’ve been working on the recently released update. Although it has some quite severe bugs and other balance problems I think it is our best progression model so far (until mondinium anyway) and it’s a good base for us to move forward with.
I’ve been configuring most of the item progression so most values are derived from other reference values (eg. A bor’s health is based on a percentage of average creature health per tier and a weapons damage is set by a different percentage of creature health per tier). This allows us to make sweeping changes across many items by altering the reference value. It also allows us to easily create new content by not having to lookup a whole lot of values, we can just express things like this item should cost 15 minutes of mining farming and 10 minutes of creature farming to craft.

I know a lot of these costs are currently pretty out of whack but thats just a matter of tweaking the percentages or the reference values themselves depending on the scope of the change and we’ll be starting to fix these very soon.
Before that though I’ve been focusing on the real show stopper bugs, I’ve got a fix for mondinium resource nodes not being minable (as well as the strange rubber banding and getting stuck around them) and a fix for the bug that lets you get an original workbench that you aren’t supposed to get anymore.
I’ve also got a fix for the general crafter machine showing up as the ammo machine and then lying about what it can craft.
These fixes will go out in a patch very soon along with some needed balance changes such as reducing the crafting cost of concrete and creating an easier way to craft gasoline.


This week has been all on content design, we’ve been fleshing out a framework of item gathering and crafting balance that should allow us to continue to build for many months to come. Part of this is a shift in our approach to focus our experimental builds into something greater than what we can achieve in 2 weeks. Over the last two weeks I feel that we developed much better language to describe the meta elements of survival games, giving us a much better understanding of how and why things work, allowing us to have a much better idea of how something will play before playing it. This should take a bit of the guess work out of our iteration.


Hotfix should go out today
We will be pushing out a hotfix today to fix up blockers and balance issues with the last patch which should leave it in a decent state.

Goals for this iteration
We had a good play session this patch and ran into a few major flow issues with the current gating mechanics and also how resource hotspots are working in the new map. We will be aiming to restructure these focal points to be more frequent, smaller and more obviously a good place to farm. The separation of construction and hotspot zones isn’t really conveyed strongly enough due to their large size and no visible change other than the NoBuild binary effect. We will be iterating on these mechanics this week.

We will aim to have the heat side of the progression added to the map for the next wipe cycle which will include a parallel progression through the hot biomes with completely separate loot, craftables and creature variants.

I will also do my best to get TehSplatt’s new biome implemented in procedural generation, so we can refine the scale of things to a point that it works well with the Hurtworld gameplay and push it into the next map.

Hurtworld Update #92


Its been a chaotic week trying to wrangle the new map tools into line while redesigning our progression from the ground up. Progress has been good on the content design front. I feel like we are understanding the elements of a survival game better than ever, allowing us to churn out lots of items and loot configuration in what feels like a much more balanced planned way, rather than throw a bunch of stuff in and see what needs balancing.

I spent half a day building a level testing character controller that will greatly speed up ours and modders level design process. It allows us to just click play anywhere on a map while working on it, and dropping in as a hurtworld character without having to build anything which takes testing if something feels right (mega important in map design) from a 20 minute job to 20 second job.

Design Notes
A few important new takeaway notes from our design sessions this week:

Stricter No-Builds
Building a base next to the thing you want is an easy way around wearing gear and caring about death. Resource hot spots (which will be more focused in this patch) should always be a decent distance from your base. We have small nobuilds around towns, but we are extending these to valleys with the richest resources. Contesting these valleys will have to be done on foot or in a vehicle where you risk losing stuff. Edges of biomes will also be build locked, to ensure if you are going to push into a biome, that you have the gear to handle it. Aint no half steppin.

More PVP Weapons, Bullets Expensive
PVP weaps will be cheaper and more common, this will give us room to introduce more weapon pimping as the weapon itself is only a small part of the cost. The bullets (and their production) will be the prime resource here. Wars will be expensive, guns will be plentiful.

New Entry Level Stash Box
Noobs have needs too, we are going to nerf workbench storage along with making them much more expensive, the shack will be useful and youll need storage.

Environmental Effects Will Kill Yo Ass
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but we will be going hard on this one. If you don’t have the gear for a biome, you ded.

More granularity on Amber
Amber will be making a comeback soon, and will be dropped in larger quantities so we can have more fine granularity over its cost in recipes.

Patch Status
We should be on target for the experimental release this Friday. The map may be a little lackluster, but the benefit of this workflow is we can stop scrapping things we’ve done and build upon the foundations each release cycle (yay).


The Scope for the AWM was to be honest, a bit of a bitch to model. The section where the round sphere-ish part in the middle joins to the cylindrical dials and lens tube, was super difficult. There are 5 cylinders intersecting with the sphere part and there’s no easy geo formation to create that kind of polygonal match up without it distorting the spheroid’s perfect curve. I battled on and got it working today. I’ve thrown the base materials down onto the Scope and it’s looking nice. I’ll finish the texturing tomorrow and then I’m moving onto the magazine. This will give the AWM a basic set of items. Will be ready for Friday’s release. I hope to help Tom make some modifications to some weapons to aid the new progression we are bringing in as well.

The scope as a full render image out of 3D Coat…


Oh yeah! I almost forgot. The guys asked me to grey box a machete that I believe is going into the game also. This is to aid the early progression from what I was told last week.



Finally got something looking half decent with this new biome test. After learning some tips from Spencer I managed to recreate a shot of some real world lighting. Trying to recreate a scene is much easier than trying to recreate the entire biome in which that scene exists, being able to colour pick and match things up shot for shot is extremely helpful. The main focus in this test is overall lighting and feeling, if the lighting matches the reference picture and the in game scene gives the same feeling of warmth/cold/death as the reference, you can create the biome that reference photo was set in (with some minor tweaking of course). Trying to create the entire biome from scratch is the creation equivalent of running before you can walk, it was over whelming and produced far worse results. Due to performance reasons we can’t have entire biomes gathered in grass I had to create a flat ground texture that had a decent mix of grass and dirt colours but didn’t grab your eye too much and also looks decent from far away, I think the one I made worked out pretty well for test purposes. The next step is finalizing the over all look and then polishing the assets that make the biome, like trees, grass, rocks and what ever else we can think of to break up any blandness.



This week I’ve been working on the delayed update releasing Friday the 4th of August.
This update is less experimental than the others so far and more about trying to refine the core of Hurtworld to get a solid base to push forward from. We’ve split the workbench into several crafting machines that line up with the metal ore progression (ie. stone workbench, iron workbench, tritanium workbench etc.) which helps to define the progression into different tiers that line up with the biomes. We’re also going to start scaling PVE progression more aggressively so you’ll need to keep your items up to date to be able to survive and hunt enemies as you progress through the biomes.
We’re hoping to land somewhere close to legacy Hurtworld with these changes but with improved gating between tiers. We want to enforce having to wear appropriate gear for the environment so as well as increased PVE scaling we’ll also be increasing environmental hazard damage for the unprotected and adding in no build zones around the borders of each biome.
Now to setup a base in a biome you’ll have to push into the zone a bit, with increased environmental damage this should prevent bases being built on the edges of biomes players aren’t ready for yet allowing them to do short suicide farming runs.

With the PVE scaling changes you’ll need to keep your weapons up to date but we thought this left more pvp orientated weapons like the guns in an awkward position where they always serve their main purpose well so it wouldn’t be worth investing in a new tier for higher cost.
We also think the guns are balanced in PVE by their ammo costs, well they might be effective in killing generally the loot received isn’t worth the investment in ammo and you’re better off using a bow or spear.
With this in mind we’ve introduced a new damage type for PVP orientated weapons, scaled PVE damage.
Creatures now have a normalized maximum health value as well their standard health, when creatures take standard PVE damage this number is subtracted from their health but when scaled PVE damage is applied the damage dealt is equal to:
(damage/100) * MaxHP * (1/NormalizedMaxHealth).
This makes the damage scale so creatures with the same NormalizedMaxHealth value will take the same relative damage (as a percentage of max health) regardless of level.
Now PVP focused weapons can be used in PVE combat at all stages of progression but their power will be controlled through ammo costs rather than damage applied.

I’ve also been busy fixing up some other small issues for this update such as:

  • Swapped drop rates for stone and iron ore from the automatic red drill
  • ServerConfig.ChatDeathMessagesEnabled works correctly again (‘chatdeathmessagesenabled <0/1>’ in console)
  • Fixed a bug where the alpha channel of item custom colors wasn’t being serialized properly (was previously always 100%)
  • Fixed a bug where damage cracks were not appearing on the new wood log resource nodes
  • Fixed a bug where custom colors would not show on crafting item previews
  • Increased bow refire and drawback time to be closer to legacy


Hey folks. I’ve been continuing work on map tools, trying to get everything working together nicely. We had a bit of a go making this new map, and hit a few restrictions of the system that need looking at. The main one was memory – I’d been a bit greedy in how we stored some pieces of information, namely ground texture data and grass density data. This meant that saving/loading levels and stamps containing this data slowed to a crawl as we started dealing with big stamps and big levels. I moved both of these pieces of data to a compressed format, which worked well. We might need to compress more in future, and there are a few options out there for doing that. Arrays where you read/write from arbitrary positions often are a bit limited in how you can compress them, as compression of a given element can’t depend on the values of previous elements. Ground textures are probably not going to be able to be compressed more very easily, but we can probably get away with compressing grass maps more if needed. This effort successfully reduced the map size by about 50-60%.

Roads took a quick pass to be able to blend with themselves more. They currently write to a layer in the terrain layering system I’ve been building, which means they can use the “stencil” concept that stamps use. And really, thinking about it, the road integration with the terrain is pretty much just like a stamp by any other name. However, because the road layer is additive, we can use the stencil for other purposes than blending with base layers. Below you can see the stencil from a road that intersects itself slightly, and how we can resolve that with the stencil buffer. We write the distance to the spline in the buffer, along with the a unique identifier of the connection that gives it it’s color. When it comes time for a road to change a heightmap point, it can now check firstly if a road has changed that point before, and secondly how far away that point was from that first changer’s spline. So we can do a simple test of “am I closer that this other road piece was?”. If the answer is yes, the road piece takes priority over that point. This solves a nasty artifact of roads being close together pretty nicely.


There were a few small issues with ground texture blending and grass maps that have held us up for the past few days, but those are looking like they’re solved now. They were both using a bit of math that needed to be updated for the newly compressed data. I’m pushing forward with actually creating a big, complicated test case that pushes the system to it’s limits. Generally the biggest issue now is going to be performance I think, and currently I have to organise my test case map carefully top avoid rebaking everything taking too long. However I’m hopeful that compute shaders should offer some relief on that. Compute shaders are freakin’ awesome by the way, to all Unity devs out there. I’ve begun looking into doing all the hard yards in them, and while they’re a bit difficult to debug sometimes they are staggeringly fast on parallel operations. Goes on the long list of things I wish I’d known about a year ago! Check out a little editor screenshot below. The purple line is a road, and each little white square is a stamp.


Hurtworld Update #91


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!

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