Not a heap to show this week, mostly Steam build prep / integration.
We did finally lock down a more concrete Steam EA release date. If everything goes to plan Hurtworld will be available on the 4th of December!
This week I’ve been doing more work integrating all the biomes together. The amount of content in the map became a bit unmanageable so I’ve been working on extending the awesome map editor Sean wrote to make life easier.
We will eventually release this as an SDK so you guys can create new maps. This is also a big step towards procedural map generation. We weren’t planning to do procedural maps, however the more complex the map gets the more we rely on procedural tools, no reason not to bring them into the runtime game.
I’ve also been testing some new landscape types like a grassy savannah to break up the yellow desert a bit.
Here’s one of the images I created for one of the Roach body skins. I wanted a graffiti style pattern to put on this one, so I had to create a whole piece for it. I thought the words ‘Hurt World’ are pretty apt for use as the basis.
Also I am working on more body kits for the Roach, so that we will have a nice array of interchangeable components.
Finished up some of the environment work and am now currently going over some of the existing creatures and adding new skins. Displayed are a couple of the new Tokar skins, and one of a fairly scummy looking Bor….irradiated???? 😛
I am in animation revision mode. Throws have been finished and functioning, next up is making the rifle ironsighted animations feel less off balance. Laundry list of little glitches and stateflow bugs too.
Hurtworld Update #11 – Progress towards EA
27 10, 2015
As we move towards EA release the updates will be more ‘status’, less ‘shiny content’. Here is what we are working on.
This week we moved offices (literally across the road) into a bigger, more permanent space. We’re all in one room now – before we were split over two, so that’s a big improvement for us. Check out the awesome Hurtworld poster, designed by Mils.
We also did a big merge – we’ve all been working on separate versions of the game for a while, implementing different features. Now, they’re all back into one version of the game.
This week has mainly been taken up by the move and the merge. Now all the steam changes are in one place, we go through the fun of integrating / balancing everything and making sure content is production ready. I didn’t get to revamp vehicles like I wanted to, that will have to wait a few days now. This week I will primarily be focusing on integrating all the new content in the map.
Gameplay Design Shift
The more fleshed out the map gets, the more it feels far too big. I’m happy we pushed our tech to support such large areas without performance issues for later down the track, however just because we can doesn’t mean we should. We will be doing internal play tests toying with some new ideas to encourage player interaction.
The largest of the changes will be:
A smaller playable map (meaning smaller biomes, and more diverse content per square km)
Less penalty for death
More contention over resources (less abundance)
I want to create a slightly more hostile environment, while balancing this out with less death penalty. Hopefully this will make gunfights less one sided, and give people less to lose when leaving the house with gear on.
More on this soon
Following on from last week’s post, I have also been very busy building the panels and attachments for the vehicles. Here you can see a basic set of components designed to give both aesthetic and functional uses.
We can’t wait to see the crazy mutant combinations players come up with. Combining these with the skins I spoke about last week, will add a lot to the game.
Not much sizzle from me this week, as I have been mainly working on environment splats for the various biomes. The outback desert was looking a tad bland so I built a couple of custom plants for it. This one is a type of desert succulent.
I am putting on my editor cap to get a trailer for EA ready.
Hurtworld Update #10 – Cars and Dynamite…
20 10, 2015
Fairly productive week all round, finally seeing some of the long backed up content getting into the game, previews below.
This week I’ve been working on getting as much unique feel into each of the biomes as possible while keeping the level of polish that our initial desert has.
Something I quickly realized was brightly lit blown out scenes are much more forgiving than more saturated / overcast scenes. Surprisingly, every playtest in Hurtworld that has an overcast / cold looking scene, nobody wanted to be there. As soon as we put a vibrant sunny beautiful scene back in this went away and we wanted to play for hours. The challenge here is to create harsh areas that give the player new challenges, while still making the player want to claim the space and spend time there. The feature image is my favorite so far, the Australian Desert.
Given this challenge, I’ve been working on polishing up the feel of our different biomes to a point where I want to live there, despite everything wanting to kill me.
While tweaking lighting, I decided to finally make the switch over to linear lighting. This is something that has always been on the todo list but the Unity tree / terrain system shaders had some serious issues when switching over. Sean and I fixed up all the shaders and we are now good to go. Linear lighting changes the way we do lighting calculations to be more physically correct. Long story short, this look a LOT better.
While looking at lighting, I upgraded our tonemapper and added eye adaption to the camera. This simulates the effect of your eyes or the exposure of a camera adjusting to varied levels of brightness. This allows us to push our lighting into much wider brightness ranges, without having to endlessly tweak settings to get it to look right making the biome configuration much more forgiving. As with any new toy, I am probably over using it right now and will dial it back. For now I’m in love with this effect.
Next week I’m planning to completely overhaul the server side vehicle physics. Currently they aren’t much fun to drive due to being too realistic, I hope to greatly simplify things and get a more of an arcade feel.
I’ve been blowing stuff up with dynamite this week – our first throwable item. You can mine large resource nodes with these babies, or use them to kill players and destroy machines. Note however that they don’t do damage to structures! You’re still going to need the more expensive C4 for raiding.
We decided to add skins to our vehicles, giving players a way to customize and differentiate between themselves and others. This will be useful when creating a clan or crew, so you know a friendly when you see one. Sean wrote a custom shader, which after much tweaking allowed us to set a pattern and 3 colors to paint the object. These will translate to discoverable patterns and craftable paints to make that vehicle your own.
We used the RGB channels to define each colour of the mask. It took a while to get right. The layering within the image file was confusing at first but I simplified the process down to something workable.
Lately I have been working on trees via tree creator which is a fairly frustrating tool to use. You can get decent results, but need to be quite strict in how you go about editing the trees you create. Some functions will revert over previous edits, and some times it will just completely shit out useless maps…..I basically now have a unity scene where I’ll build a couple of trees, export them as packages, and bring them into the project. This way if anything breaks its generally easier to track down what and fix it.
Nice trees – pretty when they work
Broken trees – Normals and shader wrong
I have been working on driving animations and a laundry list of animation bugs/polish. Among these was doing a more convincing jump that would allow you to crouch mid air. CS:GO videos were a great reference source.