Todays dev update will aim to give you some insight into what our plans are over the next couple of months.
11th April Content Patch
- New Weapon: UZI SMG – A new close range high fire rate high mobility weapon, complete with attachments and customization
- Unity 2018 Upgrade – A long time overdue, we will be finally upgrading to the latest stable version of Unity. This should bring performance improvements and tons of bug fixes we have been waiting on for a while now.
- Water Upgrades – We’ve neglected this for a while, throwing radiation at the edge of the map so we didn’t have to deal with how everything interacts with water. Not to mention potato mode doesn’t even render water at all. This will get an overhaul and pave the way for new things in future patches 😉
- New Town Events – Aiming for 2 fully fleshed out new town events on the road to replacing all the duplicates on Nullius, we also plan to tweak the town event system to make them more engaging and worth while for all players.
Longer Term Plans
We will see how we go with this content patch before planning exact features of future ones, however we have a loose idea of where we want things to go in future patches. Ultimately we feel remaining in early access tag is starting to feel a bit stale, and will be working over the next few content patches to bring the quality of life and stability up to a point we feel we can finally exit early access. We’ve got a bit of work to do here, now we are back in a single branch we feel it shouldn’t take too long to finally fix up all those long standing issues that aren’t game breaking but keep out players that expect a higher level of polish.
With helicopters in game, and soon to be decent water mechanics we can hopefully push forward with new map design elements we’ve been waiting to play with for a long time: Islands. We feel these should fit into the end game and require high end vehicles like Mozzys to travel to. I imagine them being relatively small, having specific unique traits or resources on them, and could potentially be controlled by a single clan and competed over as part of the endgame meta. This is a fairly long term goal but don’t see why we couldn’t get there in 2 or 3 content cycles.
Territory Control Love
The territory control system is in a bit of a shell state at the moment, there are elements about it that I love, but obviously the execution is pretty placeholder. We plan to flesh out the competition for territory control to be more interesting like town events that require building, and incentivize clan leaders with more than just a point system. Likely something along the lines of purchasable vanity items for the leading clans.
As part of the V2 camera overhaul that I did last year, I invested in making sure we can support things like shooting from vehicles in future. Although there is a fair bit of work to do still, we think adding this element will make fighting out in the world a ton more interesting. This would also include things like rocket pods on the Mozzy which shouldn’t be too hard to execute on. Before you jump to tell us how this will break the entire metagame, we will obviously give it a lot more thought before actually going ahead with it, these are just loose plans.
Raiding balance requires a lot of love. It is a very hard thing to balance between big clans, solo players, people who want to farm and people who want to PVP hence why we’ve typically laid on the side of making defence easier than raiding. We are aware of the issues and will definitely spend a proper amount of time designing a more balanced system that hopefully satisfies everyone (I can dream :S).
We have a ton of new creatures in the pipeline from years ago, without an animator we’ve been unable to finish them off not to mention the limited AI support to make interacting with them interesting. Splatt has been plugging away at animations and we are almost at a point where we can push forward with getting all our new creatures in game over the next few content patches.
There are a lot of smaller things we’re working on, these are the main big features we want to see in game in the near future. We care about your feedback, drop us a line on the forums with your thoughts. If you want us to take your posts seriously, please be respectful.
Since last dev blog I’ve been working on a bunch of different stuff that all went into 0.7.1.0.
I started with bringing back the succulent plants with their consumable sunscreen item. This helps to bring the heat progression more in line with the cold progression to compensate for its environmental pressure being stronger during the day hours and day cycles being longer than night cycles.
Speaking of bringing things back I also spent some time getting the poison trap back into the game. In legacy the poison trap didn’t see a lot of use being a consumable item that didn’t guarantee a kill so we reimagined it as an area denial machine. Now the poison trap isn’t destroyed when triggered allowing it to deny an area until its removed via the machine wrench (the machine wrench not affecting the trap will be fixed in 0.7.1.2)
In order to support the crafting of medusa vines I made some improvements to the item transition system to ensure irradiated owrong seeds would work correctly. First I upgraded our item transition tooltips so the progress bar continued to show on an inactive transition, this allows you to see how a transition’s falloff works as its progress returns to 0 over time when it is inactive.
I also upgraded the entity stats builders for all our storage machines so they are affected by radiation in the same manner as players, this allows you to place a storage (chest/locker) in an irradiated zone to safely irradiate the items within whilst you stand at a safe distance.
We’ve been getting lots of reports about hit registration errors and our system seems to be a little overly keen to deny shots at the moment, whilst we investigate this properly I’ve made a few changes to the hit feedback logic that should make things clearer.
The crosshair hit marker used to be client predicted meaning that when your client detected a hit it would be instantly shown but the hit doesn’t really take effect until the server registers it as well. If the server disagrees with the hit it denies it and tells your client to show the blue crosshair hit marker but a case did exist where your hit packet would be dropped (eg. corrupted or lost) so the server didn’t know about your hit to send back a deny message.
Now in this new configuration all crosshair hit markers (hits, crits and denies) are driven by the server so you should no longer get any ‘fake’ hit markers appearing. The downside to this is that the hit marker isn’t as responsive but I think correctness is more important whilst we work out the issues with hit registration.
As well as this I’ve been implementing the new vanity gear into the game, working on some smaller bug fixes and investigating the new Unity 2018.3 version as a potential upgrade to bring performance and stability improvements. This has been promising so far so hopefully we’ll be able to roll this out in time for 0.7.2.0
Hello, this week I worked on getting a female version of the rebel gear set together, it all went pretty smoothly, nice to have a bit of variation between the hot and cold gear. I also fixed a lot of skinning and clipping problems, I would have loved to have gone much deeper on it but the way we do animations with additive animations to create more depth to our animations means that making sure the skinning is perfect all over is actually a pretty difficult job as nailing down exactly what additive animation is causing the problems is gonna need some extra work. I’m now back on map stuff, doing some new town events that actually tie in with the world to get rid of all the duplicates we have, it’s a big job but it will be worth it, the first one I’m doing I’m pretty excited for, it’s very much gonna be based around early game weapons as it’s position in the map is extremely early game. So lots of mobility and spear/bow kills to be done.
The Tether arrow seems to have gone down well this last week. Some amusing videos have been surfacing which is nice 🙂 The arrow and rope came out well. It was good to get my hands on some skinning work again after so long. Skinning is the process of painting the mesh’s vertices which defines a % between 0.0 and 1.0 value for each vertex. This tells the software which bones affect which parts of a mesh and how the mesh deforms based on those values.
Also I whipped up a nice little tube of sunscreen with some hilarious in-joke art on it which I almost got in the game for the patch before I was struck down mercilessly by a plague Later in the week. I’ll put this in to go out with our next patch.
Also good news for all you gun nuts out there, we are adding another weapon! So I think I’ve posted work on this before, but we never made it a priority to build it. So the gun is going to be the MAC10! There are a whole lot of parts that I’ve already built in low poly for this bad boy. I’ll focus on a base set to be ready by our next content patch. This should be about 6 weeks away, I’ll let Spencer tell you the details about the patch though.