Press Kit Wiki

Hurtworld Update #139

Spencer

Hey guys,

This week I’ve been working on support systems for the upcoming clans feature. The main focus has been revamping how our map markers are managed across the network so they are efficient enough to handle tracking large numbers of clan mates without performing badly.

Localizing Events
While I’m at it adding support for better proximity limiting markers so we can start concentrating localized events. So far I think our events work well but are far too infrequent within running range. Part of this is limited by out ability to notify only people nearby on the goings on. You don’t particularly care about a meteor shower 3 biomes away, once we can limit these better and tie chat / ping notifications to them, we can increase the frequency without drowning you with notifications and events should make the world feel a lot more alive.

Improving Marker API
The existing marker API was pretty rubbish for doing anything other than static objects. I had a look through some community mods to see how they used the system and have had reports that performance was being destroyed doing anything substantial. I’ve spent a bit of time restructuring how the map markers are interfaced with by Oxide mods so they are A: Heaps simpler, and B: use far less resources and scale up easily.

Next Patch
Our next experimental patch which will contain the new clans system will be released on the 11th of October.

Mils

I’ve been a busy beaver this last week. I finished the Drill do-over and it came out aces. This looks a lot more meaty and tech now. I gave this matte paint job which I then went back and adjusted the Titranium Workbench to match. I also overhauled the drill’s colours and created a colour mask texture that utilises our Uber Shader. This will save an extra texture in the project as I only had to make one texture to get as many colours out of the drill as we want. This will be even more beneficial in future should we add another rare ore and drill to go with it.

CoreDrill CoreDrillColoursShininessTonedDown

I also go started on a redo of the Blast Furnace. The old one had been designed with a pipe network in mind, which we may still add in the future but not yet. I kept the core of the furnace intact but just made the peripheral parts more real world. Also it got scaled down from 2.6 metres to 2 metres making it the same height as the player. This should make having it in the base a bit less chaotic. I got the Low and Hi poly modeling done already and am now in the UV mapping stage. Really smashing it this week 🙂

UpdatedLow01

TEHSPLATT

This week I finalised the topology for the updated face I’ve been working on, the main challenge with this was making sure that the face could have main features like the nose, mouth, eyes etc. changed with ease and then the low poly could be changed extremely fast to match any changes and bake out perfectly. This works really well currently, we still have some testing to do with style and new characters and stuff like that but in general the updated face handles changes really well. I did a bit of an extreme test to see how well it all worked which I will show below. Also currently working on a good way to do hair, as some of the hair I’ve been doing lately looks pretty gross when it intersects with the head, it gets an aliased jagged look, so, still trying to work out the best way to do that but I have some ideas and think I can make it work, with things like this it’s generally not a big deal to make them look nice, the challenge comes from finding an efficient repeatable way to do so.

Extremefacetest

Tom

Hey Hurtworldians,

Interaction System
Work on the interaction system is continuing along well, after some testing and review with Spencer we found a few bugs and things that weren’t working as smoothly as they should so I jumped back into it to fix them up. We’re not considering these interaction changes and the clan system an experiment, because we know we need these changes we’re taking some more time with the implementation to ensure it is done correctly rather than just trying to prove the concept as fast as possible.
Now the interaction system is ready for a second review and assuming it passes that it will just need an art pass to be ready for release.

Performance Improvements + Small Fixes
Whilst profiling performance on the interaction system changes I noticed some unexpected issues with our rendering. Several materials that could be setup for GPU instancing to save on draw calls didn’t have that option enabled and I also realized that we could save a draw call in our uber shader when not rendering backfaces (backfaces meaning the ‘other side’ of a polygon, usually these are culled for performance but we draw them on some items like world items so you can see the inside of a tshirt).
As well as these performance improvements I’ve also been resighting the AR15 and AWM sights as these guns have been scaled up slightly as they didn’t appear beefy enough in relation to the player.

Clans
This week I started working on the clan system although its still fairly early days on this due to having to do a bit more interaction fix ups than expected.
For the initial implementation I’m focusing on clan registration, applying to clans, managing applications to your clan and managing clan permissions.
Players will have 2 clan related windows to interact with, Clans (ie. a list of all clans, clan ranking and other clan info will be shown here, unclanned players will be able to apply to clans through this menu) and My Clan (ie. info about the clan the player belongs to, this will include the clan roster + rank management and application management if you have the permissions for this).
Whilst I’m working on this side of things Spencer is working on the more ‘in-game’ clan features like identifying teammates via UI overlay + tracking online clan mates through the map system, hopefully we can make some great progress on clans this week!

Hurtworld Update #138

Spencer

Hi Hurtworldians,

Hey guys, this week I’ve been working on fleshing out some possible PVP concepts that I think will add a lot to our end game following the concept of bragging rights systems that I discussed last week. If you haven’t read last weeks dev blog I suggest you do so first as this system would be fairly rubbish in the current vanilla loot rate (which we plan to increase a fair bit)

Territory Control
The proposed system with populate the map with control points (at this point we are thinking 2 or 3 per biome). Each point will show on the map and indicate which players control it. The markers will be similar to a ownership cell that contains a built in ownership stake. Controlling this marker will give you build authority like a normal build cell.

The catch here is that within this build cell, other players will be allowed to use much cheaper raiding tools to break down your walls making these areas much harder to defend. I imagine something like a much cheaper C4 recipe that can only be used in territory control cells and other raiding mechanics we want to test out.

Rewards
Rewards at this point will be something like a currency over time held used to unlock cosmetics like custom gear shaders, name plates, exclusive team colors etc. Basically bragging rights points that you can show off in the world. You will also have your name on the map that shows how much territory you control which will be visible to all players.

What This Hopes To Achieve
A. Give players that have hit end game meaningful objectives to fight over that don’t make the initial progression harder to balance
B. Create a much lower barrier to entry for playing with raiding mechanics without making it easy for top clans to wipe everyone off the map
C. Give us a lot more room to experiment with base raiding balance and systems to eventually refine standard world raiding
D. Is completely Opt-In, won’t make life any harder for people who aren’t equipped or interested in clan PVP
E. Can be built using mostly existing mechanics

The initial implementation will be pretty straight forward and we will expand from there. Rewards will be limited at first, but if the system works well we will extend them.

The biggest job for the initial rollout of this system is it will depend on a ingame clan management system which we are currently working on. See Tom’s post for details.

Next Patch
We don’t have a specific ETA yet for our next patch, but we hope to have the above systems in some form in early October.

Mils

This week I am revisiting the Core Drill that you all know and love. This machine was made very early on and never got the full treatment that we now have as our standard. This will have a finish much more like the Fabricator which in game is known as the Titranium Workbench. I have added some more meat to the general silhouette which I think really beefs this machine up. Once all the extra normal details have been added this machine should look way more tech than it has previously. Quite enjoying this one.

Here’s a render of the high poly which shows the improved form.

CoreDrill01

TEHSPLATT

This week I’ve been working on a new character for some of our promo stuff, currently trying to match up the styles with the old characters so there’s no weird disconnect between the faces. I first modelled a normal human face and then started stylising it to match the old characters, I had to do things like sharpen the edges of different features like the nose, eyes, eyebrows etc. to match the old style. There’s definitely a couple weird things that still need to be fixed, focusing a lot of getting nice clean normal bakes so that everything looks clean and nice. Now that the basic head has been re-topologised in a way that properly supports this style, we can start doing a lot of cool new faces and trying to push some character into these new ones. Here’s a couple images of the updates, the first one is the difference between the original topology and new topology (just a look at how the actual bakes came out not the actual topology) and the second one is a look at the stylised zbrush sculpt of a generic male.

Facecompare

Zbrushface

Tom

Interaction System Changes

This week I’ve been working on our interaction system adding a new UI panel to show all interactables that have a UI menu (eg. workbenches, storages, vehicles, campfires etc.) in your local range that you have line of sight to.
Another addition is that on opening the character window (tab key by default), the first nearby interactable with a UI window will also be opened (if there is one available). In practice this means if you know there is only 1 interactable near you, you can open it by standing in range and pressing tab. We think this will make things like picking up player loot a bit smoother and will also help with inventory management and crafting as you’ll be able to stand in range of multiple workbenches/lockers/storage chests and then use the new UI tab to switch between them with a mouse click. The handcrafting menu will also be moved into this panel as having it as a character window tab didn’t make a lot of sense when every other tab changed the contents of the character window.
I’ve got this system functional now but it still needs testing and an art pass before its ready to push out.

Clans

The main reason I’ve been working on this interaction UI is to give us a sensible place in the UI to add our new clans feature!
With our incoming end game overhaul focusing on bragging rights, cosmetics and other non-progression bound rewards we realized we would need a grouping/clan/team system to be able to manage this properly.
We haven’t locked down the full set of clan features just yet but we definitely want players to be able to identify clan mates in the world (something like a recolored nameplate that becomes a simplified marker at a distance), be able to see online/offline clan members, be able to define a visual style for the clan (ie. specific clan colors) and be able to claim construction cells with a special clan ownership stake that will authorize all clan members.
There’s much more we’re considering including new gameplay features that rely on clans but it’s still a bit early to spill the beans on these whilst they are still being worked out, I’ll be starting implementation on clans next week so look for more info next blog!

Hotfix?

Last week I mentioned a few bugfixes and debugging features I’d been working on for a potential hotfix build I was hoping to get out this week but the work on extending the interaction system has taken me longer than expected and we haven’t had time to really test these fixes and changes so no hotfix this week.
Because these fixes aren’t for major blockers I’m thinking it’s going to be most efficient to just roll these into the next major experimental patch instead.

Hurtworld Update #137

Spencer

Hey Hurtworld fam, It’s been another kickass week around the studio as we really start to nail down the final roadmap as we head towards the V2 launch. We’ve had a lot of really good feedback in the forums on what you guys like / think is missing in V2. We’ve also been playing a fair bit around the modded servers and checking out what changes to the meta they bring, and finding some elements that work really well.

With all this discussion and new elements, Tom and I have had our design hats on working to bring the biggest points into the game without disrupting too much of what we already have. In the past we would run with an idea, end up changing 50% of the game and end up with something so different and rushed that we didn’t know what was going on. Our mantra now is to make sure 100% we are only making improvements to the game as we lead up to the V2 launch (that might seem like an obvious thing to do, but while we were doing more crazy experiments we knew some stuff wouldn’t work, for now we’re done with that).

Here are the key elements we’ve been working towards based on feedback and our own discussions:

Farming grind is getting in the way of player interaction
This is a big one that came up a lot in the forums “Farmworld” and we agree that it has a lot of merit. While we don’t think having items that require farm is a bad thing, we need to make sure that we prioritize interaction between players over progression grind. After all, the thing that makes survival games great is the unknown element of the other players in the server. The farm is designed as a proof that you put work into your gear thus giving it value to you and making PVP / raiding more interesting.

Bragging rights / Thrill of the fight for rewards
We definitely lost sight of this a bit, in trying to ensure that every action in game had a tangible reward in the progression. When in reality, things like getting into PVP skirmishes are reward enough in themselves to warrant the risks involved. Take for example raiding: The vast majority of raids that involve C4 end up in a loss of materials given the C4 is so expensive. Rarely will you find more C4 inside the base than you used to get into it.

So why do people raid? This seems pretty obvious when you look at it like that… because its fun as hell, and you can dominate some other crew. In our recent design, this was a missing link in our thinking: That some of the best rewards in the game don’t come in the form of useful loot.

Shortening the grind time to be PVP viable
Something we learned from playing on Hurtfun (4x loot) over the last couple wipes, is the point where you have enough resources to lose in a fight and not care, it opens you up to participating in much more exciting interactions than running around hitting rocks and trying not to get killed. You can go and pick fights, because you won’t have to go back to farming for 2 hours to make up for your losses if it doesn’t go well.

I call this point PVP saturation. The point where you have enough gear to be on reasonably equal footing with others in PVP, and have more insurance money than you will need for a while. In vanilla this takes ages to reach, and a few deaths sets you back a long time making PVP an expensive game to be part of if you don’t always win. We will be working on shortening this time greatly. Firstly by increasing the amber drop rate so that deaths don’t screw you over as much and possibly increasing early farming yield to get you in the PVP game faster.

This doesn’t mean we are abandoning the concept of having to farm for something. Some people like the PVE progression, and some items work well having a high proof of work involved in them, not everything will be cheap, but overall we will be shortening the amount of time to get through the basic gear progression.

Fostering a more meaningful End Game
The reason I’ve always leaned on the side of making the progression require a bit of grind is a fear of players getting to the end of the progression too fast and getting bored. In our current meta that makes sense, endgame isn’t particularly interesting. My new approach to this is not to extend the progression but to fix the fact that the end game lacks any meaningful depth. Raiding is sloppy, and given our 100% focus on tangible loot rewards for all actions, endgame without loot rewards didn’t make sense to me.

I now have faith that if we build endgame systems that encourage player interaction, and balance endgame systems to not punish people with massive farm requirements for participating in PVP that we can create much more frequent and much more interesting PVP situations. These systems won’t reward you with guns or build materials but bragging rights.

We are working on some ideas internally for improving endgame and have some cool stuff cooking but is a bit early to discuss, but the key to this process will be fixing raiding mechanics like construction design and unraidable bases along with fixing raiding tool costs to make raiding feasible. More on the bragging rights systems next week!

TL;DR: Get to end game quicker, make endgame not shit.

TEHSPLATT

This week I’ve been working on replacing the characters hands for the first person and third person models. Currently the hands are very square and feel disconnected from the updated designs. The process involved grabbing some old hands I had made and transplanting them onto the current model and then due to the squareness being baked into the normal map of the original hands I had to re-sculpt them to add in some smoother detail. Unfortunately the first person hands don’t line up with the third person hands so I had to do some tweaking to get everything into the correct position then re-skin them again, also finding an actual clean rig file for our v2 character has been a bit of a difficult task so I’ve made one from the pieces of the main character in the project. Here’s some shots of the updated hands (there’s still a couple UV seams on these older pictures).

DevblogHandupdateDevblogHandupdate2

Mils

I’ve had a crack at the marketing for the V2 release. This was going well but we decided to get Splatt to work on the expression of the character for the promo images for Steam. This makes far more sense as he’s our character specialist. Also we have a new guy starting work with us soon, he’s a gun at video editing, sound production and other very useful skills. He will probably do the work for the other half of the branding, so for now I will be doing some rework on the resource drill and the blast furnace. These have sorely needed a rework for a while and should come up looking something more along the lines of the Titranium Workbench.

Tom

Hey Hurtworldians,

As those of you who have been following the blog recently would know the fragment overhaul I’d been working on didn’t make it into 0.6.2.0. After reviewing the work so far with Spencer we decided it would be better to delay it rather than push out something we weren’t that happy with just to make the deadline.
Since 0.6.2.0 we’ve been evaluating the state of the game and think we need to make some changes to the core of the game (see Spencer’s section for more info on these) that are going to affect the implementation of fragments so we’ve decided to delay the fragment overhaul until we’ve gotten through these other changes.

Whilst we’ve been designing these new changes I’ve also been working on a range of fixes including improved handling of field of view and resolution settings.
I’ve overhauled the ‘setres’ console command so it will only accept resolutions natively supported by your monitor (these are the same resolutions you can choose between in the options menu), I’ve also updated the field of view setting so it now represents horizontal field of view and made weapons sighted field of view setting a multiplier value rather than an explicit number that ignored your field of view setting (ie. the pistol used to set field of view to 40 but instead it now multiplies the current field of view by 0.6 letting it scale better with your configuration).
I also added some extra third person camera collision detection so hopefully after the next hotfix patch peeking through walls will finally be a thing of the past. If I’m wrong definitely let us know as I’m determined to stop this!

As well as the field of view / resolution fixes, I’ve also got the following fixes going into the next patch:

  • Bolt pull guns will now require a bullet rechamber (bolt pull) when equipping before they can be fired (fixes speeding up bolt pull refire by swapping between bolt pull guns)
  • Removing default attachments from attachment loot tables
  • Fixed a bug in how weather system distance falloff was calculated (weather systems now blend in and out over a longer distance)
  • World item physics simulation is now forced off 10 seconds after spawn if the object has not yet come to a rest (improves performance)
  • Players are no longer forced back to first person perspective on respawn
  • Improved server side vehicle performance

We should be rolling out a hotfix patch with these fixes + some extra debugging options to help discover obscure problems in our item management sometime next week. These changes will not require a wipe so official servers will be staying on the same save.

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