The new construction system has really come together this week. We’re really excited about getting it into your hands. We also completed automatic Workshop downloads on the client and the server. If you are working on a map and want to test it downloading from workshop, update your server and client to the devtest branch of steam. Then host a server with w- followed by your PublishedFileId.
host 12871 w-663477235
The server and any connecting clients should auto download the most up to date version of the map from steam.
Users who were having issues getting a PublishedFileId with the Steam uploader, I pushed out an update today that should fix the issue. When building the map, ensure you build for all platforms and that you have installed Windows, Linux and Mac build support when you installed Unity. If you aren’t sure, re-run the installer. Once you are ready for other people to see your map, you must set the visibility to public (it defaults to hidden).
I spent a few hours banging out a ladder system that mimics Counterstrike pretty closely and am pretty happy with the results. If Gav can get the construction piece sorted in time we “may” have ladders in this Friday’s patch!
For the rest of the week I will be in full test mode then back onto the ItemV2 update.
Construction construction construction! We have been implementing and testing a bunch of the assets I built last week, basically setting up their attachment points, volumes, rotational points etc then attempting to use them in game. There is often a lot of back an forth as new issues arise as we begin to add more pieces, like creating spaces between prefabs that we don’t have the ability to fill, or realizing that we need the ability to rotate a piece to accommodate a type of construction etc.
Note: Textures are placeholder
I’ve been keeping on working with Gavku on the new construction stuff. We’re starting to get into the satisfying part – making awesome buildings! I’ve also been working on a new UI to organise the rapidly growing assortment of attachments. It’s a tricky usability issue that’s taken some serious restructuring. We’ve ended up with a four-tier filter system, structured roughly as Category → Shape → Size → Material. You can see me selecting a normal, 3m wooden wall below (although forgive the work-in-progress icons, etc).
How a filter UI works is that parent elements determine what child elements are shown. You’ve probably used one before – like in eBay, when you’re refining your search for an item. Here, I’ve selected the wall category, which then shows me all the types of wall in the second row. Not all different types of wall have different sizes though, so selecting one that doesn’t will hide the third row. Similarly, selecting something that only has one material will hide the fourth row. It’s a vast improvement over the old grid-menu, which was pretty non-viable with the amount of attachments we’ve ended up with.
We also implemented partial attachment points, which are a very cool thing which you’ll probably never notice. But I think it’s cool. Basically, an attachment point can act like normal, and always show up when you place something down. Or, now, attachment points can be partial. In a sense, their only half, or a quarter, or whatever proportion of an attachment point. Another attachment needs to be placed in such a way that another attachment point overlaps it, with the same rotation, in order for the point to show up. So what’s the point of that? Consider placing a doorway on a foundation. Where do you put the attachment point? On a 4mx4m foundation, that’s easy – just put them right in the middle, on each edge. But now we’ve got a 2mx2m foundation – where do you put that attachment point then? It doesn’t really work out as nice, and you end up being able to put the doorway kind of half hanging off the edge of a foundation. But if we put half of a door-frame attachment point on each corner, then when we put multiple small foundations together, those points will overlap. So place two 2mx2m foundations next to each other, and their overlapping half door-frame points will overlap and create a whole new place to be able to place the door-frame. So what does that mean for you? tl;dr – attachment points are now smarter and will show up in more intuitive and sensible ways.
Something that I’ll definitely want to look into in the future is mod support for Construction attachments. This refactor has removed a lot of blockers that would have prevented modding being possible with the construction system. Now, the potential is there to allow the Steam Workshop support to tie in and allow people to upload custom construction pieces. I gave a quick screenshot in the last blog post of the editor UI I’ve created to create and edit construction attachments in a user friendly way. That’s had a fair bit more work done on it, and I think it’s ended up pretty intuitive. When we do start allowing modded construction attachments, we’ll be sure to include the already existing ones so you can see how they’re put together.
Unique is the word of my week. I have been toiling on some dressing pieces for the buildings, things to sell it at street level, larger things to make the buildings memorable.
The awnings on the buildings are starting to fill out the street level as seen below…
Creating memorable buildings is pretty important. Unique structures will allow players to keep their bearings whilst running round a city that uses a lot of the same shapes and textures. These are really helping to breath life into the city as well.
There are also construction pits that can be added modularly to create sub level areas. Most of the brain strain is behind me now I think. Dressing the city is really giving me a buzz as all the hard work starts to pay off. I’m looking forward to exploring this place and finding all the sneaky stash spots that evolved whilst creating it.