Community Update #9

This week: de_dust2 in Rust?

9 September 2014

A small confession: this is not the post I had planned for today. That's still in process of being researched, so instead I've returned to the round-up format. Why am I telling you this? Because all the stuff below was gathered together in a day rather than over the course of a week, and it amazes me that it's possible to pull together a full post of amazing community content in a very short space of time. Give yourselves a hand, but check for weaponry first.

Today's topper is from here. It's a smart image, and an idea that applies to a lot of games, not just Rust. Person-to-person interaction is such an interesting game mechanic when you take into account human nature. For the longest time, multiplayer games with guns were all about shooting, and the only consideration was what weapon you used. Now there's the possibility that the person with the gun might not fire it. They might be nice, or they might do something a whole lot worse...

Which leads me neatly into one of the more disturbing concepts to come out of the community. Meg has been concepting syringes this week. They look like this.

You'd be surprised how tough of a job that is: when someone picks something up in Rust, it has to feel iconic and dangerous, and even horrific. So a normal needle isn't just going to cut it. As always, the concept made it onto Reddit, where the idea of a proper medical implement in the game was already being considered as a way of attacking people. Drook's concept for that is incredibly dark:

Refills leads to the idea that you can reuse needles, which then means you can share needles, which then could mean that you can try to get yourself super sick, use a bunch of needles, infiltrate a base, replace all their nice clean needles with your STD riddled ones and BAM! Biochemical warfare.

This is one of the rare occasions where I'm glad there was no visual backup for the idea. Meg, who has seen everything in her job as a Facepunch artist, was pretty blasé about it, and when I told her about the idea responded with:

Hah! True. Should make some of them rusty and if you don't clean it up you can get tetanus.

What is wrong with you lot?

I happen to have the designer of de_dust on my Steam friends list, so I know he's a fan of Rust, and hopefully he'll get a kick out of his creation being dropped into a game he likes.

This walkthrough of Reneb M's recreation made my fingers itch: even though it's in a different engine with different materials, dust2 is there. Every twist and turn. It's a map that's had a lot of scrutiny over the years, so it's a brave step to take it and plonk it in another game. Everyone will know if it's wrong.

Bonus: the map is also in the sky, like Columbia. And seagulls.

Non-traditional uses for the things we put in Rust gets me all wibbly. What else gets me all wibbly? Being on a boat. So seeing a boat being built in Experimental gave me two cases of being wibbly, which actually cancelled each other out. The build by Steam User 'Stick to the Shadows' is a bit of a compromise: there's nothing to make the hull out of apart from walls, so at some angles it looks like a castle built into the water, but it's still the first large, nautical build I've come across in Experimental.

Now please don't raid that, people.

I think Argyle Alligator is my favourite Youtuber. I like that his Rust trips have more to them than just a lot of people shouting, and that his role as a 'reporter' isn't just one of a bystander. He really gets down on the ground, in this case standing rather too close to a rock-fighting tournament. His fancy-ass reporter garb is probably terribly stained after all this.

Wow, that went to a dark, dark place.

Experimental's terrain is probably the single biggest change being made to the game: if you're not aware of it, each server's world is procedurally generated, so unless a seed is shared between servers, each world will be new. There are guiding principles that affect everything from the mountains to the rock placements, and it'll hopefully create virgin, organic lands that'll inspire players to explore and colonise.

Babybigger on Reddit suggested that this sort of development loses some of Legacy Rust's potential hiding places, and makes for flat, less-interesting worlds.

The legacy map is so well done and so fun to play on because of the rocky structures. Hiding places, hard to get to places, ability to be in one area and you can't be seen from far away, etc.

I have concerns about the experimental map because it is so flat and barren. It just doesn't feel as fun to play on. It is less interesting also. The legacy map has clear areas defined by the rock structures and the shape of the fields. There are lots of distinct areas (like near tanks and hangar) on the map.

To which programmer Andre replied with:

Actually, he was way more helpful. There's a bunch of technical higgledy-piggledy, but there's also some social engineering at play as well. The server's level isn't to your taste? There's going to be one somewhere that is.

I can somewhat see your point here - the heightmap resolution is of course limited to some extent, especially since we want to generate those terrains on the fly. We still have some upwards wiggle room (specifically, go from 2k to 4k heightmaps) but cannot use it just yet since right now server admins can't select the map size, so both low-end and high-end PCs are forced to generate the same level. This is why we're currently trying to use a decent compromise until people can choose which map size to join based on their hardware. From your description I still feel like you haven't joined a lot of different servers though, since it doesn't appear to be as bad as you seem to have experienced it.

Play games more. It's the key to life, liberty, and happiness. But also it'll let you see how versatile the generation is. I found one level with two huge mountain ranges in the middle. You couldn't ever get lost there.

You there, do you have an idea about Rust you want to share? We have a dedicated forum post, or you can post in the Reddit thread. I also poke around the the Steam Community, so feel free to show me to things from there. You can follow and respond to Rust on Twitter, and I'm on there as well.

I'm also leaning towards asking the development team to do a monthly Q&A, which is the reason I've included some of the community interaction the team has had. Would you like to read more of this stuff?

*I refuse to apologise for that pun.

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