The Compound Update

We added a scientist protected compound, where players can gather and 'safely' do business. There's also scuba gear and underwater dive sites for you to explore, first-person clothing, and more. This patch wipes the maps, but your blueprints are retained.

3 May 2018

We've added a new monument to the game: the Compound. This is a scientist controlled area intended to function as a safe zone, and there are rules:

  • No Weapons
  • No Looting
  • No Killing
  • No Sleeping

If you break any of the above rules you will be marked as hostile and the scientists and their turrets will use lethal force against you. The hostile status persists across death in an attempt to prevent griefing.

If you obey the rules then you're welcome to roam the compound and interact with other players in a non-hostile fashion. In addition, you can use the first set of NPC Vending Machines, which sell a variety of items:

  • Basic Clothing
  • Traps & Weapons
  • Resource Exchange
  • Tools
  • Components
  • Building Supplies

There's also a pretty awesome chill area if you want to take your roleplaying to the next level

It's probably going to be gamed pretty hard, so we'll have to just keep iterating, but this will bring a new dimension to the game that we're very excited to see play out. We originally intended for people to set up these kind of zones with peacekeeper turrets, but after a year and no-one bothering we took matters into our own hands. We really hope you guys have fun with this and we'll be listening for feedback and fixing problematic areas as the month goes on. Enjoy!

You can now find a full suit of diving gear from crates around the island. Each piece has its own unique function, and a full suit will make you a veritable dive master.

Diving Goggles: You can see underwater.

Diving Tank: Breath underwater for 10 mins, can be refilled.

Diving Flippers: Move faster in water but slower on land.

Diving Wetsuit: Stay warm in cold water.

In addition to these new items we've added a reason to use them. There are now a multitude of dive sites found underwater. You'll find rock formations with respawning loot, as well as temporary sunken ships.

Each underwater crate is tied down and must be released to gain access to the loot. Simply press and hold E on the crate until it has been freed and then retrieve the contents on the surface. This works best if you have a boat and/or multiple players working at it, but if you find a quiet place you can get along solo

As a part of the diving additions, I created a set of underwater rock formations that you will find by exploring the ocean floor. There are six different variations of different shapes and size, and each of them spawns several crates containing loot. These have been created rather quickly, so a lot of the art is still temporary, but we are hoping to polish them further in the coming weeks.

It's been a pretty hectic ride for Damian and I this month. Lots of work went towards the new compound, and while we re-used a lot of existing art in it, we also strived to add some fresh visuals where we could.

At the end of this monthly sprint, I spent some time working on a new piece of scientist gear. Here's the sentry that will safeguard the peace in the Compound:

The cheating situation has been far from ideal this year. In fact, it hasn't been this bad in quite some time. We're aware that it's a problem and I've spent the majority of my time this month on new server side prevention mechanisms to push back on it. Here's a list of things hackers can do:

  • Projectile trajectory hacks
  • Speed resource gathering
  • Speed swim and crouch
  • Looting dropped items through walls
  • Placing deployables through walls
  • Damage through walls via head clipping
  • Silent melee swing and attack
  • Silent projectile impacts
  • Sign upload lag
  • Rapid fire bow
  • Unlimited oxygen
  • Crafting queue server crash exploit
  • Chat UI corruption

There's no excuse for us not addressing these for as long as we have. We simply haven't held up our end of the deal. The good news is that's exactly what I've been working on this month and none of the things on this list should be possible anymore. Hacking is never going to be solved entirely and I'm sure we'll see new or unknown ways hackers can do their thing over the next few weeks, but we're committed to doing what we can on our end so the situation will never again be as bad as it has been for the early months of this year. We're also talking to EAC about what they can do better on their end and we'll have regular check-ins with them to evaluate the progress.

I did another polishing pass on the building system to prevent a number of exploits that have been rising in popularity over the last few months. The list of fixed exploits includes, but is not limited to, doorless roof bases and fanned wall stacking, which I'm sure someone will tell us makes the game literally unplayable. The freshly rewritten wall stacking prevention also comes with fewer false positives, which should bring back some builds we unintentionally removed with version 3 of the building system.

Garry implemented support for first-person clothing models, so this long-awaited feature is in at last! I'll be polishing these over time, fixing up any rogue seams which are way more visible in first-person than the view they were originally intended to be shown in. I'll also be adding more tiling detail to models with obvious fabric-like materials. Full support for skins is also included!

I added new AI for the Compound scientists. They can follow strict patrol paths, pause on the path to ensure the peace is kept in that area, before continuing. There are also stationary Compound scientists that stand still until they need to take care of hostile intrusion. The Compound scientists are quite relentless at running after and finding any player that disturbs the peace, with a newly added ability to search for lost targets.

The CH47 scientists, Military Tunnel scientists, and Junkpile scientists have all seen improvements throughout the month, and the bug that kept AI Dormancy from being enabled by default has been fixed.

The underwater part of our ocean rendering has been unimportant and placeholder until now. With the team moving to make water a meaningful part of the game, some changes were necessary.

If you remember our previous underside of water, when looking up was essentially refractively transparent. That's not how water works, however. If you pay attention to a half full glass of water you'll notice how the water surface, between the water and air, acts like a refractive layer when looking from the top and reflective when looking from the bottom. You can find an explanation of this phenomena here.

This change, along with being able to use a mask to improve underwater visiblity, is likely to have a big influence in your diving, since it may restrict your awareness of what's going on at the surface.

There are still challenges ahead, however, which are covered in the Water Rendering WIP section.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Ambient Occlusion, it is used to approximate the perception of global illumination when resources aren't available to compute realistic full-scene lighting, which is almost always the case with games.

The previous technique we used was very fast, but it was a very poor approximation. It suffered from all kinds of overdarkening, and we couldn't properly setup the viewmodel hands while still getting good results in mid and far distance.

This implementation is based on the current new state-of-the-art technique for Screen-Space Ambient Occlusion. It is much more accurate and robust, faithfully approximating the ground truth, or actual brute-force raytraced ambient occlusion.

The effect has been exaggerated in this shots. Notice how global shadowing now connects objects to the ground and they no longer look like they're hovering.

Surprisingly, it also turned out to be faster than our previous one, leveraging the use of temporal integration, as you can see from the FPS delta on the lower left corner.

Please note that it still has a few quirks and will be improved over time.

I took some time to do another optimization pass for this update, this time I focused on CPU-side rendering. A few hundred of our environment objects weren't using hardware instancing properly, as well as some specific detailing surfaces we call ‘deferred mesh decals’, which required custom instancing code.

It's hard to tell how much this will improve overall performance, but is most likely to benefit players using low to mid-range CPUs.

The latest underwater changes pushed me to start looking at solving some of the problems we currently face with water rendering, and hopefully open the door to some long overdue improvements in the near future.

You'll notice how underwater doesn't currently work properly on rivers, how flashlights are way too dim when deep in the ocean water or how caustics aren't shadowed and may disappear when looking from underneath the water surface. These are some of the known issues we currently face that aren't trivial to fix.

I started working on fixing them for this update but, unfortunately, they are not ready so the current plan is to toll them out on the next update.

The chainsaw received a proper sound pass this month. This one was really fun to do. All the sounds that the chainsaw itself makes are new and quite a bit beefier. We've also got loops for hitting different surfaces now, instead of the goofy repeated impact thing we had going previously. I kept the bass on the chainsaw engine sounds somewhat light and emphasized the midrange buzz/growl more, and then in the surface hit loops I boosted the lows a bit to try to emulate the feeling of a chainsaw connecting with something in real life. I think the sound for the chainsaw hitting flesh is one of the grossest things I've ever made.

The boat got a proper sound pass this month. I experimented a bit with new systems to fade and blend between loops that are tightly related to each other, like multiple engines, and landed on a nice solution that's quick to set up and gives us a lot of control. This was used to handle the boat engine sounds and the sound of the water around the boat.

There are sounds for mounting, dismounting, pushing, and steering the boat now. When you're moving near full speed there are occasional thump/splash sounds as though the boat was hitting small waves, and there are physics impact sounds when you hit something now too.

200 May 03 2018
  • Change list
  • new

    New boat sounds

  • new

    Scientists Compound Monument

  • new

    Facial Hair Style 04

  • new

    New chainsaw sounds

  • new

    Added underwater rock formations

  • new

    Projectile trajectory verification is now enabled by default (hack)

  • new

    Added Diving Goggles - better underwater visiblity

  • new

    Added Diving Wetsuit - cold/wet protection

  • new

    Added Diving Flippers - faster water movement, slower land movement

  • new

    Added Diving Cylinder - breathe underwater for 10 mins

  • new

    Added dive sites and underwater loot crates

  • new

    Added first person clothing

  • updated

    Local player footsteps are quieter than other players

  • updated

    Misc sound polish and mix tweaks

  • updated

    Improved Hair Textures and Materials

  • updated

    Improved Hair Dye Colours

  • updated

    ai_dormant true by default (server performance)

  • updated

    Improved Hapis offshore junkpile spawns

  • updated

    Improved Hapis Ch47 drop points

  • updated

    Added CH47 drop point to SiteA (Hapis)

  • updated

    Hapis Pumping station has slightly larger prevent building volume

  • updated

    Block player inputting items into elite crates

  • updated

    Block player inputting items into APC crate

  • updated

    High external walls and gates decay much faster when placed outside of TC range

  • updated

    Improved Ambient Occlusion

  • updated

    Improved underwater rendering

  • updated

    Improved CPU-side rendering performance

  • updated

    EAC SDK update

  • updated

    No longer broadcast effects to players in the connection queue (optimization)

  • updated

    Optimized radial RPCs

  • updated

    AI can reason about hostility marked players

  • updated

    Support for stationary scientists at Compound

  • updated

    Support for patrolling scientists at Compound

  • updated

    Scientists can now search for lost targets

  • updated

    Improved AI for mounted scientists

  • updated

    Stationary scientists looks at players that get close enough

  • fixed

    Fixed animals spawning inside small cliffs on Hapis

  • fixed

    Fixed some broken Hapis map sounds

  • fixed

    Fixed nudity censor clipped by water surface; e.g. rowboat

  • fixed

    Fixed crafting queue dropped item server crash exploit

  • fixed

    Fixed multiple position ticks received in the same frame being ignored on the client

  • fixed

    Fixed issue where AI dormant + server network caching would corrupt position timestamps

  • fixed

    Fixed floating base build using triangular wall conditional models

  • fixed

    Fixed server side stair collider rotation sometimes being incorrect after rotating

  • fixed

    Fixed roof side exploits

  • fixed

    Fixed fanned wall stacking exploits

  • fixed

    Fixed foundation steps sometimes being unplaceable

  • fixed

    Fixed speed resource gathering (hack)

  • fixed

    Fixed speed swim and crouch (hack)

  • fixed

    Fixed looting dropped items through walls (hack)

  • fixed

    Fixed placing deployables through walls (hack)

  • fixed

    Fixed damage through walls via head clipping (hack)

  • fixed

    Fixed silent melee swing and attack (hack)

  • fixed

    Fixed silent projectile impacts (hack)

  • fixed

    Fixed sign upload lag (exploit)

  • fixed

    Fixed rapid fire bow (hack)

  • fixed

    Fixed unlimited oxygen (hack)

  • fixed

    Fixed chat UI corruption (exploit)

  • fixed

    Fixed crossbow attachments turning invisible when no arrow is loaded

  • fixed

    Can no longer spears etc under water

  • fixed

    Mounted players auto dismount if their head clips geometry

  • fixed

    Can no longer mount moving boats if the boat has a driver

  • fixed

    Junkpile scientists no longer hover over the ground

  • fixed

    Junkpile scientists despawn with the junkpile

  • fixed

    Scientist burst firing stop when they lose target

  • fixed

    Fixed range consideration for mounted scientists

  • fixed

    Fixed animal spawning where they would sometimes not come to life

  • fixed

    Scientists should no longer crouch walk

  • fixed

    Optimized the Geiger Counter

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