Item reskinning, nicer road sign armour, a look at upcoming Hapis Island upgrades, and more.
25 May 2017
You've probably already noticed that the website has been updated. This is part of a Facepunch project to unify all of our websites. I know this isn't the Facepunch Devblog, but I wanted to let everyone know why we bothered updating the website instead of nerfing more guns.
Previously all of our sites were spread over a number of different Wordpress installs. That's worked for a long time, but we run into issues when we want to do something a bit more personal. Even relatively easy things, like maintaining an accurate team list, turns into a job.
Our aim is to move our projects to *.facepunch.com subdomains rather than each having their own domain and custom website, allowing them to all share in the benefits of the backend. This system wasn't worth doing for one project, but it's worth doing if it works for all projects. (It's gonna be fun seeing if anyone can find the subdomains of all our prototypes).
Some of the benefits of this are the Commit Log, which shows you all the pushes people are making to our SCM (which goes back to April 2014!). These changes aren't live in the game (though some might be on the staging branch), but it shows you what is being worked on.
Also new is the Change List. This shows more of a traditional list of changes. These are things that are actually in the game, so if you're only interested in the nuts and bolts of what has been added/fixed/removed you can go straight here.
The system has been designed to make it easier for us to collaboratively make devblogs. Previously we'd all edit a Google doc and @bucksexington would copy, paste and format each section. When Buck was on holiday and one of us had to do it, it was miserable.
The new system aims to fix that by allowing everyone to edit their own devblog, then Buck can go in and fix it all when we're done.
We've got a team list on the presskit page. This means that instead of using my name in the title of your reddit posts as a kind of catch-all, you can use this page to target and call out individual members of the team. We'll probably have a proper dedicated team list page at some point.
A long-requested community feature has arrived! You can now reskin items at the repair bench!
It's pretty straightforward. If an item is skinnable, and you have skins for it, when you throw it in a repair bench you'll get a list of skins to select from. Simply click on the skin you wish to change to. You'll hear a quick spray paint sound and voilà! Your item has been reskinned. We may make this cost 20 LGF per repaint in the future, but for now it's free. I'm hoping this will also lead to groups having a more uniform look as they will be able to repaint what they scavenge. Enjoy!
I implemented the scrap world model. Big whoop.
The shotgun trap has been updated to include a proper deployment guide. This will show you the direction it will be facing when you first place it, instead of always screwing it up and you having to pick it up again and rotate it. I've also changed it so when you pick the trap up it will lose 50% of its health. Lastly, I have slightly increased the cost by one gear.
I had to push the new skin and lighting corrections much later than I anticipated, but it's now finally live.
The skin shader improvements should be immediately apparent, especially in the view model. However, we'll have to wait for real art from Taylor before we can really take advantage of all of the shader's strengths.
Other lighting and shading changes are not immediately apparent because they're made to be compatible with current our lighting. Over time we'll replace materials take advantage of the new shading. Some might need new art work as well. It's mostly a backend change but it had to be done sooner rather than later.
I did less work than I wanted to on the hair shader this week so unfortunately there's nothing fancy to show yet. I'll have more news about it soon.
The reworked roadsign armour is in! All your skins should still work, but if there are any issues please let us know! There are a few points to highlight for skin authors, so if you're totally disinterested in making skins feel free to skip to the next section.
The signs themselves now use face weighted vertex normals on the edges. This was done to mantain bevels on existing skins without every creator having to edit their normal maps. In practise, it shouldn't really alter how you make textures, but it's useful to be aware of it if you plan on making a skin.
The old textures had a lot of unused space from an undershirt that was no longer being used. I've taken advatange of that space in the rework, but this area is obviously blank on most of the existing skins. To remedy this the armour uses two materials, existing skins will default to the leather straps on the "vanilla" armour, but future creators can take advantage of the space and do whatever they want with it.
Diogo's new skin shader is looking great, but to make the most of it a lot of the materials are going to need a little reworking. Specifically they're lacking a good backscatter texture and an accurate specular. In addition, because it's more physically accurate (and just generally better) I don't have to fake things like ambient lighting or surface detail quite so much to get realistic looking skin.
The viewmodel arms have been on my radar for a while, and they are probably the most in need of proper textures so it seems reasonable to give them another pass now. Here's where I am after the sculpt and diffuse texture is mostly done, I'm still working on the backscatter/specular/gloss but you can see how it's developing. It's worth noting that the model will have to fit the old rig, so while the topology is the same as the old mesh the proportions may have to regress slightly - this is definitely more of a texture pass than a complete remodel. I'll be using this foundation to make a set of female hands in the future also.
This past week I crunched on the art we need for the office interior. It’s all modular and can easily be made into variants, and I'm already thinking of porting this set to the airfield office building since it would improve visuals there.
The layout is spread over three floors. Inside is several staircases and a system of vents that connect otherwise separate rooms/floors. I've designed the spaces in a way that allows fallback or flanking as much as possible.
At this stage it’s mostly walls/floors partition walls that make the space what it is, but over the coming weeks--hopefully before release of this new monument--we should have some furniture in to break down some of larger spaces into smaller action bubbles.
Work on the rocket factory continues. I'm getting really close to the end, and all that's left are a couple of tasks that should be resolved in the next few days. This week I've focused mainly on optimization and polish. I split large meshes into smaller objects to help with performance and I focused on making proper LODs and collisions for the walkway meshes. The rest of my time was spent playtesting the area and tweaking the jumping puzzles. I also started to work on the rooftop area, which will contain some nice loot and sniping spots as a reward for those who make it all the way to the top.
It's green, it's mean, it's the tier 3 workbench (machine?)! Work has started on the high poly version of this higher tier workbench, completing the set. If you don't know what it looks like, here's a pic that Paul concepted. No images on its progress until next week, so hold onto your butts people!
Hapis Island has been neglected long enough, so next week I'll be rolling out the first set of improvements aimed at upgrading both topology and overall polish. When this phase rolls out, I'll post a more thorough changelog, but the most noticable changes include a number of new caves and mines throughout the island. There are various topological changes, ranging from small tweaks here and there, to a whole coastline being reworked from scratch.
After that, expect phase two to follow on the subsequent wipe five weeks from now, where Radtowns & mountain slopes in particular will be given some more love.
I've been working on music stuff this week. There wasn't anything big that hasn't been mentioned in previous blogs, but the final polish is going well. I've also got a couple new songs going now along with a handful of shorter sketches & ideas.
Here's a preview of the one I started last week. I want to try to work some 'synthy' bits in there in order to contrast the orchestral stuff, but I'm pretty happy with how this one's coming so far.
I've continued recording/cleaning up source sounds for the polish pass of the melee weapon impacts I mentioned last week. I think I've got everything I need at this point, so next week I'll be working on the final edits to get this in game.
I finished up the sounds for the water jug this week, and I've also started working on sounds for the shotgun trap.
Added Updated Roadsign Armor
Shotgun Trap requires +1 Gear
Shotgun Trap now has arrow in placement guide
Shotgun Trap loses 50% health on pickup
Added scrap worldmodel
Can change skins at Repair Bench
New skin shader
New water jug sounds
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