6 August 2015
We do a wipe on the first update of every month, which allows us to change a bunch of stuff internally that we wouldn't otherwise be able to change; things like item names and data storage formats. This wipe we're also wiping the blueprints on all servers too. This is the first time we've done this. Here's why.
Blueprint Fragment System
This is a big one. And with all big things, keep in mind it’s a work in progress. Before I go any further, understand that this system is currently in place on top of the existing loot drops for blueprints and items. So what is it? Basically anything you loot -- barrels or crates -- will have a pretty high chance of dropping a “Blueprint Fragment”. The crappier the loot found, the higher the chance of finding fragments. Once you collect enough of them, you can redeem them for a random, common blueprint. Alternatively you can keep saving them up and will be given the option to upgrade to a higher tier blueprint part which yields a rare blueprint upon redemption, there are 4 tiers of blueprint parts:
- Blueprint Fragment (Common BP).
- Blueprint Page (Uncommon BP).
- Blueprint Book (Rare BP).
- Blueprint Library (Very rare BP).
In addition, you can use Blueprint Fragments in a research table to increase the odds of a successful research up to 100%
We’re going to see how this works and do some balance changes with it, but if all goes well we hope to remove existing full blueprint drops and instead have actual items drop more frequently. The goal here is twofold. First is to somewhat mitigate the RNG nature of finding blueprints by presenting players options of saving up to get something better rather than hoping the 1 in 250 barrels is the AK47 they want. Second, by finding the actual item and spending saved fragments you can assure you will receive the item in question. It’s a big change, but I think after playing with it for a bit you’ll agree it’s the right direction.
Explosion Line of sight + Rocket Balance
I found and fixed a long standing, super derpy bug with explosions and as a result line of sight checks for explosions have been reimplemented! Turns out the rockets and explosives were seeing themselves as being ‘in the way’ when trying to see their targets, preventing them from damaging them. Whoops. What does this mean? Well it means that rockets are far less overpowered as they will mostly damage the building block they hit, rather than all the building blocks in their radius. I also lowered the splash damage radius from 5 to 3.8. Enjoy!
A long overdue feature from Legacy was re-added. You can now select a weapon and unload the ammunition back into your inventory. The best part about this is when you find a gun you have a few chances to research the ammunition it came with!
Public Utilities & Loot
After we introduced the High Quality Metal mechanic some people complained that it was too hard for solo players. While it’s true this did make solo play more difficult, I believe the impact was vastly overstated. Regardless I softened the curve up a little bit by introducing some public utilities that can be found around the map. Check it out:
- Public Quarry that produces HQM can be found at warehouses.
- Satellite Dish has a Research Table + Repair Bench.
- Airfield has a Research Table + Small Furnace.
- Airfield has Crude Oil Barrels.
- Lighthouse has Barrels in and around it.
It’s important to note that it will always be more efficient to build your own quarry/pumpjack as the public utilities yield about 30-50% of the resources that the worst case player-built ones do.
P.S. You can’t build around Monuments or Radtowns anymore. The grief it caused to everyone trying to play on the server outweighed the ‘fun’ that the group of 5 people were having. Sorry guys.
In addition I did some work to a major new monument thanks to the hard work by Vince.
This bad boy replaces the grainy, crappy sphere tank of yesteryear. Underneath it you will find oil barrels and some public refineries, and throughout and above it there's some nice loot. There are many entrances and exits, and it takes some parkour skills to make it to the top. I’m very excited to see what kind of gameplay develops around it.
I spent a long time playing around with the AK47 and decided that it was a little unbalanced. The metrics data on deaths really backs this up too. I increased the recoil to bring it more in line with the M4 from Legacy. This wont be the last change I make to it, but it should reduce the weapons spray & pray capabilities.
- Humans now drop 1 Fat + 1 Fat per 3 minutes alive (fixes farming yourself for fat).
- Map is now a default blueprint.
- Crossbow zoom has been increased.
- Pumpjack takes longer to produce Crude Oil.
- Crude Oil yields less Low Grade Fuel per unit.
- Low Grade Fuel crafting sessions yield 3 instead of 7 units.
- Furnaces are cheaper in terms of Low Grade Fuel.
- Small Wood Box storage size has been increased from 6 to 12.
- Added trash piles around the map: mostly food, perhaps BP fragments.
Load Time Optimizations
Load times have got worse and worse, mainly since we switched to the bundles system a while back. At the start of this week I took a good look at it and made a bunch of changes that I think should help.
Sound Playback CPU Optimisations
Sounds were previously shipped as Ogg compressed. This is great because it reduces the file size, but it means that they have to be uncompressed to play. This could cause hitches when loading items and increased load times.
Smaller sounds are now shipped uncompressed, which dramatically reduces the time it takes to load them. Longer sounds, like the ambient sounds and music, are still Ogg compressed, but they're played streaming now instead of uncompressing the whole thing into memory on startup.
Save Speed Optimisations
The server saves at regular intervals, and on some servers this can take up to 5 seconds, which is stupid because it freezes the entire server for that period of time.
I've gone through and optimised how this works, so it uses the entities cached save buffer. This should lead to a big difference in save times, but we'll review it again in a couple of weeks.
Previously the clothing skins you got in your Steam Inventory worked whether you owned the original item or not. This has been changed so they're just skins now. You need to have unlocked the blueprint for the item, and when you craft it you have an option to choose which skin to use.
The Workshop SDK is up on Steam under the tools section. There's a how to guide here. There's a bunch of different items you can skin now, and we're adding more all the time.
I'm on holiday again for two weeks. I'm having a lot of holidays, I know. Don't worry: this is how Notch made Minecraft, and that worked out OK. I'm taking my laptop and stuff, so I'm hoping I'll be able to get some downtime from doing stuff to be able to do some coding.
The 10th iteration of our procedurally generated maps adds support for Monuments that can be interacted with. For more info on what was added specifically, see Maurino’s devblog section.
Landscape-wise the changes are vastly improved lakes, more natural forest shapes, the return of icebergs to the Arctic biome and various tweaks to the Arid biome to make it easier to identify.
Other improvements that were merged in from this branch include:
- Made terrain normal calculation more accurate (fixes various minor issues).
- Reduced height map memory usage by 50%.
- Tweaked field rock assets and distribution.
- Added some noise to the terrain around all monuments and radtowns.
- Added building topology to manually block tree placement around buildings of certain monuments.
- Added MonumentInfo to all monuments (could be interesting for mods).
- Palms only spawn on arid beaches.
- Added different beachside trees to temperate beaches.
- Minor vegetation performance improvements.
- Physics optimizations of roads and rivers.
- Icesheets are visible from further away and are more spread out.
All animals--except for chicken--now give leather and 50% of their previous cloth value. Leather is required to craft the following clothing and armor items:
- Roadsign body and leg armor.
- Metal plate body and head armor.
- All hide clothing types.
Rock Exploit, Part 2
There was one more way to get into rocks that involved the placement of a sleeping bag inside a rock. This is now fixed, and since we wipe this week all existing sleeping bags inside rocks will disappear. If you find another way of doing this or any other exploit that still allows you to get into rocks, please let us know.
- Fixed that planted corn and pumpkins disappeared after every server restart.
- Fixed doors being unplaceable if deployables were placed behind their frame.
- Fixed that players could get stuck in the falling state.
- Made player movement gravity and friction tests more reliable.
- Fixed issues with crouch jumping.
- Fixed door lock colliders colliding with player movement (fixes door exploit).
- Made door lock colliders more accurate.
- Added input.autocrouch convar (enables legacy-style auto crouching).
The highest priority things on my list are to fix the major issues with animals and to add proper step detection to player movement.
I’ve completely reworked how the player aiming is viewed. Previously, we were using Unity’s built in IK system and it had some major limitations in that I couldn’t get the spine to bend naturally, resulting in the player looking like Gumby. On top of that, I had a hard time making the player’s weapon point in the actual direction he was aiming. This video illustrates what I’m talking about.
Notice how the red line (the player’s actual point of aim) is not lined up with the weapon.
The new system I implemented uses animation poses and layering to compute a more accurate representation of the player aiming up/down. The spine bends much more naturally, and the weapon does a better job of pointing in the actual direction the player is aiming. Here’s what it looks like now.
There’s a few bugs I need to iron out over the next few days but for the most part, this is a big improvement over the old system.
I’ve also been working on a new animation for when the player steps on a beartrap. Helk wanted an animation where the player was still upright. Here’s a video of it so far. I will continue to work on it next week.
I’m just about finished integrating all the female versions of existing clothing into the game, but there are a lot of things that need to be cross-checked every time a new item is created or modified. That said, soon there should be a lot fewer ugly seams and weird gaps between clothing pieces if your character is female.
I got started on a pretty goofy looking balaclava. This should have multiple skins once it's finished, just like a lot of the shirts and jackets.
Next week I’d like to have the balaclava finished, and I’d also like to have started and finished a bandanna. Heck, I may even make two versions of the bandana — one you can wear on your face and one you can wear on your head. That’d be pretty sweet!
If you enjoyed refining oil in your log cabin or your base courtyard, you will love doing it on top of a tower with our new large refinery! It’s the same idea as its little brother, but it will give you access to different types of fuels (what exactly is TBD by Maurino at this stage). Just like how real fractionating towers works, the higher you go, the finer yield your fuel will be. Oh, and it’s also the tallest deployable to date in-game, so on top of being useful to crafting, it’s going to be a great watch tower. As usual, what follows here is the artwork, the gameplay loop for this item is yet to be implemented.
Another thing I’m working on is our big deployables foundations. First it was straight, then I patched a quick ramp on the sides to adapt to terrain topology. The thing is as much as it currently works as a platform to wander on about, it looks terrible. So yeah, I’m gonna try to Rustify this for next week.
I think everyone is pretty eager to be able to ride horses so I started planning what the saddles could look like.
I also started looking into backpacks, because backpacks look cool.
Next week I’ll probably do some more versions/iterations for these backpacks and saddles, and I’ve also been meaning to get back to the Steam trading cards.
This week was really straight forward for me. I did a first pass at sounds for all the newer melee weapons (the Bone Club, Sword, Two-Handed Sword, Two-Handed Cleaver, Machete, and the Two-Handed Mace).
I did a set of ambient sounds for the recently improved Sphere Tank monument, and played with adding a bit of reverb to sounds that come from inside the monument. Unity’s reverb can actually do a decent job at indoor spaces, which was a nice change from trying to use it for gunshots outside :)
Next week I want to spend more time working on polish; beefing up explosion sounds, better horse footsteps, more accurate foliage rustle triggers and different rustling sounds for different plants, etc.
This week I continued my work with the flamethrowers. They want a few more iterations, and this is the design that we got at the end of it:
I’ve also done some more work with the beds I mentioned last week, but I’ll have to show those off in next week's blog. I also hope to work on some ideas for more clothing.
I’ve been down and out with tonsilitis so I don’t have much if anything to show you guys this week. I’m sorry, please forgive me.
Next week will be this week's work. I hope!
I've also been ill. Art people are obviously weak.
I spent a whole five minutes fiddling with the item descriptions this morning. I was largely ensuring they had full-stops. It'll be an ongoing process, but the plan is to make them useful. We'll be dropping most of the placeholder snark, but I'd like to keep them interesting if possible. I'd hoped to get more done on it, but I spent Weds at the hospital and today was Devblog day, so what's in is currently messy and in need of a lot of work.
EasyAntiCheat have confirmed a problem with Windows 7, where the game will refuse to close and the computer won't be able to shut down. They've released a solution to this that should get applied automatically, so please let us/them know if you're still seeing this problem.
Added skin chooser when crafting
Added blueprint fragment system
Added public utilities to monuments
Added more loot to monuments
Added trashpiles near road and monuments
Added support for interactive monuments
Added some noise to the terrain around all monuments and radtowns
Added building topology to manually block tree placement around buildings of certain monuments
Added MonumentInfo to all monuments (could be interesting for mods)
Added different beachside trees to temperate beaches
Added input.autocrouch convar (enables legacy-style auto crouching)
Changed sign/map image storage to use a sqlite db (old folder will be deleted)
Fixed server NRE which was only fixed by a restart
Fixed multiple doors being placed in a doorway
Fixed cargo plane networking its position too often
Fixed line of sight issues with explosives
Fixed item icons getting stuck selected
Fixed selection panel not always showing
Fixed blueprint panel not always showing
Fixed sometimes needing to click on blueprint button twice
Fixed active weapon not always updating for other players
Fixed that planted corn and pumpkins disappeared after every server restart
Fixed doors being unplaceable if deployables were placed behind their frame
Fixed that players could get stuck in the falling state
Fixed issues with crouch jumping
Fixed door lock colliders colliding with player movement (fixes door exploit)
Load time optimizations
Save speed optimizations
Sound playback CPU optimizations
Items show protection values in inventory
Items show details when hovered
Unified item shortnames (internal change)
Unified prefab names (internal change)
Lowered rocket splash damage radius
Humans drop 1 fat + 1 per 3 minutes alive
Map is default blueprint
Crossbow zoom increased
Pumpjack works slower
Crude oil produces less low grade fuel per unit
Increased ak47 recoil to bring it in line with the m4 from legacy
Doubled Small Wood Storage capacity
Can’t build near radtowns
Lowgrade fuel crafting session produces 3 instead of 7 units
Furnaces are cheaper
Improved lake and forest shapes
Brought back icebergs to the arctic biome
Tweaked arid biome to make it easier to identify
Made terrain normal calculation more accurate (fixes various minor issues)
Reduced height map memory usage by 50%
Tweaked field rock assets and distribution
Palms only spawn on arid beaches
Minor vegetation performance improvements
Physics optimizations of roads and rivers
Icesheets are visible from further away and are more spread out
All animals except chicken now drop leather and 50% of the cloth they used to drop
Roadsign body and leg armor now require leather instead of cloth
Metal plate body and head armor now require leather instead of cloth
All hide clothing types now require leather instead of cloth
Made player movement gravity and friction tests more reliable
Made door lock colliders more accurate
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