Roads and Reloads

Roads

Andre got roads in! Roads connect landmarks and rad towns. You can walk on them. This is still in the programmer-art stage, but since it’s got to work in millions of different procedurally generated maps we thought it was best to get it in and find any problems as soon as possible.

Reloading

I started making a crazy reload system. Holding R bought up a reload menu, showing your weapon and all the types of ammo that could fit in it. Left clicking an ammo pile would add one of that type to your gun, right clicking would fill it with that type. This meant that you could have more granular control over filling your weapon, and when we have different ammo types you could alternate them in your clip.

Then we realised that it was all a big load of shit, and no-one would ever really want to do any of that. So I just changed it to be normal reloading.

Goosey had already made reload animations for everything – so it’s already cool as fuck.

Item System

A while back we thought.. wouldn’t it be cool if all our items were on a website, so we could all edit them easier, and even people who aren’t programmers and don’t have Unity could edit them and fill stuff out. And then maybe our artists could upload models and materials, and then it would all be downloaded in the game and just work. Then eventually we could open it up to the public so anyone could make new items, and people could vote on the items and we’d put the best ones in game.

We fell into the “premature generalization” problem here. We were making a system before we knew completely what it was, how it would be used, how it could be used.

The items are defined in Unity now. This means that when we want to add a new item we just create a copy of the existing item, change a few text entries and it’s done. In the old system we’d have to go to the site, create a new item, fill shit out, go to the game, download the item definition, then if something was wrong, repeat.

There’s a bunch of reasons why it’s better now, but they’re reasons only we care about. For you it means that I spent 2 days making us more agile.

Compile Issues

We were fighting compile issues for a few days. This meant that the dev server were mostly inaccessible during this time. The problem it turned out was that we had too much stuff. The resources file in the Unity build had a 2Gb limit, and we were going over that, which resulted in a cryptic error.

The hacky solution, it turned out, was to make a scene that had a reference to all the textures, and a scene that had a reference to all the sounds. This made the resources.asset a lot smaller because it didn’t contain any of those.

Anti-Cheat

Shortly after the patch on Monday EAC enabled the game file hashing stuff, which successfully stopped the resource editing stuff that was going on. If you were using this cheat you probably need to verify your game’s content to re-download the non-hacked version of the files, so it will let you play again.

At the moment Windows 10 is classed as a cheat. The EAC guys are working on that.

Unity Analytics

Again, another thing for us more than you. We removed our Google Analytics implementation and added Unity Analytics. Analytics is a funny word to spell, the trick is to remember to start with anal.

Unity Analytics only really supports iOS and Android right now, because hardly any PC games are made with Unity. But we’re using it anyway. We’re not doing anything particularly interesting yet, just useful general stuff like the number of players, memory usage and the average framerate.

Sprint Changes

Instead of having to let go of sprint for a split second to use your melee weapon and then being able to sprint again, we’ve changed it so trying to use your melee weapon will automatically make you stop sprinting for a very small amount of time. This has the benefit of making melee less hectic as well as more user friendly.

Item Condition & Gathering

Helk has has changed how items lose condition when gathering, and how gathering works. Now each weapon defines explicitly how it behaves when it hits an object, such as how much to get, how much it wastes, and how much damage the item should take. The balance values aren’t final and are subject to change but what this does is give us a lot more flexibility to make each tool behave how we see fit.

In addition, instead of gathering giving you some of each type of resource contained in the object, it will dispense only one type of item at a time. Harvesting will still take the same amount of time as it did before but you’ll get less resource spam and more of each individual type per hit.

Development Thread

We have a thread on our forums where you can post bugs and discuss the development branch.

The idea is that this is the place to flag up bugs and problems with stuff on the development branch, so we can look into it and fix it before making it live.

This isn’t a thread for suggestions, ideas, bugs in the live branch (that you haven’t verified exist in the development branch).

Overall Balance

I hate that I have to post this every week, but people think we think the balance is perfect if I don’t. The balance isn’t perfect, don’t worry, it’s an ongoing thing.

Everything Else

  • Canned food now gives you an empty can when eaten
  • Empty cans can be smelted into metal fragments – in campfires!
  • Stone spear now costs a wooden spear plus some stone
  • Sleeping bag now costs 30 cloth instead of 50
  • Lantern consumes fuel

Summary

Kind of a slow week. We got some good stuff done, but apart from the roads and the reloading you’re not going to see any benefits to it.

Again, like we posted in last week’s update.. we’re not releasing an update today. It will probably come out on early next week.. and bad news – this update requires a total wipe of saves and blueprints. Server owners don’t have to worry because this happens automatically – but I think we’ve got a responsibility to tell you that it’s gonna happen before it does. Wipes are something we want to avoid as much as we can. Which is one of the reasons we’re thinking about increasing the length of our sprints to two or three weeks between updates. Let us know what you think the solution is.

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