We’ve started adding LODs to the building parts – which is having a hugely positive impact on performance. We’ve only done walls so far, but we’re working through the entire set. What this means is that we’re using a different rendering mesh for models that are far away, which is lower resolution – which obviously doesn’t take so much power to render. Because obviously it’s a waste of time rendering a highish poly model for something that will only be about 6 pixels tall on the screen.

We’ve also done a lot of work on serverside performance. The AI now thinks at a fixed rate. Previously it tried to think every frame.

Race & Face

Everyone now has a pseudo unique skin tone and face. Just like in real life, you are who you are – you can’t change your skin colour or your face. It’s actually tied to your steamid.

Right now your avatar is randomised via three things. Skin colour, head mesh and head material. We only have 2 face textures and 2 face materials, which means there’s 4 possible combinations. We will be adding more of these later on (at which point your face will probably change).

There’s a lot of skin colours in the world, and it’s really easy to appear racially insensitive when doing this. This is compounded by the fact that everyone is really used to seeing this guy as a white guy, so when you see him as a black guy it feels like he’s just “blacked up“. So we’re spending a lot of time trying to lessen that effect.

There’s still work to be done, so consider this just the boilerplate of an idea for now. It’s quite pleasing to see different races working together in game, and makes you realise how arbitrary race is.

Building Enhancements

Vince has been doing a lot of work on the building pieces, having fun with the conditional models to make things appear more natural. I’ve changed the conditional model system so it only runs on model that are close to the player, instead of like previously where it’d be running the logic on buildings that were a mile away, and not prioritising nearby buildings at all. This meant that more often than not you were never actually seeing the conditional models.

Placement of the foundation relative to the ground is now configurable, and foundation stairs work a lot more naturally. I had to put a bunch of new logic in for the stairs placement so that they’d go up or down depending on which side of the placement you are. If you’re standing on a foundation looking out, it’ll try to place upwards, if you’re on the outside it will place them downwards.

A bit of work was done to make the guide more reliable, to fix problems like when it turns red and floats towards the player, or staying attached even when you’ve walked quite far away. The building sidewards trick that people were using to build skybridges was also fixed.

Roof blocks don’t require to be placed on a floor anymore, you can just attach them to a wall. Vince has made the roof block even more awesome by giving it a vaulted ceiling.

Ragdoll Fixes

Ragdolls weren’t copying their bones from their parent. This was making stuff look really laggy as when the ragdoll spawned the player/npc would still be visible, and the ragdoll would spawn in their default stance.

This is fixed now so things look a bit more natural.

Fog Changes

We changed how fog worked to give a better sense of distance. Previously the dog was only showing up in the far distance.. which looked great in certain situations but it meant that it was hard to get a sense of distance. You’d be looking at some point on the landscape that you thought was 50 meters away, then see a tree near by that revealed it was 500 meters away. Hopefully the fog changes will make that less common.

Stone Pickaxe

Up until now you had to harvest Ore with your rock until you got lucky in a radtown and found a salvaged tool. If you tried to use the stone hatchet you’d end up with a broken tool fast. We fixed this by adding a stone pickaxe as a starter weapon. It is the ying to the stone hatchet’s yang, Enjoy!

The rest

  • Corpses hang around for 30 minutes, instead of 2 minutes
  • Fixed ricochets not showing up unless you were the instigator
  • View punch when item is damaged during gathering, “wrong” usage of tools should be more obvious now
  • Spectate command takes a string username or steamid
  • Map size/seed available in server tags
  • High end tools harvest slightly less resources
  • Stone tools harvest slightly more resources
  • Fixed bug where a building block being destroyed would remove all deployables in a 12m radius that were placed on terrain
  • Replaced more icons with Meg’s creations


You will have to excuse the rushed nature of this week’s devblog, it’s literally hurting me to write it. I didn’t get everything I wanted to get done this week, but we fixed a lot of stuff.

We are seeing a physics issue with servers after they reach 150,000 colliders, the physics system seems to break down completely – which doesn’t let you build, or explode anything, and spawns you in the sky. We’re trying to get a repro together to send to Unity.

We also started an issue list over at github. The intention isn’t to let normal people submit issues to that, but we’re considering having a public issues board too, they always turn to shit though so we probably won’t.


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