Press Kit Wiki

Hurtworld Update #94

Cow_Trix

Heya folks. This week I’ve been refining the map, trying to address some of the issues I spoke about last week. To save you going back and reading, the biggest issue is navigability and giving players landmarks to be able to place themselves. It’s a bit of a time consuming process to create these little landmarks but it’s lots of fun. You may have seen a few already in the map, including a few radio towers, little rock formations, small buildings with some loot, and more. There will be plenty more of these to come, as I think they’re really important in making the map feel alive and interesting. I also added a secondary tier of roads that branch off the main road, and a few stretches of fence-poles and powerlines. These linear map elements do a great job of orienting yourself, I found. You can come across a trail and follow it, and be pretty sure you’re going somewhere interesting.

Collage

This coming week I’ll be looking into integrating Splatt’s new biome into the map, and continuing to add features and landmarks. I have loads of ideas of what landmarks I want to do, and it’s just going to be a case of what we can do quickly and with the assets and time that we have.

Something else we’re going to have a go with is changing how resource hotspots work, to be a bit more explicit. Currently there are valleys where resources are found more often, which we call hotspots. You can tell you’re in one of these because you get the No Building effect, but it’s kind of amorphous and unclear. Instead of having blobby increased areas of resources, we’re going to put distinct features in valleys that denote that in that small area, you’ll find a bunch of a certain type of resource. For instance, the area below would be of a flint area, where a few flint nodes would spawn. Looking forward to seeing how this will affect farming and contesting resources.

FlintZone

Mils

I made a skin for the AWM last week, it actually has 0 colours, one major and two minor flourishes. This will be a nice simple skin people can use to colour their AWM like the standard weapon. We wanted the default colour to have that green that the real gun has. I’ll jump back on the colour masks when the other parts are complete. Speaking of which, I started working on another Stock for the AWM. This is going well, I hope to complete it this week. I am also working on a new road texture for the main roads that run throughout the game. Lastly I’m working on a texture for the offroad tracks that we now connect to the main roads. This will help players find their way back to the main road, which will in turn help them make their way through the biomes.

AWMColourMasked NewAsphaultRoad

Tom

This week I’ve been working on the 0.4.3.1 and 0.4.3.2 hotfix patches. As well as some changes I mentioned last week, this included:

  • Vehicle disassembly and spear flipping not working due to some missing colliders
  • Fixed scale of some world items
  • Configuring new workbench visuals
  • Configured new improvised bow and longbow visuals
  • Fixing incorrect low LOD on bor AI
  • Setup new arrow recipes for each workbench tier
  • Fixed some missing materials on roach attachments
  • Made rancid steak once again stackable

As well as these fixes I improved the character customisation system so it will store your customisation options. These options get saved as part of your server identity so you can have different looks saved to different servers. The last customisation options you played with are also saved locally onto your computer, if the server doesn’t have your identity saved (eg. first time on server or a fresh wipe) then it will try and apply your last saved options. I say try because these customisation options can be different from server to server based on the mod configuration they are running. If the options cannot be applied they are clamped to the closest possible valid configuration (internally the customisation options are saved as array indicies).

This coming week I’ll be working on the upcoming 0.4.4.0 patch due to release on the 05th of August (more about this one next week) as well as continuing on with bug fixes, today I’ve fixed a bug where our mesh baker would occasionally double up sets of gear as well as fixing an exploit with the construction hammer.
I hope to release these fixes in another minor patch this week.

TEHSPLATT

Took the test biome I’ve been working on to the next level and worked out some real environmental rules to make it feel more realistic, which is something we discussed a lot, things like making sure the peaks and valleys make sense based on how the erosion would have happened in the real world, these sorts of rules are very important for creating biomes that don’t feel weird and out of place. While I’m still having a bit of trouble with the correct scaling of the world the biome is really starting to come together and genuinely feels fun and interesting to run around in. The next step is taking the assets and using the environmental constraints to generate good looking maps, hand crafting every single peak and valley would be extremely time consuming and in my opinion still wouldn’t look as good as a procedural terrain bound to rules set by the specific biome it’s trying to replicate. I would very much like to do a pass on all the biomes currently in game and see if I can add a little more life to them using the knowledge I’ve gained creating this biome.

GrasslandsBiomeFleshedOut_ForDevBlog

Spencer

Last week for me was spent on authoring content creatures, resources and loot for Fridays patch as well as bug fixes. Today I’ve been getting started on creating generation templates for Splatt’s new forest.

This biome is very different from the other biomes so far in that it isn’t massively dependant on rocks and has much more open spaces. It looks amazing right now, the challenge is to make it fit into the game well.

The first step to building a generator for the map was attempting to write a map magic template that can handle all the nature and terrain parts. This got us a bit of the way there with painting valleys and trees and a basic heightmap:

mapmagicbiome

The main struggule here was to create the heightmap with good enough erosion not to need rocks to mask the sides of the hills. MapMagic is great but lacks the power for terrain generation of dedicated tools. After going through a few different ones I’ve settled on World Machine which kicks ass for anything heightmap generation related.

After a few hours of tinkering I’m pretty happy with this generation formula for the first cut of our new biome:

heightmaptest

World machine doesn’t integrate directly with Unity, however it can export high resolution heightmap images, which MapMagic can import with ease. We can then run procedural tree planting and splat painting as if the heightmap was generated by MapMagic itself.

Another kickass feature of World Machine is its ability to export flow maps (which basically shows the path sediment was moved down during erosion), they can also be used as inputs for procedural texturing, planting, and opening gates to hell(they look awesomely creepy)

flowmaphell

Balance Stuff
I got to play a heap of the latest patch over the weekend. Was great to murder a few of you on EU West!

I’m really happy with our progress over the last couple weeks, but obviously there is a heap of stuff we can improve on:

  • General balance of most resources need work, I collected a lot of info while playing, should be much better next patch
  • PVP Weapons need a re-balance. Not much reason to head out with anything more than a bow right now
  • Points of contention need to be more focused, you should know what you are fighting over, and be rewarded when you win
  • Retiring resources as you progress feels shitty. Takes the fun about of the progression a bit. Will transition resource types less rapidly
  • The deeper the progression gets, the less its worth investing in your base as you just need to stick around to get the next workbench. Possibly will make common areas buildable and high tier biomes all nobuild meaning there will be reason to fight over the hub zone and build up a base there.
  • Raiding (other than camping doors) should be a part of the game earlier and accessible to more players
  • Next experimental wipe will be on the 05th, and will likely include another big update to Mangatang along with some other stuff we will go through in next weeks blog.

    Hurtworld Update #93

    Cow_Trix

    pasted_image_at_2017_08_05_12_44_am_1024

    Heya folks. This week I worked on getting the new Mangatang map out and working, and ironing out some of the workflow in map making. I’m pretty happy with how Mangatang worked out, and with a bit of polish I reckon it could be really fun. Probably the biggest issue with it right now is something that has been an issue in Diemensland, which is memorability. I made the map, and even I get pretty lost on the ground level. There are two main ways I see of solving this problem. The first is by changing the flow of the map, so there are more direct channels that lead from one biome to the next. Secondly, there needs to be significantly more unique features. This is exacerbated a bit by our reuse of stamps in the level, which lead to what was unique in the stamp becoming mundane in the map. We’ve talked a bit internally about what these features could be, and hopefully we’ll have many more distinct rock formations, more small outposts and cool little geological structures so that players can build up a much better visual/spatial knowledge of the map. There’s definitely some other things we could try, like being able to place more markers down for your beacons, or maybe even a minimap. It’ll all have to be some experimentation and a lot of playtesting, which is what I’ve been doing today. I’ll definitely be working on increasing the variety and uniqueness of the stamps we have, and reducing the reuse down to a minimum.

    On the technical side of things, the map tools are capable of creating a cool map, and it’s going to be very easy to change things around to how we want them. However, there’s a lot we could do on the performance and QoL side to just make sure that things don’t break when you use them in an unexpected way, and that big maps can be quickly altered. It currently takes about 0 minutes to completely reapply the whole stack of the map, which isn’t a huge amount, but it’s enough to slow things down if you’re not careful about doing partial recalculations. I think the biggest potential comes from what I’ve mentioned previously, Compute Shaders, and these will take a bit of work to get up to scratch.

    Mils

    So I’ve finished the first Scope for the AWM, I got the Magazine finished also. These are both looking great. Now the AWM has much more of a complete feel. Today we a did some more testing in game also to get a feel for what major things need fixing. We have been listening to everyone’s posts about game breaking issues in the new map/progression. Was nice to get valid feedback which we can use to sort out the progression. Now, here is a nice bunch of shots of the new parts. 🙂

    AWMMagScope

    TEHSPLATT

    Spent this week fleshing out the Grasslands biome I’ve been working on. It’s starting to feel pretty nice to run around in, I plan on adding focal points and little structures as a test to see how it feels when you have some small land marks mixed with big ones. Making a map feel interesting is definitely a challenge as it can be restricted by gameplay mechanics. Varying types of ground textures have helped this test biome a lot in my opinion, the grassy ground is mixed in with an underlay of dirt on top of that I can add a yellowish dead zone with dead looking grass to break it up and then to top it off I have more dirt covered areas under thick clusters of trees where light wouldn’t have much of a chance to hit the ground. I’m planning on placing more rocks that fall in line with how the erosion of the earth actually happens and also changing their colour a bit to sit nicer in the environment.

    Grasslands4DevBlog

    Grasslands24DevBlog

    In this image I’ve done a paint over of a radio tower with a few shacks and a couple other things to see how it would feel to have these small land marks. I feel like these sorts of things add a lot of interest to the map and stop it from feeling like a series of never ending hills. It’s similar to looking at a noisy picture with no place for your eyes to rest, it can become extinguishing without points to settle at.

    Grasslands34DevBlog

    Tom

    This week I’ve been working on the recently released 0.4.3.0 update. Although it has some quite severe bugs and other balance problems I think it is our best progression model so far (until mondinium anyway) and it’s a good base for us to move forward with.
    I’ve been configuring most of the item progression so most values are derived from other reference values (eg. A bor’s health is based on a percentage of average creature health per tier and a weapons damage is set by a different percentage of creature health per tier). This allows us to make sweeping changes across many items by altering the reference value. It also allows us to easily create new content by not having to lookup a whole lot of values, we can just express things like this item should cost 05 minutes of mining farming and 00 minutes of creature farming to craft.

    I know a lot of these costs are currently pretty out of whack but thats just a matter of tweaking the percentages or the reference values themselves depending on the scope of the change and we’ll be starting to fix these very soon.
    Before that though I’ve been focusing on the real show stopper bugs, I’ve got a fix for mondinium resource nodes not being minable (as well as the strange rubber banding and getting stuck around them) and a fix for the bug that lets you get an original workbench that you aren’t supposed to get anymore.
    I’ve also got a fix for the general crafter machine showing up as the ammo machine and then lying about what it can craft.
    These fixes will go out in a patch very soon along with some needed balance changes such as reducing the crafting cost of concrete and creating an easier way to craft gasoline.

    Spencer

    This week has been all on content design, we’ve been fleshing out a framework of item gathering and crafting balance that should allow us to continue to build for many months to come. Part of this is a shift in our approach to focus our experimental builds into something greater than what we can achieve in 0 weeks. Over the last two weeks I feel that we developed much better language to describe the meta elements of survival games, giving us a much better understanding of how and why things work, allowing us to have a much better idea of how something will play before playing it. This should take a bit of the guess work out of our iteration.

    balancesheet

    Hotfix should go out today
    We will be pushing out a hotfix today to fix up blockers and balance issues with the last patch which should leave it in a decent state.

    Goals for this iteration
    We had a good play session this patch and ran into a few major flow issues with the current gating mechanics and also how resource hotspots are working in the new map. We will be aiming to restructure these focal points to be more frequent, smaller and more obviously a good place to farm. The separation of construction and hotspot zones isn’t really conveyed strongly enough due to their large size and no visible change other than the NoBuild binary effect. We will be iterating on these mechanics this week.

    We will aim to have the heat side of the progression added to the map for the next wipe cycle which will include a parallel progression through the hot biomes with completely separate loot, craftables and creature variants.

    I will also do my best to get TehSplatt’s new biome implemented in procedural generation, so we can refine the scale of things to a point that it works well with the Hurtworld gameplay and push it into the next map.

    Hurtworld Update #92

    Spencer

    Its been a chaotic week trying to wrangle the new map tools into line while redesigning our progression from the ground up. Progress has been good on the content design front. I feel like we are understanding the elements of a survival game better than ever, allowing us to churn out lots of items and loot configuration in what feels like a much more balanced planned way, rather than throw a bunch of stuff in and see what needs balancing.

    I spent half a day building a level testing character controller that will greatly speed up ours and modders level design process. It allows us to just click play anywhere on a map while working on it, and dropping in as a hurtworld character without having to build anything which takes testing if something feels right (mega important in map design) from a 00 minute job to 00 second job.

    Design Notes
    A few important new takeaway notes from our design sessions this week:

    Stricter No-Builds
    Building a base next to the thing you want is an easy way around wearing gear and caring about death. Resource hot spots (which will be more focused in this patch) should always be a decent distance from your base. We have small nobuilds around towns, but we are extending these to valleys with the richest resources. Contesting these valleys will have to be done on foot or in a vehicle where you risk losing stuff. Edges of biomes will also be build locked, to ensure if you are going to push into a biome, that you have the gear to handle it. Aint no half steppin.

    More PVP Weapons, Bullets Expensive
    PVP weaps will be cheaper and more common, this will give us room to introduce more weapon pimping as the weapon itself is only a small part of the cost. The bullets (and their production) will be the prime resource here. Wars will be expensive, guns will be plentiful.

    New Entry Level Stash Box
    Noobs have needs too, we are going to nerf workbench storage along with making them much more expensive, the shack will be useful and youll need storage.

    Environmental Effects Will Kill Yo Ass
    I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but we will be going hard on this one. If you don’t have the gear for a biome, you ded.

    More granularity on Amber
    Amber will be making a comeback soon, and will be dropped in larger quantities so we can have more fine granularity over its cost in recipes.

    Patch Status
    We should be on target for the experimental release this Friday. The map may be a little lackluster, but the benefit of this workflow is we can stop scrapping things we’ve done and build upon the foundations each release cycle (yay).

    Mils

    The Scope for the AWM was to be honest, a bit of a bitch to model. The section where the round sphere-ish part in the middle joins to the cylindrical dials and lens tube, was super difficult. There are 0 cylinders intersecting with the sphere part and there’s no easy geo formation to create that kind of polygonal match up without it distorting the spheroid’s perfect curve. I battled on and got it working today. I’ve thrown the base materials down onto the Scope and it’s looking nice. I’ll finish the texturing tomorrow and then I’m moving onto the magazine. This will give the AWM a basic set of items. Will be ready for Friday’s release. I hope to help Tom make some modifications to some weapons to aid the new progression we are bringing in as well.

    The scope as a full render image out of 0D Coat…

    ScopeEureka01

    Oh yeah! I almost forgot. The guys asked me to grey box a machete that I believe is going into the game also. This is to aid the early progression from what I was told last week.

    SheetyBlade01

    TEHSPLATT

    Finally got something looking half decent with this new biome test. After learning some tips from Spencer I managed to recreate a shot of some real world lighting. Trying to recreate a scene is much easier than trying to recreate the entire biome in which that scene exists, being able to colour pick and match things up shot for shot is extremely helpful. The main focus in this test is overall lighting and feeling, if the lighting matches the reference picture and the in game scene gives the same feeling of warmth/cold/death as the reference, you can create the biome that reference photo was set in (with some minor tweaking of course). Trying to create the entire biome from scratch is the creation equivalent of running before you can walk, it was over whelming and produced far worse results. Due to performance reasons we can’t have entire biomes gathered in grass I had to create a flat ground texture that had a decent mix of grass and dirt colours but didn’t grab your eye too much and also looks decent from far away, I think the one I made worked out pretty well for test purposes. The next step is finalizing the over all look and then polishing the assets that make the biome, like trees, grass, rocks and what ever else we can think of to break up any blandness.

    BiomeForDevBlog1

    Tom

    This week I’ve been working on the delayed 0.4.3.0 update releasing Friday the 0th of August.
    This update is less experimental than the others so far and more about trying to refine the core of Hurtworld to get a solid base to push forward from. We’ve split the workbench into several crafting machines that line up with the metal ore progression (ie. stone workbench, iron workbench, tritanium workbench etc.) which helps to define the progression into different tiers that line up with the biomes. We’re also going to start scaling PVE progression more aggressively so you’ll need to keep your items up to date to be able to survive and hunt enemies as you progress through the biomes.
    We’re hoping to land somewhere close to legacy Hurtworld with these changes but with improved gating between tiers. We want to enforce having to wear appropriate gear for the environment so as well as increased PVE scaling we’ll also be increasing environmental hazard damage for the unprotected and adding in no build zones around the borders of each biome.
    Now to setup a base in a biome you’ll have to push into the zone a bit, with increased environmental damage this should prevent bases being built on the edges of biomes players aren’t ready for yet allowing them to do short suicide farming runs.

    With the PVE scaling changes you’ll need to keep your weapons up to date but we thought this left more pvp orientated weapons like the guns in an awkward position where they always serve their main purpose well so it wouldn’t be worth investing in a new tier for higher cost.
    We also think the guns are balanced in PVE by their ammo costs, well they might be effective in killing generally the loot received isn’t worth the investment in ammo and you’re better off using a bow or spear.
    With this in mind we’ve introduced a new damage type for PVP orientated weapons, scaled PVE damage.
    Creatures now have a normalized maximum health value as well their standard health, when creatures take standard PVE damage this number is subtracted from their health but when scaled PVE damage is applied the damage dealt is equal to:
    (damage/100) * MaxHP * (1/NormalizedMaxHealth).
    This makes the damage scale so creatures with the same NormalizedMaxHealth value will take the same relative damage (as a percentage of max health) regardless of level.
    Now PVP focused weapons can be used in PVE combat at all stages of progression but their power will be controlled through ammo costs rather than damage applied.

    I’ve also been busy fixing up some other small issues for this update such as:

    • Swapped drop rates for stone and iron ore from the automatic red drill
    • ServerConfig.ChatDeathMessagesEnabled works correctly again (‘chatdeathmessagesenabled <0/1>’ in console)
    • Fixed a bug where the alpha channel of item custom colors wasn’t being serialized properly (was previously always 000%)
    • Fixed a bug where damage cracks were not appearing on the new wood log resource nodes
    • Fixed a bug where custom colors would not show on crafting item previews
    • Increased bow refire and drawback time to be closer to legacy

    Cow_Trix

    Hey folks. I’ve been continuing work on map tools, trying to get everything working together nicely. We had a bit of a go making this new map, and hit a few restrictions of the system that need looking at. The main one was memory – I’d been a bit greedy in how we stored some pieces of information, namely ground texture data and grass density data. This meant that saving/loading levels and stamps containing this data slowed to a crawl as we started dealing with big stamps and big levels. I moved both of these pieces of data to a compressed format, which worked well. We might need to compress more in future, and there are a few options out there for doing that. Arrays where you read/write from arbitrary positions often are a bit limited in how you can compress them, as compression of a given element can’t depend on the values of previous elements. Ground textures are probably not going to be able to be compressed more very easily, but we can probably get away with compressing grass maps more if needed. This effort successfully reduced the map size by about 00-60%.

    Roads took a quick pass to be able to blend with themselves more. They currently write to a layer in the terrain layering system I’ve been building, which means they can use the “stencil” concept that stamps use. And really, thinking about it, the road integration with the terrain is pretty much just like a stamp by any other name. However, because the road layer is additive, we can use the stencil for other purposes than blending with base layers. Below you can see the stencil from a road that intersects itself slightly, and how we can resolve that with the stencil buffer. We write the distance to the spline in the buffer, along with the a unique identifier of the connection that gives it it’s color. When it comes time for a road to change a heightmap point, it can now check firstly if a road has changed that point before, and secondly how far away that point was from that first changer’s spline. So we can do a simple test of “am I closer that this other road piece was?”. If the answer is yes, the road piece takes priority over that point. This solves a nasty artifact of roads being close together pretty nicely.

    data

    There were a few small issues with ground texture blending and grass maps that have held us up for the past few days, but those are looking like they’re solved now. They were both using a bit of math that needed to be updated for the newly compressed data. I’m pushing forward with actually creating a big, complicated test case that pushes the system to it’s limits. Generally the biggest issue now is going to be performance I think, and currently I have to organise my test case map carefully top avoid rebaking everything taking too long. However I’m hopeful that compute shaders should offer some relief on that. Compute shaders are freakin’ awesome by the way, to all Unity devs out there. I’ve begun looking into doing all the hard yards in them, and while they’re a bit difficult to debug sometimes they are staggeringly fast on parallel operations. Goes on the long list of things I wish I’d known about a year ago! Check out a little editor screenshot below. The purple line is a road, and each little white square is a stamp.

    MapWIP

    Dev Blog

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