So you might have noticed update 112 has been a while in the making, and that’s because it’s our biggest update yet. We’ve made fundamental changes to almost every system in the game, added in a huge number of art assets and laid the foundation for many future updates. For every change you can see, there are loads you can’t (yay, game development!).
Here’s a list of the biggest features:
New Characters - We have characters! You can now choose between masculine and feminine player models (go to the menu > gameplay options > change character model)
Character Customisation - There’s a few really expressive head options to choose from (also go to the menu > gameplay options > change character model)
New Creatures - Spitter and Livestock creatures have full, detailed models and now spawn across all worlds
New Animation - Characters and creatures now animate and feel alive in 1st and 3rd person
New Tools - Hammer, Axe, Shovel and Chisel are all beautifully modelled
New Weapons - The Slingbow, Arrow and Explosive Arrow (!) are all painstakingly modelled
New Equipment - The Grappling Hook has been beautifully AND painstakingly modelled
New Items - New items have been added including consumables like Raw and Cooked Meat, and recipe items like Essences.
New UI - Brand new Inventory, Crafting, HUD and Menu interfaces using a fancy new GUI system
Usability - New super-smart block placement logic (we’re proud of this one, it’s cool)
New 1st Person Assets - You now see what your character is holding in 1st person
New 3rd Person Assets - Other players can now see what you’re holding and what you’re doing
New Damage System - The game is now powered by a godlike damage system! Capable of dealing different damage types to blocks, players, creatures and more. Essential for exciting sandbox behaviours to come.
New Key Mapping - Some keys have been remapped: “TAB” is Inventory, “O”/”ESC” is Options, “T” is Chat, “,” is Infinite Block Mode, “E” is Interact (open doors), “C” is Change Camera
Other cool things - New weather effects like thunder and lightning, blocks now drop as textured objects, Creatures now collide as physics objects, updated spawning logic for creatures, perform melee attacks using tools, and lots more
Bugs - We’ve tried to fix at least as many bugs as we’ve introduced in this release
Realtime World Builder Visualisation - You can now visualise your worlds during development. Checkout this devlog post for more details.
DX11 Build - The DX11 renderer is now the default for all Windows players. We have removed the DX11 beta.
64-bit - We’ve also remove the 32-bit beta Windows beta branch. The game ultimately needs 64 bits especially when you start getting close to the portals and loading multiple worlds.
Whilst we’re chatting, now also feels like a great time to answer some common questions from the community. Settle in!
- "No updates for a few weeks. Are you dead? Was Guildford plunged into a nuclear winter?"
We’re fine, and sunny Guildford is also fine. In fact, we’re great! This release lays the groundwork for well over 12 months worth of new features and content. We appreciate and encourage your financial support of the game we aren’t going anywhere, we’ve just been knuckling down to get this big release out the door. In fact, the team is growing, so say hi to @jsouthworth, @olliepurkiss and @gerryjacobs!
- "Can you update the game more often, we miss regular updates!"
This is a decision we’re always juggling: big, infrequent updates vs smaller more frequent updates. We don’t plan to leave multi-month gaps between updates, and we’ll certainly try to avoid them as much as possible in the future. Either way, if you think things are quiet be sure to check in on the Official Oort Online Forum (http://forum.oortonline.com), it’s where we’re most active and share early looks at upcoming features, art and releases.
- "I can’t afford the game right now, will you be doing a sale?"
Throughout early access we’re not planning on having a sale. Why? While the game is in pre-alpha we’re treating it much more as access to an exclusive development club rather than simply just the ability to play a game in early access. With your copy of the game you get access to chat with us directly on the Official Oort Online Forum (http://forum.oortonline.com), the ability to feedback directly to development with surveys, access to and exclusive items and in-game titles that 1.0 players won’t get (which differ depending on which edition of the game you have). We hope when you factor in those extras, you’ll agree it’s worth the current price of entry
- "When is [feature] coming?"
We love [feature] as much as you, and we’re really excited to start working on [feature]! Right now we’re working on [other feature], but if you’re really passionate about seeing [feature] soon make sure to grab a copy of the game and join our development club as you’ll be able to vote for [feature] in our next survey. We read all of the feedback in every survey (we even have a quiz to guess your results!) and we really do listen. Your thoughts, ideas and opinions really do shape the development of Oort Online.
- "Wasn’t Oort Online meant to be finished, like, next month?"
Technically, yes. We had expected to deliver what we considered a 1.0 for Oort Online towards the end of this year. We had such an amazing response to the announcement of Oort Online over the last 12 months we decided to go big, even bigger than we’d originally planned to. To support this, we’ve committed more resources and the whole of Wonderstruck and Turbulenz are now working on it (vs 50% of the team this time last year). In fact we’re growing the team still so if you’re a talented game developer/designer/artist, get in touch. So yes, we’d expected to launch a 1.0 this year, but we’re now planning for much more ambitious 1.0 next year. We’ll share more about this in the coming months.
- "What’s next for Oort Online?"
Now we’ve laid the foundations, we’re planning for a release that will enable a big portion of the Oort Online core gameplay loop. This will include portions of the economy, crafting, Beacons and trading. We’ll post more in the coming weeks. As well as that, we’ve got a few other cool announcements to make before the end of the year.
- “Can I make YouTube videos for Oort Online?”
Always surprises us when we get asked this. Of course! And be sure to share them with us so we can post the best ones to our site, Twitter and Facebook.
- "Ben has fantastic hair, where does he get it cut?"
There are obviously some things we can’t discuss, and this is one of them.
This release adds a lot, but there’s still much, much more to come (and I’m going to stop now because I’m so excited I might spill all our secrets). We haven’t even talked about our work on progression, Titans, Portals, Beacons and other super-top-secret features. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or check out the forum to get the latest when we start teasing what’s next…
We hope you have fun with this update. As always we’re looking forward to your comments and thoughts.
Thanks from the dev team,
- Ben, James, Ollie, Jim, Yota, Michael, Joe, Claudio, Gerry, Fooksie, Luca, Yota, Duncan, Ian, Blake, Niki, Volong, Andy, Matthew, Chris, Simon
If you’re a total Oort nerd, here’s the complete changelog:
- New in-game HUD
- New Backpack and Crafting GUI
- New World Selection (Teleport) Menu
- New Options Menus
- New damage system for blocks, entities and props (eg: blocks store damage for up to 8 seconds)
- Major overhaul to item system allowing more interactive items in the future
- Added Stone Axe and Stone Shovel. Improved ability over wooden tools to destroy block types that these tools are effective against
- Added advanced item drop system. Allows drops to be given depending on the type of damage inflicted, different likelihood of drops
- Added explosive items. Certain items can cause explosions on impact that damage blocks, creatures and players
- Added consumable item type. Consumable items (meat and cooked meat) can give bonuses i.e. additional health
- Added lightning storms with thunder sound effects to some worlds
- Some keys have been remapped: “TAB” is Inventory, “O”/”ESC” is Options, “T” is Chat, “,” is Infinite Block Mode, “E” is Interact (open doors), “C” is Change Camera
- Added a number of character model variants
- Added held item assets in first and third person
- Added meshes for tools
- Added skinned characters and animation system with animation blends and layers
- Added camera shake effects for dramatic moments in game: large creatures, explosions, etc
- Added animated ammo on the Slingbow
- Added block textures to item drops
- Creatures no longer walk through each other or the players, keeping a radius around themselves free from other entities
- Creatures no longer try to jump unless they have somewhere they can jump to
- Creatures no longer try to keep running into walls, once they hit the wall they will stop
- Added a torch sound when the player is holding a torch
- Added drop shadows for entities
- Added a trail behind arrows
- Render changes to make the emissive and specular effects visible at distance. Light block etc look bright in the distance
- Big improvements made to the behaviour of arrows in client-side prediction
Reduced set of low damage blocks to mold and leaves. All other blocks take full impact damage (except bounce blocks)
Balanced block/creature/player damages to make way for future tools, weapons, items, blocks
Adjusted damage balancing for environmental damages i.e. falling, impact, lava, heal blocks, pain blocks