Weekly Dev Update: 2016 April 15th - C++, Regen, Machines, Creatures, GUI + more

Hey everyone and welcome to our first regular development weekly update. The purpose of this update is to make sure that we maintain a consistent communication between the development team and community.

In the past we’ve made devlog posts when we thought there was something interesting or worthwhile to share. But this can sometimes lead to periods of radio silence whilst we’re busy getting stuff done. The devlog posts will continue and they will focus on new art, new animations, new technology, new music (soon!), new designs and other cool new stuff. These are the posts for you to give us detailed comments and feedback about what we’re creating and help evolve the direction. We read and digest everything that you share - so please keep it coming.

The weekly development update will cover what we’ve been working on this past week. We’ll endeavour to publish the update on a Friday afternoon. (Obviously the first update is late - typical!) It might take us a few posts to find the right level of detail and flow, so let us know what you think. Hopefully as the weekly updates progress you’ll get a good feel for our rate of development and a better understanding of everything we’re doing to make Boundless ass-kick.

I’ll also try and give an overall comment about the direction of the project and status of any coming releases.

In short:

  • Weekly dev update posted each Friday - summarising dev status.
  • Individual devlog posts will continue diving into more details.

We’re working on a number of different code items in parallel. This includes completing any of the missing C++ porting features, for example implementing the liquid simulation and also fixing bugs discovered by the community (thanks!). We’ve also started work on some of the major new items that will be included in the next big feature update, namely @olliepurkiss’s machines system. We’ve started by breaking down all the tasks required for the various machines (work benches, forges, etc) and started working on the core dependences. The new machines require lots of new GUI with more complex widgets, such as scrolling lists, so we have starting working on implementing these. @ben has shared some of the mockups that we’re beginning to implement - here, here and here.

We’ve also been working on adding a few more of the creatures into the game, including the famous hopper (seen in the trailer) - but this has been put on hold whilst we focus on the machines.

We are working on an updated shader pipeline to allow us to use more modern GPU features and get better performance down the line. This is possible now that we’ve switched to C++ and we have unrestricted access to the hardware. Ultimately it’ll mean better GPU performance (hopefully!) so more players can have the options set of 11 (maximum).

Finally, we’ve completed an initial version of the world regeneration and the rules it could follow. @lucadeltodecso shared an early stress test here. It’s an experiment that we will hopefully include in a future update to the C++ Steam beta. The regen puts additional load of the servers as they gradually regenerate the world, so we need to be careful to balance this load whilst still simulating the environment for online players. Once this tech goes live we’ll need to wipe the current C++ worlds. Here is a quick look at the how you can control the layout of biomes.

This week has been about tying up some loose ends of design ready for our push towards getting some new gameplay in. We’re starting working out how Portals and Warping should work, finalising the list of blocks and item types for the next major update, and working on a system design for creature spawning. The aim is to the complete the central core of the game.

A key thing to focus on in the coming weeks is building new worlds using the new and improved world builder tool. First look at the updated tool shows real promise for our new nested biome approach, but there is still some work to do before the tool is ready for making the next batch of worlds and for release. We’ll get the new World Builder shared soon, so that the community can help us make some biomes - ideas here please whilst you’re waiting. We’ll share more details in a devlog post soon.

We’ve spent some time prototyping a GUI layout method that can scale across a variety of screen sizes, orientations and pixel densities. This is essential to make sure text and icons are readable at all sizes, but allows for resolution independent scaling on high DPI displays, at a 4K resolution for example. We’re also aiming to expose this as an option that allows players to set their own GUI scale, whether your preference is for smaller text and more information density, or larger text and less information density.

This week the art team has been busy working on a number of key areas of the game.
We’ve been continuing exploring creatures creating a vast range of concepts that we will be sorting through next week, choosing our favourites and creating a design creature matrix to populate our worlds. Expect a devlog post including these soon!

We have continued working on concepting tools and weapons designs, and their associated progression. This is happening in the background, as the creatures are the current focus.

We have also been extending the creature asset pipeline for modelling, rigging and developing animation features using a new squidlike creature codenamed the CuttleTrunk as a benchmark. Once we have this creature in the game we think we’ll have all the pipeline features we require.

@gerryjacobs has completed the logging out character animation - and she share some details in this devlog post.

More item objects have been modelled this week by @jesshyland - including coins, bag, grass seed, and berries. The items are held by characters, displayed on plinths and chests and seen as 3D icons in the inventory. She shared a devlog post of their progress here.

We’ve started the process of adding the music composed and played by Peter into Boundless. Our plan is to release the first 1 or 2 tracks in a coming release. It’ll take us a bit of time because the music is designed to change and adopt so that you’re not constantly listening to the same repeating tune for hours on end. We’re really excited to hear everyone’s feedback - hopefully you’ll love the music as much as we do!

Hopefully you found this interesting - let us know below.

Eak! Less than 5 days until the next update… < cracks whip >


Great status update. Looking forward to next friday and the next releases^^


Thanks James - massively informative :smiley:


Can’t wait to see the beautiful worlds possible with nested biomes!


@james, @ben, @olliepurkiss, @jesshyland, @lucadeltodecso, @gerryjacobs: I like to express my personal thanks about the huge amount of information you shared in the last week (i know this took you some time) and that you take the concerns of the community so seriously. A lot of thanks :thumbsup:

This are the best news i could expect :thumbsup: Thanks a lot!

Do you have multiple display support in mind (horizontal stack) ? For example i’m using 3x1080p displays and i’d love to play B< on all three at the same time (ultimate panorama)

I can’t wait to test this / hear it. I like that it’ll adopt and i like to ask a question to this. Do you plan a “fade” of the tracks dependent on the situation of the player ? Eg. the music gets faster and more aggressive if the player is fighting and silent and relaxed if he is roaming around and just exploring the beautiful landscapes ?


Yes - this is part of the requirements. There are 2 parts to it:

  1. Making sure the GUI + HUD + FOV are designed to permit this configuration, and
  2. Making sure that we have sufficient platform + OS + driver support for the game to render.

Maybe. My preference is that 1. the music is interesting to listen to as a priority, then 2. we make sure the music isn’t too repetitive to listen to (by including interesting variations within each track), and then finally 3. smart in how the music is selected and transitioned. The initial releases will experiment with #1 and #2, if there is time we’ll look at support for advanced features for #3.

It’s something that I personally think is a little overrated. I’m more interested in giving players control over the music in their builds + shops + space zoos.

Finally @Heurazio I do plan to respond to your communication post - I just haven’t had sufficient time to do it justice yet.


[quote=“james, post:6, topic:4216”]I’m more interested in giving players control over the music in their builds + shops + space zoos.

Are we abel to select the “soundtrack” / music of the game on a global scale ? Eg. i like OST#1 and i select this for my shop => every other player who visits my shop hears my selected music

Tell me more about the “space zoo” :smiley: just kidding …

Thanks :thumbsup: @olliepurkiss and @ben were kind and have already answered most of my questions / points but i’m looking forward to your answer.

Great read! I’ve never been so active or interested in an online game / community. Seriously love it. Cheers James


This is everything I’ve ever wanted. My feedback is 10/10, excellent work, thank you so much :smiley:


finally an update is aproaching, this will be interesting

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But the question is will we have snow blocks

I am literally going “squeeee!” over those world builder screenshots


Really I kinda zoned out after the new worldbuilder, the possibilities are infinite.


See,this is what communication is,great job guys!!
Love the new information!

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Don’t you mean Boundless?^^


@KuroKuma I just… wow…

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It seems that we are going to keep making this joke to the end of time :smiley:

The other people should step up their game though.


You oort to be ashamed of that pun.