Weekly Dev Update: 2016 August 5th - Prefabs, Weather, Creatures and more


#1

This week, we addressed visual issues in the game including getting rid of the psychedelic workbench and plant colours. Details of this update can be found in the release announcement. If you have already tried the update, you might notice that the previous SFX is back. Stay tuned as we are in the process of adding new SFX later this month.

As with other development:

  • It is looking like the first pass preview for Trading Plinths, Direct Trading and Player Progression should be ready by end of August. Sometimes, when we develop features, its functionality might be ready for release but not its usability. For us, it is important that new features have sufficient level of usability so that we can get meaningful feedback from our players.

  • As you may know from last week’s dev update, we have started work on adding Prefabs to the World Builder. We are hoping that players can start playing with this by the end of August too.

  • Lastly, as we have almost finished replacing the old GUI with a new implementation, we will start updating the HUD in August. This new GUI is a technical implementation. We will do a visual pass once the usability is solid. We don’t want to waste time visually polishing the GUI if the implementation continues to vary.


Code
We are continuing the trading screen work and as part of this adding friend lists. These will be used for setting up beacon and guild access. The GUI has been updating some more menus screens, fixing up some issues and improving the controller support.

The work on adding Prefabs in to the World Builder continues, the prefabs can now be created, generated and previewed in game. Based on the questions and comments from last weeks update we have also extended the Prefabs to support “air blocks” allowing prefabs to remove voxels when placed. This is required to underground open spaces. (Basically just for @Havok40k’s Cave Homes.)

The basic Weather Effects were added back in, with a temporary weather cycle until the biome information is available. Biomes will define their own weather. At the moment it’s global for the world.

Work on the Hopper creature is progressing. As part of this we are adding some server-side root animation in to make the creature movement more fluid.

We hooked in some Machine animations, added the colours and decals for various items.

The tool chain was updated to add Locators to the skeleton hierarchies for better placement and orientation of attached objects. This is used for held items in 1st and 3rd person views. This is important so that we can artistically control the placement of the 1st person items and equipment during animations, and also make sure they scale gracefully between different screen aspect ratios (from 4:3 -> 16:9 -> 21:9 -> 3x16:9 = 48:9 = 16:3).

We worked on quite a few bugs, fixing up the builds, some graphical issues and updating for the release.

Design
This week, @luke-turbulenz our new Game Designer started at Wonderstruck. Checkout this personal introduction here. We spent the first week bombarding him with so much information on Boundless that he should be able to answer any questions you may have about the game. His first assignment is to work on the Achievement / Tutorial System.

Robert has been improving the overall HUD design, this includes redesigning how the current radial menus work for held items (based on feedback from players who want the option to have them permanently visible).

We’ve also been iterating the Trading GUI, and Buying and Selling Plinth GUIs.

@olliepurkiss has been lying on a beach somewhere with beer in his hand designing the next high priority system. He has been working very hard this week. :cocktail: Slacker.

Art
The art team has been busy supporting this week’s release. We’ve added the following assets to the game:

  • Beacon Plotter.
  • Machine crates (with glyph tinting).
  • Machine tinting.
  • Flowers tinting.
  • Additional hammer progression and axe and chisel models.
  • Machine compactor animation - we used this to develop the animated prop pipeline.

Weapons and Tools
We’ve been testing an updated Slingbow design in game - assessing its readability in first person before going to the final modelling stage. The Slingbow needs to communicate a range of states: loaded, reloading, empty and the loaded powerup. This was originally going to be presented by a different type of ammo, but we’ve decided it’s better to present this as a powerup.

Axe models - wood, stone, metal, alloy and gem

Chisel models - metal, alloy and gem

Creature Development
Concept has continued on ground basher and stone thrower, wild herds, spitter and general creature progression.

We aim to have our creature art plan all finalised ready for production very soon.

Cuttletrunk animation is completed and now ready for code integration. Look a out for a post on this next week.

Work Experience
We’re lucky to have had @cyrosia join us this week on work experience. She’s done some great work exploring a wide range of ambient VFX possibilities in the game.

And … the original weather effects are back. They add atmosphere to the game.
We’ll be re-assessing these effects in anticipation of adding VFX across the game later on this year.


:swimmer: :surfer: :rowboat: :bicyclist: :horse_racing: :golf: :field_hockey: … but no :fishing_pole_and_fish: - shocking!


Testing 20: Bug Fixes and Art Improvements
#2

#3

Im in love this his gui and hud omg so niceeeee


#4

^ that’s a smart idea!


#5

So I asked this before but didn’t get an answer. How exactly do you make a prefab? Is that something that is like beyond my current contributor level?


#6

Lots of art for the collection this week. Thanks @james :slight_smile:


#7

I´m carving for some information on this.
Maybe you could sneak in a preview-devlog on what you´ve planed for progression? :wink:


I´m in love with this version of the radial menu as well.
Awesome job Robert :+1:


#8

It’s a feature that is not yet available to any backer. It will likely be a world builder feature or add on.


#9

Also, after looking through previous iterations of models, I’m noticing a definite loss of polygons/texture resolution on the updated tool models.

Before:

After:

Is this intentional?


#10

Its in the World Builder. You connect it to the game and build what you want in the game (up to 32x32) and save it as a prefab that can then be used to generate the worlds with.


#11

James, I don’t understand why you wrote an update with only one sentence…[quote=“james, post:1, topic:4750”]
It is looking like the first pass preview for…Player Progression should be ready by end of August.
[/quote]

because that’s all I read!

Just kidding, thank you as always for the wonderful information dump and update on your hard work!


#12

I’ve noticed that too. And tbh I think they look terrible now. I really hope we’ll get the old tool back :confused:


#13

Not sure how you can make a valid or even complete comparison from a single conceptual, incomplete model with variation. If I recall the chisel before had 1 texture for all its different types. Here you are being shown conceptual variations for base metals, alloy metals, and gems. Noticing that the base metal looks crude and flimsy, alloy refined and sturdy, and gem more refined with a gem texture and intricacy. That’s just my opinion and observation though.


#14

They mentioned before that the items looks quite different until rendered in the game same as when they showed of their item models and everything seemed plastic like. That should explain the textures at least.


#15

As far as I understand prefab right, it is a predefined landscape pattern which then can be modified. Quite frankly I found this so helpful in generating a first landscape. Admitted, you made it easier to achieve a first accomplishment in the world builder. It has the advantage of wanting to do it again. Maybe next time with new windows aligned and different modifiers changed. It is very welcoming and accommodating from my point of view.


#16

The current hammer models (wich are already in the game) have way less polys and overall detail than the old ones. And Imo that’s a big step backwards


#17

Amazing progress guys!

I pretty like how you changed the tools now! Wood and stone are authentic and gem with a little stone on the bottom looks pretty neat too!


#18

That’s awesome! So we can now also make craters or half buried buildings as well!

Agreed! For me personally, it felt a little cumbersome having to open your inventory and then hold down Q to assign things to your hands. Having a quicker, cleaner interface to swap things around in that regard definitely gets my vote!

I think the new tool models/textures look ok, with maybe one small exception being the blue band mid-way up, as it looks too much like the sapphire colour used in the gem chisel (unless it’s meant to be sapphire?).

Also, personally I’m glad in a slight reduction in poly count, as with all the new items being added, my ageing machine is going to start chugging a lot more!


All-in-all though, August is looking to be a great month for updates!

I think this month I’m most looking forward to seeing what the first pass of player progression brings to the game and also being able to get a bit creative with some prefab ideas :smiley:


#19

I’ve been on a beach too hard at work!


My shoulders and elbows hurt today… (no shovel!) Hole’s about 1.5 metre diameter and a metre deep some googling, seems I moved about 3 tons of sand


Weekly Dev Update: 2016 August 19th - XP Progression, Warping and Prefab and more
#20

why… was there a pokemon under there?