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.
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.
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. Slacker.
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
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.
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.
… but no - shocking!