Weekly Dev Update: 2016 December 9th: PSX, PS4 and sleep!

We’ve had a super busy 2 week period.

Demo, Trailer and PSX:
In the week commencing Monday 28th November - we were heads down desperately trying to complete a new trailer to show at the PlayStation Experience in Anaheim, Los Angeles and polish up the first playable presentation of Boundless for PS4. Sounds easy? It wasn’t. The effort it takes to shine a working game into a polished game is significant (bordering on insane).

Simply fitting Boundless with multiple open portals and hence loaded worlds in the fixed memory of a PS4 (which is shared between the CPU and GPU) is an example of the issues we needed to resolve.

We attempted to make the trailer and demo share the same presentation. The aim was to allow people at PSX to play the trailer live on PS4. We wanted to make sure it wasn’t possible to claim that the trailer didn’t reflect the status of the game. Whilst people were waiting for a spare machine to play on, they could watch others play or watch the trailer and get a similar experience.

The entire trailer was captured in game.

The original ambition was to actually have the PS4 demo connect to the live Boundless worlds and invite everyone in the community to experience the live demo together. “Come and inhabit the worlds we’ve put online for the trailer.” After all it’s an online game - and it should be presented as an online game. But we needed to abandon this idea once we started learning about the connection performance available to us at the event. (And it’s a good thing we did!) In the end it was safer to simply connect the 4x PS4s to a mini-clone of the Boundless universe running locally. Players loved bumping into each other in the game - and obviously instantly started trying to grief each other.

We took our 2x designers @olliepurkiss and @luke-turbulenz to present the game, 1x hero programmer @dave to make sure it actually ran (and present), and myself to carry the bags.

The schedule was:

  1. Thursday - fly from London Gatwick to LAX.
  2. Friday - setup the booth, setup the PS4s, and demo.
  3. Saturday - present the demo all day.
  4. Sunday - present the demo all day.
  5. Monday - flyback to London Gatwick landing Tuesday lunch time.

The entire team contributed to creating the trailer and demo - and I’m super proud of it and them. Whilst neither were perfect and littered with little issues - I think they did the game justice.

We shared some pictures of the booth before the event started in this news item.

Everyone we presented the game to seemed to be genuinely impressed. For me the standard conversation was: “So what is Boundless”, and my stock initial answer was “Boundless is an epic sandbox, where everyone players in a single online universe.” At this point the standard response was “wow”. The players we met: loved the visual presentation, the real time portals, the variation between the worlds, the beacons and regen system, travelling between worlds by the planets, and the thought that everything they saw was created by another player. The booth was continuously busy and the 4x PS4 were always occupied with people waiting to play.

Here are some pictures that we took during the event.

Some final checks before the hoard arrived.

We had new Boundless Oortlets and some fetching headpieces for players to wear. (And they did wear them!!)

Players playing.

More players.

Even more players.

In case you missed it - here is the latest Boundless trailer - (comment on the news thread):

The trailer includes a load of new features, assets and polish.

In the week commencing Monday 5th December, whilst we were traveling home, the team has been preparing the demo version for release on Steam. The majority of features shown in the trailer will be included or modified to make them more suitable for the game. For example, we had a shortened tutorial for the demo, we stocked your inventory with a collection of basic equipment, and we also made sure that when players entered the first world from the sanctum that they warped in close to each other. We think this stuff was necessary to give players an experience of Boundless in minutes rather than hours.

The Hunter and Basher will not make it into this release. Unfortunately, their AI and navigation are still a bit premature to release them in the wild. However, there is a long list of new and improved things that you can check out in next week’s release.

Come New Year, we will be focusing our efforts on the following:

  • Completing the GUI overhaul
  • Combat system improvements including addition of the Lance and creature balance.
  • Add creature variants and new creatures.
  • Add the sign, donation box, ladder, etc.
  • Add more VFX / SFX
  • Complete the overhaul of the smart staking / inventory system.
  • More sophisticated progression system including achievements.
  • Add Guilds system
  • … and many more tweaks and improvements!

Mainly cleaning up the code that we implemented for the trailer and demo to prepare for the release next week. However, we have been adding new things such as:

  • VFX for the roadrunner and cuttletrunk
  • New News feed in the HUD (level up and world information)
  • You always leave and restart the game from the Sanctum.
  • New animations for the Hopper and Cuttletrunk.
  • New impact and hitting VFX.
  • Other than that, we are all bug fixing.

Much of last week was taken up with PSX, with Luke and Ollie both flying to Anaheim and doing the show, and Rob working long hours with Jim preparing key artwork to go with the trailer.

This week was mainly about recovering from that experience, and fixing and polishing the work we’ve done so it can be released:

  • Luke has been polishing up the Sanctum and the tutorial so that new players will have a nice introduction to the game.
  • Ollie has been looking at some balance work, especially to do with creatures.
  • Rob has been working on the areas of the HUD and GUI that didn’t make it into the demo, but that we want to get in soon.

After working on the trailer over the last few weeks the art team is now getting ready for our next release. We’re very excited to bring you the playable version of the Boundless trailer!

We’re creating progression models of the creatures.

  • Here’s the Hopper from Jess:

  • The standard and elemental Cuttletrunk from Jess:

  • More Wildstock tiers from Claudio:

  • Dom has been re-working our block breaking effect. Here’s a work in progress proof of concept using flipbook textures replacing the current block break effect:

For the end solution we plan to use a 3D shader that we can use for breaking both voxel blocks and polygonal meshes for props, plants etc. We’ll be developing this in the New Year.

For future release Amanda is concepting the block parasite and worms. More of this to come in a separate post very soon.

Also for release in the New Year we’ve completed the progression models for our new grapple.
Here’s a sneak peek of the gem version (again from Jess) :

So an extremely busy couple of weeks.

:airplane_arriving: :pray: :sleeping_accommodation: :baby: :thumbsdown::skull:


Loving the look of those wearables in the first image! Very menacing! :smiley:

The block breaking effect that Dom is working on looks cool too - will this solve the issue of having some of the cracks appear pink?


Not sure what I should think about that to be honest. Why did you decide to do that?

The rest sounds promising and/or exciting^^


Japp, always logging into the sanctum sounds bad. I would like to start in the nowhere where I left the game or at my own beacon if I chose so… But not at the sanctum over and over again :confused: … Or even go to it to leave?! … Sorry, but no

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@james: Thanks, that’s a really good dev log :thumbsup:

Good to hear this too. I’m excited as hell for this :slight_smile:

As @KuroKuma and @TheBirne said, I’m not sure about the “always start from the sanctum idea”. Maybe the new release will clear this up.


the new block effect looks dope,also loving the new grapple hook (maybe now ill be able to tell which block i’m attached too,yes ive broke the block i was attached too before and fell to my death lol (i was really high up)

kudo’s to jess on the arkwork :slight_smile:


As we’re an always online game, if for whatever reason the server you were on is full or offline you will still have the option to play the game. This is because returning to the Sanctum will allow you to Warp to another location in your Location List. You have the option to go back to the spot where you logged out as well, but in the example where that world is offline you have an alternative option.

This was the main reason, but there are other reasons like logging in and out, and loading times. So when you return to the game you are always in a safe area and cannot be griefed, and we encourage you to return to the sanctum when you log out so you can log out instantly rather than wait for the countdown to finish.

You will be spawned in front of an open warp which is facing the same direction and position you logged out from. However, if someone decides to block that point or make it dangerous for you the game will choose a new location close by. Or, you could turn around and open a warp to a new location. Either way, getting back into the game where you were is only a step away.

Also, if you drop connection and reconnect in time you will not be sent back to the Sanctum. You’ll simply pick up where you left off.

On a personal thought on this topic, I was worried about whether or not this would be a frustrating flow but after having played it, it works well. :slight_smile:


but guys i got to say this. the new trailer, the visuals look a lot worse than the E3 trailer…

(Paris Games Week trailer)

Could you qualify this with some details?

Block breaking texture!! :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes::sunglasses:

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Clouds. I swear they change everything.


Great news also I have to admit.

@James was dressed so sexy with his hat, that even the girls couldn’t resist to come :wink:
Okay, additionally i think the colour concept and freedom for creativity and less focus on fights will make this game anyhow pretty interesting also to girls! :slight_smile:

That’s actually @dave :stuck_out_tongue:

oops, sorry @james. so @dave was the womanizer!

I assume that means, the sanctum is your way of implementing some kind of server list but ingame instead of before going into the game.
Or in other words, you just moved everything ingame instead of having lists and menus. And I really like that approach^^
I’d also have to play it, to see myself how good the flow is.

But that brings up another question.

How likely would it be that you can’t access your homeworld, where everything you own is located?

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It could be very likely depending on how the server infrastructure is setup, or if there will be an amount of player limitations to the world. What if a large guild decided to go to your world and take out a titan? That would certainly take up some player slots on the server.

And because I do not want to double post, I am glad to come back and find that things are moving very smoothly for the developers. I backed this game when it was still Oort Online or whatever it was before. The whole game has just kept me excited every time I re-visit and see what is new. I just started playing Boundless and am very thrilled with how things are set up, and only to find out there is more content very soon! Keep it up Devs! I am going to try to stick around the forums and trying to group people up on the world I am on currently(Berlyn) seeing as this is one of the main games I am currently playing and more than likely will be for the foreseeable future.

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Yea I also had several possibilities in mind. That’s why I asked^^
They might not know it exactly right know. But I think they have at least something planned for how the servers should work and what they should be able to handle.

These responses are a true testament to the quality of work that is being put into the game by the developers. They have put a lot of thought into implementing the hopefully very soon, new feature of being brought first into the Sanctum with a portal to a new or previous location. As soon as I saw this post my jaw literally dropped and thought, “Brilliant!”. Keep it up devs and you will have a very successful game in your keyboards :stuck_out_tongue:


What is the user limit set at currently per server? and is that per planet for per region(planet, moon, ring world)?

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