Weekly Dev Update: 2016 July 29th - World Wrapping, Prefabs and more


#1

This week we finally released the World Wrapping in the Boundless Client. Now the worlds are edge-less and can be circumnavigated. Details of this update can be found in the release announcement.

The next significant feature release will not be until mid/late August. We are planning to release the Trading Plinths and Player-to-Player Trading. If we are lucky, we should also see an early preview of Player Progression and Warping before the end of August.

Whilst these larger items are in development we are planning to update the game with the following:

  • Correctly tint and colour all assets and props, for example the Workbench and Furnace.
  • Replacing outstanding grey boxes with the assets, for example the Glue Bottle and Beacon Plotter.
  • Tweaks and user experience improvements to the GUI.
  • Correctly position all items in the World, in Storage, in Inventory and GUIs, and in players’ hands.
  • Add Machine animation so that you will know if it is on or not.
  • Other general tweaks and bug fixes.

We are also working on the sound effects (SFX) for Boundless. We plan to have a first pass before the end of August. This would include making sure everything makes a noise. We’ll then gradually specialise the noises per weapon, per block material, per creature, etc.

We’re also planning to add more content to the Boundless.Worlds biome project. Hopefully this will make it easier for everyone to contribute to the process.


Code
The World Wrapping was released and some issues addressed.

We have started work on adding Prefabs to the World Builder. This allows everyone to create Prefab nodes in the World Builder and then design the Prefab in the Boundless Client. The Prefabs can be made from natural blocks, crafted blocks and many of the props (for example, doors). When the Prefabs nodes are used in the World Builder they are placed in the world during generation. This process will allow us to populate the worlds with simple structures, hand made trees, and other creative elements.

You should think of the Prefabs as blueprints that the World Builder can use. The Prefabs will be included in the Boundless.Worlds community project.

Other items in development include:

  • The GUI has been made quicker to make it slicker to use.
  • We have also reimplemented the original mini map code.
  • We have started to look at the Warping from one location to another that will replace the current teleport options.
  • The trading and buying/selling implementation is continuing.
  • Support for Machine animations has been added to show active and inactive states.
  • Player progression has begun with the basic foundations of tracking stats used, for example, blocks hit.
  • We have also been working on the textures arrays to simplify the texture use.

Design
This week has been illuminating, as the main task has been to look at the lights in the game. We’ve added different types of torches, and balanced the settings for those and all the other light giving objects against each other.

We’ve cracked the functionality for buying and selling plinths, which will be fully implemented soon. The next thing on the list is the HUD which is a key part of the game. We hope to nail the design down.

There was also a boring, but necessary task to start organising all the text in the game into a format that can be localised. We’re about to add a lot more text with information for all the objects in the inventory, and it seemed sensible to do some housekeeping first.

Finally we’re preparing for the arrival of two new designers next week. The first is Luke, and he will be picking up much of Ben’s system design, as well as balancing and general gameplay work. Expect him to be quite active in the community once he’s found his feet. The second is Matt, who some of you will be familiar with because has done QA work for us over the last couple of years. He’s coming back for a few months to work full time on building biomes, so he’ll be working with @nevir and anyone else would like to be involved. We really want to see lots of new worlds and biomes being added to the game, so please talk to him if you’re interested in seeing your creations in the game.

Art
This week the art team has been working across a number of areas whilst supporting animated machines, making the tinting work correctly and item placement:

  • Beacon Plotter modelling has started from the following design.

  • We’ve modelled the Crates that the Machine parts first arrive in. Each machine crate has a colour coded machine glyph to help you match the machine components.

  • Here’s the compactor crafting animation we now have working in game. Next we’ll be spinning machine rotators and workbench buzzsaws.

  • Concepting the Ground Basher to improve the current mesh we’ve used to animate. We’re making him more powerful looking and will share the final design soon.

  • We’ve concepted a group of wild livestock to populate the worlds..

  • We’ve done a model block out of the Hunter Progression Stage 5 ready for rigging next week.

  • As you can imagine we’ve been playing a lot of our current game and decided that the torch would be improved with some light progression so we’re also producing torch progression concepts this week - wood, wood and cloth and gem. We’ll post as soon as it’s ready.

Animation
We’ve continued with Creatures pre-production:


:sunny: :icecream:


#2

#3

This is probably the most exciting bit to me. Really looking forward to this!


#4

Now that is awesome! The ability to just create different tree styles is excellent in itself, but also being able to add a random building or ruins onto worlds is an amazing idea!


#5

And everyone can contribute to this!!


#6

It’s going to enable all sorts of interesting things in worlds! Can’t wait :slight_smile:

These updates keep getting even more exciting!


#7

I guess that solves the problem of regeneration destroying/griefing of player made monuments and such that aren’t covered with beacons.

Well played Devs. :thumbsup:


#8

This is going to be absolutely awesome.
Can’t wait to get my hands on this feature :heart_eyes:


Preview like a devlog in the forum or preview like a first-pass implementation ingame?

This leads me to a question I already wanted to ask for ages: Will Boundless stay english-only or will you add different languages (either by the game itself or maybe by allowing language-mods like in Prison Architect, for example)?


#9

I’m not quite sure it does. But it’s possible I don’t understand what you’re saying.


The Prefabs are a solution for handcrafting details that can be included in the worlds that the noise functions aren’t suitable for.

Take trees as an example, options are:

  1. Hand craft 5 different types of trees, with 10 variations each, and use them in the different biomes, or
  2. Create a procedural system that can generate trees.

Whilst the procedural system #2 will generate endless trees, #1 is significantly simpler, cheaper, easier to implement, and probably does a good enough job at the resolution of our world (1m x 1m x 1m).

Another advantage of the Prefabs, is that anyone can create a type, say obelisks - which will then be in the world. Whereas not everyone would be able to create the procedurally generating logic.

There are some domains that a procedural system would be the better solution, and the additional effort rewards us with more variation and (hopefully) interesting gameplay. For example, I think dungeons and Titans should be procedurally generated, but then decorated with prefabs.


In game. But remember it’ll be the first building blocks.

We’re planning to initially support REFIGS for PS4 and PC. (Russian, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish).
Community submitted translations would be a good option beyond this.


#10

I’m able to answer this one (after trawling through all the game files!). There’s an english.json file in the game files with all the item, gui, action and menu translations in there, so I would assume it would be easy to accommodate other translations!

… but @james already beat me to the answer lol


#11

Well then I just hope that the next ‘weekly dev update’ includes a short paragraph on the outlines of the system, so we know what to expect from the preview. :wink:


#12

Could you also make a small ruined fort or more complex statue than obelisk that could be inserted into the world(I’m expecting here that the frequency of the prefabs appearance in the world can be adjusted) to add a sense of past civilization?

So I was thinking about utilizing prefabs as way to make handcrafted “details” for the worlds, if that clears up what I meant.


#13

There was a similar functionality in minecraft, maybe with mods but I forget. You were able to have a bunch of structures and you could define how often they spawn, types of areas they spawn in, etc. So you could make a ruined castle that only spawns in hill biomes above y=60 and has at least 80 blocks between them, for example.


#14

Yes - the Prefab can be any creative or simple or complex creation you want. It will be placed in the world - as is. The Prefab will adopt the tint values of the world so that it blends in.

There is a size limit of the Prefab, probably 32m x 32m. So they can be fairly large.

But to repeat, the prefab system isn’t for dynamicly generated structures - unless you did something amazingly funky with the distribution of prefabs with a discrete noise function on a grid and some tesselating structures.

Even then better to use our dungeon + Titan generation.


#15

Now THIS stuff is getting me excited for exploration.


#16

Awesome update :smile: Added all the art to the collection. Any news on when we’ll hear more about guilds?


#17

That compactor looks like a pokemon


#18

Just how versitile is the prefab system? Can it be used to create and scatter landscape features that can’t be otherwise made in the world Gen such as waterfalls, hot springs, or gysers? Could it make spacecraft wreckage? Colossal fossilized skeletons? Creature nests? Cave homes? Can it do underground prefab like buried relics, lost expeditions, or abandoned cave operations?

I can literally think of a thousand potential scenarios beyond standard prefab buildings.


#19

This is probably a really dumb question. How do I make a prefab and submit it?


#20

The first version of Prefabs will allow you to place all natural and crafted blocks and block variations (steps, walls, slabs). Think of it as a micro creative mode where the result is stored in the Boundless.Worlds bundle and used can be used to decorate worlds.

However, the following will not be initially supported: Liquid blocks and advanced Entity blocks (machines, storage, beacons, locks, etc).

No - no fluid blocks.

No - no fluid blocks.

No - no fluid blocks.

Yes.

Yes - but must be within 32x32 size.

Yes.

No - first version does support “negative” blocks allowing you to scope out the landscape.

Yes - but they might poke out into caves and landscape overhangs.

Yes.

Yes - but must be within 32x32.