Weekly Dev Update: 2016 June 3rd - Professions, Slopes and more

Progress this week has been a little slower as Monday was a bank holiday (or public holiday) in the UK and a few of the team have been away on holiday. We didn’t release any updates publicly but we are planning to release the C++ / JS switch over next week. (Originally proposed and discussed here.) The switch will include a new world to explore and a few new features.

We have started to work on the GUI for Dual Wielding and Storage. We’re still working towards an initial release mid June as they are looking super good. We also started adding support for Locks :key2: on Storage to safeguard your belongings for the release.

We have also been beavering away to get the new World Builder :earth_africa: update and Resource Regeneration :pick: :diamonds: ready for their initial release between mid and end of June.


Code
We have added support for inverted slopes to the world builder, so the underside of caves can now be smoothed out. The settings are per block type to allow variation so areas can still look more faceted or smooth. The result is more naturalistic looking environment.

The World Builder first analyses the environment to work out which blocks are candidates for automatic sloping. The different colours here represent the different slope types.

A scene before and after slopes are inserted.

The Dual Wielding has been polished up, fixing various glitches and starting the radial menu GUI for it. The GUI engine has been working on reflow so it formats well on various screen sizes. The Machines have been tested for various scenarios and profiled to make sure they don’t impact the game too much. We added some of the item meshes, eg for meat and grass seeds. We have also been fixing some glitches when you go through portals.

The updated shader pipeline is finally being integrated into the game and updating the shaders to work on the different platforms.

For the servers we have been updating some of the deployment to allow us to test with some different hosting solutions.

Design:
There’s been a fair amount of discussion on race abilities recently and we thought it would be a good idea to address these concerns and explain our approach for character differentiation and skills in more detail.

We’d previously thought of race abilities as a way of allowing players within the Boundless universe to have a ‘speciality’. We thought of this a little bit like classes akin to something you might see in games like Team Fortress 2 or Overwatch. Upon exploring this further we decided races as character classes wouldn’t be the right approach Boundless for two main reasons:

  • A character race is something you’ll choose before even playing the game, how do you really know what abilities are right for you at that point?

and…

  • Skills and abilities are really important to Boundless, and we want to do more than just a few sets of abilities.

For those reasons, we decided a full skills and progression system was more interesting and appropriate. We decided we’d keep races as they offer great visual and thematic variety. We’ll still allow players to choose a race (and one of the four cultural belief systems) and customise them to a high degree, but that we wouldn’t tie skills or abilities to those appearances.

The skills and progression system we’re planning, Professions, is many times bigger and more impactful than anything we’d talked about before to do with race abilities. Each of our 9 Professions - Explorer, Gatherer, Hunter, Defender, Trader, Builder, Miner, Crafter and Founder - have their own skill tree. Some of those trees have up to 50 different skills, with some of those skills having up to 5 levels of upgradability. Players can choose up to 3 skill trees (Founder is a freebie), meaning there’s technically 56 different ‘classes’ in Boundless. We think this is a much more flexible and impactful way to deliver abilities in Boundless.

On top of that system we have the Forge, where weapons, tools and equipment can be imbued with potentially 100s of different of stats. If we deliver what we’ve planned, there will be over 75 million different stat combinations. These combinations can have with wild and unpredictable results, especially when stacked onto Profession abilities…

So, skills, abilities and progression are incredibly important to Boundless. We have a lot planned here. And whilst saying “no” to character abilities might seem like we’ve taken something away, it’s more a case of refocusing our resources in an area where they’ll have more impact.

I know you’re probably thinking: “Hey, you know what’s better? Races abilities AND Profession abilities!”, and hey, you’re probably right. But the crushing reality of time and resource really only gives us two choices here: focus our efforts delivering one really awesome system, or split focus and risk delivering two mediocre ones. We’re choosing to focus on Professions, and we hope you’ll love them when they’re out the door.

GUI
This week has seen some in-game progress on the new GUI:

There’s still a fair way to go, including adding icons, a 3rd dimension and getting the scale to respond to various screen sizes/resolutions. As with everything our plan is to get it into your hands as soon as it’s functional (and we’re sure you all want to play with storage…).

In addition we’ve been looking at an entity focus HUD interface. This is designed to provide you contextual information based on the entity you’re interacting with. Entities in this case could include players, creatures, machines and locations. In many cases this HUD will be what you see above an entity when you look at, interact with or attack it. There’s a table of permutations with varying complexity based on a number of different factors like: your distance from an entity, if you’re looking directly at it, if you’ve attacked/healed it, and so on.

Art
It’s been a short but productive week for the art team.

Concept has finalised the tools and weapons progression language.
We’ve gone for a nice and simple elegant approach that ensures the material progression is easily readable. Will post on the forum soon. We’ve also finalised the Protector concepts. These automatons will defend Temples and Titans from player attack. Next week we start exploring concepts of the character races.

We’ve modelled: Cog, New Sap, Tallow. We’ve also iterated on the Mould block using the foliage layer tech.

Animation
We’ve been creating Cuttletrunk animation tests to see how the tentacles will move. Also continued with the character wearables idle and continued supporting the code integration of dual wielding.


I’m off to slide around the World Builder slopes :ski: :snowboarder: :evergreen_tree: :helicopter: :helmet_with_cross: :ambulance: :hospital:

26 Likes

ooooh interesting :slight_smile:

No fun allowed before full worldbuilder released :stuck_out_tongue:

3 Likes

Does some or all of them include deities within the game? But nice job sneaking that in there.

Also. Exotic creatures Rare mobs confirmed. Neato. [quote=“james, post:1, topic:4479”]
with some of those skills having up to 5 levels of upgradability
[/quote]

With added effects or just like a “do x better” example would be ESO in which skills could be “morphed” at a certain level to do additional things.

on one weapon? Or like a combination of random stats. and are they picked or are they random.

Never the less sounds awesome. keep it up

1 Like

YESSSSSSSSS

Someone forgot their bounce pad :frowning:

2 Likes

I still think that some minor racial traits like:

+x% damage at night
-x% damage during the day

or small specific elemental resistances would be quite nice to have. I´d even take 40 instead of 50 skills in each tree for that :wink:


Hopefully this doesn’t end up in dozens of ‘filler’ perks alá WoW.
I´d rather have small trees with few but meaningful skills over large ones with a lot of unnecessary perks.
But maybe we are getting large trees with meaningful perks…who knows.


Healer role confirmed?

4 Likes

Initially, I was a little bit unhappy with the choice to remove character traits, as I personally like trying to choose a race based on their traits (I spent at least 30 mins hopping back and forth on Elder Scrolls Online).
I began to write this post in agreement with @Vastar on minor abilities, but I went on to try and suggest some skills that each class could have and slowly started to agree with your decision to cut them. Everything you’d want to give a class, the skill trees do the exact same thing.

Is this 3 at a time, or only 3 and locked into 3?

BIUYOLVYIUOBBYBILBIL WOW

8 Likes

im all about the choice for profession over race abilities.

BUT

I think it would still be cool maybe to have some minor happy passives which are determined as a result of the combination of race and cultural belief system.

It would be fair if it was a sliding scale of sorts like old ps1 jet fighter games where you get a pentagon with five points representing five separate stats and each jet has its own wonky pentagon shape warped by its strengths and weaknesses

AND

while having all of these professions sounds great, being limited to three kinda ruins it for me. Im the type of player that would like to excel in all professions eventually, assuming the game warrants such player longevity

again with the warframe eh?

you can own all warframes (character/classes) all weapons, achieve highest rank in six different syndicates (npc organizations) which conflict with each other (the grind is real) and then eventually max out five focus schools (end game skill trees each with various passives/actives)

I understand there is probably a huge difference in terms of staffing and funding… However, When I look at games I play nowadays, I’m looking at them through the eyes of someone who can spend 1000s of hrs over several years playing one game. As long as the game continues to grow that is. I have 3500 hrs logged in warframe over three years and about 1000.00 usd invested in an f2p with possibly the best f2p ethics and setup. no regrets.

When I spent that 50.00 or w/e for OORT ONLINE (<3) I bought it hoping for a similar experience. One where a great game receives consistent support from its community and is able to grow and undergo massive evolution in mechanic and design over the lifespan of the game which I want to be as long as the game is fun.

I certainly hope that there isnt some end point in mind for the development of boundless. If so I already feel like ive reached that point and wanna move on. If it feels like ( to the devs ) there is greatness to come and much more where that came from, and much much more beyond that… Well, you’ve got a dedicated supporter.

oh, and so this isnt 100% rant

Those new slopes in the cave pictures in the op are wonderful looking. Im glad there is so much variation of ‘texture’ in how the worlds look. More blocky/Less blocky, very nice!

1 Like

The inverted slopes in that cave just made me feel things I didn’t think I’d ever feel for a game. Please continue. :purple_heart:

3 Likes

Maybe it’s my sleep deprivation, but me and my ctrl-f can’t find any mention of exotic creatures in James’ post :(. Can you help a guy out?

They are mentioned in the picture

1 Like

Few days ago i have watched a video about most expensive virtual items that were sold for real money. I think that boundles have a chanse to beat this top. + This system is what i’m dreaming about! :heart_eyes:

This would be useful for hunter profession. So maybe they will add it in his skill tree?

While I personally like racial traits, I am completely fine with them being something like “you start out with x bonus in a skill from the founder tree” or even not being included at all.
I do like the selecting 3 skill trees part, that was one of the only things I enjoyed about archeage. You could get some pretty silly synergy with that.

1 Like

Wow, lots of info for such a slow week here at the Boundless forums! And lots of art too! Thanks @james :heart:

3 Likes

Does that mean, that storage withing player beacons can be used by people without rights on these beacons? o.o I hope not! Always thought, locks for storages are more something for the outside of beacons.

Great leak :slight_smile: thanks

Sounds like lot’s of work to find out the “perfect” combination for the right use. On the other hand sounds like potential of “not wanted” super strong combinations of stats. I guess balancing that will give you a hard (long) time. I like diversity, so for me it’s great! But for you devs, sounds like hard work.

And which race’s culture is one of pillaging, plundering, and bringing glory to the Chaos Gods? The skull throne needs more skulls.

5 Likes

And that´s exactly what I don´t want to miss in Boundless :frowning:
I see that the devs try to compensate this with the ‘cultural belief system’ but it´s just not the same and I doubt that it can make up for real racial traits.


The difference is that Warframe isn´t about trading & economy.(I know its there its just not as much of a factor as in Boundless)

Warframe -> Everyone can farm everything
Boundless-> You farm the mats of your chosen 3 professions and trade with people that have chosen different professions.

Boundless lays much emphasis on player interaction and tries to achieve/promote this by not allowing every player to do everything by himself, therefore encouraging trading/economy.
This doesn´t necessarily mean that you are capped out and left with nothing to do at some point. Just that you can´t to everything at once by yourself.

Great Update, love it all apart from this:

I still don’t see this as the best solution. For me the pros of a cap are waaaay less than the pros of no cap but with growing difficulty.
Do you still discuss this or is it already set in stone? Because I hope not.

But that only holds as long as the plan to have a cap of 3 professions stands.

1 Like

I understood it that it depends on the permission set, locks allow you to say “permission group A interact with non locked items, perission group B can interact with locked doors and non locked chests, permission group C can interact with everything, permission group D can also build, and permission group E can tamper with the permissions”

Or maybe you can give people you trust the key for a certain lock.
I know you could also do it with the token permission system but for that you’d have to return to the lock while with a key you can just give it to someone whenever you feel like it.

2 Likes

Yay kinda world builder news