We have released 2 updates to Boundless this week:
Thanks to everyone in the community for giving us feedback on each update. It's appreciated!
We plan to add an announcement message that will be displayed to all players when they first start the game, explaining the game's current status and what they should expect. We think this is important because whilst the C++ version has better performance it has also temporarily lost a few features which we plan to refactor (for example, there are less worlds, no weather and day-night cycles.)
We would also like to fix the 2 outstanding Mac OS X issues that some users are experiencing - but they're proving quite difficult to replicate locally and resolve. Thanks to the forum members who have been testing special builds containing more debugging code for us.
The majority of the engineers are currently working on larger features so we may not see any significant feature updates for a few weeks. We are aiming to release both Dual Wielding and Storage before mid June. We will release any fixes and updated blocks when they are ready for feedback.
This week we’ve been looking into the graphical issues that users are experiencing with the C++ version of the game. This is a key blocker on making the C++ the default on Steam. We have also been polishing up the shader pipeline work.
We are experimenting with analytics solutions (extracting lots of data from what’s going on in the game and then visualizing it) to help us to balance and refine the game. This is super important for monitoring and then balancing the economy and resource regeneration.
We are working on Storage (chests) so you can finally store your gear. Machines have had durability added so you can now hit them with your spanner to fix them.
For the GUI and drops we’ve been adding the 3D meshes so you can see items (for example a hammer) in the GUI and in the game world. The GUI has also been having some styling applied.
The tools and rendering pipeline have been update to allow coloured decals on the creatures and items. This is required to help communicate to player what special ability a creature might have.
This week we’ve been trying to tackle a few outstanding design questions. The main ones being Beacon Persistence and Guild Beacons which have been the subject of huge threads on the forum. We’ve read a lot and thought a lot, and have narrowed down all the options discussed in those threads to a couple of candidates in each case. We’ll publish our next proposal as soon as we can.
In response to feedback from the community we're working on a new survey to send out to all Boundless supporters. This survey will cover all our latest designs for beacons, guilds, race abilities and a broad spectrum of features for the game. If you have any ideas for suitable questions please contribute them to this appeal thread.
Another small, but interesting piece of design work this week has been how we plan to procedurally name regions on each world. This is to add interest to the worlds, but also a mechanism to encourage exploration because each named region that you discover will give you progression experience.
From today onwards it’s more work on analytics as we now have some representative dummy data so can re-evaluate some data manipulation tools we looked at before. The idea being that we can build real-time dashboards to keep track of the game balance, particularly around economy, progression and crafting.
This week in GUI has been focused on outlining the library of common elements that will be used across the various different menu screens within Boundless. Modular elements allow us to construct screens for new features more easily, a bit like sticking Lego bricks together, without need for new or bespoke design. This should allow more rapid implementation of interface heavy features like crafting, friends lists, guilds and so on.
We kicked off concept exploration for the Protectors - ancient guardians of Oort Temples and Titans. We've also been gathering references in preparation for concepting all the Character Races that will be playable in Boundless. The concept explorations for the evolution of the lance and grapple are almost complete and we'll share everything soon. We have also explored how pipes (power lines for connecting power cores and machines together) will be presented in the game world.
We've created assets for the following blocks: Glacier, Ancient Technology Fragment Seam, Ancient Technology Component Seam and Oort Technology Seam.
For animation we've been supporting the work to add dual wielding to Boundless, this includes the integrations for both the 1st and 3rd person presentation. We've also been exploring how we'll present and visualise a player whilst they're modifying their wearables.
In response to a few email queries we've published an official refunding policy in the #general:faq on the Boundless forum. If you have any questions you think should be included in the FAQ please post them here.