Weekly Dev Update: 2016 October 7th - Live Worlds, Next Steps and more!


#1

This week we finally promoted all the development from “Testing” to the “Live” release of Boundless on Steam. This included:

  • some final fixes and polish in the Testing 28 release,
  • Release 144 bundling everything from 15 Testing releases to Live, including a new set of worlds to explore, and finally
  • Release 145 where we added a little extra polish to the Worlds in the Sky and fixed a startup issue hitting new users.

The Live worlds will be fully maintained (i.e. no wipes) until the start of next year at the minimum but hopefully longer until 1.0.

The development focus will now shift onto:

  • Delivering a 1.0 quality HUD.
  • An updated set of sandbox focused creatures - described here.
  • A full set of 1.0 quality Equipment and Weapon models, including the Slingbow, Grapple, and Spanner.
  • An initial implementation of the Boundless Tutorial + Achievements system to help guide new players into the game.
  • A complete set of core SFX, including: creatures, machines, combat, characters and many more.
  • An update to the music playing logic.
  • A new and updated set of VFX, including: all torches, mining, combat, creatures and many more.
  • More player activity animations, including: trading, operating machines and many more.
  • An initial implementation for the the Start of the Game, presenting how players first enter the Boundless universe.
  • An updated algorithm for the generation and presentation of block tints between worlds.
  • More client and server performance and stability.

So hopefully lots of cool stuff coming.


Code
This week we’ve spent time on rolling over the Testing branch to Live, bringing up new worlds and additional regions for this. The release showed up a number of bugs which we have been spending time to resolve, such as the issue new users were hitting.

The new HUD is being to be added into the game with various discussion on it and underlying tech needed for it. The Achievements and Progression Systems are being enhanced, with notifications pop-ups for gaining an achievement as well as a log of them.

We are prototyping the technology required for the Beginning of the Game, where a new user starts, has control over their spawning world and is given direction on what to do. The logging off is also being worked on so the character remains in game for a short while rather than immediately vanishing.

The database work continues with some refactoring to allow the different options to be plugged in more easily.

Design
@luke-turbulenz has been implementing the first pass of the Boundless Tutorial and Achievements, it’s early days, but so far it’s looking good. He’s also been working with our new VFX artist Dom on listing out the VFX requirements for the game, and also a little bit more work on the stats system.

Rob has been mocking up different aspects of the in-game HUD which we will be implementing and polishing in the coming weeks.

@olliepurkiss has been deep in the analytics data trying to work out what’s going on with players in the Live release. There are a number of issues with the data, but we are working to fix those so we can start to improve the balance of the game.

Art
This week, the art team has been working on the following:

  • Natural prop concepts - We have continued to explore ideas for the natural props. We will be adding more prefabs and props into the new worlds to make them more varied and interesting. Some of the props will be meshes, some will be made using the world builder.
  • The Level 5 Wildstock - The mesh is almost done.
  • The Hunter animation - Having overcome technical issues, we are full steam ahead for the Hunter animation. We will have some animations to possibly show next week.
  • The new Slingbow mesh - We just started modelling and texturing so we will show its progress next week. Stay tuned!
  • VFX for torches - We have made good progress with the VFX for the torches. The only thing we now need is to invest more time in improving the VFX tools before we can put them in the game for release. Here is the WIP VFX for the touches. They are burning HOT!


:baby: :thermometer: :cold_sweat: :head_bandage: :thumbsdown:


#2

#3

At the moment it’s hard to “pick” a certain amount of items from a stack. Do you work on a better solution for 1.0 ?


Do you have any new informations about the “Player Skill Levels” ? As far as i’m aware they are only “visual” at the moment and have no influence on the game. What are your plans for them ?


#4

Player Skill Levels what you’re able to do and how you interact with the world.
Player Wearables are purely visual at the moment and do not influence gameplay.
These 2 systems are quite separate.


#5

Yes! The current set up is a bit buggy. It should work in a circular motion but that doesn’t seem to be the case.


#6

@james: Sorry but you misunderstood me. I meant that the skill level (the progress bar shown on level up and in the menu) is only visual and has no influance on the game. I was miner level 15 and i mined as fast as a miner level 1. I was able to the exactly the same things and my tools had the same durability. This is what i meant with “visual” (because it has /had no effect to the game).


@luke-turbulenz: Would it be possible to add a option “split” (e.g. on right-click) with the possiblity to insert the exact number of items ? e.g. right-click on “soft coal” -> context menu option “split” (left-click) -> an input appears -> enter 15 -> the stack off 99 splits into two stacks; one with 15 items and the other one with the rest. [This feature has been requested before but with no concrete answer]


#7

I asked about this when I first came across the system but in theory the radial menu is faster. Let’s get it working the way it should first and then see if we need to revisit this option.

Our current progression system is very much an initial version. It shows the basic way players will earn XP and how they earn them for the different professions. More professions, rules and logic will go in this as we go to make the system a bit more intelligent and less exploitable.

And whilst that is happening we’ll been evolving our “skill” system where you can actually upgrade your character with different skills to make them better at mining, crafting or fighting.

But one thing to remember, a high level miner doesn’t mean they are a “good” miner as they might have invested all their points in crafting.


#8

I personally feel like that is a flaw of this system which could be avoided.


#9

This is more of a safe traditional mmo approach. But if we lock people into only upgrading their miner by mining then everyone will be a clone and you won’t see variety and experimentation in player builds.


#10

I don’t quite see a reason why this system would make “clones” more likely. Sure if the only thing you do is mining then you’ll most likely have the same stats as another player which also only mines and is at the same level as you. But that will be so rare I wouldn’t consider it.

For the rest of the players, they will do many different things and their stats will represent that.

I also think that being able to level everything with one action (for example mining) will result in most people doing only whats the easiest to level everything. Especially at higher levels and that would be bad.

If that’s not what you meant, please explain a bit more why such a locked system would make “clones” more likely.


#11

There is the best of both worlds approach though. Where the skill levels provide passive bonuses and the skill points provide more potent upgrades.

Say you had an ultimate miner statistic in your concept it’s mining 9 times faster or something. You could put 3x faster with just leveling the skill and 3 times faster than that into assigned skill points. Multiplied together you get 9 times faster.

If you could do the points before the leveling though it would be exploitable if there was easy respecing.

But with balancing you could encourage players to take part in all activities while also encouraging trade with other specializations.


#12

1.0 is getting closer :slight_smile: nice!

Besides, are you sure about the basic torch VFX?
For the cristalls looks very suitable, but the basic torch seems like having a hole on it’s back where the flame comes out :smiley: Wouldn’t it be more natural if the whole head burns all around?


#13

Exactly THIS is something what I would like to see later. Free building with gathered Skill-Points, but fixed passive bonuses per branch (Mining, Building, Crafting, Exploring, Trading, …). To have it totally free with no special bonuses would be just silly and like @KuroKuma mentioned, it would lead to grind-gaming for fast gathering Skillpoints. On the other side you are right @luke-turbulenz , it would be to strict and people would have less varriety.

So let us have ALL THE OPTIONS! :smiley:


#14

doesn’t every mmo or skillbased game follow that same concept what luke say’d? you either mine or hunt, you earn xp and you can spend that xp on whatever skill you like. what @HermitFu say’d about skill level provide passive bonuses and the skill point you can spend to whatever you like sounds how it should be.


#15

That’s why it’s not released yet - it’s a work in progress. (This is likely because the 1st person held items are rendered in a special way to stop intersection with the world and we need the torch effect to be compatible with this.)


#16

Are all the initial worlds we can choose built via the Home world config?


#17

Wow, seeing this awesome gem-torch vfx makes me wish they had more purpose than just being a source of
atmospheric light. Maybe the torch could, besides of emitting light, also emit a buffing aura (for you and other players nearby), dependent on the colour of the gem (red grants an increased crit-chance | green grants an increased movement speed | etc.)?


#18

Not in the games I think are good^^ For example the MMO I played the most and which is still my favorite MMO in terms of quests, Runescape, had the system: “You get better in the skill you actually train. Nothing more, nothing less.”

And I still see no reason why this system would be inferior to the free one or promote more of the same builds.


#19

Do you think to somewhat solve this problem a compromise could be created where if you constantly mine then you can only level up certain related skills like crafting but not fighting.


#20

Maybe yes,it would at least be a step into the right direction.
But to be honest, I don’t see why there needs to be a compromise. I see no reason for the other system to be even considered.