Happy Perihelion everyone!!
And welcome to the first Weekly Dev Update of 2017. This will be the year that Boundless hits 1.0. Thank you to everyone who has supported the game so far, and we're excited to see how the game and community can grow this year.
This week, we have been busy fixing issues reported over the Christmas and New Year break. We have updated the game twice with 150 and 150.1, addressing some critical issues. We are also looking into the lag issue that is making the game unplayable at times for some players. We have also released Testing 30 that mainly contains a refactoring of the Smart Stacking system. Assuming this doesn't devour everyone's inventories it will be deployed to Live next week.
Here is a list of work we are looking into completing or starting this month:
- HUD + GUI:
- Release overhauled Smart Stacking + Inventory system to address the numerous smart stacking issues.
- Complete the HUD visual overhaul (improved compass, improve chat, add combat log, ...)
- Start reskinning the all other GUI such as storage and crafting GUI to match the HUD design.
- Finalise the GUI design for the Character Select, Player Info, Guild Control, etc.
- Complete Machine animation.
- Implement the updated Grapple + Hookshot to function properly.
- Create more decorative and functional props.
- Integrate all outstanding SFXs into the game.
- Add more animations for the Hopper and improve the Hopper AI
- More sophisticated creature generation and spawning. Adding support for the creature tints, decals and elementals.
- Complete more Hunter variant meshes.
- Release the Roadrunner into the wild.
- Complete a total of 15 creatures concepts sheets.
- Finalise, migrate and deploy the Servers to a local database system for all world data and entities to make them more efficiency.
- Implement an initial caching system for World Chunks to greatly reduce bandwidth when restarting the game.
- Add support for Warping within a world.
- Complete and release user crafted Portals.
- Make improvements to the Player Stats + Attributes system.
- Invite Trailblazers to play Boundless in Early Access.
We will also be addressing issues and ideas contributed to the “Planning for 2017 - Contribute your ideas!” Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute.
This week we have been investigating and fixing up bugs that have shown up in the latest versions and pushed out two updates to address some of the issues. We continue to look at the remaining issues including the rubber banding and slow network messages some people experience.
The grapple hook is being worked on to add the full behaviour, animation and fx. We have hooked in additional animations for machines when they are active.
The HUD has a new combat log on the right for damage related messages. We’ve been doing the last of the changes before the smart stacking and inventory rework in merged in.
Additionally we are working to get the database update integrated into the main line.
This week has been about recovering from the long and strenuous Christmas break where too much was eaten, and too much was drunk. Now we’re all back in the office we can relax into the comfortable rhythms of work.
@luke-turbulenz has been focussed on two areas: the stats system, and our Steam store page.
- The stats system is a core foundation of many of the RPG elements of the game (combat, progression, creatures etc). We’re preparing for implementation of this system, which will enable us to build all the brilliant gameplay on top of it. At this stage it’s less about the exact details of the gameplay, and more about the constraints of the system.
- Our Steam store page is currently pretty sparse and is covered in caveats because we didn’t want people to buy the game unless they were fully prepared for its early state. As more gameplay is added to Boundless, we want to start to push the game more and raise the number of people playing. Updating our Steam store page is one part of that.
Rob has been writing up a very comprehensive spec for the final iteration of the inventory system which covers any functionality around moving items between slots in the game, which is most of the GUI. We’re now ready to implement this, although it’s a fair amount of work to get it all done.
@olliepurkiss has been wrapping up a few bits and pieces of design, as well as helping to plan the next few weeks of work. The design areas touched on are: the grapple, the creature generation system, portals and warps, and impact VFX.
The art team has been a bit light this week with people coming back in dribs and drabs from the festive season.
We’re all refreshed though after the break and have made progress in these areas that you can see in the next release.
Pipes of power - @jesshyland has put the final pipe junction asset in place and added an emissive pulsing animation shader to the pipes.
Juice! - Jess has also made some transparency fixes to the liquid bottle assets.
We’ve also added several machine animations for the workbench, refinery and extractor that will be available in the next release. We’ll be completing the full set of animations over the next few weeks.
Animation (Gerry) and VFX (Dom) are supporting grapple functionality development.