Weekly Dev Update: 2017 July 21st, 28th, August 4th - Slope Chisel, Square Chisel, and maybe Bevel Chisel and more!


#1

For the past few weeks we’ve been focused on attempting to finish many features that have been in development for a while. Often these features are connected with each other so you need to wait until you have all the pieces in place before you can do a final pass. And as you can imagine this part is often the most challenging.

We released Testing 170, and plan to do another 1 or 2 testing releases before bringing the latest features across to Live.

The following major features are still in development:

  • Lance mêlée combat and clearly differentiating it from ranged combat - not much progress in the past few weeks. We have a solid core mechanic in game, that encourages combat to be controlled and precise whilst feeling physical as impacts result in feedback on creature motion. This might not sound like much, but it non trivial once you’re dealing with variable latency and impossible player prediction. We need to make sure that the presentation of the combat feels weighty and this is currently on the art and design teams todo list.
  • Bomb crafting and combat - almost ready, just needs the status effect system to be complete.
  • Positive and negative status effects for bombs, weapons, the environment and creatures - almost ready - just needs the creatures to trigger and respond to elements.
  • Creature variation, including: Power ranges, Elemental, Non-Elemental and Exotic creatures - almost ready - just need to make sure all the variables are considered in the creature spawning. Connecting the creature tinting to the world and biome palettes will not happen until later in development.
  • Creature spawning, including: underground, swarms and world difficulty variation - still in development - just need to make sure it’s configured as expected across the different world difficulty levels. We want to make sure that the environements feel alive with variation.
  • 1.0 balance for player progression, player skills and abilities, resource spawning, and world difficulty - gradual iteration - player feedback is extremely valuable.
  • Finally completing the HUD and GUI - will it ever end?
  • Server and Client optimisations to reduce network traffic, reduce the cost of player and creature simulation - we continue to reduce, cache, delta and compress the communications between the client and server.
  • … and more - details below.

Code - July 21st
A new multi-segment (string of sausages) health bar has been implemented to show relative scale of health more obviously as multiple segments. The damage indicator has been revamped to better show direction and there is now an air bar to show when you are drowning. The air bar is now separated from stamina.

The reworked creature spawning has been completed with the creatures spawning more often and closer than before so are more discoverable. The system despawns creatures into a pool that reduces the cost while allowing the populations density to be high and their state persistent. This is an essential foundation to allow more creatures into the worlds, especially for spawning raid events.

We have further optimised the network traffic to reduce bandwidth, especially for some of the large data items such as beacons and achievements. The server optimisations continue to allow more users on the worlds.

We have been analysing the portal transitions to see causes of the portal lag and have fixed several causes of spikes that lower FPS. This is often done by amortising creation and destruction costs over multiple frames. For example, this has always been done for meshing chunks, but it’s now done for deleting the chunks as well.

The multiple character backend support is being tested and last few issues resolved.

Code - July 28th
The latest features have been pushed to the Steam Testing branch in Testing 170.

A reworking of the creature threat-aggro mechanic is underway to stop crazed creatures and return tranquility to the wildstock. The creature spawning update is in, so players should now find more creatures as they explore the worlds. We are working on the AI behaviour to sleep more creatures when they are far from users to help keep the CPU cost down.

We’ve started on an update to how the shaped blocks (step, walls, and slabs) are made so that they will be chiseled in world from blocks rather than crafted. Many more block types will support shapes. (More details below.)

We’ve been implementing refinements to the smart stacking behaviour, so you can use them with quick use slots. Status effect icons are being added to show when you’re poisoned, etc. The backend multi-character support is ironing out the last few issues before merging it in.

We’ve fixed the main causes of frame drops when transitioning to new world through portals, so it should be a smoother experience. We also completed a pass on network traffic optimisations, especially for larger data cases. We’ve also been profiling the servers for RAM use to get more users on each world.

Code - August 4th
The HUD work is focusing on the compass to show more useful information more often to users. The GUI completed the smart stack improvements, such as being able to hold a given item in a stack. We also have a local placement student (hi Maxime!) who has been reworking the debug ‘.’ text into a debug GUI window. This will make it easier to find information and tidy everything up.

The multiple character back end is merged in to the master branch and we have started work on the GUI to allow users to create, (re)name, switch to, and delete their characters.


Questions:

  1. Should Character names be unique? Or can many players create characters with the same name?

  2. When you see a Character in the game, should we also display the user name?

  3. Should we show Character names in the forum?

  4. When a player deletes a Character what do you expect should happen to their beacons in the game?


We have implemented the missing slope block shapes (rotations of some existing ones that were missing, and some brand new slope shapes) and are progressing on to the new chiselled block shapes. All the new slope shapes work correctly with texture blending and will be available in prefabs and generated into new worlds’ terrain.

We’re exploring adding more Chiseling techniques into the building system. The following diagram beautifully captures the current voxel shapes, and the exploration of significantly more options. This will be quite a big change:

  1. Teal - right shapes: We’re adding all the missing slope shapes and orientations. So they’ll no longer be shapes you can craft on the flour but not on the walls. The current slope shapes are presented in teal and beautifully highlighted. The additional shapes are below them.

  2. Red - left shapes: We’re also exploring adding a Square Chisel that would allow players to chisel the red shapes. This will mean that you no longer need to craft the walls, slabs and steps. This may seem a bit sideways but we think it’ll make everything much more intuitive. It’ll simplify crafting because the list of recipes will no longer contain 4x the block variations: walls, slab and steps. So crafting will be simpler. Building will be easier because you’ll no longer need to worry about relative placement position to get the desired orientation. Instead you’ll simply chisel the 2 corners you want to remove to make some steps. You’ll be able to make all the currently missing step orientations, and a huge plethora of new shapes. We’re planning to limit this level of sculpting to beacons so that builds will feel extra special compared to the natural world. (These shapes will not be created by the World Builder.) If you mine a previously chiseled block you’ll always get the original whole block back. This will mean that chiselling and mining square voxel variations will follow the same flow as the current slopes. (Which you couldn’t craft or mine in the past.) So in conclusion we think this will help make everything simpler, more intuitive and ultimately more fun when being extra creative.

  3. Green - middle shapes: We may even add a Bevel Chisel which are the voxel variations in green. If you look carefully the green combinations match all the red shapes but with a different cut style. But this is classic feature creep, so these variations may move into post 1.0 content - it’ll just depend how quickly we make progress.

All 3 chiseling styles can be achieved by “clicking on the corner you want to remove” - so they should be easy to use.

We’re also thinking about adding a simplified Square chisel that would remove 2 corners at once. This would allow you to create a Step with a single chisel, and Walls and Slabs with 2. This may be a useful short cut or might just add more complexity. What do you think?


Question:

  1. Should we add a basic Square Chisel (which removes 2 corns at a time - so easy to make steps, walls and slabs) and a precision Square Chisel (which removed 1 corner at a time)?

  2. Or should we add a single Square Chisel (which removes 2 corns at a time), and allow players to learn a “Precision Chiseling Skill”. Which would upgrade their basic chiseling skill to be equivalent to the precision Square Chisel. This would make Building more skill based.

  3. Does anyone have a better names than Slope Chisel, Square Chisel and Bevel Chisel?


For progression we’ve implemented the personal light feature the skills unlock and added a level 50+ that allow users to continue to gaining plots as the gain XP.

We continue to work on reducing the chunk data to reduce network traffic and RAM use, on both the client and server.

Design - July 21st
This week we have a new(ish) starter on the team. The ever versatile Matt is back! For those of you that don’t know him he’s been with us in various stints doing QA, as well as building most of the biomes and worlds that you’re currently playing on. Now, having graduated from university, he’s back with us full-time as a programmer. His first focus will be around generating and analysing the metrics and analytics from the game, and that’s why for now he’s coming under the “Design” section of the weekly update. He’s been getting up to speed with the analytics systems we use, and created some interesting graphs. In future weeks he will share some of his findings with you guys. Finally the truth!

Luke has been working on a set of recipes for Bombs, Brews and Crystals which will use existing resources as well as the new gathered resources that Jess has been working on. The plan is to have resources in different biomes as well as in caves for you to find, which will be needed for some of the more advanced crafting recipes. He’s also been preparing materials to refresh the Boundless Steam pages. Up until now we’ve been pleased with keeping our player base relatively small (we’ve wanted quality rather than quantity), but now we’re going to start experimenting with bringing more players to the game to expand our testing and feedback.

Rob has tweaked the chat design from last week, and produced assets for the updated health bars and reticule information, to support Simon and Marc who’ve been implementing them. He’s also been writing up a proposal for adjusting the compass to make it more readable, as well as be more performant. Finally he’s been helping Luke prepare assets for the visibility round, as well as general promotional materials.

Ollie has been helping Matt get up to speed on the analytics, and planned out the next couple of week’s work. He’s given blocks on different worlds different health values which ties in with Simon’s work on the health bars. He’s also worked with Marc on Status Effect visualisation, stacking and removal with consumables and bombs.

Design - July 28th
Pretty much the entire design team has been on holiday this week. However, we have been agreeing on the Character switching flow for the current sanctum design. We need this flow to allow players to switch characters.

We’ve also spent some time exploring an updated compass, and how it might relate to a minimap and / or GUI map. You’ll be surprised to hear that the current compass can be extremely expensive as it sends lots of extra information to each client about the status of every other player and beacon. This isn’t scaleable. So we’ve been redesigning it to make it more efficient, more useful to players, connect it better with the skill trees, and more readable.

Design - August 4th
This week has been very light in terms of design as Ollie, Luke and Rob have all been away on holiday.

Luckily Matt is here, so at least the analytic work has continued. He’s been testing all the existing data in great detail, and reworked the analytics for some key systems such as progression and damage. He’s also been adding analytic data for newer systems such as beacon fuel and portal fuel.

We continued looking at the compass and making sure delivering useful and efficient details, including:

  1. Showing all creatures within range including a colour variation for passive, threatening, and aggressive.
  2. Showing the nearest Settlements and removing the Beacons.
  3. Introducing a new stepped scaling presentation for the glyphs, this will make it easier to judge the difference between elements 0-100m large glyph, 100-200m medium glyph, 200-500m small glyph, 500m+ nothing or a small coloured square.
  4. Showing the nearest active Portals.
  5. Showing Friends and Players.
  6. Always showing your designated home location, the worlds Capital, a Destination location (if pinned, and automatically unpinned on arrival) and finally any number of Pinner locations (not unpinned on arrival.)

We also spent a little time exploring the status of the original minimap system and shared a few screen shots in the following linked post. We want to explore how a HUD minimap and GUI map might world alongside the compass. Just explorations at the moment.

Art - July 21st
This week the art team have been busy with decorative props, natural props and world lighting.

Amanda is refining creature totem designs. Here’s her post on work in progress:

Jess has continued adding to our library of natural props.

And Jim has completed improved lighting for all the worlds. This should be in the game soon.

Art - July 28th
It’s been a quiet but productive week for art. Jim has overseen the completion of our set of prefabs for 1.0 and combined with Jess’s set of natural props that she also finished up this week we’re hoping our worlds will be even more full of interesting things to see in future. Amanda has been continuing with her designs for decorative props including poles, fences and more.

Art - August 4th
The art team have been busy working on decorative props including stickers, wood blook progression, palettes and the new sanctum.

Amanda has been exploring sticker designs. See her post. This is purely exploration at the moment. The question is: given that we’ll have more block shapes via the extending chiselling, is it possible that by providing packs of decorative stickers / decals - can players create their own decorations and props? Does this bridge a gap between sculpted voxels and full meshes?

She’s also working on new door designs. Expect a post sharing her cool designs next week. The aim is to have a range of multipurpose door designs that fit into the standard material variation and contribute to prestige. Ideally the door concepts would work as doors, trap doors, shutters for windows, and other creatures usages.

Jess has been designing wooden blocks following raw, refined and decorative progression. Lustrous wood refined in a ‘basket weave’ parquet pattern.

She also completed other material versions of the bag of bombs.

Jim has iterated the new sanctum blockout. Sorry this is under wraps for now till a later date. The aim of the new sanctum is include all the pre-live world features and tutorial: account creation, character creation, spawn region or friend selection, equipping and dual wielding, location creation via the Totem, and Warp usage. The design aims to inspire players about the amazing creative possibilities in Boundless. Yes - there will be some sculptures - go go go crazy chiselling!

Jim has also been looking at world palettes. We want to make an artist friendly procedural palette generator. More of this to come. Meanwhile here’s some palette experiments of Therka market.
The sky and fog is purple on all of these screens.


It’s late and I’m very tired so please excuse the likely hundreds of grammatical and spelling errors. Could someone fix them for me… :high_heel:


Half Block Angled (creates a triangle)
Build Idea, question about how the voxel and builders work
Announcing The Boundless 1st Sculpting Festival! [Concept]
Why isn't it immediately obvious this game has so many possible block shapes?
#2

#3
  1. I think it’s a nice idea to allow duplicated names but in the end it will only lead to many confussions, scams and frustration.
  2. In my whole playtime i did not experience a situation where i had to know someone’s name. It would be nice to check who is visiting your plot tho.
  3. Yes, definitely.
  4. Considering he could have played with friends, i think beacon should decay normal way to give his friends time to claim all the items, but let’s say 2x, 3x faster. Time left should be displayed for those who want to take control over it.

Second option looks encouragingly.


#4

:heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: I LURVE YOU ALL :heart_eyes: SO MUCH LOOK AT ALL THOSE SHAPES I CAN MAKE :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes:

(and I like option 2 – single square chisel with an unlock for precision – best)

In other news…

Ha! Since you asked: I’m level 30 or 31 right now, and I would like to report that levelling past about 25 has become pretty miserable for someone who mostly likes building/exploring. :frowning: At lvl 29 or so I finally felt compelled to get mass crafting and make 10 crafting tables and then go mine for hours for rock I don’t need, to process into stones I won’t use, just so I could get enough XP so I have the plots to continue building. And lately that stupid flower exploit is looking more and more tempting… I mean, I don’t mind a bit of mining, or some crafting or hunting or whatever, but it’s becoming more and more a chore.

However – I expect that contracts (assuming they’re something that will give XP for building?) will help that a lot. And really, it’s the lack of plots that bothers me most – I do have most of the skills I really want, and the ones I don’t yet are the sort that feel like good “end” rewards – so if you were to keep XP gain the same but give me another way to get plots besides just leveling, that’d work too. Or maybe spread them out across the level? Because, while it looks very exciting to get 20 plots all at once, what it actually means is that I level and immediately place them and excavate them and then realize I’ve only got 1/10 of the way through the level and I’m already out. Which, yes, one could argue that perhaps I should exercise some restraint or something, but… when I can just make the devs do that for me…

I’d like to get much more XP for feats in general. Especially for the explorer ones. It’d be nice to get a bit for every Lacus Schau-quarter-mannheim I discover and then a good chunk for getting, I dunno, 10-25-50/50. But I figure they’re still pretty new, yeah? so you all haven’t yet got them all working yet anyway.

Yes. Probably. Maybe, someday. Have hope!

But while you’re at it, perhaps you could add a highlighted dot on the currently selected vertex, when you’re chiseling? It’s a bit hard to be sure sometimes which one I’m about to hit.

Phew :wink:

YESSSSS HAVE I MENTIONED MY LURVE FOR YOU ALL THIS IS WHAT I HAVE WANTED SINCE EVER :heart_eyes: Ahem. I mean. It is nice to have some premade meshes, especially for more organic thingies like those pretty swirly ferns, and objects like doors that are interactive. But the thought of chisels + decals for player-made things is YES PLEASE PLEASE PLEEEASE – and if there were some way to make/trade the equivalent of blueprints but for these smaller deco things I’d never put the chisel down ever :heart_eyes: or quit shouting probably PLEASE?

Also. Are those bombs…OF BACON?


#5

So much UPDATE! :scream::heart_eyes::joy: Absolutely adore the parquet pattern flooring! So many cool things in the pipeline :smiley:

  1. Yes, definitely unique character names (Pretending to be other people could be used for spoofing / griefing).

  2. Originally thought “No” for this, but being able to know which characters are used by which username could help both with identifying friends and also to see trouble makers.

  3. I think just being able to see a list of characters assigned to a username would be good - keep the forums as people’s usernames (prevents people throwing faux weight into conversations by using multiple character names).

  4. Beacons should expire immediately on characters deletion (but provide a double-warning before allowing people to delete their characters - maybe do like WoW where you need to type “delete” before completing process).


Loving the look of the additional chiseled blocks! Yes please!! Square chisels should be a high-level chisel skill though (can’t believe I’m saying that)… and if the bevel chisel becomes a thing, then that should be the highest skill level :wink:

  1. I’d say just leave it as a single corner chisel - basically the same way the sloped chisel works (to keep it consistent).

  2. See option 1 - but as mentioned, have square and bevel behind skill unlocks.

  3. Gradient Chisel, Corner Chisel & Sculpting Chisel.


I think it could certainly bridge some of the gap, but I also think some functional props would still be nice to have (I’d love to be able to have my character sit down on an actual chair!)


#6

I think u should do both really have a multipurpose chisel one that allows for bigger chisels and one that allows for smaller more delicate matters (basically the chisel mod from MC) xD i would love to be able for this to happen actually as this makes imo building 10x more fun if this is optimized correctly.


#7
  1. Definitely unique

  2. Both way are fine for me.

  3. Yes, would be nice.

  4. Set beacon fuel to zero.

I like the idea of a basic chisel for steps, slabs and walls, and then the special chisels behind building skills.

Yes, the beacons clutter up the compass when running round in citys, or other areas with heavy building. But it can be usefull in the wild.

Maybe a setting to turn beacon, and other things on and off on the compass.

As always i love the props from @jesshyland, waiting to walk around and found new things to take home and decorate with :).

The new wood floor look excellent. More of this in different pattern, i want more stone and tree variations to build with, and also some planet specific trees with unique textures, not only tints.


#8

@jesshyland, that pattern, much like yourself, is amazing!! :star_struck:

There’s so much here it’s gonna take me a few readings to make sure I’ve got it all! Thanks for sharing this load of information, @james.


#9

Woot!


I think this is preferable. However, I’d be willing to bet that most of the time people just pick up a precision chisel, and only use the basic one for specialized/large builds. One corner at a time isn’t too onerous, even for stairs.

I think, however, only having a precision chisel may be a better option. It stays more consistent w/ regular chisels, and simplifies things a bit.

One crazy idea for a “advanced chisel” might be chisel templates: Craft a chisel template tool, put it into a “record” mode, whack a block w/ the chisel configuration you like, and then each block it hits from then on would immediately chisel into that configuration. Hold onto multiple chisel templates for all your building needs.

(or maybe two items rather than a modal item - one for recording, one for cutting? not sure what works best w/ the current implementation)


#10

Builder’s Hopes and Dreams:

Can’t wait for this, would unlock so many possibilities

Slope Chisel, Square Chisel and Bevel Chisels sound quite straight forward and easy to understand the difference to each of them, but if you wanted some different names you could say maybe:

1: Slope Chisel can remain a Chisel

2: Square Chisel can be per say a Saw, and makes sense as it’s able to cut out a small block

3: Bevel Chisel could be known as a Chipper, as beveling from the looks of the diagrams are smaller sized slopes of the Chisel

I’ll be replacing my floors in the lodge by the time this is released, wonderful art work!

Can’t wait till this releases, looks quite exciting to use all these neat tools, blocks and STICKERS to buff the place.

Good work guys, keep it up!


#11

maybe you’ll think about double names? first is your name on forum(your account name) second is a character name, like in families but vice-versa. And if you add someone in your friends list you add a “family”, for example: Nibuls Greatidea, Nibuls Firstborn :wink:


i think here is needed a one chisel but:
1 - with switching modes
or
2 - block on which you look with a chisel in your hand are get texture with regions which shows you where to click.

middle edge(blue) region remove whole edge(two corners, make a slide), corner region(orange) remove corner, middle face(green) region - make a wall or slab if you clicked on top.
or combine regions and switching mode and named it - Multi-Chisel, Forming tool, Shaping tool or so


#12

I personally think the first thing that should be addressed is the experience gain. I’ve had two of my accounts logged on 24/7 for the last three days straight, sitting there placing flowers just trying to get my levels up and I’m still not level 50. I’m not one to use exploits, especially one such as this that completely takes away the joy of leveling, however, since leveling became so slow and all I really want to do is test out different skills so I as to be better prepared when the official release goes live, I feel this is necessary. One thing to keep in mind is this game does not end once you reach the highest level. It’s not until that moment when you can truly enjoy the game fully and everything it has to offer because you are not restricted. My main account reached level 50 a week ago and I have been having a blast ever sense, even more so than I did before.


#13

I thought you’d been quiet this past week or so @james. You’ve had your head down working for a change! Bravo!

(Skip to the bolded text if you want my answer without the reasoning)

I’ve torn my hair out over systems in the past where names are unique to players. I assume it’s to make sending tells or whispers easier. Most people don’t want to type out a username they perhaps don’t associate with their friend. For example;

If @Scratchnwiff decided to name his character ‘Scratch’. I’d want to simply type out ‘/w scratch Get back to work’, opposed to ‘/w scratchnwiff…’

So I see why most games go the unique route. That said, you’re also releasing Boundless on PS4, and usually on the PS4 games tend to use just your PSN name; PMB91184 in my case - which is fine for a PSN name, but ugly when used in-game, such as in GTAV, Destiny, Battlefield, the Division and even more annoyingly; Diablo III.

Dark Souls III on the other hand allows you to display either PSN or character names. It’s honestly a breath of fresh air, but the game doesn’t have in-game messaging on the PS4, just proximity chat, so I’m not sure how that would be handled?

Simply put, I’d like to be able to call my character whatever I like, regardless of if or not it’s taken already. Could you imagine if real life followed that arbitrary rule?

‘You have a beautiful baby boy. What are going to name him?’

‘We like the name Robert.’

‘I’m sorry, Robert is already taken.’

‘Rob?’

‘Sorry, that too.’

‘Robby?’

‘Sorry’

Hours later…

‘Wonderful, you’re free to take xRobb17x home with you.’

Allow us to name our characters whatever, but have whispers tied to account or PSN names. Just be sure to show both names in the friendlist UI;

Obviously beautify it some.

Seeing as people will go one way or another on this one, I think it’s best to allow the players to choose. Have an option in the UI settings to display either character or user names.

Some forums allow you to choose which of your characters you’d like to post with. I think for continuity reasons you’ll want to display both account and character name in the forums, otherwise it’ll be hard to keep track of who is who, and not have people constantly explaining that their posting with their alt.

I actually think plots (and the ways you earn them) should be account bound, along with feats too while on the subject. It was always annoying in World of Warcraft logging onto a character and not having all my achievements. It made me reluctant to play that character, as I’d already built up years worth of achievements on another.

I’m 100% on this one that you should take the latter route and have a chisel upgrade in the Builder skills. It would be tedious to have a bunch of different ‘Square Chisels’ on top of the others you already have planned. And like you said; it’d make Builder more skill based.

Finally a question that’s in my domain of expertise, as I’m a builder in real life (though generally Joiners and Brickys use chisels, not foremen).

I’d actually have the visuals of each chisel class be different as to make them easy to tell apart.

Anyway, for bricks and concrete blocks we usually use Bolsters or Cold Chisels, which are heavy duty chisels. For woodwork we generally use a range of basic chisels at varying widths. Though there are specialised chisels for the sort of work you’re referring to, such as a Corner Chisel, which is used to remove 90° chunks, and would have been a perfect name for your ‘Square Chisel’, though it’d no doubt confuse people looking to remove angled corners who are not trade savy.

‘Block Chisel’ came to mind, but everything is a block in a voxel world, so that’d be too broad? ‘Cube Chisel’ would be more accurate than ‘Square Chisel’, though sounds a little odd.

I don’t know? I’m still tempted to say ‘Corner Chisel’, as that’s pretty much what you’re doing; removing corner blocks.

So - as a builder, if I were chiseling cuboid blocks of wood into the shapes you have above, I’d use a Corner Chisel for the red shapes, and a Butt Chisel for the rest. Though for the sake of simplicity and keeping the naming in-line, here are my suggestions;


Oh, and that Refined Lustrous :heart_eyes:

Moar decorative metals though! I want some metal flooring!


#14

i’m thinking about how… For “my” Forming tool need a “cache” - when you click and hold MButton there are two options appear, for example: if you click and hold on blue region you’ll be proposed to choose - steps or slide - you chose once, a steps(It’s immediately applied to the block) and after you just clicked on any of this blue regions on onother blocks you’ve get a steps feced to the edge that you’ve clicked.

And important thing - (gem Forming Tools should replace gem chisels) this tool should be able to make a bidirectional transformation: cube - steps - cube. That’s why it should be called a Forming tool. And those previous chisels made of wood, stone and metals must be unidirectional, ordinary: cube - step.


#15

I agree with that too. Maybe we can have only one chisel just like we have now, but, just like the slingbow, it may have a crystal slot, where you could put a red or green crystal that would change the cut mode to Square and/or Bevel.

To simplify the things for the builders, these crystals could have infinite durability, so you just have to craft them once.

ohh, and what a Weekly Update! :scream: It took a while to read this much!


#16

Oh, and this double herringbone pattern;

I’d love to get this in Clay Brick form too, as it’s a very popular flooring pattern. Regular herringbone would be nice too.


#17

I am excited for so much of this, but I’m torn between being most excited for the chisels and the wood block progressions. I love working with wood in my builds so it was sort of sad that timber was the highest, so I’m super looking forward to seeing the refined and decorative block versions. Would there also be something like the brick progression?

Account names should be unique, and maybe character names don’t have to be. Then when you friend a character you can also see the account name? Or perhaps displayed below the name if you toggled them or turned that on in options. Showing character names in the forums depends on how many characters you will allow, but they can also just appear on the profile page, with their main being able to be selected to appear next to the account name like the badges are? As for the deleting a character, it depends…I’m assuming that you will not allow people to put more than 1 of their characters per beacon (to prevent people from being a village of one [that is, so they don’t have a crafting character, an exploring character, a mining character and a market character all on the same beacon…where’s the MMO in that?]) but since you can still have another person’s character on a beacon perhaps it should devolve to the villagers, if any, when the character is deleted. Otherwise it goes wild.

Counter-question, does this mean that we will no longer receive walls and slabs from trees? If they are no longer in the natural world, does this mean the tree shapes will become blockier? While harvesting raw slabs and walls from trees was sort of useless, it did add wonderfully natural looking trees that I have always appreciated.

I will return to answer the chisel questions later.


#18

Should we add a basic Square Chisel (which removes 2 corns at a time - so easy to make steps, walls and slabs) and a precision Square Chisel (which removed 1 corner at a time)?

Or should we add a single Square Chisel (which removes 2 corns at a time), and allow players to learn a “Precision Chiseling Skill”. Which would upgrade their basic chiseling skill to be equivalent to the precision Square Chisel. This would make Building more skill based.

Does anyone have a better names than Slope Chisel, Square Chisel and Bevel Chisel?

Havent really thought a lot about this but I would prefer this to be a skill for the builders tree and since the advanced chisels (if it ends up being a builders skill) would be only for builder experts it could be “Builders Chisel” or “Builders Hammer”? haha not the most creative name I know but its the 1st thing I can think off xD. I’ll come back if I can think of something more profound


#19
  1. Should Character names be unique? Or can many players create characters with the same name?
    Character names should be unique. It would be very hard to distinguish between you being ‘James’ and me being ‘James’ as well. Displaying the username in combination with the character name could be a workaround, but I’m not a fan of that (see 2.)

  2. When you see a Character in the game, should we also display the user name?
    I suspect to see the Character name only. Displaying the health bar, the character name and the username (and maybe even the guild name in the furute) would take a lot of screen space. Especially when there are multiple players around.

  3. Should we show Character names in the forum?
    Could have, and even then there are multiple ways to implement this:
    Option A - Fully integrated with the game system, so that it is always up-to-date. A possible con is that test characters would show up as well.
    Option B - Give users a profile field where they can manually enter their character names.
    Option C - No integration at all.
    I think option B is good enough for now.

  4. When a player deletes a Character what do you expect should happen to their beacons in the game?
    If there is no option to revert the deleation I see a few ways to handle that situation:
    Option A - Do nothing, the beacon keeps running on the fuel in there and players on that beacon can refuel.
    Option B - Same as option A, but players can not add fuel so the beacon will expire after some time.
    Option C - Beacon gets transferred to the highest prestige builder in the beacon. There will be an issue with claim blocks I guess.
    Option D - Instant delete the plots and beacon, everything in there will be at risk being regenerated or claimed by other players.
    Option D seems a no-go for me. I think option A or B is the best option without that much coding impact. Option C will get quite complex quickly.


Other suggestions about multiple characters:

  • Character name uniqueness
    If a character name is unique (I think it should) what would happen with the character name after it is deleted? Would the beacons still that name, and what is a new user create a character with the same name then?
  • 2 factor verification for character deletion
    Require 2 factor verification for character deletion since impact is high? For example in-game deletion marks the character for delation, should be confirmed by a confirmation link sent to the e-mailaddress of the player account. If not confirmed withing 24 hours, the character is no longer flagged for deletion. After confirmation the character is marked as deleted, but actually still exists so that dev’s can restore characters that are accidentilly deleted. After x period (30 days?) the character is truely deleted. In which stage the character name becomes available is a thing up to the devs, easiest option would be after that the character account is really deleted from the system.
  • Character count limit
    Prevent accounts to create infinite characters, as this allows abuse of multiple character spamming around in world or constantly switch between a large amount of characters. I think 8 would be a good functional limit. This could also be an option to differentiate with, for example standard allow one package. More expensive option allows 4, most expensive option allows 8 characters. See it as the options/tiers available in the current pre-release.
  • Beacon character limit
    Beacons now have a limit on how many characters could do something with your beacon. Some people are hitting that limit now already. Maybe that limit should be set high or removed at all. When you have 4 characters and would like to access your own plots, that would already take 4 of the available slots.
  • Character deletion/creation limit
    Prevent users from creating and deleting accounts quickly. Since this would allow users to use a not so fancy name, harass a player, quickly delete the character and pick another name [insert loop].
  • Players bans
    Bans should occure on account level, not on character level. Just to make sure.
  1. Should we add a basic Square Chisel (which removes 2 corns at a time - so easy to make steps, walls and slabs) and a precision Square Chisel (which removed 1 corner at a time)?
    Well this all seems to get quite complex quickly. The 1 versus 2 corners at a time is quite hard to explain to players. There would also be to many kind of chisels (slope single, slope two, square single, square two, bevel single, bevel two).

  2. Or should we add a single Square Chisel (which removes 2 corns at a time), and allow players to learn a “Precision Chiseling Skill”. Which would upgrade their basic chiseling skill to be equivalent to the precision Square Chisel. This would make Building more skill based.
    Or… the other way around and let the first chisel skill be that you have to chisel each corner manually and a more advanced ‘speed chiseler’ skill allow to option to do two corners at once. I think a single skill would be enough though, since you already need a skill to create a chisel in the first place.

  3. Does anyone have a better names than Slope Chisel, Square Chisel and Bevel Chisel?
    Not really, but the options @Pseudonym84 suggests are good as well (corner, edge, angle chisel). I have a different chisel mechanism in mind, see below.


Other suggestions about chisels:

  • Alternative chisel feature: Preview the chisel shape before applying them. Think about putting your chisel in a specific mode before chiseling. Pick you chisel, use your scroll wheel (or a key) to change mode. The mode is displayed to the user, so that he/she can scroll to the options and rotations available. For example, you scroll through the list and pick stairs with the entrance facing towards you and sloping up away from you. The chisle is now in that mode, all the player has to do is click on the specified block to apply the configured chisel mode. (This could be on a single chisel, or three seperate chisels.)
  • Question: what happens when you remove a chiseld block?
    Will you get the orginal block back, or will you receive the chiseled block. Since we will get a lot more block options I start to suspect the second.

@Nibuls offers an option to visualize the chiseling operation:

I think it is a nice option, but it might get hard when using the chisel on a longer range (especially with range improvement skills applied). Maybe combine it with my suggestion above: preview the destination chisel shape when hovering your mouse cursor over the block to chisel.


Good to see these improvements being made, not every one has a blazing fast low latency network connection available. I think the game should be well playable with just a couple of megabits available like on some DSL networks (4 down / 0.5 up). This should also allow family to play together without needing insane amounts of bandwidth :wink:


It would be great the debug screen would be easier to read. It contains way to many text now. Maybe we could swap to different debug screens by pressing TAB or something. Then you can get a simple debug with coordinates and world coordinates on the first, meshing and rendering stuff on the second, network and I/O on the third, etc.


I think the minimap is to better use than a very full compas. Maybe we can split what is rendered on where:
Compass: Players, Mobs
Minimap: City’s, plots, friendly players

There seems to be a fish-eye lens on that minimap, I prefer to have it flat (and maybe square but that is my personal opinion). I think there should be a zoom option or full screen option as well to see more details but not that much more in range.


#20

@james: Maybe you can find the time to answer some questions (here). It would be nice to know what we can expect from B< except building.