We are very excited to see people collaborating to connect settlements dispersed throughout the Boundless universe. Pixel Gate, Therka Market, Dragon’s Watch and many more settlements are connected and the settlements are growing. We cannot wait to see more collaborations.
Other than getting excited about the growing player collaborations, we have been busy making additions to the game. This week’s game update includes improvements to the way portals and the compass work. Details can be found in the release notes.
Within the next week or two, we should be able to update the game with the following:
- Dynamic attribute system - this allows us to easily modify player, creature, item and block attributes for gameplay balancing, and build the progression systems for players, creatures, weapons, tools, and everything else.
- Additional AI and animation for the Cuttletrunk - this includes a new attack mode.
- Two variations of each creature type are generated per world, which means that two tier 4 Cuttletrunks may have different health, damage, speed, elemental or other special abilities from each other whether they live on the same or different worlds.
- Lance - initial implementation of the melee weapon and close combat.
- And hopefully more…
We are also making good progress on the reskinning of the GUI but as mentioned previously, we will update the game once we have majority of the skinning done. We are targeting the end of this month for the initial release.
Additional features that are close to being ready are:
- Introduction of a Campfire - this is a single-plot, non-expandable and non-refuellable beacon that will be used at the beginning of the game or when you’re out exploring.
- Beacon Persistence, Fuel and Expiration - this is long discussed system for expiring long inactive beacons from worlds.
- Beacon Prestige - this is a progression ranking for your build. All beacons will get a Prestige rating based on a secret formula. The most prestigious beacons will be become the capitals of the Boundless worlds.
- Beacon Control asset - no more grey box.
- Settlements - this is a system for logically grouping together close beacons into a collective Settlement. Settlements receive a Prestige ranking and can also become the world’s capital.
- Skill tree GUI and system
- Updated Sanctum to include a more complete tutorial, character creation, account creation, and initial world selection.
- An expanded Objective system including Daily and Weekly objectives.
- The new Cuttletrunk drag attack is being implemented. It sucks the players and nearby creatures towards before flinging the victims away.
- The attribute system continues to be expanded, adding more data for items and creatures.
- The elemental type explosions are being hooked in.
- The tutorial and objective system is being extended for daily and weekly challenges.
- The resource regeneration is being overhauled, with a more layered system to encourage players to delve deeper and between biomes, and venture to more exotic worlds for the better resources.
- The compass has been improved with more information on the state of creatures (passive, aggressive, fallen, and dead) being displayed as well as many of the bugs being addressed.
- The GUI skinning progresses with more work on the aliasing of the HUD + GUI elements.
- A new beacon prestige system is being worked on to that also will help determine the world’s Capital.
- We’ve been using a new bot testing system to profile the servers underload and fixed one major issue that will help get more user on a world. It’s shown up some other areas we are continuing to investigate.
- We’ve also implemented most of the client side caching of the chunk data that will mean you won’t need to re-download the area around you if you’ve recently been there. This will dramatically speed up loading and reduce the required bandwidth, especially around and between portals.
This week @luke-turbulenz has been re-balancing the resource distribution with @lucadeltodecso’s help. They’ve improved the system, and made distributions more fairly spread in the world. You should see less resources on the sides of cliffs and more resources underground, particularly on the surfaces of caves. He’s also been working with @AndyD on updating the objectives system to allow the next iteration of objectives that we’ve specced out.
@olliepurkiss has been working on lots of data for the attributes system, especially to do with damage. He’s also been revisiting the progression design, and starting to expand the design for the Forge. The Forge is a machine for enhancing equipment. In between that he’s snuck in a quick rebalance of the glass and brick recipes to make them a little easier to craft.
Rob has been continuing to work with @OortSimon on the new visual design for the inventory screen, transferring all the assets to use distance mapping to provide a nice look with minimal aliasing. This system is important to allow the GUI and HUD to scale smoothly up to 4k without resorting to huge memory hungry assets. He’s also been looking at possible designs for the in-game shop screen where you can buy extras for the game.
This week has all been about characters, creatures and VFX.
The art team are forging ahead creating benchmark assets for the character customisation pipeline. Here’s models of two of our faces and some test decals.
@Minyi is finalising the character faces for our first race.
She’s been exploring more graphic decal shapes including elemental and warp designs.
While Andy has been coding the attribute system we’re excited to be working on visualising upgrade VFX for tools and weapons.
Here’s a preview of Dom’s work-in-progress hammer enhancements.
A blast enhanced Hammer.
A healing(?) enhanced Hammer.
We’re in full production on Hopper, Spitter, Roadrunner, Cuttletrunk and Hunter and will have all the tiers completed and ready to be integrated with the attribute system soon.
Here’s the hi-res sculpts of Hunter T4.
Finally a short captured demonstration of the ambient SFX system that will shortly be hooked into Boundless. We recommend you plug in your headphones before listening to the video.
During the video Rebecca gradually enables and disables a range of features that change the ambient SFX coming from the environment, including:
- Selecting the biome’s thematic ambience.
- Varying the time of day changes the biome’s ambience.
- The wind strength.
- The altitude above the biome surface, again changes the ecological ambience.
- The altitude below the biomes surface, ie. underground.
- Walking through short and long grass, also effected by the active weather system.
- Interactions within the grass: tool impacts, footsteps, falling, etc.
- Manipulating the block types interacted with.
- Being close to water.
- Being in water, and associated interactions in water.
- Being under water, and associated interactions under water.
- All whilst the atmospheric birds are tweet, tweet, tweeting.
A weekly update on a Friday! Zing!