Since our last Weekly Dev Update we’ve released some significant features and improvements:
- Release 180: XP and Progression re-re-balance!
- Testing 181: Signs!
- Release 182: Signs and Portals++!*
There are still a few more improvements to come in the Portal and World loading systems. We’re also starting to focus on the rendering performance.
The main gameplay focus has been across 2 large areas: Creatures & Combat and Recipes & Resources. These domains will makeup the main changes in the coming feature releases.
Code - October 6th:
We are adding the Creature Spawn Events where hordes of creatures will attack a random player every half an hour or so. We are adding the Rage and Focus for players that allow them to use skills in combat against creatures. We’ve continued on the player resurrection code, which is like to become more helpful as creature become tougher as they are evolving a new range of attack abilities.
Work on in game Signs continues, further polishing the GUI and adding smaller sign support to give you more options to leave messages in the game world. Whilst you’ll see changes to the HUD with an added stamina bar and further information displayed in the combat log, both should make it easier to see how much damage has been dealt to creatures and to your Citizen.
Machine refactoring is now complete, addressing scalability issues for larger contraptions and introducing Machine wear. Now, Machines will need regular maintenance to stay functional. Machine pipes will now show whether they are powered or not by Spark Cores and an vfx is displayed when Engines connect to a Machine allowing a smoother Machine experience.
The Windows full screen update is completed and out in the Live version. We’re adding support for automatic crash dump collection so we can more efficiently analyze crash data.
Code - October 13th:
Creature spawn events are progressing well, adding multiple portal spawners for creatures to drop into the world. New creature behaviour and attack types are also being added (including homing shots!) Both features will help make combat more compelling for players.
We have been working to make the tutorial feel more intuitive, adding prompts to help guide new users through the early game. Likewise, following player feedback, the way the users add friends is being overhauled to make it simpler. We are also looking at allowing adding Steam friends in game.
The signs continue to be polished with richer font rendering and further GUI polish.
Soon, Portals should start to feel smoother and smarter with a rework of the portals activation logic. A new wobbly fx on open portals replaces the old placeholder gray quad and these are now also visible through portals. The back end of portals are being updated to help prioritise user wanting to join the World, over spectator portals.
For a more immersive experience, further sound effects are being added with elemental explosions variations and projectiles now whizzing past your head.
We’ve also replaced the backend crash logging on Windows to allow users to upload the crash dumps rather than emailing them in. Less time explaining, more time playing!
Code - October 20th:
We’ve made good progress polishing the Portals, working on making them more responsive when opening up, as well as refining the effects. You should have a much smoother time using Portals soon.
A lot of work has gone into Creature Events Spawning over the past few weeks, we are now at the stage of adding support for more Creature types, such as the Cuttletrunk. The overhaul of the Creature Weapons includes creatures now having a selection of weapons and attacks to use.
The GUI is now re-skinning the headers and footers of the screens to add richer information whilst The HUD is adding a newsflash to inform the user of important information. We’re getting close to making sure you have all the information you need at a glance.
Work on Signs continues, with the sign code continuing to be polished up including an updated beveled font rendering.
We’ve also spent time updating some of the backend libraries and looking into memory use to improve server and client performance.
Code - October 27th:
It’s been a busy week over with our Coders (as always) with lots of work going into making your Boundless experience even better. Creature Events continue to be finessed with a Meteorite deposited in world and the drops being able to be collected per user, like creature drops. The new creature attack variations continue to be fleshed out, with homing projectiles.
The HUD newsflash is now integrated into our next release, giving users more obvious information updates at a glance.
We been adding support to allow user to add their Steam friends in game.
We added saving and loading of world physics data on the server to increase the speed that things can move around. This also helps when portals are opened, reducing the occasional stutter; polish continues.
We’ve upgraded the PlayStation memory allocator to jemalloc, an allocator that performs far better in threaded systems. This increase speed overall and reduced frame spikes. We’ve also fixed some memory issues that will increase stability and reduced ram use overall.
Code - November 3rd:
Much of the time was spent on updating the game for the Release 182, polishing up features, balance and bug fixes.
The Event continues to work on the creature spawn rules, aiming to get the most creatures around the meteorite impact. The creature’s combat improvement continues, with further attack variations, such as barrage and timed ‘bombs’ as well as new behaviours.
The HUD is reworking the information for beacons and settlements. The beacon controls is being changed to allow a single Master Beacon Control. This will stop players accidentally removing all their beacon controls whilst there are still active plots in the world.
We continue looking at the client performance in the built up areas to maintain a higher frame rate. As part of this the level of detail ranges for effects and objects have been set, with a new game options to allow the object detail to be scaled.
Further portal polish reprioritized the order that the worlds are meshed to make one being looked at become visible more rapidly.
On the backend we continued design work on scaling up the world generation and universe infrastructure.
Code - November 10th:
The creature combat update continues to polish up the new attacks. The Cuttletrunks are being upgunned with a new death ray to make them even more lethal. The meteor event continues to be expand with mineable resources and the meteor health depending on the creatures spawned.
The HUD has added a new tips feature to help the game features to new users. The beacon GUI has been polished up.
We are looking into the performance in built up areas and are optimizing some of the hot spots. To help performance in very detailed areas we are adding a dynamic level of detail adjustment option so you can help control desired minimum framerates.
We are evaluating the new Amazon C5 instances that offer improved servers performance, especially in network bandwidth.
Design - October 6th:
This week Ollie has been finalising the design and requirements for the new recipes and resources. He has also been nurturing the Rage and Focus system which is being implemented by Andy. Rage and Focus will make higher level combat more rewarding.
Luke has been working on new behaviours for the Spitter and Cuttletrunk to make them more unique and interesting to fight against and to give them fun and varied combat patterns and moves.
Rob has been working with Marc to implement the combat log system as well as refining the stamina UI. Now, he’s on to the list of tasks compiled from last week’s playthrough. Rob likes a challenge.
Matt has changed the telemetry system so we can now get accurate data from players based on their characterIDs instead of usernames. The better the data we collect, the better we can make your time in the game world.
Design - October 13th:
This week Ollie has continued finalising the new items and recipes and has started integrating them into the game. He’s also been supporting James with management stuff and Dave with a fancy creature spawning system.
Luke has continued to balance the Rage and Focus system to make combat at higher levels more interesting and rewarding. He’s also been working on behaviours and attacks for creatures with Andy to give a more unique feel to creature encounters.
Rob’s task for this week has mainly been to improve the profile screen. The aim is to allow players to see each others information and to make it easier to befriend or trade with each other. The last part of the week has been polishing up the Stamina feedback system with Marc along with improving the newflash layout and timings. In between that, he’s started looking at ways to improve the Beacon Control UI to make it easier to see what’s happening with each of your Beacons.
More telemetry from Matt this week. He’s implemented a system which allows us to see all their characters and look into specific stats about that character. He’s also been improving how we gather data as well as fixing issues with the current system.
Design - October 20th:
This week Luke has been polishing up his work on Creature attacks and behaviour as well as his work on Rage and Focus. This will add a greater depth of challenge and fun to Creature attacks and hunting.
Rob has been working with Marc on how to improve messaging in the game, including contextual tips and ‘did you knows?’, the combat / action log and the gain log. All this should make it much easier to understand what is happening, especially for new players. He’s also been working out a better approach for the initial flow around account and character creation.
Ollie has been continuing to work out the new crafting and recipe stuff (no one has attempted to make a real life Boundless Pie yet though), as well as adjusting the tools we use to edit that data.
Matt has been checking and improving our telemetry “rollup” so that we can manage the vast amount of data produced. He’s also been looking at neat ways we can send surveys to get feedback from a wider range of players.
Design - October 27th:
This week Ollie spent some time looking at the tiny interaction distance for signs, which has spread to all interactive items in the game. In a future update the amount of control you have will increase the range at which you can interact with items. Work continues to progress with the new recipes and resources. As well as that, he’s been reviewing and iterating the new creature spawning system with David.
Luke has been continuing his work on creature combat this week with help from Andy. Together they have been creating new attacks, patterns and behaviours for the Spitter and Cuttletrunk species with the aim of making combat more challenging and unique between the different tiers. In addition to creature combat, Luke has been polishing the rage and focus system for players to have fun and unique upgrades to their character for mid to endgame combat.
Rob’s week has been split between multiple tasks as he’s been reviewing a lot of Marc and Simon’s efforts in finalising the Newflash and Objective presentation, as well as starting work on a new presentation for Beacons and boot flow. The remainder of the week has been finalising the design for the game connection status and updating the UI style guide for game.
Matthew has been analaysing the telemetry data this week and hunting down discrepancies in the data and trying to fix the issues he’s found. He’s also been refining how we present the data for members of the team to review.
Design - November 3rd:
A mixture of bug fixing and work on new areas has been the highlight of this week.
Ollie’s week has been split between managing this week’s release and hotfixes as well overseeing the new spawning event being developed by Dave. In between that, Ollie managed to squeeze in time to update the machine repair system and continued working on the new recipes, including the elusive forge.
Luke continues with creature combat this week, with cuttletrunks and spitters receiving new attacks and behaviours depending on their tier. They’re a lot harder to fight now, so further work is needed to make sure combat is fair for the players.
Rob has been working on the entry flow for a new user and existing user on PC and console. The cross-platform feature has caused a bit of complexity with the flow but all areas should now be covered.
Now that we are gathering large amounts of telemetry data Matthew has been going through and optimising it to reduce the amount of data we request. In addition to that, he’s also created a timeline to show how players are playing the game. The timeline shows us how long players are taking to complete feats and objectives, which should help us balance the game and find problems with our progression.
Design - November 10th:
This week Ollie has been busy with project management work. He’s mostly be bogged down with organising tasks for the next release and planning future updates to the game to give the team a clear roadmap for the coming months. Recipe work is still ongoing but it has taken a backseat this week.
The creature combat continues to be refined and polished. Luke has been fixing up several issues with the new Spitter and Cuttletrunk combat behaviours and balancing them accordingly. Thanks to some new weapon set ups and configurations, the creatures have a few more tools up their sleeves in combat.
Matthew has been busy investigating how we can probe players for information by using a target e-mail survey, so you might see one soon. As well as that, he is still checking for bugs with the timeline data and roll up queries. Luckily, his telemetry tasks are beginning to dry up so he’s started looking at a developing new worlds.
With the entry flow from last week finalised, Rob has been reviewing the rage and focus presentation and has been refining how it is presented to the player. He’s also created several unique icons for some new status effects which will help players to see when a certain effect is applied to them. As well as that, he’s been reviewing a number of screens and figuring out ways to improve them, including the furnace, journal, wear and times on Beacons.
Art - October 6th:
This week the Art team have continued to work on sign, fences, door, beam concepts, more decorative prop modelling and new recipe items.
Amanda has been working on Signs and frames in different materials. Check out her forum post with Sign concepts update below, and yes Rick-rolling is still going strong:
Aside from Signs, Amanda has been looking at concepting fences along with doors and beams for rock/stone to see how they have consistency in situ:
And more door concepts. These are exploring a stained glass style.
Ollie and Luke are working on a final set of comprehensive Recipes for the next larg(ish) release. Jess has taken a look at those Recipes and started to concept some delicious art! Anyone fancy a slice of Boundless Pie?
Between concepting food stuffs, Jess has created even more new decorative pole models:
Jim has been finalising 3rd person held items and providing animation support for the new Spitter and Cuttletrunk ranged attack behaviour Luke’s working on. Both features are looking great.
He has also continued to work on lighting balancing and adding bloom which until now has been fairly non-existent. Adding bloom gives a gentle glow to all Gleam blocks and Lanterns making your builds look even more special.
The ultimate goal is to balance the lighting so torches, Gleam, midday sun - all lighting situations work pleasingly together and don’t blow out.
Art - October 13th:
This week in the Art Team it’s been a mix of finalising props, concepting and getting those Signs prototypes functional.
Amanda has been finalising doors. Here’s the latest material progression concepts. Nearly there!
We’re also looking at the creature totems so Amanda has provided B+W orthos of the Spitter Totem.
Whilst Jess (along with Luca’s coding skills) has continued with the Signs prototype. It’s looking good so far. We have a tileable 1m x 1m sign system and a standalone single smaller sign.
Last but not least, Jim has been working on lighting, specifically torches, in an attempt to fix the current extreme lighting levels. We’re aiming for ambient rather than blinded by the light!
Art - October 20th:
Over in the Art team we’ve been continuing to develop the features we were working on last week doors, fences, Signs and lighting.
Amanda is exploring some great door and fences concepts.
Carrying on with Sign prototyping, Jess has made Stone versions of the Signs which we will be providing for testing soon. The Stone Sign. The stone colour/tint will come from the world stone colour.
Jim has continued working with Luca on balancing lighting and torches and also providing feedback for a new portal effect to be played when multiple open portals are visible.
Art - October 27th:
The art team have been busy on prop concepts and consumable items.
Amanda’s concepts for unique fence types. These will provide more variety for decorating builds in addition to the material progression fences we shared previously.
Ollie and Luke have been working on the list new items and recipes. We have the list of new foods which Jess has been creating.
Art - November 3rd:
This week the art team have been supporting release 182.1 and working on prop concepts and new items.
Amanda has been finishing off Decorative props, posts and beams. See Amanda’s forum post.
Jess has finished the new foodtuff items with the bean model. She’s moved onto rare creature drops. Collect enough of these and you can craft a cool creature totem as seen in Amanda’s previous post.
Jim has been working on particle VFX.
Art - November 10th:
This week the art team has been busy on concepts, item drops and prestige totem pieces.
Amanda has been finalising a set of unique fences
She’s added a Wildstock version to the creature totems.
Jess has been modelling new item drops from creatures. A horn, feather and eyeball. More to come next week.
That’s all folks!