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Crater Creator

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Everything posted by Crater Creator

  1. Alpha 19.5 went stable on May 28th, 2021. That's five weeks ago today. These are all comments made to the announcement on Steam. That's a rate of more than one post a day, where a user needs help because they can't figure out how to play 19.5. There's been confusion on this for a long time. And anecdotally, I think it's gotten worse and worse with every alpha, as more people discover the betas tab and opt in to experimental versions of the game. Each of these actual comments are likely representative of untold others that aren't commenting, but are likewise stuck on a past version and can't figure out how to play 19.5. Would it be possible to change policy to just include the latest stable release in the list of betas? I know it's not a beta. I know from a development standpoint it makes no sense to put it among the betas. But it's just not clicking for a lot of people. Could @The Fun Pimp include a note in every announcement of a stable build, that players need to opt out of all betas in order to get it? I know this is easy to dismiss, that people should know better or know how to search. But it's hard to deny that under the current standard operating procedure, this is a frequent problem among the player base.
  2. That’s correct; she’s the only female that speaks in the game currently. Though the trader voice lines are more ‘flavor’ than anything. It would be more important to translate all the written text, so that Czech players can read journal tips, stats on items, etc. Thankfully all of that is in one or two Localization.txt files, so it could be a compact mod to make.
  3. For PvE/coop, the first thing I’d always do is group up, by which I mean physically huff it over to wherever the other players are in addition to allying with them. I’ve never played on a server that big, but I presume a main group would quickly emerge. I don’t see much point in joining a PvE server just to fly solo. Then you’re a member of the community, picking some specialities based on need and what others don’t have covered as well. If others have been on the server already, they may already have some better tools, weapons, etc., and it’d help the group’s success to share that with you. Once the group has a roof over their heads and knows where a trader is, it’s usually off to do shared quests and advance in my own specialties. Frankly it’s like being a good roommate: keep the fridge stocked, try not to be a mooch, respect other’s private property, and ask before reorganizing or redecorating things.
  4. If you post your computer specs and graphics settings, I imagine someone can point out where the bottleneck is and/or what settings to turn down. Don't just give us the highlights - the details matter.
  5. And at a time when the OP is literally asking for silent thunder, no less.
  6. That looks like it affects the UI, but the OP was asking about the storm, e.g. the thunder and lightning effects that also serve as a warning.
  7. Well, what is "the cave issue" exactly? Performance cost at world generation time? Performance cost at runtime? People surprised/mad when POIs built above a cave collapse? People surprised/mad when their base built above a cave collapses? Inconsistent SI results with cavities that span many chunks? Did I miss anything? If we dissect those... The change from infinite worlds to generating the whole world at once bloated generation time way more than caves ever did. One dev mentioned that if they were to do caves again, they'd use a Perlin worm algorithm. It's a method of stringing segments together, and then you'd add decorations and cave POIs. It's a lot like generating the roads, but underground, so I'd expect a similar efficiency. In other words, I'd think optimizations for quick road generation would translate straightforwardly to quick cave generation. I'm least sure about this one but I think the biggest factor for runtime performance was overdraw: rendering too much that you couldn't actually see. Hopefully the occlusion system, added after caves, would mitigate this in caves now. They're big worlds, with enough space to have cities, but also terrain features like mountains where you don't have cities. There could likewise be a rule to not place POIs above caves. As for player bases, I happen to think it's more interesting when the particulars of your build site can have more pros and cons. But setting that aside, the UI could indicate when you're placing a block, if the block supporting it is on a solid column down to bedrock. This would be a good feature anyway, since newer players are always digging under their bases with deleterious results. I don't think this even matters with regard to caves. The only effect is that sometimes you have a cavern that should collapse, but doesn't. I can't recall anyone really lamenting that. Besides which, player made mines have the same issue. In fact, all but item 1 also apply to mines or whatever else players do underground. Which I guess supports my point: caves are such a no-brainer thing to do when you're doing a voxel game anyway. If it's all solid down there, why even have a hundred-block-deep layer of stone? Might as well have higher mountains and let people reach bedrock in 20 blocks. What a waste! Yeah, it's a sandbox and people can use that solid space to make cool things... but there's all this effort to make the surface interesting, when there's nothing special about that. The surface looks interesting in regular, non-voxel games. 7 Days to Die really is, if you'll pardon the expression, just scratching the surface of what it could do with voxels. And when voxels are one of the game's big selling points - the tradeoff for lower graphics fidelity and performance, in fact - that's disappointing.
  8. Okay, fine, 1 minute per linear kilometer. I was remembering wrong how the map sizes are listed. But here you can hear it straight from the programmer. 14:30 Kinyajuu: The speed of world gen right now, the idea is to keep it at, at most, 1 minute per kilometer. So like an 8K, we don't want to go over 8 minutes. 10K... speaking of, the three new sizes for the new maps. We're gonna start with 6,144 (m) since that's the Navezgane size. We're not gonna do the 4K. They felt real small, and 6K kinda feels about right, and then we have 8K still, and then we're also going to have 10K size maps. So you get an extra, bigger size map. But, like, a 10K shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to generate, and that's, like, my hard goal. If there's problems, like, going over that number, it's something I have to look into and, like, not accept. So we're gonna try to keep it to where it doesn't feel like it takes forever to get into the game the first time. How will @Kinyajuu's generation algorithm run in better than O(n^2) time, you ask? Above my pay grade. 😛
  9. The devs have said they're aiming for 1 minute of generation time per square kilometer, e.g. ~6 minutes for a 6K map if they meet their goal.
  10. I understand your concern, but you’re basing that assessment on an A19 standard. You don’t know how A20, with its optimizations and other changes, would perform on your hardware (nor do I). My recollection was that an opt out was added, not an opt in. It was enabled by default, thus getting data from everyone who doesn’t care or doesn’t notice the option. If so, your sample size should be more than sufficient to eke out trends.
  11. I suppose now that the game reports analytics, TFP can see whether 4K or 8K maps are more popular now, and use that as one guide for whether to go bigger or smaller.
  12. Even better, it needn't double the file size. They've already pulled off a tinting system for weapons/tools/clothing, and in A20 that will expand to include vehicles. It should be possible to tint zombie clothes/hair/skin if they're willing to produce the character art assets in the right way. The other way to add variety without blowing up the resource budget is with swappable parts. That is, each soldier zombie has on a few pieces pulled at random from a library of different boots, hats, belts, armor pieces, etc. Their previous attempt at this sort of thing, UMA, didn't perform well, but I'd sure like to still see some kind of individual variation.
  13. Yup, you nailed it. And that's why when they added trader protection, I hoped it would at least be a temporary, first pass feature until they could do traders 2.0. It defeats the design goal that, if a player has the Blood Moon enabled, the zombies present them with a scaleable challenge. And it defeats the design goal/game's own convention, that the world is 100% destructible down to bedrock. I've talked at length about a better way to do traders, so that indestructible blocks aren't needed. I still hold out a small hope that bandit NPCs can be done in a way such that traders don't need the absolute protection with its design-breaking consequences.
  14. I don't know... the game is more CPU bound than anything, and I'd assume it was always that way. Years ago, Crysis had such high system requirements for its time that it sparked its own "Can it run Crysis?" meme. I think a lot of people thought that bringing systems to their knees was a good thing. And part of me can see that angle, in the sense that it gives a game longevity. The game you bought gets even better years later, as you upgrade your hardware. I guess if you want to drive innovation as a software developer, you push the envelope in how much your software demands of the hardware. But if your goal is the most successful game, you match your software with what's on the market when the game's scheduled for release. To expand on your point, the pairing of voxels, full destruction, and procedural generation can be thought of in at least two different ways. On the one hand, it's an albatross around TFP's neck. It's far too ingrained in the code even if they wanted to axe the features for better performance. I believe Joel once said if he had to do it all again, it might not be a voxel game, or they'd at least curtail the 100% destructible world to avoid the performance hit it creates. And I can see why. There's a sizable portion of the gaming community that just doesn't get what the big deal is with voxels. We see it on a perhaps weekly basis. 'I can run Conan or Valheim or whatever the flavor of the month is smooth as butter, and I have an expensive graphics card. Why is this game so bad?' TFP is a victim of its own success on this. If 7 Days still looked like Minecraft, then more people would take their cue from that and compare it to Minecraft and other voxel games. On the other hand, the voxel/fully destructible/procedurally generated worlds are a unique selling point. A killer feature. If you can get a gamer to look critically, you can say "look what I can do!" and dig an epic, multi-layered, one-of-a-kind mountain fortress that they've never seen anything like in 1000 hours of playing Fallout or what have you. It's just a shame that, while TFP have invested so much in disguising the voxels - with terrain smoothing, an ever-increasing selection of block shapes, and POI overhauls to have thinner, fancier, less blocky walls and decor - they've also shied away from what really makes voxels and procedural generation shine. Namely, caves. Sure, 7 Days has mining, and that both works well with voxels and is a well developed system now. But complex, unpredictable paths through the terrain, that scratches a different itch: a more exploratory itch, that I've enjoyed since the days of ASCII-based rogue-likes. I didn't start writing this meaning to swing the conversation towards caves, but you got me thinking about the pros and cons of voxels and I couldn't help but arrive there.
  15. Isn't it, though? There are base designs where the hit points of individual blocks barely matters. Then there are those that don't build a base at all. I love building and it's a major focus of every playthrough I do, but I'd still say concrete is optional. With that said though, concrete is basically a building tier, not a building track. This will be even more evident in A20 since (and I can't overstate how big a deal this is) A20 will only have 4 building materials. Tier 0 wood, tier 1 stone, tier 2 concrete, and tier 4 steel. So one could say that logically carpentry and masonry are two separate skills, just as one could say that logically logging and mining are two separate skills... but as it shakes out in the game, it makes more sense for any skill(s) to cover the both of them.
  16. From time to time I've thought about ways to incorporate your character's mental health as part of their survival in the apocalypse. I see potential to have stats like humanity, comfort, hygiene, and happiness, that can slip from your grasp if you just spend every day running around outside, by yourself, butchering stinking corpses in your underwear. I can think of debuffs when these stats aren't maintained too. Like if you lose your humanity, you become 'insane' and hallucinate. But it's less clear whether maintaining these stats would be fun for this game, or if it would merely seem like chores: maintenance tasks that are tedious to handle. Like anything else in the game, there should be multiple pathways to overcoming your insanity. There should be more than a skill you get to turn it off. I envision these stats more like wellness or infection: stats you work on over the long term. Like, being near a working electrical system, or spending time working on a farm, would help your humanity. It's not your top priority at the start, but something to work on when you're past basic survival, and trying to thrive. In the early game you'd likely accumulate a lot of fear/insanity, and in the late game you'd look for ways to get your groove back, curing the hallucinations to feel human again.
  17. I'd like to see changes to the starting quest anyway. If you woke up naked and stranded somewhere with no humans around, would your first thought be to start chopping down trees and begin a construction project? Not me - I'd take shelter in the nearest standing structure. An important thing to remember is that building progression will be gutted in A20. TFP says there will be a "simplified upgrade path" with only wood, cobblestone, concrete, and steel. No more reinforced wood, iron, flagstone, bricks, rebar, etc. Because it'll be so thinned out, I don't think there will be space for both carpentry and masonry skills. I think it would be neat to unlock different shapes. As a novice builder, you can manage to hack together big solid blocks and ramps, which look spartan but get the job done. As an experienced builder, you can handle more refined shapes like iron bars, catwalks, and stairs with railings. A master builder can do form and function, with all the trim and interior decor blocks. The updated shape menu could facilitate this.
  18. Can confirm. Players on the Steam forum for instance regularly don't pick up on this bit of UI. I'm still in favor of switching to ❓and ✔️ icons in different colors.
  19. I could share a number of them, but here are two. If I find a better quality armor piece than what I was using, I have to open the character screen select the old armor piece click modify remove each mod one by one click complete (actually press escape because the complete button isn’t there) take off the old armor piece put on the new armor piece select the new armor piece click modify install each mod one by one click complete (actually press escape because the complete button isn’t there) The interface is cumbersome for no good reason. We can see the mods (and stats) on an item when we select it. We should be able to drag and drop mods onto and off of a selected item without opening a separate modify interface. We should also be able to repair armor without removing it first. Since we can’t, they implemented a hack where repairing armor that was previously worn makes you automatically put it on again. Which sounds nice, except sometimes I want to take off armor and leave it off, but also get it repaired, e.g. to sell it, or to put it away in good condition so it’s ready to go the next time I wear it.
  20. Apparently the devs think the answer is no. They've said publicly that they're removing reinforced and downgrade-able materials (source: Madmole in the dev diary, right here on the forum). Alpha 20 is planned to only have wood, stone, concrete, and steel.
  21. True enough. There's probably no more action-oriented way to showcase the 100%* destructible voxel world than with explosives. Ideally the gameplay should be designed to take full advantage of the underlying tech the game has (it's why I continue to advocate for a return of procedural caves). In fairness to the OP, though, they did say a reason other than playing with voxels.
  22. Blasting hunks out of the environment can serve constructive purposes, too. My ultimate A19 base was designed around a giant pit to cause (partial) fall damage to all non-flying zombies when they fall into it trying to reach me. It would’ve taken forever to mine a hole that big, even with an auger. So I experimented with where to arrange the blasting holes and how many units of dynamite to use per hole to blast out the shape I wanted with maximize efficiency. I didn’t care about the resources. All that was lost in the blasting was clay soil and stone, which are everywhere.
  23. There are already tooltips that do exactly that when you hover the cursor over an option.
  24. Edit: never mind, corrected by Madmole below.
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