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madmole

Alpha 19 Dev Diary

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We decided to go with more late game super weapons since America is chock full of hunting rifles, shotties and pistols.

 

AND M4A1's!

 

 

 

i really like that gun model you guys made :D

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I'd like to make it a lot more difficulty/impossible to find firearms the first 10 levels or so. You could find broken ones and salvage the parts to craft one early game.

 

That would contribute significantly to the survival portion of the game. It will probably reduce confusion for new players and kinda helps with inventory early game too. When you can collect every single tool and weapon because you find every single tool and weapon, your inventory loads up quickly and you can't really decide which weapons to use. You hate to store any because you know you're weak and you want to be prepared for everything. Too many choices too quickly.

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We can always go there if we need to. I have a devastating uppercut book we need to work out how to perform it.

 

may be press both normal and power attack?

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If A18.2 is going stable tomorrow, will there be a new experimental after it?

 

There should be one soon. I've got more changes I want to get out there.

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Improved player animations sounds nice. It's always funny watching other players walk around. I like those little detail touches. Thanks guys!

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there's an ETA for the vulkan api support? it's just been implemented but never finished

and the alpha 19 will be an addition of things (just that) or a major optimization update?

 

It not that it has not been finished. It is that it crashes on PC for me. The version of Unity we are on (2019.1) seems to have Vulkan bugs. Unity 2019.3 is at release candidate stage, so I'm hoping to get my hands on the final 2019.3 this week or next and will be trying Vulkan again.

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Microsplat is obviously causing a lot of performance issues with a lot of the user base. At what point do you evaluate its appearance benefits vs the performance hit? A prettier environment is nice, but not at the sacrifice of world entity population an navigation woes. Lack of things like rivers and such that did work in older alphas should also be considered.

 

Monday I made more performance improvements:

Added terrain at Lowest or Low quality reduces shader layer blending to 2 or 3.

 

MicroSplat just needs to be optimized to the point that it is fast enough. I'd rather spend time doing that, then going back to the old terrain and fixing the ugly parts of that.

Edited by faatal (see edit history)

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Very nice. Does that mean we can fiddle with brightness via XML now?

 

Just because you know someone will say they want it brighter.

 

The mod does:

<passive_effect name="LightIntensity" operation="perc_set" value="1.8"/>

 

You could change it.

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was playing this morning and just thought that the junk turret was great to throw down but not so good in hand and thought to myself why doesn't the turret have variations or precursors like the rifle or pistol. when starting my game i chose the agility tree and have been running with it the entire time. i looked over the intelligence line of weapons and notice that they where good but not a mainstay in game play. so i came up with a junk line and shock baton weapons line.

 

The shock stick- a stick wrapped in copper wiring that even an idiot savant can do. one flashlight, five electrical parts and three wood.

Homemade mulnir- when mid evil meets high tech, a mace covered in electrical contacts that delivers high voltage reliably with some extra weight. steel, electrical components, stun baton parts and duct tape.

junk shot- and hand crank lever action single shot junk launcher- tape, springs, iron pipes and mechanical parts. (think blunderbuss but with junk)

junk rifle- a modified paintball gun that fires junk ammo- iron ingots, junk turret parts, mechanical parts and scrap polymers.

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Awesome, and you'll recall I wasn't fond of the motorcycle's brightness in a18.

 

Also, since the gyro needs a headlight for its accessories, can it get a 45 degree (or so) down casting headlight for night flights? Most lights don't display very far away, and nights can be so dark now that without a headlight landing or taking off at night can be dicey. (At least i don't see a headlight working on my gyro here.)

 

Possibly.

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I'm more optimistic that we'll see improvements in vehicles with the mods... crippling zombies with the front tongs of the motorcycle comes to mind.

 

I wouldn't mind those being removed on the base motorcycle though and be added with the mod. Body color choices using masks would REALLY be nice as well though.

 

Sounds cool, but if we want A19 to not take forever, some of this stuff may need to be A20.

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What about a debuff that sets players at max encumbrance while a vehicle is in inventory?

 

That could work too.

 

 

 

That's an excellent idea.

 

 

-Morloc

Edited by Morloc (see edit history)

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I don't know much about Unity. I just started reading through some things and watching videos.

Is Unity so locked down that you can't write your own texture streaming?

I'm getting the impression that Unity isn't very flexible at all. Everything regarding limitations seems to be at the fault of this engine... but usually an engine, or even some framework of anything, can still be extended upon.

 

Unity is a mostly closed source engine and texture streaming is hidden away.

 

They are slowly making it more modular and have been working for a few years on a new flexible render pipeline, but the high def pipeline is just leaving beta status and at this point it may be a ton of changes to adapt to it.

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Unity is a mostly closed source engine and texture streaming is hidden away.

 

They are slowly making it more modular and have been working for a few years on a new flexible render pipeline, but the high def pipeline is just leaving beta status and at this point it may be a ton of changes to adapt to it.

 

Thanks for the reply, faatal. Some things like that you can't just find out on your own easily without getting into it yourself for awhile.

That's a little disappointing, but I suppose they have their reasons... most likely monetary reasons.

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Is there any chance of making Roland's 0XP mod a checkable game option, or at any rate advertising the finding-it-and-setting-it-up path in game somehow?

 

I get the XP switch and don't want that gone, despite me having been one of the countless players that ignored crossbows no matter how many steel crossbow bolts you used to throw at me in loot I think the in-game hints do matter, and XP is a pretty damn effective "do more of this" hint, and, well, leading players by the nose is just a thing, some of that's gotta be there, getting that right is hard.

 

But it seems to me once a player's got the hang of it the XP system starts getting in the way of the game, take concrete for instance, it's huge, but kinda pointless early. You have to entice the points-chasers into using it, sure, and the big XP reward for building concrete seems about right for when players fall behind on military research or just need a few quick points to level up, but: once XP has enticed the low-effort players into stepping up their game they don't need it any more, and wanting some more perk points is kinda built in, you can either gate them behind XP or something else.

 

0XP gates perk points behind simply surviving. Don't Die. The cost for dying early might seem small, but it's 2 perk points of opportunity cost after just a day (1,1,2,2,3 vs 1,1,1,2,2), ramping up to 6.

 

Being able to level up by just cowering in a hole Does Not Seem Right, sure. But the things raw n00b's do instead of that aren't really more productive, and this mode's not for them anyway. You can level up by cowering in a hole and have nothing to show for that week, or you can level up by clearing a town and have a fixer-upper town to call your own to show for it, it's your choice, the idea's to have fun, right?

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Is there any chance of making Roland's 0XP mod a checkable game option, or at any rate advertising the finding-it-and-setting-it-up path in game somehow?

 

I seem to recall someone suggesting an XP % setting similar to the loot % setting we have now. At its minimum setting it would be close enough to satisfy most people.

 

Personally I find the XP balance to be pretty good. I don't really get the appeal of removing the game's best method of determining what kind of hostility to throw at the player(s) ...

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I agree that the game in infinitely better without the XP notifications.

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A nearly identical system will deliver vehicle damage and critical vehicle damage which would be flat tire (drive slow and hard to control), leaky radiator (drive for a minute or so before overheating), bad battery (random won't start with cool down), bad engine (won't run at all), etc. You'll need those parts to repair it, repair kits for general damage. On screen debuffs when you are in the vehicle. Debuff hyperlink system, click the debuff it opens character stats page and highlights the debuff.

 

Now just wait a minute. Your argument changing all tool repairs to repair kits was that repairs were over complicated, and we shouldn't have to lug iron and steel with us to repair them.

 

But now we'll have that same old repair system you hated for tools but in the vehicles instead, and have to lug all of those parts around with us in the vehicles.

 

I'm not understanding how this makes sense to you but tool repair using thier base forged material did not.

 

Imho for consistency tools should either need the old repair materials requirements back, or vehicles should just need repair kits. (The former old tool repair system is more in line what you have in mind for player and vehicle repairs.) Repair kits could just be removed, and everything that needs repairs could just require base materials like pistol parts for pistols, or mechanical parts for wrenches.

 

That would also create a value in finding a low level gun to scrap for fixing your higher level gun, and encourage scavenging for repair parts.

 

Btw, sounds good to me, as long as everything has consistent systems in place.

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

Sounds cool, but if we want A19 to not take forever, some of this stuff may need to be A20.

 

Nothing wrong with that at all...that keeps us getting the trickle feed of new content without the ever increasing pressure of a huge update release.

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Monday I made more performance improvements:

Added terrain at Lowest or Low quality reduces shader layer blending to 2 or 3.

 

MicroSplat just needs to be optimized to the point that it is fast enough. I'd rather spend time doing that, then going back to the old terrain and fixing the ugly parts of that.

 

Can it also be toned down a bit? If I understand it correctly, it creates those erosion grooves on hillsides making them difficult to navigate with vehicles. If it's displacement amount could be reduced we would still get more detail in the ground, but not as severe and it would be easier to navigate. I hate those ruts all over the place with a passion, and we can't look at maps while on vehicles to follow roads at night.

 

(Btw, the compass and map icons for the junk turrets are still broken...they worked in the first a18 release.)

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Can it also be toned down a bit? If I understand it correctly, it creates those erosion grooves on hillsides making them difficult to navigate with vehicles. If it's displacement amount could be reduced we would still get more detail in the ground, but not as severe and it would be easier to navigate. I hate those ruts all over the place with a passion, and we can't look at maps while on vehicles to follow roads at night.

 

The shader just calculates pixels. It is not responsible for geometry.

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What are the vehicle mods that you're thinking about adding?

 

I'll do a proper announcement on those once we get everything sorted.

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I'd like to make it a lot more difficulty/impossible to find firearms the first 10 levels or so. You could find broken ones and salvage the parts to craft one early game.

 

Yeah, this would be nice. Currently there's not much reason to loot POIs such as the Shotgun Messiah factory, unless you just want to get some experience points.

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Now just wait a minute. Your argument changing all tool repairs to repair kits was that repairs were over complicated, and we shouldn't have to lug iron and steel with us to repair them.

 

But now we'll have that same old repair system you hated for tools but in the vehicles instead, and have to lug all of those parts around with us in the vehicles.

 

I'm not understanding how this makes sense to you but tool repair using thier base forged material did not.

 

Imho for consistency tools should either need the old repair materials requirements back, or vehicles should just need repair kits. (The former old tool repair system is more in line what you have in mind for player and vehicle repairs.) Repair kits could just be removed, and everything that needs repairs could just require base materials like pistol parts for pistols, or mechanical parts for wrenches.

 

That would also create a value in finding a low level gun to scrap for fixing your higher level gun, and encourage scavenging for repair parts.

 

Btw, sounds good to me, as long as everything has consistent systems in place.

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

 

 

Nothing wrong with that at all...that keeps us getting the trickle feed of new content without the ever increasing pressure of a huge update release.

 

The main thing is that a broken arm is a significant event and should require a significant action (cast). A vehicle breakdown everyone can relate to and will need something specific for the major events, like nose diving off a skyscraper, such as a new engine or radiator. Those are big events designed to throw the player for a loop. Needing 5 ingredients to repair a basic item isn't good, but once in a while have to find a radiator after I drove wrecklessly non stop? That feels interesting and helps balance vehicles. So we will continue to streamline repair of most things but we want vehicles and criticals to be significant for players.

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I have a bunch of paper designs you can all fight over, so I will keep them to myself.

 

I will say that we have a new critical injury system on paper ready to go. It will work like infection, meaning getting hit with low health and in poor armor will increase chance of getting a critical injury.

 

Broken arms, Abrasions, deep lacerations, concussions and infection will be delivered via the new crit system and have new unique effects and unique cures. All the new ones will remove 25 max health and heal slowly over time or faster via specific cures, like a broken foot heals faster with a cast.

 

A nearly identical system will deliver vehicle damage and critical vehicle damage which would be flat tire (drive slow and hard to control), leaky radiator (drive for a minute or so before overheating), bad battery (random won't start with cool down), bad engine (won't run at all), etc. You'll need those parts to repair it, repair kits for general damage. On screen debuffs when you are in the vehicle. Debuff hyperlink system, click the debuff it opens character stats page and highlights the debuff.

 

No more micro damage from small wounds, no more tiny bandage spam, but more meaningful big debuffs to players from combat trauma. You guys wanted survival, its coming.

 

Sounds amazing. Please, proceed. :)

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