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madmole

Alpha 19 Dev Diary

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No, those were placeholders, the one that shipped in 18 is the closest to gold version we've ever had. The old system ate CPU like crazy and was completely different rendering system than static maps were, making a lot of headaches for everyone. At a high level all we want to add now is an improved placement system so that no duplicates spawn and all pois are pushed in and not skipped over, and some bug fixes.

 

 

I think most objective people if they played 16 now, would see its nostalgia and it actually wasn't as great as they remember it to be, like watching an old movie that was badass in the 80s and now its like what is this low grade cheese?

 

We're not avoiding duplicates, we are making sure everything spawns first, before a duplicate can spawn.

 

 

There's stuff from that old system that are valuable and sorely missed. It's not merely nostalgia. The roads system from A16 inspired exploration. The current one ignores giant swaths of the map and feels so cookie cutter that it doesn't feel like there's any point in seeing what else is out there. Let's not forget the removal of biomes (one of which was on the kickstarter promises, which means that promise will go unfulfilled) that removed a ton of diversity. Removing the plains in my opinion was one of your biggest mistakes in terms of game aesthetic.

 

Was it perfect? No. POIs placed on cylindrical platforms were pretty fugly. Load times based on real time terrain generation were a drag. Wilderness POIs were a bit too sparse. Cars embedded into the ground were hilariously bad. Generation errors that led to sudden 30 block changes in elevation were a straight pain.

 

Looking at those together, you'll see a pattern. The positive things that are gone are things that set the tone of the game and promoted diversity. The negative things that are gone are mostly bug fixes.

 

It isn't nostalgia goggles that makes us wish we had the plains biome. Don't conflate the bugs with the things we love. They aren't a package. And for the record, the wasteland is at least 10x as useless as the plains ever was, yet that fugly abomination is still here to be avoided by 70% of players.

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Just turn off loot respawn, and then you have to travel further. Map size won't fix that. Besides I thought you guys have 16k working already with nitrogen?

 

This is completely untrue. The quest system completely negates turning off lot respawn. At best, it'll eventually put a stop to running a quest POI twice in quick succession at some point (clear fresh POI, pop quest, clear again).

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The prefabs were redone for a different reason though so not really inconsistent logic. Very low ROI for 1 block crouch imo. Zombie AI is already a PITA, imagine the complaints about AI pathing with 1 block navigation...

 

I would rather the devs be spending their time on bandit AI instead of figuring out how to prevent players from exploiting 1 block navigation to get to every honey pot loot room in a straight line and an augers lol...

 

Edit: As a prefab creator, I would have to build every wall out of steel if I didnt want players to super cheese my creation like a hot knife through butter...?

 

Edit2: dont forget the work needed to create and debug animations for crawling through 1 block gaps for all entities...

 

We're already gonna get Zed's that can navigate 1 block, or so I believe I read. Yes they were redone for a different reason but that doesn't negate the fact they were redone; hell at the least, expose that internal XML (because that's what it is, an internal XML that controls crouch height and a few other things).

 

The pois are /already/ being made with materials that are tougher than their texture implies, btw.

 

...still doesn't stop the beeline straight to the loot rooms for those that memorize where they're at. Join a server, you'll see holes direct to the loot while front doors and those *retarded* lit up paths are untouched.

 

But this isn't about that. One block crouch, zip lines, hang gliders... None of these would negatively imbalance the game NEARLY as much as intentional "features" like static loot rooms and game staged risks and frikkin helicopters.

 

​​​​So yeh, working on bandits is great, but the arguments against these other fun ideas is weak sauce.

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Posted (edited)

 

Maybe I'm just an unobservant oaf, but I had lots of fun on all the seeds I played. 8k is huge, so the size card doesn't mean anything to me. Aside from that, how can you pick it apart? Generation time? PFFFT, that is one little 15 minute time then you are set for 100 hours. Rust takes longer than ours. Not really high on our list.

 

The only thing that caught my eye was two identical pois close to each other, and a few dead end roads that could be better. We already improved biome generation, so what else is there?

Until you brow beat the optimal strategy of the game into huddling around 1-2 traders, 8km felt microscopic. We used to have 314 km^2 to play in and that felt pretty roomy. Now the game engine practically ♥♥♥♥s itself on 144 km^2, which you pretty much have to use Nitrogen just to get that much. 64 km^2 feels like enough to an extreme minority of older players and the new players you're now courting.

 

As for Nitrogen... It's better than the current RWG for sure, runs circles around it really. However, it's not good enough to be integrated into the game in my opinion, so please don't do that. Taking even a cursory look under the hood reveals it to be an extremely simplistic map generator and its speed benefits are based solely on that fact. It manages to work successfully in spite of this thanks to how much mod-ability it offers, but out of the box it's pretty uninspiring.

 

Terrain and biome generation are little more than overlaying images on top of a base image. I think we can both see how limited that approach is. I don't know how its country roads system works, though I can say it works better than RWG in terms of inspiring exploration. However, city roads are an abysmal mess. I really enjoy the weathered roads it offers, you might want to borrow some ideas from that in particular.

 

I think that Nitrogen brings some fresh ideas that could be incorporated into RWG. RWG needs a lot of love and I'd rather see the effort get spent on improving RWG than trying to make Nitrogen the defacto map generator as others are suggesting.

Edited by Ranzera (see edit history)
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We're already gonna get Zed's that can navigate 1 block, or so I believe I read. Yes they were redone for a different reason but that doesn't negate the fact they were redone; hell at the least, expose that internal XML (because that's what it is, an internal XML that controls crouch height and a few other things).

 

The pois are /already/ being made with materials that are tougher than their texture implies, btw.

 

...still doesn't stop the beeline straight to the loot rooms for those that memorize where they're at. Join a server, you'll see holes direct to the loot while front doors and those *retarded* lit up paths are untouched.

 

But this isn't about that. One block crouch, zip lines, hang gliders... None of these would negatively imbalance the game NEARLY as much as intentional "features" like static loot rooms and game staged risks and frikkin helicopters.

 

​​​​So yeh, working on bandits is great, but the arguments against these other fun ideas is weak sauce.

 

The static loot rooms and the game staged risks add more to the game then it detracts considering what we had before. You probably will disagree with me on that point but thats perfectly fine. At the end of the day it sounds like the devs will take a hybrid approach anyways (e.g. better loot / challenges in radiated areas) which should be the best of both worlds.

 

To be clear, I would also enjoy added features such as zip lines, gliders, 1 block navigation. However, I do understand and respect why they aren't added as any given system can add additional development overhead (e.g. maintain, testing, balancing) especially if they don't add much to the game.

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I dont know if the decoration (trees in particular) on slopes is a bug or intentional. But in the end, since A18, slopes are much more aggressive to prevent vegetation placement than in A17.

This leads to even relatively narrow hills to be completely barren.

 

It looks ok in the desert, but not at all in the forest biome. (visually having boring empty and grey hillsides)

 

-> You should check the logic at what slope-angle vegetation is blocked from spawning. Its should allow trees to spawn up to slopes of 45 degrees in my opinion.

 

It was a bug from an optimization that was using the wrong angle. I fixed and readjusted the angles.

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Posted (edited)

Don't add much to the game? More ways to play are good, and I don't buy into "precious dev time"... Tfp has shown time and again that deadlines are fluid (and I like it).

 

Zip lines for instance, would require decent planning, and imagine the base block being broken mid flight... Hilarity would ensue.

 

But you're right, I definitely disagree with the implementation of loot rooms. Before, good loot was random. Now you know exactly where to look. Every. Single. Time.

 

No need to even bother when you're on a server with others... It's already gone.

 

And don't get me started on one block crouch. Having essentially a real prone position could make for MUCH more fun prefabs. Having a real crawl? Slow, terrorizing, crawl? It'd be awesome.

Edited by Guppycur (see edit history)

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It was a bug from an optimization that was using the wrong angle. I fixed and readjusted the angles.

 

What's the new cut off angle?

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I didn't say it wouldn't happen. I just meant just because I think something is cool doesn't mean it gets added to the game. I think LOTS of stuff is cool, that will never get added.

 

Seeing as I have no idea how games are made I have to ask. If you (creator/dev/owner of the game) can't get something added to the game you think is cool, who can? It's been mentioned many times by members when another member has said something should be added or taken out that the devs have a idea of how they want the game to be and as it is their game then they get to make it the way they want. This may seem like a sarcastic question but I am really curious about this. I mean is there a process you have to go through for adding something to the game? Do you say you want something in and then the programmers say yes it can be added or no it's impossible. Are there staff meetings to discuss adding something to the game? Do the programmers come up with things to add/remove and you or Richard then decide yes or no?

I know you can't post a long detailed answer but a little bit of light shed on how this works might clear up a lot of things for some of us here.

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Posted (edited)

Sascha and Richard are the wet blankets that get everyone focused back on the Road to Gold as soon as wish talk starts happening. If a wing suit has a prayer of getting added to the road map then it has to get through the duel filter of Hated and The Fun Pimp...

 

Plus Gazz will have to ask the math questions and make a spreadsheet before it goes anywhere.

 

But count on faatal doing a joke wing suit mockup whatever anyone says....

Edited by Roland (see edit history)

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It was a bug from an optimization that was using the wrong angle. I fixed and readjusted the angles.

 

Thanks. The decoration on slopes where a point that bothered me a lot ;)

Maybe you can share a screenshot of the new distribution?

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What's the new cut off angle?

 

Small slope 48 (trees)

Big slope 65 (grass)

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Posted (edited)
Don't add much to the game? More ways to play are good, and I don't buy into "precious dev time"... Tfp has shown time and again that deadlines are fluid (and I like it).

 

Zip lines for instance, would require decent planning, and imagine the base block being broken mid flight... Hilarity would ensue.

 

But you're right, I definitely disagree with the implementation of loot rooms. Before, good loot was random. Now you know exactly where to look. Every. Single. Time.

 

No need to even bother when you're on a server with others... It's already gone.

 

And don't get me started on one block crouch. Having essentially a real prone position could make for MUCH more fun prefabs. Having a real crawl? Slow, terrorizing, crawl? It'd be awesome.

 

Yeah, i think the one block crouch thing could be great...if done well... However, given the devs are finally getting to player animations in A19 doesn't give me a lot of confidence they would have been successful implementing good crawling animations any sooner than that lol...

 

Edit... I still get chuckles when I see the crawling zombie flying with his feet in the air

Edited by Laz Man (see edit history)

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The fat zombies should probably float on water. Not only is fat lighter than water but so are the gases produced as the intestines digest themselves.

 

Let me tell you mate.. The gasses I'm producing are anything but light!

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Let me tell you mate.. The gasses I'm producing are anything but light!

 

They get lighter once the aeolian sediment has been deposited :-)

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Small slope 48 (trees)

Big slope 65 (grass)

 

Excellent work. Any chance for xml controls for the values? :)

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Hi MM. I wanted to ask if you plan to add different screen effects for sweets with buffs that will be in Alpha 19 to the game? For example, a red screen of rage when a character deals increased damage, etc.

 

Now the effects of the screen are only when intoxicated and when the character is in low health, and the remaining effects are expressed only as an icon in the lower left corner of the screen. To be honest with these icons in the heat of battle is very inconvenient.

 

Maybe similar effects, like beer or poor health, could be added to different buffs from sweets, or will this only interfere with the players?

 

The beer screen effect got me to never use beer again. If TFP wants me to ignore sweets as well, adding such effects to sweets would be a good method. :drunk:

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Posted (edited)
Don't add much to the game? More ways to play are good, and I don't buy into "precious dev time"... Tfp has shown time and again that deadlines are fluid (and I like it).

 

Zip lines for instance, would require decent planning, and imagine the base block being broken mid flight... Hilarity would ensue.

 

But you're right, I definitely disagree with the implementation of loot rooms. Before, good loot was random. Now you know exactly where to look. Every. Single. Time.

 

No need to even bother when you're on a server with others... It's already gone.

 

And don't get me started on one block crouch. Having essentially a real prone position could make for MUCH more fun prefabs. Having a real crawl? Slow, terrorizing, crawl? It'd be awesome.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't good loot always in safes and "hidden" stashes before and you practically knew where they are located in pois after playing for a while? I seem to remember that the pawnbroker shop usually had a few wood frames on the side of the building because someone went straight for the safe and hidden stashes in the suspended ceiling

 

And that simple houses without safes were practically ignored by everyone after early game

 

You are right that the steep loot distribution wasn't that pronounced in A<=16.

Edited by meganoth (see edit history)

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Adding something to the conversation about upgrading the questing framework, i have one sentence.

 

Two quests against the same POI.

 

For a number of reasons it's making the game feel weird: You can only finish one quest at a time (starting only one and the second cannot be started shortly after the first is finished, i.e. cache has been collected/POI cleared, but not been to trader yet). It resets the same POI twice (go chat about that). You don't really know for what POI you get the quest only after choosing it.

 

Had this problem twice recently...

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The beer screen effect got me to never use beer again. If TFP wants me to ignore sweets as well, adding such effects to sweets would be a good method. :drunk:

 

I did not say that the screen effect should be as disgusting as that of beer =)

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Adding something to the conversation about upgrading the questing framework, i have one sentence.

 

Two quests against the same POI.

 

For a number of reasons it's making the game feel weird: You can only finish one quest at a time (starting only one and the second cannot be started shortly after the first is finished, i.e. cache has been collected/POI cleared, but not been to trader yet). It resets the same POI twice (go chat about that). You don't really know for what POI you get the quest only after choosing it.

 

Had this problem twice recently...

 

Had this happen to me at a Carl's Corn. Had to actually leave and come back because I ran out of space in the motorcycle. So much cement!

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Adding something to the conversation about upgrading the questing framework, i have one sentence.

 

Two quests against the same POI.

 

For a number of reasons it's making the game feel weird: You can only finish one quest at a time (starting only one and the second cannot be started shortly after the first is finished, i.e. cache has been collected/POI cleared, but not been to trader yet). It resets the same POI twice (go chat about that). You don't really know for what POI you get the quest only after choosing it.

 

Had this problem twice recently...

 

Its a voxel game. The simplest way to make sure a quest can be finished is to reset the POI when the player arrives at the site. (The quest-bag etc might have been destroyed before issuing the quest or meanwhile).

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I know I'm just a random dude... but why not simply make the preparationtime like 5-10 seconds?

Like getting the equipment ready, linking it, grabbing it... And when taking damage while doing it, restarting/canceling it?

Seems like such an easy fix. And if you wanna build 20 hills with ziplines... why shouldnt you be allowed to do? Much more setup needed than vehicles and those are fine...

 

We just weren't feeling it. If you aren't feeling it, you have no desire to solve it. It was also at a time where the guy who did it had 1000 graphics bugs so we weren't keen on adding gam jam features when there were mac/linux rendering bugs to fix.

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Hey Madmole.

 

Will we ever see the return of the scary, dangerous big cities we had in the previous versions? You know, the ones with the green atmosphere and bombed out buildings?

 

I feel like each map should have a super dangerous hub city that's filled with (even from day 1) hordes of very strong zombies of all shapes and sizes.

 

The reward for all this danger and horror is the best gear which can only be found in the city with the bestlegendary gear only available at the end of the biggest, baddest city dungeons filled with all sorts of horrors and boss zombies.

 

It could also be that the main city has a few guaranteed POIs, such as the skyscrapers and etc.

 

It gives the players something to work too. A deadly, nightmare end zone that will test everything you have learned.

 

Anyone else feel the same? Because cities just feel to easy atm.

 

We want the radiation zone to be like that.

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And then you added gyrocopters. ?

 

I don’t mean to be snarky, and ziplines were never my favorite would-be feature, but the logic seems inconsistent.

 

The investment to hang a cable is too cheap. Vehicles are a death sentence now on horde night, problem solved.

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