Jump to content

Alpha 20 Dev Diary


Recommended Posts

12 minutes ago, Gromit said:

Those are some meaty shotgun shells... He's going to sell whatever shotgun those are for right?

The shells are normal size. He is just a gnomeūüėÖ

  • Haha 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

The model is impressive. Very high quality, even the shells are badass. The hair finally came out perfect, the textures are a 10, both attention to detail and material accuracy. No complaints here. When it's good it's good.

 

I hope the animations are excellent too, mocap goodness, no clipping and all that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really appreciate all that stuff, but...well...with my potato rig any possible future "4K-turbo-rendering-version" of Joel will - in any case -just look like this:

 

image.png.8989d8d66458bed2c5f74db24313d165.png

 

so thanks for nothing¬†ūüėā

Edited by meilodasreh (see edit history)
  • Like 1
  • Haha 6
  • Have a Cookie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Will we ever be able to see our current handwear on the first person hand model at some point? It seems like a tiny detail, but it would definitely improve the sense of really wearing clothes rather than having naked hands despite being fully geared out. I'd love to see how military or steel gloves would look on the character's hands. Really badass when you picture it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As it is not exactly mentioned in the first post,

I would like to ask how the "new door tech" is coming along (madmole showed that¬†hilarious teaser vid a while ago where the door blasted into pieces and poor arlene bellyflopping down the stairs ūüėÜ)

 

As I understood he was just experimenting around at that point.

 

So how far did that make progress?

Will that eventually make it into A20?

Or was it dropped/given up because of whatever reasons?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello devs,

 

This is more of a general question about the game's long-term roadmap and not limited to what A20 includes, but are there any plans to expand on the endgame? I understand that the current focus is to improve what's already there, and am really impressed with/looking forward to things like the LOD updates, random gen customization, and performance optimization, but what comes next?

 

I've had the game since ~2013 and have >1500 hours, and the way I've always played is to play the game intensely for a couple weeks after each major update, sometimes a little longer if I have friends with me, and then forget about it until the next update. We generally put it down around day 40-60, depending on day speed. We always lose interest at the same point: once we've gotten motor tools, vehicles, a decent concrete bunker, and have cleared a couple of the biggest POI's. Everyone I know feels the same way about it, and agrees that this game would punch classes higher if there was a more extensive gameplay loop.

 

I heard a rumor on the subreddit that years down the line, player-built NPC settlements will be used to provide automation to things like mining/farming/crafting/defense and to defeat AI cheesing horde night strategies by having the horde target NPC's in the player's settlement. Is there any truth to this, even remotely (ex, it was briefly considered but got thrown out long ago like the aliens thing), or am I parroting total nonsense here?

 

Thanks for taking the time to read/answer this.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/12/2021 at 1:45 PM, SnowDog1942 said:

 

Is reinforced concrete gone ?

Yes, but I think we're buffing the basic concrete to be as strong as the old r concrete.

On 3/12/2021 at 5:16 PM, MechanicalLens said:

 

Excellent. :) You might want to check the spawning conditions of beakers as well. In A19 at least, I've commonly found beakers on day 1 within lootable medical piles.

 

You mentioned "stone". Did you mean flagstone, cobblestone, or both?

 

This sounds like an excellent change though. Although I am curious, what of frames? Have they been removed? If so that would be fairly unfortunate; working out a template with frames is how a lot of us plan out our builds.

 

Edit: Already answered the second section, nevermind. :)

Probably cobblestone so it has good amount of health and looks better IMO.

On 3/12/2021 at 6:00 PM, NinjaMoa said:

Will there ever be a visual representation of block support / strength?

 

Valheim does this very well and leads to far less wasted time while building.

I'm not saying no. I think we have a dev tool that does it.

On 3/12/2021 at 8:30 PM, Brian9824 said:

 

Just out of curiosity does that come with other balance changes like reduced zombie damage to higher tier blocks or increased hp?  The change would result in the higher tier blocks losing a massive amount of durability otherwise.  

Yes we're rebalancing the hit points a bit.

On 3/12/2021 at 9:44 PM, MechanicalLens said:

@madmole What would you say about the fuel requirement for the chem station, forge, and campfire being removed? It adds no challenge and it just disrupts the flow. Sure it's realistic, but that doesn't help it from being an unnecessary extra step in my opinion. It's easy enough to gather wood for fuel anyway, so I don't see balance being an issue.

Free endless burning? No.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/13/2021 at 2:12 AM, Jost Amman said:

Why don't they just remove wood, stone iron, coal, lead, KNO3 and shale and make ONE generic blob we can collect called "Material"?

It'd streamline the game and make every recipe so simple after all.

 

On a serious note... I'm all for streamlining "the process", but what about maintaining some "flavor" in the game?

@madmole Don't you think you've gone too far with this simplification process? :suspicious:

No because sales continue to improve and review ratings are higher than ever. The process of going gold requires us to look at every system and decide if it's the best we can do or what we really wanted then change it to something shippable. If you don't like change don't play EA games. We haven't removed any materials, we removed the endless tapping of upgrading to reach a decent block. Wet concrete is just a dumb simulation thing and never added any value to the game and eats CPU to calculate when it dries so it really wasn't worth the sim factor for the CPU it ate. Wood to reinforced wood? We want meaty upgrades you can feel, not oh another block that is only 200 hit points more than the last one.

On 3/14/2021 at 8:57 AM, Thecolours said:

What exactly is the new trader to trader quests improvements listed on the front page?  We already have a trader to trader quest line, so what's changing in A20?

New quest type restore power will be cool. When you flip the switch zombies are attracted to the noise/light. There is more to it than that but I'll save that for a stream.

On 3/13/2021 at 12:28 PM, pregnable said:

 

Sounds good.  +1 for the idea. 

 

Seriously though, I am sure the changes will be fine.  There will just be more gathering and crafting, instead of gathering, waiting, then crafting. 

 

A lot of that stuff is just a time sink.  They can probably make it less confusing and get more players into the game as well. 

 

Hopefully we will have better stuff to do with that time, like random encounters, bandits, and more quests.

Pretty much this. It's too tedious and confusing to upgrade your base with the insane current block upgrade path. It's just over designed. Simple is better.

proposed block upgrade path.JPG

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 4
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/14/2021 at 1:02 PM, STiM_Desario said:

 

@madmole Can you elaborate on this? 

 

Are the plans to reconfigure the work flow, or axe the forge?¬†ūü§Ē

 

 

There are no plans, I shouldn't have said anything.

On 3/14/2021 at 7:26 PM, Guppycur said:

Will we lose support for the downgrade xml property entirely for this dumbing down change?  

No you can clunk it up with 10,000 blocks if you want.

On 3/15/2021 at 12:55 AM, MechanicalLens said:

 

Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure Madmole or someone else said at some point that they plan for cars to only have one asset and no breakdown system.

One model that has parts hidden is the plan, rather than changing models which is why there are bugs with cars popping up and down.

On 3/16/2021 at 1:15 PM, Blake_ said:

I can confirm that BATON+TURRETS are barely enough to hold off an horde. I can also confirm that the exact same applies for every single attribute out there if you are butt-naked in the open. With a basic general-purpose Tower defense base I can also confirm that bases are perfectly defended at the same degree for any attribute, but then again Intellect has quite the trader/quest benefits and extremely cheap ways to build and save resources does it not? 

 

Who would've thunk uh? you need to use intellect like a person who uses intellect in order to take advantage of an attribute created after the concept of "intellect".

 

 

Let's see if the drone doesn't unbalance it further.

The drone is just a pack mule and has no weaponry for this very reason. He can heal you if you sacrifice a mod slot for the healing mod. He can boost your stamina recovery speed with the teddy bear mod, has armor and a headlight to light your way when mining, etc. Cargo mods are stackable so I imagine most people filling her up with cargo mods.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/17/2021 at 5:24 PM, pregnable said:

Have there been any advances where you guys feel like you will be able to up the default max alive zombie count to 16, or greater?

There has been a lot of optimization happening, plus Unity is working with us. I doubt the default will increase though, 8 per player is plenty hard for new players. Turn it up if you want, but defaults need to be noob friendly and performance friendly.

On 3/19/2021 at 12:52 AM, meilodasreh said:

I really appreciate all that stuff, but...well...with my potato rig any possible future "4K-turbo-rendering-version" of Joel will - in any case -just look like this:

 

image.png.8989d8d66458bed2c5f74db24313d165.png

 

so thanks for nothing¬†ūüėā

Nice Valheim skin bro. ūüėÜ I love that game, but had to make the joke.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, madmole said:

There are no plans, I shouldn't have said anything.

Why ? I posted a while back hypothetical reasons for a new forge being = to a workbench because the gains are WAY better than small ones like wet concrete calculations.

 

This is the post:

Spoiler

I believe it's a change to consider (if not for a20, for the future) because:

 

1-Performs more than 4x better than the current forges.

 

2-We already smelt iron into iron, lead into lead, clay into clay, brass into brass, stone into stone (really ?). What about just using the resource as is and stop with the sharp sticks ? Ingots would be just recipes and the forge animation would be the same. Virtually no change there. 

 

3. The game really needs npcs and quests and awesome threats that result in emergent gameplay and awesome PvP and PvE experiences, not convoluted #forgegates everywhere that take us away from that by staring at a timer. I've never heard a party talking about "that awesome weekend when we smelted that sweet brass".

 

4. The new recipe-based forge would be faster, simpler and easier to understand both for newbies and veterans and would help managing time for the horde.

 

5.The new forge would be fast to do in dev time terms and easy to balance compared to the old one.

 

6. You wouldn't need to have that many forges and to micromanage the smelting process like a madman/madgirl. Just select the recipe while having the resources and craft away like cement mixers, chemistry stations or workbenches already do now.

 

7. You could still improve them with mods, which will make the proper gating for end game resources like steel.

 

8.You could argue that smelting allows to store resources in a place and adds an extra threat or losing said resources, but in reality that is easily solved just by increasing current resource stacks to 10000 and if you lose the chest you would be in the exact same situation. So no gameplay change there either.

 

So, you see, when you think about it you already start to hate the old system. Surely enough, the game lacks quite a bit of content right now, but that won't be the case in a couple of years and by then we will wonder what is this smelting nightmare all about. We just want to kill sexy bandits.

 

A chicken coup, on the contrary, would be a good smelting workstation (10+ cornmeals smelt to 1 egg for example). Not needed though.

Edited by Blake_ (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, madmole said:

The drone is just a pack mule and has no weaponry for this very reason. He can heal you if you sacrifice a mod slot for the healing mod. He can boost your stamina recovery speed with the teddy bear mod, has armor and a headlight to light your way when mining, etc. Cargo mods are stackable so I imagine most people filling her up with cargo mods.

 

No zap crowd control anymore? I usually feel no need for more cargospace once I have a motorcycle. If the drone is still planned as tier3 then at the time it would surface it would solve a problem I don't have.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/17/2021 at 9:17 PM, Blake_ said:

Good day to you @faatal ! I have a couple of questions that might be of interest.

 

1-What are you working on at the moment ?

 

2- Any plans on revisiting trees at some point ?

 

  Hide contents

I noticed that there are art/performance inconsistencies on some trees ( grown mapple less performant than the others  , some high branches don't match art and shadows of pine trees are floating and displaced in some growing stages at lowest shadow settings [near]). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We just finished our project review last week with Unity. Made a few performance changes as we did that. We have tickets open with them on Vulkan and DX12, so might see some stability/crash improvements in that area. Improved our texture atlas tool, since art complained about how slow it was and caused errors using during game play. Now I'm working on collision mesh baking off the main thread, since that was being a pain to frame split from the vis mesh and Unity pointed out they added BakeMesh a while ago (2019.3).

 

Trees are certainly not done and are on my list of FPS hogs. They are not consistent due to changes over time, like old speed tree vs new speed tree and we may be changing how their shadow casters work and the excessive choices we use for far LODs.

Edited by faatal (see edit history)
  • Like 6
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, madmole said:
On 3/13/2021 at 9:12 AM, Jost Amman said:

Why don't they just remove wood, stone iron, coal, lead, KNO3 and shale and make ONE generic blob we can collect called "Material"?

It'd streamline the game and make every recipe so simple after all.

 

On a serious note... I'm all for streamlining "the process", but what about maintaining some "flavor" in the game?

@madmole Don't you think you've gone too far with this simplification process? :suspicious:

No because sales continue to improve and review ratings are higher than ever. The process of going gold requires us to look at every system and decide if it's the best we can do or what we really wanted then change it to something shippable. If you don't like change don't play EA games. We haven't removed any materials, we removed the endless tapping of upgrading to reach a decent block. Wet concrete is just a dumb simulation thing and never added any value to the game and eats CPU to calculate when it dries so it really wasn't worth the sim factor for the CPU it ate. Wood to reinforced wood? We want meaty upgrades you can feel, not oh another block that is only 200 hit points more than the last one.

Thanks for the reply.

 

I trust your judgement on how you make your development choices, I'm not a game dev and, contrary to others on Steam, I don't think you're like crazy monkeys randomly doing "stuff". I'm not even against changes "per se", so I guess I'll have to see how the changes feel, but I trust they'll be for the best.

 

That being said, I'm worried (e.g.) about the time management part of the game that I see is being gradually removed from 7D2D.

I don't like watching the paint dry of course, but I see some value in choices you make while playing because some activities take time (like smelting, upgrading concrete or crafting...).

 

How many times did you find yourself short of time having to choose between this and that? Well, if (almost) every activity will be done immediately, that part of the challenge is gone, no matter how you flip it, it'll be forever gone from the game. So, do you plan to balance that some way, or you just don't think time management should have a place in the game?

Edited by Jost Amman (see edit history)
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, faatal said:

We just finished our project review last week with Unity. Made a few performance changes as we did that. We have tickets open with them on Vulkan and DX12, so might see some stability/crash improvements in that area. Improved our texture atlas tool, since art complained about how slow it was and caused errors using during game play. Now I'm working on collision mesh baking off the main thread, since that was being a pain to frame split from the vis mesh and Unity pointed out they added BakeMesh a while ago (2019.3).

 

Trees are certainly not done and are on my list of FPS hogs. They are not consistent due to changes over time, like old speed tree vs new speed tree and we may be changing how their shadow casters work and the excessive choices we use for far LODs.

Lol, damn. I thought you were just gonna scratch your head against the wall with the main thread optimizations, how wrong I was ! Also It's a good thing they pointed that out, because the version release notes are too big to handle every single time. 

 

While DX12 is nice, relieving the main thread of mesh baking calculations is HUGE. So that's why you won't exist for a while. Thanks.

 

Also, thanks for the tree answer. I'd hate to be the one who "leaves".

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, madmole said:

No because sales continue to improve and review ratings are higher than ever. The process of going gold requires us to look at every system and decide if it's the best we can do or what we really wanted then change it to something shippable. If you don't like change don't play EA games. We haven't removed any materials, we removed the endless tapping of upgrading to reach a decent block. Wet concrete is just a dumb simulation thing and never added any value to the game and eats CPU to calculate when it dries so it really wasn't worth the sim factor for the CPU it ate. Wood to reinforced wood? We want meaty upgrades you can feel, not oh another block that is only 200 hit points more than the last one.

New quest type restore power will be cool. When you flip the switch zombies are attracted to the noise/light. There is more to it than that but I'll save that for a stream.

Pretty much this. It's too tedious and confusing to upgrade your base with the insane current block upgrade path. It's just over designed. Simple is better.

proposed block upgrade path.JPG

So if R Concrete is gone. What happens to rebarframes ? are we supposed to lay out our bases with woodframes and upgrade all the way ? just curios 

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, manni44 said:

So if R Concrete is gone. What happens to rebarframes ? are we supposed to lay out our bases with woodframes and upgrade all the way ? just curios 

I believe he already said ?. May someone correct me if I'm wrong:

 

 You select a frame and upgrade it from frame to wood-stone-concrete-steel OR you can use a frame-like thingie (called particle board) made directly from any of those materials into any shape to directly make them from frame to [material]. Any other secondary materials, like cloth will also be able to make stuff out of every shape and will also have frame-like thingies (particle board). Overall, the system has expanded, not shrinked. 

 

So you make your base not with rebar, but directly with "concrete frames"(particle board) . 

 

Edited by Blake_ (see edit history)
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Survager said:

The torch now has free endless burning. To this you say YES! )

It is a torch not a workstation making resources.

6 hours ago, meganoth said:

 

No zap crowd control anymore? I usually feel no need for more cargospace once I have a motorcycle. If the drone is still planned as tier3 then at the time it would surface it would solve a problem I don't have.

 

Nonsense there is never enough space to carry stuff and we're adding more and more items so if you don't have a problem now you probably will at some point. Don't use the drone if you don't like it. We didn't want to make it so OP everyone wants a drone so we disabled the weapon mods it has, for the first version at least.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Jost Amman said:

Thanks for the reply.

 

I trust your judgement on how you make your development choices, I'm not a game dev and, contrary to others on Steam, I don't think you're like crazy monkeys randomly doing "stuff". I'm not even against changes "per se", so I guess I'll have to see how the changes feel, but I trust they'll be for the best.

 

That being said, I'm worried (e.g.) about the time management part of the game that I see is being gradually removed from 7D2D.

I don't like watching the paint dry of course, but I see some value in choices you make while playing because some activities take time (like smelting, upgrading concrete or crafting...).

 

How many times did you find yourself short of time having to choose between this and that? Well, if (almost) every activity will be done immediately, that part of the challenge is gone, no matter how you flip it, it'll be forever gone from the game. So, do you plan to balance that some way, or you just don't think time management should have a place in the game?

Time management is always a thing because the horde is coming, calories are burning, bullets are spent, etc. Drying concrete never added challenge because even wet concrete was pretty formidable. Did it cause you to prioritize getting your concrete up and going first? Sure, but with the new building system you can build steel with any shape and the team doesn't like blocks that downgrade to other blocks. 10k hit points, ok I'm slaving away to break this block, boom no now there is another 8k hit point block that just spawned... that is unintuitive and frustrating. How many more are there? It will be better to get rid of downgrade blocks. If we can do visuals great, but when the hit points hit 0 the block needs to go poof.

At the end of the day we're trading a little bit of old immersion for something that makes sense and isn't so watered down. No more multi stage blocks to break through and no more wimpy upgrades. Big meaty upgrades.

4 hours ago, OLlIiee said:

You need optimize alpha 19 before alpha 20.

 

I believe we're going to port a lot of optimizations to A19 the last I heard.

2 hours ago, manni44 said:

So if R Concrete is gone. What happens to rebarframes ? are we supposed to lay out our bases with woodframes and upgrade all the way ? just curios 

Pay the price of upgrading from frames to wood to stone to concrete if you aren't confident in what you are building. You can always build it in frames then remove the frame and place the concrete block where it was.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
√ó
√ó
  • Create New...