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Alpha 20 Dev Diary


madmole

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2 hours ago, meganoth said:

 

You said melee bandits were nearly ready. If your recollection is correct the most interesting part of the bandits would have been still missing, gun toting bandits. And not even that is enough, bandits without organised camps and a story would have been just zombies with a different skin.

 

Imagine TFP showing off their bandits and those bandits being inconsequential like the bandits enabled in the mods. That would be a publicity disaster

 

This is exactly my fear. Bandit hype is off the charts and if they end up being anything but revolutionary as in we have never seen anything so great in a game the haters are gonna hate.

That is why I keep repeating Bandits will probably behave like smarter zombies that can shoot at you and *maybe* attack your base and *maybe* use explosives to break things...MAYBE.

Unity simply doesn’t seem to be capable of super complex things with tons of stuff on the screen. We need to be realistic as to what the bandits will be.

People are literally fantasizing about giving gifts to Bandits to befriend them and having a Bandit companion live in there base and follow them around on quests. I know for a fact (without having inside info on Bandits) they will not be your friends, they will not navigate the world as a real human player would, they will not make human like attack plans. No games AI has totally believable and mobile NPC characters.

 

I look forward to having Bandits to add another thing to fight. I do not expect more than that.

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6 minutes ago, Fanatical_Meat said:

This is exactly my fear. Bandit hype is off the charts and if they end up being anything but revolutionary as in we have never seen anything so great in a game the haters are gonna hate.

That is why I keep repeating Bandits will probably behave like smarter zombies that can shoot at you and *maybe* attack your base and *maybe* use explosives to break things...MAYBE.

Unity simply doesn’t seem to be capable of super complex things with tons of stuff on the screen. We need to be realistic as to what the bandits will be.

People are literally fantasizing about giving gifts to Bandits to befriend them and having a Bandit companion live in there base and follow them around on quests. I know for a fact (without having inside info on Bandits) they will not be your friends, they will not navigate the world as a real human player would, they will not make human like attack plans. No games AI has totally believable and mobile NPC characters.

 

I look forward to having Bandits to add another thing to fight. I do not expect more than that.

 

I share similar expectations.  Ranged enemy combat is a tricky thing to get right.  There is a fine line between infalliable aimbots and AI that can't shoot the broadside of a barn.  Time will tell what the vision the devs have for them in A21+.  I am all for more varied encounters so even if its not the best, I will most likely enjoy their presence.  Both as a fan and a level designer :p...

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19 minutes ago, Fanatical_Meat said:

This is exactly my fear. Bandit hype is off the charts and if they end up being anything but revolutionary as in we have never seen anything so great in a game the haters are gonna hate.

That is why I keep repeating Bandits will probably behave like smarter zombies that can shoot at you and *maybe* attack your base and *maybe* use explosives to break things...MAYBE.

Unity simply doesn’t seem to be capable of super complex things with tons of stuff on the screen. We need to be realistic as to what the bandits will be.

People are literally fantasizing about giving gifts to Bandits to befriend them and having a Bandit companion live in there base and follow them around on quests. I know for a fact (without having inside info on Bandits) they will not be your friends, they will not navigate the world as a real human player would, they will not make human like attack plans. No games AI has totally believable and mobile NPC characters.

 

I look forward to having Bandits to add another thing to fight. I do not expect more than that.

 

This is a realistic, levelled expectation. @Roland Can you sticky this somewhere?

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15 minutes ago, Laz Man said:

 

I share similar expectations.  Ranged enemy combat is a tricky thing to get right.  There is a fine line between infalliable aimbots and AI that can't shoot the broadside of a barn.  Time will tell what the vision the devs have for them in A21+.  I am all for more varied encounters so even if its not the best, I will most likely enjoy their presence.  Both as a fan and a level designer :p...

Yeah, another problem is : sometimes enemies are too much accurate and you don't have any chance to fight with them 😕 

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Re: raft and new water

 

...would the new water even affect the raft physics?  There are plenty of m word boats, some of which I've worked on, I don't think it would be necessary to change them when water is reworked, but I'm only guessing... Faatal? 

 

Edited by Guppycur
Fxing sh!ty forum software... (see edit history)
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32 minutes ago, Guppycur said:

Re: raft and new water

 

...would the new water even affect the raft physics?  There are plenty of m word boats, some of which I've worked on, I don't think it would be necessary to change them when water is reworked, but I'm only guessing... Faatal? 

 

 

You may be right... faatal?

 

:)

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1 hour ago, Guppycur said:

Re: raft and new water

 

...would the new water even affect the raft physics?  There are plenty of m word boats, some of which I've worked on, I don't think it would be necessary to change them when water is reworked, but I'm only guessing... Faatal? 

 

Nope. Raft just needs to get water level. Old or new water blocks will provide that.

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@faatal I'm no programmer, but I've read sometime ago on another game's dev blog that games often use a "decision trees" for the AI stuff.

 

You surely know better than me that, apparently, using those you can have "toons" do complex stuff (like simulating needs and different reactions to events and situations).

Is it possible to do something like that with Unity without going mad? And, most important of all, would that be a viable option for the new bandits AI? :nerd:

 

(P.S.: I've willingly ignored the pathing problems because I don't consider that "true AI", but just an accessory to it)

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52 minutes ago, dcsobral said:

If it's slow people won't use it. It won't be fast. So what's the point?

Would be faster than walking, save stam/food, have storage, and could cross water much easier than swimming. And as stated, it is basically done. So why not?

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@faatal or whoever wants to and/or can answer these questions and ideas, I'd love to know... Thanks to all TFP's for taking the time to share some info.

 

1) After the game finishes loading it'd be nice if it gave us a prompt to press a button to continue instead of just being thrown into the game, will that happen?

 

2) Will the anti-aliasing options be renamed to what they actually are, instead of low, medium, high, and ultra?

 

3) With TAA being added to Alpha 20, will we still have the option to use what ever AA Alpha 19 is using? There are plenty of people who despise TAA.

 

4) Assuming that the old setting, tree quality, was merged with object quality. Will those two options be separated again?

 

5) Shadows...

    A) I've noticed that at dusk and dawn the far shadows have a very big impact on performance. Will something be done about that?

    B) Can we get more shadow options? Such as being able to adjust shadow distance, shadow resolution. separately.

    C) Could we please get a little check box to enable grass shadows? There many people with good GPU's who could probably run it.

 

6) Could be please get an option to have snow covered blocks in the snow biome? That used to be a thing and it was so immersive.

 

Edited by jeromeN7 (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, faatal said:

Nope. Raft just needs to get water level. Old or new water blocks will provide that.

Release the rafKen!

1 hour ago, dcsobral said:

If it's slow people won't use it. It won't be fast. So what's the point?

Versatility, storage, immersion, fun... 

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1 hour ago, Jost Amman said:

@faatal I'm no programmer, but I've read sometime ago on another game's dev blog that games often use a "decision trees" for the AI stuff.

 

You surely know better than me that, apparently, using those you can have "toons" do complex stuff (like simulating needs and different reactions to events and situations).

Is it possible to do something like that with Unity without going mad? And, most important of all, would that be a viable option for the new bandits AI? :nerd:

 

(P.S.: I've willingly ignored the pathing problems because I don't consider that "true AI", but just an accessory to it)

I was never impressed by decision trees. Technically we use decision lists, but some AI like the vulture is just a state machine. They all get the job done and are not hard to do, until you get to the gory details of what all of those decisions have to do to actually work.

 

Health < 50% run away. Cool, but to where? Taking cover is going to be one of the hardest parts of bandits, since what is cover in an arbitrary voxel world?

 

People love to gloss over the details, but the details are what take all the time and kill you in the end if you don't do them right.

 

Priorities get in the way of lots of fun. Last Friday I was thinking I could mess with the raft, but nope someone needed me to look at a light block bug. Today I was thinking maybe some raft time....nope new short grass needs to be tested, so artist can get feedback, which sounds simple except for the new mesh generation short grass will use and adding to the biomes, splitting from the tall grass code, shader changes so it blows in the wind since it is too short and lots of testing. All of that eats up time, so maybe it will be done Monday.

 

We have our A20 must fix list going now. 111 currently, 8 of which are mine, but in the beginning it tends to grow as fast as you can fix them, so fun keeps having to wait.

2 hours ago, bdubyah said:

I mean...new RWG could have some good rivers and stuff...seems like a good time to debut a water vehicle....

Someday I look forward to a water world. Lots of islands.

4 hours ago, Fanatical_Meat said:

This is exactly my fear. Bandit hype is off the charts and if they end up being anything but revolutionary as in we have never seen anything so great in a game the haters are gonna hate.

That is why I keep repeating Bandits will probably behave like smarter zombies that can shoot at you and *maybe* attack your base and *maybe* use explosives to break things...MAYBE.

Unity simply doesn’t seem to be capable of super complex things with tons of stuff on the screen. We need to be realistic as to what the bandits will be.

People are literally fantasizing about giving gifts to Bandits to befriend them and having a Bandit companion live in there base and follow them around on quests. I know for a fact (without having inside info on Bandits) they will not be your friends, they will not navigate the world as a real human player would, they will not make human like attack plans. No games AI has totally believable and mobile NPC characters.

 

I look forward to having Bandits to add another thing to fight. I do not expect more than that.

They will be functional. They will not be doing brain surgery on each other. Back in the spring I did a full play through of The Outer Worlds. Their enemy AI was not amazing, but competent. If we got to the same level I'd be happy. Their AI does not even find cover, so maybe we can be a bit better. ;)

Edited by faatal (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, jeromeN7 said:

@faatal or whoever wants to and/or can answer these questions and ideas, I'd love to know... Thanks to all TFP's for taking the time to share some info.

 

1) After the game finishes loading it'd be nice if it gave us a prompt to press a button to continue instead of just being thrown into the game, will that happen?

 

2) Will the anti-aliasing options be renamed to what they actually are, instead of low, medium, high, and ultra?

 

3) With TAA being added to Alpha 20, will we still have the option to use what ever AA Alpha 19 is using? There are plenty of people who despise TAA.

 

4) Assuming that the old setting, tree quality, was merged with object quality. Will those two options be separated again?

 

5) Shadows...

    A) I've noticed that at dusk and dawn the far shadows have a very big impact on performance. Will something be done about that?

    B) Can we get more shadow options? Such as being able to adjust shadow distance, shadow resolution. separately.

    C) Could we please get a little check box to enable grass shadows? There many people with good GPU's who could probably run it.

 

6) Could be please get an option to have snow covered blocks in the snow biome? That used to be a thing and it was so immersive.

 

1 Don't know.

2 No. People don't know what those mean. I can hardly remember half the time.

3 Yes. SMAA or whatever, see I already forgot, is still in there at the lower settings. Easy way to tell is the sharpening option gets grayed out if not TAA.

4 No because they each use global values that are not easily separated.

5A Maybe. It already clamps the angle. The more you clamp the more it looks wrong...

5B No. I'd prefer to keep them in sync for what we feels looks best.

5C Maybe. Turning it on may not be as simple as just turning it on.

6 Not planning on it. IF we have time before gold we may do more fluff, but that is a big IF.

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44 minutes ago, faatal said:

 what is cover in an arbitrary voxel world?

 I'm curious, when you get on it, how exactly are you going to approach that subject?

 

I can think of a few ways, but many of them require quite a bit of work.

 

Spoiler

Like tag trees, boulders, some fences and bushes as valid cover and then have behaviour that tells the bandits to hide in an area comprising any bunch of 6, 9 or whatever number of completely opaque blocks that would prevent the player from seing them from his/her direction. With "raycasts"? , and lots of edge-case shapes  to tag. Fun work. Lol.

 

That plus surrounding behaviour and some fluff sitting, talking, eating and sleeping would be like AAA stuff in a voxel world. 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, faatal said:

Health < 50% run away. Cool, but to where? Taking cover is going to be one of the hardest parts of bandits, since what is cover in an arbitrary voxel world?

The best way IMO is to cast a "ray tracing" (was that the name?) from spaces (air blocks) near the bandit, up to the player, and if there's a "free" block nearby that has a collision in the direction of the player that is cover. (did I say this right??) :confused2:

 

Example:

(player)  :laser:       :peep: (cover 1)                     (bandit):lever:    :peep: (cover 2)

 

In this case, both free blocks are cover, but you can have the bandit choose the nearest one by checking that there's a wall between cover 2 and player.

The HUGE problem I see is that you'd have to tell the TYPE of block cover 2 is made of and keep only the ones that won't allow projectiles through. :ohwell:

 

Edited by Jost Amman
typo (see edit history)
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This is just a curiosity question about what I noticed in the Sept 15 dev stream.

Who in charge is obsessed with the number 8?

I am pretty sure every building I saw that was numbered started or included the number 8. Example there was 800, 888, and 8000.

 

Is this random or were you guys ordered to use this number?  :D

 

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20 minutes ago, Jost Amman said:

The best way IMO is to cast a "ray tracing" (was that the name?) from spaces (air blocks) near the bandit, up to the player, and if there's a "free" block nearby that has a collision in the direction of the player that is cover. (did I say this right??) :confused2:

 

Example:

(player)  :laser:       :peep: (cover 1)                     (bandit):lever:    :peep: (cover 2)

 

In this case, both free blocks are cover, but you can have the bandit choose the nearest one by checking that there's a wall between cover 2 and player.

The HUGE problem I see is that you'd have to tell the TYPE of block cover 2 is made of and keep only the ones that won't allow projectiles through. :ohwell:

 

Ah, but can they path to these spaces? I mean, I could provide some really nice covers close to the entrances of my base with just the slight inconvenient that it will take a long time for someone to go from the entrance to them, all on plain sight.

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3 hours ago, faatal said:

Nope. Raft just needs to get water level. Old or new water blocks will provide that.

 

Dearest Faatal,

Please spend between 70, and 450+ developer hours, valued by the company at 60 to 80+ dollars an hour, working on an obscure and very complicated feature for me. This feature has no resale value or marketing value, and will not entice a potential buyer into actually making the final purchase. In fact, my feature will appeal to no one besides customers who already paid $7 for your product 5 years ago and have put 2,000 hours into it. 

I think this investment of the most highly contested  resource at your company (developer time) will be very well spent on my obscure and barely marketable feature.

Best wishes,

Every gamer who has never worked at a big company before and has never had to answer the "And who will pay for this? What else could that developer time be spent on?" line of questioning

 

 

37 minutes ago, Rabbitslovecactus said:

Not sure I'm a fan of bandits...If they do release, please make a variety of personalities. Aggressive, Neutral, Friendly. Most of all, an option to disable them. Thanks 

 

 

Dear The Fun Pimps,

 

I appreciate that you have spent over 7 years working on implementing, balancing, and programming the zombies, but I regret to inform you that I do not, in fact, like zombies. Please add an option to remove this unwanted feature from my interactions with the game. Furthermore, I also regret to inform you that I do not appreciate your addition of crafting, eating, or looting, or most of all, shooting. Please add an option for those of us who wish to run in an empty field and complete jump puzzles

 

Sincerely,

Random obscure internet forum poster #2342394

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