May Development Update 1

Greetings Pioneers!

We have been busy this week fixing up the remaining major issues and bugs. As many of you know we have had some serious issues with multiplayer and moving everything over to our Main branch. We want to get this next release right so please bear with us – thank you for your incredible patience and support so far! Eliminating the previous crash has caused another one to appear but having talked to the guys over at Epic we have found out what the underlying problem is and are are waiting for some work from them that should solve the crash we’re seeing currently. Fingers crossed we’ll be throwing small defenseless creatures around Pharus 7 in Multiplayer soon enough 😉

In the background we’ve also been working hard on animations, the new locations, and a bunch of designs and implementation for the new melee combat system. Here’s the team to tell you more:

Andy – Project Manager and QA

This week I’ve made the executive decision to move myself to the top of the list. This is mainly because my ego couldn’t take being at the bottom anymore but also partly because I’m attempting to usurp John!! As mentioned in last weeks blog we have been looking at the crash in multiplayer and I have continued with the testing of those potential fixes. I have also been testing loads of bug fixes the guys have been implementing and doing walkthroughs/reviews of the new starting area and the new structures the art team have been smashing out.

John – Lead Designer

MASSIVE thanks for the Birthday wishes last week! It was great to see everyone’s comments here on the blog 🙂

We’ve got the main game-loop and progression nailed down FINALLY. This means that there are a number of feature changes that are going in and we’ve been focusing on making sure that they’re all well planned and documented with the team. We are adding crafting to the player, reworking Tool modules to be the same as weapons when you equip them and refining other components to be a little more obvious to use for first time players. Thanks for your feedback last week regarding the Tool and mining – don’t worry, it’s not going to be removed, but it will be something that becomes less overpowered. We’ll drop you more info on this over the coming weeks, it’ll be great to get your feedback. Also, I helped solve the weird issue where sometimes people would walk on water in multiplayer.

Matt – Art Director

This week I have gone on a mystical journey, to a land far from these shores. I search for sun, sea, sand and small yellow birds – AKA. I’m on holiday so please blame me for the multiplayer crash issue 🙁

Lee – Technical Director

This week I have been helping out with trying to squash bugs, but some of them are notoriously difficult to reproduce reliably, so it’s taking some time. I’ve also begun testing my new spawning system with a few changes we have made to the behaviour system to allow them to be edited a lot quicker without need of code changes.

Tristan – Senior Developer

This week I have been working with the team to try and track down some of the major bugs we have preventing us from releasing. It’s slow going as they are hard to reliably recreate and catch but we are making progress. I have also been working with design with the new melee system and the objective system. Looking forward to getting these in the game.

Yves – Senior Developer

I’ve been fixing a variety of crashes with regards to building and inventory. I got some pretty nasty crashes sorted, waiting on patch to fix a multiplayer crash, hopefully we can see a full release soon.

Ricky – Developer

Feels like I’ve given several of seminars about last week’s prompt system but it’s looking pretty solid and useable by all. There were a few quirks to the new Use system as it was getting implemented to sort but nothing major.

Marcin – Designer

All through this week I felt like a pinball bouncing between tasks and people. I’ve been helping Lee with the integration of our streams, which has not been going smoothly at all, complaining about perfectly good files. I know they are perfectly good, because I made them. 🙂 Additionally I’ve been updating the new melee combat system with the tweaks to parry mechanic, and animation guidelines with Lauren. Also there were developments for the new objective system and more fixes for the water. I swear we had so many bugs with that water I am nearly ready to swear to making every future game exclusively in the desert. It’s been hard work, but fun though.

Joe – Environment Artist

So I’ve been pushing ahead with the sprint tasks this week, making sure we have some pretty art things ticking over in the background whilst the other guys are wrestling with those pesky bugs. I finished writing up my designs from last week for a new HUD Marker system and added in how I believe Objective Markers will work. I also finished the initial blockout of the Maintenance level art tileset – creating all these kit pieces will be an ongoing process but the way we’re working it should mean that it’ll be easy to iterate and expand going forward. Here’s a very very early shot of some of the work that’s gone into our Dam location interior – all early stages and subject to change!

Tom W – Designer

This week I’ve been working on giving the Dam a third design pass, and have it just about ready for us to start finalising some of the art for it!

A particular focus has been on giving the player multiple routes/approaches to the area, such as going over the top the Dam or through the maintenance tunnels inside it.

Lauren – Animator

This week I have been continuing with the Axe animations, getting into the swing of things (hur hur hur). We want different varieties of swing depending on what you are hitting, the angle of aim and whether or not you are holding the button to do a power move. Next up will be working on block and parry to give players that bit of respite and ability to block incoming attacks should they get the timing right.

See you in the fray!
-Team Flix