The new level locations have come on leaps and bounds since even last week’s feature. The art team have been steaming ahead with the new introduction gameplay and layout. The animation updates are coming along nicely and the axe melee functionality is coming together.
Most of the dev team have been deep in the belly of UE4 network code to resolve issues with crashes on respawning in multiplayer but the good news is we are nearly there. We have also been profiling the cause of the long loading times and looking at ways we can optimise our building assets to reduce this significantly in a future update. Thank you for your patience!
Here’s what we’ve been up to:
John – Lead Designer
Production heavy week for myself. Organising sprints and organising the guys into teams. Exciting to see the weapon/melee system changes come to fruition, and the new art and design team moving everything forwards! Hope you’re ready for some lovelies.
Matt – Art Director
A virtual metric tonne of awesome stuff has been completed over the past 5 days. I’ve been working on fleshing out our start area, including new assets for the extended drop pod. Done a clean up for our company website, and planning for new lighting setups in the new encounter locations. Feedback and playthroughs with the rest of the designers and artists for our art passes on several locations. All of which is evident from the latest screen grabs!
Lee – Technical Director
This week I have been working towards fixing a crash we were getting with the server and another issue where the player would get dumped from the server. I’ve also continued work switching the AI over to using a new behaviour component.
Tristan – Senior Developer
This week I have been looking into crash fixes with Lee and and also profiling the load time issue in more detail so we can put something together for reducing this. It’s looking promising so far.
Ricky – Senior Developer
Got quite a few bugs marked off this week. Lots of quality of life changes and a Save Load bug which meant armour didn’t save it’s integrity correctly. We also had some odd problems with collision settings pointing to the completely wrong things, but somehow still worked… I blame the gnomes
Marcin – Designer
Finally i have something to show. This week I have been putting the new melee system designs into a prototype to make sure it all works as intended, feels good, and there are no unforeseen blockers. I am very happy to say that the we’ve made very good progress with it, an all is going well.
The idea behind the new system is to detect, categorise and prioritise what’s in front of the player and make sure the weapon always swings to hit the most important targets and feels good (meaty) doing it. The enemies always take the highest priority, then the destructible, etc. The work is still in progress, of course, so I’ll keep you posted.
Joe – Environment Artist
Getting on with some dam work! Ahem… This week I finished creating the assets for the inside of the dam so Tom could continue arranging everything beautifully using his legendary interior design skills. I then moved my attention to the outside – working heavily on terrain work and asset placement in the world for the player’s starting route based on feedback from playtesting.
Next on the list was the exterior of the dam itself. I started on a new set of exterior meshes and swapped them out, as well as adding a few more areas to explore on your way up! By the end of today I want to get a complete whitebox blockout of the outside of the dam. Dam. Dam dam dam dam.
Alex – Designer
I’ve been busy this week concentrating on making the finishing passes on the transmitter towers, making tweaks on lighting and enemy spawn locations, placing items and starting to finally add art assets so it’s less of a plain grey box. On the side i’ve also started making some passes on the small maintenance buildings at the side of the transmitter towers, these will be cool little places to explore and loot up before your ascent.
Lauren – Animator
This week I have been working on implementation of some new third person movement animations for when using ranged weapons, these will create a contrast between moving with a weapon and moving while unarmed. In addition to this I have been tweaking axe swing animations as we have progressed with the new melee prototype, which is feeling great so far. The next steps with this will be block and parry animations in conjunction with adjusting enemy attacks and encounters.
Tom W – Designer
This week I’ve been working on the final pass for the Dam, doing my best to make it feel like a living, breathing place, as well as introducing passageways and hidey-holes for enemies to emerge from. With the layout of the Dam finalised, I’ve started to move more into the 3d modelling side of things, starting with the high-poly for our generators!
Andy – Lead QA
Before I get started I would like to draw your attention to a blog we posted a while back. In it I mentioned that Matt was meant to get me a peanut butter KitKat chunky, but in actuality got me a regular KitKat Chunky. Needless to say I was very disappointed and I thought it a slight that could never be topped. That was until this week. It was a Tuesday morning, I was busy working away along with the rest of the team when the phone rang
“Hello, Flix Interactive” I said in my best phone voice.
“Morning bro” came John’s reply
“Whats on boss man?” I playfully inquired
“Just on my way in now, do you need anything from the shop?”
I was very glad of this as I’d not had the chance to get to the shop myself and needed some peppers and some broccoli. He said he’d be happy to get them. So I settled into my day’s work content in the knowledge that I would be eating good that night.
Alas, the scoundrel never came up with the goods so I’ve been surviving on a diet of brown rice and coffee (not together, obviously) which in turn lead me to be lethargic and distracted by wild hunger pains.
But on a work related note, the guys have been smashing it. The new drop pod, Dam, Transmitter tower and the ancient eden kit silo have had all the pretties added to them and they are really starting to feel like an exciting game environment.
Im also happy to report that we have had lots of activity from the folks on the UDN regarding our multiplayer issue and we are starting to fix up loads of the bugs.
See you in the fray!