5:44pm EST - The construction2 branch was just merged into the main branch! That means we should be testing in development soon!
5:09pm EST - We have a chicken! Goose has finished the chicken model and text. Here is a first look:
Also Garry pushed a commit of 'demolish 4x faster.' I wonder if that really means it'll take a quarter of the time to break down walls? That would mean 1 person can break a level 6 down in ~10 minutes.
2:40pm EST - We are at the halfway point for this week. A lot of progress has been made on the new building system (construction2 branch) and we're seeing some new team members adding some cool stuff. No client update on the main branch yet this week. Before we get into the specifics of todays development, I want to follow up briefly on yesterdays message about entities and performance.
The server hit a point yesterday where performance was so bad I decided to wipe. In retrospect, it probably hit that point late Sunday night or Monday. Reaching around 175,000 entities on the map, the load times were suffering and FPS was abysmal. The good news is, the freshly wiped server ran like we were playing a different game. There were still some FPS drops, however, the overall performance was greatly improved.
Here’s the bad news: We're going to be back in the same position in a couple days. Performance suffers greatly as more things are added to the map. The only way to bring performance back up at the moment is by wiping. I dropped 40 slots from the server to lessen the velocity of our entity growth and will be monitoring performance carefully over the next couple days. As gameplay starts to suffer, I will wipe again.
This should get better over time has more optimizations have been made but for the time being, this is where we are at.
New building system
Garry is still trucking along on this build system. He’s pushed a bunch of commits today, here are some highlights:
- Added condition models for corners on walls, windows and doorways (so people can't loot / see through building corners)
- Added 'terrible looking' overlay for building parts with low health (the health bars mentioned yesterday have been removed)
- The costs have been added for placement and upgrading
- Foundation conditionals (think how foundations merge together as you place them)
- Tooltip for building help
- More work on the pie menu
Hopefully we will see this new construction system merge with the development branch soon so we can start testing!
Helkus added door knocking today. No longer will you have to seem like you're trying to break in by chirping the keypad, you will be able to knock like a polite person. This is a cool little feature, hopefully we see those player gestures come in soon also.
Terrain shader LOD’s
Diogo is continuing on the atlas optimization. He has added some more LOD modes to the terrain shaders for each level of graphics quality. This is very welcome work because the lack of optimization is causing FPS to suffer (especially on less powerful machines). I'm excited to see what kind of performance enhancements we see when these changes take effect.
Text chat now local
Another new name in the mix, Zon, has pushed this commit to a new branch (local-chat): Text chat is now local. Very interesting… I'm not 100% on this but it seems like text chat will now be localized to the people around you (as opposed to everyone in the server like it is now).
On the one hand, I like this because text chat can easily become a clusterfuck (especially with 100+ people in game). Also, being able to type to everyone in game doesn't bode well for realism.
On the other hand, if people can't communicate with others far away, it could be harder to form towns or organize community projects. I'm not going to read too far into this either way, lets get it in game and see how it works in action.
Xavier has modeled some chicken breast. As more meat options enter, I wonder how the hunger / thirst benefits will differ. Already wolf meat quenches hunger and thirst twice as well as human meat.
Tom is still working on the keypad. He has completed the textures and LOD’s so we'll probably see it in the game soon. For more info / visuals on the keypad, check out the trello card.
Yesterday we saw the addition of ice sheets. I hypothesized they would be sheets of ice floating on the water and mentioned it would be fucking awesome to have a floating ice castle. Well, I was right about one thing: they are floating on water. The can’t, however, be built on. Thanks guy on steam chat with 2 squares as a name for the picture.
Tip of the day: Spread your ore
The furnace smelts ore based on the surface area exposed. This means that putting ore across multiple slots creates metal frags or sulfur faster using the same amount of wood. Given this, I recommend having at least 2 furnaces, one for metal and one for sulfur. Put wood in one slot, spread the ore out across 4 open slots and place a metal frag or sulfur in the last slot (as a feeder to prevent charcoal filling that slot). This is the most efficient way to smelt ore. Also, you may want to leave an empty slot for charcoal in your sulfur furnace (or just burn a campfire to get charcoal).