Saurian Devlog #53
This week we're going to show some progress on the programming front, but first we have a brief message paleoart-related announcement. We have seen quite the array of strong reactions to our new T. rex, and recognize the need to explain ourselves; as such, we're currently composing a ridiculously detailed blog post explaining our rationale behind the redesign. We are hoping it will address every criticism that we've received so far, and more. Expect to see it in the near future!
With the patch out, we've been getting back into full swing on developing new features. I recently showed off the shoreline generator used for implementing flooding, and have since integrated it with the existing codebase and replaced the old system. Here's a clip of a flooding and draining test, fully integrated with existing systems:
We have yet to develop the mathematical model that feeds flooding data to this system, and to thoroughly test it, but regardless you can probably expect Bone Butte to be flooding soon.
While you've already seen a preview of what the hiding mechanic will look like for the player, I've had a chance to make a first pass at the AI's hiding prioritization. At the moment, our plan is to base each animal's proclivity to hide on their personality, the danger of their perceived threat, and their distance to the threat. They will also try to choose hiding spots based on an estimate of how effective their coverage will be. Due to the scent mechanic potentially giving away locations, NPCs will only try to hide at medium-to-long distances. Here's a video of a Thescelosaurus walking towards a snack, then deciding to hide in the snack, then deciding maybe that snack isn't such a great idea:
The decision-making around this behavior needs to be tweaked a little more, and hiding animals will be lacking sitting animations for the near future, but this is still a pretty accurate preview of what we're aiming for.
Additionally, I've been prototyping an improvement to aim mode suggested by community member and honorary gentlesaur Elliott: slow-motion! After the approval of the team, I got to work on it, and it's showing promise despite being in very early stages. Xico also jumped at the opportunity to make some new sound effects and filters to accompany the effect. In this video, you can see that slow-motion during aim mode makes movements that require fast reflexes significantly easier:
Of course, the ultimate goal of slow-motion will be making combat targeting more precise, but I am currently reworking hit-boxes and damage source contact points, and won't be showing off slow-motion aim mode's utility in combat until that is done. Other problems that will need to be solved include ensuring visual smoothness and improving some existing elements of aim mode. That said, it's off to a promising start; keep leaving us suggestions and criticism, and maybe you'll see your ideas implemented, too!
Lastly, we have a tidbit of news on the OSX front. Xane, taking a break from his routine wizardry, pushed out a few more OSX tests for Metal and Microsplat, and the results look promising! Pictured below is a simplified version of our environment running on OSX with all textures displaying correctly:
Obviously this does not mean the Mac build is finished, but it does mean one of our biggest hurdles has been hurdled. Next we will be working on getting each bit of the main game working on OSX, piece by piece, until the whole game is ready. Our further planned optimizations for Windows will also play into this, and we'll make sure to keep you posted about further advances. Thanks again for your patience, Mac friends.
That's all for this 'log. Keep your eyes peeled for that T. rex blog post!