We’ve got a couple of short updates this week, one regarding short-term progress and another regarding longer-term work. So, first off: we’ve decided that the fixes planned for a hotfix have taken long enough that we’re simply going to roll them into the next patch, which will be smaller and released fairly soon. After that, we will begin work on implementing some bigger changes, one of which we’ll discuss here, and another concerning the next playable which we’ll discuss in a (near) future devlog. Jake’s up first, with a preview of that aforementioned large change.
Over the last few weeks I finished up the animation set for the Champsosaurus. Since it won't go on land, it had a pretty limited animation set, which means more time to work on other things. You can read more on our Champ in Henry's blurb below.
Speed Tree 8 has finally come out! I've started the process of recreating our assets with fancy new PBR textures, and making use of all the fancy new tools in the brand new SpeedTree editor. Before we can begin making assets in earnest, we first need to work on some performance tests to define poly budgets and other performance considerations. Here I have some of the preliminary assets thrown into a scene to test out how well they play with each other:
Though its a lot of work, part of the benefit of starting the vegetation from the ground up is we have a better idea of what worked in the last batch and what we can improve upon in the next one. Even with these early versions of the platanites, we can start to see a more complete canopy forming then in the forests presently in the game. I'm excited to start seeing further development of these visuals, as well as the performance increases that will ideally come with them.
Most of the last two weeks has involved more tedious bug fixing, although a large chunk of my time involved fixing up aim mode to be more accurate and reliable for both targeting and navigation (I’m happy to say I believe it’s in a much better place now than it previously was, both in accuracy and feel). However, those aren’t very fun or flashy — so, I figured I’d show off the animal that will be in the next patch, Champsosaurus!
Having passed the basic animations to me over the weekend, I was able to do most of the groundwork on implementing the Champsosaurus AI in the last couple of days. As mentioned previously, this fella won’t go on land and will have at least one special behavior not shared by other animals (underwater lurking, implied by its fossils!), so it will be one of the few animals in the game that has its own, unique AI and animator logic, which will hopefully make it easily distinguished in gameplay from the crocodilians. Since it doesn’t have all its animations yet, I can’t show off any special behaviors, but I can give you a tease of the Champsosaurus in-game in this quick clip of it hunting a gar. (Please note: it doesn’t swallow the gar due to it lacking the animations for doing so, not because I’m lazy).
Champsosaurus might not be the most exciting new addition, but I’ve been growing quite fond of this weird little gharial-convergent goober, so I hope you’ll enjoy its new presence in Hell Creek in the near future.
That’s all for this ‘log. Thanks for reading!