Saurian DevLog #72

 

Hello again, Saurian fans,

Henry, Syri and I are back again this week with some further updates on our work for you all. With this and other work behind the scene by our other programmers, Triceratops as a playable character is inching ever closer.

Tom

So Henry had sent me on a wild-goose-chase before the previous devlog by telling me the Triceratops distress call animations should be additive (meaning they only incorporate part of the body, in this case the head and neck, and are applied over another animation, like the walk). After I’d done this for all growth stages, he tells me he in-fact needed them to be full body animations. I scrambled the full-body for the trike before DevLog 71, but still needed to transfer this over to the other growth stages. I fully forgive him though, because he’s now incorporated these into the game, and they look awesome. See his section below.

Aside from that, I haven’t had much available Saurian time, but I did manage to get this threat display done for the Anzu. I was looking at videos of aggressive geese and swans for this, the former of which sticks its neck out, while the latter tends to curl the neck up. I merged both behaviours into the one animation, which worked really well with the threat call we have, which has an inhale corresponding with the neck curl at the beginning then a long hiss that matches with the outstretched section.

Also look for the fluttering throat when the neck is outstretched, which was another detail I wanted to add. It is subtle, but I think it adds a nice effect.

Henry

Since last devlog I've been mainly focused on Triceratops protective / defensive behavior. After testing out some behavior constraints using current building blocks I'd already made, I decided they wouldn't cut it, and refactored / coded some new behavioral scoring systems, which I can now go back and apply to other behaviors.

Up until now, I had been using raw distances or ratios of distance to perception radii to guide animals' behavior, but the results have been generally unsatisfying, as raw distance doesn't take size into account, and ratios with perception radii don't necessarily transfer well across animals with different sensory acuities. I decided, instead, to try basing reaction distance thresholds on relative speeds, and I'm much happier with the results--this way, for example, a mother Triceratops will judge whether to try and get between a threat and her child or to go after the threat based on her own speed, rather than absolute distance (which might be inaccurate).

Using this new metric, I've begun to get some behavior balancing from protective adults in a herd that I'm much more satisfied with. Here is a video demonstrating the system I had described in its early stages last devlog, where a warning call from a young member of a herd can trigger aggressive behavior from adults towards an animal that they'd normally ignore; in this case, a baby Dakotaraptor.

Syri

Hello, Saurian fans! This week, I have some good news and bad news.

Unfortunately, after evaluating the solution we were using for multiplayer, we've come to the conclusion that the solution isn't viable to continue with. Everything was working fine in our test scenes, but when we tried to bring it over to the actual game, it caused unworkable connectivity problems.

However, we're pivoting to a lower-level networking library that gives us much finer-grained control over what we can do. Not only will it be more efficient than the previous solution (and actually work), it can also support both listen servers and dedicated servers, unlike the previous, which only supported listen servers.

I'm confident that not only will this give us a lot more flexibility in what we can do with multiplayer, but it will end up a much better overall experience for the players.

Community Spotlight

Our header image this week is by Discord member Sonikku-san.

We have some repeat customers in community spotlight this week. First an addition to Syn P. Grabowski’s cartoon Saurian collection, this time D-kotes.

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Next up another light-hearted submission, the all-powerful Thanzu by Count Lazuli:

Thanzu.png

and finally an update on Andy’s amazing Ankylosaurus mace! So cool!

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Tom Parker15 Comments