This has week has been a rather quiet one. Half of our team members are on a much needed vacation, while the rest have worked on the new update and tracking down some elusive issues. We have just pushed live a small hotfix for PC, to address one of these issues:
29174 - Shelter Hotfix
This is a very small hotfix to address an issue where players would need to use a Jimmy Bar every time they exited their safe house. Using the Jimmy Bar now correctly unlocks the hatch permanently.
Otherwise, we wanted to let you know that the next major update to the game is likely to come in mid September. We wrote a bit about this here, and will likely write a more substantial preview about this in a couple of weeks.
It's been all about the Village this week, including signs, propaganda, and murals! Here's a little guy setting an excellent example for other Wellies.
This week I fixed the following issues:
- Tweaked placement of new props such as sinks, bathtubs and toilets in the village bathrooms
- Tweaked size of various sofas and chairs to help the animators
- Gravestone text changes
Created some new assets:
- Jerky meat
- Grapefruit can
- Shower head
- New plexiglass signs for the village (in progress)
And added new textures:
- Cast bronze texture (ex. for statues)
- Versatile tile texture that allows for color change and even checker patterns with Emmanuel's "Evolving Material (TM)" brand.
- New brick texture for the arches (in progress)
This week I was mostly on vacation but I still manage to start working on the real underground modular set.
This week I kept working on small behavioral animations: beggars in the street actually begging & homeless Wastrels begging on the side of the roads, lost NPCs looking around confused, update for the Wellies getting gifts from the player, Wellies cooking in the kitchen, reading a book on the couch, and I’ve started an animation for workers painting our very own rainbow road.
Apart from that I’ve fixed the animations of NPCs talking when they’re sitting, where they would be floating in front of benches instead of on the bench. I’ve also started posing characters to make new statues in the world to go with the dancing fountain, such as a very proud general standing tall, and a war memorial statue. Those are collaborative pieces, we’ll hold off showing them until they’re completely finished.
It's been a while since I gave an update on my side, I've been mostly working on fixing the hundreds of small issues that needed to be ironed out for the early access release and the ones that emerged from having so many people play the game for the first time.
I also need to constantly add new code features to simplify the work of the level designers and empower them to create more interesting encounters, adjust gameplay elements, tune the AI reactions, fix animation and collision issues, etc.
One interesting change recently focuses around the point of interest system used for the passive behaviours of the AI. You will have noticed they do a lot of random things (when not involved in chasing you obviously...), like sitting on a bench, warming their hands by the fire, opening their fridge, etc. And the system supporting these small behaviours is scalable so we will add quite a few in the future.
One problem we identified was that it is simply too random. It's actually based on something similar to The Sims logic (they have needs and they try to satisfy them), but it just didn't work in the game as it is too unpredictable. So I changed the core logic of how they choose what to do, so it is (loosely) based on a schedule: they will go to the kitchen at meal times, (more reliably) sleep at night, etc. And of course this can be reversed for some characters who live at night or tuned specifically for some custom characters.
As we are experimenting with more stealth gameplay it will allow the player to anticipate their routine more predictably. You will know not to enter through the kitchen at noon… It won’t be perfect as we do not want them to be robots and a bit of surprise is important but it should provide more informed choices, and thus make playing with the AI more interesting.
Thank you for tuning in!
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