Alpha 1.10 - Quality of Life Update #2 (Tutorial Improvement | Swimming | Chat Overhaul | Polish++)

Thursday September 22nd,


Hello everyone, we’ll be releasing our 1.10 branch directly to stable today. We have done a good deal of improving and fixing here. A lot has gone into 1.10 and we want to get it tested by as many people as possible right off the bat so here you have it. The focus for this and coming builds has been early game and polish. A task which isn’t always exciting for people interested in our development. It’s also not always a quick process, sometimes the last 10% of a feature can take just as long as the first 90%.


We’ve made major changes to our quick guide and game introduction. We’ve added the ability to swim (finally), we totally reworked the in game chat system. We’ve added a hardcore/normal gameplay setting allowing those who wish to play a bit more casual and spawn at home. The game is starting to really shape up, we’ve relied greatly on your feedback and thank you for continuing to provide it. Have a good play through here with 1.10 and get back to us as soon as you can with feedback.


Swimming


Terribly sorry, that’s the best way to start after having tested the swimming implementation. Wow, was that needed! It really brings the world to life not having to constantly worry about death when you’re near a body of water. Andre spent the week adding all the finishing touches to the swimming mechanic. Proxy animations have been added so you don’t look like Jason Voorhees walking across Crystal Lake anymore. Stamina now affects how far you can swim before you start sinking so don’t go thinking you can swim right off the map. Players will be able to freely dive for quite a few seconds before taking damage to drowning (underwater caches, perhaps?!). You’ll receive ‘warning gulp’s’ before drowning to alert you to make your way to the surface. Now it’s time to start thinking about boats and fishing!



Chat Improvements


As you know the in game text chat can be at times useless. There are a good amount of issues with the current system, enough in fact to require a total rework. The chat in the game now is dark, the text is hard to read and there is a good deal of console information cluttering it up. The system doesn’t match the inspect style and just doesn’t provide a good experience.


We’ve introduced a new chat and think it will work for us much better. We’ve introduced a gradient style background matching that of our inspect menu and the coming help system. They system will be sleeker while at the same time being clearer to use. We’ll be removing the console clutter as well. Information like “Jayty has joined the server” will now display in the small notification area on the top left side of the screen.


Setting Home (game modes)


For a very long time now, many of you have requested a home feature. Coming in v1.10, this will be possible. The game foundation is changing slightly. With much consideration, we’ve decided to try and provide a game mode for all players. We will be introducing two gameplay modes standard and hardcore.



Standard and Hardcore Game mode

Those that want a more casual experience will find that standard mode's ability to ‘set home’ dramatically changes the gameplay. In a lot of ways, Survive the Nights was always meant to be a hardcore survival game. On the other side of that coin, setting a spawn point inside a structure allows you and your friends to jump right back into the action.



The player will now be able to walk into any structure in the game, find themselves some cloth, craft a sleeping bag and place it on the ground inside the structure. Doing this will provide a notification in the top left corner informing the player that a home has been set. Your friends will also be able to set homes in the same structure. In many ways, this is the start of a group system that we’ll flesh out in the future.




Home set and home removed notifications



This changes the gameplay for sure, allowing for rapid respawns and getting right back to killing that night's horde or onslaught. This, in many ways, is what we originally wanted for STN. A good chunk of the game is based on our experience with Call of Duty's World at War’s Nazi zombie map. We were completely addicted to the action and the idea of ‘holding down’ a structure. There are quite a few more changes to both modes we’ve listed below.


Hardcore mode will provide harder zombie hordes, no ability to set home and reflects what we have running on our current official servers. Hardcore mode will allow for more zombies to be ‘alive’ at the same time. This is something that wasn’t possible before.


A lot more has gone into this and James will cover it nicely in the upcoming devlog. We hope to have an experimental build out in the near future and there will be a good deal of testing needed here.


Other Changes and Fixes


  • Hordes will now start around an hour later than before.

  • Lower difficulty hordes no longer start later than more difficult hordes. This makes playing with friends easier when you have mixed horde levels.

  • Homes will now show up on the map and via the inspect menus compass.

  • Horde arrival window reduced from 0-4 hours to 0-3. Hordes will arrive later but arriving hordes won’t take as long to get to you.

  • Spawn at home or near death options added on death

Death Screen on Standard Mode (spawn at home or near death)


Compass Improvements


Currently in the game you have two compass options. A DIY compass you can craft with a few bits and a found compass. The only difference between the two currently is the speed at which your position is displayed. The DIY compass is far slower than the one you can find in the world. When the player opens the maps, the compass takes time to calibrate. The time it takes is the difference between the two. This system works and it’s pretty unique but it’s not very intuitive and for the most part, takes far too much time and effort.


We’ve decided to implement a new compass system. Once the player finds a compass in the world or crafts one, they’ll be able to see their position on the inspection menu. Currently the inspection menu is defaulted to ‘F’ . It's the menu that comes up when you want to inspect anything on your person or your stats. You’ll be able to see the direction, your home and approaching hordes.



Map Improvements


Map improvements have also been made. Andre has improved the visuals and mechanics. Below is a snippet from our Changelog and a good chunk of the changes made here.

  • Player position is now a blue arrow which matches rotation of player.

  • Player position ping animation improved.

  • Player position increases in size when zooming out so it’s easier to see when zoomed out.

  • Zooming should now go where cursor is pointing.

  • Movement is smoothed out when zooming in and out.

  • Removed need to scroll 8+ times to fully zoom in, should now be 2-3 times.

  • Panning now more responsive, removed extremely long elastic movement effect.

  • Updated look of map border to match look of new UI.

  • Fonts changed to American Typewriter.

  • Improved resolutions of text.

  • Added stationary directional symbol to show where north is