Devblog 39 - Water | Steam Rich Presence ++

Friday April 30th,


Hello everyone, Another week seems to have flown by. We’ve been busy working on 1.8 and beyond. Water reworks will be discussed below along with the introduction to Steam's Rich Presence. We’re also working on the start of numerous quality of life issues. After our 1.8 update the team will hunker down and focus on early game issues and polish. We’ll get all of your feedback and found issues taken care of before the addition of any more major features.


Water and its Challenges


The Challenges

1.8 will feature many new graphical features and improvements, one of them being improved water. The water in game now is the second of a couple of placeholders we’ve used. We’ve had quite a few challenges with water in the past. A major one being water transparency and how out of place it would look in our world. Most of that issue was caused by fog rendering incorrectly.


There are also topographical challenges on the island. Black island has rivers that flow into oceans along with lakes and smaller bodies of water. 1.8 also introduces swamps which is another added level of complexity. It has been a challenge to make these intersecting and flowing bodies of water look good.


We've also had issues in the past with over complex solutions that were too heavy on performance. Sacrificing a good chunk of performance for slightly better looking water just wasn’t an option.


Swimming

I realise writing this that the first question to likely be asked will be something along the lines of “Can we swim yet?!”..No, no you can’t. That being said, water assets, shaders and the drag of knowing they’ll need sorting was a major stopping force behind swimming. Post 1.8 we will be working on a major chunk of our issues and your feedback/suggestions. Swimming will be sorted shortly we promise.


The Outcome

We've managed to find a compromise with our fog that makes it possible to use transparent water without it looking out of place. This in combination with the new reflection system allowed us to finally find a different solution that looks better and isn't too heavy on performance. The transparency really brings bodies of water to life and edge blending makes the waters edge feel far more realistic.


Old system lacks transparency

New system with transparency

Old river

New river and edge blending

Old system waterfall and lake

New system with reflections and edge blending

Lake Baron old system

Lake Baron new system


Steam Rich Presence


Something that has been missing for quite some time is Steams Rich Presence integration. The player now has access to Linux server files, additional hosts and the ability to host your own server from in-game.


James has spent some time this week working on integration and things are going great. Players will have the ability to join friends directly from Steams friend list. Along with the ability to invite and join you’ll notice status updates. Players will be able to see what friends and others players are doing. Whether it be fortifying, healing, fighting zombies, driving or even riding passenger your player status should update nicely.

Game invite

Status updates (format likely to change, feedback welcome)


GPORTAL


With the release of server files we were contacted by the guys over a GPORTAL. They will be handling some of our new official servers alongside Allgamer. We’ve had quite a few requests for locations in South America so we’ll be adding a couple of servers there in Brazil along with Germany, Japan and Russia. You’ll see servers labeled “Official RU1 By G-Portal”.


In Summary


Things are really cracking along nicely now, we’ll be introducing our Patreon page in May. We should see 1.8 on default early in May and we’re excited for 1.9 and the future of Survive the Nights.


We’re doing our best to get 1.8 ready and into your hands. It has been a massive update so far and likely one of our biggest if not the biggest since alpha release. A lot of the game world has changed and a lot of new features are going in. We’ll do our best to get an experimental version into your hands in the next week or two.


As always thank you for the continued support of the game and the team. If you’d like to discuss anything in this blog or anything else at all please feel free to join our Discord Server.