Friday August 27th,
Hello everyone, hope you all have had a great week. We’ve had another productive one. James has been working on a few of our long standing issues with player relevancy. Andre has been improving map and compass functionality and I’ve spent time this week tweaking crafting recipes. As always, these blogs are just a tiny glimpse at what’s going on behind the scenes. If you are interested in exactly what we’re up to, check out our changelog.
Some of you have surely experienced player relevancy issues. As an example, you and a friend are playing and you can’t see your friend but they can see you, etc.. This issue has persisted in builds for some time and has been a nightmare to pin down. James spent some time this week altering the scope of our network backend while hopefully fixing potential culling issues. This we feel should greatly improve the stability of player position relevancy and hopefully sort the majority of our issues there.
Survive the Nights is a beast of a project for a small team like ours especially when it’s your first. Unity is a fantastic engine and has allowed us to bring our vision to light. It is however not a total answer. When we started development Unity didn’t have a network solution. We obviously needed one as we were making a multiplayer game. Our choice at the time was a rather popular asset called uLink. uLink allowed us to network the game and get the ball rolling when it comes to extended multiplayer development. The team behind uLink has since moved on and we now have access to the source code. This has allowed us to expand on the asset and make tweaks specifically tailored to Survive the Nights.
As mentioned above, we’re hoping that recent tweaks made to the source will fix player relevancy issues. At the very least, the tweaks made for v1.10 will allow us to move forward with greater confidence that the issue lies higher up in our code rather than an issue with uLink.
Crafting and Nutrition Changes
As you know, we’re working through quality of life issues. We’ve set out to dedicate a good chunk of our coming updates to improving our core mechanics. This includes early game improvements.
Crafting and nutrition is something we will be having a good look over. We’ve started adjusting workbench requirements, adjusting hydration levels to canned goods along with adding and removing some recipes. We’ve removed the workbench requirements for fortification materials. We feel this really impeded the flow of crafting. You no longer need to find a workbench to craft the materials needed for a fortification, only the fortification itself. This will allow the player to be ready to craft fortifications when benches are found rather than first having to craft all the materials for it.
Removed workbench requirements on
We’ve also altered the scrap requirement to craft steel pipes from 5 to 3 scrap metal. We’ve made some drop changes with these tweaks and in preparation for the coming compass and home improvements.
We’ve moved away from the dual compass setup. You’ll no longer find a DIY Compass recipe in the crafting list. This has been replaced with a recipe for a standard compass. This just simplifies things and removes confusion.
We’ll be fleshing out and discussing the new “Home” system in the next devblog. James will also go over it with the 1.10 devlog. We have re-added the ability to craft a sleeping bag in 1.10 as this will be the item you place to set your home and be exactly where you respawn.
If you have any crafting change suggestions, feel free to share them with the team via the suggestion ticket (F1) in game.
We’ve decreased the hydration rate of all canned goods to make water harvesting more realistic. Some of our canned goods were giving players more that 50% of their daily requirements for hydration. This is no longer the case. Most cans will now provide 2-3% of the daily requirement. This is just enough to save you from taking damage should you need a can in an emergency.
These changes are just some in a long line of planned early game changes. The core of our project is rather impressive. We’ve got a solid foundation to work on and small tweaks and improvements are going to be what sets STN apart from others in the genre. Our goal is to focus our efforts on early game improvements for the time being, improving before adding. That doesn't mean we don't have grand schemes and plans for the project. There's still quite a bit to add and a lot of what we're adding and tweaking now will allow for that.
Andre has added a quick and easy change to our highlighting system. This little tweak really shines in the project making harvesting just a little bit clearer, especially for new players. Searching harvestable items shows a blue icon, info icons are now red, locks are orange and containers remain white.
Last Chance System
Adjustments have also been made to player damage. James has added a 'last chance' based system. What this translates to in game is the damage being clamped down to 1. If you take a hit with 10 health left, you won't die. You'll be taken down to 1 health allowing for another second to fight or flee.
In testing it feels right. We've found ourselves feeling 'lucky,' taking out a zed with 1 health left and making it out of sticky situations. Of course this doesn't always guarantee your safety. Let's face it, you're not going to last long with just 1 health but a wise survivor always carries a few bandages.
We'll continue to work on improving early game mechanics and fixing all the bugs you guys have found over the last few builds. Thanks again for the continued support and issue reporting.