Friday October 1st,
Hello all, 1.10 is out on our default branch as of last week and it seems to be doing well after a quick hotfix from the team. We’ve spent the last couple of days sorting out our 1.11 and 1.12 plans and they’re pretty big! This first blog basically lays out our game plan for the next update.
We plan on a quicker 1.11QoL/Halloween update in the next few weeks. This update will be the main focus of this quick devblog. The team will share greater details and expand on all the planned features as we work through the development cycle. We’re hoping to have this update out before Halloween.
Version 1.11 Roadmap
PVP and player interaction improvements and fixes
Flexible waypoint system
Lighting improvements and changes
Preparation for zombie replacement + zombie functionality improvements + animation improvements
1.10 featured some big changes to the early game experience, especially for new players. We spent a good deal of time working through player reported issues and we plan to carry that early game polish, feature tweaking and issue fixing through to 1.11.
PvP and Player Interaction Improvements -
PvP was never our main focus, most following the project know that. We've always wanted Survive the Nights’ main threat to be zombie based. That being said, we have also always realized PvP is of course part of apocalyptic survival. We haven’t spent much time on the PvP interactions and 1.11 will change that. Below are some of our planned PvP changes. We will also be working on your reported PvP exploits and issues.
Sleeping bag issues:
Setting home and placing sleeping bags was introduced in version 1.10. This introduced some unique camping and respawn issues. We will be concepting and introducing a cool down system for respawns when being killed by PvP. This should balance player experiences nicely.
We will also introduce the ability to destroy other players' sleeping bags. The introduction will likely see this process take quite some time to accomplish. We’ll likely tweak once again based on your feedback.
Mental Health and Self Defense:
We have wanted to introduce a ‘who shot first’ style system on top of our mental health system for some time now. Version 1.11 will introduce the beginnings of a self defense system. The idea being those who are firing in self defense will receive little or possibly no negative mental health effects.
Player Interaction Improvements
Player to player interactions will get some attention in 1.11. We have made recent improvements to player relevancy and plan to continue fixing issues moving forward. Relevancy is a big part of a co-op game and we will do our best to get it 100% reliable.
Friends on the Map:
Survive the Nights has been developed to be a co-op experience. It’s easier to survive with friends around and the current system doesn’t always make this ideal. We’ve recently made big improvements to the map and the compass system. Players can now craft a compass and see a digital display when inspecting. This on screen compass shows the player icons like their home setting, death markers and horde direction. This along with the new set home feature has helped players group up and it shows in videos and player discussions.
We will be introducing what is essentially a friend system. This is the basics to a group system that will allow players to mark each other on their maps. So you should always know where your friends are making the co-op experience far more fun and fluid.
Improved Tutorial and Player Spawns
We have spent a lot of time developing our core mechanics. Our development really exploded shortly after our public alpha release in Nov 2019. From concept to that release we spent most of our time basically learning how to actually develop a game, run a business, interact with the community, etc.
We have tweaked and changed small game ideas but the general concept of Survive the Nights remains the same. We do realize however that some new players might not really know what that vision is. Survive the Nights’ concept featured a general theme, prepare during the day and hope to survive the night.
While developing the game we have slowly introduced all of our planned features and while most features from our concepts are now functioning, they can feel disjointed at times. We plan on getting back to our roots over the coming couple of update cycles.
We will be concepting a random spawn system that involves starting players directly in a structure somewhere on the map. This should add for a great deal of variety in gameplay experiences. This is something we’ve always intended to be a feature. You may spawn in a town, you may spawn on farm. This will drastically change how each new life and each survival situation plays out. This will also allow us the ability to easily expand on the quick guide checklist. We'll be showing players exactly how the game is intended to be played and walk them through the process from starting a fire and healing, to fortifying a structure and preparing for the nights onslaught.
This system will likely be in place for 1.11 and we’ll be expanding on the idea in 1.12. Introducing new traps, fortification options and general structure improvements. We’ll focus more on these improvements as we work through them in the coming weeks.
Flexible Waypoint System
1.10 introduced a new quick guide system for starting players. This system has a highlight feature that will showcase and illuminate the next item of interest on your quick guide. We will be expanding on this system, adding an on screen waypoint system to guide you to your next objective.
This system can be rather dynamic, allowing us to easily expand on game features like the guide. It will also allow us for future implementations like basic fetch quests or perhaps more elaborate ‘missions’.
Preparing for Zombie Improvements
The time has come. When we first started Survive the Nights, there weren’t a fabulous amount of amazing assets available. We had a 3rd party designer make most of our current zombie assets. A few of them are still original concept assets, I believe.
Times have changed and in big ways. There are some great small teams producing assets for unity and other engines at the moment. It seems insane to not take advantage of this fact and dive into model replacement.
We had a ton of fun last year with the Halloween event. We’ll likely tweak that a bit and maybe add a few more goodies. It should be a great time for new players and returning players alike. We’ll be sure to get the film back into the project for the holiday and likely leave it in for those who wish to watch a movie in a game year round.. Below is the video we posted for last year's event. The world also featured a trick or treat event and the houses decorated with jack o' lanterns and such.
This is not a simple process as you could imagine. We will spend the majority of the coming version importing, testing, tweaking and figuring out new assets. The process is time consuming and demands the whole team's attention. It’s not a process we’ve looked forward to to be honest but one we realize is needed and now that we’ve sat down and planned for it we’re very excited. You’ll not get any sneak peeks from us today though!
This short blog really only scratches the surface. There's a lot more to discuss and we’ll be bringing you progress updates every Friday until release. Once again, we hope to have this next Quality of Life update out before Halloween.
As always, thanks much for the continued support. We'll be working through community found issues and feedback and rely heavily on all of you reporting issues. If you're having issues in the game please report them via the F1 in game reporting system. If you have some constructive feedback or gameplay ideas you'd like to share, please consider joining our Discord server.