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"IT'S A NICELY DESIGNED GAME AS LONG AS YOU DON'T WANT ANY MEANING IN YOUR LIFE."-TIM

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Author Topic: Dec 3 Weekly Update  (Read 674 times)

sluangkhot

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Dec 3 Weekly Update
« on: December 03, 2018, 04:36:28 PM »

Hey guys!

It's the weekend after we pushed Hotfix 1.03, and I spent the majority of today combing through community-submitted reports and queueing them up for our QA team, as well as coordinating Kickstarter goods. (We got a new pass at Resherak in the office, but he's a little too big... sneak peek at the 4" figurines anyways, unpainted, for those curious!)

Our priority for this week and the next is tackling bugs and larger issues that have been brought up since launch. This includes working on a save system (more details on this next week, since we're still testing a couple of potential systems right now), the inventory stacking bug, gameplay blockers, crashes, and potential redesigns in combat and the quest system. Today was a heavy meeting day as we hashed out how we'd like to tackle some of the riskier updates (save system, quests, and combat) while fending off bugs.

As liveops continues, I'd also like to introduce Rich Gallup, our new Executive Producer who's been steering our ship since launch day! He's been an incredible force to work with, and has been a lifesaver for keeping us organized and on track for the last few hotfixes. You may also recognize him from some of the dev videos we've been putting out with each hotfix update!

Hoping to have more Kickstarter updates as well, particularly on some of the digital goods that just need a final review. I'll continue to monitor community-submitted bugs throughout the week and keep those KS goods rolling... thank you to everyone who's been tirelessly submitting, particularly with output logs/screenshots/locations! Makes our jobs a lot easier for reproducing bugs and getting to the bottom of certain issues. (Such as some reports of arrows not working on aggro'd skeletons in Underswamp... we thought we fixed the overall arrow issue, but it seems arrows can still be inconsistent under particular circumstances. Looking forward to knocking this bug out, as a Stealth main myself!)

That's all for now, and we'll share more as we continue to work on the game.
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GameOutLoudRob

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Re: Dec 3 Weekly Update
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 04:50:45 PM »

The keyboard controls feel 1000% better after the last patch. Thank you for prioritizing that, it has made a massive difference.
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Flug

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Re: Dec 3 Weekly Update
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 04:56:01 PM »

Good to hear that save systems are still go. How 'wide' are they projected to be? Do they widen the existing narrow scope, or are they to be competely re-tooled closer to traditional 'save-everything' models?

Also interesting to hear Quests and Combat getting a do-over...it suggests medium/high level components are still up for grabs. Some may see this as a 'There's hope yet' sign.

Given that people have now had time to come to terms with what the game is trying to be - if not agreeing with the game direction itself - then at least it sounds a bit more hopeful that the game may be actually (one day) in a state to be judged on its own merits. What made the release doubly savage was that not only could you not see the original (IMO...and I don't expect this to change) ...but it was also pretty difficult to see what this was intended to be, even in its own right.

Interesting to have a new Exec.producer on launch (no doubt some will read this as a emergency drop...and they may be right) but curious...is Chris still around in the primary Producer role? Are some/many/most of the original core devs still working on it? Obviously this is a politically-loaded question, but some basic insight would be good. At least now you are freed up from having to worry about a proportionate response - you know it's going to be set on fire and fed to the dogs whatever is said  :D
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TrenchKnife

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Re: Dec 3 Weekly Update
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2018, 05:05:02 PM »

That's all for now, and we'll share more as we continue to work on the game.

Thanks Sluangkhot. I appreciate the ongoing updates.

I do wonder on involvement going forward. Will we see OSE stick with this, offer new updates as time goes on and for how long?  I think there is significant opportunity to have this world, theis underworld, become a living development. I hope to see the end goal still become a reality, even if with some pushing and prodding.  could there be updates in the future?

Thank you and develop ON.
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Sandro

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Re: Dec 3 Weekly Update
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2018, 05:18:53 PM »

Just poking my head in here for a second!

As someone who hasnt even looked at the game yet, this *does* sound encouraging. This is what I was hoping for. But really, lets see how long they stick with this game. I was clear the other day when I said I hoped they were able to reach the vision they had for their project. As Flug mentioned, I would also like to know how much of the original team remains going forward...
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OSE Walter

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Re: Dec 3 Weekly Update
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2018, 05:31:44 PM »

Good to hear that save systems are still go. How 'wide' are they projected to be? Do they widen the existing narrow scope, or are they to be competely re-tooled closer to traditional 'save-everything' models?

Right, it's on a spectrum. We want to be as close to save everything as makes sense, but definitely want to make sure we're saving things like quest state, player location, "trap" states (on/off and pressure pad state) and things like that. I.e., the goal is to get as much of the stuff that matters as possible. There may be somethings like state shards of broken pottery or just some object positioning in general that might not make it in, but hopefully it's mostly stuff that won't really effect game play or play through.

Regarding the team, most of them are still on it full time working through the updates. The original plan was to have people start rolling on to DLC now and a few peel off for future project concepting that any developer would normally do. But given where the game is we feel it's more important to update and improve UA now, other stuff later. It's better for our fans, for our brand and for each of our own psyches. 
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ped7g

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Re: Dec 3 Weekly Update
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2018, 03:39:18 AM »

... We want to be as close to save everything as makes sense, ...

I think the chains will make the biggest difference (most of the other stuff has to store basic position+orientation and basic state like open/close or AI-state, and restart simulation from there, some *observable* discrepancies will surely happen then, but with a bit of luck and robustness fixing none of those may be game breaking). And burnt scaffolding. And burning (!) one.

IMO either you will manage to store almost whole state (i.e. the chain will reload with the correct swing dynamic and player will hang on it as supposed, and bridge will be still burning in the "same" way) except debris which doesn't affect simulation, or you will have to do a "checkpoint" save system, where planting the sapling may be considered a "save" and reload will spawn the physics world in some basic restored state, and "resurrect" player at sapling.

That would allow for basic-state save of world, like chains can spawn in initial state, etc... Again the burning/burnt scaffolding is questionable, I think it should be stored quite accurately, which may break it down to the planks, and those are partly dynamically generated? Any chance to "accelerate" (even inaccurately, like without further spread) burning process while saving, and storing only burnt results? As there's no definition of how long the sapling respawn takes, it may be believable to happen after a while (fires extinguished).

Saving whole world state fully may be in the end a bit simpler, but not sure how big save-game files will become then, and how much it will refuse to reload correctly (if the physics engine itself does support serialization in some way).

The original plan was to have people start rolling on to DLC now and a few peel off for future project concepting that any developer would normally do. But given where the game is we feel it's more important to update and improve UA now, other stuff later.

Yeah, sounds good. In my uninformed-outsider opinion, the available market for paid DLC is pretty much only steam sales (I wouldn't account for too many backers to buying DLC, as most of the backers expected different game). I would probably write DLC off at this moment. You have to get basic game into better shape first, which will probably give you better estimate if the DLC makes even sense (and for the reasons you listed) (or maybe you have some investor willing to make UA more extended just for the sake of it?).
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Flug

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Re: Dec 3 Weekly Update
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2018, 09:14:07 AM »

Sam, that's good to hear re: team and future plans. It will be met with  'It's just PR' in certain quarters, but that can be ignored... they've got so much staked to that viewpoint it cannot change. Proof  in the pudding.

However, there are others undecided, and another potential audience still to play for. Those who get strongly about UU are often the same as those who rated SS3 (god help you 😊 ).

It sounds like the plans are quite far reaching. That will reassure quite a few who are invested in it as it stands.
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Flatfingers

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Re: Dec 3 Weekly Update
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2018, 09:56:34 PM »

We want to be as close to save everything as makes sense, but definitely want to make sure we're saving things like quest state, player location, "trap" states (on/off and pressure pad state) and things like that. I.e., the goal is to get as much of the stuff that matters as possible. There may be somethings like state shards of broken pottery or just some object positioning in general that might not make it in, but hopefully it's mostly stuff that won't really effect game play or play through.

This prioritization seems right to me. Add to the savelist first any data directly connected to the player character, then important world state changed by the player -- the rest is negotiable. (I am going to indulge in one "I did tell you guys over three years ago and a bunch of times since that this was vital" ;) , but it sounds like y'all are on a good path now.)

I do still have a few questions, if that's OK:

1. I didn't see any mention in your list of NPCs. Do NPCs, once killed by any source, stay dead? Does this include characters in Marcaul? Should corpse objects be included in what's saved? "No" might be OK, but what about if there's a loot item associated with their corpse? When a game is reloaded, should UA automatically spawn replacement NPCs for unnamed slain NPCs? Or is it OK to let the player empty out a level (no respawning NPCs after reloading) since the level will be stocked with different NPCs when the player goes back there with a new quest?

2. In your current internal testing of the latest save facility, how fast is it to complete a save in a large, well-explored area? And how fast is it to load a late-game save?

I can appreciate that you may not have gotten to optimizing your save system yet, but I'm still curious what kind of times you're seeing. If saving takes a few seconds for people running normal hardware, great; if whacking the Save button on a high-end machine takes 30+ seconds to complete, I suspect many players will politely explain that they would prefer a more speedy solution.

I could be wrong about the "politely" part.

3. Finally, when the build with the shiny new Save function is released, will it allow us to bind this function to a key? Being able to bind "load the last save" to a key would also be appreciated.

Regarding the team, most of them are still on it full time working through the updates. The original plan was to have people start rolling on to DLC now and a few peel off for future project concepting that any developer would normally do. But given where the game is we feel it's more important to update and improve UA now, other stuff later. It's better for our fans, for our brand and for each of our own psyches.

Thank you. In your shoes I'd be super-eager to work on DLC, or consult on SS3, or start the fun of brainstorming the design of a whole new game. That you're focused first on improving the quality of your first major game speaks well of everyone at OSE.
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Frogacuda

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Re: Dec 3 Weekly Update
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 11:28:30 AM »

Encouraged that work continues. I will pretend this game is still not out until the major patches roll out and enjoy it eventually as it should have launched.
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hugot1000

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Re: Dec 3 Weekly Update
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2018, 03:21:56 AM »

... We want to be as close to save everything as makes sense, ...

I think the chains will make the biggest difference (most of the other stuff has to store basic position+orientation and basic state like open/close or AI-state, and restart simulation from there, some *observable* discrepancies will surely happen then, but with a bit of luck and robustness fixing none of those may be game breaking). And burnt scaffolding. And burning (!) one.

IMO either you will manage to store almost whole state (i.e. the chain will reload with the correct swing dynamic and player will hang on it as supposed, and bridge will be still burning in the "same" way) except debris which doesn't affect simulation, or you will have to do a "checkpoint" save system, where planting the sapling may be considered a "save" and reload will spawn the physics world in some basic restored state, and "resurrect" player at sapling.

That would allow for basic-state save of world, like chains can spawn in initial state, etc... Again the burning/burnt scaffolding is questionable, I think it should be stored quite accurately, which may break it down to the planks, and those are partly dynamically generated? Any chance to "accelerate" (even inaccurately, like without further spread) burning process while saving, and storing only burnt results? As there's no definition of how long the sapling respawn takes, it may be believable to happen after a while (fires extinguished).

Saving whole world state fully may be in the end a bit simpler, but not sure how big save-game files will become then, and how much it will refuse to reload correctly (if the physics engine itself does support serialization in some way).

The original plan was to have people start rolling on to DLC now and a few peel off for future project concepting that any developer would normally do. But given where the game is we feel it's more important to update and improve UA now, other stuff later.

Yeah, sounds good. In my uninformed-outsider opinion, the available market for paid DLC is pretty much only steam sales (I wouldn't account for too many backers to buying DLC, as most of the backers expected different game). I would probably write DLC off at this moment. You have to get basic game into better shape first, which will probably give you better estimate if the DLC makes even sense (and for the reasons you listed) (or maybe you have some investor willing to make UA more extended just for the sake of it?).

This sounds like well informed advice, thank you I hope the developers find this helpful in their mission for a good save system.
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Prydonian

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Re: Dec 3 Weekly Update
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2018, 03:27:50 AM »

Hooray!

When the time for DLC does come, Iím still hoping it will add in some of the originally-expected features and races, like dwarves. 
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IHaveReturned

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Re: Dec 3 Weekly Update
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2018, 09:52:48 PM »

...and that KS backers get them for free.
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