welcome to the 2nd Sprint Recap of Fractured! This post covers work done here at Dynamight Studios during Sprints 13-15, which lasted from the 13th of December to the 5th of February.
If you aren't familiar with this kind of brief update yet, please have a look this introductory post.
Abilities & Status Effects
This line of work is a direct continuation of the previous Sprint Recap. This time, we've focused on mobility abilities - such as leaps and dashes - and status effects - such as freezes, poisons, stuns, and more.
As of today, we have over 40 different status effects planned, so... this is going to take a while to be completed!
To speed up ability development further, we've re-factored the generic ability code to be more modular. A time investment that will definitely make us save time in the future!
More Human Greatness
This second line of work is also a direct continuation of the previous one. More human building modules, decorations and tech have been made. You should expect this to be mentioned several times in the future, also given we have a series of upcoming Feature Spotlights on the topic.
To exemplify the work, let's drop a classic. Remember the (in)famous Penis Cannon from the last spotlight? Here it is, completed:
Since our very first announcement post, we have always stated how combat is a key component of the revolution we want to bring to the world of sandbox MMOs. Therefore, we'll never stop improving this part of the Fractured experience!
In this case, we've implemented several small tweaks and additions to character movement and fighting. Among those we can mention:
- New algorithms for character rotation and rotation / attack synchronization;
- Adjustments to camera movement on rough terrains;
- Animation sequences for better looking chained attacks;
- New spawning rules and animations for floating numbers that display damages;
- ...and a few more!
World Building Pipeline
In our first State Of The Game update, we've talked about our world building procedures and the effort it took us to figure out the optimal ones to build a large world procedurally.
In this new iteration of the pipeline - this time obviously not a rewriting of the system, just an incremental update! - a few notable changed have been brought to life, such as:
- Procedural generation of road;
- Procedural generation of rivers;
- Overall improved terrain shapes, particularly when it comes to different altitude levels;
- Visually improved connections between different biomes;
- Sensibly lighter terrains with no visible quality loss.
If you could see any 2017+ AAA FPS without post-processing, you'd be like THE EARLY 00s HAVE CALLED, THEY WANT THEIR GAME BACK!
Yeah, nowadays post-processing in videogames makes THAT much of a difference - and it was about time we tackled it. Among the things we have implemented/tweaked we can mention:
- Switching from TAA (Temporal Anti-Aliasing) to the much better looking and performing SMAA (Subpixel Morphological Anti-Aliasing).
- Adding Ambient Occlusion;
- Improving Color Tuning (temperature, sharpening, vibrance...);
- Adding Bloom and a range of other optical effects!
Those Little Details
In Fractured, resources that can actually be harvest/extracted - such as trees, rocks, and plants - make up a large part of the world that surrounds you. Is that enough to make the environment look good? Well... nope.
In all games - and particularly in those with an isometric camera, such as Fractured - purely cosmetic environmental details are crucial not to make terrain feel empty and repetitive. Be it a bunch of wild mushrooms or the ancient bones of a fallen beast, they have to be there - and so we've been making them be!
Here's a mix of images on the topic - including some from PvE hotspots:
With the growth of the size of the project, the time required to create a new server build started to be an issue heavily affecting productivity around here. Unity's building process is not exactly smart, and coupling that with SpatialOS takes away even more flexibility. The time had come to speed things up!
To fix the issue, we've devised a system to split the project into different workspaces, allowing us to load and build subsets of Fractured tailored for specific development tasks - such as NPC development, world building, and character development.
What a relief!
What's Coming Next
Due to the preparation of the 4th Feature Spotlight and the expansion of The Foundation, actual game development has slowed down a little in the last few weeks.
Since a month ago or so, we've been running again at full speed, and the release of our first proper gameplay video, focused on PvE is now really close - it should be out any time in the next 2-3 weeks.
We can't wait, and we know you can't too!
See you soon and, as always, don’t forget to let us hear your feedback!