Whoa! This year is just flying past us, i think its time we post a little update.
In the past we’ve talked about our procedural content and how its used to create the world’s environment. This time we would also like to show off other features that use a similar, yet simplistic approach.
As the title implies i’m talking about trees. Trees play a big role in Stranded Deep, they’re your protection from the sun and rain, a supplier of natural foods, your lookout upon the endless ocean, you might even form a bond. Unfortunately for them, you’re going to need wood..and alot of it!
We don’t want player’s to hack mindlessly at a trunk until it disappears and logs fall from the sky, creating realistic ‘tree chopping’ is no easy task and we’ve looked into many different approaches; animation, mesh deformation, masking and splitting, etc, etc. All of these approaches were surprisingly time consuming and performance heavy.. not to mention out of place.
After much trial and error we decided that we would use predefined log segments that are randomly generated onto a trees foundation, similar to a pipe system.
First a stump is placed and is then followed by an array of seamlessly joined unique trunk segments with the final vegetation piece placed on top. This allows us to create much more interesting segments with bends and curves in the future that will create much more interesting combinations.
When interacting with a tree, the segments retrieve their required components and rely on the physics engine. This procedural approach allows us to easily create a variety of trees during runtime and makes it much easier to balance out the distribution of wood to a player per island, you find yourself contemplating over each trees life and end up scheduling their sacrifice in your survivals development. Its awesome!
Heres us having some fun with the generation parameters, i’m sure modders will love creating their very own Hollywood island 🙂
..and i bet you’re wondering if you can cut them down..(Things get a bit crazy)
Hope this gives you more insight into our development, we’re currently in the process of switching lighting and getting everything looking fine but i’m sure you’l hear more of that in the future. We’ve had many questions regarding the release and our lack of updates… the truth is we’re both super busy and working harder than ever on getting this out for all the hardcore survivors.