Wow, what a week!
So this week we moved our experimental build over to the stable branch. We’d like to say it went smoothly, but the transition was a little rough. A few large bugs slipped through the net and took us by surprise. It’s amazing how many things can pop up even after 2 months of solid testing on the experimental branch with no problems! Ironically, most of the problems were caused because people were able to run the game too well! But we’re glad to say it’s all sorted now.
We have received a lot of criticism on the new update. It was mentioned in the patch notes, but it’s worth mentioning again that this stable update is only a midpoint to some big upcoming changes so it might not look the prettiest at the moment.
We’ve hinted at a lot of smaller features that we can incorporate now that the world isn’t quite so procedural. One of those is the new global illumination in Unity 5. Basically, the new system allows you to pre-compute or ‘bake’ the lighting data and then use that data to calculate approximate indirect diffuse lighting based on the sun light’s position in real time. We’ve only just started playing around with this feature, but the results look promising —
We also have a new character artist, Tito. Tito has previously worked for Ubisoft on projects including Assasins Creed, Farcry 4, Splinter Cell and more. We’ll keep you posted with any progress on that front 🙂
We’ve got big plans for the next major version of the experimental build. We’ll be switching to our new tester island which is in it’s early stages. Obviously this means the procedural generation will be removed and exploration will be limited, but it will give players a chance to kick the tyres. There will also be new vegetation that really takes advantage of the new foliage shaders I wrote a while ago. And if all goes to plan, we’ll have the new ocean system in as well. This will be rough around the edges as some features aren’t officially implemented yet and we won’t be spending too much time on band-aids, but it will still be a good opportunity to play around with it and get an early indication of any problems we might have in the future.
We would also like to update the stable build with the new foliage in the meantime, as the old foliage is looking a little poor at the moment.
So it was a difficult week for us community-wise and the bugs stalled development a little, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of good things are in motion 🙂
:: Beam Team