Project Update #2
Closing in on Alpha
Quick update on our progress. For the last couple of weeks we've been focusing on fleshing out content and trying to clear out all known bugs before we unleash you guys on our servers.
Two game-play elements we've been working on improving are gathering and base construction. The main challenge with base construction in survival games is balancing the raiding mechanics. Generally the optimal way to construct a base is similar to constructing a bank safe. This doesn't leave much room for creativity. Raiding and defending tends to be a test of who spends more resources rather than skill - we think this is boring.
We love the feeling of claiming land and building massive structures, we are working on tuning the metagame to reward players that occupy more space.
On the other side of that, we want to reward players that invest in gathering techniques for specific resources to create an ecosystem where trading actually makes sense.
Introducing the first continuous gathering system, the automatic drill (and the new blast furnace)
This guy will keep running as long as it has fuel, and depending on placement in the world, and proximity to other mining drills, it will gather resources while you're away.
The result is:
More land = More resources = Larger area to defend = More interesting raiding
One of the major goals of Hurtworld is to create a level of survival depth that will continue to challenge you through hundreds of hours of gameplay without becoming a trivial task of topping up a bar over and over again.
I've tried a heap of different ways to do this. The hardest thing to overcome is throwing super harsh conditions at a player (ones that will kill you in seconds) while making sure the player always knows what is going on.
I think what I've got now finally solves those problems. Each status effect has a stat bar that is only visible when it's a problem, or is going to be a problem soon. It clearly shows, what state its in, how quickly it's changing and how long till it will make you die (hopefully without spamming you with too much info when you have it under control).
Mils has done an awesome job designing all the status effect icons, the bar colors are mostly programmer art for now, the main point is the information they express. Hopefully I'm not the only person who understands what they mean.
Secondary to this we can now define visual and audio alerts based on different conditions for each stat that will make sure you don't miss an issue, and won't get spammed by something that's not an issue.
Less talk more pictures
Chris made heaps of new animations, also introducing the Rafaga. A super annoying predator bird.
Gav's been giving the tools / weapons another pass with higher detail. Eventually we'll bring everything up to this level, for now functionality takes priority.