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Previous month in Overgrowth - early August

Add Comment! By David Rosen on August 7th, 2017

Project Status:

Over the last month, we released the hotfix for Beta 4, resolved many bugs, and completed most of the new Overgrowth campaign.

We're now working on an internal gameplay test pass. This is the "over the shoulder" kind of testing, where we find a lucky person who either hasn't played Overgrowth, or has only played the arenas, and watch them play the game while they narrate their experience. This process has revealed many things for us to improve, but so far there's been nothing too unexpected.

We've been making gameplay tweaks and fixing bugs in response to this feedback. The game is nearly "feature complete" for the new campaign, and we’re getting close to being able to leave the early access phase.

Gameplay:

  • Added explicit config presets for difficulty levels
  • Made wolves no longer dodge weapon attacks (to make them more vulnerable to weapons, again)
  • Made thrown knives that aren't caught have a chance to do more damage
  • Made enemies who are unaware of you unable to use their weapon to block attacks
  • Added tutorial for not being able to enter a dialogue while you're in combat
  • Added "press any key to continue" after level is loaded, in case you're still reading the loading screen text (also supports mouse click)
  • Added weapon sheathing while you have an enemy in a choke hold with your weapon out
  • Added the new Overgrowth campaign to the "mods" menu, hoping more people will see it, but wanting it still on the down-low since it is still not quite done yet
  • Now starts program with zero gain so audio more gradually starts
  • Made debug text display only show up while in editor mode to make it so you have to switch it off less often for screenshots
  • Player no longer targets or notices characters marked "static" (enemies in later checkpoints/goals)
  • Worked on loading screen visuals
  • Much work on new Overgrowth campaign, listed separately

Modding/editor enhancements:

  • Moved many editor menu options to "Selected" menu, since "Edit" was getting crowded/overloaded
  • Added configurable LoadingScreen image path config value to level.xml, and added field to scene graph level properties
  • Added ability to control who gets killed and who lives in kill hotspot
  • Fixed holes and other weird visual problems in hex crete corner object
  • Added "Stick To Nav Mesh" parameter for characters, so enemies can be made less likely to suicide off cliffs, etc (and then fixed some bugs in it)
  • Added ability to tweak NPC hearing ability in script parameters
  • Added rebinding support for "frame selected" and "teleport to selected" actions, and added then to "selected" menu
  • Improved mod downloading display to make it less confusing that mods are downloading, especially when progress has stalled or is paused
  • Improved error messages and error detection on mod uploads
  • Fixed some issues with collision when the nav mesh baking has been turned off to modded level loads
  • Added debug "disable fog" option, to make it easier to edit in foggy levels without having to memorize and temporarily change fog parameters
  • Added debug config toggle to skip nav mesh generation for faster loads while working on levels
  • Added debug config toggle to skip texture conversion for faster loads while working on levels
  • Added ability to turn off live update in config (during window refocus check)
  • Added absolute and relative level path getter functions in angelscript
  • Added Object::IsExcludedFromSave to angelscript so mods can better detect temporary items
  • Fixed crash when failing to load hotspot script
  • Made camera object script load failures explicit instead of silently failing in weird ways
  • Added is_player property to MovementObject
  • Added ability to change connect-to filter for placeholder objects in angelscript (now can point to other placeholders, hotspots, or whatever you need them to connect to in your mods)
  • Added ability to cast from Object@ to Hotspot@ in angelscript (should check that it is the correct object type first, of course)
  • Fixed depth test for debug line rendering
  • Fixed bug in rendering of collision painting meshes
  • Started work on new save file format that better protects mods from trodding on each other

Performance changes:

  • Added toggle so players with lower end GPUs can turn off the GPU particle field
  • Added toggle so players with lower end GPUs can turn off custom level shaders
  • Trimmed down shaders when "no reflection capture" is enabled (may reduce errors and improve performance, especially on GPUs with the bare minimum 16 TUs, where reflection capture is automatically disabled)
  • Added ability to see asset manager references in performance debug window
  • Added logging for loaded assets (including those loaded during level) to performance debug window
  • Added ability to list all loaded assets in performance debug window
  • Added a lot of assets to the preload.xml file for the new Overgrowth campaign
  • Added possible performance improvement for water splashes

General improvements and bug fixes:

  • Fixed Lugaru campaign saving bug on Mac (added to B4 hotfix)
  • Fixed partially black sky (and possibly fix extra dark shadow) on some Intel GPUs (added to B4 hotfix)
  • (Fixed previously and now deployed in B4 hotfix: Plant and waterfall rendering on nVidia, and added ledge grab toggle to settings)
  • Made game stay paused when you exit the escape menu (if the game was paused before opening the menu)
  • Added explicit sound mixer limiting code, which seems to have eliminated crackling when crossfading music
  • Worked on making sure assets correctly unload when they're no longer being used, especially textures
  • Renamed nav mesh extension so they are less likely to be confused for other XML files
  • Improvements to nav mesh loading and saving behavior
  • might fix bug with nav meshes sometimes being regenerated every time
  • Made navmesh connections (jump nodes) no longer able to connect to non-navmesh connection objects, and automatically remove existing incorrect connections
  • More logging when SDL fails to create the game's window
  • Possibly fixed one of the physics bugs that caused characters to fall through the world
  • Fixed bug with rain/thunder hotspot being visible in level
  • Fixed some problems with newer dialogue background display
  • Fixed overbright problems when displaying billboard textures and debug text
  • Fixed bug where shadows would look weird after changing any setting
  • Fixed a bug around progress with checking defeated enemy state
  • Fixed bugs in visual transition from ragdoll to dialogue
  • Fixed menu display on super wide aspect ratio screens
  • Fixed water rendering in split screen (by disabling screen space reflections in that case)
  • Made sure tutorial overlay text doesn't show during dialogues
  • Made enemies notice you when you bump into them
  • Made dialogue tutorial not appear unless you actually can activate it
  • Fixed a bug where dialogue tutorial wasn't getting activated/cleared properly
  • Made it so that only the player can trigger an on-defeat slow motion event when pulling a weapon out of a body
  • Various bugfixes in new audio mixer code
  • Worked on stress test script to help stress test loading and memory allocation
  • Added Crunch texture compression and texture read code path
  • Fixed multiplayer single viewport camera so it should no longer flip upside down
  • Removed some "ID -1 not found" spurious log warnings when objects are intentionally (re)assigned IDs (e.g. prefab or object load)
  • Removed some "ID -1 not found" spurious log warnings when checking if an object exists
  • Fixed a source of (rare, though less rare on build machine) random crashes and incorrect results in checksum generation
  • Made static characters no longer (sometimes) float off into sky on reset/spawn
  • Fixed some bugs with camera depth of field support
  • Fixed a decal that was cut off in first level of Lugaru campaign

New Overgrowth campaign:

  • Updates to most dialogues
  • Updates to most camera work
  • Added level loading text to all levels
  • Added more ambient sounds in most levels
  • Fixes to collision mesh for tent objects (many levels)
  • Simplified stealth sections, made stealth section harder to skip in white flags level
  • Made last friendly NPC more obviously friendly, and added alternate ending for white flags level
  • Made first enemy optional to defeat in daytime slaver camp level
  • Added stuff inside shack in night time slaver camp level, in case you get behind it and peer in between the cracks
  • Made enemies at end of watchtower level optional and despawn upon complete, in case you stealth around them
  • Made river water froth animate on watchtower level
  • Replaced tree objects in watchtower, night time slaver camp, canyon ambush, and dog fort levels with less costly objects, instead of many-object prefabs
  • Replaced tree objects in farm level (this particular level should load much faster now as a result)
  • Fixed problems causing beach level checkpoints to not work
  • Fixed several problems with navmesh in beach level
  • Added enemy kill zone in beach level for place where enemy sometimes oddly falls into, where they were very hard to find
  • Made wolf in ice cliff level stick to the nav mesh, so he doesn't suicide
  • Fixed several gaps in world on ice cliff level, now that running around on top of cliff is more viable
  • Made first guard optional to defeat and checkpoints optional to reach in dog base level
  • Made enemies start off much more clustered and more likely to swarm you if you break cover at beginning of dog patrol level
  • Fixed problems with stealth cover brush at the beginning of the dog patrol level
  • Added player KO shield, added boundaries, and fixed some floating objects in rat HQ level
  • Reworked some long dialogues in the rock arena in the new campaign so they don't cut off on lower resolution screens
  • Fixed some nav mesh bugs and checkpoint bugs in volcano mine level
  • Changed falling damage so you can't cheese your way to the finish of volcano mine level
  • Switched invisible block to force field in entrance of volcano mine level
  • Fixed some dialogue character placement issues in magma arena level
  • Tweaked lighting in magma arena
  • Fixed bug where most of cave escape level would sometimes be skipped
  • Made cave escape level a bit brighter, and made enemies stick to nav mesh instead of jumping into water
  • Made it impossible to skip first checkpoints in garden duel level
  • Fade out sky ark rolling fog when seen at a distance
  • Fix several issues in sky ark checkpoints/gameplay/visuals
  • Made sky ark level send you back to main menu after you complete it