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Camille

Pre-Alpha Build 9: Nighttime and Community Fixes

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Hi everyone!

 

This update introduces a new, robust day and night cycle throughout all aspects of the game. The visuals of each day period has been redone and improved and the transition between is much more dramatic. Since the night also comes with some gameplay hazards, be sure to prepare or hide once twilight comes.

 

The visual effect of Joy was also revisited and should give you a happy idea of what goes on in the minds of the citizens of Hamlyn! Just be careful not to crash, because the world looks positively terrifying when it happens.

 

We also fixed a number of issues you guys were kind enough to bring up to us on these forums. We’ve also made several changes aiming to improve the pacing and flow of melee combat.

 

Jump right in! Or if you’d rather have a taste of the changes, the detailed list is as follows:

 

Environment

• Implemented new day, twilight and night lighting conditions.

• Exterior lights and the rainbow road either turn off or dim according to the time of day.

• Added vistas and mountains in the distance.

• Polished and adjusted the lighting for shelters and residential buildings.

• Fixed textures around intersections.

• Fixed issues with some shelters and the Odds & Ends scenario being too dark in low graphics quality settings.

• Fixed decals such as posters and leaves popping on top of foliage.

• Fixed certain trees not having collision.

• Fixed incorrectly oriented light on some TV sets.

 

Gameplay

• Implemented a curfew at twilight, announced by Uncle Jack.

• Wellies stop wandering outside when night time comes.

• Bobbies patrol the streets at night and turn hostile on sight.

• Added a headlamp and accompanying visual effect to bobbies at night.

• Fatigue and Sleeping introduced. If you do not sleep, your maximum stamina drains over time.

• Improved the behaviour and detection of player mantling.

• Changed the suspicion behaviour of NPCs:

   • Removed the suspicion icons on top of AIs.

   • NPCs communicate their states more clearly through animation and sound.

   • NPCs will take longer to turn from suspicious to hostile.

• Added the ability for some NPCs to block certain attacks.

• Wellies can now engage in fisticuffs.

• Improved player unarmed combat collision detection to better match its visual range.

• Injured NPCs now cower away from the player before attempting to run away.

• Reduced the amount of NPCs that can engage the player in melee combat at once.

• Greeting a NPC will apply its full effect at the end of the line but suspicion will not increase while it plays.

• Greeting someone makes them turn towards you.

• Regular NPCs no longer run into houses when alarms launch; only bobbies do.

• NPCs can now climb through open windows.

• Bobbies can no longer be stunned by rocks or bottles.

• NPCs now have proper English names.

 

Audio

• Reduced frequency of ambient player character lines.

• Reduced the frequency of grunts during combat. Arthur no longer talks while he fights.

• Bobbies now whistle while patrolling.

• Fixed area based greetings (no more Wastrel greetings to Bobbies).

• Balanced audio levels to better hear certain barks.

• Improved audio attenuation and occlusion to help differentiate when AIs are behind walls or on different floors.

• There are occasional emergency public address systems in the wastes; removed them from the village (in lieu of Televisions).

 

UI

• Suspicion HUD indicator changed to only show suspicion of neighbouring NPCs.

• The overhead AI icon displays their current health instead of suspicion.

• Right clicking to equip items will attempt to swap with first slot if all slots are full.

• Inventory now allows swapping items of different sizes.

• Added some tips while the game is loading.

• Fixed main menu items not getting properly focused when using the gamepad.

• Fixed crash when switching between keyboard+mouse and controller after having closed the stash.

[HOTFIX] Fixed previously looted containers not registering changes after loading save game.

[HOTFIX] Fixed inventory and stash losing their ordering and layout after loading save game.

[HOTFIX] Fixed crashes when inventory items were removed from the layout by the previous issue after loading save game.

[HOTFIX] Fixed crash when performing certain swaps across different inventory sections.

 

Miscellaneous

• Fixed a random crash that would occur as NPCs were activated or deactivated.

 

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Some amazing updates. I could talk about how much I like so many points above, but that doesn't help too much.

 

Something I am concerned about is the insane FPS drop during the night cycle with the new lighting. I'm running some pretty serious hardware and am dipped into the teens once. In due time though, I'm sure you already know this haha. ( looks like a tripleA game at night now tho)

 

Also, maybe this is just the filthy casual gamer coming out of me, but I thought it was already pretty hard - the addition to sleep is really killing me. I got to a point where I could for the most part balance my meters, but now sleeping just dips on them so hard again. D:

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@Frost, Feel free to mention what you like anyway, it helps us know whether we're moving in the right direction. ;)

 

I definitely understand the difficulty of balancing needs -- what I've personally found is that it's easier to scrounge up maybe two or three canteens in the Garden District and then just move on to the village... Where food is plentiful and you're highly likely to find charcoal from raiding just one or two houses. Sometimes it's not even possible to find that many canteens in time, though. It's too random, as I've mentioned in your other thread, and that's a surefire sign it needs improvement.

 

As for the FPS drop, have you noticed if it happens both in the Village and the Garden District? One of the riskier things we've done is enable shadows on the Bobby headlamps at night, which makes the effect much more dramatic, but also makes those lights extremely expensive. Since there are no Bobbies in the wastes, it shouldn't be as bad but it might still have an impact.

 

Also, if it happens at Low settings (with custom settings, Low Shadows specifically), then I'm definitely worried because Bobby lights should not even be turned on at that setting, let alone cast shadows.

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I have to agree with @Frost , the addition of tiredness really changed my playing for the worse. Since you can't sleep anywhere except shelters, I've found myself needlessly crossing bridges three or four times just to sleep. It would help if you could sleep on couches, beds, etc. in houses or shops. This could create the risk of being woken up by an armed, angry Wellie/Wastrel in the middle of the night. In my opinion that would improve the tiredness mechanic a lot.

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@sneelhorses, There's actually a shelter on every island, if you weren't aware -- we want to encourage players to find this safe spot before going too far exploring. We're also planning to add some form of quick travelling between available shelters, though how this will be implemented remains to be seen.

 

As for sleeping in owned beds, we've thought about it -- it would be an interesting tradeoff to get some shuteye and hopefully recover some or all of your fatigue. But it would have to be done in a fair fashion and communicated clearly, so that being woken up mid-sleep doesn't become an instant death sentence. It'd also have to pull the player out of the bed somehow, because combat is very awkward for both the player and the AIs on a bed. All in all, it's a lot of considerations and we want to do it right instead of putting in half measures.

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I just pushed a minor update to graphics settings, Medium shadow settings will now disable shadows from anything other than the sun/moon. See if that helps night time performance.

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Another hotfix today, which should address some of the considerable issues that would arise with the inventory after loading a save game.

 

I also had previously forgotten to increment the save game version number with the update, so it wasn't showing the older version warning as it should. This has been fixed. Note that the warning will show even on saves from the new versions but before this hotfix -- these save games will work, but the ones older than the update are not compatible due to significant changes to the world generation format.

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@sneelhorses, I wasn't aware of that particualr issue but given the nature of the inventory bug, it might have been fixed. The crashing probably occurred when the tap queried the inventory for a bottle to consume but that bottle was bumped out of the layout when losing its configuration.

 

This happens on load, so if the game wasn't re-saved following this first happening, you should be good to go. If it was resaved, then it probably saved the "lost" bottle and will happen regardless.

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In my opinion the update is great, yes having to go to sleep to keep our lovely character going, is a bit difficult. But going to morning to night goes by pretty fast , with the new update it makes breaking in and out of places more of a fast pace. With the the new update would you guys consider making the day duration a bit longer ,it would let us go around do what we have to do to survive but we would still have to go back to get some rest.

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@sneelhorses, I've managed to reproduce a crash by swapping a 2x1 item onto the bottom half of another 2x1 item. Not exactly like what you describe, but most likely related. Thanks for the report, I'll introduce a fix on Monday!

 

@Nellie, We're definitely considering changing the day duration, at least temporarily. The current duration was chosen according to our target playthrough length with regards to the world progression, but since we don't actually have a world progression in place yet, this is somewhat moot.

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This and build 8 have been some of my favorite updates so far. It feels a lot more vibrant and alive now. The extra chatter from the character, the day cycles, I'm a big fan of the 5 island set-up too, overall an awesome set of updates

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I've been enjoying the new patch, but I haven't finished a run yet because I keep crashing every time I try to fight one of the butchers. The butcher on the top floor of the shop I have no trouble with but twice now I've crashed while clashing with the butcher behind the counter.

 

Considering the second butcher would ragdoll when the first was killed in the previous patch, I'm not having the best of luck with these two chaps.

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I don't think that it would be necessary to warn the player about being woken up, as a reappearing theme in the game is learning through experience., but I would definitely agree that combat would need thought.

 

Maybe the player could be woken up a few seconds before the NPC finds them, as if they heard a noise or something similar?

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Why can't you dump out water from a bottle, especially if it's drugged? My sister just encountered this actually, she had drugged water but she was by a water pump.

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@sneelhorses: I understand the comment and I kind of agree but we don't have enough interaction buttons to handle that, and design wise it's kind of better, as it forces you to think what you fill the bottle with. It's a bit gamey for sure, and we may have to review it.

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