This patch brings the game onto Unreal Engine 5! You will likely not notice too many things from this yet directly (showcase features like Nanite and Lumen are still not quite ready for use in the project), but this migration makes it possible to grow the project further in the future while all the new goodies in the new version of the engine become more mature. There's also a good dose of polish and bugfixes in this patch.

It took a while to get this patch done (in truth, longer than we would have wanted), but it was a worthwhile investment that gave us the opportunity to also overhaul some of the technical fundamentals of the game. We're releasing it a little bit early, on the experimental branch, so we can fix anything important that might still come up in testing. With a migration of this size, something is bound to break and slip past our own internal testing. More polish is on the way before it hits the public branch.

In this post we'll discuss what changed and what to expect, how to test it out, and some words on upcoming content and a new playable character.

🚧 A few things to keep in mind 🚧

This is a test build for public testing, and is thus slightly undercooked!

There will likely be some new fun issues with this update, and I've opened a dedicated channel in the Discord to report and discuss anything that comes up.

Known issues to be aware of with this beta build that are being worked on:

  • Lighting set-up had to be redone in significant ways and will likely get more refinement, you could encounter weather/time of day situations that aren't adequately tuned yet.
  • We've also seen a few crashes that were deep in the engine and seemingly not directly related to gameplay code. We're keeping an eye on this.
  • Some of the foliage is a bit misplaced in this beta build and in need of adjustment. If you get stuck, press the unstuck button in the escape menu and relog if needed.
  • Interactable foliage might pop in with the wrong scale.
  • Aurora is temporarily disabled after discovering an issue right before we wanted to throw this patch live.
  • We noticed an intermittend desync that happens at random times, cause has been discovered and will be patched.
  • The sky isn't entirely stable, and you might encounter a bit of light snapping here and there.

How to opt-in

Right click on the game in your steam library, and click on properties:

Then select "experimental" in the betas list, and your client will start downloading the required files. Note that this will prevent you from connecting to the regular servers that aren't running the patch yet. To switch back so you can play on the old patch, select "none" in the betas list.

A few words on upcoming content

After a few bugfix patches so we can move this larger migration patch onto the public branch, there's a content patch upcoming that will add a significant amount of original artwork, gameplay, and polish. In it, you'll find the first new playable character that was developed from the early-access funding, and an overhaul of various sounds in the game to bring them to a higher level of quality. Timing wise, it will likely be the next content patch (after this migration patch), but it might also be the one after that.

Work in progress preview of a new playable character, Allosaurus, coming in a content patch soon. The final sculpt is being wrapped up, and animation work is already underway.

Changelog

Find all the details for beta patch 0.6.0 below.

Features

  • Added Turn in Place for Deinonychus.
  • [Work in Progress] - Added interaction effects to water. This works well in lakes, sort of with the ocean, but not yet properly in rivers. Work in progress. Small asterix to place here is that you currently have to be in the water for the interaction to be visible active for other players too, which will be improved.
  • Expanded the amount of foliage that react to touch.
  • New biome: rainforest.

Polish

  • Various improvements to turn in place. Some more work is needed to round it out completely, but it's a lot more stable and is now by default turned on, no longer marked experimental. It's still optional for the moment though.
  • Expanded and polished Deinonychus' animations.
  • Added various action/emote icons for Deinonychus to radial menu.
  • Removed experimental tag from Deinonychus. He'll still get more polish (especially in the audio department) and further gameplay features, but the basic implementation should be fairly solid now and no longer warrants the experimental tag.
  • Reworked jungle and redwoods biomes with better foliage distribution to achieve less repetition and more organic placement.
  • Expanded jungle biome to run along the beach.
  • Cleaned up (reduced artifacting) and greatly expanded the amount of Kauaʻi ʻōʻō audio sounds.
  • Server performance improvements.
  • Improved foliage rendering performance on the client.

Balance

  • Nerfed bleed.
  • Buffed bleed resist Brachio.

Bugfixes

  • Redid water system to mitigate issues with collision. The "floating above water" issue the game had is a lot better now, but still not rock solid. Some areas where the discrepancy is very large we can much more easily tweak now if we run into them, but there's still some limitations with how far we can fix this. Surface transitions between water bodies also sadly took a hit in visual quality (you'll be able to much more easily see a cut on the water surface), slated for improvement. This overhaul represents an intermediate step to bridge the gap until a more mature and higher fidelity water solution is in place.
  • Fixed foliage jittering due to wind changes. The experimental wind opt-in is now gone from the menu and enabled by default.
  • Fixed flickering on Redwoods branches.
  • Fixed vaulting onto foliage.
  • Fixed various cases where the locomotion system would skate around instead of moving naturally.
  • Fixed various cases of items not despawning in water.
  • Fixed nesting preview placement material not being properly visible at night.
  • Fixed a bug where clicking the "build nest" option while already trying to build a nest, would duplicate the placement and not allow you to cancel the initial placement preview.
  • Fixed a bug where other players would appear as walking sideways (incorrectly oriented) while strafing.
  • Fixed character automatically walking onto termite mounds.
  • Fixed footprints showing up on character is if you walk through them.
  • Waterfall is no longer brighter than the sun at night.
  • Foliage now properly dampens wind intensity and interaction once grabbed.
  • Fixed an issue where the 2D aurora would not show up (which is enabled if the volumetric clouds graphics option is disabled).
  • Fixed various ambient audio tracks not looping properly.

Miscellaneous

  • The "TAA Gen 5" graphics option has been renamed to "TSR" (Temporal Super Resolution) to fit the new UE5 terminology.

Regressions and known issues

  • Surface displacement (sand/snow) has been temporarily removed due to Unreal Engine 5's removal of Tessellation. Displacement will likely come back in the near future through an alternate solution.
  • Interactable foliage can sometimes act up and display with an incorrect scale once in interactivity range. The cause for this is known and being worked on.
  • There's a couple areas where foliage is in incorrect places or angled in such a way that you can get stuck on them. While we polish this out, if you get stuck, press the unstuck option in the escape menu and if needed, relog afterwards.
  • Aurora is temporarily disabled after discovering an issue right before we wanted to throw this patch live.
  • We noticed an intermittend desync that happens at random times, cause has been discovered and will be patched.
  • The sky isn't entirely stable, and you might encounter a bit of light snapping here and there.