With the launch into Early Access in full swing, here's a development update. First off, a huge thank you to everyone who has decided to support the project so early on. The game's reception over the last few days has been wonderful, and I've jotted down lots of good player feedback. In this post I want to address a few issues that cropped up, what's been updated, and what to expect next.
Server performance turned out to be a limiting factor for the initially planned scope (50 players + high AI), and I've had to scale back a little to make things run stable enough. The default server slots and configuration on officials has been dropped to 25, and AI has been scaled down to medium.
I've since started capturing performance data from the server and creating test builds to polish out the issues. This is ongoing, and patch
0.3.12 that is launching today begins with addressing some of the issues I found in my testing. My strategy is to focus on AI over scaling player count, as I feel that would do the most to improve the player experience right now. As a test to see how this new build behaves,
Official EU 01 will therefore get rescaled to have a higher AI count than the other servers. If this goes well, this will be rolled out to the other servers. Meanwhile this server will serve as a stresstest of sorts, with the other servers remaining in the previous reduced AI config.
Community servers may of course set their limits however they wish, the server configuration documentation gives details on how to configure your AI.
More stresstests will be organised in the coming period, where I'll be collecting more profiling data to continue working on scaling. If you want to participate, sign up in the Discord's #roles channel for the stresstest role.
Extra servers opened
2 US server instances, and an Asia-Pacific server have been added to help with ping issues for players too far away from the European servers.
Various things came up in feedback, a few important ones I'd like to address here:
The general sentiment I feel I'm getting with the night brightness is that light intensity needs to be bumped a little. Therefore the patch that is rolling out soon will make a first step towards that. Night is still intentionally quite dark, but I also don't want it to be unpleasant, so bear with me while a balance is found that works comfortably. Let me know if this change is a good step forward.
A few sidenotes on night brightness:
- Twilight and Dusk are intentionally a bit extra dark, this little window of reduced visibility something I want to exploit when we add playables with better night vision.
- Cloudiness and position/phase of the moon have a big impact on how dark a night is. It would help a lot to hear back what the exact conditions were when the experience felt too dark.
Based on player feedback, the new build also increases the amount of termite mounds, as well as the amount of termites that each mound spawns. This should help with food needs a little. Once a larger AI count can be comfortably supported, that should also help.
I've had a few reports of player mentioning their character got stuck on other characters, I'll look into this for a patch soon.
Bug where controls lock up
There's a bug where controls lock up for a moment, until you click a few times and mash a few buttons. This is a high priority bug that I'm investigating.
This is an unfortunate problem with the water system that I sadly can't fix in this version of the map, but will be resolved in V2 of the map. There is background information on this in the Issues & Limitations post.
Full patch notes here:
- Increased night brightness.
- More clearly showed the unselected categories within the character creator.
- Made it possible to see game servers running other game builds, with highlighting to see if you're on the right build.
- Added optional DiscordID field to the in-game feedback form.
- Fixed a bug where discord server wouldn't show up in server description within the server browser. Sadly, the max length of server description had to be reduced to 45 characters. This is an unfortunate limitation of the current implementation.
- Increased amount of termite mounds, as well as larvae found within.
- Tweaked pathfinding performance.
pawns.tracknot despawning tracking actors.
- Fixed larvae not despawning.
Keep that feedback coming!🙂