Weekly Dev Log for January 12th, 2018
Hello everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Dev Log for the week of January 12th, 2018. If you haven't heard, we've recently retired our old Daily Dev Log in favor of the Weekly Dev Log, which will allow us to give a broader picture and explain things in plain English, while also including some photos from development. Without further ado, let's get started.
Tower Unite 0.4.0.3 Patch
We've been busy getting this patch ready for release over the course of this week. This update will remove the Christmas decorations from the Plaza (it will still be Winter themed), and provide some much needed bug fixes found and reported by the community from the previous patch. We're hoping to have it released soon. You can follow our progress on the patch by viewing its Trello card here.
Zombie Massacre continues to be the main focus of the week, and many features and bugs have been fixed as we make progress.
Much work has been done on creating and refining the main AI systems behind the Zombies in Zombie Massacre. Currently they are able to be spawned, chase the player, and attack the player by dealing them damage. Zombies now ragdoll when they have been killed, and the other Zombies will push through their dead partners to chase after the player. Spawning systems and managers were created to help manage the Zombies currently in play, and to spawn more if needed.
We have a couple videos showing some initial problems with the first iteration of the Zombie AI. In these videos as well, you can see the turret item being tested that @Madmijk has been working on.
Art / Music
One of our animators @Wergulz has been working on models and the animations that you can see in the videos above.
@Lifeless has been continuing work on the Gasoline map for Zombie Massacre, and @Johanna has started working on her own map for Zombie Massacre, based off a biohazard lab.
Our magical music man @donglekumquat has been working on some really killer tracks for this gameworld over the course of the week as well.
@Matt has been working hard on creating new weapons for Zombie Massacre, he's currently working on a Retro Guitar weapon, and just recently finished working on the Flamethrower.
Pictured below is the Flamethrower weapon @Matt created. The first image is during the UVing process, and the second image is the completed weapon.
The overall mechanics for moving around and shooting in Zombie Massacre have become more and more refined over time, and the videos that @macdguy recorded below help show this off.
Radio Tower Prototype
@Madmijk has begun prototyping the Radio Tower item for use in Zombie Massacre. The Radio Tower is a power-up item in Zombie Massacre that the player can obtain, and use in their fight against the Zombies. The video below is a early prototype and is not meant to be shown as the final product.
@Johanna has been re-modeling some of the guns currently found in Virus. Her latest weapon remodel is of the Plasma Rifle.
Some of you on Linux may have noticed that with our upgrade to Unreal Engine 4.18, the Linux Client no longer boots. We've found after some investigation that certain dependencies are no longer packaged in the correct places. In a upcoming patch, we aim to fix this, but for those affected by this in the mean time, here's what you can do.
In your Steam directory, locate the Tower Unite folder. You need to copy "Engine/Binaries/ThirdParty/Steamworks/Steamv139/libsteam_api.so" and "Engine/Binaries/ThirdParty/CEF3/Linux/libcef.so" and place them into the "Tower/Binaries/Linux" directory next to the Tower-Linux-Shipping executable. This should fix the issue and Tower Unite should then be boot-able.
However, we've noticed in internal tests that once on the main menu, selecting any level (condo, gameworld, lobby) to load will result in a infinite loop which will result in Tower Unite never loading the map, and requires the application to terminated via force quit. We're still looking into why this is occurring, so please bare with us.
@Foohy has been working on changing how the game loads items on the client when a player joins a server. Items will now load asynchronously on the client, which will fix a large chunk of the stuttering / freezing in the Plaza and Condos as a client. This should fix that issue where the game might hang on slower computers when someone changes their hat for instance. This should be available in the Tower Unite 0.4.0.3 patch.
Dedicated Server Timer Issues
There currently exists an issue in our dedicated servers where the timers will start to go out of sync and start jumping around in time after the dedicated servers have been online for a long period of time. @Zak came up with some ideas on how to profile our servers to hopefully find the culprit and fix it.
Various Bug Fixes
The sliders in the Poker casino game having float values has been corrected, and a bug was fixed where the player could move around in the Appearance editor on the main menu. Another FOV bug was squashed that would reset the player's FOV when they joined a server. These bug fixes, along with the other bug fixes already discussed earlier in the week will be available in the Tower Unite 0.4.0.3 patch.
@macdguy continued creating a list of badges and achievements that will be included in Tower Unite and @Zak created a proof of concept for streaming audio from SoundCloud.
Wrap It Up
That about covers everything that happened this week at PixelTail Games. Hopefully you guys enjoy this new format, and do realize that this week's dev log is going to be a bit shorter than usual since this is everything that happened since Wednesday, instead of starting on Monday.
See you all next week, and have a great weekend!