Devstream tonight! The latest devblog, and a reminder of the best places to stay in touch!
Hello Folks! Just a quick cross post to remind you that you can stay in touch with OFF GRID dev via our devblog, chat with us about it all on our Discord server, and tune in to our devstreams to do both live!
Speaking of which, tonight we have our next devstream, where we are picking up where we left off with the CCCamp Milliways Mod... a quick reminder can be seen here:
We'll be on all our usual channels at 8pm GMT tonight :
Come and join us and contribute some ideas to the mod!
For your perusing pleasure, here is that cross post of the latest devblog:
Wow, where has the last month or so gone?! We skipped a test sprint (and a blog post, apologies) to get a couple of features pushed further along and in that time the whole world has set on fire. However, we area lucky in working with computers, and although not completely unaffected we are managing to crack on with dev, so here is your long awaited Sprint Update! We hope, wherever you are in the world, that you and your family are holding up ok, hopefully a little insight into the mundanity of OFF GRID's digital universe will provide some respite for your weary mind in these strange times.
Working up new Key Art
Pretty excitingly we have been working with an awesome Portuguese artist, Joao Sapiro, to work up some new images for our key art and capsules. We have got something really special coming together, focusing more on the themes of the game directly through its characters. Here is a sneak peak!
Making Timeline dynamic, and moddable!
We spent the last two sprints working on some features to improve signposting and tutorialisation in the game. This was namely in the form of a) implementing Unity Timeline instances that work with dynamic characters, cameras, and objects being spawned and b) being able to give cameras dynamic lookAt/follow targets. As with everything else OFF GRID this has to fit into the moddable systems. We decided it was needed so that devices & mission objects etc can set the camera target as the current NPC (or player) interacting with that object. This gives us a huge amount more flexibility when trying to signpost specific moments or interactions, but oh my did we find that timeline has some quirks when getting it to work with dynamic instances!
It's odd to say this, but at times it has felt like the entire Timeline feature has been built without interactive video-game use cases in mind...
Defining gesture & sound events in Hackable/InterestPoint devices
Previously these were being done in the agent Lua script (or, should have been done there atleaset!). That didn't allow for mods that would add new devices (each mod would require replacing all agent scripts in all levels, or the device can't be used by those agents), there needed to be a way to at least define a default gesture in the device itself.
We added support for defining use of gestures & sound events in Hackable devices (on the Unity scene object/prefab). Hackable devices and InterestPoints need to be something modders can create, so the default gestures & sounds to play when using them needs to be defined in the scene object (or prefab), on the Unity side. AI Lua scripts can then define an override to this if the specific NPC should play a different animation. But having a default one defined in the scene object makes sure new devices are usable by all characters without having to modify AI code for every new added device (which would have been a pretty impossible situation for modding support).
Vibration patterns on the controller
Vibration patterns. Not all of them, and none are final, but there's some in the game now and we can keep adding more & tweaking them until they feel nice.
We added a new tool on the dev side of the project to help us to implement quickly, various vibration patterns. Each vibration pattern has various options that we can use to define different types of vibrations (like you can see in the following screenshot).
To start, we can control each motor vibration individually, so it's possible to have a vibration pattern in only on one motor. Each motor (or the both of them) has a curve that defines the level of vibration. That vibration can be constant or can have an interval between two values. It's also possible to define a constant vibration pattern, that is a loop, which can have a fixed duration or it can have a minimum and maximum duration. This in turn enables us to have patterns that change duration or force according to the situation of the game.
So, for example, it's possible to have a vibration pattern that can increase or decrease it's force according to the distance between the player and a respective objective, like a mission objective object. It also has some less important options, like pause between loops, and that pause duration can also change according to something that is happening in the game. So, with all that, it's a flexible tool that's going to help us to add new vibrations and improve the game's moment to moment experience, and player feedback.
We have had some of the year's un-sexiest admin work over the last month or so with our annual returns, but thanks to VGTR that at least means and nice cheque at the end of the process, which, with everything being so uncertain with COVID-19 on the loose, is much appreciated.
We are also lucky enough to be part funded by Creative England. Recently we have been able to take advantage of their support to do some business planning and a series of investment events, workshops and mentor meetings. We have some exciting news on a well known new advisor of ours that we will be able to talk more about soon! As development of OFF GRID gets further down the road and closer to release we have started making some rough plans for expansions and future titles from Semaeopus too. Exciting times!
In the latest game and Levelkit build :
No build this time around while we get these features finished and tested, so, what can you expect to see in the *next* build of the game and modding tools?
Content (Level Design and Art)
- Created and imported Character Profiles for first half of levels
Gameplay and Mechanics
- Defining gesture & sound event in Hackable/InterestPoint device
Controls and UX
- New vibration tool
- Tool to add various types of vibrations, in an easy and flexible way
- Timeline/Camera dynamic lookAt/follow target
- Improved and fixed the NPC AI
- The NPC AI can now search better for the player after losing them
Modding and Lua API additions
- Lua API to manage the current level data points, this makes it possible to do the following actions:
- Get DataPoints from a certain object/NPC
- Save and remove data info in the the players inventory
- Remove data points from the level
- Get data from the data points
- Filter DataPoints with:
- Network name
- Data type
- Filter DataPoints with:
- NPCs didn't react correctly to noises, now they do
- The taser didn't do/finish the taser action sometimes [only rarely occurred], now it does
- NPCs always check their phone on level start before anything esle
- UsePointAction triggered gesture & device use message every frame while using the device
- When the NPC was in search intruder action it ignored the player, and also sometimes it didn't do the taser action in any state
- Data & keys we assign to NPC's in mission setup were counting as received, unread messages
- AI action to use a device was triggering gestures & device code per-frame while using the device, rather than once when starting to use it
- Target selection sound wasn't played when targeting was enabled when current target was same as previous target
- Data view visualization range and actual targeting range don't match
All now fixed!
- #bizdev baby!
We are restarting the Dev Stream just in time for those self-isolation blues! And what a time to be doing so, as the extra free time that some of our hacker collaborators are finding themselves with means we have the opportunity to crack out the Milliways mod and make some progress on it. If you would like to swat up on things ahead of time then be sure to check out the previous streams and other resources on the wiki page.
Be sure to tune in at 8pm GMT on Thursday (26th March) to learn some more about modding in OFF GRID and hacker culture in general.
Thanks for reading, as always we hope you found it interesting. Let us know in the comments or on the forums if there is something you want more detail on, or that we used too much jargon explaining and you'd like us to clarify, we love a good chat! We look forward to speaking with you more online!
While you are self-isolating, social distancing, and generally keeping out of public, why not work through your Steam backlog so you are ready to play OFF GRID when it releases ;)
Bye for now, and stay safe and healthy folks.
If you haven’t already - be sure to wishlist Off Grid on Steam - each wishlist makes a big difference to us, and we really appreciate your support!
Get OFF GRID
Leave a comment
Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.