Progress Report March 2016

It's been a while since we've given an update, so I wanted to give an overview of our progress since the last post.


  • Overloaded status. The player now gets overloaded and has to walk when carrying too much. This involved work on the item weight system and getting all types of items to correctly contribute to total weight that is being carried.
  • Quickbar. Player can now move items to a quickbar for quick access.
  • Chest Stabber AI. The creature can now path on the navmesh, patrol, attack, leap, and attach to player limbs. It has two attacks: biting with jaws that encircle the limb, and stinging with the tail.


  • Melee attack IK. Attacks can now be aimed to a more precise location based on where the player is looking. This is very useful when trying to attack a Chest Stabber that is attached to one of your limbs.
  • Lots of changes and optimizations added to build process and scripts. Changes the way the game generates files at build time to prepare for cloud build.
  • Localized weather. Weather is now unique per biome and per season.

  • Hungry & Thirsty status effects. Previously the player only received warnings when they were starving or dehydrated, which was a little too late. Now they get hungry and thirsty first to give a little more warning that need to eat or drink.
  • Lots of balance tweaks and bug fixes.
  • Currently tracking down a major crash bug with PhysX (the physics system used by Unity).


  • House 01
  • House 06
  • Mobile Home 01
  • New road materials
  • New fences for house lots.
  • A bunch of new house props.
  • Small Framecell
  • Portable Framecell
  • New loot items: tire iron axe, nail bat, compass, plastic bottle, bleach, dish soap, fertilizer, rope, motor oil, tin can, tactical knife, hatchet, crowbar, golf club, toilet paper, pine cone, matches, surge protector, computer mouse, antidote, morphine, screwdriver, flint & steel.


  • "City Tools" internal tool created for laying down roads and neighborhoods. It dynamically generates road meshes, intersections, extruded side objects (like sidewalks or ditches), and can scatter prefabs along the road (like wrecked cars or trash) or align them with the sides (like signs or power lines). It also allows individual lot placement along road (for individual houses or stores), or zone placement for entire neighborhoods. It has a preset system for defining lots, roads, scatter layers, and zones. Lots themselves can also have randomized elements to provide variety. Needs more polish and features but the basics are there.
  • Set up automated nightly builds using Amazon AWS and Jenkins.
  • Lots of texture and prefab optimizations to handle new high-res houses. Integrated Amplify Texture to handle texture streaming for new houses. Integrated QuickLOD which is faster than Unity's built-in LOD system for many objects (which we now need for the new houses).
  • New loot items: broken bottle, glass shard, wild onion, wild mushroom, plant fibers.
  • Character Creator. Choose starting profession which determines your starting loot and knowledge. Also you get a randomly generated name (which is really weird sometimes) and random age and clothing.

Character creator. UI is not in the newest style yet.


  • Updated UI to a new style that is more final and fits with the color scheme of the game.
  • Vitals interface. You can now examine yourself and other players to see their status. You can see hit points for each body part and any issues with their overall health or individual body parts (such as fractured bones, lacerations, etc), and interact with them to help if you want (i.e. bandaging a laceration).


  • "Heavy" objects. Certain items can be picked up and moved, but are too large or heavy to be placed in the inventory (like car tires, water cooler size water bottles, etc). You can now carry these in both hands, but you are limited to walking speed and you can't do anything else with your hands.
  • Misc balance tweaks and bug fixes.
  • Player dragging. You can now drag someone out of harm's way (or wherever you want :) if they are unconscious or disabled.

The overall direction has been to get the gameplay in residential neighborhoods really fun, varied, and nice to look at, with lots of ways to make progress and various ways to contribute. We're still pushing toward that goal: Jeremy is working on the neighborhood visual polish, Mark is focusing on the Chest Stabber combat, and I am working on fleshing out player specializations so the gameplay for each feels unique and they contribute equally (currently focusing on the Medical specialization).