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📰 Isle DevBlog #32

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dmIV - Programmer
As we were getting closer to the release I mostly focused on bug fixes and smaller changes as it’s important not to break anything in the last second. I went over a few issues or confusing behavior we had with nesting and single parents in particular. Leaving a group after courting will make you lose access to the nest if there is one, but keep it for your partner, letting them raise the eggs alone. If you are a single parent and court with someone you will lose your existing nest. These steps were taken to make the system more straightforward and less prone to issues such as two single parents courting each other. Hopefully it will lead to a less confusing experience.

Another small but significant change was making the “Eggs” button green on the menu if there are free eggs available. This should incentivize players to join nests, since you no longer have to manually look in the menu to check if anything’s available.


I also made some improvements to the human character’s camera and movement during some specific situations such as going prone while turning in place. He also has some new clothes to show off, I just had to plug those in without much work. The flashlight was also adjusted a bit to provide more light in a wider cone.

I had some smaller tasks regarding the new diets and gore. The compass will now show new icons for corpses which are in the rotten and bones stages, so players can tell from a distance if it interests them or not. I also updated the feeding system to work with the new diets, as it was significantly reworked.

Mykie - Animator
This month I have added movements to the Gallimimus and the Ceratosaurus. The Gallimimus knockdowns were my first challenge, and one that was fun to take on, as this long-limbed creature has a tendency to flail a bit on impact, regardless of the direction. Things got a bit more creative for the pinned and wallow animations, as the Gallimimus will use its powerful legs to try and shake off an attacker rather than trying to bite, like our friend Ceratosaurus. And in wallowing, this creature has to remain alert to its surroundings, checking every moment or so to make sure no predators are sneaking up on it in a vulnerable state.

The Ceratosaurus also presented some unique challenges, specifically the wallow animation took time to get the right characterization. Such an aggressive predator/scavenger will not feel the same need to be alert during its wallow, so the slower, lazy movements required some precise timing. The pinned animation for this creature however, allowed me to explore that aggressive side. You won’t want to be on the wrong end of that fight should you ever encounter a pinned and angry Ceratosaurus.

This has already been a great start, and I am really happy with how these animations are going so far. I am excited to continue building on these creatures.

Wedge - Sound Designer
For December my focus has been split between bug fixes and enhancements in preparation for the impending update, and a complete round up of vocals needed for Beipiaosaurus. All of the vocalizations for all the various mechanics and animations are at the minimum designed for the Adult stage. Excluding some implementation, tweaks and a final pass to ensure nothing has been missed and functions as it should, its adult stage will not long be considered finished from an audio perspective. Beipi has been particularly challenging to give a voice to so I can’t wait to see what people think of how our angry little goose sounds.

I’ve already started processing/altering/adding to or replacing layers in a majority of these vocals so they can be repurposed for its juvenile stage and will be looking at setting up the progression from juvenile sounds to adult sounds when we return in the new year. Aside from this the only outstanding audio work to be done on Beipiaosaurus will be to design the bespoke sounds needed for its younger stage of growth such as its begging and hatching sounds and of course a final testing and quality pass! I’m looking forward to ticking another creature off my tasks, I’m particularly excited to continue my work on the next creature and no better time to do that then the start of a new year.

Enjoy the holidays and see you in the new year!

Tapwing - 2D Artist

Our hornless mini-carno of the isle.

While Rugops can’t launch itself forward at ridiculous speeds like its larger counterpart, it would be foolish to say it’s not agile. Its home is the jungle or other similarly dense landscapes. Relying on its ability to outmaneuver predators or stealthily approach prey; Rugops might not send large creatures running, but the little guys closer to its size might want to think twice on making the jungle their safe haven.


Lazy, large and ready to throw its weight around.

Our Acrocanthosaurus is bulked out to explore a different mechanic to the established ripping and shredding. If it's able to get into position and topple its foe, the Acro can go in for a chokehold and smother targets with its bite and bodyweight in an attempt to take down creatures that it otherwise couldn’t handle. Acro is a slothful thick-skinned creature that leans into the slow and steady style of hunting, ready to bully when it’s not indulging in some symbiotic self care with the tiny creatures of the isle.

Seiza -Video Editor
My main task this month was the final planning and creation of the release trailer for Update 6.
In the planning phase I collected some rough ideas and created the storyboard, but during the last weeks there were many plan changes and new ideas I tried out. My goals were: To present the game a bit more “maturely".

Darker, more unfriendly and more brutal, because that's what the new mechanics bring to the game. So I used the first part of the trailer to create an unpleasant atmosphere. A few brutal shots with dark music. Then a slow transition into the second part of the trailer. There the new mechanics are roughly explained. In this part it was important to me that everything is visualized very smoothly like in the last trailers, no sensory overload, no incoherent scenes like in the first part.

Gore will surely accompany us a lot in the next videos, so look forward to more bloody shots with the next updates.

The next video projects for next year are already in the planning phase, until then I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

hypno - QA Lead
With the stress testing team doubling in size, we are now able to accurately simulate a full server experience, allowing us to better optimize the game for 100 player slots and to catch far more issues than QA would otherwise be able to do on their own. Due to how effective stress testing is proving, we will be looking into increasing the amount of stress tests going forward to ensure that a stable gameplay experience is maintained fully between each update. Not only will this mean that the quality of each update improves by the time it reaches the public branch, but it should also allow us to show off content earlier and far more frequently going forward.

As well as bug finding, the amount of extra people involved in the stress testing process has been very useful for balancing the game, as we can get a better understanding of how well each species can survive in a full server environment. This proved more difficult in the past with QA's limited numbers; we had a decent idea for balancing combat between species but as for general survival, it was a lot more trial and error. Now, however, we know where X species goes and what they do in X location, meaning we can better plan future mechanics of the game around this knowledge. This will be very important for upcoming mechanics such as the Migration System.

Performance has been a big factor for this update. We recognise that previous versions of Evrima have been struggling in this regard and so there will be a continued effort to improve this even further. I hope you will notice the improvement for this update and that it will be the start of many more improvements to come for the game's optimization.

KissenKitten - Producer
This month flew by like so many of the rest. We at last bring gore to The Isle with Update 6. The team worked hard to ensure the first iteration of gore would set the foundations for the tone of the game as a whole and give us some more diet flexibility. The Isle has no intentions of shying away from the harsh realities of life and death. Blending the beauty of nature with its brutality. There may be other further changes to the gore visuals as time goes on and maybe some more interactions as well. So spend some time ripping each other open and see what comes out. Speaking of interactions, there’s a new ability the carnivores possess that will allow you to shake the coin purse out of a dead body. Find a dead creature small enough to carry, then hold LMB and give your mouse a side to side shake to see what tasty treats you can dislodge from the fleshy goodie bag you’ve acquired.

Alongside Update 6, you will also have the option of previewing our Gen 2 ambassador on unofficial servers. Yes, he is still going to die a lot. He still has basic functionality but is smoother than the last time he was previewed and has a few minor enhancements. Go take him on a night time safari. I dare you. Unlike previous tests however, his presence will be permanent from here on out as we begin larger scale production on human related features in the new year. The Gen 2s will be getting weapons in the not so distant future but those are likely to start out as melee weapons first like knives, sledgehammers and crowbars. Additional dinosaurs will still be rolling in since their foundational mechanics are broadly set as a whole and that’s what’s been needed to allow us to focus on inserting more playables. Dinosaur foundations being set frees up resources that can be spent on the long awaited Gen 2s.

This year has somehow been long and swift all at the same time. Full of many rapid changes, uphill battles, team expansion etc. So winter break was right on time. As an added bonus, we will be granting access to the latest snapshot of Gateway to the stress testers and allow them to stream it as it exists in UE4. Hope you enjoy it! Have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!

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