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📰 Isle DevBlog #39

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dmIV - Programmer
In my completely biased opinion I must say that this has been one of the best months I’ve had working on the game. The time finally came for me to continue working on the herrerasaurus. There had been a few times when I experimented with it due to the pteranodon’s latching for example, but I can focus more on the movement and agility now.

The climbing system is made up of several parts. First, there’s moving the character along the wall and there’s always room for improvement on this one. There are two actions that can happen related to this, climbing up a ledge and climbing down from a ledge into climbing mode, the latter being difficult as the character has to turn around and align itself to the wall.

Aiming your jumps is very important when playing as a herrerasaurus, so we added indicators that tell the player where you would land when jumping. You can hold the right button when standing or climbing, then press space to jump there. Jumping this way when standing in place will let you jump forward instead of straight up, this is extremely useful when jumping from branch to branch.

Speaking of branches, when walking on our largest trees the herrerasaurus will automatically follow them to avoid falling from a potentially lethal height. This one took quite some time to figure out, but it makes moving around much more convenient, so I’m glad with how it turned out.

All these come together very nicely, here’s a little teaser in its current unpolished state. Most animations are also just placeholders for now:


Wedge - Sound Designer
This month I’ve mostly been continuing to flesh out the vocal palette for Dilophosaurus, using the calls as a baseline for both aggressive and non-aggressive sounds. The low gurgling defined in its broadcast and attract have both been adapted as well as used to influence new sounds, including more sounds for idle and generic uses, along with drinking, wallowing, resting, sniffing.

The harsher shrieks from its threaten and danger calls have been a good reference to expand its sounds, particularly its attacks and various pain sounds, including death, pounced etc. I’ve also created the first sound that will be part of a suite of sounds for its venom ability, 3 very low and menacing hoots bookended by its signature gurgles, coming together to give the feeling of a mocking yet chilling laugh as it plays with its prey. This sound (among others), in theory, will be manipulated from the perspective of the prey to move around the spatial field, disorienting players that have fallen victim to this creature's venom.

I’ve also done some preliminary work on the Herrerasaurus. Its vocal calls have been set up with some alterations to the exports to facilitate the correct sound when the layers are passed through the various attenuation and processing. I’ve also done a first pass on adding footsteps and foley sounds to its animations. Finally I’ve started recording, editing and processing foley sounds for its climbing. So far only sounds for climbing trees have been done and they are in an iterative phase with the mechanic still undergoing work, however adding these sounds helps to define how this ability is going to feel as it progresses.

I’ve also been working on some bug fixes for issues related to calls distant reverb/delay as well as how vocals behave when performed in water

Seiza - Video Editor
I've started creating the control rigs for our characters. They will help me create more detailed animations in the UE5 sequencer and also help me make the animation transitions a bit cleaner. I will certainly tweak the implemented IK system and gizmos a few more times until they fit perfectly for my work.


I've also started to create a sort of console-style in After Effects to begin capturing the “Apollo Engineering software.” This style will surely be with us more often and can be used in many ways. We've already used it in the Roadmap video, but trailcam videos or introductory templates for "found footage" could also be presented with this design.

In general, the goal of this new format is to get closer to the atmosphere of the lore, and I'm excited to see what we can do with it in the future.


Tapwing - 2D Artist
This month, I’ve been mostly occupied with environment concepts of internal lab designs and icon work - creating cerato and troodon prototypes of our games logo (as a mini celebration for some of our new releases).

Cerato’s design was pretty straight forward since its skull is fairly distinct on its own.
However, Troodon came off a tad generic with just the usual skull pose; but it did give me an opportunity to try a version with multiple skulls to showcase the swarm gameplay-style of the animal. Hopefully these shake out to be something final that you all can see soon!

Amar0k - Programmer
This month I spent some time on bug fixes, AI, and the addition of server whitelisting. Workshopping the base dinosaur AI has been heaps of fun. The base logic of tenontosaurus is mostly complete. They can be solitary or have their own AI groups they stick to. Anything further may spoil the magic, but it’s already capable of providing some exciting fights with players. I hope to get carnotaurus and omniraptor up and running shortly, too.

Bryan - Animator
Been spending a lot of time with John Cake lately. He might come across as a bit of a showoff but he’s actually a pretty chill dude even if he doesn’t talk much. Thinks he’s still gonna be a guide on some island safari tour, dunno where he got that idea though, something about a book he read. I haven’t had the heart to tell him what his actual job is gonna be.

Aside from rigging up John Cake so we can do some of our own in-house animation, I’ve been working on the T. rex and Diabloceratops this month and Trike is finally all rigged up and ready to receive new animation. The T. rex has new locomotion for all of it’s growth stages as well, it’s a pretty big departure from the legacy animations, even the growth is different, it’s practically a whole new beast.

Herrerasaurus finally got a skeleton as well, had to grow some backbone to do all that climbing and jumping it’ll be doing and next I’ll be working on its climbing animation, touching up the prototype and placeholder animations with some more final animations for its debut.

hypno - QA Lead
With our recent change to the roadmap and how we approach game updates, the majority of QA’s time was spent focused on validating bug fixes for the latest patch that introduced server whitelisting. We also used this time to address some of the balance concerns that were prevalent in Update 6.5, including vomit preventing movement and an input lockup that occurred if a target was knocked down while pouncing on a character.

Talking of balance; now that we have moved away from larger updates and instead pushing out content as and when it’s ready, we are working on a new process for how we handle balance changes so that they can be provided much more frequently in accordance with your feedback. We hear your concerns about the ceratosaurus “vomit lock”, whereby a group of ceratosaurus’ will continuously bite a target, forcing it to vomit nonstop, preventing it from defending itself. This is not an intentional feature of the ceratosaurus’ kit and will be addressed as soon as possible, though it will require a rework of vomiting in general so expect to see more information on that when we have a solid direction that we want to take it in.

A few more known issues include the loss of player characters and both omniraptor and troodon pounce not “connecting” with a target, usually resulting in death. These are marked as high priority on our bug tracker and are actively being investigated by our programmers. A big thank you to those of you that have been reporting these issues.

QA have already started testing some of the upcoming playables in our latest builds and they are coming along very well, particularly the herrerasaurus with its unique ability to climb surfaces, as you may have seen already in dmIV’s post.

As many of you well know, the stress testing team applications were reopened recently and resulted in an astounding 1,400 submissions. These are currently being reviewed and successful candidates can expect an invitation to our new stress testing discord server very soon. We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.

KissenKitten -Producer
The wheels have been churning around here all month. Fixing various issues and gearing up for a tonal shift in the game. I’ve been moving from dept to dept making sure everyone has what they need to swing for the fences. Hopefully there will be some homeruns in it for us and you.

The herrerasaurus has been coming along quite nicely. It’s been gaining in fun factor around here for a bit now. It will be a lot of fun seeing how you all like it and how many of you are going to plummet to your deaths. Practice, patience and prayers. But overall you’ll be able to make a leap of faith with a fair amount of surety.

The diablo and dilo have also been getting their special abilities implemented and tested. So we can shift the prototypes to their final form. Diablo is moving pretty good currently but needs a few tweaks to really make it something special. Hopefully resulting in some moments that feel good to play with as well as against. Dilo also seems to be heading in the right direction. Our intentions being to make it every bit as fear inducing as it used to be but modernized.

If all that weren’t enough, the rex is growing in power each day. I’m so excited to see what an apex can really do. But anyway, that’s all for now. I look forward to seeing you all over on Gateway.

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