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📰 Isle DevBlog #40

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Filipe - Lead Programmer
This month I have been working on several different things across various days/weeks, so I will mention the most important topics below:

  • Reworked the thrash abilities mouse detection, as there were issues with certain resolutions that prevented it from triggering.
  • The mutation system is in progress and new mutations have been implemented as their design has been approved. Alongside this, new UI alerts, panels and QOL messages are also being added.
  • Reworked the pachy headbutt hit detection for more accurate bone fractures, it was almost impossible to hit certain animals, especially the head.
  • Setup new SickState, from vomit, it now applies different rules making this a more robust mechanic, not only decreasing some statuses - This is being applied as a patch to the public, which you’ll learn more about in a future announcement..
  • Helped set up new playable dinosaurs with animations and made specific code changes necessary for some abilities to function properly.
  • Added Banana trees with bananas to be part of the new diets in Gateway.
  • New Locational Effects. These are new shader effects that are applied by the environment, such as being wet when entering water or during rain, mud, duckweed from swamps, dirt, dust, blood, etc. It is a complex system that allows those effects to dry, transition between and be fully dynamic.
  • Destructible fences. If the animal is big/strong enough, fences can be destroyed to create new entrances. These are different from the Physics Doors that you can push.
  • Pouncing. Besides some improvements and different methods of latching the attacker to the victim, I've also been working on a transition from Pounced to Pinned, with a variant in the middle for very big animals, more details soon.
  • Added skin variation to the saving and export button in the skin system, it was intentionally not added before, but by request we did now.
  • Balance changes implementations and several bug fixes.
That is it, see you guys next time.

dmIV - Programmer
Most of my month was spent working on herrerasaurus improvements and fixing climbing behavior in some of the more uncommon scenarios. It is now more reliable to latch on to the wall without aiming accurately and a proper landing indicator was set up instead of the testing visuals.

I also added a new drop attack, which is executed by holding RMB when falling on someone. This deals damage and can stagger or knock down depending on your falling velocity. Another unique feature involves the dewlap of the dinosaur. You will be able to hold F and press the left mouse button to send signals to other herrerasaurus’. This will be particularly useful for communicating without making a sound.


VisualTech48 - Environmental Artist
This month I have been focusing my work on getting humans up and ready more and more, by firstly finishing up both the Pistol and the Rifle to its key details.

The pistol is now fully complete and has an assortment of attachments, most of which can be fitted to any appropriate weapon, consisting of Laser, Red Dot, Flashlight and Silencer attachments.



Next up for the human rawrsomenal is the Pump Shotgun, which will have its own set of attachments, but we will reveal as we go. For now I’m happy to announce its progressing really well, however, keep in mind this is heavily subject to changes, as it's only the “High-Poly” phase.




Lastly, a lot of focus has been on a bit more freedom and advancement towards the buildings in general. The following images were made as a proof of concept, to showcase one of the capabilities of the kit, in which you can see a really “quick” and “dirty" rundown of a simple room.



I’ll be expanding on this kit furthermore, however, only after the shotgun is done, to feature more pieces to allow even more freedom. I’ll share just an example of a quick floor layout for the expanded kit. That is what I can reveal so far. See you next month!


Wedge - Sound Designer
This month I’ve been focused on wrapping up remaining sounds left for Dilo and Diablo in their adult stages, as well as refining, reworking or improving upon existing sounds as I test them. The only exceptions to sounds complete are what’s needed for their unique mechanics, i.e. venom and sparring respectively.

Dilo’s remaining vocals had included its pinned, pounced, eating, thrashing and courting sounds. I’m particularly fond of its chilling screams for the pinned and pounced, created from a blend of Bird and Loris screeches, glass squeaks and warping metal tones.

Diablo’s remaining sounds had included its pinned and courting as well as generic breaths and grunts to be used in animations like sniffing as well as for filling gaps where needed. Its court sounds are a playful mix of chirps, rumbles and hoots to coordinate with its movements. With these two mostly wrapped up for now I’m looking forward to moving on from these two creatures and onto the next soon!

I have also been making little improvements when and where I can, some examples include adding landing foley sounds when jumping or dropping on to your feet and some attacks as well, finalized moving calls and primary attacks to a new audio system, and calls only start becoming horawrsome at half stamina instead of full now.

Bryan - Animator
I’m itching to get back to working on the Rex and eventually Triceratops, but this month it’s been all Diabloceratops, Dilophosaurus, Herrerasaurus and John Cake.

Diablo is a pretty big project, it’s sparring ability is pretty complex and demands a lot of animations, and tweaks to those animations down the line so they look the best they can in-game.

Dilo got some updated Alt attacks as well, a bit more responsive and vicious than the first iteration. I always enjoy the freeze frames on these.


hypno - QA Lead
We have started the process of sending out invitations to successful stress tester applicants. If you have not yet received an invitation, do not fret, as we are sending them in waves due to the sheer number of those that applied. This process may take some time yet and is also dependent on the content that is being tested. We need to ensure that the servers are filled to maximum capacity for the entire duration of the tests but also give everyone an ample chance to access the new content.

The QA team has had its hands full testing all of the following: Diabloceratops, Dilophosaurus, Herrerasaurus, Gateway, Migrations, and Mutations. While we will not be introducing all of the aforementioned in a single update, we have been able to report issues for them as an ongoing effort as opposed to trying to focus on one mechanic only when it’s complete. As mentioned in my last devblog post, the changes to our roadmap allow us to send each mechanic as its complete as its own update.
The diabloceratops sparring mechanic is coming along well. The ability to strafe in combat while other species cannot will bring a new complexity to our combat that hasn’t been touched on before in The Isle. Where some players would run past a target to attack them from the rear, the diabloceratops is able to simply step sideways at decent speed to stop them in their tracks and bring them a swift end. Sparring with another diablo has not been finalized, so I will refrain from going into any further details about it for now.

Dilophosaurus’ hallucination has not been touched on much in other devblogs or shown, but I can confidently say that this has been one of the most enjoyable mechanics to test as of late and I personally believe this mechanic will make it a fan favorite. The current prototype prevents targets from seeing past a certain distance with a fog effect, and also causes temporary dilo AI to spawn and run towards its target before disappearing. This prototype may not be reflective of its complete state, but it is already proving to be very effective in both combat and bringing some much-needed horror elements to the game. It is especially effective at night time and very humorous to witness a player swinging away at a target that isn’t there.

Herrerasaurus’ climbing and “divebomb” attack is the most complete of the new species mechanics. Taking the pteranodon’s clinging to a whole new level, the ability to climb up almost any surface and drop down onto unsuspecting prey has been thrilling to experience. The attack scales with both the velocity of the character and the size of the herrerasaurus, allowing for some fun interactions. As this attack requires a fair bit of planning and skill to pull off, it will definitely need further balancing to ensure that it’s both rewarding but also not being overpowered. Currently, I believe that an adult herrerasaurus will be able to instantly kill an adult dryosaurus with a far enough fall, and deal a large amount of damage to an adult omniraptor. We will be playtesting this further in stress testing to find the best values though.

Gateway and migrations will introduce a far more interesting experience to all of our characters, humans included. With different biomes to explore and a plethora of POIs, no two places look the same. There are areas that have been exclusively made for creatures of various sizes, including but not limited to juvenile sanctuaries that can be used as a safe haven from the much larger species on the island. Migrations pushing the different species around the island in a controlled manner will also help to deter issues such as megapacking that plague Spiro.

Finally, mutations have brought in a mechanic that could make every single lifecycle a different experience for the player. Being able to adjust your character’s statistics, characteristics, and attune them to the various environments in the game has been very intriguing so far. For example, if you enjoy living in a coastal environment away from all the chaos in the denser areas of the island, you could find that performing certain actions there would allow you to drink from the nearby saltwater. There are many other mutation options that will be available with the mechanic's release and I hope you look forward to discovering more for yourself. This system will play a vital role with introducing Elders to the game, rounding out the dinosaur’s mechanics and gameplay loop as a whole.

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