📰 Isle DevBlog #46

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FTessaro - Lead Programmer
This month I've been pretty busy working on several different tasks, discussing changes and what comes next. A lot has been done with internal core code in order to improve server performance and use less data. I don't expect this to suddenly allow for more slots, but it's more like a "drop by drop we may fill a glass" type of thing. Meanwhile I also worked on several quality of life changes and improvements, some of which I will list at the end of my post.

As expected, more work was done on Mutations, with more being implemented and the new design that unified the "lifecycle" and "lifestyle" mutations with the introduction of "unlocking" new mutations depending on what the player does during their life. Once unlocked that mutation can be chosen through the various stages of life.

Rex's ability received more attention and new animations for each stage of life, now it is just a matter of making sure all animations work on all stages with the respective balance values.

I know some of you want news on Dryo´s burrow, but I can't share many details about that right now. We want to expand the design, but for that we need to make sure it will work without causing major problems, such as development delays or server performance issues. So this is being slowly tested as low priority in the background.

I also worked on updating the Weather System with several improvements and bug fixes. Fixed the Physics foliage system that has been broken since we upgraded to Unreal Engine 5, now it works with options in settings to disable it if desired. Pounce improvements and fixes. Dilo Hallucinations AI improvements. Carry/Drag logic and improved the Physics Doors and much more. The list of bugs fixed for the next patch is going to be huge.


List of some QoL things done with even more to come:
  • Allow diets to refill closer to full
  • Serialization of SpecMode data, so it is lighter and doesn't cause server performance issues.
  • Reduced by half volume and distance for crouched footsteps and fixed a footstep issue causing crouch/walk to sound much louder.
  • Allow both Herbis and Carnis to be able to scent if walk/trotting
  • Adjusted eating/drink camera lock angle (from total 40 degrees to 90 degrees, centered)
  • Anti-Cheat improvements.
  • Working on an unstuck command for players
  • Allow pounce from behind
  • Allow pounce on high pitch angles (slopes)
  • Add Previous and Next buttons for the "random" skin feature.
  • Lunge bigger targets if both are swimming (such as adult Stego)
  • Cancel Carry if using HeadButt while carrying something in your mouth
  • Give Server owners options to enable/disable mutations - We also added option to enable/disable each mutation as needed and their effect values
  • Give Server owners options to enable/disable specific AIs
  • Give Server owners option to enable/disable random Weather
  • Give Server owners option to increase/decrease general growth rate
For now that is all I can talk about. See you!


Ariel - Programmer
This month I've been focusing most of my attention on the Diablosaurus, implementing some of its missing or unfinished abilities, fixing bugs and polishing its mechanics and animations. I also made some changes based on our internal testing, like putting them into the locked together sparring position with basically any attack if they hit each other from the front, so players can activate it without having to meet specific conditions. Diablos also have the ability to push each other if they perform a running attack from the side, this was now expanded upon so that players can chain this into a flip attack or the pushed Diablo can also defend itself now. I also added a new attack which can be activated when looking to the side or behind you in sparring mode. This works similarly to directional attacks, hitting in the direction of the camera and quickly turning the character that way.

I made good progress on sparring as well. The previous setup had some issues if both players were trying to move, so I came up with a solution that improves their movement by taking into account the input of both players. In a networked environment this can be difficult, but I was able to make it work while using very little additional data. I also set up some new animations to make the mechanic more visually interesting and also set up the stamina system. So for example if both players are trying to push each other with equal force they will stay in place, but play animations that show them struggling and their stamina will also drop gradually.


Tapwing - 2D Artist
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Time to revisit another dino that missed out on getting a sketch sheet. Stegosaurus!

The goal with this one was to showcase some of the new animations that's being worked on for stegosaurus, hence the 'dragged down and ripped up'/'pounced to pinned' scene and the tail up attack stance that'll make that tail swing feel extra mean.

The other scenes are more atmospheric than anything, the slow n steady travel or just sunning when you have some calm in your life.

Stego's life is a slower paced one with high tension moments when tenacious hunters find your group.
Also, something that I didn't initially plan while editing the nature sketches rough draft but was a happy accident I then leaned into is, if you put the scenes in the right order, you get a little stego story.
Besides the nature sketches, I've been reworking the 'cloning tank' promotional art that was painted some time back. The tanks themselves got some proper 3D models made with design improvements and it was my job to then integrate those models into the poster art and give them a good paint-over to blend them into the original painting.

It's an improvement from the first draft for sure. Now all it needs is something in the tank.


Wedge - Sound Designer
This month my main focus has been creating new designs for Tyrannosaurus calls. This had proved a challenge in relation to respecting both the 'legacy' of the sounds created for this creature (across all Dino media) and finding my own take, whilst also reaching a contemporary level of quality and realism for this animal.

I've been experimenting with various sources and approaches to the sound and have landed on a good base for the elements that make up the body of its sounds in terms of its growls, roars and bellows etc. - i.e the foundation. I'm now working on finding the right sound for the high end, the element that makes up the quintessential T Rex roar that we all recognize, without resorting to the path most traveled.

Aside from the Rex I also created a new sound for Dryo's basic attack, previously it was using the same sound as the pain, and with my attention very rarely being put towards Dryo had gone untouched. The new sound now better represents the closed mouth motion of its peck like basic attack.

I have also edited and implemented new sounds for the baby variants of boar, goat and deer, including calls to locate them, and pain, death and pinned screams/vocals.

The rest of the past month has been spent on investigating issues related to audio stuttering from voice limits being reached and other general audio bug fixes to come with the impending patch. One that I think many will be glad to hear and has plagued me for months (perhaps years!) is finally finding a fix to a bug related to medium sized Dinosaur footsteps being unreliably inaudible as the listener (being heard as walk instead of sprint by other players).

Seiza - Video Editor
My focus in the last few weeks has been on two video projects.

A trailcam project showing an upcoming species in its natural behavior, the Diabloceratops.

This project also includes one of my most complex scenes so far in terms of filming effort. Most people who read my blog entries know that I record 95% of the scenes in the UE sequencer. There I move the actors, add the animations (or animate small parts myself with control rigs) and adjust the camera settings.

In this project you will see a scene that is very dynamic and works with many spar animations of the Diablo. It should represent both the hectic process that we know from the in-game experiences, but still look natural. I hope we have achieved the goal in this project!

The second project is currently in the filming phase, it is a cinematic trailer about all the new content that has been added since the last trailer. As mentioned in the last blog entry, we wanted to gather enough content to create a bigger trailer and now it's time! The trailer introduces the map Gateway, the new species and explains the mechanics roughly as usual. This will be the first cinematic project on Gateway and you will notice that. I'm still early in the filming phase, but I'd like to give you a little insight into what I mean by that:

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hypno - QA Lead
QA's full focus for March has been exclusively on bug testing new additions. While the next patch will be focused only on the QoL changes Filipe mentioned in his post and bug fixes, a lot of other features are being tested behind the scenes. Given that I do not have much to discuss regarding these just yet, I thought I'd take this moment to share some of the funnier bugs that QA have run into this month.
Amarok has been working on introducing the Psittacosaurus to Evrima in the form of AI. Much like how it could in Legacy, this animal is capable of burrowing underground to escape from predators. This has, of course, introduced lots of wacky interactions that could not have been expected. For example, pinning a Psittacosaurus as it begins to dig underground results in a burrow that never stops growing and (I guess) would end up swallowing the entire server and world as we know it:

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Psittacosaurus AI has also unintentionally gained the ability to stretch like a Fantastic Four member. We will be working on compressing them back into their correct proportions:

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Omniraptors have been feeling threatened as of late by all of the larger species being introduced to the island. In an attempt to prepare against the looming apex threat, they have learned how to blow themselves up like pufferfish:

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That's all from me for now! I'm expecting that next time I'll have more to discuss about upcoming features. I would also like to take this time to mention that I'm looking for additional QA testers. If you are interested in bug testing or you would like to learn more about joining, please do not hesitate to contact me on Discord via direct message. Thanks for reading!


KissenKitten - Producer
The team has been steady cooking up some QOL content and bug fixes interspersed with the daily do.

The psittacosaurus will be making a return at last. Siren singing you towards a taco lunch with their iconic vocals. They should be a bit more dynamic than they were before. Catch them before they dig away and watch out cause they may bite. There's also additional AI that will slowly be skittering into the game including but not limited to rats, crabs (better ones), snails, clams, insects and more. They will be found in various places around the island opening up more opportunities to find food, get nutrients, unlock mutations and more. The island should start feeling more and more alive as time goes on and juvies are gonna have more on their level to interact with so that stage of life doesn't have to feel so rushed, out of necessity.

There are QOL animation adjustments/updates to omniraptor, gallimimus, stegosaurus etc. Also more work was done for diabloceratops' sparring. Keep in mind diabloceratops sparring is going to set the foundations for ALL sparring creatures in the game so we're really being careful with how we set it up, so in the future (mods?) Other animals outfitted with the right animation sets can be slotted in and will function as intended.

The tyrannosaurus and triceratops are still waiting on sparring finalization, which shouldn't be too far off. The goal is to have dynamic combat interaction between the rex and its classic adversary, triceratops. We're trying our best to leave tail riding behind for all parties. So if you're victorious against an equally powerful creature, it will be because you played better and not because you're smaller and have a better turn radius. While the feature is a large undertaking we don't generally shy away from a challenge so if we nail it, it's going to blow your cap back. Diablo testing has been promising so I'm actually starting to get excited for you guys to try it and I never get excited. So that's saying something.

The good mother lizard (Maiasaura) is also in full swing now that its features have been approved. I'll provide some examples fresh off the presses.

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The pteranodon will also be getting some QOL adjustments as we work our way through the current set. There are also some new skins in the works as well as some new models and redesigns for upcoming animals. The map has also been getting more adjustments to make it feel more lived in and provide more places to discover and explore.

Another month down. Hug your loved ones. Catch ya next time!

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