📰 Isle DevBlog #47

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Filipe - Lead Programmer
Hello everyone. This month I don't have much to say that you guys don't know already. For the most part, it was a busy Hordetesting month. If you have been following you know we released a lot of bug fixes and quality of life changes. We also managed to stress test the server and noticed some performance caused by the nuances of some AI's logic and the navmesh. The good news is that when testing only player capabilities, we managed to reach 140/150 slots with a stable server, no hitches and no rubberbanding, which is great even without AI. It means we are doing it right and all the changes and improvements being implemented so far are giving us results and we can continue working more on that front.

Besides all that, work continued as normal with several tests and experimentations on the burrowing side. I know I mentioned this before, but this stage of deciding what to do and how to burrow is important. There are pros and cons in all systems that we tried, but we need to be sure what is going to be done in regards to scalability of the system, how fun it is, replication and of course, performance on both client and server.

There has also been lots of progress on the Tyrannosaurus, especially the crush ability and all the possible situations it can trigger. Hopefully that will be finished soon so I can move to the next mechanics designed for it.

Migrations. The current method known as "Species Migration" calls all players of a species to a specific zone and will be reduced in frequency. There will be a rare "Mass Migration" event which is similar to species migration, but this affects an entire server. There are also individual "Patrols" which more commonly affect individual players and their groups to keep players moving around organically. This should allow for better interactions, more time for exploration, and server configurations. This will have server config tweaking (or you can turn the whole system off).

Work continues as normal. Stay safe!


Ariel - Programmer
This month I kept working on diablo, which mostly involved bug fixes and some background changes to make the sparring interactions more stable across clients. I also added a slightly different version of the primary attack that is triggered when standing in place, looking downwards and pressing LMB.

I also made some progress on the stego's power swing ability. One of the hurdles I ran into was the tail swing, for example making contact with another dinosaur's tail before hitting its body. This would result in dealing damage based on only the tail hit, which of course had to be fixed. I looked at a few different approaches, but in the end found one that gives the result you'd expect and can be applied to other attacks as well. The carno's charge had some similar issues in the past, but now I was able to apply the new system to improve it. Some other abilities might benefit as well, but it's generally not as noticeable on most of them. All in all the ability is coming along nicely, just needs some finishing touches, testing and balancing and it should be good to go.

I've also been hard at work fixing various bugs, both for the upcoming update and smaller ones that will make their way on the live branch later so they have time to be tested to make sure they don't break something else. One more change I've managed is setting up the moving scent for the herbivores. Their animations had to be set up and we took this opportunity to also change the animation system a little to prevent some of the odd head bobbing they were doing. That's really it for this month, I hope all of you are enjoying the game while we're wrapping this update up.


VisualTech48 - Environmental Artist
This month was adjusting some performance issues on older props. These are mostly quality of life improvements and carefully curated changes to the props and in a few rare cases, a recreation. There is also the addition of three new pieces to the environment, some of which will begin referencing some of the more obscure props that have been made primarily for lore.

First was the weapons locker built around the weapons you can find on the island. It's a simple half-modular system that has been a blast to make. Unfortunately, no guns can be found in them yet.

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The new buoy will soon be dotting along the bays and other areas of the island, solar powered but most definitely not transmitting anything. In fact, forget they were there at all.

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Many of Apollo's machines run on fuel. These gas pumps can be found in all refueling areas. Make sure that you have your keycard or the system won't work.

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That is it for now, see you next month!


Frederic - 2D/3D Artist
Long time no see. I hope you've been enjoying the skin system because we've been cooking up some more that you'll all be able to have fun with soon. We've been working for a while now on making tertiary skins to add to our playable roster, trying to make new and exciting patterns for you to bedazzle and show off to your groupmates, enemies, and other island inhabitants. And by we, I mean not just Tapwing and I, but we also recently brought back some previous talent to help with all these skins: The vastly talented artist, Marty.

We hope you enjoy the sneak peek to some of the tertiary patterns below:

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Bonus:
"It's great to be back painting new patterns for people to enjoy in game. It was a lot of fun back then and it's just as much fun now to see others put their own spin on them with the color system." – Marty


hypno - QA Lead
This month QA's focus has once again been on bug testing the QoL patch, making use of all of the community bug reports that have been sent in so far. Thank you very much to those of you who have been providing those and feedback on our horde testing branch!

That being said, when we have been testing the new content for our upcoming Diabloceratops update, we have been running into some very strange issues. You may have remembered from my last post about the stretching Psittacosaurus - well, please give a warm welcome to the stretching deer!

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Seriously though, it seems that AI has moved on from flying and stretching is the new thing… because the boar did it too.

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We found that it's possible to cling to a rabbit until it enters a burrow. We also found out that it is a mistake:

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Beipiaosaurus has developed quite a rash since the last update. Zombie dinosaurs are not a thing.

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And Diabloceratops was throwing people around with its mind for a while there:

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Thankfully, I can confirm that all of the aforementioned issues were fixed and since then we've made some really great progress towards this update. Diabloceratops' sparring mechanic is still undergoing some fairly large work including animation and stat refinements. Once that is complete then we'll be able to get it into your hands.

I wanted to take the rest of this blog to cover some of the larger gameplay concerns that haven't been addressed for a little while and to quickly go over some other information.
We are aware that a large majority of Gateway is still under-utilized by players and looking at solutions for this. Filipe's section covers the expansion of the migration system which should help in that regard, but it should also be noted that some of these areas have been internally dedicated as being more human-focused and purposely left untouched for now.

  • Comparatively, some areas in Gateway still remain to be hotspots (I'm looking at you East Plains) that will have further adjustments made to deal with their issues.
  • Mutations are mostly done now and their balance has been adjusted. These will need to be tested in a larger scale environment to get a better idea of how they will play out – I expect this to be introduced in the horde test after the upcoming public patch.
  • Eating has always been finicky in Evrima due to ragdolls not replicating to each client correctly. There have been some internal discussions on how this can be improved. One idea that we're considering is allowing more leniency on the area a corpse can be interacted with and even making the player's character automatically walk over to where the server believes the corpse to be, and begin eating it. With something like this, gone are the days of having to wiggle until you find the sweet spot that lets you eat from a corpse.
  • Much like how we will be introducing the global growth modifier for server owners, we are currently discussing the possibility of adding other modifiers (such as adjusting health/stamina/nutrient etc) regen rates to further customize your experiences.
  • Mega/mix packing is something that still unfortunately affects most servers that do not impose rules. We have been discussing a solution internally that can't quite yet be discussed but should be known is being looked into thoroughly.
  • There are various minor improvements to existing systems in the works. A fair number of players had difficulties thrashing corpses, so tweaks are in the works for things like that. (Tapping E three times to open the corpse, for example.)
Lastly, thank you to those who read my post last month and applied for a position on the QA team. Applications have now been read and those that were successful have been reached out to. If you were not successful this time, please do not hesitate to apply again in the future.


KissenKitten - Producer
Gonna be short and sweet. Thank you to everyone that helped us during hordetesting! I think most of the team has covered the bulk of what we've been up to. For myself, while hordetesting has been underway, I've been bringing in some new talent. The animation team has grown yet again to more than half a dozen strong now. Which is going to assist greatly in pumping out more playables. Since we all know that's what everyone really wants. Can't say I blame you at this point. There are also going to be some map additions added in here and there that you should be looking out for. One area in particular is known to be a breeding ground for a select species. Overall this month has just been a lot of bug fixes and testing. Nothing too exciting by our standards. Mutations, migration expansion, tertiary skins, sound traps, expanded AI creatures, diabloceratops, tyrannosaurus, triceratops, maiasaura, pteranodon, gallimimus, stegosaurus, omniraptor, humans and more are in unequal parts being worked on to provide you with an ever richer experience in the game. I'm very curious to see what server owners do with the expanded controls though. Lets see which of you out there can create the best ecosystems. That's all for now. Hopefully we'll do a bit of show and tell soon. No promises though. Be good to each other!

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