Last week’s blog focused on our new skydome, which allows our artists to really push stylization with shape and color exploration. @NKDenthorn did a stellar job programming in the skydome feature because I, @TheCamboRambo, was able to pull off some slick color combinations for the environment and I am no artist. Really… check out my sweet “Seed” concept art if you think I am kidding.
Now that we have this feature, what’s next? More biomes of course! If you have been playing TUG since the old terrain generation tech, you’ll notice that there are a few biomes missing in our current build. The good news is that @input_output_7 and @x_nekochu_x is working hard to get them all back in. They were temporarily removed because it required some rework for the new terrain generation tech.
Warning! The updated biomes will break game your games saves once we have it in. We tried our best to avoid this but the biome generation code has changed significantly.
With this new update we have reworked our generation system. While a lot of these biomes will look familiar and others are being brought back from some of our older generations, the big change you will see is biomes of proper size! Gone are the tiny deserts or the smattering of trees from one biome in the middle of the other. You will see vast plains, large arid sands and polar regions tucked away in the mountains.
This update also gives us much better control over the restrictions of biome regions. What this means is that we are able to control which biome occurs next to another. So no more snowy mounds in the middle of a desert! Unless that’s your thing…
Finally one more little addition that will come out of this update is a one to one for material gathering. We’re opening up the floodgates and now when you dig a particular rock pattern, you can expect to get resources of that rock to place back into the world. There will still be cobblestone and other unique patterns but now you’ll be able to build with the cliff rocks and granite that has previously been unavailable in survival mode.
Now feast your eyes on some biomes!
Check out our latest ‘In The Works’ video of the new skydome tech and art revamp tease. The art update is still very early but we are moving towards that direction!
Cambo checking out
Good afternoon everyone! @Cambo here to give you a quick brief on what’s happening in the studio.
The last patch focused primarily on adding content and on-going tech progress. We added magic spells, critter taming and breeding, and a nifty shield for blocking. However, we had to switch gears these past few weeks to focus on the big tech stuff so don’t expect much content for the next patch. Our artists are still slamming away creating assets but they won’t be in until we have the systems ready.
Oh yea, we had a group of students from RL Turner High School AMAT program visit us this week for a field trip. A few of our team gave them a presentation on the realities of working in a game studio. I wish we had this type of field trip back in my day. Instead, all I got was a trip to the rock museum *no offense to geologist*.
So whats in the haps? The dedicated server is progressing. We are also revamping our creative mode user interface to make it more user friendly with item filters and utilizing CEGUI. We started our modular tool system which will allow you to mix and match resources for crafting tools. There’s been a lot of progress on the terrain tech and hopefully we can bring back the older biomes in the next few iterations.
Today, I have an early look of our revamped SkyBox that @NKDenthorn is working on. It’s something some gamers might not appreciate. Just imagine playing Skyrim with static clouds that never move or change forms. You may as well just run around looking at your feet.
Our current SkyBox is rendering a static cloud image, placed on a moving plane above you. This gives you the illusion that the clouds are moving but the clouds are flat. The moving plane helps with the immersion but will look warped when you look at a distance. This perspective issue is more noticeable when you are looking into the horizon.
Our revamped SkyBox now has generated clouds, a moon, and a sun that revolves around the player on a hemisphere. Possibly even planets too, yea? This will help with your perspective when you are looking into the distance. The best part is that our artists are able to customize pretty much anything in the sky.This will allow them to have creative freedom for the environment and fine tune things on the fly.
Disclaimer: @NKDenthorn wants to let you know he is no artist so forgive him for these poor examples.
@NKDenthorn will write a future tech blog once we get closer to releasing the new SkyBox.
The past few weeks have been extremely busy for me, so I did not have a chance to bring out some new “In The Works” footage for everyone.
It’s been awhile since we’ve done a tech blog, so I decided to write about what you can expect from our Phase 2 Multiplayer: Dedicated Server. I’ll even post some super high-definition renders of the advanced console interface that Josh (@JoshuaBrookover) has been working on!
So what do we mean when we say “Dedicated Server”? We already have the ability to host servers now, right? While we do have the ability to host servers now, the person hosting must be a player in the game and also be running the full version of the game in order to allow players to connect. This makes it very problematic to host a stand-alone server on a computer and just have clients connect at their leisure.
When we say “Dedicated Server” we are referring to the game running in a much reduced form (no graphics, gui, sounds, etc) than needed when actually playing the game as a seed in the world. The dedicated server is a stand-alone application that manages only what is necessary to maintain the state of the game, but does not process any systems that only a player would need. One of the biggest things we gain from this is that it will allow player count on a server to increase! This is the dedicated server:
(Figure 1: Server running and ready to be used, work in progress)
The dedicated server does not create a standard window like you’d expect with most of your programs, but runs as a console program. No graphics libraries are loaded or utilized; it doesn’t play any sounds, and there is no server player.
We use a console library called PDCurses to give us a clean-cut interactive console at runtime. It has an input area for the server owner to type commands, as well as some advanced stats across the top so at a glance you see what’s going on with your server. Each statistics box can be changed to show any other stat.
(Figure 2: Shows command input and statistic changes, work in progress)
This console will provide a lot of useful information, showing when a player joins/leaves, viewing the in-game chat, and seeing any useful debugging or warning information from the engine or Lua.
Logging is a large part of running your own server that you aren’t always keeping an eye on. Everything from system information to chat messages that pop up in the console will also be logged to a file that is specified by your configuration file. This log can provide very useful information to server owners allowing them to diagnose problems or view player’s chat logs.
So what does the dedicated server give us? With the dedicated server, a player can run a TUG server with their own hardware or service. This also gives hosting companies the ability to host game servers for the public. The dedicated server is completely configurable from a single file that allows whomever is hosting the TUG server to specify information such as number of players, maximum allowed view distance, networking ports and other useful configuration parameters as seen in the image below:
(Figure 3: Dedicated Server Configuration File, work in progress)
Our hope is that we can give any server host the ability to run TUG servers, and as we continue to improve on the Eternus Engine and TUG, be able to give them more and more capabilities with their game!
Keep in mind that we are still working on the dedicated server and we may choose to add or change some features that are seen here as we develop further. There is still a lot to do! Feel free to follow me on twitter @camfergusondfw or stop by our forums to ask any questions you may have about the dedicated server!
Ahoy! Enjoy fun, hunting KIDS! ALL THE KIDS! Goat kids… ya creeps. This update brings breeding and taming to the world of The Uncanny Gerbils, along with a few sparkly bits with teh magicks… magic? magik? idk. Keep in mind, that everything you are seeing in game now is not final, but does give us a chance to see how things impact the overall experience and performance of the game. Of course, if something is not to your liking in a current iteration you can always, ya know… mod it.
Expect a lot more focus on content for the next couple of releases, while we start to work on the design and early development of the engine move over to openGL, so we can hit much lower machine specs and get the game out there in the hands of more players. Along with this, dedicated servers are ALMOST done, and you should follow @camfergusondfw for updates on that. Also, hes got this streaming bug right now, so you can also poke him on stream on occasion here.
We have made some big progress since we started this project way back in Kickstarter, and have gotten a lot of support from all of you, fellow developers, and even financial partners. Its been absolutely overwhelming to be able to take our project this far and have an opportunity to take it beyond what we initially thought we could accomplish. We have big plans and big support, and we are anxious to show you guys what we have up our sleeves.
OH! And big congratz to our Art Director @inkmech, who just had a beautiful, healthy baby girl! Well, he didn’t have a baby, that’d be weird… but you know what I mean.
As usual, rage @brennanpriest42
For leaks of things that make the devs cringe, cause I have a problem follow me here @inoritewtf
And if you think we need CorgiGoats for REALS, yell @x_nekochu_x
Update announces can be found here @theuntitledgame
And general geekery stuffs around TUG development can be found here @nerdkingdom
Welcome to your first session of Animal Husbandry 101, or as we like to call it in TUG, Critter Taming & Breading, err Breeding!
I’m sure by now you’ve noticed those little saber cubs and their overprotective mothers and thought to yourself, “Gee I wish I had one of those cute little furballs”. Well friend, I’m here to tell you that your dream and so much more can come true!
Hi, @X_Nekochu_X here with an amazing new product from the makers who brought you alchemy, apothecary, magic and let us not forget shield! Introducing Critter Taming! With Critter Taming you’ll be able to coerce saber cubs and goat kids away from their mothers and make them your very own pet! How is this possible you say? The researchers at TUG labs have been hard at work on producing the sweetest treats that no baby critter can resist. Mom and baby will come running when you place the right kind of edible in your hand and lure them to your side with a delectable and savory snack.
Once you have their attention, simply feed a few morsels to a baby critter to earn their undying loyalty and they will follow by your side. (Warning, edibles fed to wild moms are not guaranteed to earn their trust!) Congratulations! You’ve just tamed your first pet! But pet ownership requires a lot of responsibility, pets can die or be killed in unfortunate ways so it may not be wise to take them on all of your journeys. What’s a responsible pet owner to do? Well as a limited time offer, each pet you tame also comes with the basic set of commands to follow and stay! Simply interact with your pet with an open hand and your new pet will listen to your orders and either stay where you command them or follow you to the ends of the eart…um terrain generation! (Terrain generation in TUG is procedural and does not have a true end that can be calculated at this time.)
Pets are fun but we all want to see our babies grow up now and then and what better way to have even more babies through breeding your new charges with one another! Through the science of TUG, all baby pets are conditioned to be forever babies and will not automatically go through the awkwardness of puberty. You’re welcome! For those proud pet owners that do want to raise a family, a certain magical concoction is available through apothecary that can aid in this goal. (Warning, it is strongly advised that use of any magical concoctions should only occur after proper consultation with a medical professional.)
After administration of the proper medicinal stimulants, it will take some time for your pet to grow up into its full adult form. Take them on walks during this time and discuss important life lessons you wish to impart and soon you’ll find your pet maturing into a full grown companion. Now is the season for love and breeding! Two companions of the same type can be tempted to make a baby by offering the same food you tamed your pets with. When companions are in love, they’ll make babies! Oh the joys you will have by becoming an owner of a beautiful family of pets!
The world of pet ownership is at your fingertips with TUG, buy..err, call..umm, Play now! Oh yea, don’t forget to check out our latest ‘In The Works’ video!
Until next time!
– John @X_Nekochu_X
Good evening folks!
The team has been really busy since our last patch, due to more new systems being added. The magic spells are coming along nicely and we also have pet/breeding in the works! That’s right! You’ll be able to have a pet tag along with you if you’re too afraid to gather resources at night. We can’t promise your pet won’t be catnip though.
A dedicated server is being worked on as well, but it will be a while before I can report back on it. It is a lot of work and @camfergusondfw daily nerd raging behind me, confirms it. You guys should tweet him some hugs and high fives to cheer him on. Ha!
Now let’s talk about shields, shall we? The first shield introduced is our crude bamboo shield. We have designed the shield to your arm slot rather than holding it in your hands. This will keep your hands free for other interactions in-game. Some of you may prefer handheld shields and that’s perfectly fine. The ability to mod in handheld shields is possible for any modders. The power is all yours when it comes to customization.
At this current stage, the shield is purely an on/off sort of defense. You can equip it anytime but can only be used while holding a weapon. You’ll simply have to right mouse click to initiate a block then hold it to use. Holding down that button to block will use up your stamina so be sure to use wisely!
You’re probably wondering if you’ll be invincible, once you have that shield up, right? NOPE! Blocking can prevent some physical and a percentage of ranged damage as your shield will soak up the damage to its durability. Your shield will break if it takes too much damage, without the durability to hold up. Higher tier shields will have more durability as you progress through the ages.
Remember this is all still early as TUG is an early alpha title. Some things can change with time as we develop the game further.
The first episode of NK Cribs is out today! We really dig all the creative builds we have seen so far on Steam and twitter. Building massive structures in TUG survival mode is no easy task so we want to start showcasing YOUR creations in the series. Are you a creative person who likes to build massive builds? You can easily send us your creation for a chance to be showcased in the NK Cribs series.
Simply zip your save folder and send it to [email protected] for more information. You game saves can be found in your %appdata% folder (ex. “%AppData%Nerd KingdomTUGSaves”)