Posted by on December 22nd, 2016

Ahoy!

After a long period of development with TUGv2, under the new engine, internally dubbed “eternus”, we are proud to share the progress we have made so far. Please do keep in mind, that we are building everything from the ground up on our own, to facilitate a lot of unique future goals, so not all systems have been complete. In order to hit our goals for this month, we had to be sure we focussed on systems that made the most sense, to share something today. So be aware that what you see is incomplete, the systems are not final, and we still have a long way to go until it’s “complete” and polished.

As for advancements:

Art: we have FINALLY been able to define visual consistency to work hand in hand with graphics development. And while we are still lacking some general systems like Particle Effects, and proper animation support, to facilitate polish, the general look of the game has really started to define itself.

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Technology: Our team is broken into 3.5 major technology groups internally. Core engine has pushed forward our eternus engine, and lowered the bar to entry for hardware requirements, how much that bar has dropped, is still subject to some negotiation with art and design, but it’s still at least lower than the Dx11 spec as it stands. There is a lot to be said about what the engine does, and can do, but i’ll let Josh speak more to that in an update early next year.

The tools team is a massive change for us from the first iteration of the engine with TUGv1. Not only do they create tools that allow for our own team to develop content faster, but also allow for modders to change parameters within the game with relative ease, and even develop their own tools from an extensible framework. This is also another topic to expect being spoken of early next year.

On infrastructure, the ability to create accounts, upload and distribute mods, and be able to house a growing community of players and creators, we have come a long way. While I KNOW Nathan is going to love digging deep into share the emotional themes behind proper documentation and planning of systems, we will be sure he tones it down so as to not over excite himself (does sarcasm read well in blog form?)

And about half of the gameplay team is building systems that sit somewhere between gameplay, and core engine team. Little bits that give the game a great quality of life, that people may not fully get the implications of, until it’s revealed to them. Stuff like persistence of “simulated” data (what happens when off screen”, logic and power stuff, and even object datas and interactions.

On design and the other half of gameplay, it’s been all about making sure tools, and engine are supported so we can accomplish various goals. For now, lots of SYSTEMS are working, and we now have a chance to play and iterate to make the game “fun”. Lots of work still goes into narrative and mythos consistency, defining the “laws of nature” within the world, and the general approach to learning of complex systems is also a thing, but at this point it comes with a great deal more focus.

On the topic of communication, both recent, and going forward, I accept full personal responsibility for how things have been handled to date. The process of game development, and more so, software development, is a difficult enough thing to maintain internally as a group, and a great deal more consideration should have been taken from migration of our v1 to v2 work. We will ALSO communicate the plan for coms moving forward, early next year, so you know what to expect, and we can be held accountable to it.

While we have been active and responsive to community on various channels (Discord chat, email, NK forums), we have neglected a few outlets for various reasons. However regret does come from lack of communication on our Kickstarter page. It was not considered a community to this point, simply a blog outlet channel, one of MANY, and no proper path was given to alter that outlets means of connecting with the project. This mistake, across a slew of others, were opportunities for us to learn and set a plan of action for communication into the new year. We have a lot of progress to share from this point forward, which will be more consistent.

As for “when the game is going out” to the community, some of you guys are going to be getting it sent to you soon, hopefully by end of week. HOWEVER, it’s not going to everyone, just yet. The first hands on have to be with some of the developers we have in the community, to help us catch some bits, so we can do a better job on supporting our own developers getting the game done. We will roll out launches to various groups within the community, and likely put out some kind of sign up in the next couple of months, to start phasing people in.
On the note of “our future”, we have determined that “paid mods” is not the right thing to do, if for nothing else cultural reasons. However, this doesn’t mean that modders will not be rewarded or compensated, it just means it will be coming from NK. The actual final cost of the game, is a bit up in the air, though do know that we are leaning AWAY from the idea of FTP.

Expect us to make more mistakes moving forward, it’s a process of our getting better, if nothing else, we can at least promise to be transparent with everything (no matter how taboo), and hold ourselves accountable for the decisions we make, and learn from them swiftly.

(no, nobody is paying a penny more for V2 of tug)

xoxo, ino, who still lives in his car.

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Posted by on October 8th, 2015

Hey Everyone!

It’s Cambo again! Since the last update we have been continuing our focus on engine tech planning and settling into our new office. We were hoping to release a patch in September, but that quickly changed as we got settled into our new office.  Let’s just say our devs are not fans of assembling furniture.

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What else did we get done in September?

  • We’ve almost completed a large overhaul of the pick up and looting systems. Many of you have requested that we separate the controls for looting and other actions, so the pick up command is now a separate key press. We’ve also made some distinctions on how placed objects and lootable resources are handled to minimize accidentally picking up crafting stations and decorations. We’ll post more details on these changes during the patch notes.
  • The Crafting Journal will be available in game for those that choose to use it. It logs recipes as you discover them.
  • For all those people with extra junk laying around you wish you could get rid of, we’re introducing a Void Basket soon that will destroy items you throw in it. Hooray for magic trash cans!
  • The world has gotten a little more dangerous as some plants have started developing defensive mechanisms.

There are more improvements and tweaks, but we’ll save that full list for the patch notes. We’re looking forward to seeing your feedback once you see these changes live!

 

 

 

 

The NK family is growing and our newest member is Benjamin. Welcome to the team @5ubtlety!

We are always looking for talented developers to join us, please check out our career page here or send a tweet to our CTO @CoreyClarkPhD

– Cambo out!

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Posted by on August 28th, 2015

Greetings everyone!

It’s Cambo! There is a lot of exciting stuff happening and we’re looking forward to the future. But before we get into that, let’s talk about what we’ve been working on this month.

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  • Launched Alpha 0.8.6 build
  • The crafting journal is almost done and we hope to have it out in the next update
  • The moa is now in it’s animation stage after rigging and model revisions
  • The hunting horn to help train pets is in the works
  • A void basket is in the works. A fancy trash can to throw away unwanted item.
  • Reworked our launcher and fixed some bugs that caused some slowdown
  • The new art style update is still on-going and will continue until we have our new engine update ready. You will start seeing new content using the new art style in our current engine as we will stop creating assets in our old art style soon.
  • We are constantly working on AI improvements and will be adding them to updates as we complete them.
  • Lots of balancing stuff

 

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We’ve been expanding our team size and will be moving to a new studio space next week. Thanks to @brennanpriest42. As an added bonus, we’ll have more hiding spots during our nerf wars. That’s also a reasonable excuse for a larger studio right?

Tech and art style updates are still our current focus. As a result, you may have noticed the lack of work in progress videos. Don’t worry! They will be coming back more frequently once we meet our tech and art milestones. Better yet, the new office will have space for a dedicated live stream room.

September plan

  • The big move to our new studio and settle in
  • New build update
  • Planning and documentation for the new engine upgrades

We also want to welcome Jake, Tyson, and Michael to the NK family! Feel free to send them a tweet anytime!

We are hiring developers so please check out our career page here or send a tweet to our CTO @CoreyClarkPhD

Have a wonderful weekend!

-Cambo

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Posted by on July 31st, 2015

Happy Friday everyone! Cambo here.

July is coming to an end and we have some good news and some not so good news. I’ll start with the good news. We are play testing for the next update and will release it in roughly one week. The not so good news is that we’ve upped the game saves again and your previous saves will not work with the new update. This is due to some necessary tweaks to our biome system. You can tweet your rage to @camfergusondfw

Here’s a quick breakdown on what you can expect in the Alpha 0.8.6 patch.

  • Placement snapping
  • Specialized Containers
  • Equippable Helmets
  • Adult bear ram
  • Pet system improvements
  • AI Improvements
  • Dyes can be crafted and combined with clay to make colored clay brick voxels
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What else is in the works? The crafting journal is coming along but it will not make this update. Lots of engine tech and R&D involved. In addition, the art style update is still on-going and keeping our art team slammed. We are also in the process of moving to a new studio location soon too. A new battleground for nerf wars!

We are ramping up and hiring full-time game programmer positions in the Dallas area.

More details here

If you missed it, check out the latest in the works for equippable helmets

Cheers!
– Cambo

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Posted by on July 9th, 2015

Greetings everyone!

I’ll keep this one short, promise! This is a week late but I really wanted to write a brief wrap-up for June. It was a busy month filled with nonstop play testing, bug fixes, and nerf wars. We launched Alpha 0.8.5 a few weeks ago but we didn’t stop there. We’re constantly on the grind at Nerd Kingdom, so what comes after an update for us?

After patch monitoring

While we extensively test our own patches in-house, after any release we make sure to monitor user activity to see if you all come across anything we didn’t. It’s fairly standard for game studios to keep an eye on bug reports and rage comments to make sure the patch went smoothly. This means we are ready to look into and do our best to fix any major reported bugs. We have been pretty good so far *knocks on wood*.

Planning

We revisit our existing plans after each patch cycle to see how (or if) we want to reprioritize any upcoming features or systems. After that, we break the work into sets of smaller goals that can generally be done in smaller internal milestones known as Sprints. No, this does not mean we are going to race around the office. Our public releases typically occur after 2-3 Sprints; this length can be longer or shorter depending on what we’re trying to get out (and what bugs we encounter).

What we are working right now

Here’s a nice little list for you. We will go over these in detail for our future blogs.

  • Crafting Journal
  • Adult Bear Ram
  • Equippable Helmets
  • More Modular Tools
  • Specialized Containers
  • Improvements to pet system
  • NK Launcher improvements (non-steam client)
  • Placement Snapping
  • Resource Variations
  • Super long term stuff
  • Lots of engine tech R&D
  • Art style update

We are committed to making TUG a unique and fun game for you. Give us some time and we will keep you updated as we move forward.

In the meantime, check out the latest “In The Works” episode.

Cambo Out!

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Posted by on May 28th, 2015

Greetings everyone!

These past few weeks have been super busy for the team. We have been working on adding new features, tech improvements, and more content. The new stuff you saw in our “In the Works” videos are in place and we’re just working on the best part now, bug fixing!

So what have we been working on since the last update?

The most anticipated feature ever – functional doors!

 

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You can now craft Crude and Wood Doors for your builds. Modding in your own doors is super simple. All you have to do is just add our “door.lua” script to your door object schematic.

SkyDome

Our revamped SkyDome now has generated clouds, a moon, and a sun that revolves around the player on a hemisphere. We just added a feature that allows the sky to transition between biomes. You’ll notice darker clouds and fog in swampy areas while the rolling hills is filled with blue skies.

 

Body Morph & Growing to a Teen Seed

Still an early prototype of the system but we wanted to get this out for you to play with. Food consumption will now impact your body weight. How about growing? That will depend on your crafting activity.

 

Biomes Update

There are two new biomes added, Red Cliffs and Bedrock. Five previous biomes were improved but we’ll list the details in the patch notes once we’re ready.

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Creative Mode Rework

Let’s not forget about creative mode! You have a new UI to play with and the option to switch to survival interaction.

 

New crafting stations and recipes

The artisan workbench and the loom were added without any bugs *fingers crossed*. This includes new recipes and resources to go along with them.

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These are just the few things we are working on that will be released in the next update. We are working on larger systems too but not much can be said until we make more progress.

You’re probably wondering when the next patch is coming and we don’t blame you. We don’t have a set date because play testing and bug fixing can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks. We’re aiming early June if everything goes smoothly and @input_output_7 stops breaking code.

For those of you who gave us a heads up about our launcher issues, thank you! @JoshuaBrookover is on it and we’ll be making some changes to resolve the issues. We don’t have a time frame yet but he’s been working on it since it was reported.

Cheers!

-Cambo Out

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