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 September 24th, 2015

Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s a flying dessert?

Hey folks! Time for another new face: Flying3.14 is the name, full stack is the game. I wandered in a few months ago and have been banging on things behind the scenes; recently, I’ve been  focusing on the user experience of the new modding system that Maylon introduced us to last blog, Devotus.

Access to this new mod system comes in two parts: a web portal and the game launcher. This blog will be focusing on the development of the web portal which will facilitate mod creation, versioning, and multi-author management. We’ll go over how to create a mod with Devotus, upload the source to GitHub, how to tag that code as your first version, and download the mod for the first time!

To create a mod, users must have both a Nerd Kingdom and GitHub account. After providing some basic information about the mod, the front end sends the create request while the user is free to browse the rest of the portal. On the backend, Devotus is busy creating the GitHub repo and preparing the customizable marking page. After a few moments the mod is created, a push notification is sent to the user and the new mod is available from the My Mods page.

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All mods are created with an empty git repository, just waiting for awesome code. To add source to your project you’ll need to clone the repo and commit as usual. If you are new to git or GitHub, here is a resource to get you started. Helpful links such as the mod’s GitHub page can be found on the Management page. Here you can edit the basic info entered earlier, add authors, add dependencies, add media, and publish updates.

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As explained in the last blog, one of the common problems we wanted to solve was mods with multiple authors. The Authors tab within the Management page allows you to add multiple authors, and Devotus will do the footwork to make sure GitHub knows who can access the repository.

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Once everyone is on board and pushed their code, the Versioning tab will help you tag your release. Updates are made simply by creating a tag on any commit in the master branch. You can do this by visiting the GitHub Tags & Releases page via a link located in the Versioning tab. The tag must be formatted like so: vX.X.X-release. In most cases Devotus will be listening for these tags and will automatically start building the new download package in the background. In the event a manual check of the tags needs to be made, a link is provided in the Versioning tab.

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Once Devotus is finished creating the download package, the status in the Management portal will update, and a ‘Test Download’ link will be available. Wa-lah! A single .zip package that contains your mod! Soon the Launcher will be collecting these, installing and managing the updates automagically!

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Each mod comes with a marketing page that can be customized using the Nerd Kingdom Page Editor.  Share this page with players and followers on social media to give a detailed insight into what your mod provides. This tool is found on the Management page and runs off the same media and information provided throughout the portal. Change the look and feel through the theme menu, and add images or YouTube videos in the media manager. Entire new sections can be added containing multiple types of content including lists and tabs, allowing you to fully explain the features and usage of your mod. We believe by providing modders with an easily customizable interface to reach players, each mod’s presence can be a little larger than the typical profile page on a mod management service. To try out the Nerd Kingdom Page Editor head over to the ExampleMod page where you can fiddle to your heart’s desire.

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The frontend is still a work in progress, but it demonstrates the direction modding is heading, and we are excited about all the opportunities that brings.

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Posted by on September 17th, 2015

Everybody!

Maylyon here with a new blog!  If you just rushed to your “Nerd Kingdom Trading Cards” deck and didn’t find me there, don’t fret; I joined the Kingdom in March and have been quietly working behind the scenes as the Lead Infrastructure Developer.  (On a side note, if those cards don’t exist, we should change that … .)

One of the things that has impressed me the most since joining the company is the perseverance of the modding community.  You guys have such amazing ideas for ways to enhance or improve the gameplay of TUG, but the journey from “concept” to “deployment” seems fraught with needless perils:

  1. How can we have multiple collaborators working on the same mod?
  2. How can we manage changes to the mod over time?
  3. How can users report issues with the mod in a coherent and cohesive fashion?
  4. How can we deploy mods to the end users?
  5. How can we trust those end users to know:
    1. How to install the mod for use?
    2. How to update the mod when it changes?
    3. How to not blame the author when Nerd Kingdom changes the Eternus API?

The last may be a lost cause, but the answer to most of the other questions right now seems to be “the forums”.  The forums are a great tool for fostering discussion in the community, but they seem like a less-than-ideal fit for the challenges that face a modder.  Towards that end, we are actively working on Devotus!

Devotus will be a mod content distribution pipeline that facilitates the creation and deployment of mod content by the mod authors for the end users.  With Devotus, we hope to allow the modders to focus the majority of their efforts on creating amazing content that pushes the boundaries of what Eternus can handle and stop worrying about the nuts and bolts of deploying a mod.  The rest of this blog will focus on answering, “What does Devotus provide?”  The next tech blog will focus on answering, “How can I use Devotus to be awesome?”

The first step towards admitting that you have a modding problem is registering your mod with Devotus.  When a mod is registered, a blank git repository is created on GitHub; this will be the main home for the mod content that you create.  Utilizing a third party git repository site allows us to leverage a proven implementation without the development time and risks of building our own in-house solution.  Git repositories on GitHub should help mitigate frustrations 1 – 3 above:

  • Multiple authors can be added to the git repository to allow concurrent development efforts (more on the “how” in the next blog) – or not.  You could be sole author on a mod and choose what forked changes you want to propagate upstream into your repository.
  • Git provides revision history so you can track changes over time (often read as: “know who to blame when things break”).
  • GitHub provides mechanisms for users to report issues with a repository, allowing mod authors to receive feedback and bug reports from the community.

I am definitely not providing a comprehensive feature set list of GitHub; if you want more information, hit up their website or contact me at [email protected] and I’ll do my best to address your questions/concerns/loathing.  A few items to note here are:

  • Mod names must be unique within a target game domain in order to combat the chaotic nature of the universe.
  • Mod authors will need a GitHub account and a Nerd Kingdom account to register and manage mods.

Another feature of registering your mod with Devotus is the creation of a GitHub IO page.  This page is yours to brag about … er, explain … your mod to the community at large.  I’ll let the next blog cover the features that are being worked to enable you to create page content highlighting your epicness; I just wanted to provide a teaser to hopefully pique your interest and incentivize you to read the next blog … .

The second step towards admitting that you have a modding problem is publishing mod content for end user consumption.  When you tag your git repository with a release tag in the format “v<Major>.<Minor>.<Revision>-release” (e.g. “v1.1.2-release”), a GitHub webhook will push an update command to the Devotus server that will revise the mod information within Devotus and build a ZIP file of the mod repository contents.  The intent here is that you will perform a trivial action (tagging your repository) and Devotus will take care of the legwork necessary for that content to be available for download by the end users.

One hurdle of publishing mod content that Devotus attempts to mitigate is mod dependency resolution.  Mod authors can indicate that their mod depends on another mod, and Devotus will provide a single download package that contains all the files necessary to use the mod.  This feature could be used to develop content that depends on a utility mod (such as Johny’s “CommonLib”) or to develop a mod collection with a single-click installation ( “DaBoom” that contains all of UFIOES’s mods, including “Thermobarics”).  A limitation here is that the mod that satisfies the dependency must also be registered with Devotus.

The final step in admitting that you have a modding problem is sharing that problem with others!  Tech is planned to incorporate a Devotus browser into the Nerd Kingdom Launcher to mitigate frustrations 4 – 5b above:

  • Mods can be browsed, downloaded, installed, and managed by end users for use in-game.
  • Out of date mods can be identified before loading into a world and experiencing massive amounts of Lua errors!

This tech is the biggest piece of the ultimate goal:  getting a mod into the hands of users.

So that’s it for me rambling about Devotus and scratching the surface of what we are working towards.  @TheCamboRambo suggested that blog readers enjoy pictures.  The backend isn’t visually interesting, but I want to make the audience happy, so I’ll end with this:

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In the meantime, check out the latest NK Cribs video from Josiah!

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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 August 11th, 2015

Hello everyone, Nekochu here!

We’ve got some new stuff: fixes to old stuff and some really bold stuff to be found in this update. First off, we’ve made some changes to how you can place objects in the world. This is really important to me as I want to focus our efforts on making the player experience a top priority going forward. Now when placing objects, you’ll be able to use the V key to turn on grid snapping, making it super easy to line up your objects.

We also have dyes in the game to make your own custom colored bricks. We have a Bear Ram and he is terrifying! We also have a basket to collect your fruit from your gardens for you! There’s much, much more so check the patch notes for all the new things!

You’ll also find a lot of changes to recipe times and the method to crafting certain items. Check out the changes to the cage trap, you can now capture other players! We’ve been making some tweaks to the AI to help them with pathfinding and avoidance. This is all leading up to big future improvements for the AI in the game. Oh did I mention the pets can now guard your camp and protect you in battle? No? Well they do and it is awesome!

Unfortunately, due to the nature of some of the changes we’ve made, previous game saves will not load up with the new update.

As always, follow us [email protected] to keep up with our progress and announcements.

Also, make sure to let us know if you run into any bugs or other issues, and if you have trouble running the game, check out our Steam forums for more details.

Our lead coder does lots of live streaming so follow him [email protected]

And if you have any game questions, give me a shout [email protected]_nekochu_x

If you want to know when indev and release builds arrive, follow [email protected]

Patch 0.8.6
Save Version bump

New Features

  • Glow maps on terrain
  • Helmets are now equippable
  • The bronze necklace is equippable
  • The woven basket is a new container that will automatically gather edible fruit within a small radius of itself
  • Z placement now ignores collision for placement allowing a greater freedom of placement in Survival Mode
  • Z placement can now be toggled to snap to the grid for placement. The default key for this toggle is ‘v’.
  • Snapped grid placement will also apply to Creative object placement tools
  • Mother Bear Ram has arrived and she is not pleased that people have been hunting its cubs
  • Dyes can now be crafted.
  • Dye can be combined with clay to make a colored clay brick voxel. Some dyes can also be mixed with cobblestone.
  • Bamboo trees drop bamboo voxels
  • Creatures can now be placed in Creative Mode

Improvements/Changes

  • Can copy/paste into and out of the main menu text fields
  • Clients should be able to pick up and interact with things with better consistency with normal lag conditions
  • Rebalanced stats of all tools and weapons
  • Added in more variety to existing resources
  • Vine bearing fruit now detaches fully grown fruit
  • Mushroom hands are plantable
  • Many recipes have been rebalanced
  • Adjusted craft times for all items
  • Rebalanced many transmutation recipes requirements and output
  • Repair recipes now restore a smaller portion of durability
  • The requirements to craft the Artisan Workbench have been lowered to only require a Crude Hammer
  • Bronze tools and weapons now require an Artisan Workbench to be crafted
  • Bronze tier tool and weapon parts can now be crafted together in any combination of head and handle
  • The Cage Trap recipe now requires its components to be crafted individually
  • The Cage Trap will craft at the location of its floor component. The trap can no longer be picked up, but it must be broken down and recrafted.
  • Meat can now be cooked with torches
  • Projectiles now follow a more consistent path
  • Return Stones can now be used multiple times before it is used up
  • After using a Return Stone, players may hang in the air briefly before touching down to mitigate falling before the terrain generates underneath them
  • Creature AI has been expanded
  • Taming a pet now requires the player use a Vine Collar on a fully appeased kid/cub
  • If left alone for long enough, Guardian Pets set to stay will begin to slowly wander
  • Guardians now help defend their owner from threats. Cats attack aggressively and Goats attack defensively.
  • Guardian Goats now have a head butt attack
  • When attacked in any state, creatures will now defend themselves or flee
  • Wandering predators will eat their kills and other animal corpses
  • Goats will focus on consuming nearby fruit before targeting vines
  • When breeding, pets will create a nest for more visual feedback for the process
  • The Mushroom Man’s drop rate has been adjusted
  • Updated the sky with a more readable 2nd moon and other cosmic entities
  • Adjusted several player animations
  • Terrain optimization
  • More recipes added to convert blocks to more useful items as well as recipes to breakdown objects such as the rock heads that become too plentiful
  • Creatures can now be placed in creative mode

Fixes

  • Fixed normals on objects, characters, and terrain
  • Spears and potions should no longer reflect off of the throwing player’s collision
  • Damage states and warning sounds for tools and weapons
  • Creature collisions should be more accurately sized and be easier to hit and harvest
  • The collision capsule for the teen is more accurate
  • Goats no longer orbit trees
  • Goats and Cats now play their sitting animations
  • Growth potions cannot be used on something that is already under its effects
  • Fixed an instability caused by loading into multiple games within the same session of TUG
  • The Ctrl, Alt, and Shift keys should be bindable now as well as differentiated by their side i.e. LCtrl, RCtrl, LAlt, etc.

Modding Improvements

  • Fixed Modded keybind resetting after game restarts
  • Exposed NKGetCraftingArcheType, NKGetCategory, NKGetTier on GameObjectSchematic
  • Server side command registration using Eternus.GameState:RegisterSlashCommand
  • Exposed GetModdedPath on EntityFramework, used to get absolute path based on VFS
  • Exposed NKGetPath on ModScript
  • Added custom Strict Lib to DebugUtility
  • Added JSON parser to Core

Known Issues

  • Slingshot projectiles can still reflect off the throwing player’s collision
  • When Client players throw a spear, it briefly reorients itself to the hand. This is purely a visual bug.
  • The ‘|’ and ‘’ key have been removed as a bindable key
  • Cannot bind key combinations together i.e. ctrl + e cannot be bound as an action
  • Some of the new bronze throwables will appear to be spears when z-placed
  • If you leave an area where a nest is, it is not producing offspring when you return. The workaround is to stay within the area until the baby is produced.
  • In Creative Mode, the first time you click into the Search bar will cause the inventory icons to shift/shrink slightly
  • In Creative Mode, you cannot place voxels as voxels when in the Survival Placement mode unless the voxel is in hand already when you switch to that placement.
  • In Creative Mode, the object representation of a voxel is appearing even when in voxel placement mode
  • When you destroy all the voxels in a cell, it will appear to destroy all objects in that cell as well. Reloading (or leaving the area and returning) will restore those objects.
  • When a player dies and respawn from a wisp, you can briefly see a flash of their character at the wisps last position before they appear at their spawn point.
  • You can use a Health Potion when at full health.
  • AI Creatures can wander off the edge of the world.
  • The wool shirt is clipping into the default leaf pants and gauntlet

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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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