Here’s a quick update on the PC release.
The Xbox version of Deadburg really had two animation systems in place. One for the zombies and one for the Avatars. This was due to how the animations were handled by XNA. The result is that both were brought to a level that was “ok” but not great. However since Avatar’s are Xbox only, they won’t be present in the PC version, which means all animations will be working on the same system/data.
The upside is now I can focus on improving the animation system and have those improvements apply to everything in the game. A good chunk of this month was working on adding features to the animation system. Some didn’t work out (Like mirroring animations), but others did (Like inverse kinematics and improved animation blending). It’s still not ready for prime time, so the benefits of these changes are something you’ll see later on.
UI systems are one of the more annoying things to deal with on the coding side of things. In the Xbox 360 version I basically did stuff at a very low level, drawing individual pieces of the UI. It worked well enough to get that version out the door, but it’s not particularly when making changes. That’s part of the reason the UI in Deadburg is somewhat basic/no frills.
That wouldn’t cut it for the PC version, since we already need to rework the UI for mouse + keyboard. So I’ve been adapting a system I built for another game to use in Deadburg. This includes some nice features that makes changing/editing the UI a lot easier, and allows me to rip out a bunch of boiler plate code. In short it should make the UI a lot faster to create, easier to change and ideally reduce the bugs in it. It also means I can implement features that will add some flair/polish to the UI.
Here’s another teaser shot of some of the new stuff coming.
So what’s been happening in January for the PC version?
So the new render system I showed off last update had some bugs. And normally I’ll punt that kind of stuff till the end, but I didn’t want them hanging over my head, so I decided to address them right away. That took a lot longer than I thought it would. But I can say most of the issues are resolved now. There’s still 1 or 2 big issues that I don’t have a good solution for, but I think the current version could go into Early Access.
The other item that I just started on last week was the prep/speccing out of the player character for the PC version. Since the game will be releasing on Steam we won’t have access to the Xbox Live Avatars for player characters. That means we’ll need something new. The first step is specifying exactly what I want that character to be before I hand that off to Liam to generate the actual model. The spec stuff was finalized this week and he’s begun work. It’ll probably be the March update before you see the result, since after he’s done I still need to get the model animated and rigged.
That’s it! Not a great month, although the holiday did cut into it a fair amount, and I’m glad to have most of the render bugs fixed now, when the whole system is fresh in my head, as later it would have taken a lot longer. Given that not a whole lot here is stuff you can see, here’s a teaser pick of some of the new weapons.
Just wanted to let you know I’ve moved web hosts for Deadburg.com. Also I’ve decided to kill off the old Forums, since they weren’t being used by actual players, it was just a bunch of spammers trying to post with bots. I might revisit forums later once the PC version is up and running, but for now I think it’s better just to turn them off.
If you see any issues with the rest of the site please let me know, thanks!
I’ve been fairly late with an update on the progress of the PC version, so I want to give a quick peek at what I’m working on.
Right now the goal is to get Deadburg into Steam Early Access on Windows next year. Hopefully sooner rather than later, but there is still a good amount of work to do in order to make that happen, so I don’t have a solid ETA at the moment. I don’t have anything to announce in regards to other platforms at the moment. I do still want to bring it to other platforms (Like consoles) but until I have the game running on them I don’t want to announce anything.
What’s Happening Now?
So the current focus is updating Deadburg to take advantage of the PC. Right now I’m focusing on improving look of the game, now that I no longer have to worry about getting it to run on an Xbox 360. Two of the big changes you’ll see in the PC version are real time shadows, and dynamic lighting.
Real Time Shadows
One of the things I really wanted to get in the 360 version was real time shadows. The tall buildings/trees really don’t pop when they aren’t casting huge shadows over the terrain. The PC version will include them, and I think it makes a pretty big difference. Here’s a comparison shot from the PC version (Note this is still in development, so it may look different in the final version).
One of the often request features in the 360 version was flash lights. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a dynamic lighting system working without really harming performance. The PC version now has a system enabled, so you’ll be able to have flash lights, and other moving lights, along with the static lighting in the game atm. I don’t have a good screenshot to show this off, but it is in game now so I can commit to it being in the PC release.
I’m going to try to provide semi-regular updates to the status of the PC release. If you want to be a part of the private beta (Which is still a ways off, but will be happening) then be sure to sign up for the mailing list.
Patch 1.2.1 should be on it’s way to you all today. Note that it may take 24hrs for the update to propagate Xbox Live and be available for download.
Changes in 1.2.1:
- Fix crash related to changing the player count of a private match.
- Added confirm dialog to using the Sucide option in the pause menu
- Added a compass icon pointing to your sleep/respawn location
- Added colors to player compass icons so you can find specific players
- Added new UI for dropping stacks of items (Will be used automatically if you’ve got a stack of more than 10 items/blocks)
- Added ability to rotate blocks with the B button (Or what you’ve remaped auxiliary to) prior to placing them in the world.
Patch 1.2 has passed review. It should be making it’s way to you all shortly. Keep in mind it can take 24-48hrs for Xbox LIVE to update fully.
Please let me know of any issues you see so I can fix them in the next patch. Send them to email@example.com
Patch 1.2 has been submitted for review! You can find the patch notes for it below. I did some fairly large reworking under the hood, so please let me know if you see any issues. Send crashes to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can leave feedback on the forums, reddit or here on the wordpress.
Due to how review works I won’t be able to give a hard ETA for release at this point. I will keep this post updated with the current progress.
Current Progress: 75% (6/23)
- Upgraded melee weapons added.
- New guns added
- Level cap raised to 30 (Stat points only given on even levels after 20)
- Max player count in multiplayer games raised to 4 (From 3)
- Zombie blocks can no longer be walked through by players
- Zombie blocks can be broken by any melee item (Including fists)
- Changed how worlds are saved to free up memory and improve network performance.
- Added suicide option to pause/in-game menu in case you are stuck.
- Added keybind (Hold X + Y + LB for 3 seconds) to delete settings in case of a crash related to the current player settings.
- Screen configuration now supports click and hold.
- Belt now supports click and hold.
- Time to drop is decreased after dropping two items. Not a “fix” for dropping a large stack, but a small improvement.
- Significantly reduced the costs of crafting spike traps.
- Resuming a network game will now put you in the lobby, so you can change player count and game type. Other settings will not be configurable.
- Fixed issue where zombies would be frozen in a strange position/pose until approached.
- Fix crash associated with killing zombies in some edge cases.
- Fix issue where items that were picked up could reappear on load
- Fixed possible item sync issue that could result in items that could not be picked up
- Fixed issue that would cause the world to despawn if you walked to the northern tip of the map and then south again.
- Fixed issue that could cause terrain to not render properly if you died near the edge of the map.
- Fixed issue that could cause zombies to not fully spawn if you died near your respawn location while in another person’s game.
- Fixed issue that could cause items to desync if two players were playing nearby one another and picking up items together.
- Fixed issue that could cause zombie to be left unresponsive if it was dying as it’s target was respawning.
- Fixed issue that could cause zombies to occasionally not receive damage from another player.
Patch 1.2 is a bit late, shooting for around June 15th into review, hopefully available to you all by the end of the month. Given that I haven’t posted anything recently I figured a little teaser of 1.2 content might be worth while.
The issue appears to be resolved, at least for some folks. I haven’t got an all clear from MS but you should be able to try to download the game again. Note you’ll need to find the game on the store, but it should not charge you to download the game again.
Please let me know if you’re still seeing the issue.
It looks like something is going wrong when people try to download the new patch. If you try to update then it will fail and delete the original game along with it. I’m contacting Microsoft about it as it’s on the Xbox Live side of the equation. No news at this point.
Monday AM Update #2: Download is still broken. MS is looking into the issue now, no ETA at this point.