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RedBaron_Johan

News Update: Work And Progress. Week 35

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Hello Fellow Wurmians!


 


How about we dive a bit deeper into the development today my friends?


A look into some interesting but more technical aspects about our everyday work which will give you an understanding of the complex problems and solutions you face in game development.


Are you already zooning out? No? Great! Then grab your popcorn and lets


 


Share some News!


 


 


Creature Spawns


Many of you have noticed and reported that there seems to be an uneven spread of the creatures and their spawns.


We have been looking into this and have not been able to identify anything out of the ordinary code wise in the complex functions running the creatures spawns and behaviors.


It is a very interesting area as it is in essence a small digital ecosystem in itself.


To explain further, all creatures have certain different preferences as to what area they spawn in.


 


For example the seal will want to spawn at a tile that is over water but has a rock tile under water next to it.


Then there is a random function connected to this which is searching the map for such tiles and there is a kind of dice roll for: -will it spawn? Yes/No.


Also, some creatures have the same preferences which will also result in a dice roll deciding which creature will spawn at this specific tile.


At last a roll for: What traits will it have?


Multiply this with the amount of creatures there is in wurm, combine it with different sets of behaviors and It adds up.


In the end you have yourself a self governing system with both pre set and many random events.


Much like in real ecosystems.


 


To be able to address the reported problems one would need to have a godlike overview of a land in Wurm and all of its creations.


Where do they spawn, where do they move and do they stop or cluster?


Basically, can we find patterns and what can be learned.


Because only once you can recreate a behavior, you can change a behavior.


 


Server Programmer Erik is the one fronting the endeavor of how to more closely monitor the reported inconsistencies in our digital fauna.


He has created a new tool which can do all of the things I mentioned above and gives us a graphical representations of an entire island, its basic geometry and each single creature inhabiting it.


When rendered in a sequence over time, we can put that into an animation and follow the migrations and behavior of creatures on an entire server.


 


creatures_S.jpg


This is Erik's private test server which is the same size as Black Light home server 4x4km.


Click image for a larger version


 


Each single dot represents one or more creatures placed on the same 1 tile.


 


Grey to light Grey: Low to high rock


Green to light Green: Low to high ground


Blue to light Blue: Deep to shallow water


Hot Pink: Lava


Red: Horses


Yellow: Creatures


Light Pink: Sea Creatures


 


Boats


We have not updated you for a while on the progress of the new Boat models.


They have not been forgotten and right now we are working on the collisions for them.


You might have noticed the fact that boats clip through the ground and stops about when it reaches the feet of the commander.


That is because up to this point the character has been used as the point of reference for collision and that is about to change.


The collision checker is being moved to the boat itself which will help prevent several issues but also make the boat behave more realistically.


So thank you for keeping patient for a little while longer, we are getting close now.


 


Lod


Lod is short for Level of Detail and what it means in a game is basically to gradually increase the complexity level of an object the closer you get to it.


Our coders and graphic artists are working closely together on this as it is dependent on both departments for it to be successful.


 


To give you an example, seeing an object from afar does not give you much detail because of the limitation of your sight.


Therefore it could be represented by a very simple shape closely resembling what it actually is purely with silhouette and volume.


As you move closer you will be able to perceive more detail in the shape and geometry and the object increase its complexity to cater to that.


 


I think you get where I am going with this, so let me shortly tell you how that translates into what we are doing.


Three to four different levels of complexity for most models and textures in game.


Coding to make the transition between them as good as possible.


 


What it means to you?


It means a significant performance increase due to the fact that your computer does not need to handle nearly as much complex objects and high resolution textures at any given time.


This without decreasing view distance or the perceived detail.


Sounds like a win win to me!


 


lod_NoGridS.jpg


Click image for a larger version


 


lod_GridS.jpg


Click image for a larger version


 


In these pictures you can see how complexity is gradually decreased with a factor of more then 50% per iteration.


This is represented other than what you can see, by the number of Tris which can be viewed in the statistics under respective iteration.


The "tris" or triangles are basically a measure of how many separate pieces of geometry a 3d object is broken up into.


 


Dolphin


 


DolphinRender.png


Continuing on our sea-quest I present to you the latest addition to our lively creatures, the Dolphin.


The model and animation is done which means it is awaiting its data and implementation.


Several of the creatures I revealed earlier has now received their data and statistics which means they will probably be going live with the next update.


You can see which with the next set of release notes once the update happens.


 


Alright Wurmians that is about all I have to say for today.


Thank you for staying with us yet another week as we all love having you with us as we progress.


I hope you have enjoyed this update and let us know what you think in the comments.


So until next time


 


Keep on Wurming!


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Nice to see LoD will be used more soon! :)


 


(Will Spyglasses still have the highest quality of detail when zoomed in on an object that's perhaps ~50 tiles away?)


Edited by Xallo
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yeah that's what I thought was behind all that coming from a game developer's perspective myself


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That map is amazing!

With that tool, creature problems are doomed >:D Yay!!

Yet another great WiP guys, Keep up the good work!!

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LOD work seems like a win.  Have bridges been forgotten about, we have not had an update on them in some time now.  What about stairs?  They were started when multistory was introduced, yet we never got a model. There has been no updates about them, and here again we have something that was started, left unfinished with the community left in the dark.  I would prefer having some step in my place to replace those irritating ladders a lot more than I a seal.


Don't get me wrong, it is great to see that you guys are working on stuff, but wouldn't it be better to finish one project before you start 15 others?  


 


Oh one final note.  would you guys please fix that irritating embarking bug that makes you have to relog after you embark on a boat and end up stuck, unable to move or not having your boat appear until you do relog?


 


Thanks for the work guys, but please get a couple of pans out of the fire before both you and us end up insane (or maybe we can all share a room at the mental hospital and play wurm together lol).


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thank you for another news segment.


 


something that came to mind when looking at the map that i experienced


while hunting sharks.


 


There where many sharks too close to server


border and i couldnt kill them because they were past the point of


getting the server crossing message and i didnt want to end up in


another server.


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LOD work seems like a win.  Have bridges been forgotten about, we have not had an update on them in some time now.  What about stairs?  They were started when multistory was introduced, yet we never got a model. There has been no updates about them, and here again we have something that was started, left unfinished with the community left in the dark.  I would prefer having some step in my place to replace those irritating ladders a lot more than I a seal.

Don't get me wrong, it is great to see that you guys are working on stuff, but wouldn't it be better to finish one project before you start 15 others?  

 

Oh one final note.  would you guys please fix that irritating embarking bug that makes you have to relog after you embark on a boat and end up stuck, unable to move or not having your boat appear until you do relog?

 

Thanks for the work guys, but please get a couple of pans out of the fire before both you and us end up insane (or maybe we can all share a room at the mental hospital and play wurm together lol).

This isnt the place for bug reports.

You still think stairs are going to be implemented? I dont.

The multiple years of no work on staircases is a pretty big hint that they aren't going to be worked on again.

Your best bet is to get used to how these developers work, and not expect every WiP to make it to a live release.

You will be less disappointed when they dont.

 

Edited by Steeloxide
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Yay! dolphins!


 


Because sharks eating the spawn slots of more useful creatures is not enough, we got a new sea creature that hardly anyone will hunt ...


 


Other than that, good to see the development of LOD system, anything that helps performance is a steep in the good direction.


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Very nice! Thanks for being so active in keeping us posted and sharing the "inside stuff" with us. I found that map intriguing! I never realized animals spawn so evenly all over the place.


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I really do appreciate the WIP reports.  I'd love to see the next one dedicated to progress on long standing bugs.


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regarding mob spawns, I walked from my home on Wyvern lake all the way to Slopping Sands on Release using the roads and didnt find but one animal. I found that really unusual. It used to be nearly impossible to do a walk like that without pulling mobs away


Having said that, on my property I seem to get the same amount of incoming as usual.


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Continuing on our sea-quest I present to you the latest addition to our lively creatures, Giant bridge monster. 

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What about stairs? 

I believe that doors to stairs will be open as soon as the 3D collision needed to make bridges will be in. So, after finishing the thing that is needed to make fully functional bridges, there'll be a lot more possibilities.

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I think you should work on a variation of different club-like weapons, I want to club everything!


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Creature Spawns:


What I wouldn't give for top down tile-per-pixel color map and a height map. From that pic is obvious that Wurm can make these.


 


I like that you [devs] are doing some inspection of spawning mechanics. From my standpoint the real problem is that Wurm doesn't have the resources on Xan to spawn a creature concentration that will satisfy the customer's desires.


 


I also think Wurm has the wrong mindset for this problem. The proper approach is to ask what the customers want and find solution to fulfill such desires. The wrong approach is pretty much what Wurm's been doing for some time: imposing the hunter play style on all, pay to win mechanics for deeds and breeding, making the simulation of reality a priority over customer desire.


 


 


Jere are a few "thinking outside of the box" ideas:


 


Barns - Archive animal specifies and run NO AI for them. Barn can give players a HUGE amount of freedom when it comes to breeding and generally farming type play. Every player in the game could have: a Pig pen with 10 pigs, horse pasture with 30 horses, sheep pen with 20 sheep, chicken coop with 50 chickens, bison pasture with 30 bison,  seal tank with 20 seal, etc....The numbers and animals are just random examples. The important point is that there is no longer a need to restrict them because of their server resource usage. 


 


The barn is a single object that once a day runs a simultaneous math equation using variables like: food strange, animals fatness, barn-pen-pasture size, animal counts inside itself. Instead of the server dealing with each animal many times an hour, once a day at a random time it does a single equation for the barn. This is a significant reduction in animal AI overhead. Also, every player walking in and out of local doesn't have to fetch information about the animals, they only need the barn's location.


 


Use client side graphics resources and a seeded random maths to move the animals around in pasture near the barn. Seeded means all players will see the same movements but the server has only communicated that there is a barn.


 


 


Deed mob spawn influencing - Here deeds radiate out decaying influence. By default deeds start out with an influence that encourages peaceful creatures near by and as you get farther away the creatures get more dangerous.


Create zones of difficulty using the influences. Modify the probability of animal/mob spawning or pathing into these zones using a relationship of a mob's general difficulty and the zone's difficulty. It should be possible for a deed mayor to set a higher starting difficulty then peaceful.


This is an attempt at providing a customized environment for each customer.


 


 


Statistical influenced spawning - Here Wurm tracks mobs killed by players. In areas where mobs are killed more it becomes more likely to spawn more of them. Likewise, in areas where few mobs are killed, and possibly lots of NPC are killing mobs, it becomes less likely mobs will spawn. 


This should be a dynamic system that can change over time. The idea here is to identify player desires and trends. Then, attempt to further service those desires. This doesn't work well with peaceful creatures.


Edited by joedobo
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Good really looking into some existing problem :) Looking good guys keep it up


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I look forward to being able to hitch dolphins to my new shark hunting boat.


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hello

Full kudos to the development team.
I'm glad that I'm looking for long years, such a beautiful sandbox mmo've found.
Am with your work makes excellent keep it up.

Sorry for my bad english, I'm from Germany

 

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Hej

Fullständig kudos till utvecklingsteamet.
Jag är glad att jag letar efter långa år, hittade en vacker sandlåda mmo've.
Är med ditt arbete gör utmärkta hålla.

Ledsen för min dåliga svenska, jag är från Tyskland

 

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Hallo

Ganz großes Lob an das Entwicklerteam.
Ich bin froh das ich nach Jahrelanger suche, ein so schönes Sandbox mmo gefunden habe.
Bin mit euer Arbeit sehr zufrieden macht weiter so.

Edited by LiaSuny

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The collision checker is being moved to the boat itself which will help prevent several issues but also make the boat behave more realistically.

 

Edited by DKSprocket
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private server . . .


 


/me drools


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they forget bridges every update :S  but nice work on progress of other stuff


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