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Overgrowth Progress: Late June 2017

Add Comment! By David Rosen on June 24th, 2017

Project Status:

We have finished the major art pass on the new Overgrowth campaign. All new levels are in place, and the majority of work on level layout and environment art is complete. This means we have also scaled back the team again to the same size we had last November - just David, Max, Lukas, and Merlyn fully allocated to the project.

We've been spending the last month on improvements to gameplay and story, small effects improvements, more character animations, a tutorial system that's better integrated with the game, and tons of bug fixing.

Changelog for the last month:

(This list reflects changes to internal_testing - not all of this will be present in Beta 4. If you have the game on Steam and want to try out these changes early, open your Game Library -> right click Overgrowth -> Properties -> Betas tab -> switch from "NONE" to "internal_testing")

Gameplay changes:

  • Made depth of field (DOF) change when taking damage (world gets blurrier)
  • Made damage DOF and vignette fade over time so you can see distant characters more easily
  • Begun work for per-level loading screen images, and added placeholder screenshots for all of them
  • Begun work for per-level loading screen text
  • Begun work for hints upon death, and added several detected death types to hint about
  • Fixed nearsighted bug with NPCs
  • Made health restore more quickly after defeating a group of enemies
  • Improved choking animation, and did some small tweaks to its logic
  • Added tutorial text hotspot feature, and added it in several places in beginning of new campaign
  • Made "?" or "!" show over characters you can talk to
  • Improved sword/knife walking/running animations
  • Added "lean on wall/strech" animation
  • Added "listen for sound" animation
  • Added "shiver and dance about for warmth" animation
  • Added "gardening" animation
  • Added "talking" animation
  • Added "sword cleaning" animation
  • Hooked up some animations that were recently added
  • Made it so enemies attempt shoulder throws less often in a row
  • Made it so enemies attempt dodges less often in a row
  • Made characters die when they fall off the world
  • Added defeat/victory "sting music" support
  • Made it so hands are put up when grab key is held
  • Smoother landing when floor is marked as "ground" with physics painting (fixed some weird deflection/bouncing in some levels)
  • Made falling damage bypass KO shield
  • Made footsteps louder, so you have to be more careful when sneaking up on enemies
  • Made rabbits hear more clearly, and made it more obvious when they are listening
  • Made enemies not hear wall run as well as footsteps (since footstep hearing sensitivity has been increased)
  • Made it so you can sneak attack an enemy if they're investigating
  • Added slight magnet towards enemy when attacking
  • Added NPC skill parameter for shoulder throw counters
  • Increased NPC throw counter probability, but made it scale on game difficulty
  • Made enemies rush you when you have a weapon and they aren't on a shoulder throw cooldown
  • Made it so holding down the jump key causes you to climb up a ledge
  • Made dogs ragdoll when you hit them with a sword while sneaking up (to make sword assassination more viable)
  • Made low attacks w/ dog sword a slash instead of a thrust
  • Made enemies vary attack timing when you block or dodge
  • Did some experiments with a flying leg choke, but reverted script changes since it was taking a long time to implement
  • Made dogs and cats harder to disarm, even on a successful shoulder throw
  • Made dogs throw weapons at their enemies, but only if far away
  • Disabled "camera cones" collision testing
  • Made it so you can grab ledges while holding crouch
  • Added new dialogue frame visuals
  • Made it so dialogues can have different colors, and different writing sounds
  • Added more explicit dialogue progress prompts (click/enter)
  • Added "click to try again" prompt on death
  • Fixed bug where music layer went back to idle when an alert enemy ran to pick up a weapon
  • Fixed issues with blocking from ground

Graphics changes:

  • Added color saturation post-processing parameter
  • Made rain move in slow motion while game is slowed down
  • Improved rain drop reflections
  • Added wall hammering (loop and single-run) and arm cross character animations
  • Fixed bug in falling ash particle color
  • Begun work on fixing discontinuities so we don't animation blend when teleporting characters (reset level, dialogues, etc)
  • Fixed some issues with snow fog
  • Fixed some problems in left shoulder of drag stance animation
  • Added guaranteed blood splatters when hit by a wolf
  • Made particles be affected by ambient shadow decals
  • Made blood puddles merge, but not blood spatters
  • Clear depth of field effect when you start a dialogue
  • Made detail objects react to camera zoom
  • Fixed some issues with mouth movement during dialogues
  • Made snow no longer accumulate on attached items
  • Made blood on characters show throw snow on characters

Modding changes:

  • Added "disable all mods" button to mods menu, to make debugging problematic mods easier
  • Fixed bug where cursor was disappearing when steam overlay enabled ("Get more mods")
  • Now allow single-item prefabs
  • Now allow saving a selection as a prefab without having to convert it first
  • Fixed problems with offsets when spawning prefab
  • Disabled creating a nested prefab
  • Fix some crashes with new prefab system
  • Allow dialogues to be connected to groups/prefabs
  • Allow movement objects to be connected to movement objects in prefabs
  • Allow connections in prefabs to be fixed on load, after ids are reset
  • Made object names searchable in scenegraph
  • Made it so object names can be retrieved in angelscript
  • Added "Turner" name to player object in Lugaru campaign levels (for mods)
  • Exposed a lot more of Dear ImGui to Angelscript/mods, and fixed some bugs with the functions already exposed
  • Made mods only check major version numbers, so that mods don't get broken on minor non-breaking hotfixes
  • Made editor undo/redo no longer mess up reflection captures
  • Added arbitrary animations support (by filename) to Path nodes, not just Stand, Sit, Sleep, Wounded, as it previously supported
  • Fixed several crash bugs when various assets are missing or filename fields are incorrect in XML, etc
  • Added some items to Edit menu that only had hotkeys before, or were buried in other menus that no one opens
  • Minor improvements to mod documentation (Data/ExampleMods/mod_xml_specification.txt)
  • Added activate_character hotspot, which also supports optional music layer override
  • Added "QueueScriptMessage" support to Objects, to support deferred/non-interrupting events (especially to fix infinite recursion)
  • Renamed ReceiveMessage to ReceiveScriptMessage for consistency
  • Moved scenegraph hotkey to "y" key
  • Made it so you can directly set water to be lethal, without having to make an additional kill hotspot
  • Added "ragdoll" and "ragdoll-death" to collision painting
  • Moved NPC navigation mesh saving to separate directory from level files (easier to find level files in file browser)

General improvements and bug fixes:

  • Made sound use software mixing (fixes looping sounds/sound bugs in some cases)
  • Moved sound to its own thread/removed some unnecessary thread synchronization
  • Made sure sounds don't double-delete
  • Add logging of assets while in middle of level (so we can add them to preload lists for better perf)
  • Fixed some issues with memory allocation debug monitoring
  • Fixed several small bugs that had a potential of causing memory corruption
  • Made sure object destructors were being called correctly in several cases
  • Moved some texture allocations to stack allocator to make it easier to guarantee they are freed
  • Refactor asset loading so all assets use the same asset manager system
  • Made sure failed asset loads unload failed assets
  • Made object file fail to load when textures inside it fail to load
  • Made it so spawner thumbnail textures aren't loaded twice in some cases
  • Added many items to pre-load in Lugaru campaign (perf improvement)
  • Made it so asset precache list loads don't have to succeed
  • Now should deallocate complex shadows when enabling simple shadows (lower RAM usage if changing settings)
  • Fixed some deallocation issues with "pretty" GUI system (e.g. settings menu)
  • Added memory initialization to many places where memory was not initialized
  • Fixed some crashes when NULL vendor returned by GPU (slightly better handling of some under-spec cards)
  • Attempted fix at IMPulseAlpha error message (this error is basically a crash on top of a crash, so all that should change is that we now get better error messages that are more relevant)
  • Improvements to deployment so we miss fewer files
  • Fixes to asset conditioning pipeline so we have fewer build hangs
  • Added support for single-shot asserts (so players don't get repeatedly spammed when things go pear-shaped)
  • Minor bugfixes to help out crappier GPU shader compilers
  • Added sanity check (and logging) when steam workshop fails to initialize
  • Fixed a bug with music layers not resetting when you reset the level
  • Added "Open Local Level" to file menu (to make it easier to load levels from the game directory)
  • Fixed hang when trying to display error message in some cases
  • Refactor input system to use scancodes for bindings (to help with international keyboards)
  • Muted some unnecessary debugging log output that was confusing players

New campaign:

  • Story updates through most levels
  • Hooked up some music tracks in new campaign that had been recently added
  • Tweaked saturation and white/black point in most levels
  • Updates to unique characters, and placed many of them in levels
  • Many tweaks to level 1 gameplay, checkpoints, and initial spawn positions to better teach stealth and platforming
  • Improved group fight at end of level 2, so villagers are a little less likely to be dead at the end, made first camp a bit easier to sneak up on, added better signposting and an NPC encounter by crete arch
  • Increased player KO shield and made it easier to sneak up on guards in level 4 (slaver camp at night)
  • Many improvements to level 5 tower approach and platforming section
  • Tweaks to level 6 (farm) visuals and gameplay (better pathing, a little better enemy balance)
  • Did another major art pass on level 7 (beach) and populated with several more guards
  • Did another art pass and some wall running fixes on level 8 (ice cliff level)
  • Some gameplay tweaks to dog fort level
  • Fixed bug at end of level 13
  • Toned down the fog gradient in swamp levels and waterfall arena level
  • Tweaked volcano fog/smoke colors, and added dark patches
  • Reduced magma arena underglow
  • Tweaked waterfall arena fog
  • Tweaked reflections/water color in pit arena level
  • Merged magma arena, waterfall arena, and rock cave arena levels to reduce reloads and pull in new updated arena graphics without duping work
  • Added puddles to rock arena and tweaked reflections/water color/bloom
  • Added color sign-posting to cave escape level
  • Changed level order around near rock cave arena/barracks
  • Added ambient occlusion to rock arena barracks level and tweaked lighting
  • Gameplay tweaks to garden duel and sky ark levels
  • Made it so detail objects appear wet in some levels
  • Added different dialogue colors for first few levels
  • Probably a few other things I've missed...