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Previous two weeks in Overgrowth - Late August

Add Comment! By David Rosen on August 31st, 2017

Project Status:

Over the past few weeks, we did a test pass on Beta 5, and are almost ready to release it -- just have to finish up the video. Beta 6 is almost ready to begin its test pass, and is likely to be the last beta that we release before we leave early access.

Gameplay testing is going well, and we’ve made a lot of progress on the combat system, difficulty curve, integrated tutorial, platforming levels, campaign menu, difficulty selection menu, and bug fixes.

Since Beta 5 is frozen for testing, the changes below will be in Beta 6. If you have the game on Steam, you can help test them out now using the “internal_testing” branch. “internal_testing” is an automatic nightly build, and is not guaranteed to be stable.

To switch to that branch, open your Steam Library -> Right click Overgrowth -> Properties -> Betas tab -> switch from “NONE” to “internal_testing".

Gameplay:

  • Added initial game difficulty settings menu under the play menu (no longer just in the top bar in the debug/editor UI)
  • Added game difficulty settings to regular settings menu as well
  • Removed tutorial from play menu, since it is now integrated into the new Story
  • Replaced "coming soon" Overgrowth campaign menu item with real menu, that supports proper unlocking, etc
  • Change "Campaign" to "Story" in menus to make it more clear that's the main content of the game
  • Added spike environment hazard that characters or player can be impaled on
  • Can now only drop weapons/items if you crouch, look down, and hit Q (so you don't drop weapons by accident)
  • Made thrown enemies take extra damage
  • Made enemies even less likely to counter throw on easier modes
  • Made enemies disarm you less often when you attack them with a knife
  • Changes to enemy AI while you have a knife
  • Made enemies dodge less often at lower difficulty levels
  • Made it so you can throw + disarm an enemy even if you have a weapon, as long as a hand is free
  • Made it so enemies can roll off ledges more easily
  • Now harder to repeatedly kick an enemy while they're down
  • Enemies now eventually go back to patrol, if you elude them long enough, but you cannot escape or hide from bosses
  • Reduced AI blocking even more on lower difficulty
  • Made it so you can't grab a ledge if you're moving too fast
  • Made it so you can't grab a ledge if your death is triggered by a fall-death hotspot
  • Made it so it's even harder to trigger a win while dead
  • If holding a knife as primary and sword as secondary, you now swap hands
  • Now allow throwing offhand weapons (prefer throwing knife over sword)
  • Now prefer drawing sword over knife, and automatically draw another weapon after throwing one
  • Testing out wolves having slower recovery when they get attacked
  • Disabled thrown weapon whoosh sound

Graphics:

  • Updates to wolf attack animations
  • Made enemies react to their victory in more interesting and varied ways
  • Less wiggly movement on cattails in swamp
  • Fixed black skybox bottom in volcano platforming level
  • Fixes to animations when starting dialogues

Modding/editor enhancements:

  • Added a setting to the top bar -> settings -> debug that makes the player invulnerable
  • Replace mod description with error message in mod menu if error, to make it easier to understand why there's a red X on a given mod
  • Made dialogues load and use a character name/dialogue sound/dialogue frame color mapping file
  • Added a "voice preview" (preview dialogue sound for a given character) to the dialogue editor
  • Added "play_success_sting" event to overgrowth_level, for manually triggering music progression via goals and checkpoints
  • Emitters and lights can now be enabled or disabled by script
  • Player can now be made invisible (both visually, and to enemy AI) via the “B” debug key (which requires the editor mode to be active, and the “debug keys” setting to be enabled)
  • Fixed problem with skipping dialogue previews
  • Added menu item so you can lock/unlock campaign progress for campaign menu debugging purposes
  • Refactored save structure to better support mod save data, mod campaigns, and possibly support non-linear mod campaigns
  • Added campaign menu base scripts that should be easier for modders to modify (and using them for the game's campaigns)
  • Refactored campaign structure to define level transitions in campaign instead of in level (based on "<Name>" tag in XML)
  • Dispose of debugdraw elements between levels, so they don't accidentally persist until you shut down the game
  • Extended the allowed range when of the collision painting tool
  • Press F1 again to exit editor mode
  • Added script callback so that hotspots can know if they get enabled or disabled, and forward that to children/manage internal state
  • Tutorial hotspots can now affect death hint

Performance changes:

  • Added "simple water" to regular graphics settings menu (from debug graphics settings menu)
  • Improved shadow rendering performance while zooming in
  • Improved performance when disabling detail objects
  • Improved detailobjectsurface performance, especially when zoomed in
  • Added more assets to the preload.xml file
  • Cached level info to separate smaller/faster to load file to make level loads faster

General improvements and bug fixes:

  • Made "click to continue" prompt less likely to be dismissed via a queued click, instead of waiting for a click until after it had appeared
  • Fixed slow motion when a difficulty level below expert is selected
  • Add a scenegraph log dump on crash to facilitate debugging
  • Fix repeat error popup when turning off simple shadows in top bar -> settings menu (while in level)
  • Fixed error with texture memory freeing code
  • Possible fix for crash while dragging a body when a level load is triggered
  • Possible fix for possible double delete that was triggering the code smell hounds in debug builds
  • Fixes for some music tracks failing to stop playing when a new track queued
  • Fixed some issues with music persisting after player death
  • Fixed some problems with "stick to nav mesh" behavior when knocking down enemies
  • Fixed issues with dialogues granting weapons
  • Fixed issue with "emptying" hands (triggered via message to character, in dialogues etc) for 2-handed weapons
  • Fixed problem with disarming two-handed weapons when hands are not empty
  • Fixed a problem with slow motion not triggering when enemies are killed, if other enemies are disabled
  • Reduced volume of some dialogue voice sounds that were relatively loud
  • Refactored Overgrowth and Lugaru campaigns so they use the same campaign structure as mods (added them as "core mods", which can't be disabled)
  • Fixed accidentally counting static enemies as threats for slow motion purposes
  • Fixed weird animation when holding grab while wielding certain weapons
  • Added better error handling (instead of just a crash) when asset XML is malformed in some cases
  • Made hotspot object not longer crash game if its script is missing
  • Hotspot collision object now properly released when a hotspot is destroyed, when that hotspot had previously failed to load its script
  • Fail gracefully when calling GetLevelName in scripts, when level XML "<Name>" field missing, or invalid path
  • Add validity check for loaded animation in riggedobject to prevent crash
  • Add sanity check for animpath in known crash point
  • Fixed bug in new dialogue name/color/sound file loading
  • Multiple bug fixes to improved campaign system
  • Fixed button sizing in GUI when no icon is specified
  • Removed some log spam sources
  • Customized collision objects for some assets
  • Improvements to build system (adding a "file hash" asset to internal asset handling system)

New Overgrowth campaign:

  • Some work done on the ending
  • Added/improved integrated wall running and platforming tutorial
  • Added dodge and weapon disarm tutorial
  • Improved integrated knife/weapon tutorial
  • Added death hint tutorial for how to counter enemy shoulder throws
  • Added jump kick tutorial
  • Made knockout shield more consistent across different levels
  • Moved character spawns and path points to reduce IK-triggered vertical popping
  • Most/All levels: Worked on adding dialogue sounds and colors for characters
  • Most/All levels: Updates to music tracks, added custom per-level music progression, add silence in some places, lowered music volume in some places, all to make music more dynamic and better fit the progression
  • White Flags village: Tweaks to dialogue
  • Slaver camp (day): Added invulnerable "throw trainer" enemy to beginning for a block + throw tutorial, added spike hazard, tweaks to music triggered by dialogues
  • Slaver camp (night): Added spike hazard, updated collision painting to fix some issues
  • Watchtower: Added fall death hotspots to platforming section, so you don't get set back so far on failure
  • Farm: Fixed having to replay the entire beginning dialogue after death, and camera angle at end of level (so you can see everyone you're talking to)
  • Beach: Fixed collision problems with guy leaning against ship's mast, removed metal armor buff from first sword enemy by dock, updated collision painting to fix some issues
  • Ice cliff: Added fall death hotspots to platforming section
  • Dog base: Enemies now can't see quite as far, so you get spotted before you even see your enemies less often
  • Dog patrols: Fixed enemy placement and patrol patterns so you don't have to wait ~10 seconds after every death/retry cycle to stop crouching
  • Rebel base: Added fall death hotspots to platforming section
  • Rat camp: Added spike hazard
  • Rat cache: Added fall death hotspots to platforming section (on tree), added glowing lights to make path up tree more obvious, updated collision painting to fix some issues
  • Rat HQ: Added spike hazard, updated collision painting to fix some issues
  • Arena intro pit: Made defeat goal point at correct character
  • Magma arena: Increased enemy KO shield for rabbit chars and wolf, fixed wolf spawn position, and moved some crowd billboards away from camera so less obvious they're flat
  • Volcano platforming: Added fall death hotspots to platforming section, added delay after enter to goal hotspot at top
  • Water cave escape: Added "stick to nav mesh" so enemies don't suicide off platform, made water lethal at end encounter, updated collision painting to fix some issues
  • Garden duel: Fixed crash bug due to character pos being set in odd places of dialogue script
  • Sky ark: Improvements to miniboss/boss encounters, fixed camera angle on boss dialogue, improvements to dialogues, added fall death hotspots to platforming section, updated collision painting to fix some issues