Hoo boy, where to begin. The game was on fire over the weekend due to our upgrade to Unity 2018.3.8. Unity fundamentally changed how we can/can’t interact with game objects, which we knew would cause issues. Frame-rates were erratic! Invisible hit boxes would appear and vanish at random! Servers would crash halfway through rounds! All sorts of bad things were happening. Despite this, testers played 219 rounds, of which 122 were Defender victories. Despite having 30 maps ready to go, we cut back to 15 knowing things were likely not going to be ideal.
Spooky kills through smoke
RedElixer uses the security door to his advantage.
CleverClover takes three shots, gets three kills
Sooth dive-bombs an Attacker
Mailstorm with an Auto Shotgun 4k
Despite the Unity upgrade, the level generation team took the opportunity to experiment. The Factory tileset is still a relatively unexplored territory in terms of level flow and combat potential. With its high ceilings, we’ve barely scratched the surface with its potential verticality. While other objects, such as generators or vats, are slightly elevated, we wanted to push these perches higher to see how they played.
“Silos” was a fairly simple concept: a tile that splits the level into two distinct paths, one high, one low. The lower path is wide with different cover, while the higher path overlooks all, but is very narrow, allowing it to be locked down easily. We’re hoping this will help with our “long sight-lines” design goal!
Another tile that is still highly experimental is the “Club” tile that is present in Killhouse maps. For a while, the elevated “stages” present in the room provided either an elevated firing position or crouch cover, depending on if a level-designer placed a piece of cover on it or not. With things getting bigger in Factory, why not in Killhouse? Thus, the idea of the “Mega-Stage” was born. This half object/half room was designed around the idea of splitting a tile in two. A large, open club room, with a small, cramped backstage area. Here are some examples of how clubs are currently spawning with this new cluster included.
This upgraded piece of cover is more than just a single object and draws a lot from the ideas we detailed in the level-gen blog post. The Mega-Stage is an object that incrementally builds itself based on where the level generator places it in a room. Unlike the older, static stages, these new ones generate wildly different designs every time, while also contextually spawning extra walls so that other objects, such as a bar or table, might be able to fit in this new space carved out by the stage.
Engine upgrades typically break a lot of things, and our update was no different. Changing our version of Unity to 2018.3.8 set stuff on fire, but it also gave us access to Nested Prefabs, which should allow the level generator’s power to ascend to new heights. We didn’t want our new player experience to include massive FPS drops and regular crashes, which is why we held back on sending out more keys. We’re spending this week crushing bugs and are hoping to have the game stable by Friday, so keep an eye on Discord for Alpha Key announcements.
Baard and a few others are at GDC this week, so if you’re attending, say hi! For those of us at the office, we’ll see you all next Tuesday with another Alpha update.