Weekly Newsletter [#53]
Hello, friends! Before we traditionally report on the work we’ve done over the last week, we’d like to mention that today we’ve got the PTS servers updated. This update is a major overhaul of the previous version. We’ve changed literally everything; therefore, literally, everything requires testing. Our testers spent a lot of time and gave us an exhaustive feedback on the previous PTS version. They encountered a wide variety of errors from minor visual flaws to critical game crashes. We took all information into account, did a lot of work, remastered the entire network part of the project, integrated a new database, added new mechanics and disabled some completely inoperative ones, got rid of all the old bugs and surely added new ones. We’d like to emphasize that this update is still an early alpha and a testing ground that lacks a lot of mechanics and may include critical errors. This update shouldn’t be seen as a reason for purchasing the game but as a reason for all who love testing to enter the PTS and help us fix all possible flaws. Once it is done, we’ll upload this version to the main game servers. We thank you in advance!
We’d also like to mention that at the moment the current PTS version features no English localization. We apologize to our English-speaking players, for it’s very difficult to test the game in Russian. Localization is currently not available due to some technical issues as well as constant editing and proofreading that in-game texts go through as the fact that we’ve changed some features of the game. We’ll add the English localization for the PTS version as soon as possible.
This week our main focus was updating the PTS game version. The previous version was completely removed from the servers and replaced with a new one. As mentioned above, all aspects of the game that you have tested and mentioned in your excellent bug reports have been improved, worked on, modified or remade from scratch. In this regard, we ask everyone who wants to take part in the PTS testing to pay attention to all kinds of flaws.
We’ve launched the new authorization service. When you first start the game, you will see the window with two fields for the alternative name and password used in the game. Entering this data will allow you to access the project regardless of your Steam status. Even if the Steam service is unavailable for some reason, you will always have access to the game. Your game login and password can match your Steam login and password if it’s not already occupied by some other user, but we strongly advise you to create new login and password specially for the game and write it down somewhere in case you forget them. Alternative username and password that differ from the ones you use for your Steam account authorization reduce the risk of losing access to Steam accounts if the game servers ever get hacked.
This week we’ve added a new database which is integrated into the updated PTS version’s network and is designed to make the game more stable. When testing, please pay special attention to how items are saved and loaded, for example, picked up items shouldn’t disappear; items stored in inventory should work correctly, they shouldn’t change or be deleted from inventory when you close or open the Project or when the servers are switched.
Our team has completed work on the initial quests that weren’t present in the previous version. When testing quests, please pay attention to the dialogs; check if tags are displayed correctly both in the game world and on the map; tasks should be displayed in the game log and on the HUD located in the right part of your screen; all quest stages should work correctly and follow each other in logical order.
A special button that transfers your character to the Ark has been added to the main menu. It appears on the character selection stage and is a more efficient version of the /unstuck command that wasn’t helping and didn’t work if a player encountered some serious bug.
We’ve completed and set up the map for the open world.
The project’s damage reduction system has been changed and replaced by the health and shield reduction system.
At the moment, transport of all kinds was removed from the PTS game version due to total inoperability. Quad bike caused critical errors, behaved incorrectly and consequently got punished. Soon we plan to completely rewrite its logic for the network.
You may also notice that all non-player characters not related to the quests have disappeared. It’s not a bug. The optimization has led to some major changes to the NPC system. A little later we’ll add all non-player characters to make the environment more alive.
The testing arena has become unnecessary and was removed. At the moment, our project requires testing in conditions close to the real game ones, featuring the character progression system, quests, trading terminals, and opponents.
Another aspect of our current work is optimization of the location with the entrance to the Ark. This week we’ve been optimizing a large number of small buildings as well the largest objects in the area — the wreckage of the Harbinger. Due to the Ark’s enormous size, debris and fragments are difficult to optimize without damaging their visual appearance. Our team has conducted several experiments, tried different approaches and decided to make four types of LODs with one baked material and create a special material with a unique texture for every LOD. This approach requires more video memory, but at the same time, it allows to significantly reduce the polygon number with minimal visual losses.
This week, our team has begun creating high-poly models for the Slider mobs.
Last week was an extremely important stage of our work towards updating the project. We hope that the updated PTS version testing will turn out to be quite successful, and we’ll be able to fix every possible critical flaw as soon as possible. Once this stage is over, some missing mechanics should be added to the PTS version, as well as most of the quests in Russian and English, allowing us to upload this PTS version to the main game servers. Our team would like to thank our testers in advance. Your help with finding bugs and uncovering flaws of the current PTS version will be crucial.
We’d also like to remind you that at the moment the main work on the project is done on the PTS servers. We’ll transfer the updated project to the main server only after we finish and successfully test the quest system. Now all players who want to see that the project is moving forward have an opportunity to take part in PTS testing. To take part in the test, you must have an activated copy of the game and follow the registration as described on this page:
And, once again, we want to remind everyone considering purchasing the game that it’s still in its Alpha stage, and we don’t recommend buying it if you expect a full-fledged finished project. By purchasing the game now, you support the development and have an opportunity to see its early stages. If you want to enjoy a full game experience with the maximum number of game mechanics and no critical errors, we advise you to wait until the project enters the beta testing phase or even later.