Letter to our community: The cost of staying independent

So we have good news and we have bad news… I suppose its best to format good, then bad then good, in this situation. I fully recommend reading this post at length, so there is no miscommunication on the topic and we see, clearly, everything that is going on. 

Good news: We have had consistent stable growth in sales and play time over the past 4 months. With more and more people now noticing the game, and our attention to feedback and play behaviors, things are starting to REALLY look amazing. New terrain is coming online, we had a leak from Azzy (here), lots to do in order to improve it. But, finally, we are free from those blasted sharp angle blocks. Networking is also on its way shortly, and this will be the first time we actually have networking running with a “traditional survival”. 

The modding API is looking fantastic, with more and more members from the Minecraft modding community coming over to support us, and more YouTubers now taking notice and sharing the project as well. To those of you that have been helping us push TUG, thank you so much; you know who you are. To those who will not cover TUG because we can’t pay you for coverage… well… something else. 

We have been able to REALLY build a lot with the funds we raised from investors, and we have been able to make some RAD content in that process with all the support from our backers and new members of the community. It’s neat to be able to build stuff and share it with you guys and have a platform to talk and interact with one another. 

The not so good news: A round of funding, that was to come in, to sustain us clear through the end of this year (January) was held back by an investor. The deal that would have gone through would have lost us all control and ownership and we are not huge fans of being owned by investors like this. Sadly, we need to cut off a few limbs to be able to ensure this does not happen. 

With this, we are now on a path to growth to fully support a small team with no outside investor support. And this means we have to cut our team in half… its the hardest thing we have ever had to do, but it’s what we all collectively have agreed is the best move for us, and you, our community. We certainly have had people come and go from this project for many reasons, but this core group is all family… and its heartbreaking. 

With these changes, it also means that we will be a few months late on delivering all our promises by January, as we stated we would with the kickstarter goals. I apologize for that on behalf of the team and I am holding myself accountable for NOT having done more diligence on our financial partners to know this was coming. Its a funny situation, whether you do well, or REALLY well, can make the difference of supportive or tyrannical investors. Another important note, to others out there who do raise funds for games and tech… never take money from people who don’t understand games and tech. 

The other good news: There are a few large publishers (not scary ones), that may want to give us access to more resources. This would allow us to make the game and tech bigger and better than we could have imagined before. We cannot discuss who they are just yet, but ironically in this situation, it really would mean a chance at ACTUAL freedom and independence. And before we do accept whatever offer from any of them, we will reach out to you, our community, to share what is going on and get some feedback to create dialog around this topic. It could end up that what is put on the table simply is not in our, or your best interests. But we want to make this project everything it can be, so its worth reviewing everything we can. 

Still, it is also quite possible that this push with multiplayer, in survival, and new terrain may be able to give us a large enough jump in growth, from revenue, that we can bring our team back fast, and possibly even staff up a bit more. Unlike other games that sell SUPER fast and drop down, our steady growth really has given us amazing opportunities to really understand what we do, and what others do, that impact how the game plays and is perceived. 

In closing, please DO note, that this is not us going down… quite the opposite. Its us making the sacrifice needed, now, so that we DON’T go the path of other kickstarters before us. We are doing what it takes to press on, self sustain and do what we have been telling you all since we first started on this together, well over a year ago. This is what we have to do in order to stay independent and free to do what we want to do. 

We will be implementing a price hike to $20 on the game when we have Multiplayer and new terrain online in survival, which will be SOMETIME by the end of next month. And with this continued growth and exposure, we will continue to build the game, engine and tools for the modding community. The game will run and look better and better with more time and we are excited to keep working on it. 

If you have any questions or comments on the topic, or are generally concerned, you can ask me on twitter @inoritewtf, or on the following reddit post (here) or email me, personally ino@nerdkingdom.com and I will do my best to reply to everyone with valid inquiries or thoughts. 

Dev Blog #26: Mod your own UI in TUG

Zach, wizard coder, took some time off to write about the Integrated CEGUI for today’s Dev Blog. We want TUG to be completely moddable and that includes giving modders the ability to create their own UI. 

You may have noticed a phrase in the latest patch notes “Integrated CEGUI”. For those that do not know, CEGUI is an open source framework for user interface that we have decided to use so we can present modders with an easy way to make changes to TUG’s UI. In an upcoming patch we will be pushing out the beginnings of moddable UI. One of the reasons we picked CEGUI is because of it’s exposure to Lua, each CEGUI element can be created, modified and destroyed directly through CEGUI’s own Lua interface, which you can access in any TUG script. In addition to CEGUI’s Lua interface, I have also written some short Lua wrapper classes to help with some of the more abstract or mundane tasks. If you’re a programmer, that means you can create your own custom UI elements and tie them to just about anything you have script access to. For those that are more interested in the art side of things, we haven’t forgotten about you. CEGUI comes with it’s own layout editor and we were careful to maintain its functionality during the integration process.

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In the above image you can see TUG’s Survival UI layout in CEGUI’s editor. With this tool you can rearrange the UI elements to be anywhere on the canvas, and those changes will be reflected the next time you run TUG. But what if you want to make your own art? CEGUI has that covered too.

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CEGUI’s editor also lets you modify imagesets, their name for a texture atlas. Using this tool you can load a .png that you created using your software and section it for easy access to your own UI images.

In both cases, layouts and imagesets, you are free to alter the assets that come with TUG or, if you’re feeling adveturous, create your own. At this time, the UI framework is only partially complete, so while we continue making modifications, there may be some UI elements that are locked from modification, including the Bag, Beltbar, and Equipped item slot. These elements will become available as soon as I can finish writing and testing the new inventory system.

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This is just the first step in the UI overhaul, hopefully with much more to follow, including tutorials on best practices and how to get the most out of CEGUI via Lua script.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on twitter @Zachisalsoking

TUG News & Update 9/23

Good News, Everyone!

A day late, but better late than never right? The Bronze Age is now upon us but what about magic? We are excited to bring the first phase of magic with the introduction of alchemy in the world of TUG. Sacrifice your energy for the love of magic and bring forth some new surprises…didn’t you like our last one?

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The Awesome News/Update:

  • Alchemy System

The early stages of alchemy is in the works and introducing a few new recipes to help you survive or…be eaten. You may see some new crystals spawning around in your world once we have it out.

  1. Trap

What more to say here? Just don’t get eaten alive! Be sure to check the in the works video tomorrow for more details.

  1. Transmute!

Craft the alchemy table or fully utilize the magic tree stumps to convert even more items at the cost of your energy.

  • Multiplayer [High priority]

A lot of progress have been made on the new network code. Unfortunately, still no confirmation date yet until we make a bit more progress and can provide a better estimate.

  • Terrain Generation v2 [High priority]

Progress have been made and we finally have some voxel manipulation and placement working. It still requires a lot more optimization. We have some work to do to get the caves in and also recreating existing biomes.

In The Works:

Here are the latest work in progress videos if you missed it.

  • Metallurgy

  • Bronze Age Weapons

  • Terrain Gen v2 Sneak Peek from Azzy

Shoot us an email at support@nerdkingdom.com if you still haven’t claimed your TUG early access key on Steam. They have been sent out since April :-p

To follow our development go to our 2014 Dev Board on Trello

Tweet Tweet? @TheUntitledGame

Like TUG? Like TUG on Facebook!

Bloggity bloggity, Al~right~ The Nerd Kingdom Tumblr!

Forum Junkies Unite! The TUG Forums!

Join our circle in Google+ here

If you think we have not done a TERRIBLE job so far, please share our project and news with your friends. As usual, every penny earned in Alpha and Beta goes right back into development.

Dev Blog #25: Script’s Adventure on Physics

Today’s blog is written by one of our wizard coder, Scripts, and his experiences on adding physics into TUG.

Hello, this is Anthony “Scripts” Hernandez and I’m excited to share some of my personal insight and work I’ve done on the game, TUG! Let’s first start out with a little bit about me; I’m new in the industry but very familiar with the scenery. Developing and researching new technology has always been a focus of mine and when I heard there was a company called “Nerd Kingdom” whose sole purpose was to combine the finesse of cutting edge Engineering, Sociology, Technology and Science I was a little bit in disbelief.

[Quote]

“There exists a Kingdom of Nerds that seeks the Holy Game?! I accept this Quest!”

[/Quote]

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Quest: Welcome to the Kingdom!

In my interview with some of the programming team I remember that it very quickly stopped being a ‘normal’ interview and instead an exchange of ideas in a very classical Programmer’s way where the ideas and the concepts expressed had brought more clarity to the table than the normal “Hello, I’m Bob… and I do things… Very well, in Java”

My first quest was to build my computer! THEN, work on Physics! Which reminds me, I’ll also never forget my first day because it was on Halloween and there was a lot of food and costumes so I was confused if they were welcoming or if it was like this all the time. Thank goodness I caught on to the date quicker than my potential statement of “Thank you, thank you, you really didn’t have to do any of this…”

Quest: The shot heard around the world

During my first couple of months working on physics I had to become quickly familiar with the physics engine; Bullet. Though the initial implementation was very simple there was a lot of tiny issues that started to become bigger after some iteration. There were three primary areas of concern:

  1. The character controller felt and acted poorly
  2. Moving bodies had to use convex shapes
  3. Performance / scalability

Getting the controller to feel right was one of those things that seems like it shouldn’t be too hard to do. But, when one fix breaks another aspect and fixing that breaks something else there comes a point of just accepting the way it is. Even though most of the programmers had dived into the system, we never got it to act the way we wanted it to.

Creating collision shapes to work with Bullet was a very simple process. However, it was very difficult to have accurate collisions on an object with motion. For instance, a tree feels like a tree then it starts to fall over and it takes on the shape of a boulder! There was no straight forward way to provide a means for both our artists and modding community to import their objects and have them reliability represented.

Finally, there was the issue of Performance and Scalability. Bullet had the advantage of just… Well, just working. From the moment we got Bullet integrated and online to the moment we realized it wasn’t flexible enough it always ‘reliably’ worked. Though, when we started to stress test and experiment with more GameObjects and multiplayer considerations we found that the volume of information that would be required for Bullet to process would simply become too much.

Quest: Choose Wisely

At this point we knew that we needed to either make our own Physics Engine that was tied more closely into the voxel system or look into a higher end Physics Engine.

I’ve written a Physics Engine before so an in-house solution was doable. This issue really boiled down to the availability of time.

After doing research and writing up pros and cons lists the physics engine, Havok, started to look very good. Its performance was phenomenal and the demos felt very good for both body movement and character control.

When the team was nearing a decision, Ino asked me a very simple question that needed a very clear answer:

“What does Havok do for us that Bullet can’t do for us?”

Well, in programmer’s terms there’s a lot. But, I didn’t want to go to my safe place and just start spouting buzzwords. So, when looking at our decision of “Havok or Bullet” this is how it can be summed up:

“Bullet is a very powerful mechanical arm that’s built by the community and can help make a wonderful car A, B or C. We need to build a Spaceship. Havok provides all the parts needed for us to assemble the most precise and tuned mechanical arm possible just for that purpose”

Ino: “Okay!”

A Physics What???

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From Apples to Engines. A Physics Tale.

Quest: Fetch me some Cheese from the Moon!

With the green light given to start planning for Havok integration I spent a lot of time reading the documentation and references available for the Havok SDK. I quickly put together a roadmap of development that would first replicate our current functionality as well as developing for the future. We needed a system that could handle any new asset that a modder might want to add as well as being able to effectively scale with more players.

Here are some new pieces of tech that have been developed:

Blind Assets Pipeline

In a traditional game development environment there would be a set number of items in a given level or a default set of items available in the world. Which, might limit user shapes to simple convex hulls that cover their custom shape or just primitives; Boxes, Spheres, Cylinders and planes.

One of the things our physics implementation has to handle is any type of user generated content with a reasonable level of collision detail when it’s in motion and near mesh-shape collision when the shape is static (unmoveable). With one more caveat; It had to be simple to do and crash tolerant!

Right now when a model is being loaded into the game engine, physics breaks that renderable mesh into 3 categories:

  • Precision Shape
  • Performance Shape
  • Balanced Shape

For now the engine uses a built in rule set that has any shape in the game world to use its precision shape when static and balanced when moving around. The performance shape is a very inaccurate convex hull built around the mesh which makes it perfect for fast moving objects such as projectiles and debris.

An interesting point to note is that the Balanced Shape is a collection of what I like to call “Convex Nuggets” that approximate the render mesh for collisions while still being fairly high performance since it’s a collection of Performance Shapes. Another adventure for another time!

Micro Shifted Physics Worlds

One of the more technical and “behind the scenes” pieces of tech that we’ve implemented is the ability to have physics calculations only be carried out between -10,000 and 10,000 in the X, Y and Z axis. The reason we did this is because computers can store floating point numbers in two ways; doubles and floats. Think of both as being a seesaw… One seat represents whole numbers and the other, decimal places. If one seat goes to far up the other will be forced to go down. The closer a seat is to the ground the more inaccurate it becomes. doubles would use a plank twice as long as floats.

Inaccurate decimal values can cause very strange things to happen… For instance, when Havok first came online a lot of shapes would vibrate on their own or roll away in a huff if the player got to close.

By default the player spawns at <X: 50,000 Y: 10,000 Z: 50,000> when we spawned closer to the origin <2000, 1000, 2000> everything worked perfectly.

SO, the question is; “Do I still spawn really far away from the origin?” Yes! You still do! Internally, the Physics Engine, stores your position within the safe bounds of -10k and +10k. This means that physics calculations will almost always remind accurate and fast!

Terrain Simplification

One of the bigger optimizations that was made during this tech push was being able to simplify the collision shape of the generated terrain geometry. In the past we simply used the same generated terrain geometry for the collisions. With the intention of pushing our render distances and having larger areas of playable surfaces being active in multiplayer we needed to have a way to reduce the number of raw triangles used in the world.

The best optimization we can get is an entire cell being reduced to only two triangles. Whereas in the past that cell would have contained 1,200 - 2,000 triangles.

There is one large drawback to this system. It can either be very easy to calculate a new shape or it can take upwards to 18 seconds. Within that time the player might have already left the area or fallen through the unprepared area. Another issue is that an 18 second cell would be calculated then later destroyed and recalculated.

In theory, this system can provide a large overall boost in physics performance. However, the issues of preventing recalculation and long build times has kept this from being a standard feature shipped in the release build.

When new terrain comes out this feature will be made available and voluntary for our community to test out.

Active Landscape Instancing

When the implementation of Havok went into full swing there were some initial concerns that the number of GameObjects in the world was causing physics to run slow. To help combat this possible issue, especially since new terrain would allow for further draw distances. A solution needed to be implemented to handle this large volume.

The Active Landscape Instancing tech, or ALI, is the answer to that problem. As the world is populated with GameObjects anything that was placed by the terrain generator will flag objects to participate in ALI. This means that, say, 300 trees of the same type would reference a single real tree collision shape and all of the instances would use a simple box. When anything gets close enough they would use the reference shape as a stencil to check for collisions in their current location.

Though, that’s a very technical breakdown it’s very easy to conceptualize as one master object and many, weaker, copies with the same look and feel.

So far in the currently released terrain ALI has only provided a small boost in performance. Therefore this feature, too, has not yet been enabled by default. This is something that will become standard with new terrain to help accommodate larger draw distances.

Quest: Fishing For Possibilities…

I believe that collaboration and thinking outside of the box is an important step in innovation. One of the hottest topics that is not limited to just TUG but almost all of the up and coming procedurally generated games is the problem of Water. Naturally, voxels allow for 5 directions of water flow: North, South, East, West and straight Down. Having smooth surfaces increases this problem close to real world particle physics. Now, I’m not saying that we aren’t smart enough to implement that… I’m saying that we are smart enough NOT to do that. We want the game to be fun and engaging and having real-time particle flow being calculated would be insane!

So, we don’t want to just give you a static body of water that never moves or just no water at all! We want to bring a creative solution to the table that can meet half way between voxel simplicity and particle physics.

After drawing up some ideas and working with Havok’s support team we’ve come up with a set of designs that we want to start implementing after the new terrain engine has been implemented;

  • Sphere Assisted Flow Models
  • Water Table Bound Material Containers
  • High Flow Feelers, Low Flow Feelers
  • Liquidoid Shapes
  • Ball Pin Surface Influence

I don’t want to go into too much further detail because for one, they sound silly, and two these are just shots in the dark in an attempt to find a solution for a difficult problem. But, they all share the same theme of KISS… Keep It Sophisticated-ly Simple.

Well, it looks like that’s all we can do for now! I hope you found this post to be both enjoyable and insightful. I look forward to our future adventures and quest hunting together!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Scriptslol and don’t be a stranger, feel free to pick my brain or to find out the latest! I’ll be in the back KISSing… I mean, Uhh… Innovating… ?

Love you guys!

TUG Update Alpha 0.6.5

Good news, everybody!

Another day another update. Finally coming out of the stone age… maybe we will be less a caveman simulation now *cough*. It’s our first step to advancing an age in TUG with crafting and a few additional bits, along with an adorable, and also very annoying little surprise.

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As usual, don’t forget to share any bugs you run into, on the forums (here) follow us (here) and follow our progress on our trello (here)

*high five*

Patch Notes

Art

  • Bronze weapons and tools

  • Surprise!

  • Metallurgy set with a Furnace, Bellows, Sandcast Mold, and Stone Anvil

  • New Ores that can be combined to make bronze

  • Updated textures to the predator

Design

  • Ores set up to generate from certain rock materials

  • Material drops from terrain and trees adjusted to match new block digging sizes

  • Updates to the predator behavior, it now fears campfires and hunts other critters

  • New recipes added for all bronze tools and new tables (Bellows, Sandcast Mold & Stone Anvil)

  • Existing tables also received new recipes in line with the new age of tools

  • Repair and deconstructing recipes added for bronze tools

  • Rock heads for crude tools have a chance of dropping from terrain materials

Code

  • You can now dig/place voxel blocks in two different size. You can now place/dig a 2x2x2 cube.  The 1 voxel cube size can still be used. Holding down the Shift key + scrolling with the mouse scroll wheel will shift between the sizes.

Eternus API

  • Modders now have the ability to register and create their own slash commands.  RegisterSlashCommand(“command”, “functionToCall”).  Arguments are passed over as a table.  See Survival:TargetInfoCommand function for an example!

  • New function on game objects NKIsInWorld(), a simple query to find out if a given object is in the world or not.  

Known Issues

  • Proving Grounds has been temporarily disabled.

  • Multiplayer has been temporarily disabled while we revamp that whole system.

  • Fruits have durability bars

  • When a fruit is held in your hand, the voxel ube outline for a tool appears.

  • Thrown (not dropped) spears stuck in the world aren’t saving properly

  • Critters don’t save their positions between game sessions

  • Critters love to get stuck on the terrain and other objects.

  • The location to harvest Critter bodies tend to be slightly lower near their feet. When looking at the correct spot, the menu pop up will appear.

  • Can place items (right click or Q) through voxels if you are too close to the voxel.

  • When (right-click) placing a Vine Fence, it places inside of the player.

  • The game can crash on exit.

  • Sometimes when resuming the game, the same sounds will play

  • Weapon/Tools placed in the environment return to full durability between game sessions

  • The shovel’s animation is not playing correctly. The shovel can still be used to dig.

  • When digging voxels, sometimes their collision will remain there.

  • Curved (partial-voxel) surfaces cannot be destroyed at certain angles.

  • Sometimes grass billboards can pop out of seemingly fully tilled dirt. This is due to an error with the blending; tilling each area around that billboard should remove the grass.

  • 3rd Person camera not fully functional; interactions are not working correctly; use only for viewing the seed.

  • The sprint key (Left Shift) cannot be rebound.

  • Can’t bind the Mouse 4 and Mouse 5 buttons

Dev Blog #24: Design and Color

Today’s dev blog focuses on the design and color and is written by our concept artist, Jan! Many of you have seen his beautiful concept arts so be sure to send him a message on twitter @janofalltradez

Moving Forward

It’s been an interesting 2 years and we’ve come a long way through the Vis Dev process creating a visual lexicon to best deliver the lore of TUG.  As the game progresses, it’s important for us to convey the mood and tone.  One way that helps us in our process is to visually abstract environments to simple shapes, colors, and pools of light. By doing this, we are able to see how different elements may affect storytelling in the future.  In these color keys we’re able to define hue and saturation distribution. This also helps us map out color shifts and transitions from biome to biome.  Each biome is unique and how you perceive aspects of our world is very important to us.

eg: Overwhelming expanse of land + Moody lighting/Vibrant color = Wonder and Adventure.  It’s a pretty awesome sight to behold seeing our visual language translated. 

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In contrast to the long shadows traversing the sexy curves of our bodacious biomes, the disruption of light in our jungles and forests give an added sense of danger.  Pockets of light and glowy plants supply a perfect stage for you to be clawed to death by creatures. :)

In the last blog, Sir Inkmech talked a bit about the changes we’ve made to existing assets as TUG evolves and gave a tutorial for modding communities on how to get their own cool ideas to match our style. Design principles of our style guide are relayed in the explorations we generate all though the world of TUG from rocks to complex structures.

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Just like the hope that our lore will guide you along down the line, we hope the visual language we’ve developed gives you a platform to make an awesome experience.

Cheers!
ninJAN 

TUG News & Update 9/8

Greetings!

We promised to keep everyone updated every 2 weeks and it’s about that time again. There are so many things going down in the Kingdom that we need a dedicated person, Cambo, running around collecting the goods to keep you informed. These updates will be smaller since we are splitting them bi-weekly instead of monthly but you get news faster, deal?

Importantly, we are working really hard to make sure we bring updates out faster. They will be smaller content updates, but we want to ensure you that we are not holding any goodies away from our community. Your feedback early on, is important and the sooner we can get it out, the better it is for future iterations of that feature!

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The Awesome News/Update:

  • Metallurgy

Our first pass on Metallurgy is in the works and you will be able to craft a furnace in the next update. In addition, early iterations of mining will be introduced to fuel your hole digging addiction. More details rolling out this week!

  • Bronze Age

The introduction of Metallurgy and mining brings forth a new age as well. We are moving from the crude age towards Bronze Age with stronger tools and weapons. Higher durability and strength to keep you going. One pick axe to rule them all! I kid, but that would be pretty OP wouldn’t it?

  • Multiplayer support a high priority

The multiplayer support is currently high priority and we have 2 dedicated code wizards jamming away at it. Lots of technical stuff, I cannot understand, since I would need to be a wizard to decode that information for you all. Personally, I’m a dwarf, so I only care about mining and hoarding all the gold deposits in the mountain biomes. More details will be released in a blog post once it’s ready.

  • Terrain Generation v2

Terrain Generation v2 is also a high priority and we will continue to update the Indev build as we make more progress. The biggest hurdle for us is to ensure we have terrain manipulation working and is stable.

In The Works:

Here are the latest work in progress videos if you missed it.

  • Mountain Biomes in Terrain Generation v2

  • Bronze Age Tools

That is it for now but do keep an eye on our social media channels for more specific details on the updates. Huzzah!

Shoot us an email at support@nerdkingdom.com if you still haven’t claimed your TUG early access key on Steam. They have been sent out since April :-p 

To follow our development go to our 2014 Dev Board on Trello
Tweet Tweet? @TheUntitledGame
Like TUG? Like TUG on Facebook!
Bloggity bloggity, Al~right~ The Nerd Kingdom Tumblr!
Forum Junkies Unite! The TUG Forums!
Join our circle in Google+ here

If you think we have not done a TERRIBLE job so far, please share our project and news with your friends. As usual, every penny earned in Alpha and Beta goes right back into development.

Dev Blog #23 : Inkmech’s Texture Painting Tutorial

Our artist are always creating beautiful art assets for TUG. Today, Inkmech takes a few hour from his busy day to write a short tutorial about painting textures in photoshop.

*In this tutorial we extensively use photoshop!

Hello, it’s Inkmech again, here to tell you about how we paint and texture! So there are a couple of ways we approach textures in the studio. Many members of the art team serve in different roles or functions, but because we are an indie studio it often becomes important to be able to jump specializations and help out. Since we can suddenly have people with different styles jumping into the same task, we had to find some way to combine our powers and create voltron awesome textures.

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First lets look at some high concept snippets for painting the textures pull from the Art Style Guide!

"The environment designs should pull from predefined aspects already in the game as much as possible. Reuse of tree silhouettes, bark shape flow/patterning for paint strokes, or overall use of the S shapes. It is important to maintain a contrasting balance in the details, places for the eye to rest, or larger dark areas that pull from other game objects silhouette."

Ok, so there you have it. This little snippet is more of an overview of what we think about when we paint and when we get a chance to go back and grab some older art to fix up for the new standard of goodness! For some team members and modders, this may not be enough though. So we also came up with a cheat process to get to the ideal texture quickly. Here is another snippet that explains this a little.

"For actual texture information you can source photographs (free license or personally taken) and run them through the filter tree. There are also brush resources for maintaining the look and feel. Always remember the paint strokes and the way they terminate and blend. An example of the filter tree can be found in the technical info section"

Wait what! Filter Tree? Technical info? Don’t worry, we’ll go over that now with some images!

First you need to paint in some basic colors and maybe even add in some shapes. In this instance we’re going to update our rock textures with some sediment banding (send me a message if this is not the proper term!)

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Next use zbrush to get some texture/shape deformation or render to texture in max or grab a photo. We’ll now use this image or images and create a new layer in photoshop. This new layer needs its blending mode set to soft light (this gives it some sublte values without blowing out the texture beneath it). For this demo I went outside and shot some pictures of rocks near by……mmmmm outside

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 Next we merge these layers into a new one; you can do this by selecting your layers and pressing ctrl+shift+E, then we run through our Filter Tree. 

Filter > Filter Gallery >  Dry Brush  (0,10,1)

Filter > Unsharpen Mask (30-40, 5-8,0)

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Now paint into the texture using a rough brush (I personally use a chalk brush) and use outlines for focused detailing (I use a hard round brush here or I remove the transparency from my chalk brush). Rough in other colors to make blends and remember that too much noise leads to realism! This final process is more about removing the noise and replacing it with straight strokes than trying to get things to blend. Cleaning up small little specs and adding larger broader strokes help to make the “look” at this stage.

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TUG Update Alpha 0.6.4

Greetings! 

Patch Alpha 0.6.4 is here, and now you finally have something to run and hide from, in game. Something that isn’t so bright, but it’s a start. We have a few really neat systems that have come online and its another step towards this big tech demo, actually becoming a game. As per usual, lots of borked stuff, so your feedback is ALWAYS needed to help us squash dem bugs. 

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New terrain gen is just trailing behind and will make it into an update VERY soon. As mentioned in a previous post, we are going to open up a second branch of ALL the things we work on, as we work on them, so content will be more frequently shown on that “InDev” branch. Play this branch at your own risk, its possible to splode… but its at the risk of seeing all the pretty new terrain and content on almost a weekly basis before it gets pushed to the main branch. 

As usual, send all complaints to @BrennanPriest42 , Why No multiplayer, bro, harass@camfergusondfw and all compliments and virtual high fives to me, @inoritewtf and follow all our stuffs, in general @nerdkingdom 

*high five* 

Patch Notes: 

Art 

  • Powdered apothecary reagents 
  • Saber Cat predator 
  • Hollowed Pumpkin Shell 
  • Pumpkin Cauldron 
  • Gourd Shell 
  • Gourd Flask 
  • Multiple potions can be created using the Gourd Flask 
  • General animation tweaks


Design 

  • Added labels to all objects 
  • Objects now have a durability and deliver differing durability damages per tool 
  • The flat rock at the campfire can be used to grind ingredients into powders and used in potion recipes 
  • Apothecary system now available with 5 different potion recipes 
  • Tools can be broken down to reclaim resources 
  • Wild alchemy tables allow for basic conversion of some resources 
  • Eating fruit produces seeds; seeds can also still be created at the workbench 
  • Adjusted the drop rates for trees and rocks 
  • Drops from harvesting objects stack and report back the number of items in a stack


Code 

  • Enabled tool tips for inventory items, can be toggled on/off from the options menu 
  • Integrated CEGUI; Reimplemented the main menu using CEGUI 
  • Implemented fall damage for controllers 
  • Crafting and recipe system has been revamped for more control 
  • More game data and logic has been moved into Lua 
  • Restructured game data directories for easier mod support 
  • Added basic mod support and selection through a text file under /configs 
  • Minor Optimizations 
  • Increased stability significantly 
  • Improved jump sequence 
  • Tweaked the logic behind spear throwing 
  • Integrate Lua Debugger 
  • Implement Debug Console for Mod Development 
  • Fixed and expanded the Input menu 
  • Disabled particle-based clouds by default. They were causing too many rendering issues.


Known Issues 

  • Proving Grounds has been temporarily disabled. 
  • Multiplayer has been temporarily disabled while we revamp that whole system. 
  • Fruits have durability bars 
  • Some fruit bearing plants are over-producing fruit and not properly despawning “old” fruit 
  • Spears stuck (and not dropped) in the world aren’t saving properly 
  • Cats and Goats love to get stuck on the terrain and other objects. 
  • The location to harvest Cat and Goat bodies tend to be slightly lower near their feet 
  • Can place items (right click or Q) through voxels if you are too close to the voxel. 
  • When (right-click) placing a Vine Fence, it places inside of the player. 
  • The game can crash on exit. 
  • Weapon/Tools placed in the environment return to full durability between game sessions 
  • When digging voxels, sometimes their collision will remain there. 
  • Curved (partial-voxel) surfaces cannot be destroyed at certain angles. 
  • Sometimes grass billboards can pop out of seemingly fully tilled dirt. This is due to an error with the blending; tilling each area around that billboard should remove the grass. 
  • 3rd Person camera not fully functional; interactions are not working correctly; use only for viewing the seed. 
  • The sprint key (Left Shift) cannot be rebound. 
  • Can’t bind the Mouse 4 and Mouse 5 buttons 
  • The main menu has some placeholder text 
  • Sometimes when resuming the game, the death sound will play 
  • Cats and Goats don’t save

TUG News & Update 8/25

Greetings!

It’s just about that time again, and we are preparing to launch some major content and engine updates… New terrain system, performance enhancements, predators, apothecary, alchemy, and more in development.

The Awesome News/Update:

We are in the final testing phases for the next update, which should be ready to go really soon. But we have a way to get you guys access to even MORE broken things, much faster than the traditional update schedule. These “Indev Builds” will go up quite a bit more frequently and will be all kinds of not working sometimes, but it will let you all see what we are working on, as we are working on it. This way, we can take what we have from these “Indev Branches”, and push to the main game, as it becomes more stable.

So, what’s coming in the next update?

Crafting refinement
Item and objects durability now take effect. What does this mean? You can hit trees with a rock but you’ll have to use a whole bunch of rocks, or you can craft a crude axe and chop it down in a few swings. The choice is yours.

Tool tips & Name Plates
Tool tips are back and refined so you can see durability/health status of objects now. Oh yea! Name plates!

Predator
We showed you the art concepts about 6 weeks ago. Now they are in the world of TUG. We cannot guarantee your safety any more as we accumulated over 1000s of deaths just testing it. Good luck!

Apothecary
Early stages of apothecary are in the next update. The Pumpkin cauldron and everything needed to make the potions are in.  With an important one, you’ll need to consume to sprint your way out of danger. There are 5 potions being added, but we will leave it up to you to figure out what they do.

Mod Support
We have exposed more of our API engine and it is now easier than ever to mod. Mods can now be installed by simply copying it to your mod directory. More information will be posted on our forums soon. Be sure to check out the Eternus API here.

In The Works:
Here are the latest work in progress videos if you missed it.

Apothecary and more

Hostile Predator

Potions and Predator

Alchemy & Terrain Gen v2

The Not-So-Awesome News, but added typical PR spin to negate potential rage!

The new terrain is NOT going into the main build with this update, HOWEVER since we are going to be pushing “Indev Builds” out, as well as this major update, you guys will be able to explore the new terrain and see what is going on. And as usual, you guys are free to stream and post videos on this branch as well, we just ask that you make it VERY clear that you are working off an exceptionally unstable build we use to work from, internally.

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Importantly, you guys rock (OMG did we just say that?) and thank you for supporting TUG and Nerd Kingdom. We will try to make sure these news and updates are out more frequently (bi-weekly).

Shoot us an email at support@nerdkingdom.com if you still haven’t claimed your TUG early access key on Steam. They have been sent out since April :-p

To follow our development go to our 2014 Dev Board on Trello
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If you think we have not done a TERRIBLE job so far, please share our project and news with your friends. As usual, every penny earned in Alpha and Beta goes right back into development.