This week we’ve got a ton of fixes for little annoyances, as well as some significant performance gains once again. This week should clean up the last few problems caused by the UE4.11 update. We’re also learning how to really squeeze extra performance out of Unreal 4.
This week's additions
Revised: Salis’da’coro Canyon (East)
As usual, we have our regular revision. This time we’ve revised the eastern half of Salis’da’coro canyon. Make no mistake, even though it’s just the eastern half, it’s a very large area – nearly the size of the last two area revisions. This revision also isn’t entirely complete yet – as we have plans for a handful of visually dazzling additions once the whole canyon is revised.
These week we adjusted some bad settings Fix the Unreal Engine’s Temporal Anti-Alaising, so that it does not have atrociously bad ghosting while in motion. As a result, that allowed us to enable Temporal AA which many visual features in UE4 take advantage of. Temporal AA is the best AA solution you can have for Unreal Engine, aside from the performance murdering super sampling.
We were able to tweak and improve the reflections to be significantly more efficient, while maintaining quality. This results in a 10 – 15 percent FPS boost on our development machines in most cases. Which is enormous, considering that was almost 10 FPS in some cases, regardless of whether or not reflections were on the screen or not.
Optimized: Scene Captures
The Scene Captures for the Map and Inventory item preview were also more heavily optimized, resulting in a 5 percent performance improvement on our development machines.
Improved: Rock Meshes
Several of the rock models used throughout the world received a high poly upgrade, removing obvious vertex peaks, and reducing instances of texture stretching. These rocks were also given significantly more aggressive LOD settings, which improves general performance. Due to the dithered LOD transitions added recently to the Unreal Engine, these LOD transitions are much less noticeable, allowing us to more aggressively reduce detail.
Items will now make sounds when you craft them. Hooray for audio feedback!
Fixed: Workstation Activation Distance
Workstations can now have unique activation distances, which means you no longer need to be as close as physically possible to the furnace in order to activate it.
Fixed: Hotkey for Crafting Prompt
The keyboard hotkeys for the crafting confirmation prompt are now properly functional. Now you can craft to your heart’s content, without needing to use the mouse!
Fixed: Player Blocking with Low Stamina
The player will now stop blocking after running out of stamina while blocking rather than constantly starting/stopping as they regen stamina.
Fixed: Controller Support for Container Menu
You should now be able to properly navigate containers and access the player’s inventory via containers with a controller now. Previously navigating to the player’s inventory from the container menu using a controller would cause a whole host of problems, chiefly that you would be forced to navigate the container’s items, rather than the player’s. This fix also applies to stores as well.
Fixed: Significant Game Hitches
Fixed some incorrect code which was causing pretty significant game stutters every second. This was mostly visible in the player’s cape, as the hitch would cause the physics solver to fail, and snap the cape back and forth in an amusing but annoying sort of way.
Fixed: Inconsistent Movement
Fixed a bug that was caused by UE4.11 changing the way it handles root motion in character animation; which was subsequently causing the player to have inconsistent movement speeds. This problem was a gigantic pain to track down the cause for and solve, but was conquered by persistence and expertise.
Fixed: Fall Catapulting
Fixed a bug that could cause the player to be catapulted at high speeds if they walked angled into a wall and started to fall. This was related to the conditions for the player entering into the “I’m Falling” state, likely exasperated by the previous two bugs.
Fixed: Broken Map and Inconsistent Coordinates
FIXED the broken map. Now you can properly click and drag to move around the map again, The coordinates and icon hovering was also fixed. These issues were caused by a change in the way UE4 handles mouse to 3D world projections.
Backend: Conversation Maker Improvements
While you will never see this, you will certainly see the results of this. A bunch of improvements were made to our custom tool for creating NPC conversations. These improvements allow us to much more easily add disposition checks for dialog options, as well as more quickly iterate on adding new conversations to the game. This generally means more dialog, and more DYNAMIC dialog and NPCs.
So with that, we’ve got this week’s update ready to download. Performance improvements are always good, and these bug fixes help keep the foundations of the game stable as we continue to add more content. The 4.11 update messed up a lot more things for us than we would’ve liked. Ordinarily the day or two it takes to transition to a new version took us almost 3 weeks to not only transition but squash all of the issues that cropped up from it.
With everything on the right track now, we’re definitely getting back to new gameplay content this week; finishing up all of the code that’s necessary for the entire village of people. The village provides an excellent launch pad for all of the new long-form quests we’re going to add – as well as the perfect environment to introduce many new, non-combat related features. The new improvements to our conversation creation tool will make it even easier for us to make more content quickly – which ultimately means more content for you to enjoy.