Welcome to my new Dev Log series. The purpose of the Dev Logs is for me to write out public progress reports on development once every two weeks or so. You can also check these posts out on my Patreon page, since you all know that I love both creating more work for myself as well as keep everything on the website as much as possible.
Without further adieu, let's get into what I've been working on in the last couple of weeks, and a bit of news on what's left to do for 0.9.21 before it's ready to push to steam. If you haven't been keeping up to date with the change log on the forums, be sure to check out the comprehensive list of additions and changes there.
First up, let's talk about visuals! Like I covered in this months deep dive post, I've added some new visuals to the water in the game. We now get to enjoy some sweet sweet water reflections and other little effects when walking through shallow water. You read that right, you can also now walk through shallow water.
This changes quite a bit with how the game plays and opens up some really cool possibilities with the map design as well! What I didn't really cover in that post is the changes that are being made to the map. Some changes are big, some are small, and they aren't all related to the water. I've been addressing resource distribution, where different mob types spawn as well as some tweaks to the islands themselves to make sure that progression feels natural and still guide the players gently through where to go next.
I also took the liberty to expand the hunting system. Everything is getting updated with some new sprites for different stages of harvesting, and I've also extended the mechanics. Harvesting from a creature is now done in 3 stages: skinning, butchering, and whatever you want to call breaking apart a skeleton to get bones. It's just another relatively small change that has added just a little bit more polish to the game and helps to make it feel more complete.
The better part of two days this week was spent working on a new animated title screen for the game. Previously (and on the current steam version) the first impression for the game was rather lackluster and was basically just a black screen. I'm very happy with how this turned out and can't wait for this change especially to go live!
Finally, let's talk about quality of life additions. Things like continuing to gather from foliage, animations for successful gathering, and some visual tweaks and fixes to caves have made the game feel just a little bit more complete. Players can now continue to craft without needing to constantly click the recipe, which ended up being a lot easier to add than I had thought it would be! Just tacking an extra argument to the crafting guide to check for a keypress was literally all it too.
Of course, there have been bug fixes, too! The new renderer has caused a few unforeseen glitches, which is to be expected, but I'm optimistic that most of the kinks have been worked out of that! There have been a number of smaller bug fixes as well, which is nice because it always makes the game feel better when the buggies are squashed!
Unfortunately, there has been one bug that's been causing grief for a very long time. Dragging stacks of items to burners sometimes glitches the UI and hides the item. I believe I've tracked this down to the games item handling system which covers things like item stacking and logic for moving them around. The system has needed work for a very long time, and I've got myself poised to gut the old and rebuild it anew over the next few days. It will be a big undertaking, since there are a lot of systems dependent on the current item handling, but once it's been reworked with a new foundation, it should be more versatile and allow for things like organizing your inventory and storage units, which has also been on the todo for a very long time!
Don't forget to join the Discord server if you haven't already! I spend most of my development time hanging out in there and streaming what I'm working on! Often times we'll be playing on a server and testing new features and looking for bugs as well, which is fun and hilarious!
If you're new here and would like to stay caught up and support the game then head over to my Patreon page and choose a tier to support and gain access to some sweet sweet exclusive Haz merch!
Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think of this format or if there's anything that you'd like to hear more about, and Happy Roleplaying!