June 2022

Summer is right around the corner, and with it comes a new chapter in our development. The last month has been extremely productive, and we finally have a lot to show.

Before we get into the latest news, we would like to announce the end of the fundraiser, scheduled for Sunday, June 26th. We are very thankful for everyone that has helped out so far. Dadaskis, our lead 3D artist and module developer who has managed despite everything to bring us so many of the great features in this devblog, has announced their upcoming leave of absence due to location issues and no more power as of the 25th of June.

In only 2 days work, he has managed to bring us this exceptional location.

Office

Hover text

First up, a slight visual change. We moved away from using shaders on text (a bad practice) to using RichTextEffects. With this, came a new hover text design.

Hover text

Terminal

Last month we announced the entity system which allows us (and perhaps even mod developers) to easily create fully-functional entities which can be interacted with in-game. The terminal is one of the many new entities which we’ve managed to create thanks to this modular system.

Terminal entity in action

The terminal can be used by anyone. With it, you can chat with others from a distance, create and share files, interact with other tools, bank, and access The Core, a darknet-like application where you can purchase sketchy stuff. Moreover, users can download viruses and inject themselves with them.

Terminal model render

Notification menu

A notification system was created so that messages (either fixed, randomly selected, or even randomly generated) can be sent when triggered. Anything can trigger notifications, be it taking damage, getting infected, starving, doing something stupid, etc. The notification menu uses BBcode and can benefit from our custom RichTextEffects. This means that notifications can have bold, italic, twisty, shaky, or any other kind of wacky text!

Notification system
Notification menu closeup

Ubershader

Ubershaders act as all-in-one shaders. They’re an excellent solution for efficiently instancing many visual effects at once with great control. Ubershaders will be used everywhere in ANIV. Here are some examples of how ubershaders allow us to recolor models dynamically. For the player, this means customization!

Ubershader in action on the Liquidator model
Ubershader in action on the Prole model

Below are a few examples of how such a recoloring system can be used to recolor entities.

Mouse cursors/Icons

The mouse cursors got a redesign. You can now enjoy this strange green hand.

Mouse cursor redesign featuring the strange green hand

And for those who haven’t noticed yet, icons are now a thing. These icons will be used almost everywhere. We also have hundreds of them. It’s great.

Icons 🙂

Explosions!

It may not be that fancy, but it sure is fun.

Maniac redesign

Since the last devblog, the maniac model has had a slight redesign. Of course, many of these models will have plenty of variations. These concept pieces help give the team a general idea of any given character. In this case, we wanted to show that the maniac is eccentric and dangerous.

Maniac redesign

Grab system

This was a tough one. After over a month of hard work and numerous redesigns, the grab system is complete.

Originally, we created a static object system where objects had no physics. After much thought and consideration, we decided to give a physics-based system a go. This physics-based system locks the objects on 2 rotational axes and freezes the objects when left alone. The end result is quite satisfying.

Physics-based grab system

Refactoring

As always, a lot of refactoring has been done over the course of the last 30 days. You may not see much progress in terms of gameplay, but this is only because we are taking our time to ensure we have super-solid foundations. So far, this kind of workflow has been incredibly rewarding.

We spend a lot of our time reviewing code and making it as efficient and clean as we possibly can. We hope that this effort translates into a performant and high-quality end product.

One of this month’s refactoring highlights is the options saving system. In the months before, options were saved in an unreadable .save file. Now, users can share their configurations thanks to a super simple ini-like cfg file system. All the changes you make in-game can now be read and modified with ease straight from your text editing software of choice. Such a system is also what server operators will use to configure their servers.

cfg files

Conclusion

That’s all for this month. As always, we look forward to hearing your feedback on our Discord server. If you haven’t joined already or know anyone who might be interested in this project, it might be worth checking out seeing as we post additional updates in the #vellocet-devblog channel.

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