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Minivlog 2 – Pepper Valley Scale (Part 2)

Hello Survivors!

A second minivlog from Geoff! More Pepper Valley scale and some of our progress on it!

Linger on, Survivors!

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Minivlog – Pepper Valley Scale

Hello Survivors!

Here’s a minivlog showing you a bit of the scale of our new map “Pepper Valley”!

Linger on, Survivors!

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The Weekly Dead 31

Hello Survivors!

Here’s a short little weekly to catch you up to speed on what we’re up to, but first let’s recap a bit! Earlier this week we mentioned Build 16 beta plans. Not to be confused with the Beta stage, “betas” on Steam are basically a secondary version of the game you can choose to participate in (this is called “opting in.”) We plan to open up optional beta builds for those who would like to opt-in to test out the in-progress version of TDL on Unreal Engine 4 before we’re caught up to Build 15, and with the release of Build 16. You can read all about that here! If the feedback is good and everything works out, we may continually do in-progress betas for every single build.

B16 Sneak Peek

Geoff also snuck this Trello screenshot over on our twitter! It’s just a partial glimpse of our main goals for the transition to UE4. Do keep in mind all cards are subject to change!

Zombie AI

Richard’s programming the zombie AI aggro system and getting everything hooked up with some custom and very efficient C++ code so that we can handle very large crowds of zombies without your PCs catching on fire.

Terrain

Alongside the menus and working on the ‘feel’ of the first person survivor (your experience), Chaoss is finalizing the terrain in Pepper Valley. After about 4 revisions or so, we’re down to the last one before integration. Geoff is currently designing the major road, structure, and landmark layouts, which he and Chaos will begin once the terrain is fully in.

Have a look at the stages we went through to get Pepper Valley’s final form! Rivers and smaller bodies of water are there but not shown on the final map yet. Those will be added later as we edit and populate the map in Unreal Editor.

We’re looking at a minimum of 360 sq km of playable space, but it might be slightly larger as we’ve expanded the map just a bit.

PAX South

PAX South is quickly creeping up on us! Geoff, Kate and I will be there for the weekend. Let us know if you will be too! (Psst – I wrote up a little survival guide if it’s your first time going!)

That’s everything this week!

Be sure to follow us @TheDeadLinger for more development news!

Linger on, Survivors!

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Build 16 Beta Plans

Hello Survivors!

Geoff here. This is quick blog post to announce some upcoming plans; an idea we’ve been knocking around for a few days.

But first, I’d like to make an apology to the survivors who are particularly bummed about the changes we’re making. I am very sorry that we’ve had to remove such a large feature from the scope of the game. I will always be “That guy who removed procedural generation from The Dead Linger” and criticism of that move is expected and entirely deserved. I do not expect everyone to come around on it and see where we’re going in the long-term, but I sincerely hope that you stick around to check out the changes we’re making. Preserving the heart and soul of TDL is on the forefront of our minds. Thank you all for your patience as we make these necessary changes to The Dead Linger. We will release Build 16 when we feel it provides a better experience for everyone and reaches the quality we expect of ourselves.

For those who are interested in helping us test and polish the Build 16 experience prior to its full release, this next part is for you.

EDIT: Just to avoid confusion that may arise from the terminology used here-in, this is not TDL transitioning to Beta stage. We are only talking about the beta of Build 16. The Dead Linger as a whole is still in the Alpha stage of development.

As Build 16 (Sirens of the City combined with the UE4 conversion) develops further along, we’re going to be opening up an optional beta for those would like to opt-in to testing Build 16 on UE4 prior to its major and final release. This will be done through Steam, and we’ll have more information on how to access it when it goes live. Currently we’re still deploying a wide range of features across the environment (and working on the environment itself.) When we reach our internal “Beta” goals for this change, we’ll be looking at release builds on a daily basis (give or take) for you to check out on Steam, if that’s your cup of tea. Around that same time we’ll probably open up our TDL-to-UE4 Conversion Trello board so you guys can actively track our progress on the engine change and see what’s coming next on the Beta builds.

This will give survivors an opportunity to help us debug and test some major changes to the game, submit bugs and feedback for the changes, and allow survivors to play the (unpolished and unfinished) UE4 version of the game a bit earlier as we progress the UE4 build to Build 15′s current state, and then on to Build 16 for its ultimate release.

And of course, this will be entirely optional for those who want to wait for the more polished build release.

We’ll let you know when that’s close. Thanks again for your patience and support as we undergo these big, big changes to improve the overall experience and quality of The Dead Linger.

Linger on, Survivors!

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The Weekly Dead 30

Hello Survivors!

Welcome to our 30th weekly blog.

In case you missed our big announcement the other day, here it is! If you have any questions after reading that, check out this forum topic where Geoff answers a ton of your questions.

An Unreal Transition

The switch to Unreal Engine 4 is going very well this week. Richard and Chaoss are working to get the menu running with Unreal Engine’s built-in networking. Here’s the main menu looking slick in UE4.

Pepper Valley Changes

Based on internal and external feedback, we’re redesigning the Pepper Valley region a bit. In the mockup shown below (the same terrain we’re using for our heightmaps) we’ve scaled PV up from 324 square km, to 360 square km, changed some mountains ranges around, redesigned the lake, and added some additional bodies of water. Any other changes to the layout from here on out should be minor, but we’ll see as we develop it. Red areas are the initial “major population centers”. That means cities! Keep in mind this image is currently a mockup of where we’re headed with it based on the version you saw in the big blog this week.

Tunnels and Doors

Parker drew up some exit tunnel concepts for the roads when they reach the end of mountainous canyons in Pepper Valley. We plan to have some details within these tunnels, but we’ll keep those uh, underground. Perhaps one day these tunnels will lead somewhere?

Parker also painted up some ideas for craftable doors of varying strengths. Survivors will be able to make these to replace doors that were broken, or simply replace an existing one for a stronger barricade.

The Twin zombie variant received a final detail pass before the modeling work begins on this crawling monstrosity…

Solar panels now have color, just a quick final pass before modeling as well.

Here’s a GPS thingy. Cute, isn’t it?

And here’s what journals will probably look like.

Rigging and Animations

Grant is on rig importing duty, which is going amazingly well. According to him “It just f****** works!”

Atle is working on getting all our animations tweaked and ready to go. Here’s what those are looking like in UE4.

Sacrebleu, our animations just f****** work in Unreal Engine 4! Pardon my french.

A video posted by Geoff Keene (@geoffkeene) on

Character Control

Chaoss has worked on some character controller stuff in between his massive efforts on the terrain. Here’s Geoff giving a quick demo of the sort of things we’re testing.

Character controller testing in Unreal Engine 4 for @thedeadlinger

Ett filmklipp publicerat av Geoff Keene (@geoffkeene)


(p.s. Crouch-jumping will finally be in Build 16.)

Dane’s Art Stuff

Some more Harbinger gear on the way from Dane! Here’s his ballistic helmet.

Ryan’s Art Stuff

Ryan did some really neat stuff! He’s begun work on the blowtorch…

And he put together some emergency road flares for casting out into the darkness and… Casting away the darkness.

As well as a variety of different items that will be used as signal mirrors, to silently make your presence known from far away, or for any other use you can think of.

That’s all for this week!

Be sure to follow us @TheDeadLinger for more development news!

Linger on, Survivors!

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