Compost

Thank you for a great suggestion about rotten food. You know who you are :-)

In 2.2, rotting food is not useless. After a while, it will turn into:

Soil-0.png

Compost

Compost is another name for fertilized soil. You can place it and quickly grow rye or cotton, instead of having to waste precious saltpetre. Saltpetre is better used for gunpowder :-)

New Lighting Model

Thank you for all the world suggestions you sent me, both in comments and via email. I will be refreshing the pre-moderated list in the community content soon. Please keep the names coming.

And here’s another 2.2 video for you:

The “trick” I mention in the video allowed the game to run reasonably fast in 2011 on 1st gen Windows Phone 7 devices (btw. does anyone here still remember those glory days?)

As you can imagine, these ancient phones had very slow, single core CPUs. On top of that, the WP7 .NET jitter was producing very poorly optimized code. I had to use every trick in the book to make the game not pause for 3 seconds every time you changed a block in the world :-)

One of them, the lighting “trick”, is long obsolete. Today’s phones are as fast, if not faster, than the PC I originally developed the game on in 2011. Hence the new lighting code.

I expected the slowdown to be much bigger than the 5%, because there is a lot more calculation involved. But here we are – probably the code is bottlenecked on memory access anyway (it’s scanning the huge array of blocks), so extra ALU operations make little difference.

To clarify: the 5% does not affect frames per second. The calculation only happens when you change some blocks in the world, not continuously. The little invisible hiccups that happen when you dig a block will now be 5% bigger.

New grand builds

If you know about any grand new builds in the community content that you feel should be pre-moderated and listed on top, please let me know. I want to refresh the stuff that appears near the top in Community Content. Thank you!

Jaws

Thank you for all the feedback on the question in the last post. My current plan is to make it as safe as possible – i.e. allow placing blocks in all situations, apart from actually being in the air (after a jump or falling). So, block placement while swimming, riding, standing on animals will still work. Once I release, I don’t want to find out that something major and important is now impossible because of this new feature. We can always limit it further later, once it’s been out in the wild for a while.

And here’s another 2.2 video for you:

Survival

In the upcoming 2.2 update I am planning to make the game more realistic and more difficult in survival modes. So far I’ve told you about the tools/weapons system overhaul. By the way, I am reading you comments: stone arrows and stone spears will not be removed:

Stone Tip Arrow-1Stone Spear-0<– Yay: back from the dead!

The new change I want to talk about is potentially big: in Challenging/Cruel/Adventure modes you won’t be able to place blocks unless standing on something.

No more jumping up and quickly placing blocks below you to build a tower and escape all danger. And to build something tall, you will have to either construct ramps or use ladders/scaffolding. Challenging. Cool!

Again, this is only for harder survival modes. Creative and Harmless will work the same as before.

This is a significant change. It has potential to make the survival aspect of the game more interesting. It will be harder to build shelter and harder to escape predators.

I need your input on the details:

  • Do you think placing blocks while swimming should be possible?
  • Do you think placing blocks while riding (a horse or a boat etc.) should be possible?
  • Do you think placing blocks while standing on another creature should be possible?
  • Can you see any unforeseen, big problems with this whole idea?

Thanks for your thoughts!

More Options

Another short video for you:

The reason for 20 worlds limit per device was because worlds can easily grow to hundreds of megabytes. Times 20, and we are in multi-gigabyte territory. Your phone is suddenly full of little blocks and cannot do Tik-Tok, Whatsapp or whatever else it is normally doing :-) By increasing this limit, I am burdening you with responsibility: do not let this happen.

There’s still more stuff I need to show you, but time is running out.

Big!

Check out the new video:

I can’t wait to see what you are going to build now.

Yes, the visual glitches when placing too much furniture (or other geometry-heavy blocks) around one place is fixed. In fact there’s still a limit, but it is much less drastic: in 2.1, each chunk of 16x16x128 blocks could not exceed ~21000 triangles. In 2.2, only each 16x16x16 cubic area of the world has this limitation. It is unlikely you will hit the new limit unless you really go over the top. And you will be able to make proper skyscrapers now – spreading stuff vertically works.

In 2.1 and before, in a sense, these glitches served a purpose: they were a “soft” way of forcing you into limiting the amount of geometry, so that the phones could deal with it. That’s why I left them in for so long.

Now, with the new terrain generation in, the system is much better and we don’t need the low limit anymore.

Of course, if you go crazy and fill every single 16x16x16 area with 21000 triangles… At 256 visibility range, this equates to 344 million triangles. It would bring even the beefiest of PCs, with dual Geforce 2080’s to its knees. Plus, you would need at least 32 GB of RAM to even store all this geometry.

Inventory contd.

I’ve seen your comments. So here’s how I’m going to do it:

Survival modes get 7 slots, no matter how big your screen. This is still better than 6 slots in 2.1. And we can always extend it further in a future update.

Creative mode will get up to 10 slots, if your screen can accomodate it. I’ve tried 12, but more than 10 don’t really fit, even on a PC, without making things too small. So 10 it will stay for now.

The next thing I will show you has something to do with terrain, and you will like it :-)

There’s 8 items left on my todo list before 2.2 release. But I keep adding to it as I go along. Feature creep. Must resist.

[EDIT]

One more thing. I found a better way of dealing with items in “hidden” slots. Just drop them at the player’s feet, and let other slots pick them up if there is space. No need for cryptic messages. Much nicer.

Inventory slots

It took you about three minutes to spot the unmentioned new feature in the last video. Yes, it was the 7 inventory slots:

I managed to squeeze in the extra slot by moving touchpads further aside and reducing UI scaling a little (about 5% – all the controls will get smaller by this much). But I think it is a price worth paying. Phones are getting bigger and no one is still playing Survivalcraft on a 3.5″ phone. Does such thing even exist any more? In 2011 when Survivalcraft was first released, 3.5″ was mainstream and 4″ was considered huge :-)

But it gets better than that. Why limit ourselves to 7 slots? How about 10:

I always wanted to give you more slots. It makes playing smoother, especially in creative. The insurmountable problem was interoperability between devices with different screen sizes. I know that on a PC you can display 10 slots, and still have tons of space left. But what if someone on a small phone imported a world created on a PC? Where would the extra items go?

For 2.2 I finally figured it out: it doesn’t matter that the extra items will be invisible for someone with a small screen! At least, it doesn’t matter when compared to the grand benefit of having more slots.

Yes, the extra items will be invisible. But you can always make them temporarily visible again by reducing UI scale to “Smallest” (this will always show full 10 slots). You can then move them to other slots and return to your favourite UI scale. How would you know the hidden items are even there? Because there is a warning displayed.

By the way, the hidden slots are “disabled”. They will not pick up items or otherwise get used.

So in 2.2, the number of slots is dynamic. It depends on the size of your screen and on UI scale:

10 slots on a widescreen phone, tablet or a PC

This happens when you import this world on a phone:

7 slots – the minimum number for all devices

You get less slots, and there is a warning displayed: there is something in the hidden slots. I know it’s a little cryptic – but this situation won’t happen all that often. It is a corner case.

One option I am still considering is whether to only show 10 slots in Creative mode. Survival modes would be limited to 7. The only reason for that is to make the game a little harder – 3 extra slots might hold an extra weapon or a tool that will save your life.

Let me know what you think. We need to make the decision before 2.2 is released. Once it’s out – there will be no way back.

Tools/weapons overhaul

You must admit, wooden and stone tools are not very realistic:

Machete made of wood? Shovel with a wooden or stone blade? Rake with stone teeth? All the ludicrous tools and weapons pictured above are banished from the game in 2.2.

What replaces them is much simpler and much more realistic:

The stone axe

The early, universal tool. Jack of all trades. Equally good for digging, hacking, quarrying. But not very good. Better than bare hands, though. If you try to craft any of the original stone tools, this is what you will get instead. The crafting recipes are unchanged, so that the new users do not get too confused.

The wooden club

The simplest, easiest to make weapon. Better than wielding a stick. If you try to craft a wooden machete, this is what you will get.

 

The stone club

You’ve seen that one before. Slightly more advanced than the wooden club, it causes more damage, but requires stone. If you try to craft a stone machete, this is what you will get.

Stone tip arrow and stone spear are gone. But note that the wooden rake, wooden spear and wooden arrow are still there, because they are reasonably realistic:

And of course all the metal tool and weapon tiers are unchanged. This is what you want to possess. They are much better than the stone axe or the clubs.

I think this change not just increases realism. It makes the game more fun by increasing importance  of metal. Without metal, you remain essentially a glorified caveman.

Hope you will like it.

Here’s another little goodie or two coming in 2.2, check it out: