Fixes contd.

Furnace problem is now fixed too – it was trivial. I think I will leave the long sleep problem until 2.3. I can’t readily reproduce it, plus if I am right about it, it would probably take a long time to fix anyway.

Additional changes that will come with the fix:

  • Limestone is made lighter and basalt darker, although not to the same extent they were in 2.1
  • You can use stone chunks instead of stone blocks to craft stone spear/stone club/stone axe.

Btw. the reason I kept the original recipes for stone tools is because I don’t want the players who don’t read the blog (or players coming from Minecraft) to feel lost. That’s why all the original tool recipes work. I don’t think it’s a big problem you can make a stone club from one or three blocks of stone. Up to you how much you waste :-)

Fixes

Here’s the status.

The problem with world corruption when running out of space during 2.1 -> 2.2 conversion is fixed. First of all, the game will not attempt conversion if there’s not enough space. Second, even if conversion is attempted but fails for any reason, the game will be able to restore the world to the original 2.1 state with a high probability of success.

The problem with world lighting is actually two problems. One is long-standing and has been present in the game since time immemorial. It is responsible for abrupt lighting changes from full light to total darkness in certain places (mostly caves, but not only). I will not be fixing this problem in 2.2 – it would require a large refactoring of the entire lighting system.

The second lighting problem is the optimization related issue I introduced in 2.2. It causes the torch to not work in 1×1 holes, among other things. This problem is already fixed.

I have overhauled the hit pushback system for this fix update as well. 100% of successful hits now cause pushback (no more randomization), and the pushback has been made stronger. Actual strength is now dependent on the ratio of attacker to target masses. For example, hitting a rhino will cause nearly zero pushback, while hitting a wolf, quite a bit. Pushback also now causes a short “stun effect”, which makes the target stop for a short period of time (up to 1/3 second, depending on masses ratio). This makes pushback more visually pronounced. The stun effect is also applied to the player.

In general, this change makes killing smaller animals much easier. Big animals though are about the same, or a even a little bit harder to kill. They are heavy, so hitting them causes nearly no pushback or stunning, while them hitting the player has the reverse effect.

Furnace cheating by removing items is currently under investigation, as is the long sleep time.

I should be releasing the fixes shortly.

Corrupt worlds

There is another issue with the 2.2 update that is fairly serious. It’s to do with the world conversion process that rebuilds the world chunks in the new, 256 blocks high format.

If the conversion process fails for any reason, most commonly because there is not enough space on your device for the converted world data, the world might be left in a partially-converted state. This will likely cause some of the chunks go missing.

The space required for the conversion process is roughly double the amount of the world size in 2.1 format. So if your 2.1 world is 500MB, you will need 1000MB of space (plus some safety margin) to open it successfully in 2.2.

I have stopped working on the light problem and I am currently tackling this more pressing issue. In the meantime please be double careful when loading large 2.1 worlds. Make sure there’s enough of space on your device and keep backups (always a good idea with precious worlds).

The first sign of the problem is when the game hangs/crashes during the conversion process, or displays “Error loading world” message.

Again, the fault here is all mine. I didn’t make the conversion routine robust enough. Sorry!

2.2 is go

All platforms should now have the 2.2 update. There was a slight hiccup with Amazon, but this should now be resolved.

I am aware of the lighting bug you mentioned. Indeed, the lighting calculation in 2.2 is partially broken. It’s my fault. When increasing terrain height I optimized it a little too aggresively, and in some cases the lighting value result is wrong. Most notably, when you dig a 1×1 vertical shaft down, cover it and place a torch inside, the torch may not emit any light (depending on what is under the shaft). Also, the long sleep time seems to be an issue, but I haven’t investigated it yet. I am working on the fixes.

In fact I am happy it’s my fault. Most of the past problems with the game stemmed from bugs in the operating system and its libraries. Buggy shader compilers, buggy audio implementations, buggy network stacks, etc. One cannot fix these bugs, only work around them, and this is tedious, time consuming and unsatisfying. I still remember how angry I was when I discovered that a bug in Android limits the total number of AudioTracks created during the lifetime of application to 1024. How could they have missed something so ridiculous and so common? They finally fixed it in KitKat.

With the lighting bug, the blame is squarely on my shoulders.

Survivalcraft 2 Day One contd.

Day One for App store and Amazon Kindle are available as well:

Android: https://bit.ly/2PmftLV
Apple: https://apple.co/35pYRby
Amazon: https://amzn.to/38CBA8n

Please keep testing. I will be releasing the full version soon, don’t worry!

And check out the video:

Survivalcraft 2 Day One

Here’s the full changelist for the 2.2 update:

  • Terrain height is doubled to 256 blocks
  • Visual glitches when too many complex blocks exist in one place are fixed
  • Increased performance of terrain geometry generation
  • Increased probability of saplings growing into trees
  • Added Mimosa trees
  • Improved tree generation patterns
  • Improved iron and copper textures
  • Increased probability of finding loot in graves
  • Removed unrealistic wooden and stone tools
  • Added new universal stone axe
  • Added wooden club
  • Added stone club
  • Slightly reduced throwing, bow and crossbow shooting speed
  • Projectiles stay in the world for longer
  • Bomb crafting recipe produces 4 bombs
  • Reduced experience gained from digging minerals
  • Fog only works horizontally (to be able to see ground from tops of the mountains)
  • Terrain generation overhaul: different mountains, more intermediate areas and many more
  • Increased torch light to 15
  • New lighting model: lightsources remove shadow, less edge shadowing
  • Added terrain textures mipmapping to reduce shimmering (optional – slows down the game by a few %)
  • Fixed lighting bug when only one piece of furniture was present in the world
  • Reduced Piranha attack strength
  • Biome size on islands is smaller to have more varied terrain
  • Made forests have more logs
  • Temperature calculation takes altitude into account
  • Colors of grass and other blocks take altitude into account
  • Added ice on tops of the mountains
  • Ice does not turn into water when harvested high up
  • Made some shy animals avoid player more
  • Reduced amount of spawned cats
  • Food takes longer to rot
  • It takes longer to get flu when being cold
  • Rotten food turns into compost
  • Fixed odd minus sign in font
  • Added damage value display after hitting a creature
  • Added new items category: Weapons
  • Increased health of larger animals
  • Increased damage dealt by arrows, bolts and bullets
  • Rain drops generate particles when striking ground or water
  • Snoflakes stay on the ground for a while
  • Added starting location difficulty option: Easy, Medium and Hard
  • Walking backwards speed reduced to 60% of normal
  • Reduced player food requirement by 20%
  • Reduced probability of predators attacking other animals
  • Tweaked weapon hit probabilitiesWhen hitting a creature, sometimes there is no pushback effect
  • Increased number of inventory slots to 7 (up to 10 in creative)
  • Changed limestone and basalt textures
  • Made bears smaller, more realistic, they now fit in 1-wide space.
  • Improved player/creature ice slipping animation
  • Made polar bears have good traction on ice
  • Sneezing, coughing, puking will make noise and scare off birds
  • Added option to disable player-on-player attacks
  • Made block highlight of other players invisible
  • Added flat island mode
  • Added option to have rough shores in flat terrain modes
  • Improved sights texture visibility on snow
  • Improved terrain drawing at large distances from world origin
  • Improved clay texture
  • Brightened up wood and leaves textures
  • Iron trapdoor can no longer be used as furnace fuel
  • Made creative flying faster by 33%
  • Fish wag tail when attacking
  • Fixed eat pickable behaviour of creatures
  • Added Great White Sharks
  • Copper recipes require level 2 to craft
  • Iron recipes require level 3 to craft
  • Diamond recipes require level 4 to craft
  • Reduced amount of sharks, barracudas and piranhas.
  • Made boat stronger
  • Improved sharks models
  • Made wooden and stone arrows less accurate than metal arrows
  • In challenging/cruel/adventure player cannot place blocks if not standing on something
  • Made leaves drop sticks 15% of the time
  • Player can swim for longer before drowning
  • Crafting ladders produces 4 ladders instead of 2

And here’s the good news: if you have an Android phone, you can already play it! I’ve just published the demo version of Survivalcraft 2 on Google Play. It’s called Survivalcraft 2 Day One. You can download it for free here:

Please give it a go and let me know if you find any bugs.

As it is a new app, it needs every download it can get. Thank you!

Easy

So far almost all my posts announced new features that make the game more difficult. But it’s not the case at all. Have a look at these small tweaks that will come in 2.2:

  • Reduced Piranha attack strength by 50%
  • Reduced amount of spawned cats
  • Food takes longer to rot
  • It takes longer to get flu when being cold
  • Increased damage dealt by arrows, bolts and bullets
  • Reduced player food requirement by 20%
  • Reduced probability of predators attacking other animals
  • Made creative flying faster by 33%
  • Reduced amount of sharks, barracudas and piranhas
  • Made boat stronger
  • Made leaves drop sticks 15% of the time
  • Player can swim for longer before drowning
  • Crafting ladders produces 4 ladders instead of 2

As you can see, a lot of aspects will become easier.

It is very natural and very human: every time I add a new feature I have a temptation to make it very prominent. Take flu. Once I added it in 2.1, I wanted everyone to get it. It was so new and shiny :-) So I made it way too easy to contract. Bad Kaalus.

In the many tweaks released since, I have been steadily reducing the probability and increasing the time it takes to get flu. The 2.2 update makes it harder still. Hopefully we will now reach the point where it is properly balanced.

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!