Dev Blog

Hi, this is the Stranded III development blog (see also Forum Thread, Comment Thread).

Overview (114 Entries)

Entry 114 - Flares & Flowers - February 20, 2024

The Big Unity F*ck Up
I guess most people who are involved in gaming heard about Unity's runtime fee plans.
This whole thing has left me extremely demotivated. Not because of the additional fees (they probably wouldn't affect me anyway) but because of the breach of trust on the part of Unity.
I decided to stick to Unity anyway because it would be madness to switch engines now. It would cost too much time.

I've hardly worked on Stranded III in the last few months. Instead I've completely overhauled, which was also a pretty big project. But now I want to continue working on Stranded III at full speed.

This is a tiny but neat feature which simply uses Unity's flare system. The sun now has flares and also every other light source can have flares. You can choose from various presets.

> Light entity with a flare in the map editor

After adding butterflies in the last dev blog, I really felt like adding some new flowers.

Hibiscus: I already drew the blossom a while ago. It's also used as UI decoration. The leaf texture was still missing though and there was no real model yet. I took care of that now.

> Hibiscus

Zantedeschia: Also called calla or calla lilly. This one is completely new. I made two different color variants.

> Zantedeschia

Extremely important key features aka wasting time with nonsense: Destruction FX UV filter
When destroying objects, Stranded III decomposes the meshes into their parts (connected vertices) and converts these into short living physics objects so it looks like the objects fall apart. This is also true for the new hibiscus flowers. I want people to be able to collect hibiscus blossoms (not sure what they will be good for. Maybe tea?). So the plant spawns hibiscus blossom items when it get destroyed. This looks weird though because the blossoms are part of the mesh. So for a few seconds there are simply too many blossoms - the spawned items and the original blossoms of the mesh.

I actually already have a filter in place which allows me to only generate parts from (sub)meshes wich use a specific texture. Unfortunately I can't use that for the hibiscus plant because it uses a single texture sheet for all its parts (which is also shared with a lot of other small plants by the way).

Therefore I introduced a new filtering method: UV checks! You can now define ranges of UV coordinates. Those are the X and Y coordinates in textures from bottom left (0,0) to top right (1,1). The game will then only spawn mesh parts if none of their UVs is inside or outside a specified UV range (hence rectangle). This way I can prevent that the blossom destruction meshes are spawned and can instead spawn the blossom items. Hooray!

Game Recommendation: Oxygen Not Included
This game is wild. It was recommended to me because it's kind of a survival game (your people need food, oxygen, the right temperature, toilets...) but I think it's mainly a building & management game. And it's ridiclously complex. It seems simple at first but after a short time you realize that it comes with a complex gas, liquid, temperature and even germ and electricity simulation. You have to take good care of all of these things or your people will die sooner or later. You have to build smart ventilation systems, piping and your own electric grid which hopefully doesn't overheat every few seconds. And it doesn't end there: You can even have automation stuff which turns things on and off automatically based on sensors and logical conditions.

So if you're looking for a challenge and have enough time: play it!


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