Dev Blog

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

Overview (109 Entries)

Entry 106 - Jumping Chicken! - February 13, 2022

UI Changes
Making the UI user-friendly is quite a challenging task. Therefore I'm changing it a lot to find a layout that works well.

Originally I wanted the buttons for different in-game menus (backpack, crafting, construction, diary, ...) to be on the left. I now decided to move them to the top. That allows me to show in-game messages on the left side on the screen and they are even visible and easily readable while a menu is open.

I also realized that putting information texts above the crosshair is a really bad idea because a lot of the view is obstructed that way. Therefore I now moved all crosshair context information (such as the name of the thing you're pointing at and possible actions) below the crosshair.

Optimized Map "Files"
I decided to no longer save maps (and savegames) in a single file. Instead each map and savegame will be a folder with several files: A header file with general information about the map, a preview image file and one file for each chunk. This allows me to make saving much faster. This is especially important for quicksaves which should be as fast as possible. When you overwrite an existing save, only the header, the preview image (a screenshot of the current scene) and the MODIFIED chunks will be written. Chunks which did not change at all since the last save won't be touched.

This optimization comes with two downsides:
× It's more annoying to share maps and savegames because you have to share a complete folder and not just a single file
× The operating system has to access many files when loading/saving maps

The first downside is not a big one in my opinion. There might be more room for mistakes this way but once you know how it works it should be fine.
The second one can actually have negative impact on performance. Accessing files comes with some operating system overhead. Moreover the files might be stored in different memory sectors in chaotic order which leads to slower access times. This can make quite a difference on HDDs but if you store stuff on SSDs the impact isn't that big. Overall the benefits outweigh the downsides and most importantly this can significantly reduce load and save times on large maps.

Jumping Chicken
This (Attention: 8mb gif!) is what you get when your raycast and movement code doesn't work as expected. Fun. I only wanted them to move on the ground. Making them jitter like crazy wasn't part of the plan.

Research: Subnautica Below Zero
Another "research" project: Subnautica Below Zero! I already mentioned the predecessor in July last year (Dev Blog 101). Below Zero is a great game as well. Get it and play it if you like survival and exploration stuff!

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