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Quarterly Development Update

OWI_KrispyOWI_Krispy Vancouver, B.C.Posts: 51 Community Manager
edited July 9 in DevBlogs

Hey Squaddies!

Welcome to the first edition of our new Quarterly Development Update, where we will be giving our community some insight into how development works behind the scenes. In these updates, we will be exploring recent challenges faced by our development team, provide some insight into our process, and provide a bit of discussion surrounding our priorities. Once you’re done reading this update, feel free to head over to our forums to ask your questions in the discussion thread (this exact one!). We will compile the questions and answer as many of them as possible! 

A Look Back:

The Logistics Supply Bug

During the last few months, the team faced a difficult challenge in finding a resolution for the logistics supply bug. The bug was tied to several other issues including the turret-disappearance bug and the passenger seat bug. This made it difficult to investigate and pin down the root cause. 

Through the team's investigations, the team discovered that the bug is a symptom of an overarching engine issue. This issue is caused by the client and server’s GUIDs for certain objects in the world being mismatched upon loading a new level. The issue is unfortunately not completely resolved, but it is less frequent with the mitigation the team has implemented. The team is continuing to investigate new solutions to completely eradicate the bug once and for all.

Several months were used to diagnose the source of the problem, and get an acceptable patch to the player base. The interconnectedness of the issue pushed our timeline far beyond what we expected and we ended up spending most of March diagnosing the source of the problem, then the majority of April testing several different possible solutions.

After several tests, we took a new approach reviewing the engineering side of things. During our testing phase, we were able to find a better solution that significantly reduced the frequency of users experiencing this bug. Thanks to the discovery of some previously hidden settings and testing several different engine changes. We eventually found a new understanding of how the engine caches client GUID values and we have been able to make a significant amount of progress. 

The Vehicle Meshes bug

As many of you know, another issue several players had been facing within Squad was the Vehicle Mesh bug, which caused the armor of the vehicle to become indestructible. This bug came out of a new functionality we created for armour meshes. The new functionality replaced armor meshes with a newly created component that allows us to decouple the armor rating information and information about the physical material used on the mesh. 


Previously, armor rating information was embedded into the physical material, causing numerous headaches for our VFX artists and game designers due to the sheer number of different physical materials needed to represent different armor values. The new component the team has designed has allowed us to move away from the physical materials-based workflow, making it simpler to set up and tune armor values without affecting the VFX and audio used for that armor. This also allows us to extend our methods of armor penetration more easily in the future if need be. Unfortunately, this new system had a bug where the projectile would not use the correct value for penetration, and the fix for the bug would cause a crash while using mods that had custom projectiles. This meant that we needed to disable this change until we could get a solution for the crash in place.

Update to Forward Operating Base Exclusion Radius 

In update 2.9 the Forward Operating Base’s (FOB) Exclusion Radius has been increased back to 400m from 300m. This change is intended to reduce the effectiveness of massed FOBs surrounding an objective, and tone down the spawn point spam meta which is a staple of current public games. The spam meta is where teams use the ability to deploy multiple spawn points in close proximity to the surrounding objective area and this is not aligned with the focus of our game. 

We hope the exclusion radius change encourages players to put more emphasis on teamwork when picking locations for their FOB placements. In the future we are looking at more changes to help mitigate this broader strategic meta, and encourage a wider variety of effective strategies. The goal is to better align Squad’s gameplay more closely with our focus on teamwork, communication, planning, and coordination. This alignment would allow and encourage more often a wider range of strategic options with more effective planning. 

Recent HAB Meta Changes

In update 2.9 a future change to the HAB proxy radius was mixed with a merge and pushed to the live game an update early. The change makes it so that players can proximity block a spawning unit from an increasing radius with more players, 3 at 30 meters, 4 at 40, and so on until 8 players can block it at 80 meters. We are currently reading the feedback about this change from multiple channels and are actively looking for the right way to fine-tune this change that takes into account all of your feedback. You can read a more detailed post from us on the subject here.

Coming Soon-ish: Rotor wash system

The team has been designing a new feature called the helicopter rotor wash system. It allows for helicopters to affect the environment it comes into contact with. For example, when a helicopter flies over a field of grass, it will flatten the grass as the air is blown down onto it. The system is dynamic, so there is no constant shader cost of the effect unless there is a helicopter with an engine on, within 60m of the ground, and within 700m of your player. 

Wash can overlap from multiple helicopters, causing vast turbulence between them, with a max of 8 active at a time. The active helicopters sort by distance, opening possibilities for future effects from helicopters, other vehicles, or players.



If you’ve made it this far, thank you for your deep interest in everything Squad-related! As a reminder, if you have any questions, please head over to the discussion thread in our forums (psst, You're here already!). We will be reading your questions and aim to answer them over the coming weeks. 

As always, you can catch a glimpse of the Squad Roadmap https://trello.com/b/12AMfhIv/squad-roadmap . The roadmap has always been our way of providing the community with transparency, but with that transparency comes the caveat that things we’ve discussed may change. 

Offworld Out!

Comments

  • StockeStocke Member Posts: 0 Civilian

    First i want to say that it's really nice that we get some insight and the issues you're fighting with.

    I'm playing this game for several years and i really have to say you guys are doing an amazing job and i love the game even when u're releasing content in slugspeed. I want to use this opportunity to share my thoughts with you guys. I'm fighting on daily bases with major and minor bugs and missing QoL which should be focused on some examples would be:

    • Ghost sounds still an issue when u're sitting in a vehicle for quite some time and leave it afterwards i hear ghost shots played for like several minutes which is quite anoying (how many years do we need to endure this bug?)
    • commanderseats of bradley,abrams,t72 etc. are flickering around even with stabilization also in the game for quite a while
    • ragdoll if u slighty hit people fly across the map also in the game for quite some patches not as long as the other 2 bugs but still
    • Vehicle acceleration since a few maps is quite anoying (manic,skorpo,lashkar) really needs some fine tuning also logistics truck stuck in gear bug where u need to leave the road and get back on it so the gearlevel changes again (i think it's a traction bug) should be a thing also why does the russian logi truck flip 10 times faster then the other factions u think that's balanced ???
    • Vehicle traction need some love and fine tuning i know you guys avoiding this topic for quite a while because it's super difficult to figure out/fix/improve
    • SPG technical animation locks even when loaded and adjusting crosshair on every shot after animation lock is pure evil
    • Militia vehicle traction feels **** in particular feels like driving on ice on basically every map even the once without snow ;)
    • Using milita/insurgent drone - afterwards weapon is bugged
    • Bugged HAB's on gorodok industrial flag building (which is pretty cringe because the building got a rework and still won't work :D )
    • fps drops behind canadian logistic trucks because generated smoke/sand destroying fps even when multiple logistictrucks are ahead of you

    That was just a few examples and i could spend the rest of the day filling that to an infite list of bugs so the point is you guys really should focus on some QoL and the promised content why on earth do u show me that unimpressive rotor wash system? do u guys remember the roadmap of last year u showed to the community with new factions new maps fastroping etc. u delayed that for a month and another month and then shifted it over to early 2021 and now we have JULY i mean let's be honest thats not how u treat your playerbase and now u guys come around the corner with an unimpressive "hey look the flowers move when the choppa is landing system". I know u guys had to deal with massive issues and did a massive QoL round last patch but u and i know there's still a hell of a buglist to smash (sorry to the guy made the rotor wash system your system is cool but at this point nobody needs that stuff) but how do u think people react to it if u see this rotor washing system waiting for almost 12 month for the promised factions,maps and other content.

    Where is the scoreboard rework we were talking about YEARS ago ?? Anyone ??

    Can you guys focus on finnishing the cool stuff we had on the roadmap before we indroduce next feature nobody was talking about.

    Let's get to the design issues. The FOB radius change is barely noticeable because how maps and layouts are designed. Spawnhopping works perfectly fine if we play gorodok,yehorivka and other bigger maps - cap the point - kill my self - spawn on the next attack FOB - even works with hopping back for defense.

    The thing is u guys have so many cool stuff to work with like limit buildable FOB's per SL to a certain amount is just one great example for huge profit - forces you to teamwork with others u can't spam/rush FOB's etc. etc.

    Another point is how FOB's and HAB's are fortified ... exactly they won't - hide the FOB in a bush on the edge and place the HAB somewhere and that's it is not intended design i assume. Also alot of toolkits to work with here just an example would be make the first X amount of hesco's free and X amount of Sandbags or razorwire's people might actually start defend their FOB's/HAB's properly if they're limited in the amount they can place also 10 tickets for a FOB is questionable it show's how unimportant it is a vehicle is worth more then your spawnbase ?:WUTFACE:. The importance and redundancy of FOB's are a major issue in the game at the same time needs some rethinking it's not done at all with increasing it to a 100m there is no change in the actual game right now except for smaller maps like chora,sumari on these maps u can feel the importance of keeping this FOB/HAB alive.

    Ammorack change feels super mega giga bad. since patch haven't seen any chasings or long lasting shootouts between tanks it's just a 2shot every tank fiesta now feels super boring highly recommend to reverse that asap and i was playing alot of tank rounds also that enemy tank can't shoot back after i destroyed his ammo rack feels like even worse a good tank crew might evenge kill before burning out not working anymore due to the patch.

    So i was crying about so many things let's mention some cool stuff im really happy about so not everyone is going to think we're just mad at everything :)

    • Playerlimit increase was a huge win for the game
    • constantly working on sounds and fps increase and next rounds of smashing bugs and get some QoL into the game is great to see
    • Feels like Krispy is finally doing his work setting up stuff to keep the playerbase informed about whats the hell is going on maybe even monthly youtube videos in the office seeing people actually working or pretending to work on something and tell the viewer's what they're working on like several other companys already doing that would be great win for all of us waiting for new content.
    • Alot of great new content we're going to see in 3 weeks.
    • Squad have a great community and im proud to be part of it.

    Also can we get some working side/backmirrors and a honk for the vehicles please 😁

  • fantasticfantastic Member Posts: 1 Civilian

    RE: The Logistics Supply Bug

    There is a similar issue with the UI where sometimes, when interacting with the vehicle menu to get ammo and/or build, the ammo/build count remains stuck on the screen even after moving away from the vehicle. You can fix this in some cases by pressing ENTER and hovering your mouse where the "exit vehicle" would show if the full menu was open. I talked with Virus on Discord and he mentioned a UI overhaul might have to be done at some point which mayaddress this. It looks like you've narrowed down the cause for the logistics supply bug - is this cause the same reason behind what's causing the above-mentioned menu glitch? If not, is there a timeline in place for the UI overhaul which may fix this bug, or is it considered tech debt?


    Additionally, are there plans for more OWI support + funding for community tournaments with prize pools?

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