State of the Game 2016As 2016 has ended and we're moving into 2017 we wanted to take some time and give an overview of a lot of the game systems that make up Miscreated and explain the current state of each of those - much like we did at the end of 2015. Most systems have been covered below, but if you have additional questions please send a tweet to @miscreatedgame and we'll do our best to get them answered promptly.
If you are enjoying playing Miscreated, please leave (or update) your review on Steam at Steamcommunity.com! It's very beneficial to the game.
As a reminder, if you are not following our social media accounts, we'd recommend you do so. There is a lot of information that is shared on them that doesn't warrant a full post on Steam or our website. Some of the Twitter handles of team members are included below, so you can follow those that may interest you.
@entradaint (Company account)
@miscreatedgame (Official game account)
@lordsnave (Terry Evans - creator and lead developer)
@csprance (Chris Sprance - technical director/art lead)
@adam_johnson_ (Adam Johnson - technical designer)
@miscreatedmarco (Marco Catena - lead level designer)
@sihambly (Simon Hambly - lead animator)
@plumbjet (Graham Hayward - lead 3d artist)
@hendrikpolc (Hendrik Polczynski - senior developer)
@matthieu_labrie (Matt Labrie - 3d artist)
@miscreatedkks (Serkan - 3d artist)
@miscreated_carl (Carl Kent - 3d artist)
@miscreated_farz (Farzad Morshed - animator)
@miscreated_jen (Jennifer Yaner - Community Manager/PR)
@mrsmiscreated (Kim Hayward - Media Relations Manager/PR)
We want to thank everyone for making 2016 a great year for Miscreated! To date almost 600,000 of you have bought the game, which makes for a fun and vibrant community and the game's rating on Steam has been steadily increasing as well. Throughout 2017 we will continue to focus on fixing core issues and adding more gameplay elements to the game.
Miscreated has seen a substantial increase in the number of concurrent players playing the game. We hope to see the trend continue to improve as we fix and add core issues and features to the game. This is the concurrent player graph during the last year:
During the later part of 2016 we integrated BugSplat into Miscreated. BugSplat is a tool that automatically submits a crash report to them any time a server or client crashes. We can then view those reports on the BugSplat website and analyze them to help determine what caused the crash and to fix them. They also have several reports and metrics which allows us to look at how the stability of the game is trending. Keep in mind that the player count and number of servers have been increasing a lot while the total number of crashes has been declining. Each update we fix additional issues that are causing crashes.
Total Server crashes since BugSplat was integrated (the huge spikes were misconfigured servers that were continually crashing and restarting):
Early in 2016 we worked with Moon Collider to get their Kythera AI system working with Miscreated. The default AI system in CryEngine had some critical limitations when it comes to making a game of the size and scope we wanted, so the only option was to completely replace it with something better.
In addition to replacing the AI system, we also implemented our own lightweight and optimized animal system, and then Kythera was modified to use it as well. The animal system completely replaces the standard Actor system in CryEngine, so it's a lot faster and more efficient. The original intent of the animal system was just to be used for simple animals like the pig and rooster, but since it worked so well we decided to move all AI in the game to be based on the animal system and then use Kythera to control them.
Right at the end of 2016 we tried to move the last of the AI over to using the animal system, the mutants, but a few issues were found in final testing, so it was decided to wait until 2017 so we'd have more time to fix the issues. Once the mutants are moved over, then we can work on improving the AI in general. There is still a lot we want to add to the game when it comes to AI.
Networking is still a huge issue with Miscreated. While we have made a lot of improvements and changes to the default CryEngine networking code, it is still not even close to where we want it to be at for the final game.
We've had many internal discussions on what to do with the networking system, and the general consensus from the team is that it may be better to just rip the entire networking layer out of CryEngine and replace it with something a lot better. The default code is very antiquated and is not designed for modern games - especially an open world game. We think we will be able to move some systems over to a new networking layer in stages, probably starting with the animal system, and see how it goes from there. Improving networking will be a core focus for the team during 2017.
Prone support is a feature we definitely want in the game and we are still continuing to work on it. Unfortunately, it is a lot more complex than just making a few animations of the player on the ground. It requires changes to our camera (SFP) system, animation system, physics system, combat system, AI system, and pretty much every major part of the game. While we don't have an estimate on when it will be all finished, it is high on everyone's priority list, and is a feature commonly requested and asked about by the community.
A lot of time was spent during 2016 cleaning up existing animations, fixing issues caused by our SFP (Simulated First Person) mode, and adding custom animation support for some of the new weapons like the Recurve Bow and Crossbow. With our custom animation system in place it also allowed us to start working on more gameplay related features, such as the player emotes and being able to tie/bind players, and work has continued to progress on the prone animation system mentioned above.
Adding a female character to the game is something we've wanted to do for a long time, but kept pushing it off until other systems were in place, so we didn't have to redo a lot of work for both the male and female models. Just focusing on the male character allowed us to develop faster.
However, the time has now come to add the female character to the game. We expect this will happen during first quarter of 2017.
The female model is all done and is working in game, but all of the clothing in the game needs to be modified so it will work on both the male and female models, and that work has already been started on. There will also be an option added to the UI so that you can choose to play as a male or female character.
The base building system will be seeing some love soon. Since it was implemented we've made some minor changes to it and added some new parts, and storage boxes, but there is still a lot more we plan to do with it. What you see in game was just our first pass.
Floating bases will be fixed.
Many of the features we want to add to the base building system have been waiting for our networking system to improve so that it doesn't cause additional issues with the servers. Some of the features you will see being added this year.
Starting during January the plan is to start working on improving and fixing some of the lingering issues with all of the sounds in the game. This work will touch on a lot of areas of the game, such as:
How the sound zones are placed and configured on the map (ambient sounds, ocean waves, trees rustling, reverb areas)
How the sounds change when you are transitioning from the outside to inside of buildings/bunkers/caves
Improving gunshot tails so you get the nice echo sounds when outdoors
Adjusting many current sounds so they are more consistent (especially related to weapons)
Replacing some existing sound effects that were not entirely happy with (again, mainly related to weapons)
VehiclesDuring 2016 we added some more unique vehicles to the game, such as the bicycle, bus, and the 5-ton truck, and also added the police car which you can interact with more than a typical vehicle (lights/sirens).
The bicycle, due to the lack of proper two-wheeled support in CryEngine, was sort of a hack on our part to get it working in game, and we are not pleased with the way it currently works. We definitely want to fix it. We also have a dirt bike finished that we want to add to the game, but it's on hold until our two-wheeled physics model is working at an acceptable level.
Except for the dirt bike, there are no plans to add additional vehicles or types of vehicles to the game at this time. Instead we will focus on fixing existing issues with the vehicles. We also still planning on adding support so some of the vehicles can be customized by the players.
This is an area the Miscreated team, and many of our fans, know we are lacking in. From the inception of the game we wanted the game to be heavily focused around survival, and we are not close to that goal yet.
During 2017 we will be adding, and fixing, more survival elements to the game. This is also an area that Kythera will really be helpful with once the conversion of all the AI is completed - so we can focus more on AI behaviors. We have added some basic survival elements in 2016, animals and hunting animals, cooking materials from animals, campfires/drying racks, but those are fairly basic systems and need to be expanded upon. Features like traps and crops we still plan to add.
Our goal is to make Miscreated really feel like a survival game.
Looking Towards Beta
Once all of the core gameplay mechanics we want to add to the game are in and working at an acceptable level, and all major/critical issues have been fixed, then we'll move the game to Beta status and focus more on fine tuning and fixing the smaller, lingering issues. We don't have an ETA on when that will happen, or if it will even happen during 2017, but we are focusing on fixing and adding the main gameplay features for the game during this year.
We mentioned this in the last State of the Game post so we'll mention it again for this one, but BR is on hold for now until the survival game aspect is closer to completion. No work has been done on BR in 2016. Having said that, we still want to add it to the game at some future point, but our focus is on the survival game.
From the entire Miscreated team, thank your for an amazing 2016 and we plan on 2017 being ever better!