The Wanderlost beta will be entering playtesting soon. If you're interested in signing up to be a playtester head over to discord for an upcoming announcement.
In the next couple weeks we’ll be rolling out a first look at the Wanderlost beta for playtesters. In addition to everything from previous beta related updates here’s some of the latest stuff I've been adding to the game:
Interior walls mean buildings are no longer giant, empty rectangles and over one hundred pieces of furniture with pixel perfect depth sorting and collision provide a firm foundation for our POI design.
Some types of furniture can now act as a container and be looted for a wide variety of potentially valuable gear and resources. Loot tables are context sensitive which means you’ll be more likely to find food in a fridge or clothes on a clothes rack. If you’re lucky enough to find a safe who knows what you’ll find.
Many of the objects you find during urban exploration can now be destroyed for components, so even the furniture that doesn’t contain any loot can provide valuable resources.
Roofs can now partially disappear to reveal any doors that were obscured and then still fully disappear on entry. Visible roofs are important because I want urban exploration to be high risk, high reward. When entering a building it should be a shock to discover half a dozen zombies inside waiting for you. Creating the feeling of "going in blind" while not obscuring crucial visual information like backdoors was my goal for the roof behavior.
Roof generation also now supports both 32x32 and 64x64 roof tiles which gives me a lot more flexibility when it comes to their design.
Silly though it may sound these were a challenge to incorporate into the building generation system and I foolishly failed to note their importance when originally writing the building code. Only after I had several buildings generated side-by-side did it occur to me how bizarre this town would look with buildings all facing the exact same direction.
Some of the buildings and containers you encounter in the urban sprawl will be locked and require a lockpick to break in.
The lockpicking minigame’s difficulty is affected by lockpick quality. Be sure to craft some Iron Lockpicks or Steel Lockpicks before you start raiding buildings!
... Unless you have a sledgehammer. In which case, what even is a locked door?
At long last we have a repository of character info and stats. Expanding the information panel for items or keeping tabs on your stat distribution when leveling up can give you a sense of some stats but the character menu does much more. Not only is there a much greater stat variety in a centralized location, the character menu also consolidates derivative stats so you can see, for example, what your overall movement speed is based on your agility, equipment, encumbrance etc.
The menu includes: primary stats like strength and intelligence, survival stats like hunger and stamina, detailed combat stats from all 3 major weapon types (melee, bow, gun), and movement stats such as sprint speed and dash cooldown.
Don’t be fooled by the dopey exterior. The puffball on top of his hat may be cute but when he’s summoned 6 fresh zombies to the fight you won’t be laughing anymore.
The necromancer counts as an elite zombie and can appear leading worldmap hordes. He can be killed pretty easily, the trick is to do it before he’s built an army which makes a sniper rifle ideally suited to the task.
Be wary, there are snakes in the grass. The rainforest is no longer a stroll in the proverbial park. If you’re looking for bamboo and hardwood then keep your eyes peeled because these slippery guys are on the hunt
Harvest snakes and tan the Snakeskin you get and you’ll eventually be able to craft items with Snake Leather, such as the Snake Handle Machete.
Our new mystery NPC has a house and it’s an unusual one. Whoever lives here must not be afraid of heights.
Laslow’s Seed Depot
Last update we met Laslow, the kindly farmer of Halcyon. Now you can meet Laslow’s shop! He aims to please.
Rubber Ducky’s Home
Okay maybe it’s not the ducky’s home but he is a beloved roommate. Now that I think of it, I'm not actually sure who lives here…
Players can now craft a variety of camping supplies which can act as portable/deconstructible save & sleep points.
Two of the tents added are the Tarp Tent and the Leather Tent. Both of which can be crafted with varying degrees of difficulted.
The time required to pack up the tents is based on their quality which is what makes the two lootable-only variants so valuable. The Modern Tent and the Sleeping Bag can be packed up in just 6 seconds and 2 seconds respectively while the craftable variants might take several times as long. The faster you can deploy and recover your portable sleeping & saving spot, the safer you’ll be.
Our shadowcaster now accounts for frame-by-frame animations as well as object movement so when tree shadows move because the trees sway in the wind, the animated sprites have correspondingly moving & animating dynamic shadows. Not only that but the new shadowcaster frontloads the shadow related calculations onto the GPU using shaders which resulted in a significant ~15% FPS bump for the entire game (from about 550 to 630fps).
Pixel font replaced with high resolution font for readability. Originally I wanted to keep everything in the game pixel art but ultimately user experience is more important and the new high resolution font makes everything much clearer.
New Base Building Materials
We have a good variety of wall building materials but floors and especially roofs have been lacking with only two options. Now you can use Thatch and Bamboo to craft new floor and roof types. Note that thatch is flammable so be careful not to place your campfire on top of a thatch floor.
World Map & Minimap
Generated roads now appear on minimap and worldmap. Working on making building icons for the maps as well.
The Wanderlost beta also includes four new songs by our talented composers Alex Melancon and Tomas Palazzi. Sneak peak below:
Changes, Tweaks & Fixes
Simplified interaction- you can now interact with almost all interactive objects by either clicking on them or pressing E – You can also now hold LMB or E to continuously harvest a resource rather than clicking over and over to chop down the tree.
Full audio rebalance, sound effects and music all mastered to a more appropriate and synergistic volume
Bear rebalance- less common, reduced speed and damage
Stamina buffed- regenerates twice as fast, no longer need to be standing still to start regenerating stamina. Melee attacks pause stamina recovery for 1 second
Town generator now generates maps during scr_load_map, roads are now continuous from map to map
Town generator now properly clears all roads of objects & plants, also properly paves over bodies of water
Taking items from containers now sends notifications (need feedback on this one, if it’s annoying to get notified when grabbing items from your own containers let me know and I can revert the change)
Zombies much less likely to spawn inside player building area (due to the way object occlusion works there are still rare circumstances where a zombie might spawn inside a base while the player is away, currently looking for a better fix)
Item info panels now align text properly and items with rarities now display as a different color inside the inventory for easy readability (looks cool too!)
There are dozens more bugfixes and minor changes that aren't worth listing but bit by bit the game gets better.
Beta Roadmap - What I’m working on now
Need more diverse building art: Wall, floor and roof tilesets as well as additional interior objects such as furniture and clutter
Expanded POI variety: Currently there are 16 hand crafted POIs and some additional variety added through procedural alterations but given the limited toolkit the POIs can start to feel repetitive
Building placement still feels arbitrary, sometimes buildings will appear overlapping the road etc.
Need driveways or paths to connect buildings to roads and sidewalks. Also need dirt tileset to surround building perimiter with. Combined these two things will help buildings feel entrenched in the world rather than like stickers on top of it
Leaving a map stores its buildings in memory and re-entering that map will load those buildings from memory. Next step is to read and write building/town data to file so that towns (including state changes) can be saved and loaded when exiting the game. This feature has been finished for roads and sidewalks but needs work for buildings and interiors
Populate roads and building exteriors with zombies to enhance urban challenge. Urban exploration should pose a significant threat to the player while also rewarding them for the risks they take
Road object placement- streetlamps, benches, destroyed vehicles etc. The art is complete, just needs to be incorporated into the procgen algorithm in a way that results in sensible placement (benches in the middle of the road aren’t a great look)
Occasional issue where buildings can generate on top of bodies of water
Interior objects are currently either destructible or lootable but I’d like containers to be both lootable and destructible. I don't plan on allowing a container's loot to drop on destruction though as that would undermine the lockpicking minigame and items. If players prefer it I could allow half-loot to drop when a full container is broken
Some of what is listed above will need to be sorted out before the full beta rollout (namely the building placement and writing/loading building data from file) while others I will continue to work on through the beta release. Once we’ve gathered sufficient playtesting feedback I will release the build to the beta backers. It's undoubtedly the largest new feature set since the pre-alpha so I’m sure there will be plenty of bug squashing and crash fixing to do as it rolls out. Once things have stabilized I will begin work on the remaining full release features like controller support, character creation & traits system, fleshed out settings menu, female main character, and Nintendo Switch port.
Stay tuned for the upcoming Discord announcement if you’re interested in being a beta playtester or watch out here for the public beta release announcement that follows.