It's been a while since our last update as November and December have been extremely busy for us. As a quick heads up, our update schedule is still going to be a little rocky over the Holiday period as we're still transitioning into our new work space. Especially since some of our staff will be taking time off to rest and recharge over the holidays.
We're excited to announce that we've been in the process of establishing a physical studio as well as relocating most of our Canadian staff to Calgary. This has been a huge step in the right direction as productivity in a proper work environment has never been better. Having our artists be able to get into a car and take reference shots of real-life Alberta towns such as Canmore, Banff, Dead Mans Flats, and many other small towns including the city of Calgary itself is a game changer for us.
If you're interested in working for us and you are willing to work in Calgary, please send your portfolio to email@example.com - there are no strict requirements, we just want to see your work and the things that you have created.
You may have noticed it's been a while since we've pushed a patch. This is because there are quite a few issues that have been plaguing the user experience while playing Dead Matter and we are doing our best to try and resolve these issues so that we can significantly improve the user experience and overall fun-factor of playing the game. Our next patch will include a significant round of improvements to multiple systems within the game.
The most important improvement that's coming with the new patch is an improved mechanism for spawning zombies into our world. The new zombie spawning system will even allow you to clear out an area until it becomes repopulated. Kyle has achieved this by dividing the world into cells that have a set population of infected that can be exhausted by simplying killing all of the zombies.
Kyle has also written new behavior for the zombies. Zombies can now leap after you during a chase and will also no longer stand still simply to attack you. They are much more of a threat than they were before and the way that Kyle has written them will allow us to rapidly iterate on different variations of the infected.
Another improvement coming with patch 0.6.0 is a major refactor with how we pull and push data to and from the disk. Vehicles should now persist correctly along with doors and any containers that the player decides to place down into the world. This involved a lot of work under-the-hood but when it comes to saving/loading data properly it is neccesary for us to take our time with this and make sure we aren't introducing any new issues into the game.
Nik has also found many issues related to how players take damage and has cleaned up a lot of issues with the hit detection in order to make firefights with other survivors a lot more consistent. Along with the new hit detection, there will be changes coming to the medical system and character creation. There are also a lot of issues with the perk system that we will be targeting in 0.6.0 and 0.7.0
Billy has implemented a new skin-shader that is more realistic than our current implementation pictured below.
The 1895 lever action rifle will be making it's debut in 0.6.0
Along with some new weapons that will be introduced, we've taken quite a few measures to fight the hitching and stuttering that players have been experiencing within the game. 0.6.0 will be the first of many steps in the right direction for Dead Matter.
0.6.0 comes with a lot of changes but it is only the beginning. Beyond 0.6.0 there are a swath of improvements that we will be bringing to the game, our first major revision (1.0.0) of the Closed Alpha will be a massive update to DM_Alberta - the main world map used for Dead Matter's map. We are going to be replacing the heightmap that the current map consists of to one that uses real-life heightmap data and a mix of procedural generation. We are also retooling our lighting system to be a lot more PBR friendly and to also support the ambient occlusion volumes as seen in our previous development vlogs. Buildings will be much darker on the inside with more consistent lighting than before.
We have a few sneak peaks of what the future of the game looks like and the overall feeling of the map and the tone of the lighting is not only far more realistic than what we have right now but it also more closely aligns with the original vision that we had for Dead Matter. There will also be much more space available between major locations in the game which will give our vehicles much more purpose and will also allow players to camp in the woods with less risk of encountering a fresh spawn or someone simply traversing the area.
We've also been working on getting some progress on some of the backer rewards. If you've backed for a hockey jersey, then you're in luck because these bad boys will be shipping soon.
There are still major components of the game that we would like to tweak significantly to fit the original vision of the game. We want to get rid of the claim system to better reflect the original tone we had for the game. In our current build if you were to stumble upon a gas station with a garage attached to it and you want to claim it but there is no claim box then you're out of luck. We really dislike that our design decisions lead to that and will be implementing a system where players can simply barricade and secure any location they find to better reflect the original vision for Dead Matter.
There will also be major revisions to the vehicle system that revolves around repairs utilizing a larger variety of vehicle parts and tools. In a future update, you will no longer find vehicles in working order and you must repair them in order to drive them away. We are also planning on making more use of the trailer system in the game, as well as allowing players to reinforce and repaint their vehicle.
Did you know you can combine leaves and a stick in order to create a campfire? Or that you can drag scissors onto clothing to more efficiently slice them up into rags? If you did, then congratulations - it's pretty damn hard to discover all of the crafting combinations and recipes at the moment. One of the things we are targetting in 0.7.0 is making crafting more accessible to people that are playing Dead Matter.
We are committed to putting out a version of the game that not only we can be proud of but something that our backers can be truly proud of as well. We will not be meeting our original Early Access targets for the first Quarter of 2021. We know that in order to take this game to Early Access, in a state that is viable, that Dead Matter will need a lot of refinement. We are looking forward to improving the game while our backers continue to help give us the feedback that we need in order to do the best job that we can.
We cannot thank all of you enough for helping us get to where we are. All of us are extremely excited to have the opportunity to continue working with our backers and realize the full potential of Dead Matter.