Build 21 – Hotfix

Build 21 is a hotfix that addresses some issues with the recent update.

An issue has been fixed that caused storage baskets to be inaccessible after moving them.

Building materials (walls and ceilings) should now be able to be moved after placing them. Hold right click to move (while holding right click, press Q or E to rotate and mouse scroll to move forwards and backwards) Double tap E to pick up a building material.

The mouse cursor should no longer disappear when using an item in your inventory or selecting an option in the item drop down menu while a storage basket is open.

Fixing the mouse cursor bug has caused another bug within the storage basket that I am trying to work out. This new bug makes it necessary to left click once on the storage basket menu to focus it. Double clicking an item in a storage basket will still instantly transfer an item to your inventory. The basket menu must receive a left mouse click first to allow the details popup, a right-click instant transfer or a drag to player inventory. This will be worked on for future updates but I believe it is much less of a hassle than a disappearing mouse cursor.

Thanks for playing Windstone. Any feedback is helpful to help improve development.

 

 

Originally posted @ itch.io.

Update 20

First off I want to apologize for how long I left Windstone in a broken state. Although the game itself mostly worked well, the loading times when loading a save slot were ridiculous. This was caused by a bug that occurred when updating the Unreal Engine to a more recent version which allows more functionality and a variety of additions to the game to increase it’s quality, but with a game engine transition comes a huge headache of numerous bugs.

Most bugs including the loading bug are finally fixed but there may be some other bugs that I have not yet discovered that may have cropped up during the game engine transition.

The changes from the last update have mostly been re added to this version except that the custom mouse cursor has been reverted to the standard windows cursor. This however has proven to not fix a bug that I thought was caused by the custom mouse cursor. The only known issue with this update is that the mouse cursor sometimes will still disappear when clicking on certain button in the Inventory UI. You can get the mouse cursor back by left clicking your mouse.

The highlighted inventory slots have also been re-implemented. They don’t work perfectly yet but this is a minor issue that doesn’t really affect game play. I will continue to work on that as I figure out how to get the mouse cursor from disappearing.

A problem has also been fixed that wouldn’t allow you to start a new game in a new starting area unless you restarted the game.

Windstone will now be free once again to play test until April.

Thank you for playing Windstone and any and all feedback to help the game develop is much appreciated.

 

Originally posted @ itch.io on 2019-01-20.

Update 19 is live!

Update 19 consists of mostly underlying work to upgrade the game engine. Windstone now uses version 4.19 of the UE4 engine. Windstone will upgrade to 4.20 and 4.21 in the future and with each subsequent update to the UE4 engine when the new versions are stable. As of now, version 4.20 and 4.21 have an issue with the Blueprint Compilation Manager that conflicts with Windstone.

This engine upgrade required many things to change in Windstone’s code, most of which is not apparent to the player, but the end result and development functionality is much better. A visual and performance increase should be immediately noticeable.

Other changes and fixes:

The custom mouse cursor now looks like a stone arrow head again instead of the standard windows arrow.

The custom mouse cursor also now appears at the same spot at the center of the screen when menus are activated.

An issue is fixed that caused the leg armour animation to become out of sync with the leg animation while walking.

A counter measure has been added to help keep from getting stuck in foundations when loading a game that was saved while standing in a building. A better fix is being worked on but this will be determined by how the new level streaming/loading system evolves as it is still a work in progress.

Button highlights in the inventory have been disabled. Upgrading the engine caused them to bug out entirely and much of the inventory drag-and-drop programming had to be changed. For now, the highlights are deemed unnecessary but may be implemented again in the future.

The Details pop-up Widget when mousing over an inventory item now shows after .5 seconds in both the inventory and storage. The position of the pop-up relative to the mouse cursor has also been changed slightly due to the custom cursor. A user setting may be added to change the time delay for the pop-up or to disable it entirely, but that’s in the bells and whistles category for much much later unless enough people want it sooner and protest.

Windstone should now open in full screen by default instead of windowed mode.

It now takes 3x longer for your mental fortitude to become muddled from all effects. If you die now from being muddled you better just stay indoors for the rest of your life.  Some day I plan on adding difficulty levels where the muddled mechanic will be different for each one. For now, keep mushrooms on you and room in your belly to eat them at all times for emergencies and becoming muddled will never be a problem. Most mushrooms increase your mental fortitude. Warning: There are very few mushrooms in the snow biome except for what you may randomly find in storage baskets.

The female proxy character has been added to the dragon. When you are mounted on a dragon (the camera switches automatically to third person) you will now see some of the weapons and armour that you have equipped that are visible on your character in the inventory menu.

The default FOV (Field of View) has changed due to the engine upgrade. It is still not adjustable in options, but it is wider than it was. FOV adjustability is another for the bells and whistles of the future.

Stone arrows now inflict about 2x more damage and Obsidian arrows about 3x more.

Harvesting meat, carapace, hide and feathers from carcasses now will happen with every swing of the knife or hammer (the hammer is only used for carapace). Instead of the Obsidian Knife giving a higher chance of harvesting with each swing, it now allows you to harvest twice as much meat and feathers.

Below are known issues that have cropped up since the engine upgrade and have yet to be fixed:

The LOD system is completely different and may not be as optimized as it once was. This can cause some visual and performance degradation. I will be working on this more as everything is adapted to the new version of the engine.

AI and navigation of wildlife has more issues, especially with the Formicans on inclines and the Ostri in general. For the most part they still seek and attack you in the same way when you are close enough to them, but you may find yourself looking at the wildlife from a distance and thinking, “wtf is that creature doing over there?” as the creature tries to figure out wtf it is doing.

Some stones may not be able to be picked up that were able to be picked up before.  Please let me know if you find any other item that is not able to be picked up (that you knew you could pick up before). Basically every thing should be able to be pickup up or destroyed except for the grass, the pre-existing buildings and some ground foliage.

When loading a game from a save, it may hang at 40% (SaveInterfaceCall) for a few minutes. This did not happen before upgrading to 4.19. I’m working on a fix for this now as this is a huge priority.

Thank you for playing Windstone!

Originally posted @ itch.io, which is also where you can get the game.

Update 19 coming soon!

Update 19 is coming a little sooner than expected with a major version upgrade to the UE4 engine. Windstone will now be using a more recent and stable version of the UE4 Engine, Version 4.19.  Version 4.20 and 4.21 have major known issues that conflict with Windstone but transitions to newer versions will happen periodically once these are fixed.  Because of the many changes that needed to happen to bring Windstone to 4.19 (all the way from 4.11)  it needs extensive testing before it is safe to continue with development.  Although the underlying changes are massive, add much more functionality, improve performance and increase visual quality, this update will not have many changes immediately apparent to the player. There are some changes including the addition of the female character while mounted on a dragon as well as visible weapons and armour on the dragon rider that change depending on what you have equipped. A handful of other bug fixes and minor changes have also been made which will be listed in the patch notes. I hope to push Update 19 before the end of the weekend.

Originally posted @ itch.io.

Update 18 is live!

With update 18 comes the much requested female player character, the framework for major performance optimization and much more.

When starting a new game you can now choose between either a male or a female character. After choosing the gender of your character you can now choose which region of the world to start in: The Frozen North, The Jungle Mountains, The Southern Shore or The Island. Each region has multiple random starting points within.

Dozens of Points of Interest (POI) are now pre-marked on the map as a white dot. These mostly include villages, major landmarks and the Dragon Keeps. The POI marker will turn yellow after it has been discovered and you will gain a substantial amount of experience points.

Your character model proxy on the inventory menu will now show your equipped weapons and tools on their belt and strapped to their back. Previously only the armour, quiver and arrows would be visible on the proxy.  A change has also been made that has stopped the arrows from quivering in the… quiver…

New building pieces have been added: A triangle wood floor foundation, a triangle shaped roof section for wood huts that corresponds with angles made with the triangle wood floor and a complete roof cap section that can be placed on top of a “round” hexagon hut made with 6 triangle foundations. The triangle foundations can be used in conjunction with the square foundations to create as big or as large of a circular foundation as you please. Explore the newly added villages for examples and building ideas for your own designs. This only applies to the wood hut constructions for now in the warmer climates. Triangle foundations will be added to the stone huts in the cold climates in the future.

2 times more wildlife spawns have been added to the map. With this change is also an optimization that unloads individual wildlife from the game when you are very far away from them. Previously the wildlife would be “deactivated” when far away, but unloading them completely greatly increases performance once hundreds of creatures have been loaded into the game.

Visit the desert to find a new oasis and a Great Pyramid filled with labyrinthine tunnels and treasure. This Pyramid is similar to the one on the floating island, but you don’t have to have a dragon to reach it.

2 animated Non Player Characters, (NPCs) have been added to a large hut in the center of the Jungle Mountains area. They cannot yet be interacted with, but the framework for NPC interactions is being worked on. They will offer quests and story lore in the future.

When you have gauntlets equipped, they will now appear on your forearms in first-person view while wielding the Maul and Axe that was added in Update 17.

A Stone Wall crafting recipe has been fixed. It previously needed wood and now correctly needs stone.

The time it takes to become overfed has been decreased and the time it takes for your nutrition to stabilize has been slightly increased. (You shouldn’t become overfed as much when eating a lot and if you do become overfed it should wear off more quickly)

Various other bug fixes:

Fixed an issue that would disable drinking wells
Fixed an issue where full water gourds could not be picked up.
Fixed an issue with the Antelope Hide Poncho not showing on the proxy character when equipped.
Fixed a visual glitch with the horizon where the ocean meets the sky. In the process, the position of the distant mountain ranges on the far horizon have been altered.
Fixed a problem with aggressive wildlife not sensing the enemy in certain circumstances.
There is now a chance to have twins when hatching a dragon egg. Good luck with that. Feeding one is difficult enough.
Fixed an issue with the sound effect of fire crackling not playing.
Fixed an issue with shadows of the player’s equipped armor when mounted.

Known issues:

When choosing a female character, your first person view (when you look down and see your own body) your third person view (when riding a raft and hang glider) and the proxy character on the inventory menu all work correctly, BUT… when you mount your dragon you become male again until you dismount… This will be fixed in the next update.

I’ve also encountered an issue where armor pieces on the first person character become desynced from the body. Even though this happens rarely and can be fixed by crouching and standing up again, I am working on a fix. If anyone can reproduce this glitch please let me know exactly how you do it as it will help me fix it.

Thanks for playing Windstone!

I may begin streaming again soon at twitch.tv/thresholdseven

I hope to playtest and demonstrate Windstone live as well as play other games. I’ve been streaming on Twitch periodically for years, but I take long breaks to focus entirely on the development of Windstone. Now that update 18 is out I would like to take a little more time to stream and get feedback from playtesters to help guide the direction of Windstone for Update 19.

Much is already planned and being worked on for update 19 but the will of the playtesters can change priorities. Check out the Road Map forum section of Windstone on itch.io to see what is in the works and to give your input on what you would like to see implemented first or worked on the most.

Thanks again,
Ryan, ThresholdSeven

Originally posted @ itch.io which is also where you can get the game!

Update 18 coming soon!

It has been a little longer than expected for the wait for update 18. After completing what I first had in mind for update 18 I decided to undertake the first steps into a huge optimization process, Streaming Levels. Up until now the world of Windstone and everything that it encompasses belonged to one ginourmous “level”. This is the main reason why RAM usage has been so high. No matter where you were in the world, everything was loaded into memory, from things just out of render range in your area to trees, rocks and loot on the complete opposite side of the map. This was a starting point to keep the entire world seamless, a rule I’ve wanted to stick to from the beginning since I don’t enjoy loading screens any more than you. This is why I have not and most likely will not ever even implement any loading bars for things like crafting. The closest I have come is waiting for your thirst meter to replenish when drinking actively from a water source, but that feels natural to me. Staring at a loading icon during a game for something as simple as eating or crafting a tool, especially when you cannot do anything else while it is happening, and especially when it is frequent is something that I am surprised so many players accept as normal.

The world of Windstone and the number of things in it has grown to a proportion where I can no longer justify keeping it in one massive “level” all loaded in RAM at the same time. Not everyone has a shit ton of RAM and I eventually want the game to be reasonably optimized for lower end systems without having to decrease the graphics options. Probably not quite mobile optimization, but at least acceptable on most mid to low range gaming computers. As of now some people cannot even load the game because of the RAM requirements and this makes me sad. But this should change in Update 18

The answer to this is Level Streaming, the Unreal 4 Engine’s way to make large open worlds like ARK seamless. The simple definition of level streaming is that instead of waiting for a loading screen when entering new areas, only what is within the player’s view is loaded into the game and as the player moves throughout the world, new areas are loaded in and areas that you are no longer in are loaded out, so much less of the game world is loaded into RAM at any given time. When optimized well the player doesn’t even know this is happening.

I’m happy to say that I have finally implemented the first iteration of level streaming into Windstone and it is relatively stable. I’m not going to say “it just works” because it hasn’t been extensively tested yet, but it’s stable on my end. The world is now divided into 25 sections that load and unload automatically while you traverse the map. For the most part, the player will not even notice this change except for the lower RAM usage if they keep an eye on their Windows Task Manager. If the player is flying a dragon high in the sky, some pop-in of trees and rocks may be noticed in the distance and some areas with more stuff in them may cause the game to stall for a few frames as the streaming level is loaded or unloaded. This can all be optimized now that the system is in place after further testing to ensure the system I have implemented is as stable as I think it is.

The level streaming system also needed extensive changes to the save game system, so all 25 streamed levels are exactly how you left them when you turn off the game and resume from a loaded saved. This is also implemented and seemingly stable.

After more testing, I will optimize the level streaming system even more as there is still much room for improvement. About 65% of the assets are currently included in the level streaming (so only about 35% of the world is loaded into RAM) but this can be increased into the high 90% so only a few percent of what was previously loaded into RAM before I implemented the level streaming system will be necessary.

What else can you expect from Update 18 besides the Level Streaming optimization? Everything listed below is already done and ready to go:

Female player character

Region selection when starting a new game

Dozens of dynamic POI discovery around the world marked on the map

Equipped weapons and tools visible on the proxy character in the inventory menu

New building pieces including a triangle shaped floor piece

Dozens of new buildings with loot all around the map

2x more wildlife

Oasis and Pyramid added to the desert with labyrinthine tunnels

A few other minor additions including a couple NPCs that cannot yet be interacted with but are the first step in the NPC system. These NPCs currently just stand in one spot and have a “idle” animation. In the near future they will give quests with text dialogue like old school rpg quest givers. This will be expanded on in the future to included NPCs that will attack hostile wildlife in range and companions that will follow you and help fight. This is a priority, but small steps first.

Thanks for your patience and thanks for playing Windstone!

 

Originally posted @ itch.io.

Update 17 – Stone Axe and Maul

Update 17 Two-handed Axe and Maul

A two-handed Stone Axe and large Stone Maul can now be crafted through the tool tab on the bushcraft menu. The primary use of these new tools are to harvest wood and stone at a much faster rate than the one-handed hatchet and hammer. The Axe and Maul are relatively easy to craft but are heavy, cannot be used as crafting tools and must be switched manually with the hatchet or hammer respectively depending on the task at hand. The Axe and Maul can also be used as weapons and are only surpassed in damage output by obsidian weapons.

Tools, weapons and armour can now be dragged and dropped to quickly equip them. Drag an equippable item out of the inventory and drop it to automatically equip it to its pre-assigned slot. Double clicking an item or selecting equip from the right-click drop down menu still works to equip an item also. Custom hotbar slot orders may be added in the future but is not currently a priority.

Hunger and Thirst now takes twice as long to deplete. This change has also been applied to the Dragon Hatchling allowing you more time to find food and water for yourself and your hatchling.

Maximum sleeping time is now increased from 5 hours to 10 hours.

The effects of food poisoning have been changed and will no longer always inevitably kill you if you don’t have a proper antidote but it will leave you vulnerable with low health for a time. Poisoning still may cause an unavoidable death without an antidote if compounded with other ill effects (extreme fatigue, hypothermia, dehydration etc.)

Due to the increased size of the Building tab, the location of most notifications have been moved onto the top border of the inventory and contrast more with the background. This prevents the notifications from being hidden behind the crafting window and makes them more apparent overall.

The sorting button [^] has been moved to the bottom border of the inventory.

Some changes have been made to water surfaces and shadows to increase quality and performance.

Motion Blur has been turned off due to a conflict with other post processing settings. This primarily effected the first-person arms, making them blurry with jagged edges when animated.

Dragon colors should now persist through game saves/loads instead of reverting to blue/green.

The Dragon Hatchling should no longer be able to be turned into a juvenile instantly after hatching.

An issue was fixed with Drinking Well LODs as well as various other minor bugs.

More changes to the landscape have been made and assets have been added primarily around the starting areas. This will be an ongoing process throughout many more updates as the world continues to be built and gameplay mechanics pertaining to the availability of materials are balanced.

Thanks for playing Windstone.

 

Posted @ itch.io which is also where you can get the game.

Update 15 Hotfix

This hotfix addresses an issue caused by update 15 which stopped wildlife from spawning in certain areas. This should work as intended now.

Other bug fixes:

When Riding a dragon, the rider’s shadow should now appear correctly on the ground.

An issue has been fixed that caused the camera to spin uncontrollably when diving downwards while riding a dragon.

Some trees have been slightly moved to keep their branches from clipping through buildings.

Update 15 – Wolves!

Update 15 – Wolves!

Wolves now roam the snow biome along with the antelopes. Wolves will stalk you if they sense you from a distance. If you get too close they will charge and attack. Be prepared with arrows or a spear. A knife, hatchet or hammer will do, but you should be well-armoured before trying. Wolf meat and pelt can be harvested from their carcass with a knife. Their meat offers similar benefit to venison when cooked. The pelt will be used to make warm clothing in the future. For now it makes a nice rug.

Respawn timers on all wildlife have been increased. It now takes longer for wildlife to return to an area where they have been killed. Wildlife will not respawn if you are in their spawn proximity. If you find that certain wildlife is not respawning, leave the area (approximately a few hundred yards) to let the wildlife “return” to the area. This prevents dangerous wildlife from spawning on top of your head, keeps wildlife from “popping” into existence too much and breaking immersion, allows you to temporarily “clear” an area for safety, and makes it a little more difficult to hunt since wildlife usually will avoid inhabited areas. There is still a chance that wildlife will roam into an area you have settled from a distance.

Empty water gourds can now be filled in the snow biome at a fire by melting snow. Simply stand by a fire within the snow biome and choose “fill” from the drop down menu on the empty water gourd in your inventory or double click on the empty water gourd.

Bridges, climbing paths, buildings, wells, plants and various pickup items have been added to the landscape. This will be a continuing process as the landscape is populated with more assets during each update.

Wildlife spawn locations, particularly in the desert and volcano biome have been increased.

Thanks for playing Windstone! Please leave feedback if you find bugs or have suggestions. Windstone is still very much in alpha development and will undergo many changes. Your help and support is greatly appreciated.

 

Originally posted @ itch.io which is also were you can download the game.

Update 14 is here!

This is by far the biggest update so far. I wanted to make sure it contained significant additions which is why it took so long.

To help continued development, a price of $5.00 has been added to Windstone.
Many hours of gameplay can be had with update 14 and I now feel comfortable taking it out of the free category. I appreciate all those that have already played the game for many hours and given useful feedback.

Main Changes and Additions in Update 14:

3 New Biomes have been added: Desert, Volcano and Snow.

The Desert area serves mostly as a place where certain resources are abundant (agave, thorns and poison herbs) and as an area that must be crossed to enter the Volcano Biome. Within the Volcano Biome you will find buildings with loot, obsidian harvesting nodes, dangerous lava flows and most importantly the Red Dragon Keep, which houses the Red Dragon egg.

The Snow Biome covers nearly the entire northern quarter of the Island. Many pre-built newly modeled stone structures are scattered around the frozen land. Temperatures are always cold, resources are scarce and only Antelopes currently roam the wild as the cold-blooded Formicans and other native creatures stay south. In this biome, survival is truly a struggle of Makaran against himself. Within the Snow Biome, high on a mountain range is the White Dragon Keep. Wolves and Bears are stirring in their dens, awaiting a future update.

The separate island south west of the main island is now fully populated with resources and wildlife and also is home to the Green Dragon Keep.

The Blue Dragon keep remains where it has always been. All 4 dragons can be in your care simultaneously.

The Follow/Stay commands for the dragons have been modified to account for having multiple dragons. The Player must be close enough to their dragon and while looking at (placing the center dot on) the dragon press T (follow) or Y (stay).
This allows you to have one or as many of the dragons follow you as you wish. As of now, the dragons do not follow you if you are flying so be sure to put your remaining dragons on Stay if you take flight on another.

As a side note, the dragons are currently and primarily a mode of faster transportation and cannot die once fully grown. In the future this will be expanded, dragon combat mechanics will be added as well as quests that involve the dragons on your path to extermination the formicans and their Queen.

The in-game navigation Map has been updated.

When starting a new game you will begin in one of 12 spawn points at random. 5 are in the snow biome, 2 on the southern shore, 1 in the volcano biome, 3 in the central area of the main island and 1 on the south western island. All spawn points have different pros and cons. Some spawn points will offer a greater challenge than others.

Stone buildings have been added to the bushcraft menu which allows you to build new stone structures in the style of the newly modeled buildings that can be found in the Snow Biome.

Tutorial and quest objectives have been slightly altered for clarity and to accommodate new additions in update 14.

The model of the crafted well is modified and made unable to provide water if it’s placed on top of a foundation or other structure piece. It must now be placed on the landscape. (A structure can still be built around it but the well itself has to have bare ground directly underneath it)

Bug fixes:

Fixed an issue where the crafted water well could not be used.

Fixed an issue where ALL shadows would disappear. Shadows can now be seen much farther away.

Fixed an issue where ambient fog would cause concentric circles to appear in the sky at the center of the screen at night.

Thank you for playing and please leave feedback to help improve Windstone.

 

Originally posted @ https://threshold-seven.itch.io/windstone/devlog/50708/update-14-is-here which is also where you can get the latest version.