After a little break to gather feedback and wait for bug reports to safely continue development I’ve been working on Windstone again over the past few weeks. Update 12 was scheduled to be a large one but unforeseen issues have caused the necessary migration of Windstone to a fresh project file in UE4 due to compiling errors. This caused a lot of settings to revert to default and a lot of combing through the scripting and play testing was necessary to get Windstone back to where it was in Update 11 and subsequently delayed the release and lessened the planned content of update 12. There may be unknown issues caused by the migration that may not be found until more testing is done.
The raft functionality was the last known issue that needed fixing and is done but it still may be buggy. Feedback on the raft will be very much appreciated.
Update 12 also has a few new changes including the most requested feature: click-to-attack instead of hold-to-attack. You can simply click once to punch, swing a weapon or harvest with a tool. Additionally you can hold left click to swing your weapon or tool continuously.
The Blue Cap Mushroom objective has been removed as it caused unnecessary distraction from other parts of the tutorial for many play testers. You can still find and use the mushrooms as normal on your own time.
Run speed while holding a weapon or tool has been increased from 75% to 90% unarmed run speed.
Although there may be other unknown issues due to the project migration, the only obvious change left to fix is the visual quality of the ocean surface. As it was not a priority, doesn’t affect gameplay and I wanted to get an update out ASAP, I left this for another update. The migration caused the visual settings of the water to revert and will take some tweaking. It may change drastically as the former ocean surface was somewhat of a placeholder.
I know some of you were hoping for a larger update but this will be the start of much more frequent updates and I will address the issues and recommendations from feedback on this forum as a priority.
Thank you to all who have taken the time to playtest Windstone and give feedback. A big thanks to those who donated and for the streamers and youtubers who helped bring more players to Windstone.
Stay tuned for many updates more frequent updates in the near future.
Update 12 can be downloaded from itch.io, as always.
Update 11 is live!
This update is primarily an optimization update. Nearly all models have had their poly count reduced dramatically and the landscape itself is optimized. The foliage has also been thinned out slightly to increase performance.
The result on test computers is a 30% reduction in RAM usage and 30% reduction in load times. Results may vary on other computers but this should allow a much larger player base to test Windstone as previously a relatively high end computer was necessary.
RAM usage should not exceed 8gb. It is still fairly high but much better than before and I will continue to work towards reducing this. The primary reason is that the entire world of Windstone is seamless. There are ways to keep the illusion of seamlessness while actually having sections of the island only load in when you are close enough to that area in a similar way that Ark: Survival Evolved works. As this version is being tested my primary focus will be integrating a similar “seamless” landscape loading system into Windstone.
One major bug was also fixed where if you loaded a game without ever saving (essentially loading the very first auto save which happens when you first load into a new game after the intro text) all loot baskets would be empty.
Originally posted @ itch.io. Download it here.
Update 11 will be delayed due to unforeseen compiler errors. The newly optimized build of Windstone runs great on my end, but when I package it for distribution there are errors that cause the build to fail. I believe these errors are due to broken redirectors which are trying to find and load objects that have been deleted from the project. Once these errors are fixed I will upload the new build. It should not take more than a day or two.
Originally posted @ itch.io
After the first couple weeks of open alpha testing it has become apparent that Windstone is very resource intensive and needs to be optimized greatly. Windstone loads fast and runs great on most high end PCs but some testers must lower their settings drastically or can’t even load the game. This is mostly due to the world of Windstone being enormous and completely seamless.
In an effort to drastically reduce the minimum requirements of Windstone many assets and the landscape are going through a complete overhaul. The overall poly count is being reduced by many hundreds of millions and the landscape itself is going to be slightly decreased in size. This is almost complete and the update should be live for testing in a few days.
These optimizations have been done in a way that is almost entirely visually unnoticeable. Much care has been taken to reduce the poly count of assets without changing their appearance. If all goes well, Windstone should appear almost exactly the same visually but load faster and run at a higher frame rate.
After the next update goes live, subsequent testing will determine whether development can continue as planned or require even more drastic optimizations. The development vision for Windstone is to keep the world as large as possible and seamless which pushes the limits of the UE4 engine in many ways.
Originally posted @ https://threshold-seven.itch.io/windstone/devlog/32638/massive-optimizations-in-progress
As always, you will find the latest version on itch.io, along with the list of what’s updated either on itch.io community page or on the forum.
Head over to Itch.io to get the latest version. Change notes can be found here or here.
If you encounter any bugs or other issues with the game, please report them in the forum either here or on itch.io.
Windstone is now in open-alpha and free to play for anyone! Join the community on the http://itch.io Windstone page and post in the community topics to help guide the development process, and most importantly have fun surviving!
You can find several clips of the development process on the Youtube channel “ThresholdSeven Gaming”, some videos are highlighted below:
Battle Soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhqLaroMGVU
Original Orchestral Video Game Music for “The Last Makaran” – “The Lone Hunter”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXvrjdmip9w