Update 23 Fixes and Optimization

Update 23 consists of a few minor changes and bug fixes and the continuation of the seamless level streaming system that optimizes load times and RAM usage by only loading objects in the world when the player is in the vicinity.

You can now load a save directly from the death menu instead of having to reload the starting screen menu. This should greatly shorten load times for some users when reloading a game after dying.

Many more trees, boulders, buildings and resources have been added to the Snow Biome.

The South Western Island has more trees and boulders on the central mountain.

All but two lit campfires have been removed from the large inhabited hut at the center of the map to improve frame rate in that area.

Video settings now persist from the main menu to the game world and through subsequent loads. However, settings will revert to default when shutting down and reopening Windstone. This will continue to be worked on so settings can be saved through shut downs.

All loot baskets now only generate loot upon opening them. Previously the baskets all generated loot at the start of a new game which caused thousands of unnecessary items to be taking up RAM.

All hemp plants, branches and stones on the ground have been added to the level streaming system which results in thousands less items using RAM. (Every tree, boulder, hut, well and building were already implemented)

The entire world of Windstone currently consists of 35,000+ items such as all trees, boulders, plants, huts, baskets and wildlife. At any given time about 6,000 to 8,000 of these items are loaded into the game at once depending on where you are with the newly implemented seamless level streaming system. This number will be reduced to around 1,500 as more items continue to be added to the level streaming system which will continue to improve loading times and performance.

Thank you for playing Windstone!


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

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 11 is live!

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.

Massive Optimizations in Progress

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