First Earth 0.8.5 - Water, Sky, Land

By AdamThompson 5y ago

This is a HUGE update. Due to coordinate changes, characters have all been reset and will have to be re-made when you log in. You can now walk continuously across the entire test world (25x25 km currently). Gameplay is coming next, and that means property. You might scout around for what you'd like to own. Watch out, nighttime can be very dark.

In this version:
- Water - finally! Streams, rivers, and lakes!
- New sky system, volumetric clouds, better shadows, infinite horizon.
- Global date and time, including sun/moon/star positions, tracked and synched to all players.
- Rocky mountainsides, thicker grass, better treeline, larger trees, and flowers!
- Sprinting! Hold the space bar to sprint. Currently unlimited for testing.
- Continuous zone loading. As you travel to new areas, the new zones will load automatically.
- You can no longer fall through the ground or off the edge of the world.
- The world download cache clears automatically for every new game version.
- Screenshot locations are tracked by the server, for debugging.
- Loading bar displays the number of objects being loaded, for easier debugging.
- Zone coordinates support future expansion to the entire continent.

If you're already a tester:
https://firstearthgame.com/download

To become a tester:
https://firstearthgame.com/play

Thanks for testing! I'll be checking out your screenshots :)

Screen-Tony11harp

Is Seangabriel supposed to be 2 different first names, Sean and Gabriel?

-Tony11harp 5y ago
It's probably supposed to be two but got combined in the names database. Unique name if you want it :-P

-AdamThompson 5y ago
Thanks for pointing it out.

-AdamThompson 5y ago
BUG: On slower computers (just tried it on my laptop at home), going between zones will cause an error where you get logged out. You can log back in afterward and still be in the same place. I'll fix this tomorrow.

-AdamThompson 5y ago
Yeah I took it :P
I'm also getting logged out sometimes switching between zones, and I wouldn't consider my computer slow.

-Tony11harp 5y ago
Also, not sure if it's intentional or not but I just noticed that the background image on the website resizes depending on how long a thread is.

-Tony11harp 5y ago
Thanks, thought I fixed that background image bug but it's back.

I MAY have just fixed the timeout bug on the server, if anyone would like to dare some more zone crossings.

-AdamThompson 5y ago
Ran threw a few zones, Seems fine now :D

Will run around some more tomorrow!

-Tony11harp 5y ago
Nice! ^^ Thanks!

-AdamThompson 5y ago
Wow, the 3 lakes you found is pretty cool, I've never seen anything like that:
Screen-Tony11harp

-AdamThompson 5y ago
Thanks! I'm loving the sprint! I just took a screenshot, there is a mountain side that if you climb, you will fall out of the map.

-Tony11harp 5y ago
Oh never mind. Once I zoned I was placed back on the map

-Tony11harp 5y ago
Just been on- The water looks great and certainly livens up the views.

The mountain streams coming down from the peaks look really realistic. Like Tony11harp, I really enjoyed the ability to sprint around. The zone loading worked fine. I found the mouse is very sensitive compared with the previous build but it is not an issue for me.

Will explore some more soon.

Good luck with the next stage

-Spolmit 5y ago
Falling through then being warped back up isn't perfect, but for now I think I can leave it and not worry about it. I'd like to smooth out zone loading and make it happen completely in the background. I'll work on that sometime later.

Nice, Spolmit! I was impressed too by how well waterfalls worked out. I didn't have to do anything special, all water (lakes/rivers/falls) actually uses my same (complicated) placement algorithms.

I don't think mouse sensitivity changed, but someday I should make a slider.

Next stage is harvesting and property, together. And maybe customizable characters.

-AdamThompson 5y ago
I'm loving going through the screenshots! Spolmit, Screen-Spolmit is a gorgeous one.

TH, you're finding all these cool lake spots I've never seen. You also found a lake where a zone border passes right through it (the weird dip): Screen-Tony11harp. Water at zone boundaries is a little weird because the placement of water at a boundary has trouble connecting itself to the zone next to it. I can smooth that out later.

And you reached a corner of the world that I've never seen (Screen-Tony11harp). Actually, I've only seen one corner (the 0,0 corner I use for testing). I'm glad my code to prevent falling off the edge actually worked over there!

-AdamThompson 5y ago
Ah okay was wondering what that was! I also noticed it seems like the water is a little too low, on quite a few mountains it looked like it wanted to be a river but it would just be puddles instead.

I actually didn't try going off the edge was quite a run even with sprint!

-Tony11harp 5y ago
I've also noticed that after changing the resolution, sometimes when you go into the menu it will revert back to the smallest resolution.

-Tony11harp 5y ago
Yeah you got far!

The water is actually adjustable (for when it rains), so it's just adjusted too low right now. I noticed the same thing too.

Noted the resolution bug.

-AdamThompson 5y ago
Just logged in again for a while and wow the mountains are huge! First game I have ever played which actually feels massive. The views are great as well, the gulley I climbed up from the spawn revealed a breathtaking valley as I got higher. Shame that when I climbed up all the way to the top you can't see far. Any plans / would it be even possible to do some lod scaling and show even really basic terrain far away? One of the best parts of exploring in Wurm were some of the views you'd get after hours of climbing a mountain: http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/2568/wurmmap7ct.jpg.

-thejanitor 5y ago
Somehow managed to find my way back from one edge of the map to the spawn, then decided to just follow the river as far as I could. There seem to be some stitching issues on the borders of zones for rivers which I took of bunch of screenshots of but otherwise they look great. Also the day->night transition came as a surprise and was awesome, however at night rivers don't get seem to get darker appearing as hugely bright bands of blue in the darkness. Managed to reach the end of what I assume is the main river, are there any lakes etc? I found a small one on top of a mountain but nothing following the river.

Either way I just had a fun few hours exploring, great progress so far :).

-thejanitor 5y ago
Thanks!! The water stitching at zone borders definitely looks bad, but it's fixable later on. I noticed the rivers staying light at night and it didn't bother me, but now that you mention it, that isn't realistic. I'll see about fixing that for the next build.

I love your screenshots, you got some beautiful ones. This is my favorite: Screen-thejanitor. You found a stitching problem that I didn't know about in this intersection of 4 zones with water, thanks: Screen-thejanitor. There are some lakes, check out the others' screenshots :) There's one big lake near the spawn area.

I like that screenshot from Wurm. Here's the deal on view distance:

Currently you're viewing an average distance of only 1.6km. I can flip a switch and you'd see 3.2km. A realistic view distance is 15-100km depending on height and air clarity. When the game was 1:10 scale that was easier to achieve, but at 1:1 scale it's hard.

I can't just load up more terrains because it takes too much memory and CPU. I'll need to do what you described, which is some kind of custom LOD (level of detail) view for far terrains. I have an idea for this, it would probably take about 5 days of work, so it'll get done during beta.

The idea is that I'll stream lower-resolution height and color data to your game client, which will then build low-poly non-terrain planes and maintain them at the horizon. Currently your client is loading 9 terrains to achieve 1.6km view distance. To get 20km view distance I'll have to be able to load 256 of those distant terrains.

-AdamThompson 5y ago
@thejanitor I just rebooted the server because I caused a problem while trying to get to you, heh. Sorry about that. Amazing new screenshots you took.

-AdamThompson 5y ago
Cool, I'll keep a lookout for more stitching problems like that in the future.

Yeh view distance is definitely one of those nice to have to but not critical things, its already far enough for what is needed in alpha.

Also I was wondering how persistent the leaves are? Can I start leaving navigation markers about with them and hope they last a while?

Also liking this screenshot loads: Screen-thejanitor

-thejanitor 5y ago
The leaves are 100% persistent BUT in the harvesting update that's coming up, things like that will disappear after a while. I'd expect leaves to last maybe a few days in reality, which in the game is a matter of hours.

-AdamThompson 5y ago
Ok, the project is finally reaching the end of engine demo phase and entering prototype phase.

By property you mean allowing players to claim a piece of land and forbid other players acces to it?

-Procne 5y ago
Here are a few bugs: if you find a steep enough cliff you can jump off and get stuck into a "Moved to new position: Fell through ground" loop when in reality you were just falling really far down a cliff. It then resets you back into the air and you continue falling and so on.

Screen-thejanitor

Also falling down steep cliffs normally is sorta wierd, you get pushed out horizontally from the edge, fall down vertically and then repeat.

Also seems like the distance for which shadows fade in is a bit too short, sometimes it feels like there is a dark spot just following your character about the map. You can kinda see it in this picture: Screen-thejanitor. Walking a few feet forward will reveal the rest of the shadow on the sand and looks a bit wierd.

-thejanitor 5y ago
Thought I managed to get out of the loop, ran a few minutes away and realised I couldn't grab leaves from trees anymore. Logged back in and I am back in the loop at the same cliff looking like this: Screen-thejanitor.

-thejanitor 5y ago
I found the same as thejanitor that as you go fast down steep slopes you 'fall through the ground' though this is mostly only when using the space to sprint.

I cannot wait to 'own' land- have been searching. Looking for a valley protected by mountains on all but one side- I took a screenshot of a possible site, but of course may find an even better one tomorrow :)

-Spolmit 5y ago
- Falling through ground on slopes/running.
- Momentum and control while falling.
- Shadow distance should be adjustable (shadows are graphics intensive).
- Disconnection should force logout (the problem where you couldn't grab leaves).

I really appreciate your finding these issues. Thanks for the screenshots, thejanitor. That valley you found is impressive, Spolmit! Makes me want something like that myself.

If you're trapped, you could wait for the build this week (your location will persist), or reset to origin.

Procne, yes, the game finally is! Property will be the government recognizing the ownership of land by a player who has put it to use. The player who owns it will have exclusive use, and access except for easements.

-AdamThompson 5y ago
Been on again today.

Transition between zones (loading) seems pretty seamless with no disruption to gameplay except one when on a very steep slope when the terrain became more like sky for about 10 seconds before going to normal- will try to recreate that tomorrow..

There have been no instances of falling through the ground when running on normal gradients and none when moving normally (without space) on steep gradients.

The water features are very pleasant, however, like the janitor, I have noticed that the streams are more realistic (both in terms of flowing and continuity) when the terrain is flat or almost flat. On slopes the feature is more likely to be broken and give an impression of a dry river bed- but then that can be quite realistic in alpine zones with seasonal streams..

-Spolmit 5y ago
I've made an attempt at raising the water levels in such places, for the next build.

-AdamThompson 5y ago
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