DevBlog 44 - Collision, Caves & Bears

Hello and welcome to the 44th CardLife DevBlog,

I wanted to push a build live today but unfortunately we ran into some nasty bugs that are going to take more than a day to fix. We’ll publish the build as soon as it’s ready but in the meantime I can at least let you know what is going to be in it:

Upcoming Build Patch Notes

So here is what we’re planning to release in the next update (hopefully sometime next week):

  • New faster collision system that should provide a significant performance increase
  • Caves will be added to the world at all strata depths including the surface
  • New Bear creature
    • The bear is much stronger than the Wolf so beware
    • Bear will be using a placeholder texture
  • Wolves & Bears will now drop Raw Meat that you can eat
    • Raw Meat will give you much more health and food points than berries
    • It’s using a placeholder texture
    • Eventually you will be able to cook this meat for an even tastier meal
  • Improved creature spawning
    • Creatures will now spawn together in packs
  • Improved creature chase behavior
    • Creatures will now get to a maximum distance from where they spawned and turn around and run back to their spawn point
    • During this return they will heal back up to 100% health and be invulnerable. This is to prevent creatures from chasing you indefinitely and to prevent future exploitation when ranged weapons are implemented
  • Smoother loading screen animation
  • Founder’s decoration recipes will be added to all Founders
    • Thank You Founders!! :)

Ongoing Work: Memory & Terrain Contouring

Now that we have finished working on the collision, we are going to address the big elephant in the room - the terrain contouring. For an example of what contouring is check out this wiki page on Marching Squares. The current implementation is basically not fast enough for what we want to do as it’s essentially designed to contour smooth terrain. As we have a very unique world (cardboard steps) we are going to write our own version from the ground up which will be specifically coded for our needs. This means we can make it much faster in terms of performance and more reliable when we perform edits to the terrain. This is a long term task but one that we are committed to do to make sure we offer the best possible experience.

Before we get onto that though there is a small memory issue that we have to fix. At the moment the memory usage of the game continues to grow if you just run in one direction for a long time. If you stop running and stay in one area, the memory will eventually return back to normal but only once all of the current list of terrain cells has been built. Obviously if you keep running then the terrain cells will never be fully built and you will eventually run out of memory and crash so it’s something we want to fix fairly quickly.

Ongoing Work: Purpose for Building

On the gameplay front we are continually working on the combat and AI to make them feel better - but the major task we have begun is to add purpose to building structures. This means being able to actually make a base that has a gameplay function such as placing a bed that sets your spawn point - so if you die you return to your house. Adding doors so you can actually create a space that only you can get inside and adding the ability to store items in chests without fear of losing them. This is of course only the first step as we plan to add a lot more to make bases more worthwhile like crafting tables.

Next Few Weeks

Rightio - that’s it for me this week. You will hopefully hear from me next week as well but I am expecting the birth of my second child in the next couple of weeks so you may not hear from me during that time. Brian will take over the duties of the DevBlog but please be patient with responses to forums posts/emails etc. I will reply to everyone once I am back at work although I will probably pop in the forums every so often to check how everything is going.


As always if you have any feedback, questions or comments please feel free to contact us at any of our social portals: Facebook, Twitter and our very own Forums.


Rich, Co-Game Director