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Development Blog
December 8, 2014 By: David Tse

Everyone who already bought the game can now upgrade to any Survive reward tier they want! You can simply go to your My Account page on the forums and click the upgrade button!

From there you can choose what tier you want to be upgraded to. You will only have to pay the difference between the two tiers to get the upgrade. So if you where at the $40 start in your own house tier and wanted to upgrade to the $50 Closed Multiplayer Beta Access tier you would only pay $10.

Body Tint Variations
Random screenshot of Terminator 2 Zombies.

The engine and the editor are still in a state of deep reconstruction so there are no screenshots of the editor just yet, but there will be more info soon. Thank you all for supporting the game and getting the new reward tiers it really helps. I'm so excited to be getting back into %100 focus on the game after working on all the website and kickstarter stuff, buildings are going to be in Survive very soon!

November 30, 2014 By: David Tse

Hello Everyone, 

So first off I want to say thank you to all the backers and everyone else who so passionately supported the campaign. You guys are really awesome and I love you!

I meant to stop the Kickstarter a few weeks ago after it was clear the goal was not going to be reached, but I had to finish the new custom crowd funding page and the back-end required to handle the different rewards. I will be doing a full postmortem on what went wrong with the Kickstarter itself soon, but right now I'm just going to focus on the future. 

Don't worry, development is not going to change at all. For those of you who have been following development since before the Kickstarter, things will be getting back to normal with an update every month or so. If you found the game because of the Kickstarter then welcome! If you haven't already you should head over to the Forums and join the community

Like i mentioned before, there is a brand spanking new crowd funding/preorder/store page here: subsurfacegames.com/survive. This new page has most of the rewards that where on the Kickstarter, but with some revised price points. Many tiers are cheaper than they were before. Most notably the "start in your own house" tier and the "closed multiplayer beta access" tier are a full $10 cheaper! If you get any of the rewards on the new page you will be able to immediately download the game via steam key or direct download! You could be playing the game in less than 30 minutes depending on your internet speed! I also added some more details to all the rewards so you should go check them out

While getting the full $60,00 goal would have been nice that full amount is not really necessary right now. As I said before, that amount was for the bare minimum art for the entire game. If most of the people who pledged on the Kickstarter go to the new page and get one of the rewards then there will be more than enough money to cover the basic world generation up to the steam release on early access.

Atlas

As for the current state of the game I have not done much more work on the actual building generation since the last video for two reasons. The first reason was I had to drop everything and focus on finishing the new crowd funding page before the Kickstarter ended.

The second and much more time consuming reason is that I spent a large amount of time working on the game editor which is called Atlas. The perfect name considering the engine is the Titan Engine and Atlas is the Titan of astronomy and navigation. I've been putting Atlas off for a long time, but now that i'm working on building generation it's become a necessity. You might be wondering why I would even need Atlas considering the game is procedurally generated, and you would be right to an extent. 

While the world and the layout of the buildings are generated the things inside them can't be fully generated. By things inside the building I mean book shelves, end tables, sinks, cabinets, desks, tv's, ect. All of these things must first be created by an artist and then to actually get them usable for the generation system a few things need to be done. lights need to be added in the correct places, scripts need to be added for things like turning water faucets on and off, volumes need to be placed to describe where and what kind of loot can be spawned on/in an object like a cabinet, and certain markers need to be placed to determine how the generator should place/orientate these objects in the building. All of that stuff needs to be done in an editor. What this means is Atlas is not a traditional map editor like the editors from other engines(Unity, UE4's editor, Valve's Hammer, ect.). Atlas is only meant to create these self contained entities which are then fed to the generation system, there is no overall world editor. Atlas will also have a few sub editors like a material editor, script editor, and data manager to further speed up development.

Unfortunately I can't show you a screenshot of Atlas right now because before I started working on the website stuff I was in the middle of restructuring a part of the engine. Which means Atlas and the engine are currently broken and won't run. Now that I can focus all of my time on development screenshots, videos, and more info on Atlas and the world gen will be coming soon .

If any of you still have questions that I didn't answer here please feel free to leave a comment. 

David

November 9, 2014 By: David Tse By: David Tse

I finally started working on building generation! Check out the Kickstarter update and video where I talk about the progress: Kickstarter Post

World Gen wip 1

In the coming days I'll be posting more updates and videos about the building mesh generation!

October 31, 2014 By: David Tse By: David Tse

The Kickstarter is finally live! Even if your not interest in pledging the video does show all the new stuff that's in Pre-Alpha 4!

Thank you to those of you who have already preordered Survive! You can continue to show your support for the game by becoming a backer on Kickstarter! When you do, your pledge amount will be automatically increased by $25! In addition to the increased pledge amount, you will also get a FREE reward tier upgrade as thanks for your early support!

October 22, 2014 By: David Tse

In just 9 days I will be officially launching the Kickstarter for Survive! It's been a long time coming and it feels really great to be so close!

Over the last two months I've been working on Pre-Alpha 4, the last build before the Kickstarter. This update is absolutely massive and has just been uploaded to steam for those of you who have already preordered!

The update is all about revamping the zombies. With some new modular models and variation textures there are now thousands of different zombie variations! If you look hard you can still find Carl wandering around! When you shoot a zombie now, it gets bloody, plays an awesome particle effect attached to its body, and does a dynamic hit reaction depending on where you shot him. Because of these improvements zombies now only die from headshots! Zombies are also saved now, so whenever you leave the game and come back the zombies are in the same places. In addition to all this awesome new gameplay stuff there has been a huge number of fixes, general improvements, and performance optimizations!

New Zombies

This build right now is a little unfinished. There are a few more bugs than usual, and there are still some things that need to be added and fixed before it's totally finished. That's why over this next week leading up to the Kickstarter on the 31st, I'll be releasing small polish updates that fix bugs and add some new stuff. That's also why there won't be a pre-alpha video to go along with this update just yet. If you have not preordered you will be able to see the latest state of the game in the Kickstarter video.

I hope you guys are as excited as I am for the kickstarter, and I can't wait for all of you to play this huge update(bugs and all!)

Release Notes:
  • Fixed an issue where if you had multiple save files with different seeds it would load cache files for different saves which would result in that cell getting wildly wrong height data causing crazy floating terrain.
  • Fixed a bug on the main menu where the buttons didn't completely cover the text
  • Upgraded to the latest version of physx fixing a large number of bugs and improving performance.
  • Implemented an auto-ragdoll generation that can create ragdolls for any skeleton and model. This has replaced the old ragdoll and is significantly more stable and realistic. This generation will save a lot of time when adding new zombies or NPCs to the game in the future.
  • Preloaded the gun particle effects so there is no lag spike on the first shot anymore.
  • Extended the debug line drawing system so now I can render different batches of lines that can be persistent from frame to frame and can be rendered without depth.
  • Implemented ray model intersection.
  • Implemented a skinned raycast on the cpu so when you shoot you are actually shooting the animated zombie model so you get accurate decal placement and particle effect direction.
  • Fixed deffered decals and made it so they now correctly effect normals and gloss of what they are covering.
  • Changed M4 magazine capacity to 15 from 30 and changed it to be semi-automatic. This is one of many changes coming to get the gameplay in line with what I want it to be. Where scarcity is a big issue. later you can find higher cap magazines and conversion kits to full auto.
  • Disabled all debug keys by default so you cant mess things up by pressing random keys. If you want to use them you can enable them by pressing CTRL+ALT+ENTER+SHIFT
  • Adjusted the placement of the gun on the screen using the golden ratio so it feels better and will be more consistent between different guns.
  • Adjusted the FOV of the gun rendering and the gun aim
  • turned down the hover sound volume on menu gui and changed it
  • Reworked the world shift system now instead of moving all the objects by hand I shift the actual origin of the physx world. This fixes a large number of glitches with zombies when moving from one world cell to another.
  • Implemented a binary model save function
  • Drastically reduced CPU ram usage by optimizing certain things and fixing some memory leaks. 1200mb to around 600mb.
  • made it so you cant create a save and ovewrite an existing one, and so you cant create a save with no name.
  • Added (optional) to the world seed in the character creation so you know you dont have to enter a seed.
  • Enter can create a new game instead of click on the button
  • Reworked the zombie system so each world cell spawns zombies when it's generated. This way I can carefully control how zombies are spawned instead of a blanket zombie distribution throughout the world. Right now zombies are mostly spawned in the "plains" and the "hills" biomes to simulate how there will be more zombies in the cities.
  • Save games have now moved into their own folders so zombies can be saved per save without having to complicate it by making one large binary file for the whole save. Instead zombie cells are each saved in their own file so they can be quickly streamed. So each save game now has its own file with the same fsc file plus the zombie cell files. If you want to use an old save you can copy the fcs file into a folder with the same name and it should load just fine.
  • Zombies are now saved! As you play the game and kill zombies and clear areas everything will be saved. So when you load up the game and go to the same place the zombies you killed will still be dead. This system also saves the ragdoll skeletons so the bodies you leave behind will be exactly where you expect them to be.
  • Fixed an issue with zombie and player movement where any small movements would have been ignored. Now both the players and the zombies will now have uninterrupted movements with no glitches.
  • Completely reworked the animation system fixing many timing and blending issues.
  • Converted the internal representation of bone orientations from matrix to quaternion and position.
  • Skeletons are now blended using their local poses like they should be resulting in smooth blends without the horrible distortion when trying to lerp matricies.
  • Dynamic decal system for the zombies has been added. You can now shoot a zombie and a decal will be rendered exactly where you shot on the zombie. This is different than the deferred decal system because these decals have to perfectly conform to the animated zombie. So it renders decals to a new texture that is overlayed on top of the zombie.
  • fixed grass placement and orientation. I used barycentric coordinates(also used for texture coord calculation for the skinned decals on the zombies) to get the correct height position in between height samples on the CPU and quaternions to do the orientation.
  • When shifting world cells it will now shift vertically to center around the origin. Fixes floating point precision issues when you are too far from the origin vertically.
  • Cube map now raycasts down every update so it's always above the terrain. fixes issues where its rendered under the terrain and everything is lit wrong.
  • Used the new animation system to do a dynamic bullet hit reaction by blending between the ragdoll and the animations. Right now this only effects the upper body. In the future hitting the legs will knock a zombie down and it will then crawl after you or try to get back up.
  • Particle effects can now be attached to the oebject they hit like decals. Using this with zombies to attach blood spray effects creating awesome blood fountains in the bullets holes created by the new dynamic zombie decal system.
  • Reduced shadow rendering time from 7.5ms to about 1.2ms /w no visual impact by staggering cascade updates based on distance from the player.
  • Removed the Off option for shadows, now the low shadow option is just staggered more. So the zombies will update much less frequently but the performance impact is very low.
  • Fixed an issue where the mask for the sandy areas where being generated in the shader so every time you shifted world cells it would not shift. This mask is now generated at terrain generation time and is also used to place grass.
  • Grass now uses the above mentioned mask to only be placed on the grassy part of the terrain.
  • redesigned the menu, it's much more streamlined and to the point. I think it looks much better. The changelist has also been moved to the loading screen so you don't spend time reading it then press play. Now you can spend the time in the loading screen reading about what's new instead of doing it before.
  • converted all of the textures in the game to DDS format so now they load literally twice as fast as before. this will nock a significant chunk off the loading times.
  • removed some legacy stuff that was getting loaded before the menu causing the wait to be longer than it needed to be.
  • Fixed some rendering issues when switching from one world cell to another. The transition should now be completely invisible.
  • Completely reworked the zombie system so now body parts and different clothes can be randomly swaped between new zombies. I also added a bunch of new models for the zombies to use this system.

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