We've had a lot of content to cram in before our beta release and it's been a long update - so thank you all for your patience and support so far! Most of the main features are almost finished so our primary task from here on out is game balancing and bug fixing. Game balancing is actually the more time consuming part of adding features so don't get too hyped up for a release soon, we still don't have an ETA as there's still a lot to clean up. Kenshi needs to age like a fine old cheese to reach it's beautiful not-so-buggy state...
Anyway, here's what we're working on right now:
Hunger has now been added so it will be possible to die of starvation over a long amount of time. Character appearances will change to reflect the state of physical strength or malnutrition - again this is early stages and needs a lot of testing and balance.
We've now finished adding lots of different foods, crops (cotton, cacti...), boozes, a new power system (dependent on fuel or wind strength) and, of course, you'll be able to start hunting skins for leather making. Research has been re-balanced so that it's faster, plus it's gonna cost items/artifacts instead of Cats from now on.
Destruction & Peril
Finished work on the destroyed versions of buildings! Enough said.
Crime & Assassination
Thievery needs a lot more balancing but it's improved greatly since the current available experimental version. Buildings have things to steal, guards are more alert and we've fixed it up so the player doesn't get busted for accidental clicks, or from looking inside unlocked containers. At the moment, we're doing a lot of testing to make sure it's not too easy/ too hard, and citizens are reacting normally etc.
The crime reactions in the dialogue has needed a lot of editing this week, if the reactions are too specific or too vague it can become too noisy and ends up sounding like jibberish. So it's needed a good amount of testing to make sure the reactions fit all possible situations and to make sure people react realistically.
We're also in the middle of adding the assassination ability, a way to knock people out in stealth mode.
We've pretty much finished improving water reflection in-game now, plus Oli's also added some more details like floating scum etc.
*** The above content has not been released yet. This will be added in the next update, Beta 0.90, ETA to be announced.
Click here for details on the current playable version of Kenshi, available on Steam experimental opt-in ***
We're back with another progress update! The last week or two has mainly involved tweaks and adjustments all round, starting with the environmental stuff...
Last week we were unable to take many screenshots due to a problem with the lighting - Sam's spent the week balancing this and it's mostly running nicely now, although water reflection still needs some fixing. Oli's mostly been making minor adjustments to the road terrain, Artery biome foliage and adjustments to the collision on the storm buildings. Other than smaller tweaks and fixes we've finished adding and texturing roof cover awnings...
Plus we now have Hive villages in-game, with their own building types:
At this point we've finalized most of Kenshi's creatures in game now, this week we finished animating and adding in the Gorrillo:
Next up we'll be working on another new 'scary' biome and the new GUI player map (the first section we'll be releasing in our next update is shown in the rectangle area):
Programming-wise, we've mostly been fixing bugs and balancing, however this week Maykol's almost finished with the crafting bench update. The changes for the latest include saving partial used items for crafting, improving the layout so the item names appear properly, adding an image of the item and changing the item's crafting requirement to the specific item.
As a new enemy for farmers, we've also added pest AI for Swamp Raptors to destroy and eat crops - these walking trash cans will eat just about anything, from rotting corpses to cotton plants!
... Better keep a close eye on your crops ;)
FAQ note: You should still be able to import your characters and tech into the new update, however you won't be able to import buildings. Release date still TBA.
Over the last week we've been cutting roads into the landscape for the soon-to-be-released section of the new world. In order to make the road look natural, like it actual belongs in it's environment, it needs to be leveled, deepened and given embankments. The map below shows the road system we have so far: the dark area shows the whole world being made, the inner box shows the sample world that we'll be releasing first - this will be a similar size to the current map used in Kenshi.
We've also made some general alterations to the landscape such as changing the foliage types and distributions, and adding two new hive villages.
The new big bad world is gonna need a lot of new content to fill it, right? New biomes are great and all, but not without actual interactable items within it. So, we've modeled some lil' bits to steal from Kenshian hoarders, skins for leather making, farmable resources and actual tools - so hopefully when we add the mechanics for it in the future, gone will be the days when you have to hack away at a stone mine with an imaginary pick axe like some kinda chump.
The character editor now includes different sub races with their relative attributes and stat bonuses. We now have three different sub races for the hivers, plus for the humans, we have two types: Scorchlanders (AKA Sundemons) and Greenlanders. Including the Skeletons and Shek, all our races are now complete (in case anybody was wondering what happened to the Stenn we had featured in our concept art from last year, they're no longer a planned race).
Sexy map window
We've revamped the map window! This week we've finished adding new marker icons for towns, villages, outposts, nests etc, plus a marker for the player's position. Icon colouring will show whether they're allies, enemies or neutral to the player's faction. We've also got zoom in/ out with zoom level based information, basically this means that the amount of markers shown depends on the zoom level.
We've carried out a few minor fixes to the terrain system and shadow system. Not only should the new terrain system now run a little faster than the old one, but view distance has also been improved. This means distant horizons now have more detail, plus it fixes the disappearing terrain bug:
- Externalized the text's colors used in game and some other stuff so now they can be modded by the players.
- Created a tool for automatic LODs creation for the meshes to improve the drawing performance of distant objects.
- General bug fixing.
- Added more interior layout designs for building variations
- Fixed the keyboard keys to change floor. (Pg Up/Down)
- Swimming! Zomg!
You may have noticed we have been very quiet over the last few months without releasing any updates. The reason is we are on our final run to the beta release with the new world map!
This means all core features and content will be in the game and we can finally focus entirely on stability, bug-fixing and polish. (Features and content may still be added in the future, but not until after a full stable 1.0 release)
I won't give an exact date for the beta release because it will depend on how smoothly things go, but it will be in a few weeks from now, probably early February. Here are the details:
NEW WORLD (0.80.0) Due to the sheer size of the new map the first release will be restricted to a certain area only. This area will gradually expand with more updates, but the main focus now is going to be on stability and polish.
Entirely new world map. More detailed and polished, new factions, new content, things to explore. Its' like Kenshi 2. Crazy. I should have called it Kenshi 2 and charged for it again, but I didn't. Damn.
Entirely revamped research tech-tree, new technologies and balance.
Totally new buildings. Multiple floors, and you can mount turrets on the rooftops.
New power system. Generators require fuel, wind power fluctuates with the wind strength, batteries compensate for fluctuations.
Revamped farming system and different crops.
New animals, and new races with own strengths and weaknesses.
There's water now. Rivers to cross and oceans to drown in.
Camping- You can build easy camp beds and fires for survival when travelling
Bandit camps, somewhere for them to retreat to and stage assaults.
Buildings are now made with multiple materials. Machinery requires iron and sometimes copper.
Thievery is improved, buildings have things to steal, guards are more alert.
NPCs use the stuff in their homes, guards train, people sit etc
Guards in buildings and shops now descreetly sort of follow you about, keeping an eye on you
Fixed getting busted for stealing from accidental clicks. You can look inside unlocked containers, and lock picking has to be chosen through the right-click menu.
Reduced labour/engineering speed penalty at level 1 from 0.25x to 0.5x. This will speed things up slightly at the lower levels when starting out
Stealth skill is easier to train in non-hostile environments.
Increased trade profitability by 50%, this combined with thievery should provide decent alternatives to looting as a profession in the early game stage.
Leather crafting now requires you to hunt for animal skins
Tons of bugfixes.
New fancy shadow system, looks nicer and more importantly runs faster.
New terrain engine. Runs faster, looks nicer and shows more detail for distant mountains
A lot of fundamental engine optimisations have been done, this may temporarily cause new bugs, but hopefully speed things up
Overhauled with a new PBR & HDR global lighting system, should make a great improvement to the visual quality -(Credit for this goes to Linda MacGill and Igor Frolov of Bug Zen!)
0.76.1 Mainly a hotfix for the save bug, I will work on the other bugs next.
Solved the savegame error where it didn't save your squad if most of them were knocked out
Walls were scaled differently. This was not supposed to be in the release version yet, they've been set back to normal again. Sorry for breaking your base walls. Super-sorry if you just rebuilt your base walls to match the new scales.
Fixed issue with alt+tab and fullscreen.
Fixed big fonts with resolutions larger than 1920.
Apologies for the delay with this update, we are currently working a lot on content for the new world map and hoping to release the first part of it in the next major update.
Much of our work here has been to get the last necessary fundamental systems in place before we make the move to the new world map and the focus moves towards content and balance.
Note that as it's such a big update, lots of bugs and instabilities are likely until I can get through all the bug-reports. The Stable Build of the game I will leave as it is until the new world map is ready.
Huge optimisation that uses more multi-threading for the game code and AI, improving performance significantly when there are a lot of characters around.
AI War Campaigns, NPC factions can now launch proper missions. This is similar to the faction assaults feature that was around in an older version, except the difference is it's now a fully dynamic system. If assaults are coming repeatedly they can be stopped by decimating that faction's base of operations.
Towns and nests can now be wiped out.
Random bandit camps, allowing the bandit factions (among others) to have a population source, which can therefore regenerate, run low, or be wiped out.
Races now have different bonuses and penalties to certain stats
Render optimisation for the lights, it appears they were slowing things down a lot
Bars now have a variety of random goons who all sit together: mercenary groups, thieves (with fences to sell stuff to), bounty hunters
colorisation maps added to faction armours
AI squads now move in formation
You can now buy and sell slaves
You can now pay the bounty on a character to get him out of prison
Made our own game launcher (old one was a default part of Ogre engine), which hopefully fixes some of the config problems people had with DX11
This month we've been working on bringing back town assaults for release in the next update. Instead of random attacks like before, assaults will now be dynamic, they'll come from an actual camp or town with a real population count. Basically, this means that you'll have the option to destroy your attackers at their source, either by assassinating their leader or by just weakening their faction in general by wiping out large numbers of them.
Chris has designed 17 unique bandit groups so far, so we'll eventually have a lot more variety than the standard Dust Bandits and Starving Bandits. We've got racist Shek warlords, sadistic nobles, extortionist mercs... attackers will be able to conscript victims to serve in their own army, or they'll eventually be able to take over and occupy your town. Here's the different bandit types we have planned:
Looters/Raiders - Hit & run attacks
Slave makers - Raid to enslave victims to sell to the trade guild
Extortionists - Primarily about dialog where they make threats and ask for something
Warlord - Conquer their target towns and occupy. Tend to just conquer one or a few places and hold them
Ravagers - Conquer towns but just destroy and pillage them, then move on to the next. Can devastate a whole biome.
Racist - Attacks/raids are triggered by the presence of a certain race
Conscriptor - Enslaves people but keeps them for own use
Mike's started updating our current particle system so that we can use volumetric fog (see our last Dev Blog) to create new types of weather effects and biome hazards. We also have a few mask designs which will be used to protect from these enviromental hazards:
We've finished a new GUI window for trading characters. With this system, you'll be able to rent mercs, bail your squad out of prison, buy your guys back from slavers... or even sell them off to the slavers instead.
Next update ETA: End of October *Edit: Expect some delays while we try and get things running nicely. Apologies to everyone for the inconvenience.
For those of you who prefer frequent updates, prepare yourselves - our next few updates will be slow and steady with lots of new content every few months or so. Basically, less frequent updates will help massively speed up our progress until Beta... We're determined to pick up our pace and hit Beta next year :D
Just a couple of teasers from our progress this last couple of weeks! You should be able to expect our next content update around the end of this month, until then, hold tight...
War campaign AI is now underway so that NPC factions will be able to invade and attack towns. We also now have two new movement formations for NPC squads based on the type of faction that the squad is from.
Firstly, we have military (box shaped):
And caravan (line shaped):
We've gone back to working on the weather system too. Here's our first screengrab of volumetric fog...
Now that we have basic fog, we have a base for other weather effects such as storms and twisters.
Just a few small improvements, Maykol's been improving the general behavior with switching between floors, plus he's added support for an extra floor on buildings. We've also gotten started improving the camera movement and rotation, especially when moving around buildings, floors and following characters. And we've also had a small performance boost after doing some multi-threading to the AI.
Hopefully we’ll have plenty of stuff ready by the end of the month – it’s been another long update and we appreciate everyone’s patience :)