Progress Update 2021

It's been a while. Here's a breakdown of what's new.

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What happened?

Hey goys,

Time has flown by and it’s been 6 months since the release of Black Lives Splatter 0.2.

I’ve taken a lot of time off and more or less forgot about the game for a while. Being a full-time wageslave and having other hobbies have been the focus for a lot of the time. However, around Christmas I picked up development again, which is where the story begins.

The Lost Christmas Update

I started work on a Christmas update about a week before Christmas Day. It was to be a mission separate from the main campaign with its own little story. The mission - White Christmas has it’s own map and objective, retrieving stolen presents from the usual suspects.

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The map features an Antifa encampment in the woods, a Jew bank and an explosive mosque.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get the Christmas update ready in time due to a crash bug. Black Lives Splatter development then went back to sleep for a while.

Now

AI

Dodging

Nogs now try to dodge you if they know you’re coming. There is a bit more to do on it but it’s now a thing.

FX

The tire tracks now look much nicer and I spent quite some time trying to perfect the new tire smoke.

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Physics Engine

PhysX will soon be deprecated within Unreal Engine. I’ve spent some time testing the new physics engine, Chaos. Physics is a big part of Black Lives Splatter, so a new physics engine is a big event.

Right now, BLS makes use of the PhysX vehicle system which has some large limitations such as:

  • Vehicles must have four wheels
  • Engine, handling and wheel parameters cannot be changed at runtime
  • Handling isn’t great
  • Going up ramps feels clunky
  • Handling at high speed is bad (could be fixed, but not without concessions)
  • Lots of useful data isn’t easily accessible (tire slip amount, angle etc.)

The Chaos physics engine comes with a new vehicle system which is a significant improvement over the old one.

It took a full day, but I got the BLS vehicle class working with the new Chaos vehicle system. It already has much better handing, acceleration and feel than the vehicles in BLS 0.2.

However, the catch is Chaos is still in Preview - even though Epic Games declared it was “production-ready” with the last Unreal Engine update. As such there’s some large problems, namely:

  • Vehicles can sometimes get stuck midair and slowly float to the ground
  • Vehicles glitch out, teleport and get thrown around when driving over gaps between objects even when there is no actual space between them.
  • Optimization is terrible - some say it is currently 22 times slower than PhysX
  • Physical Animation doesn’t work - seemingly at all (more on why this is important later)

Image They later disappeared this statement quietly

Chaos being the default physics engine (and therefore production-ready) has now been pushed back to Unreal Engine 5. Unreal Engine 5’s first preview release is to be released “early 2021” - so probably a month ago. If nothing else I’ve learned that Epic Games like delays and telling fibs in their release notes. Grr.

The Chaos physics engine is quite exciting, it also adds a new destruction system. The perceptive coon splatterer may have noticed there is already some destructible objects in the Suburbs level.

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It uses the old, deprecated Nvidia Apex destruction system which runs poorly and hardly works anymore.

Nvidia have a long established history of making stuff for the Unreal Engine and then never updating it ever again.
They also enjoy making separate engine builds for their various Gameworks integrations (Flex, Hairworks, etc.) instead of making a convenient plugin. These builds are then never updated. Thanks Nvidia.

This is why Epic Games is replacing Nvidia’s shit.

The new Chaos destruction system will be a lot better and I’ll find good uses for it in BLS.

Vehicle System

As is explained above, the current PhysX vehicle system has serious limitations which are preventing things from moving forward, such as:

  • Vehicle upgrades
  • Special vehicles
  • Handling improvements

Ideally, the Chaos physics engine becomes stable and performant so that the vehicle system can be switched over.
Unfortunately it’s not there yet so the question becomes what to do in the meantime.

I have also been experimenting with another couple of vehicle systems that run on PhysX, but don’t use the builtin PhysX vehicle physics. This is what is in use in most of the clips in this post. More testing is needed to find if either is decent enough.

XTREME NIGGER KILLING PHYSICS

Physical Animation has always existed within Black Lives Splatter. It’s active whenever you approach a nigger.

Without it, a car would slam into a nigger and stop dead in its tracks.

Physical Animation is a workaround to this, it allows both the nigger to be run over and the car to collide with a physics ragdoll.

The XTREME NIGGER KILLING PHYSICS are about to get even more XTREME. I’m working on some more physical animation to get peaceful protestors flailing in the air.

The plan is to further expand this with other features such as bracing for impacts and perhaps grabbing onto the door handles & mirrors - like GTA.

Animation

Now there’s better animations for nogs getting back up. Still a couple of bugs to fix but it is coming along nicely.

Damage System

One of the obvious problems with BLS 0.2 was the melee niggers getting knocked over way too easily.

This was because the damage system wasn’t very good. I’ve remade it completely.

To ensure an optimal nigger killing experience is achieved, I created a automated nigger damage testing system.

Nog disposal is in fact a science and I plan to master it.

The new damage system will be expanded to take into account damage location, which will be particularly helpful for dismemberment and bone breaking.

Nothing would be funnier than a nog trying to run away with his arms broken and flapping around.

Dismemberment

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about dismemberment, as any normal person does.

The basic foundation of a dismemberment system has been made (limb come off, remove limb).

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If all goes well, you’ll be able to turn nogs into a real mess in the next release.

Soundtrack

In the long hours I’ve spent developing/testing/breaking/rebuilding/whatever, I have been picking some new songs to be added to the car radio.

Optimization

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Fuck.

Somewhere along the line performance took a turn for the worse. I suspect an engine update is a big part of the problem, many others have reported similar.

I’ve added optimizations that I would have expected to raise performance above that of 0.2. More investigation is required to work out what to do here.

Website

Over the last 6 months, the website has been up and down. Often I’ve forgotten to pay the bills and been busy while the game was more or less on hold.

Thanks to one anon’s donation a few months ago, the site will be up for the foreseeable future.

Thank you very much to that one anon, your donation was a big motivator to get me back to working on the game. I only noticed it a month ago and I’ve stepped up development since.

Some may notice the website looks nicer, I spent a day making it better. The game also has a new logo.

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Group Chats

The Matrix/Element server suffered the as a result of above. It’s now back up and ready.

There’s also a new Telegram group chat: https://t.me/BlackLivesSplatterGame

The Matrix and Telegram groups are bridged, so you’re not missing anything only being in one.

Future

Basically everything in Black Lives Splatter is undergoing a major change and being improved.

As so many things are being taken apart and improved it’s hard to say when the next release will be.

I have many plans for the game and hope that the next release will be something to look forward to. Some other additions I’ll work on for the next release include:

  • Vehicle weapon system
  • Survival level
  • Arena level

I’ll try to make regular posts on the game’s progress. Until next time goys.

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Black Lives Splatter

progress

1488 Words

2021-04-21 09:30 +0930