The Withering 2.0 Development Update and Roadmap

Hello everybody!

It’s been a very busy week and I am very happy with the results! I am slightly ahead of the estimated schedule with the development and the end result is better than I have anticipated!

I would like to share a few things with you on what was achieved in the past couple of weeks as well the plans for the near future.

Environment and HUD

The player HUD development was completed. HUD now fully functioning with the new player stats system and weapon display.

The following screenshots were taken from the new game environment that will become a part of the Withering 2.0 city map.

Let’s break it down a little bit. One of the major changes in 2.0 is the scale of the map. If we look at the buildings in the distance, they are over one thousand game units away from the character. Now to put it in perspective, the largest map in 1.x is currently Upper St.Claire section of the city. St.Claire is built on a 500×500 game units map. What we see on the screenshot above is twice the size of an entire St.Claire map.

Let’s talk a little bit about performance and optimization. I was able to develop a more advanced level design approach that allows for the same amount of details to be implemented while costing less resources. This also allowed for a larger scale construction. In addition, new features were developed such as cloth behavior emulation is now controlled via shaders rather than physics engine, and as such will reduce the processing cost and increase an overall performance. New improvements were also implemented for particle systems and other gameplay elements.

My initial internal testing yielded a much better results in comparison to the 1.x build. This testing was done BEFORE the major optimizations are applied. I am expecting an even better results once the map is fully constructed and optimized.

Development Roadmap

In the light of the latest development and testing, I am now able to adequately estimate the development road map for the Withering 2.0 up until the merge into the main branch.

July 03 – July 16

Aggressive city map construction work
July 16th – Patch Rollout

July 17 – July 31

City map construction
Random events development
July 31 – Patch Rollout

Aug 1 – Aug 15

City map construction
Infected enemies development

Aug 16 – Aug 31

City map construction
Camp interface expansion
Camp mechanics development
Aug 31 – Patch Rollout

Sep 1 – Sep 15

City map construction
Camp interface expansion
Camp mechanics development

Sep 15 – Sep 30

City map construction
Item database expansion
Crafting mechanics expansion
Sep 30 – Patch Rollout

Oct 1 – Oct 15

Polishing and fine-tuning of game mechanics
Preparation for main branch merge

Oct 15 – Oct 20 – Main branch merge!

I will be posting a detailed announcements per engagement.

Feedback

Please leave your thoughts, feedback and ideas in the following thread:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/427950/discussions/0/2741975115076574273/

Please feel free to ask questions in that thread as well.

Thank you!

The Withering 2.0 – Gunplay controller development update

Gunplay

Hello everybody! As I mentioned in my posts, I was working on implementing a new gunplay mechanic into The Withering 2.0 controller. Today I would like to share a demonstration video that can viewed by clicking on the link below:

WATCH THE GUNPLAY DEMONSTRATION VIDEO

The new gunplay controller allows players to engage enemies in ranged and close combat with a firearm. The controller allows for melee strikes on a closed in enemy, to push them away dealing damage. A new dynamic in world crosshair mechanic allows for better precision aiming, as it reflects on the environment.

The new explosives mechanic has also been implemented into the gunplay controller, allowing players to throw an explosive device on the enemy.

Next Steps

Now that the new gunplay mechanic has been implemented, the next step would be to combine all three controllers into a single machine and link the controllers with the new character system. This will allow the functionality of the character stats to reflect on both melee and firearm combat as well as provide a large verity of weapon customization.

The scope of work for this step is yet to be defined, and I will be announcing the next update release date this week.

If you have any questions regarding the new gunplay controller features, please feel free to discuss them in the thread provided in the Feedback section below.

Feedback

Please leave your thoughts, feedback and ideas in the following thread:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/427950/discussions/0/2741975115076574273/

Please feel free to ask questions in that thread as well.

Thank you!

The Withering 2.0 – Melee Combat development update

Melee Combat

Hello everybody! As I mentioned before, last week I was working on implementing a new melee combat mechanic into The Withering 2.0, and today I would like to share the development progress with you as well as actually show you how this new functionality works with a demonstration video that can viewed by clicking on the link below:

WATCH THE MELEE DEMONSTRATION VIDEO

The new melee combat controller functionality allows players to engage enemies in a fluent real time melee combat with brand new amazing features like enemy locking system, dodging, blocking, a counter system, quick and heavy melee attack combos, and more!

I am currently working on combining the unarmed and melee controllers to work seamlessly together and allow players to dynamically switch between melee and unarmed controls with a single press of a button.

I also plan to release an update for the 2.0 by the end of this week and let you test this new functionality yourselves.

I’m sure you will have questions regarding the new melee controller and it’s features, please feel free to discuss them in the thread provided in the Feedback section below.

Feedback

Please leave your thoughts, feedback and ideas in the following thread:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/427950/discussions/0/2741975115076574273/

Please feel free to ask questions in that thread as well.

Thank you!

The Withering 2.0

The Withering 2.0 Update is now live!

 

Personal announcement

Hello everybody! Oh, where to begin..? I guess I’ll start from the beginning. When I originally introduced The Withering to the world through Steam Greenlight program, I had a vision, I wanted the game to bring something new to the genre. Being a gamer and a fan of the survival games, I wanted to expand the gameplay elements that I felt were lacking in many games. While we achieved a lot during the last year, I still did not feel like we are in the place I have envisioned.

During the last couple of weeks, I have personally did a lot of heavy lifting in game design, gameplay and features. And would like to share this experience with you as well as provide you with a new 2.0 update for the beta branch. This update will change the game in a lot of ways and introduce to you, the players, all the new features that I personally think will make The Withering great.

Update Information

The 2.0 update is focused on all of the new features we are introducing with it, please keep in mind that this is a work in progress and some of the gameplay elements are not yet implemented with this first release. The weapon systems are undergoing drastic changes to fit into the new robust stats system and are not included with this release. However, players will be able to try all of the cool new features listed in details below.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Due to the nature of this update, players might experience an issue where the player character will not properly spawn during the first time running the game. In this case, simply enable the mouse pointer by pressing Left Alt and close the game from the Menu bar icon on top right. Restart the game, and it should resolve the issue.

The Camp

The 2.0 introducing a brand new camp gameplay with deep and fluent management system that is no longer a separate entity. In 2.0 players will dynamically move between the Camp and the rest of the world, while sharing the Camp features amongst all of the characters.

The new Camp is a living entity, with vendors, quartermaster and survivors populating it. The entire system is managed from a single menu directly from the character interface, which allows players to transparently switch between characters in world and still have access to all of the camp features.

The new interface allows players to manage all of the camp buildings, survivors and missions. Upgrade different structures and add-ons to gain multiple bonuses.

All of the camp upgrades, add-ons and other types of improvements are now managed directly from the character control, through our new robust inventory and stats management system. These elements have a verity of bonuses and stats, rarities and more. There are many ways for players to receive these upgrades, and one them being crafting.

New Crafting System

Crafting! Yes, in 2.0 players will gain access to a new deep crafting system that is easily managed through the new character interface. The system is based on several types of crafting categories like Tools, Armor, Weapons, Gear with recipes available in each of these categories.

More Crafting

2.0 also introduces the extended crafting mechanic that will mostly be used for constructing Camp upgrades and Add-ons, combine scavenged items into resource bundles or breaking down other types of items. This system will require players to assemble the recipe by dropping the items in appropriate slots. Different combinations will yield different results.

Players will receive the recipes by different means, like completing a mission and getting a recipe as a reward, or simply by finding one while scavenging the world with their character.

NPCs

In 2.0 players will now have access to the new types of NPCs such as a camp vendor and a quartermaster. With our new character system players gain access to the trading system, each items now have value and can be sold or purchased from different vendors throughout the world.

Some of these vendors will have specialty items that players will need for more advanced recipes or a special item bonus.

Another type of NPC introduced in 2.0 is the quartermaster. The quartermaster manages players storage, which is a shared repository available to all player characters.

These NPCs can be found in different areas in the world and players will be able to access their storage by interacting with them, so the storage is no longer limited to only Camp gameplay.

Player Characters

The new character system in 2.0 allows player to fully customize the character stats through gear, equipment and other means. Characters now have multiple stats that are used through the gameplay for different purposes, like interacting with NPCs, scavenging, combat, etc..

One of the most important changes in 2.0’s character management is that players are no longer limited to the four characters defined. Instead, players will be able to find new playable characters through out the gameplay, by using the radio communication from the camp, running missions, exploring the world, etc.

Each playable character will have a background story and unique looks. Once players add a new character to their roster, they can take switch between the characters at designated spots in the world or in their camp at will, and customize the character stats to their liking with different equipment sets. This allows players to have different types of characters for different situations in the game.

One of such examples would be to have a character with high charisma and persuasion stats to use on diplomacy missions. And have another character to do the fighting.

Exploring and Scavenging

As it was mentioned above, players will now be able to fluently transition between the camp and the world map with any of their characters. This is done directly from the game world, by interacting with entry / exit points.

These points will allow players to cross between maps, Camp, missions and other areas throughout the world with their active character.

Withering 2.0 introduces a brand new scavenging system that will take the experience to the next level!

Everything in the world now becomes a part of this scavenging system, and players will be able to interact with the in world objects. The system automatically highlights the objects that are available for scavenging.

Different objects will yield different loot types and categories, such as components, resources, equipment and etc.

Scavenged objects will randomly respawn through out the world.

Feedback and Bug Reporting

Please leave your feedback regarding your gameplay experience and ideas in the following thread:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/427950/discussions/0/2741975115076574273/

Please feel free to ask questions in the thread as well.

NOTE: This update is for BETA branch, to gain access to BETA branch please follow the instructions in the patch notes below.

Gaining Access to BETA

As it was mentioned above, this update is for the game’s BETA branch only. To gain access to the BETA branch please follow the steps below:

1) In the Steam game library right click The Withering and select properties

2) In the properties window, switch to BETAS tab on top

3) Enter gimmebetapls in beta access code and click on Check Code

4) Select the Public Beta Branch from the drop down menu and allow Steam to download the new build

If you do not see the Public Beta Branch, please make sure you entered the code correctly.

Thank you!

New Camp Management Gameplay – Development Update # 2

Hello everybody!

I would like to share another glimpse of the upcoming new camp management gameplay that will become a part of our major update.

Workshop building during daytime phase, players will be able to manage the camp production from the workshop building menu.

The storage building during evening phase, each building will grow as players upgrade the building level.

The radio tower during evening phase, this is where players will manage the diplomacy tasks of the camp.

Headquarters at night, is where players will be able to access the camp status, report, tasks and other important camp information.

Roster tent at night, here players will be able to manage their custom characters and transfer the equipment.

Roster tent interior, is where your characters hang out.

Camp gates during the morning phase.

Camp perimeter wall.

All of the camp interface will be available by interaction with the in game building or directly from the camp interface that can be accessed from anywhere in the camp.

Most of the camp management features will be adjusted to suit the new gameplay and the camp population will be drastically increased. The buildings will be manned by survivors and will become more productive with more survivors working in them.

Stay tuned as we will be releasing more screenshots and a gameplay video soon!

Thank you!

Update 1.0.33.2

This is a technical update for the game infrastructure that will allow for the new changes, it is designed to upgrade the technical side of the game’s foundation in preparation for support of our upcoming Multiplayer and Free Roam update.

The majority of the components being updated to support server / client functionality and are transparent to the gameplay.

Thank you.

Free Roam – Development update # 3

Hello everybody, it’s been another very busy week for us here and I would like to share a few very important things with you! In this announcement I will be talking about the Free Roam gameplay updates coming our way as well as a short term road map regarding the new features.

Free Roam overview

First I would like to thank you all for your feedback! You have been a great help and because of this active community we can now identify and improve the gameplay experience.

I would like to start with my personal observation and experience with the new Free Roam gameplay. During the last week I was heavily involved in breaking down the gameplay and reviewing the feedback from the community. And personally, I felt that the gameplay was lacking in several aspects. The free roam section map did not capture the feeling of the open space and was heavy on the machine resource consumption. The overall experience playing the free roam map did not deliver what we were aiming for and it was something I was not comfortable with!

We put our heads together, and worked even harder on improving both of these aspects of the gameplay and I am very happy to announce that we have made great progress!

The screenshots below will show you the newly developed Free Roam Utah State section:

We were able to create a map that captures the essence of the open world gameplay. Vast planes, mountains and forests now cover the land that is four times larger than the previously introduced section.

These new developments allowed us to invest even more details into the living world of the game. Each location (node) that is spread across a huge terrain will have additional sub nodes that will be governed by the location state.

The sub nodes will be randomly spawned in the area governed by the primary location (like the farm in the screenshots) and those sub nodes can vary between scavenging sites, bandit or survivor camps, resource drops, random events, missions and more..

The Faction controlled locations will have reputation vendors that players can purchase resources, materials and equipment from by spending the faction reputation currency gained from tasks and events.

Players will have to maintain the control of the locations and help faction NPCs fend off the infected and bandits. Should the location fall into bandit hands or be overrun by the infected, the sub nodes related to that location will be less frequently spawned until the location is liberated again.

This is just one example of the upcoming features that we plan to implement into the new gameplay. We plan to have these features gradually added onto the free roam gameplay in our weekly updates.

The new free roam will feature all of the locations present on the current section as well as several new ones.

The day night cycle will be revised respectively to the new free roam section size.

We are in our final stages of the dynamic world loading system and we plan to implement it with the new Free Roam section release.

I will be posting updates as we progress through the development and talk about the features I have mentioned here in more details soon!

Thank you,
David Shefet,

Free Roam – Development Update #2

Hello everybody!

It’s me again and I’m here to give you another quick update on the free roam development progress.

First I would like to let you know that we are making good progress and plan to have a free roam map available with our next update. It will not have all of the features implemented but players will be able to explore the map and visit all of the locations.

I know that I have promised to record a gameplay video and I fully intend to do that, we are getting so very close to releasing our new player controller that I wanted to include it in the video. I also promised to show you how the new deployment interface would look like:

The new “MAP” button on bottom right will open the North America region map from which players will be able to choose the place to travel.

Once the location is selected, players will be given some basic information of what is available. Such as number of towns and cities, missions, controlling faction, etc..

The blank tab on the left will hold player character portraits to select and the left tab will display a list of points of interest, like City of Woodsfield for example.

The new free roam map will feature new gameplay elements such as random encounters, where players will meet other survivors or engage in combat with bandits for resources and maybe save someone’s life.

There will be two more missions accessible from the map, the Waterfront Liberation mission will have players fight for control of the clean water supply in the area. And the Factory Assault mission will put players into a thrilling challenge of taking back the old factory and it’s resources from the bandits.

I will be posting new updates as soon as possible, showing the new map and it’s features in action!

Thank you,
David Shefet.

Free Roam – Development Update #1

Hello everybody,

I am super excited to let you know that the Free Roam development is going very well! These last few days were extremely productive, we have added several more locations to explore on the map and I am personally very happy with the internal testing results so far.

Before writing this I decided to do a little run around the map, to be exact just the main perimeter highway that circles it, started the stop watch on my phone and started sprinting.. By the time I have reached the point where I stared, the stop watch counter was 30:46.7 , It took me more than half an hour real life time just to run around the map on a main highway, without stopping at any location anytime. And I haven’t gone in a middle of the map yet, just circled it.

One of the best things I have noticed, is that I never was “In the middle of nowhere” for more than a minute at a time. There was always something coming up on the horizon. Personally I like the concept of huge maps, but I don’t really enjoy walking / running simulators. So I think we have nailed it in that aspect. The map is a very decent size, and you don’t have to run for 15 minutes just to reach a site you want to scavenge or explore.

And this is just a quarter of the Utah state that we are planning to implement into the game for players to explore. And yes, then we will do the rest of the states..

I will be making a short video showing you a little bit of the gameplay on the new map and how the interface in the camp will change for deploying to real time action gameplay, sometime this week. As soon as I will get a chance to record it.

Thank you all for your support and feedback, you keep us inspired!

David Shefet.

Update 1.0.30.5

In this update we introduce new “The Den” mission accessible from Woodsfield Upper St.Claire Site. In addition new visual effects have been added to enhance the combat experience. Bandit AI cover based behavior has been adjusted for better performance, along with other performance optimizations.

Under Fire

New stunning visual effects have been added to enhance the look and feel of the fire fight combat when engaging bandits. New realistic muzzle flash effects with gun barrels spitting out flames, smoke and heat blurring.

New bullet trace and bullet impact effects truly take the overall combat experience to a new level. Each engagement becomes an adrenaline pumping thrill as players dodge to cover with bullets whizzing all around.

Bullet impacts sending pieces of concrete, brick, wood chips and dust flying through the air.

Ripping covers in bursting dust explosions with our new precise bullet impact detection system, makes each effect align with the direction of the surface it hits making the effects look even more realistic.

Material based bullet decals system with material surface based detection.

The Den

Introducing the new mission accessible from Woodsfield Upper St.Claire. Players will be able to take on an abandoned military outpost along a highway that has fallen under bandit control. Also introducing a beta weather effect system that is currently implemented on new mission.

The new mission will have brand new weapon rewards and random weapon modifications.

New Toys

New weapons are joining the arsenal:


PDW Small Machine Gun


Vector K10 Small Machine Gun


Mac 11 High velocity machine pistol

Patch Notes:

Fixed: Bandits sometimes getting stuck in cover
Adjusted: Bandit cover mode behavior
Added: New muzzle flash effects
Added: New bullet trace effects
Added: New bullet decal system
Added: New Bullet impact effects
Added: Bullet impact surface alignment system
Added: The Den mission
Added: Beta weather effects system