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Survive in inhumane conditions and come back home with the whole crew.
Survive in inhumane conditions and come back home with the whole crew.
Survive in inhumane conditions and come back home with the whole crew.
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1,511 backers pledged CA$ 38,188 to help bring this project to life.

News 2018, No. 3

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Hello Friends!

We haven't been here from some time so it's time for a bunch of news about UBOOT ... UBOAT? We'll explain in a moment ;) Let's start!

New title

Our game is now renamed to UBOAT. We had to perform such change for a variety of practical reasons for our publisher, mostly because we will be able to more easily copyright this new title.

It's shocking, we know :) It becomes the same thing after a few days of looking at it though. We are going to change the name on all sites where we have our presence step by step. 

 

Wilhelmshaven

We now have a finished model of Wilhelmshaven. It's a starting port for the player and it's also pretty unusual one. For these reasons we wanted to have it made in detail with historical accuracy. There is a shipyard, working water locks etc.

You could see a work in progress of it on the animation in the previous update.



Optimizations

In preparation for the release we heavily focused on performance this time. Our work machines now run the game at around 90 FPS, which is 50% more than earlier. Framerate seems to depend more on CPU, probably because of underlying simulation.

Aside from minor optimizations all around, we've implemented a full batching and LOD system for our characters that we discussed in one of the previous updates. Customizable characters are hard to render - each part of clothing has to be rendered separately and that's something what underlying hardware doesn't like. Speaking mathematically, 35 sailors, each with 7 customizable parts on average required 245 rendering tasks in the worst case scenario each frame. Our new system dynamically composes all their meshes, textures and skeletons into one thing at some cost of the memory so this problem seems to be solved.

Second optimization, but also a graphical improvement, is our own implementation of a scriptable render pipeline. It's a new feature that will officially be added to Unity later this month that allows developer to rewrite large parts of rendering code that earlier was in engine's domain. Our rendering methods so far had to involve a considerable gymnastic each frame to walk around engine's limitations. There was some unnecessary work that was mostly related to the composition of boat interior that has to be a static scene and exterior that is dynamic. Right now all that composition is pretty straightforward, increasing performance, removing some minor, previously unfixable artifacts and improving shadow filtering and reflections as an added bonus.

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Improved navigation

We've integrated a bit better navigation model into UBOAT. From now on position of the boat in the world is not predetermined and errors in its estimation will arise. If player won't have a navigator at his station for too long he may get lost and find ocean where, let's say, France was supposed to be.

There are no manually controlled stations (like sextant) involved in this process so far, but it's an open design and we may add such feature in the future. Definitely not before the game gets released though.

Balance reasons were the main motivator behind this addition as leader officers needed more stations to work on.

Needs system

First off, regular sailors obviously always had a needs system, but related behaviours were fully automated and player's reponsibility was only to take care of food.. and functional toilets :)

Recently we felt that analogous system for officers, who are directly controlled by the player, would help us balance some aspects of the game. They now have a fatigue bar and in addition may occasionally eat to replenish some of their energy. Fatigue decreases their performance and increases chances for a trauma event.

This change allowed us to introduce more officers onto the boat with game progression and add more rotation on the stations. It also makes some events even more stressful than before.

We are pretty confident that this is an improvement, although some details may still change. Our goal is to keep this system as simple as possible to add a needed touch for balance and immersion without becoming important part of the gameplay.

Intro

We're starting to work on an intro to the game that will introduce players to their initial character. We were going to create it on the engine, but it's going to be faster to oursource it to CG studio with which we worked before.

Voiceover

We're preparing for the final voice recording sessions. We would use your help with technical German phrases in a matter of few weeks to avoid spending budget on sentences like previous "weichen stellen" that never gets old.

Funny fact: friendly member of our community, NileX13, recently found out that due to a small typo we had a valve labelled as (after translation) "less << hugs >> more". Therefore yes - some help would be much needed and appreciated :)

New faces

We started to cooperate with a sound designer and a second animator. They are both veteran developers that worked on major Polish titles and will certainly add much needed polish in their areas of expertise.

Beta testing

UBOAT has become a complex and innovative game and risk that there are critical bugs lurking around is just too high. For that reason, jointly with our publisher, we decided that there has to be a beta testing before our game lands on Steam. That means we will be able to meet our Q2 goal only partially.

Bug fixing is going to be the main purpose of these tests, but we are open to allocate a reasonable time for general improvements, if they turn out to be important. In particular we are interested in feedback about our distance and time compression mechanics.

Tests will be divided into two tiers. Tier I is going to be open exclusively for our Kickstarter backers willing to join, while Tier II beta testing will be open for everybody willing to help. Participation will be completely free in both cases. Signing up for Tier I will start during the second half of June, while Tier II will start a month later. Management side over this process will be handled by a dedicated team from PlayWay and we will provide you with all the details a bit later.

We hope that this compromise will satisfy you, our supporters. That solution will let you access the game still during this quarter, but also will help the game start with good reviews as that matters to us very much, considering the amount of work and passion that we invested into it. We hope that game will be successful enough for us to support it in long run after the release and hope that you understand the reasoning behind this decision.

Thank you for your continued support!

Deep Water Studio

Haevermaet Anthony, Tequi, and 39 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Serkan Ay on

      when the kickstarters backer send an email with a link to the beta test?

    2. Mike Collins on

      I would like to join the early bet test, backer no 287. I have experience in beta testing.

      Many Thanks

    3. Missing avatar

      Robert Caldwell on

      so how do we sign up for the beta exactly? never got any kind of instructions for that

    4. Séverin Renard on

      i don't found your email for the beta, can you says me what's your email adress ? please

    5. Missing avatar

      SlightlyQuarky on

      Well, the name change... Hm... Well on the bright side it isn't Das/Der Boat.

      Looking forward to the beta though, keep up the good work guys.

    6. Missing avatar

      Christoph Nelles
      Superbacker
      on

      Took some time to think about the rename. "UBoat" just sounds wrong. German abbreviation + English word sounds so "Denglish" as we call it in Germany.

    7. Harag on

      @Playway I also backed the board game of the same name, will that be changing it's name also? Though not sure you could answer that.

    8. PlayWay 18-time creator on

      @Toxicant Yes, we will send an e-mail explaining everything.

      @Crazy_Borg There is some sentiment indeed, but that's the same game after all.

    9. Toxicant on

      will the kickstarters get an email with a link to the beta test?

    10. Crazy_Borg on

      A little sad about the renaming, to be honest.
      Losing the reference to Das Boot, now changed into something more generic. :-/

    11. BobbyDylan on

      I'm so Excited for this game. UBoAt and M&B:Bannerlord are my 2018 hype games.

    12. Harag on

      Great update guys, and really glad you are sort of delaying it with a beta test... Sign me up for that!

    13. Lasstmichdurch on

      Uboat...witchcraft...