August 31st 2018
Mostly a continuation of the last post.
I saw a comment the other day asking where the monthly devlog is. Surely these come out more frequently than that?! Oh. :/
This past month I drove back across Canada to Calgary and moved into the new apartment. Everything's unpacked / mostly organized now and things are settling down. I also bought vesa mounting arms for my monitors which has been great saving a lot of desk space. 🙂
There was some crazyness with exploits in Unturned 3 where some cheaters were abusing every little gap in the security they could this month. Those seem to be all tightened down again now, but it's hard because they only need to find one leak to start causing trouble again. I've tried to make sure my fixes are longer term however, for example there was a request which should only be made once per player (which they were sending repeatedly) whose validation was faulty, and rather than fixing just that I added a new network rule which was applied to all once-per-player requests preventing the exploit from being found elsewhere.
It turns out there was a bit of a miscommunication for the next curated map, as we'd originally started talking before I introduced the timed curated maps feature thus they were expecting it to be a permanent map. They've put a ton of time, effort and quality into it so a bit of extra focus will have to go into the next 3.x update to help optimize space for another longer-stay map, as well as some handy features like alerts when someone's leaving your group.
The "new" (now almost one year old) wiki over at wiki.smartlydressedgames.com has been MoltonMontro's baby since it started, so I've now transferred shell access over to him. This matches the original goals of giving as much control to the community as possible, whereas the previous unofficially hosted one has ads and is less flexible. Direction has also shifted toward gradually encompassing 3.x content, and potentially vanilla/classic.
Animation / Rigging Tools
While visually similar to what you saw last month, I promise a bunch has happened. The pipeline is now in place for the higher quality character and weapon animations! I've prepared an installation video and downloads for examples + tools:
U4-Maya plugin on GitHub if you dare explore code of widely varying quality: https://github.com/SmartlyDressedGames/U4-Maya
Character and Weapon Files: https://drive.google.com/file/d/117d48KCn22OJFFEmWAScF8jlmstra0CH/view
While there's still some development and improvements to be done on the tools they're functional end-to-end now. You may wonder what's really changed here since the Eaglefire animations from earlier in the year: doing those animations in Blender I had to animate the character and weapon separately, export/import them separately, and then the game code was responsible for stitching them together. This worked, and I was happy with it at the time, but it was much more subjective to mismatches and harder to maintain. Now the character and weapon are firmly connected, and it's a one-click process to get them in-game. That version was also purely forward-kinematics, whereas most animations will now be a lot easier using primarily inverse-kinematics.
Beyond scripting the character rig creation I also decided to script weapon rigs. This is setup as a base class for all holdable rigs (medkit, food, melee) with a subclass specific to guns, and then subclassed for each specific gun. It's a really smooth experience now, and one thing I'm quite pleased with is that if the rig creation hits an exception it backs up the existing skeleton and skin weights so that nothing is lost between generations.