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Aleš Ulm

Dev Diary #166 - Editor and Exploration

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Hey there, fellow ylanders.

Originally I planned to discuss some cool new features and improvements update 1.6 will introduce but seeing the discussions about the current state of the game and where it‘s headed, I thought it's more important to react to these instead.

Let me start by addressing the concerns about us focusing mostly on the Editor/platform instead of Exploration. 

In the past years, we have spent a lot of time working on the Editor, the Workshop and the platform in general. During this time it was our primary focus, and this meant that - unfortunately - Exploration got less love than what we would have wanted. That is a fact, and we understand the disappointment of those who wanted us to improve Exploration in the first place. While we did make some Exploration improvements, these were not necessarily enough. We are also aware that some features are now actually might even be worse than they used to (probably the biggest issue is still maps being smaller).

All of this happened because of three reasons.

This year Ylands will be officially released in China (which is something that only a few dozen „western“ games achieve each year) and thanks to the support from our team here, now, months before the release, the platform there already contains hundreds of games. For Ylands, a project that we still plan to develop for many years to come, this is obviously very important.

The second reason is something we haven‘t talked about yet, but since some of you already started asking - and we are close enough to start discussing this as well; here we go. Often in the past, actually even years ago, when the Editor and platform was nothing like they are now, we kept being approached by teachers from various countries who were interested in using Ylands and its visual scripting and easy to pick-up systems, as tools to teach kids the basics of scripting & programming. At that time we didn‘t feel ready to provide such a solution, but now we got to a point where we can and want to; so this year we plan on introducing Ylands to schools as a learning tool. At first here, in the Czech Republic, followed by other countries. The Ylands version for schools will be pretty much the standard Ylands you know and love but stripped of some features (quite obviously monetization and some others). We have all the features we wanted to have but it took us long to get here.

So what‘s next? 

Exploration.

We have already started focusing on Exploration with update 1.5 and that has brought a major change to the basic gameplay loop. Instead of playing many Exploration games, building your structures, ships only to lose them when you start another Exploration game, you now play in a large Exploration universe where you can keep your progress, explore any number of ylands - be it local games, games hosted on dedicated servers or locally hosted by other players.

In 1.6 we will continue with these improvements. We got rid of the barrier and will give you more power over your ylands. We are adding new ways to build with your friends and tools to prevent visitors to your ylands doing any harm. We are giving you better ways of building. We even made a lot of smaller improvements that you asked for (like introducing a rake, an object you can use to smooth terrain, etc.). Actually, there is so much cool Exploration-related stuff in 1.6 that for the first time we won‘t be able to introduce all of it in Dev Diaries before it comes out!

 

Ylands_rake.jpg

 

And the updates past 1.6? Again, a ton of cool Exploration features, fixes and improvements.

We are already planning something that will make the maps much, much bigger (the actual local maps where you move without loading). In 1.6 we, the devs, are already able to create special unique scenes in the Editor that then can be found in Exploration by players (think of Random Encounters, but entire islands). In the future, we will give the same power to you. That is how the Editor and Exploration will „click together“ and all the time and effort we put into Editor will be beneficial even for the only-Exploration players. Imagine Exploration with custom made worlds, that can be pretty much anything...


And that is, actually, the third reason why we focused so much on having a working Editor/platform first (if you look back in forum posts and Dev Diaries, you will find we dreamed this up this looooong time ago).

That is what the future of Ylands is.

I hope that this answers some of your questions (and maybe even concerns) about the future of Ylands and what role Exploration and the Editor play in it. I understand that this covers only parts of what your concerns are, and I will continue in the next Dev Diary with some other topics like server stability, our plans to get more players to play Exploration and anything else you ask for in the discussion below this post. Please note that with CM gone (we are already talking with some promising candidates) and finalizing features for 1.6 we may not be able to answer everything you ask right away and it may take some time / it will be answered in the next Dev Diary.

That‘s it for today, I will talk to you next Thursday so until then... stay healthy and classy, ylanders!

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All sounds good. Hope the next dev diary gives us some more hints as to things that are being worked on. I still want the toolbox to hold screwdrivers and chisels, and transporting animals and vehicles for instance. Little things that have been addressed in the past as something that is being worked on. I know you all have a ton of bigger and better things in store for us, just wondering about the little things that aren't mentioned. I realize making huge changes that sometimes  those little things get forgotten about or people working on the big projects don't have the time to work on yet. I have every confidence in the direction that exploration is going. Keep up the great work!

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I am so excited about the rake!! 😍😍😍😍  * dances *  Everything else too, but mostly the rake. LOL

4 things I really want fixed: The Large Stone Door and Wolverine Trophy need to be fixed in the crafting menu. There used to be two sheep trophies and now there is only 1 type. And Iris/Lily/Rafflesia should be pick-able instead of giving grass (there are already assets for these, but they can only be found in Random Encounters).

I also have a lot of excitement about Ylands and total faith the Ylands team will keep improving the game. :)

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17 minutes ago, ocnoglittle said:

And Iris/Lily/Rafflesia should be pick-able instead of giving grass

Yes! And Cave Plants and various rainforest plants!! I love decorating with them.

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2 minutes ago, spiritchaser28 said:

Cave Plants and various rainforest plants

But those don't have assets yet, so I am fine if it takes a while 😅

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I would like to see my teammates on the map, and their points to mark. I would like to share a map with my teammates. And so that the points can be described. (Google translator)

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1 hour ago, spiritchaser28 said:

I think the only different asset they would need is the seeds

 

Nah, you can't put them in your inventory right now, so it is a different asset.

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Posted (edited)

miroslavcz requests that cars are slowed down so they have better handling. :) Alternatively, maybe adding one engine that is slower than the others.

I understand that it might take a while to implement, but he wanted to make sure that request wasn't lost.

 

Edited by ocnoglittle
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3 hours ago, ocnoglittle said:

 Iris/Lily/Rafflesia should be pick-able instead of giving grass 

Little known fact: If you break them before you pick them (whack them with the axe) you get seeds and grass.  Because Ylands. 

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22 minutes ago, bojo2736 said:

Little known fact: If you break them before you pick them (whack them with the axe) you get seeds and grass.  Because Ylands. 

Yes, this is how I do it now, but I want to be able to decorate with them (in vases etc).

 

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1 minute ago, ocnoglittle said:

Yes, this is how I do it now, but I want to be able to decorate with them (in vases etc).

 

Good point.  We should be able to craft vases.  

@Aleš Ulm any chance that we will return to the old style maps with more jagged landscape and the old style caves?

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14 minutes ago, bojo2736 said:

Good point.  We should be able to craft vases.  

@Aleš Ulm any chance that we will return to the old style maps with more jagged landscape and the old style caves?

i agree. I joined early 2020 and never got to experience the old cave systems but have seen them on video's and they look so much better than the caves we have now.

I'd like to see the rain stop coming through my ship. it was fine when i first joined but since then there hasn't been a fix for it. feel like i can't get cozy inside my ship when it rains.

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10 hours ago, ocnoglittle said:

Nah, you can't put them in your inventory right now, so it is a different asset

Right but what I meant was they do have assets or attributes. They have pictures of them in editor, along with their color, amount of damage they can take, etc..the only different asset is the seeds. Iris, Lily, Rafflesia, Tropical plants, cave plants all give grass unless you whack them for the seeds....Cave plants don't give seeds and some of the tropical plants only give grass seed. 

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I have a few old style legacy maps.  I will post them for anyone who wants to play with them. 

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Posted (edited)

I have another suggestion. Ever since we got the update where we could no longer modify water terrain, I have noticed that buildings in editor and blueprints seem to be off axis. Most appear to float an inch off the ground so nothing is at actual ground level. I make a lot of blueprints from editor and it became a bit frustrating when this happened. Didn't we used to be able to freeplace blueprints using the alt key or holding right mouse button? Now it seems that the only option is either have your building either buried an inch in the dirt or float above the ground (and many times that won't work because a block has to touch the ground....which leaves me digging out the dirt on my floors once the blueprint is placed). It would be handy if we could freeplace them now. I believe we were also able to freely rotate them as well if memory serves correctly, now they can only face North, South, East or West.  Sometimes the best view is not in those directions. I know you guys at Bohemia have been saying that you are doing a lot of work on blueprints for future updates....this is just a small fix....or rather it is a suggestion to make the buildings level with the ground like they used to be.

In my opinion , a few systems that used to be in place need to be rolled back because they functioned  better in regards to editor as well as blueprints. Good example of this is the constraint settings in editor. We used to be able to switch grid lock off and it would stay off until we changed it back to grid lock on. Now it automatically changes to grid lock "on" (with rotation at 90 degrees and move step set at 1) everytime you place a new entity.or choose a new block. It makes it frustrating trying to freebuild in editor now because we keep having to turn constraint settings off with every move we make.

 

 

Edited by spiritchaser28

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That’s great news regarding the release in China Aleš! I never thought I’d get excited over something as simple as a rake! (My wife insists that gardening is strictly my part of our marriage!) 

I look forward to seeing what you guys are cooking up for building creation. I can also relate to your intention to use the Script Editor as a learning tool.

Whilst the Script Editor is definitely not my play style, I admire its accessibly and even this old dinosaur learned a thing or two from it! I think you guys have created something that schools will find extremely valuable.

With the release in China on the horizon, will we be able to meet up and connect with the new fan base on Exploration 1.5? It would be good to meet new players on our adventures, even if there is a potential language barrier! 😛 

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