Happy holidays everyone! It's been a very long time since the last BadLads update and I bring good news. A big update is coming! However this is just an announcement of what's coming, the update is not out yet :(
Stick around, and definitely don't scroll to the very end of this article. There totally isn't a huge bombshell down there, smile.
Large Visual Overhaul
BadLads has a new and completely unique visual look.
A lot of assets are remade in a distinct BadLads visual flavor.
Most interactable objects now look different depending on where they are. Adding visual flair to otherwise repeating gameplay objects.
The games internal rendering elements were completely redone from scratch to allow for a single uniform "uber" shader. This is a leap beyond in terms of framerate and given artistic capability. It's a big win internally and performance-wise, giving the game a nice visual boost. It's also a much needed change for the ambitious feature below.
The game is going to feature a full on procedural city, much larger than Vegas. You'll be able to explore every inch, every building and its interior, socialize, drive, fight. This opens up the flood gates to a whole set of new gameplay elements, but for now enjoy the view below.
As you can see the city is still basic, however that's the technological proof of concept picture. My initial attempts at spawning in hundreds of buildings resulted in terrible performance and getting it back took some major engineering work. Now we have hundreds of buildings -- all while maintaining an excellent framerate.
Fortunately the optimization attempts were a huge success and I am fully set to implement the rest of the procedural algorithm. Remember that this isn't a single-player game. Everyone will get the same giant multiplayer procedural generated city with no drawbacks!
- Procedural City with infinite light distance.
The game has received a complete player character overhaul -- introducing some sweet new features.
Say hello to "Georgie", I mean Mr. BadLad.
Every single player will have a unique hair variant, ranging from bald to full on mullet.
The best thing about the new hair is its compatibility with any head wearable in the game.
The hair uses a special plane based mask to hide away the clipping while wearing hats. Meaning the game won't swap out your hair for a dingy bald cap when you want to show off your flowing hair to the frightened civilians of BadLads. Also not everyone has a mustache.
New Character Clothing
Every single player has 2 new inventory slots, called wearable slots. Just like your head wearable, you can now wear a wide variety of different chest and leg wearables.
Things not planned for this update:
- I plan to add the ability to paint clothing on these mannequins, but as of right now that's on the todo list.
- While the new clothing wearables allow for character customization to a new degree in BadLads, players still want to customize their character even more so: like changing the body's proportions, hair type, skin color. I hear you, and I plan to scrap the procedural SteamID characters and add a full character customizer to the game.
New Character Animations
With the character overhaul the game features brand new reworked animations, in thirdperson and in firstperson!
- This is a feature I've wanted to add for a long time, so I did. You can sit on every single seat in the game, environmental or buildable. Meaning park benches or buildable toilets. These changes come along with completely new character sitting animations.
I prefer games in firstperson, that's just me. Some players really don't like firstperson, especially for roleplay. So I added thirdperson to the game, the game by default is still firstperson. Server owners can come in and flick a switch to make it thirdperson just on their server.
We've (shoutout to Ninjarod!) been testing the game out with thirdperson for a few months and I have to say its grown on me, I might switch over to the thirdperson camp personally. Don't worry though, firstperson is not going anywhere!
The building experience in the game needed some work, so I revised it. The Build Tool is now an all-in-one, you don't need Worker's to buy you any more buildables. All you really need is the Build Tool and some cash.
The building has a new look and I've changed the way alignment/snap turning works to allow for finer placement.
New Job: Hobo
Say hello to the Hobo! He's a new neutral type Job that can search the garbage cans around the city for trashy treasure!
I've been excited for the day I can finally announce what's been going on behind the scenes. A couple months back I received a VR headset and have been working non-stop to re-create BadLads in VR. Not port, recreate. The whole game experience ranging from the UI to the actual mechanics of the game have been changed to suit VR players.
The VR experience of BadLads is not a seperate game! It's a hybrid situation, desktop players can play with VR players, and VR players can play with desktop players. You'll be able to have meaningful interactions with everyone.
VR comes with VR specific changes, VR options menus, custom VR movement types, VR inventory management. You might of noticed that the hands aren't connected to the VR body. To suit all types of different players I decided to not implement first person VR arms and save myself the RnD headache. I did do some open-source work and implemented VR arms for players looking at you. So everyone except you will see your arms, it's a bit confusing at the moment.
The VR version required some major work in terms of getting the game to run at a stable 144 frames on my VR system. The game is running on a completely different rendering path called "Forward shading" and the engine has been gutted to run the game as well as possible.
The best side effect of running in forward shading is that you get infinite light distance in VR, as you can see in the videos above.
I liked this so much that I decided I'll be including instructions on how to run in this mode while playing on desktop.
The average frametime is around 5ms in Vegas on a GTX 1070. That's around 200 frames per second while rendering 2 eyes at high resolution, so the game has some room to spare in terms of performance.
Q: Is the VR experience gonna cost me anything? A: No sir, it's part of the base game.
- Steam Audio has been implemented, binaural HRTF audio is default for all players be it VR or Desktop.
- New single-player testing mode called "Ladmode" has been added.
- New interactable selection outline.
- Microphone gain options.
- The visuals UI has been overhauled with animations.
- All Apartments interiors now have alarms.
- Steam Rich presence support.
- Network dormancy optimizations.
- Droppable items no longer get stuck in mid-air.
- Game messages like "You have been paid" have a special notification now.
- Added HDR support. The HDR option will only show up if you have a HDR compatible display and your OS is in HDR mode.
- Fixed players being leftover after leaving.
- Fixed players not being able to spawn after a server has been up for n days.
- Fixed crash that occurred sometimes after leaving a server.
- Fixed UI dropping out of focus for seemingly no reason.
These aren't the full patch notes, there's been around 300 source control commits (changes) and I've skimmed through them to compile the changes above. Happy holidays everyone.