Hello everyone! Welcome to the 308th issue of the RoVerse Development Newsletter, where we keep you updated on the progress we've made over the past week.
This week, we've just about got crafting working, which was significantly more complicated than we ever expected. Not only do we have to handle individual consoles keeping track of separate recipes and the time that each of those requires, but we also have to handle the player coming back later and picking up the item they chose to craft. We also had a bit of a false start when it came to crafting intermediate ingredients, which we were taking much too literally, when the easiest solution involves just crafting the final item and keeping a running tally of resources used in the meantime. And on top of all of that, we have to handle players leaving the game, and coming back much later, which adds a datastore element to the whole thing. But regardless, we've got the first steps ready to go, and they aren't just the flash UI bits either.
Now, the player's inventory system properly tracks whether you have the necessary resources to craft an item, it can calculate how long it'll take to complete that crafting, and it'll wait until you hit the collect button to add the finished product to your inventory. Eagle-eyed viewers will have caught the new info panel, that displays how many of a crafted item you already have, and shows the increase when you collect your finished goods.
Last week we showed the two halves of the inventory system, this week we've got them combined into one. The list of inventory items that updates live as you collect resources, and the character inventory where you can equip weapons and tools.
Also this week, thanks to a tweet by Elttob_ and ParallelMayhem, we experimented a bit with inverted meshes and backlit shadows. Here's the tweet's image that got us excited - shadows in Roblox are pretty basic, but there are lots of cool hacks and tricks to get them to do cool things when you need to, and this trick is one of them.
By turning a specialmesh inside out, shadows that were supposed to be cast on the top, instead render on the bottom. In most cases, this would be weird and useless - however, in space, this is incredibly useful to give depth to planetary rings. The shadows of a moon or asteroids being cast on the top of the ring is alright, but being able to see the shadow from the bottom, like the ring is actually made up of little bits of debris, rocks, and ice, adds an incredible if subtle visual impact to the model.
And so, we experimented:
The shadows from the bottom of a simple plane are pretty cool. However, this trick also makes the shadow not render on the top of the mesh, so a duplicate that faces the normal way is still required.
As an added bonus, the small-scale of our spaceship portions of the game make the limited range of Roblox shadows seem that much larger - rather than looking like shadows end 50 feet away, they look to be 5000. We're looking forward to continue experimenting as we work on solar system generation.
Each week we compile a Q&A section here whenever there are any new questions posted on the RoVerse Community group wall or in the Community Discord Server. Be sure to join if you have any questions about RoVerse:
ROBLOX Group: https://www.roblox.com/My/Groups.aspx?gid=2948290
Discord server: https://discord.gg/npxBGwJ
Q1: Will there be any ecumenopolises?
A1: We sure hope so. It'd take quite a long time for a colony city to expand that far, but we do want the potential for a colony to take over an entire planet and bury it in the chaos of a futuristic metropolis.
You can support us by joining our Community Group or Discord server! So far, the community has been absolutely amazing, supportive, and very friendly. We are very appreciative of all the support you guys show us!
If you want to catch any of our developers streaming, you can always follow our official Twitch channel here!
Remember, we are always looking for new, talented builders, scripters and artists! If you’d like to help us you can always get in touch with us through RoVerse_Official on the ROBLOX website, or by contacting an Administrator in the community Discord! Don’t worry, we don’t bite!
Vaktus: Leader of the Vaktovian Empire and head of the RoVerse Project