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Kenshi - An open ended, squad-based Strategy RPG
Slow But Steady
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 14:55

There have been a lack of updates recently while we work on the more complex jobs of the pathfinding, 64-bit engine and new world biomes. However, Sam has been making good progress and will hopefully be finished with the pathfinding and 64-bit engine soon.

That being said, when we take the potential bugs and glitches into account, it could still be a few more weeks until this next update - it's best not to announce an exact finish date until we are more sure, otherwise people just get mad and frustrated. Hence our quiet last few months while we get the game into a more stable state.


In other news, Chris has started working on the new stealth and thievery abilities. This should add a nice bit of variety for all those sneaky player types. Also, Maykol started work with us today so we now have an extra programmer to speed things up.

Four Become Six
Thursday, 24 July 2014 13:01

Updates and announcements are a little slow at the moment while we work on the 64-bit build to fix the super crash (see previous post) and take on the mammoth-sized job of the new world map. Development-wise, I don't have any other news than that, but what I can announce is that the Lo-Fi team has expanded!



Up until only last November 2013, Lo-Fi Games was still just a one-man project with Chris working hard at the helm all on his own. Of course, Kenshi successfully made it on to Steam’s Early Access not long before, so this meant Chris could afford to hire two new team members: First came Sam, our first additional programmer to Chris, and then Olly, our first 3D artist. Shortly after, I joined in January (happy times).



Rezzed 2014: Chris, Olly, Sam and Natalie with neighbours

Sergio and Balbino, creators of Enola


So now I’d like to officially welcome two new team members: Already started this month is Otto, a 3D artist from Sweden who will start work on modeling Kenshi’s beasts and wildlife; and starting next week is Maykol, a programmer from Uruguay who will hopefully begin work on the weather system.

New World
Friday, 04 July 2014 00:00


Over the last few months, Olly has been working hard on the new world map - a whole world, 4x bigger to completely replace the current one. This will have a great variety of different biomes: Swamp Lands, Savannas and Tar Sands... just to name a few.
To all the fans of the current look though: don't worry, there will still be a desert biome as well. Check out some of Olly's experimental work-in-progress landscapes...

Experimental biome
The process involves selecting a small area of heightmap (a huge greyscale texture) from the main world map, and loading it into ZBrush. Here, Olly sculpts it into it's basic shape, for example cliffs, hillocks, dunes, bluffs, gulleys, cracked planet skin, arid features or swampy bogs. He then uses another editor, World Machine, to play around with features like erosion and terraces, before tweaking a bit more in ZBrush again.
Eventually during these process, he'll need to render out a heightmap  and various textures  - colourmaps, convexity maps, maybe angle, splatmaps or other information from macro's in that program. Then, this new heightmap would essentially be 'sewn' back into the original super-huge world greyscale heightmap.

The textures are added after developing the overlay map - this gives the land surface it's basic colour. Loose stones, sand, mud, dried lava flows, cliff beds etc, can all be then be added as textures for the surface of each individual region.

Early stages of a volcanic crater

These and the normal maps that go with them then get applied to the world surface super easily thanks to the mapping systems of the Kenshi coders, Sam and Chris. Olly will then rebuild the world and load the game to check the results. Often excitement then turns to a huge list of fixes...
Remember - all of the above images represent an unfinished, experimental state; they are not a final representation of the finished world map.
Update 0.69.0 Experimental Version
Friday, 20 June 2014 10:24

The next update (Steam Experimental version) is now available:




-Big frame rate boost!
-Totally revamped wall placement system
-Slightly better building placement in general.  Easier to place furniture inside buildings.
-Toughness now affects degeneration rate, meaning that rookies are more likely to die than veterans when defeated.
-Difficulty settings added to the New Game and Import Game windows.
-Added an "Amount of death" slider to the new game options to increase difficulty.  Setting it higher than 1.0 makes ALL characters in the game more likely to die from their wounds (eg 2.0 means bloodloss + wounds degenerate 2x faster).
-"Easy prospecting" option: resources are adjusted by biome only.
-Multipliers for research, building and production speeds
-Some subtle tweeks to the combat AI to help characters deal with being outnumbered slightly better.
-Bandits can now catch you if you are running away and can't run fast enough.
-Strength improves slightly faster from encumbrance
-"Max blood" stat is now influenced by character's strength.
-Heavy club was a bit overpowered, so I turned it down.
-Added Splint Kits to the research list
-Forgot to mention in last update, gun turrets now have an advantage when placed at a higher altitude than their target.  Put them on hills, on walls, and it will make them much more effective
-You can now upgrade or delete a whole chain of walls at once



-Fixed the "reset position" for game imports
-Fixed some characters being invisible when dead or paused
-Fixed outnumbered characters causing a big freeze-up mid-battle
-You can't run away mid-stumble anymore
-Skin tone wasn't being randomised properly for NPC generation.
-Fixed a bug where splint kits sometimes cause healing to get stuck
-Fixed the high-velocity ragdolls bug
-Fixed research ETA, also daytime speed was running too fast when time was speeded up

First Beast: In The Making
Thursday, 26 June 2014 00:00

After an unbelievably generous contribution from Linda Macgill (AKA Methelina and CEO of Bug Zen), the beastiary is now making smooth progress.

As mentioned in previous posts, having creatures modeled and skinned by freelancers can cost up to a few thousand dollars each. At such a high cost, progress with the beastiary would have slowed until Oliver had more time to finish them in-house, or we may have even had to have cut some of the creatures from the game altogether... But, thanks to the awesome kindness of Linda and her team, we now have help!

Basically, we've now formed an alliance with the super talented team at Bug Zen, a small indie game development group. They've begun modelling, rigging and animating some of the beasts for free for us. For free! Man, they're crazy! Not to mention that Linda has also given us code for rendering technologies - this will help with progress massively in the future. Linda has already finished designing and modeling the first giant too - here are her work in progress models:


Giant beast


Giant beast


Below, you can see Linda's model with the final texturing and details - all that's left to finish it now is the animation stage. Special thanks to David Alexandersson (aka Tiwyll) for it's rigging and animation, and Stephan Samosevich (aka Link) for the texture adjustments.




Massive thanks to Linda and the team for making the full beastiary possible...

You can see more of Linda's work on her Deviant Art page here

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