Weekly Island Diary: May 12, 2017

Why hello there. Fancy meeting you here. It’s us, Xaviant - developers of The Culling

How have you been? We’ve missed you. We’ve been so busy here in the office, which means that sometimes keeping up to date with our friends can get a little rough. 

Actually, that reminds us - that’s why we’re writing this. We can be so silly at times. We were thinking the other day, what if there was a way that we could let you know was hip with us kids on a weekly basis? You know, what’s #trending in the offizle and what’s the latest shizzle that we’ve got going on! 

Welcome contestants to a new chapter in The Culling.

Each and every Friday we’ll be updating this little blog of ours giving you a bit more insight as to what’s being worked on and what players can expect on the horizon. These aren’t patch notes (which will still exist). This is an extra look into the development of The Culling.

Obviously, we can’t spill all the beans, Frank needs to eat something, but this should open the valve to some of the leakiest leaks since the great Pump House leak of 2729. 

We really wa… hmm… you know what? Screw it. No more intro, let’s get right into things.

Major Bug fixes

The last update brought a whole new version of our game engine along with a complete rework of the input system, so there were bound to be some bugs introduced. It has been our priority to deal with all of the reported issues head on and we’ve been making some major headway.

Among the most notable improvements are fixes for the Fatal Error/Crash bugs, as well more mechanical issues with input systems; such as attack queuing and more. This is a positive first step as we move forward and iron out any other lingering issues. 

We’re also currently investigating a critical obstacle that has prevented many Linux/Steam OS users from launching the game. While we do not have an ETA at the moment, we value the Linux community greatly and we’re working hard to resolve this as soon as possible.

We can’t stress enough how helpful the community has been in helping us find and address many of these issues. We encourage you to continue reporting bugs on all of our official platforms, as well as sending in tickets to our support team directly at help.theculling.com.

Post Free Weekend

With the launch of the Combo Breaker patch we also ushered in a Free Weekend on Steam. This promotion, along with a significant sale, ushered in thousands of new players to The Culling. During this time we were able to gather valuable data, as well as helpful feedback from the community.

In response to some of this information, we have plans to make some significant changes in the future. 

Arming New Players: One of the major lessons that we’ve learned is that even though we’ve added Survival Mode, Offline Matches and Tutorials -most new players jump directly into the action without arming themselves with the knowledge to make them successful. By making new players complete the Tutorial prior to playing online, new players will find themselves better equipped to both understand the basic mechanics as well as to compete with the other, more seasoned, contestants.

On the topic of competition, we will also be reintroducing skill-based matchmaking. The system will evaluate player skill and match players up accordingly, offering players a field of opponents who are in their weight class. With that said, we are aware that instituting a system of this type has the potential to slow down queues. So, with that in mind, we have also designed the system so that it will only kick in when there are enough players in queue to allow multiple matches at once. This means that Matchmaking should have zero impact on queue times.

Changes/additions: In previous iterations of The Culling, matches trended towards being slightly over-aggressive. With the latest update, new layers have been reintroduced to complement more varieties of play. We’re planning to expand upon this.

Soon, a delay will be added to the timing of the gas closure at the beginning of the late-match phase of a match. The concept behind this being to offer contestants more opportunities to call in air drops and to participate in late match events.

Additionally, we’re thrilled to reveal that we will begin to expand the perk set in the near future.

Jump Start is the first of these new perks. A utility perk, Jump Start spawns players with a random Tier 1 weapon. In the hands of a fresh Contestant it can act as an early leg up on some potentially fierce competition, as opposed to the sticks and rocks we’ve witnessed some new players using. Moreover, though it comes at the cost of a perk slot, having a Tier 1 weapon to begin a game can be a lucrative gamble for aggressive players as well. Some might even say, it adds a little Jump to the Start of your match.

Speaking of starts, we’re also going to be making a slight tweak to how Lightning Rounds begin. 

Though it may seem somewhat straightforward to experienced players, a large portion of new players tend to miss out on the ability to call their free airdrop in the first moments of a Lightning Round. To help curb this, Lightning Rounds will soon begin to deliver airdrops immediately as you exit the booth. This is a small tweak that leads to a far better understanding of how Lightning Rounds operate and increases the efficiency of play overall. Because let’s face it, a Lightning Round without a free air drop is more of a static shock. 

Xbox
At E3 2016 we were proud to announce that we expanding the arena by bringing The Culling to Xbox One, but we didn’t have a release date. Earlier this year, we pulled back the curtain a little bit more, revealing that The Culling would hit Xbox One Game Preview program in “First Half 2017”.

We’re happy to announce that not only are we still on schedule, but we’re currently in the process of certification with Microsoft. 

We can’t go into much more on this topic just yet, but it’s safe to say that you can expect more news about this very shortly.

Closing

Phew, that was a lot of info. But we’re not done yet. There’s still a lot more going on here at Xaviant and we’ll have more to share in the coming weeks. Expect to hear more about Matchmaker Changes and some exciting new features in the works for The Culling very, very soon! Very.

Until next time contestants,

See you in the Arena!