New Season; New Features!
Introducing Shapes, sitting, sockets and smooth new touch controls.
With the new Crayta season of Harrowing High we have another exciting set of new features for our creators to make use of. Some of these have been requested by the community for a while, so we’re sure you’ll be keen to start experimenting with them.
Introducing Primitive Shapes
We’re always incredibly impressed at how creatively you combine the existing assets in the game; but the new Shapes feature is going to give you even more power and flexibility to kit-bash things together in the editor in amazing new ways.
If you have used Horizon Worlds or any 3D modelling tools, then this approach will probably be familiar to you; essentially you have access to a library of different basic ‘primitive’ shapes that can be recoloured using the properties panel, distorted and adjusted using mesh scaling controls, and put together pretty much however you want.
This opens huge amount of new possibilities, and we can’t wait to see what some of you make with this extra modelling flexibility.
Take the weight off
We know you’ve been asking for this feature for a while now and it’s finally arrived!
From the launch of Harrowing High, you’ll be able give your characters and NPCs the chance to take a break and sit or lie down wherever they fancy. And it’s not just limited to chairs and beds either — we’ve introduced some new API changes to allow you to do some really clever stuff with these new animations.
You’ll find that objects like chairs, beds, bunks and even some larger objects that have suitable seating points have been set up with sockets that can be used to sit your characters in. But, if you find that there isn’t a socket setup for the mesh you have chosen, or that you want your character to sit somewhere more specific, then you can simply add a locator and use that as a seating point.
In addition to this, some of the objects will have multiple seating points, and you have a few different sitting and sleeping animations, all of which can all be controlled via scripts. By utilising these you can control how the player or NPC will interact with the mesh. Maybe you want them to lie on a bench rather than sit on it, perhaps?
You can also do things like specifically setting the sockets they will use to attach to, maybe you want your player to sit in the nearest free spot in a bench with 3 possible attach points?
Have an experiment and let us know the most unusual places you’ve got your characters to sit and chill! For a video tutorial, click here!
Improvements to Sockets
Sockets already exist on the player characters and allow creators to attach assets like meshes or effects to predetermined parts of a character’s body. As part of the above work to add sitting and laying down we have also overhauled how these sockets work in Crayta.
The key benefits of the new system is that you should find that the new sockets will be set up to better interpret the meshes that you have attached to them, although there may still be manual adjustments that are needed to have them correctly positioned exactly where you want them.
Note: You may find there are some issues with aligning them on your NPCs, but we’re working to improve this feature with further updates.
The other benefit is that some assets like seats and benches will include sockets too, which means you can also attach other things to these points and not just use them for seating characters.
However, there is a cost to these improvements, and that is the old socket system will shortly be phased out and eventually may cease to function, so it’s worth updating your existing games to the new system as soon as you can. The good news is that these changes are relatively simple and you’ll see output messages in the editor output log to warn you of this deprecation so you’ll know what to adjust.
Finally, we will be providing more information in this linked video tutorial about how the sockets have been changed and how creators can update any scripts in packages and games that use sockets to be compatible with the new system.
Mobile & Touch Control Improvements
We previously added more support for mobile touch controls with the launch of Crayta on Facebook Gaming, and have continued to add support for touch devices since.
For this release we’ve focused on several improvements to the mobile controls experience, and the first major new feature is the ability to show different text or icons depending whether you’re playing Crayta on a mobile device or a desktop device. For example, you may wish for a message to be displayed to tap on the screen to interact on mobile, however on other platforms you might want to use a key or button prompt.
While we provide a mobile control interface out of the box, some creators wanted to create their own custom control interface. We now allow you to bind inputs to UI elements so that you can create custom buttons that perform the same as gamepad or keyboard buttons.
A common request was also the ability to change the touch zones, such that the whole screen could be used for just movement for games without camera controls (like an endless runner) or to look around within games that don’t require player movement (like a simulation game). We have now added that ability so you can create custom touch zones that can be setup by editing the bindings in the control scheme settings within the editor or can be set during gameplay by using LUA bindings.
One issue with playing on mobile devices was that the UI elements were often scaled to be suitable for playing on a desktop PC, this meant icons or text were often too small to see on mobile. We’ve now added a toggle that allows you to set the size of CSS elements based on the platform you’re viewing the content on.
Another addition is the idea of on-screen controls that are sensitive to the context they are being used in or the status that an item is in. For example, you may have a fixed turret that can be entered and this will change the on-screen controls from having options to move your player to having ones that allow you to fire and reload your turret.
This builds on the existing control layouts already available in Crayta that can be seen from a game’s details page and configured in the editor.
We have also added the ability to select and tap into 3D space. An example here would be a hidden item game where you need to click on containers within the world to open it and see the contents.
This covers the major improvements that have been added to support touch controls on mobile.
We will be covering more on these improvements and how to use them in a series of tutorials that will be coming out shortly, and we hope you enjoy them
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Let us know on our Discord and Facebook Group what your favourite new feature is!