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LUUN: a Crafting Survival Game set in a Beautiful World of Mysterious Islands

A topic by countsie created 24 days ago Views: 209 Replies: 14
Viewing posts 1 to 15

Hey all!

I've just made LUUN public. Please check it out: https://countsie.itch.io/luun


This game is quite "Early Access" at the moment, with bugs, odd UI, balance issues, and sketchy artwork in places. Hopefully you can look past the construction and see the potential. 

I am building LUUN to be an experience survival game lovers want to play, with short or long play sessions, tons of looting, hunting, fishing and fighting for your life. LUUN will tie in features from favorite survival and adventure games with an emphasis on player and base customization and freedom to play the game the way you want.


I am asking for your help... I need your feedback to build the best experience possible!

Coming next to LUUN:

  • Tool harvesting: Harvest trees and stone for resources using the Harvest Tool. Break down objects to clear an area for your tropical base.
  • Expanded Learning: Lots of new books to find, giving skills, building and crafting recipes
  • Expanded Crafting: Buildable objects such as the Primitive Mill, Primitive Loom, and Primitive Boatyard are some of the new crafting stations on the horizon.
  • Build system: Build nearly any man-made object you see in LUUN, as long as you have learned the recipe.

See future plans and more on the development of LUUN on the Trello Roadmap.

Sign up to the email list for news, updates and special offers just for subscribers.

This is my first public project on itch.io so I'm still waiting on the indexing. Hopefully will be showing up on the site properly in a week or so.

Some basics on the tech I've used:

Unreal Engine 4.27 (currently, will be updated ~5.3 - 5.4)
Blender + Gimp for visual assets

LUUN uses procedural generation to create a world... right now ~ 300km square. About 40 - 45 islands are generated depending on the world seed chosen.  My intention is to have a much larger world, but I'm still looking at the tech involved there as there are some hard limitations. I'll share some on that later. In the mean time here are some screenies to see what LUUN builds:


Here is a quick video showing some movement and sailing mechanics:


Sailing and moving around the world in and around the water is a big part of this game. I've spent time working on a mechanic that is somewhat true to the real world, with challenge and reward for mastery, but still forgiving enough to be in a game. Different watercraft will have different ways of handling and movement. I feel like the base is pretty solid now.

LUUN's Water System

Originally I had a hand crafted solution somewhat based on the old OceanProject infinite water system. The solution worked really well otherwise and was stable and easy to control and worked really well over the network for multiplayer. Unfortunately the water system was VERY heavy on the GPU and was not future compatible with Unreal Engine 5 as it uses tessellation, something UE smartly dumped for better solutions.

I ended up switching over to the native Unreal Engine Water solution, which is quite robust, but has odd requirements needing landscapes and other dependencies. Nothing a little C++ overriding didn't fix  but it wasn't exactly plug-and-play. I also need to work on the multiplayer networking aspect of it as it isn't synced properly out of the box. Syncing the water isn't exactly easy. I have a solution in mind, just needs time spent on it.

There are a lot more improvements coming to the water, most of them visual, so they are pushed a bit further back on the schedule... BUT, the water is so important to this game it is something I am looking forward into diving into. (pun not intended but I'm leaving it)

Here are the patch notes on updates LUUN.0.197 - LUUN.0.205:

  • Improvements to Inventory and Equipment panel UI
  • Sounds added for Tool adding and stowing.
  • Sounds added for crafting panel recipe book pages
  • Reduced Idle Animation blend
  • Book materials updated... Books now have material/colors based on type
  • Fixed crash/bugs with child actors spawning when moving to new island after save
  • Added updated torch model and flame particle system, with sounds
  • Refactored tool handling to use blueprints rather than meshes
  • Fixed tools not stowing underwater
  • Tweaked loot tables
  • Built and added new primitive crafting table artwork
  • Added missing audio cues for starving/thirst/drowning
  • Added stamina tired sound

Coming up next:

I am currently rebuilding the prototype artwork for the backpacks to fit the newer character model. The new harvest tool and expanded building system are coming up afterwards, a lot of the work is done so the updates should be coming up pretty soon.

Currently working on new primitive backpack artwork to replace the old prototype backpacks. The old don't fit the new character and clip through so I started fresh rather than sculpting on the old prototype:

Pack modeling start

Starting new model in Blender
Sculpting Backpack in Blender
Sculpting Backpack
Setting up for Bake
Setting up for baking to lo res mode

Updates should be up this evening with new pack and tool slotting system.

LUUN.0.214 Update: New Primitive Pack and Improved Tool Management

Patch notes (r342 - r349):

  • Properly initializing Equipment and Tool selection state on load.
  • Equipment now saves properly, refactored equipment item serialization
  • Reduced drowning penalty.
  • Eyebrows now color properly on player and equipment viewer.
  • Added hilighting for selected tool.
  • Fixed bug in demo start menu not returning to main menu
  • Adding demo mode with smaller island size and less seeds to pick from 

Coming up next:

I will be adding a free Demo coming up shorty, I have a bit more testing to do but should be up this eve.

Some more UI and pack handling work to tighten up the experience a bit more... some of this depends on the Item and Inventory refactor so may get pushed a bit as there are some dependencies in the building system I need to work out first.

Harvest tool and expanded building systems are next... this will allow you to build nearly anything you run into in the world, as long as you have learned the recipe for it. I'm looking forward to getting this out for you to try!

Thanks for reading!

Free to play Demo now available: Please check it out: https://countsie.itch.io/luun

LUUN.0.215 Update: Animation work and Error UI Updates

Currently I am working on migrating animation work over from Blender into unreal, so I can do animation right in the engine. This should make it significantly faster iterating over animations and making sure things are lining up.

Blender's animation tools are decent; they are tools I've used for probably 12 years or so now, BUT, I've been working with Unreal's Control Rig system and am really blown away how flexible and performant it is. 

Unreal has a bake to rig function that does a really good job at migrating keyframed animations, so I've ported over some of the work done in Blender and am doing the animation tweaks in engine rather than back and forth with Blender. So far, it's worked well although I'm still learning the quirks of the animation systems in UE.

I'm still using Unreal Engine 4.27 at the moment, 5.1 has significantly better animation controls and can't wait to upgrade LUUN to the newest version of Unreal... there are so many improvements. Unfortunately, there are several things I need to solidify before that happens.

World Generation/Loading Bug

I've received reports on problems with world generation and loading, so I've added in game UI screens with better reporting on exactly what the issue is. 

Right now things seem to point to the world generation files not being found after loading in, maybe related to account permission issues? Not sure yet... I've added it to the Trello Tracker so those affected watch that space for updates on the bug.

Fixing this issue is top priority, but I am at a standstill unable to reproduce on my side until I get more info. If you have more info you think can help smash this bug, please submit a report via the in game feedback tool or support email!

Download and check out the free LUUN Demo: https://countsie.itch.io/luun

Can LUUN be pubished as a WebGL game?

It cannot. It is built on the Unreal Engine and has other dependencies on disk access for writing the procedural world generation files that wouldn't work in that realm.

LUUN.0.216 Update: Tool equipping/swapping cleanup and animation work

Patch notes (r352 - r356):

  • Interaction distance now changes if player is in first or third person view mode
  • Adding new animation slot handling for upper body animations to allow tool/weapon use while moving rather than relying on animation montage and root motion
  • Moved tool equipping to GAS gameplay ability
  • Fixed a bunch of edge case issues with tool equipping/swapping
  • Torch intensity/falloff and shadow type adjusted for performance

Currently I am working on cleaning up the primitive axe animations, and will start soon on the 3d model to replace the prototype. Wood and Stone harvesting will come with the new primitive axe harvest tool.

Afterwards, the Building System overhaul will take place... most of the work is done on the implementation of building, the great remainder of the work is in the UI. I am hoping to have something working and available in the next week or so.

Lots left to do but the checklist keeps getting shorter!

Download and check out the free LUUN Demo: https://countsie.itch.io/luun

Thanks for reading!

(3 edits)

LUUN.0.219 Update: Save system and spawning bug fixes

This is a quick bug fix update, along with some UI sounds

Patch notes (r357 - r360):

  • Fixed bug with SaveGame nulling out equipment, inventory and building components
  • Fixed bug with attached child components spawning incorrectly from loaded levels
  • Fixed issues with main Character reference in equipment panel when spawning in from save
  • Added sounds for adding/removing items from pack

Along with smashing bugs as they show themselves, I'm redoing the artwork for the harvest tool. Should have something in game pretty soon.

LUUN.0.220 Update: Tool and Inventory cleanup and bug fixes

This is another quick bug fix update, adding in work I'm doing currently tightening up the inventory and UI.

Patch notes (r361 - r363):

  • Added tool swapping. Fixed issue with inventory size glitch.
  • Inventory work, cleaning up handling/stacking issues
  • Fixed tool pickup bug setting default state when tool was equipped. 
  • Changed distance handling for moving boats to account for first/third person. 

I'm still cracking on the UI, the issues there took priority over working on the artwork for the harvest tool. Mostly code cleanup and adding some interaction sounds left to do but wanted to post these quality of life bugfixes.

LUUN.0.223 Update: More Inventory cleanup and bug fixes

Another bug fix and Quality of Life update adding Shift-click to move item stacks between inventories along with some bug fixes.

Patch notes (r364 - r366):

  • Shift-click to move item stack between inventories
  • Added Move Stack command to the control config options page
  • Fixed scaling issues with dragging items.
  • Added sounds for all inventory panels using bindings.
  • Added onmove event for inventory items.

Most of the UI cleanup is done, aside from a thing or two. Will be jumping back into the harvesting tool implementation after this.

I've uploaded the second video devlog where I go over my technique for using Blender to sculpt assets for Unreal. Watch it here: