What’s next for Fragsurf

First I want to thank everybody who has supported Fragsurf through Patreon, sharing with friends, playing, and reporting bugs. Without all of the support it wouldn’t be where it is today, and we’re getting to a point where I can almost work on Fragsurf full time, and that’s pretty amazing.

Gamemodes

It’s no mystery that tricksurf has been the primary focus for quite some time. The reason for this is combat surf (in my opinion) will require a proper matchmaking system in order to truly shine over CS:GO’s combat surf. A proper matchmaking system is not only difficult to develop, but also incredibly expensive to operate, and that’s a problem for a small independent developer. Rest assured that combat surf is still going to be a part of Fragsurf, it’s just going to take additional time to get it right.

Speedrunning might be completely out of the picture right now, but I have good news. Tricksurf is essentially speedrunning presented slightly differently, and the features being developed for tricksurf will translate to speedrunning. So if everything goes according to plan, you can expect speedrunning to come back in full force in the near future.

Tricksurf

Tricksurf is seeing consistent progress and bugs are getting fixed all the time. We’re miles ahead of where we started, and a few months from now we’ll be miles ahead of where we are right now. A recent update to tricksurf implemented tracking of style, time, and average velocity for trick completions, and this was added to prepare for a proper leaderboard system. The database system is already in development and somewhat functional, what’s left is a proper way to fetch and present data through leaderboards, as well as recording, storing, and presenting run replays.

The trick editing tools are well underway and almost ready. Fragsurf will be moving trick data from local files shipping with the game to an online file that gets downloaded when the map starts, and this online trick data can be modified by people with certain permissions through a fancy control panel.

Although updating official trick data will be limited to a select few people, being able to use this tool to create tricks will eventually be available to anybody who wants to create their own tricks locally for fun.

Statistics

I like to post stats with each blog post, and so far we have yet to see a decline.

  • 59 patreons pledging $577 per month
  • 995 total wishlists
  • 5 hours and 16 minutes median time played
  • 228 total keys given out, 227 of them have played
  • Average of 49 daily players in the past week (that’s pretty good!)
  • 795 members in the Discord

Special notes

A few weeks ago I promised louieismyname a key when he world records surf_exogenesis, it’s safe to say he finally got his key 🙂

Shoutout to all the content creators who have been playing Fragsurf. I’m brainstorming ways to make things more fun and interesting for viewers, if you have any ideas don’t hesitate to share! I’m thinking about starting a new blog series to highlight what the community has been up to, and possibly even integrate twitch into the game itself somehow.

Conclusion

Fragsurf is full steam ahead. Some features take time to implement, but for being a solo developer I think it’s making incredible progress, largely thanks to the community. Stay tuned for more!

 

Level editor & maps!

It’s been almost a month since the last dev blog, and as usual, I have been working my butt off bringing new features, content, and bug fixes to Fragsurf. Patch 0.42.00 introduced an entirely new user-interface and two new tricksurf maps: xdre4m and japan.

HTML interface

The new UI isn’t final, it’s just a port to a new html/css/js based system which will allow for a much more powerful, much more beautiful UI in the future. Working with Unity’s built-in UI is typically painful and difficult.

At first I didn’t think the new UI was going to pan out because it introduced some pretty bad frametime inconsistencies. This was caused by transferring pixel data from Chromium to a Unity texture that is the size of your screen resolution each frame, the process took my cpu roughly 1ms per update on a 2560×1440 resolution. 1ms doesn’t sound like much, but in terms of smooth framerate and consistency, the in-game stutters were very noticeable.

I was able to solve this issue in a way that isn’t perfectly compatible with the UI rendering process. I got rid of the stutters, but introduced a crash which occurred quite often between loading screens when the UI had to be refreshed. I have reduced the chance of crashing significantly, but have yet to implement a proper solution to prevent crashing completely.

Software and game development is full of solutions and compromises. There’s rarely a one-size-fits-all solution, and any issues introduced by a solution have to be addressed. It really is a pain sometimes.

Level editor

The initial implementation of the level editor is done and available to all beta testers. To get to it, click on the Fragsurf logo in the main menu. To enter play-mode from the editor UI, press F11. Please keep in mind it’s nowhere near finished yet 🙂

With the level editor being in-game it is certainly limited in functionality, but also opens up the possibility for some incredible things not possible in a standalone software like Hammer. For example, when you open the level editor, it spawns a lobby and loads up a gamemode. Players can join your lobby and chat while you make maps, and in the future, they may be able to play your map while your creating it. And depending on what gamemode you choose, you can test exactly how your map is going to play outside of the editor. If you’re making a speedrun map you can set up start and end zone triggers and speedrun it, if you’re making a tricksurf map you can create trick triggers, define a few tricks, and test them out.

There will be a button to upload to Steam Workshop making it incredibly easy to share your creations.

Statistics

As of writing this post, Fragsurf has:

  • 669 wishlists
  • 3 hours 54 minutes average time played
  • 154 unique players
  • 163 total keys redeemed
  • 33 daily active players
  • 10 current players
  • 89 total patrons
  • 39 active patrons pledging $373 per month

The support through Patreon has been an incredible motivator to keep me working on Fragsurf. It has helped pay for a few tools I am using to develop and some in-game features + assets as well. Thanks to Patrons, Fragsurf is better than it’s ever been and will only keep getting better.

A huge thanks to everybody who’s supported and/or continues to support, especially those who are reporting bugs and helping resolve all the issues I can’t resolve on my own.

Support

If you would like to support development and play Fragsurf now, here’s the Patreon:

Become a Patron!
 

Tricksurf Reborn

Last week somebody in the Discord asked to create a trick surfer role. There were roles for combat surf, skill surf, and bhop, but no trick surf. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to create a role for a gamemode that isn’t in Fragsurf, then suddenly had the urge to create a tricksurf gamemode.

I spent the entirety of Thursday planning how I’m going to do it, then took action and began by re-creating skyworld with all the correct triggers. This is how that looks in the map editor:

surf_fst_skyworld

Thankfully Z’s website is still up with all the tricks and trigger screenshots, because I was referencing that throughout the entire process. After two days of work I had the map ready to go and implemented the initial tricksurf gamemode with the trick detection logic, I pushed an update to Steam and awaited feedback from testers. There were definitely some bugs.

Throughout the weekend I continued to absorb feedback and push updates fixing little bugs, and finally today, after about 4 days of nonstop development and testing, we have something imperfect but totally playable. I want to thank everybody who’s been playing, testing, and providing feedback, there’s no way I could have implemented tricksurf on my own.

Support

Word of Tricksurf being re-created in Fragsurf spread quickly, and a lot of people showed (and continue to show) their interest and support. The Patreon received 12 individual supporters since the Tricksurf alpha launched 4 days ago, and we are now sitting at 28 Patrons with a combined total of $252 per month after Patreon takes its fees.

Thanks to supporters, I’ve had a bit of funding to pay for things like a new html UI framework which is going to improve the UI creation workflow like crazy, a PBR material pack for the map editor when it launches, website hosting, a place to consolidate your feedback (Discord just ain’t cuttin’ it anymore), plans to host 24/7 servers for those with access, and some other neat stuff I have my sights set on.

Become a Patron!

Steam Page

Fragsurf’s Steam page was recently launched and we have accumulated over 300 wishlists. The average time played is 2 hours and 47 minutes, 113 people have access to Fragsurf, and in the past 7 days we have averaged 23 daily active users! The Store page has received 19,468 impressions with a click-through rate of 17.76%, resulting in 3,458 visitors to the page.

Conclusion

Fragsurf is improving at a rapid rate, but we have a LOT of work to do still. Send your feedback, invite your friends, and spread the word.

I return to work next month (bills have to get paid!), and development will definitely slow down throughout the spring and summer and that’s just the way it is. Indie game development is a constant battle between developing, working, and paying bills. But Fragsurf is gaining traction, the support is growing, and I’m more confident than ever that things are going to work out!

 

What we’ve been working on

We will be posting updates on this blog from now on to keep the community up to date with development.

It’s been 17 days since I officially announced the development of Fragsurf through my YouTube channel. The amount of stuff that has been accomplished in both community and development since then is substantial, and we have quite a bit to share with you.

The Team

Up first is the expanding Fragsurf Team, people who have contributed and provided results towards the quality and eventual release of Fragsurf.

Zavvy, our community manager, has done a great job bringing people together as well as providing a friendly bridge between the community and the development of the game. Programmers aren’t always the best socializers, so it’s important to have a strong community manager behind every project. Thanks to Zavvy, our Discord community has grown considerably in the past few weeks and the Chad Chat channel is always interesting.

Eva, a more recent addition to the team, is a talented level designer who has contributed faithful re-creations of classic maps as well as a unique map of her own. Eva’s maps feature a gray color scheme with red highlights providing a very aesthetic look and feel, and we’ve been enjoying her maps quite a bit in closed beta testing sessions.

Tannoy, the most recent addition to the Fragsurf team, is a 3d modeler, animator, and texture artist. He is currently working on improving our weapon firing and reloading animations as well as creating skins for the weapons, and he has already delivered with a batch of nice looking shotgun skins.

The Game

The stability and playability of Fragsurf has improved tremendously since we started closed beta testing. People quickly discovered bugs and UX related issues and offered suggestions on how things can be better, and thanks to them, Fragsurf is improving rapidly. We have a huge list of feedback provided by the community that we’re still chipping away at, and a big thanks goes to everybody who’s been a part of it so far.

One of the biggest features we implemented was P2P player-hosted lobbies. Instead of forcing players to connect through dedicated servers, they can simply create their own game and friends can join. This feature came about when testers found it difficult to play with each-other because I wasn’t able to keep a dedicated server running 24/7, and it’s been amazing ever since.

Crowdfunding

We started the Fragsurf Patreon campaign on January 19th, and we’re now at 14 patreons and $117 per month. Almost everybody pledged the $10 tier to receive a beta-access key, and it’s awesome to me that people are supporting the project with their own money. This is something I have worked on individually for over 2 years, and seeing things finally come together has been slightly emotional. The goal is to receive enough funding to develop Fragsurf full-time all year round, and ideally additional funding to hire other full-time developers and/or freelancers. We’re off to a great start. If you would like to support Fragsurf, start playing today, and receive some cool rewards:

Become a Patron!

Conclusion

We’re all very excited about Fragsurf, and I can’t wait to see what comes of it. We have big plans to implement skill-based matchmaking for combat surf, global leaderboards for speedrunning, bring back trick-surf, and basically bring things to a whole new level. Join us on Discord, invite your friends as well, and help us grow!

In future development blogs we will dive deeper into gameplay systems and features like the matchmaking and nospread/spread, so keep an eye out for that.