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COMMUNITY UPDATE: #39 : Snappy Alignment Modes | Kenshi | An Open Ended, Squad Based RPG

COMMUNITY UPDATE: #39 : Snappy Alignment Modes

Hi there, here comes another community update on Kenshi. In this update, we’ll go over, a sneak peek on new modes to place interior objects and furniture in Kenshi 2, some news from the Studio, and more introduction to Lo-Fi’s team members.

Interior Object and Furniture Placement Modes in Kenshi 2

One of the key elements of Kenshi is the Building feature; finding the right spot to build an outpost or buying some buildings as a base and filling the external and interior space with furniture and objects. Building feature continues to be the key element of Kenshi 2, with enhanced modes that enable players to build and place objects with ease.

In this update, we asked Craig (his profile below) about the new modes for interior object placement for Kenshi 2. You’ll find below some sneak peek videos and descriptions on what we could expect from the feature.

Kenshi 2 will feature a number of tools to help placing objects indoors substantially easier. Let’s start with the improvements made to the Kenshi 1 method of placing furniture, now called Free-Placement Mode.

As the name suggests, this mode allows you to place furniture at any valid location at whatever rotation the player sees fit. We’ve now added collision correction to this mode to allow players to place objects up against walls and other objects much easier. There’s also an option to allow you to snap the rotation of your object against whatever you collide against, making alignment to walls and other pieces of furniture much easier.

For some objects, however, this mode is not exactly ideal. Say I want a neat line of hydroponic farms inside the building, we could try and line them up neatly by hand, which could take some time, or we could use the new Grid Snapping Mode for perfect alignment.

But what if you want to align objects at an angle? What if you want some things aligned differently? Well, that’s where our final new mode, Furniture Alignment Mode comes in handy. Now players can select any interior object and generate a grid to align to the building.

With these new tools, it’ll be easier than ever to create interior layouts for Kenshi 2.

Below are the interior views of the building provided by Nicolò (his profile below). Furniture is still being modelled (no spoilers!) so you’ll only see the shapes here, but the images demonstrate how the objects are placed against the curved walls and straight alignments such as shelves and internal walls.

 

 

News from the Studio: Another Lockdown and A Virtual Event

Starting 5 November, England has gone back into another lockdown for at least a month, which means everyone at Lo-Fi is now working from home. The lockdown can be difficult for some members who prefer to work in the Studio, but we’re planning lots of online gaming sessions to keep our team from going stir crazy!

We are all embracing remote communication and online meetings during the lockdown, but our virtual experience reached new heights when we attended the China Game Fest in late October. Lo-Fi set up a virtual booth within the virtual conference centre where visitors walked around led by a friendly virtual escort. The event was visited by more than 50,000 visitors over the 3 days (23rd – 25th) with impressive media coverage in China.

 

Hello Everyone, from Chris, Nicolò and Craig!

In the last update, we introduced several new team members who have joined the Studio for the development of Kenshi 2. We’ll continue the introduction of 3 members, old and new, on who they are, how they are set up at home, and what they are up to outside of work.

Chris Hunt – Head Developer and CEO

Home Setup

Life Balance
Outside of games I have 2 major interests. The biggest is motorcycle adventures. I have a 1989 Kawasaki KLR which is basically the AK47 of bikes: simple and reliable. I can repair it by the side of the road in the middle of a desert with nothing but a spanner and some cable ties. I once rebuilt the carburetor in the darkness on a beach with a torch in my mouth, without knowing what a carburetor was. I once rode up a ski slope in the Pyrenees and camped at the top, and found the next morning that a gang of wild horses had beaten up and possibly molested my bike which made all the battery water drain out. I rode across half of Spain with no battery, making sure I only parked on the top of slopes so I could bump-start the engine again. I love it, these little things add the adventure and create memories.

I’ve since rebuilt and upgraded the bike from the ground up preparing for a big adventure that I wanted to do in summer 2020 but the virus ruined that, so we’ll see. My dream is to cross Mongolia.

I’m also building a 4×4 camper van to go snowboarding with, but that’s still in early stages. I was originally going to use an old army truck, but that proved way too impractical.

Snowboarding is my other love, but it’s a very season and weather dependent thing so I don’t get to do as much as I’d like, especially as I’m so fussy about snow conditions.

 

Nicolò Zubbini – Environment Artist

Hi, I’m Nicolò, an environment and hard surface artist. I specialise in architecture, but also work on natural and mechanical environment elements, and vehicle models. I have a passion for sci-fi, and any weathered and grungy setting.

I studied architecture, and have initially worked on architectural visualisation, followed by historical documentaries and hi-poly vfx environment. I started using Blender in 2008, and became passionate about its community and open source software. In 2012 I worked for the Blender Institute on the VFX open short movie, “Tears of Steel”. More recently, I’ve been involved in game development, including Kenshi (for 2-3 months working for Sebastien Froncek, from whom I learnt a lot!)

Here are some of the works I’ve done for Kenshi (Warning! These are from Kenshi, NOT Kenshi 2! My work on Kenshi 2 appers in section above in ‘Interior Object and Furniture Placement Modes in Kenshi 2′). Please also note these are portfolio renders in Marmoset (a render engine for game assets), not in Ogre (Kenshi’s actual game engine), so the models look a bit different from how they look in the game.

Having worked often with small indie teams, I have experience in level building, shading and light, using Unreal, Unity and other engines. I also do some scripting to automate my art workflow, using Python.
For Kenshi 2, I’m working on buildings and related props, such as furniture.

Home Setup

I’ve always worked remotely, and my home-studio setup is made up of a ‘normal’ mid-high tier gaming PC as a workstation, just with a colour-accurate monitor and a keyboard with custom layout and macro-pad. Most game development tools are Windows-centric, so my workstation runs Windows, but I also keep a reliable Linux PC on the 2nd monitor with KVM switch, acting as spare/backup and files/media server.

Life Balance
In my free time … well, before 2020, I used to socialise more, like going to my favourite pub with friends and ride or work on my bicycle, but now I have more time to spend on my nerdier side: I guess I’ll finish building my 3rd keyboard, start another career in Kerbal and find 10k pages of sci-fi saga to read.

Craig Tinney – Programming

Hello readers! I’m Craig, the newest addition to the Lo-Fi Games programming team. I’ve been helping to port Kenshi to Unreal Engine 4 for Kenshi 2 since I started back in April of this year.
Since I joined Lo-Fi during the UK lockdown period, I’ve yet to actually work in the office with the rest of the team, and I’ve been communicating with everyone online. Safe to say at this point, I’m itching to meet everyone face to face!
So far I’ve been involved with the new building placement tools mentioned in this post as well as general porting to unreal and a lot of things we’re not quite ready to talk about yet (but they’re really cool, honest!).

Life Balance
Outside of work, I make my own games on a much smaller scale than Kenshi. Usually, I make things in Pico 8, which is just about the cutest game engine in the world and everyone should know about. If you fancy checking out my games, they’re all available for free at https://ctinney94.itch.io/

Lately I’ve been trying to find some non-screen focused hobbies due to spending so much more time indoors this year. As a result, I’ve gotten into building terrain for tabletop games with my housemate. Check out these rocks we made!

I’ve also started to make tapes of some of my favourite albums since acquiring my Dad’s old hifi stack.

Please do not judge me for this, 2020 has all affected us all differently.

 

That will be the end of this community update. We love to hear your thoughts, especially on new interior furniture and object placement modes in Kenshi 2. Please follow us on ツイッター や ニコニコのブロマガ for news if you haven’t already, and if you’d rather receive this blogpost in a non-Steam way, they are available on our ウェッブサイト and via our こちら.

Stay safe and keep well!

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