Dev Letter - Blood Effect Improvement
Welcome back Survivors,
With the December update, we introduced improvements to our in-game blood effects, which included changes to both environment splatter and misting from bullet hits. There’s been varying degrees of sentiment from the community regarding the change, so we’d like to explain our reasoning for these changes in more detail.
The first change was a new particle effect, which was designed to remain consistent across all color mode settings. This change means that the size of the blood splash will be the same, no matter which colorblind or rating setting you use, keeping the experience consistent for everyone. The core intention here was to create a new effect that would be unified across all graphic settings to make sure that a player’s settings could not provide significant advantage over others.
Secondly, all head shots (including those hitting the neck area) now produce distinct particle effect for better identification of the hit. Before the change, determining where you hit became more difficult the further out you were, causing players to have to guess whether or not their hit was accurate. Since your course of action can be heavily influenced on this information, we wanted to make sure you had a clear indicator. A beneficial side-effect to this change was a small performance boost by replacing the cloudy effect.
The third change was the addition of blood splatters on the environment. These splatters on the walls and floors near where enemy players are hit can give you information about recent skirmishes in the area. Doors closed tight but blood everywhere? Someone might be setting up an ambush. These visual queues are in line with what we wanted from footprints on Vikendi.
Last but not least we updated the way wound textures are displayed on characters. We minimized or in some cases completely removed the chance for stretching and dislocating of the impact positions and fixed a bug which would cause wound textures to sometimes be projected onto incorrect body parts.
After roll out, we came across a few concerns thanks in part to community reporting. One of the main points being that the new blood effect was harder to see than before. After the blood effect update, it was reduced in size and visibility, making it difficult to see at distances or unclear when characters were in the shadows. We deployed a hotfix on December 23 to increase the size and visibility of the new blood effect and to fix the issue with incorrect blood colors displaying under various lighting conditions. Even with the hotfix, there are still feedback from the players that the visibility of blood effect is still not clear compared to the original version.
We will continue improving the visibility of the effect based on your feedback and our next phase of improvements aim to smooth the effects and adjust the size of the blood splatter to more accurately reflect FOV zoom. Formerly, particles didn’t scale (their LOD/size) with change of field of view (FOV) and they only scaled by distance. After the changes have been applied, the players should be able to clearly see the hits regardless of zoom level and distance.
Even with the size changed, we’re also working on tweaking other components of the blood effect. Color will be adjusted to make the blood more visible regardless of the light level. Blood particles will be spawning faster which will allow players to take notice of how many shots have been hit. We’ll also be tweaking its texture to make it look less like liquids and more like splatters.
On console, the new blood effects are currently reverted, as we saw performance issues which need to be worked out before we can reapply the patch. Once this issue is resolved, we can start working on improving the effects on console as well.
We’re working hard to make sure these effects look good and give players helpful visual cues, while not offering an advantage to those who tweak their display settings.
We’re planning to have the improvement updated during February. We’ll keep you updated as improvements continue to roll out and as always, we appreciate your feedback. Our Community Managers will continue to pass along your thoughts as we build out our road map for this and future quality of life improvements.
Animation & Gameplay Unit