An Update On Our Subnautica and Below Zero Plans

Posted by Donya 2 years ago

Hello Subnauts,

In our last major blog post, we outlined our current and future plans for the Subnautica series. We’ve been slowly and steadily chipping away at several items on that list and are thankful for your continued patience.

Some updates have made their way out already – including for the PS5, to address the disappearing saves and screen tearing – and we have a lot more still to come.

This blog post might get a little long, but if you stick it through to the end, we hope it’ll get you excited for what’s coming next.


Switch patch released


We mentioned last time that we wanted to address the high volume of crashes on the Nintendo Switch and make that version of the game more stable.

It was a challenging process that required us to do a lot of deep investigative work in order to identify the cause of the memory crashes occurring on that platform. While this was a long and arduous path, we managed to fix a whole lot of things that we hope has led to a significant improvement for those playing on Switch.

During the process of fixing those Switch crashes and bugs, we also identified several areas that should lead to an overall performance improvement for every platform. These improvements will be rolled into our upcoming updates for both games.


What are we up to now?


Now that the Switch patch is released, we have time to focus on addressing the tech debt both for Below Zero and, to a larger extent, for Subnautica. In our previous post, we’ve highlighted the areas of tech debt that were getting addressed and we are making slow but steady progress across all of them. Subnautica’s older code base requires a lot of finesse in how we handle it, progress on Below Zero is a bit faster, simply due to the project being a bit more recent.

We have been actively working on continuing to refactor and optimize our save system with the goal to make it work seamlessly for all platforms. These improvements should allow us to bring back the Steam cloud saves option, and improve the cloud sync speed of your save files on Microsoft platforms 

We have also started on merging Next-Gen console-based code updates that should improve overall performance of both games. This will unify our code base across all platforms and also across both games, providing a more consistent experience on all of them. This should also allow us to easily add features, improvements, and fixes to all platforms.

Additionally, we are also updating Unity LTS to bring in some platform specific fixes for memory leaks, crashes, and we are updating to the latest plugins and SDKs.


What’s next


We’ll be rolling out Below Zero 2.0 first. This update will include performance optimization, as well as bug fixes that should address crashes and everything mentioned above. 

We are also working on adding an enhanced game mode that will allow you to set custom conditions for your game, such as creature aggressiveness, resource availability, and much more.

Our goal is then to roll out 2.0 for Subnautica, following the update for Below Zero. This update should include performance and feature updates that are a result of backporting some newer code from Below Zero.

We’re also switching the game to use TextMeshPro, a text rendering solution for Unity based on Signed Distance Field textures, and are planning to backport other UI-related improvements from Below Zero. As a result, we will achieve improved font clarity and will be able to backport UI scaling. 

Part of the work on Subnautica 2.0 also includes porting certain base pieces that were popular in Below Zero, including the Large Room and Surface Hatches.


Hearing from our Community


We know, and understand, that there may be outstanding bugs and issues that have persisted since Subnautica’s release. While some of these may have been fixed in the process of getting 2.0 ready to release, we still want to hear from you all. Make sure you head over to our Discord and chat with us. We want to make sure that the most pressing issues to the community remain on our radar.

As always, we want to thank you for your continued support and feedback.

Keep Diving!

– Unknown Worlds Team

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