Subnautica Dev Update 4

Posted by acedude 9 years ago

Some people say ‘better late than never’ – But in the case of Subnautica, that’s not true. Right now is better, earlier is better. So much is happening so fast that I feel bad that this dev update is coming on a Saturday, rather than our usual Friday. It’s here now though, so don’t worry, you won’t have to resort to playing some other game (what other games are there out there, anyway?).

There’s now a new Subnautica development build available in default branch on Steam. If you haven’t subscribed to the experimental branch, this means a new build will automatically download to your Steam library. If you are on experimental branch, you already received this build earlier today.

What has changed since last week? Too much to fit in this post. As usual, everything here will only be a small subset of work done. To see absolutely everything, check out the Subnautica Trello board and the checkins and changes list.

Possibly the most startling changes this week have been part of the Day / Night cycle. Dropping the local star below the horizon causes a total change in the way the world looks. It’s very much a work in progress, but is already looking pretty crash hot.


We want players to get clear feedback when interacting with loot and creatures. Animations like Scott’s fish hold, above, are a big part of this. Being able to see your selected inventory item on screen will make a big difference to how you can interact with the world. For example, perhaps holding a squirming Holefish will attract nearby Stalkers…


Speaking of animations, the Hanging Stinger you saw last week is starting to move around, courtesy of Louis.


Getting too close to the crashed spaceship will now cause you to take radiation damage. Sylvain has smashed together some effects to indicate that you are entering a bad place, and Andi has created some damage dealing entities that will hurt you out to a range of about 400m.

CaveObstructions (1)

Rough cave map of the starting zone

Michael has been busy blocking off caves around the starting zone – Each of the purple areas you see above is (most likely) a cave, and many of them now have boulders in the way. Floaters can be used to move these boulders.

Jonas doing clever things


All the pretty lights, both in day time and night time, don’t just happen. Jonas has been building new tools for Michael, Jake, Russell, and Oli to use, that allow them to fine tune the way lighting looks during the day and night.

A surprisingly big deal


A quiet but potentially very valuable change has occurred on the site – There is now a ‘Telemetry’ section. Lukas has added functionality that allows you (and us) to download telemetry data collected by Subnautica. Every two seconds (soon to be randomised), a measure of player position and performance is taken. This will have a huge effect on decision making in the long term – For now, it will just sit quietly ticking away.

Overall, we are about 35% through available time before Subnautica is due on Steam Early Access. We’ve completed about 30% of necessary tasks. Things are looking pretty good, and we think you’ll agree that the game is progressing at a break-neck pace.

Of course, this is not all. Visit the Subnautica Trello board and the checkin and changes list to see more of what happened to Subnautica this week. Be sure to give us feedback via the F8 feedback panel  – We’re looking forward to bringing you another packed development build next week!

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