Hello everyone! We hope you all had a good start to the year and that you all are staying healthy.
We have a bunch to talk about, so let’s get to it!
The most pressing question most of you will have is when will a new update come out? The problem with answering this is that we are also waiting for an update on our own. The short answer is, soon! But it’s a bit more complicated than that.
A Game Passed
There are currently a lot of different versions of Subnautica on the PC platform: Steam, Microsoft Store (Gamepass), Epic Games, Discord (Yes, Discord has a game store, though getting completely shut down in March 2022).
However, they update these store versions separately, meaning that if one of them is one update behind or ahead of the rest. We do not currently have the resources to make Nitrox compatible across those versions.
Currently, it is only possible to play between Steam, Epic Games & the Discord version of Subnautica.
The Gamepass version of Subnautica is one update ahead of these, meaning Nitrox is not compatible with it. We do know that in the future UWE (Unknown Worlds Entertainment – Subnautica Developers) plans to update all of the game versions to the same one.
But until that happens, we probably won’t be able to make Nitrox compatible with the Gamepass version of Subnautica.
The code changes to the game when the update hits will be substantial and you will have to expect some time for us to rewrite the mod to this new codebase.
A new year, a new launcher
In 2021 we have been working on a brand new launcher, with a lot more flexibility compared to the one you are all using now. You can expect to see more features added as time goes by, like guides and tutorials on how to host servers and troubleshoot issues that might arise with the server or in-game.
The new Community tab will make it a lot easier to find us when you need help or just want to have a chat. As well as the new Blog page, which will be linked to our Dev Blog. So if you want to know more about the Mod then that’s the place to go!
We will keep making new blog posts when we feel like we have interesting content to talk about but feel free to request topics to be talked about! There might be something you find interesting that we have not thought about.
We use the term Alpha when we talk about Nitrox, but what does it mean? Currently, you can see your friends, interact with them, build some bases, and get launched into space (No, not with the rocket. Cyclops says “Hi!”) but what is missing is creatures.
The creature AI has not really been touched since we tried to get Crashfish to get working a very long time ago. Most of you will know, that the scary creatures in Nitrox are not quite as scary when they are either not there or completely frozen.
Work on the creature AI is something we need to start tackling as it really is the only big thing left besides finishing touches on Base Building for the mod before we can shift gears into Beta and smooth out all of the bugs, make the game a bit better to play in Multiplayer. As an example, you can soon™ sit on a bench with two friends.
We want to make it possible to finish the game together, having a single seat in the rocket sure makes that a lot more complicated when you have to fight over the seat, so we are trying to find out how to add a couple more seats for your friends.
The Base.cs file in Subnautica has more than 4.000 lines of code, for reference, the average line count in Nitrox is about 160. The biggest file Nitrox has is around 1.100 lines of code, and revolves entirely around replacing a file for base building, it is the dread of all Subnautica modders out there.
This results in a dense complexity when trying to debug buildings. It is the main reason why there are no base mods for Subnautica and is also the reason why there are so many issues with building in Nitrox.
With the upcoming update to Subnautica/Below Zero, we know they will rework how buildings work (like how building things currently rely on the rotation of the building piece).
The update will likely set us back for a while, but hopefully, be better to work with and make it possible for us to implement buildings better into Nitrox.
Below Zero, beyond scope
A lot of you (Seriously, a LOT of you) are asking for us to make Nitrox compatible with Below Zero.
Below Zero is unknown territory. But when the big updates to Subnautica & Below Zero hits and the game codes become a lot closer to each other we might have a better understanding of how to implement Nitrox into Below Zero.
We have started to lay the groundwork by building a new project structure to make it easier to work with when we do start working on it, but don’t expect any release for a prototype build this year.
To make it clear we are not going to focus on Nitrox: Below Zero until we feel we are done with Nitrox for Subnautica.
Modding is obviously something very near and dear to us. Without modding we would never have been able to play with others, and we also want everyone to be able to play with different mods too! There are a lot of great mods out there just begging to be played with friends.
However, it is a lot of work to make it work with Nitrox especially since it is still work-in-progress and extremely complex.
Bringing mods to Nitrox is something we have wanted to do for a long time, and we want to make it easier by working with QMods and the SML-Helper group to create an API that is user friendly, and flexible enough to make it easier to add mods into Nitrox.
Town Hall meeting with Unknown Worlds Entertainment
In September 2021, we had a Town-Hall meeting with other Subnautica Modders and parts of the team working on Subnautica & Below Zero.
In this meeting, we got to hear from them on how they wanted to communicate more with the modding community and about to help modders by giving a heads up when an update is due to arrive shortly to help prepare them.
They are working with their attorney to try to find out if they can share some snippets of the code for Subnautica to make it easier to add custom content, however, this is most likely a very complicated task for them legally speaking. Just know they really do appreciate the modding community and want to help the community out.
One of the questions brought up was if they knew when we could expect the big version update(s).
Sadly at the time being, they do not have an answer, as there are 7 different platforms they will have to update at the same time, and the amount of testing to make sure all 7 versions of the game are as bug-free as possible is a lot of work and will require more time.
Those of you have read all the way to the end, thank you! We really appreciate the interest you all have in the mod and we think it is as cool as you do!
We want to thank the entire support & dev team for their tireless work donating their free time to help support the project, with time spent in the help-channel or working through lines of code is tremendously appreciated. – You are the best!
2022 is just starting, but we hope it will be a great year for you and that you, like last year, stay safe out there.
Happy New Year from all of us!
- The Nitrox Team