Dredge Developer Blog – Sprint 4

In our Developer Blog Updates we’ll talk about some of the work we’ve completed in the previous two weeks and explain our approaches. Through this you’ll get an understanding of our game development methods and tidbits on the features we’re planning for Dredge!

Sprint 4: 

This sprint we built added detail into our core loop such as introducing different equipment and the ability to take damage (and repair it). On the art side of things we introduced our first production boat model and played with its buoyancy on the water as well as painted our first character; The Fishmonger.


Our games namesake is now an action within the game! Dredging spots don’t respawn like fishing spots, and the items you Dredge up might not behave as other items do either.

  • Dredging – Requires you to equip your boat with Dredging equipment. Dredging spots do not respawn.
Boat Damage

Be good to your boat and she’ll be good to you, run her onto some rocks however and..

  • Hull Damage – Your inventory squares get damaged when your boat collides with anything solid, you lose any of your catch held in that spot and you cannot place more cargo in that spot until you repair the hull.
  • Hull Status – Displays the overall condition of your vessel.
  • Repair – Repair your hull while docked at a Shipwright.
Boat and Equipment

We now have the model you’ll start Dredge with! Fish also have a type and you need a fishing rod that can handle that type. Engine speed is now a feature!

  • Boat Model!
  • Boat Upgrade – Speed  – Turn your dinghy into a jet boat with your engine selections! Don’t be a litterbug and throw your engine overboard while out at sea cause it’ll take you a looooong time to get back to shore.
  • Fishing Required Equipment – Fish Types – Different species of fish now require different types of rods to access them — will you kit out your boat for Coastal and Shallow fishing, or rods for Pelagic fish?
  • Fishing Speed – Different rods now affect the speed at which you reel in a catch. These speed bonuses are stackable so it’s worth outfitting multiple rods if you don’t want to be caught in one spot for too long…
Character Art

Our first character, The Fishmonger of Greater Marrow makes an appearance!

Environment Shaders

Still tweaking away!

  • Water & Fog Improvements – Continuing to understand how to create wave variance over a massive ocean without causing any reduction in our 59+ FPS target. As we add more detail (like the boat’s wake) this needs to be recalibrated and sometimes rethought. This sprint we replaced vertex painting with texture on the waves and it seems to be working well for us.

They don’t fit into any of the other features but these were important technical updates/quality of life improvements

  • Localization Setup – We’re hoping to share Dredge in multiple languages so this is another thing we know is best to prepare for as early as possible. Temporarily using Google Translate, the idea is down the road when you add proper translations in you don’t get caught with text overlapping button edges and labels that don’t update when they’re supposed to. 
  • Debug Controls – Forced Passage of Time – A QoL improvement for developing, we now have debug controls to force time to move forward (rather than just setting the specific day and time).
  • Keyboard Control Playtests – Last sprint we spent time testing out the control scheme on Controllers, this sprint we focused on mouse and keyboard players. Changes based on their feedback will come in the following sprints. Thanks to Darren, Micheal and Alex from CerebralFix!
  • Production UI Style – Heads Up Display design as well as a shop screen which will show your Boat Inventory. There’s a lot of work in this not done justice by a single sentence!
Bug fixes

And bug of the sprint goes to:

  • Saving and reloading causes a timewarp for fish spoilage – This was a fun one, each time you saved a game and reloaded or loaded a new game, fish would spoil a bit faster. This only became noticeable really when you had jumped in and out of the game so many times that fish would spoil completely over a couple of hours rather than days.