‘ARK: Survival Evolved’ Major Optimizations, Procedurally-Generated Maps Inbound

ARK: Survival Evolved players are very much aware that the Early Access game does not run smoothly, while developer Studio Wildcard focuses on adding content over optimizations. A patch planned for release this week to both platforms will address the poor structure rendering. Meanwhile, Lead Developer and Studio Co-Founder Jeremy Stieglitz began teasing procedurally-generated ARKs for the first time with the declaration, “This ain’t No Man’s Sky here.”

The PC version of ARK: Survival Evolved will be patched first with the 247 update. This is listed on the game’s website as a Sunday, September 11, release, but it’s possible it could slip with this being a weekend day. Meanwhile, the Xbox One 741 update is targeting a Tuesday, September 13, release.

The patches for both platforms come with many notable additions and improvements to the open-world dinosaur survival game. However, the following is the most notable for ARK Survivors who have been waiting to see performance improvements.

“30% to 40% rendering performance improvement of Structures.”

As players build structures on The Island, The Center, and now the Scorched Earth maps, ARK: Survival Evolved noticeably struggles with rendering player-placed objects. It’s not uncommon to fly on the back of a tamed dinosaur into the area of a base and either experience freezes, stuttering frame rates, and suddenly appearing buildings. The worst case scenario for Xbox One owners in maps with massive bases and other structures is for the game to crash to the dashboard.

A 30 to 40 percent rendering improvement for structures is a huge and welcome addition to ARK: Survival Evolved. Does it signal Studio Wildcard is now focusing more on optimizations? Possibly. The independent developer is targeting to officially release the game in the fourth quarter of the year after being delayed from a June, 2016, release.

ARK: Survival Evolved - Scorched Earth (PC, Xbox One)
[Image via Studio Wildcard]

There are still many features and animals to be added to what’s turning into one of the more popular survival games around. Mixing in plenty of optimizations with the new additions will be needed in the compressed timeframe.

One of the planned new features is procedurally-generated ARK: Survival Evolved maps. This will move the game toward dynamic world creation similar to Minecraft and is possibly one of the most exciting additions to the game.

Lead Developer Jeremy Stieglitz shared some of the first images of procedurally-generated ARK: Survival Evolved maps through his personal Twitter account. He even included a little dig at the procedurally-generated space title, No Man’s Sky.

The existing hand-crafted maps will still be on hand and Studio Wildcard still plans to create more through expansions similar to Scorched Earth. Players will be able to generate as many procedurally-generated maps as they wish, though it is not clear yet if they will be able to share the maps created with others beyond running them on private servers.

That said, here are the current patch notes for the ARK: Survival Evolved 247.0 update on the PC. Note that these could change at release.

  • TheCenter mega-update!
  • New Item: Night Vision Goggles!
  • New Dino: Tapejara!
  • New Dino: Archaeopteryx!
  • New Structure: Dynamic-Length Bridges
  • Added Server Option to disable Dino Mate Boost
  • Wind Turbines and Jerboa now function properly on TheCenter and TheIsland
  • PvE Greenhouse auto-demolish timers are now 25 percent more than Stone
  • You can now name turrets and the turret name will show up in the Tribe Kill Log/HUD message.
  • 30 percent to 40 percent rendering performance improvement of Structures
  • 300 MB memory reduction by dynamically streaming the destruction meshes
  • NVIDIA Ansel now supports TrueSky at Super Resolutions, and improved Super Resolution SSAO
  • Fixed the colorizable regions of the Wood Chair and Bench (four of them)

Meanwhile, here are the Xbox One 741.0 patch notes:

  • 30 percent to 40 percent rendering performance improvement of Structures
  • Significantly improved rendering performance of Scorched Earth environment
  • Fixed some crashes with the Game List UI
  • Fixed dynamically installation of Scorched Earth DLC (so that you don’t have to restart the game application after installing it)
  • Fixed Giganotosaurus damagetype issue
  • New Item: Night Vision Goggles
  • New Dino: Tapejara!
  • New Dino: Archaeopteryx!
  • New Structure: Dynamic-Length Bridges

What do you think of the upcoming changes to ARK: Survival Evolved? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Studio Wildcard]

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