Developer Update - February 7


Thanks for stopping by to check out the latest dev update from the Shark Tank here in unusually unwintery Stockholm.

This week is what’s known as a ‘Hack Week’ here in the office. What does that mean you might ask? Well, think of Hack Week as an opportunity to do something different - so long as there’s some theoretical or actual value in what you’re doing, and have a pitch for it. Some will end up hacking alone, whilst others will form a team and get cracking on something bigger, or requiring multiple disciplines. They might work on something totally new, or continue something they worked on in an earlier Hack Week. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow and maybe even result in something new for Vermintide 2, or even spawn a new project altogether!

You might see a 2D artist taking a crash course in Blender, or you could see QA have a go at building a level [ did you know about - Trial of the Foolhardy in Vermintide 1 and Screaming Bell in Vermintide 2 were QA babies! ].

Other features of Vermintide (and the tools that build it) have been the result of hackweeks, such as:

  • The ‘Social Wheel’.
  • ‘Weekly Event’ mutators.
  • Hearing-impaired accessibility.
  • A bunch of internal tools:
    • Monitoring our build-system.
    • Optimized generation of reflection probes for rendering.
  • Twitch Mode 2.0

We will avoid saying what’s being worked on at present, as we don’t want to set up false expectations that something will get into the game. There’s some cool stuff though, so hopefully, you can see the fruits of more hack weeks in the future!

Rats, rats, we’re the rats!

This week the Year of the Rat event went live, where pesky critters roam the keep and a new limited availability portrait frame is up for grabs. A patch has shipped today to fix a few issues that arose with this update, mostly crashes as well as some fixes to leaderboard progression in the Weaves.

You’d think that enabling critters in the keep was as simple as a toggle box but really it’s much more complex than that, and some crazy issues arose upon toggling that hypothetical box. They need somewhere to spawn, a navigational mesh so they know where they can and cannot go and places to try and escape to. Other issues arose from enabling keep critters as well, which happened to have a knock on effect on spawning behaviours in the various game modes.

Our QA team had to build and test 10 different candidates for this fairly simple sounding update due to some of the unique complexities the changes presented - this is more than some much larger updates will see!

A cute and seemingly simple idea can really cause problems if it’s not something considered during the much earlier production phase. But solving those issues now does open the door to more potential Keep shenanigans in the future.

Blood in the Darkness

Last week we revealed the name of the map coming in Chapter 2 of the Curse of Drachenfels updates. Blood in the Darkness is due to come out in mid-February. It is currently undergoing testing and we will announce the date when it is in a good state… We are, however, now able to show you a couple of screenshots from the upcoming adventure map right here!

The release of Chapter 2 will see more cosmetics being added to Lohner’s Emporium as well, including some hats you’ve seen before and some you haven’t. These will all be available for various amounts of Shillings.


:smiley: This gives me some hope for some of the things that have been requested or talked about that would be cool to have.

I’m setting up that second screenshot of Blood in the Darkness as a wallpaper, btw. That looks real good.

What other stuff has come out of Hack Week, by the way?


Thanks for the update. I have always loved the idea of a R&D week to work on personal projects that will add value to the company. Very jealous Fatshark dedicate an entire week to these projects while I have to justify it when my billability for the week slips below 90%.

Your update is lacking in new keep art. I see only interesting screenshots and no professional interpretations of said screenshots. This has negated my excitement for the map and has made the rest of the game unplayable.


You probably can’t or won’t answer this question for several reasons, but anyway: Does it happen that developers pick up community suggestions during Hack Week or are they most often something completely new, we haven’t even thought of?

Also screenshots are wonderful and glad to get the confirmation for more cosmetics to the shop. Not a surprise though since the initial rotation plan suggested you had more in the backhand already. Will be motivated for the second map, mid-february should be the week after the current event. Looking forward to it.


Thank you for the report, Hedge! It’s been a good week to start stepping back into the realm of rat-stabbing. Can’t wait to see what awaits us in the shadows.

A lot of stuff can be just learning really, or trying something new, no tangible result you can touch or feel, but more personal growth that might benefit Fatshark down the line, or help you understand others’ processeses more. We have a bunch of stuff that never quite made the cut, it’s cool stuff that could be born again in a future hackweek but it’s not stuff we’re too cosy talking about for various reasons. Mostly just so we don’t break hearts if they’re highly interesting features we just can’t deliver on fully. I think you guys have had enough of that. :slight_smile:

For the last few hackweeks I’ve been stepping outside of my comfort zone and getting to grips a bit with creating myself an automation (of sorts). Bck in Vermintide 1 we had a Community Goal where we asked the heroes to kill 100,000,000 in just over a week I think it was. Well we didn’t have an automated online counter, I simply had to keep refreshing our telemetry pages and create an asset and upload it in an announcement. It was a constant strain for a week, and I still had to sleep which left periods of time where there would be no updates.

So I set about learning how to extract the specific piece of telemetry (in this case the total kill count of all enemies by all heroes on all platforms for all time) through command line, sanitise it via powershell, and upload it to an AWS S3 bucket, set up security to allow the public to view it and our website to ‘pull’ that number on to a web page. I had to be able to automate this, and did so by creaitng a PS1 script for use in Powershell, and can then set it as a scheduled Windows task on a machine that sits idle in the office. To some people in the office it’s a 2 hour job I reckon, but I had no idea where to begin, and this hackweek has seen my work come pretty much to fruition, so I’m chuffed with that. For many people it’s sleep work but for me it was an achievement!

It’s not public facing yet, as I want to pass it through our IT/Networking/Sec gurus because whilst I’ve made every effort to do this automation safely I can’t be sure it meets any specific standards :smiley:


Exactly and your (@Fatshark_Hedge) legendary craft of art in the first Developers Update is still nowhere to be found as a Ravaged Art.

I love the event by the way.

And ‘hack week’… Maaan I would love to have that at our company…
I could finally get rid of some old bs. But who got time for that without a hack week. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Would you mind to tell us what you did @Fatshark_Hedge and @FatsharkJulia for your ‘Hack week’?

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Yooo, congrats! That’s pretty cool, haha. It reminds me a lot of something Xcom 2 has, where a public website tracks various stats combined of all players regarding how many aliens they’ve killed, etc.
Gonna be fun when yours is out for realsies.

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Sometimes they’re born of community requests, things like the social wheel, accessibility options, heck even Twitch 2.0. Sometimes suggestions coincide with a developers’ inate interest to expand on a system, but sometimes they’re inspired by the suggestions and the hackweek project follows.

I can only art when inspired, and I just feel a little sulky today so no art.

The post before yours has some idea of what I did :slight_smile: I think Julia just carried on carrying on! Support never sleeps…


ME During one of your Twitch Streams! God I feel so honored right now.


Ahh, another question if you are comfortable answering this. I always wondered:

What amount of telemetry data can and do you actually extract from our games like

  • Played map, difficulty?
  • Success of the run?
  • Chosen careers, weapons, traits and talents?
  • Who killed how much and how?
  • Place of death?
  • More?

Would be interesting to see what info you use for your decision making. I mean if you track used talents and weapons you should be able to see fairly easy if there really exists underused weapons and talents and also if certain talent/build choice are more likely to fail a run.

We can technically see anything, it’s just a matter of putting the data in to the games logging I think. Played maps, difficulty, outcome, careers chosen, traits used, talents picked, exactly where players died on a map overlay (work in progress still I think, it’s pretty complicated), kills by careers, classes, what they killed and how much they have killed of each. I think you nailed the ones we have set up in your list there. There may be more, the telemety ‘backend’ is pretty intimidating!


Aww yiss! Now we just need some new outfits to go with the hats. :wink:


I loved the death location heatmaps of games like Team Fortress 2. If you released something like that for VT2, I’d be delighted to say the least.
Any well-presented telemetry would be fun to look at!


You guys maybe give us updates that are buggy as hell but I don’t mind if you do that, when you have such good atmosphere, and I hope that what I heard about no crunches better be true

Gamedev industry is such a mess right now


Hat´s off for giving us this update second week in a row. Certainly a step in the right direction, keep following this path.


No candy for me personally in this update, but TY for the news! It really is appreciated.

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Yeah, gonna follow up to all the others: Thank you for doing these Developer Updates!
They are truly appreciated.
Edit: Will the text in the Emporium hold true that some cosmetics will rotate out?
Also that text might give away that

date. Would it be wrong to assume you are planning for a release on the 17th? :smirk:


It’s very nice to get these updates. Thanks!

Quick question: Will more weapon illusions also be released when the Emporium updates?