Stealth! The 26th! Performance! Demo 7! Oh my.

Release notes!  The time has come for us to start putting those out, so there they are.

Ahem.  Now… two steps forward and one step back?  Well, the release is slipping again.

Explodey

This had better be the last time, I swear.  I said last time that I wasn’t sure it would be possible, and it would depend on if any new things came up.  Well, a few things did:

  1. I figured out a much better way to have the level editor work (based around tiles), and spent the time needed to make that happen.  It took slightly longer than I thought it might, but MAN is it better.  We’re creating rooms like crazy now.
  2. I ran into some performance issues in one corridor of mine and then wound up figuring out a huge chain of things that led to tons of performance improvements across the board.  The game now runs 2x-3x faster in most cases, no joke.  That is worth a few days’ delay, I’d have to say!  It does also have an impact on how we design our level pieces, so it’s good to have that done at the start.
  3. NOTE!  If you’re stressed about the fact that some of the levels look darker now, please don’t be.  It actually evens out, with less overall contrast most of the time.  And I may tune that more in general.  However, either way, along with the new lighting comes a new setting that allows you to get a beautiful range of lighting styles in the game depending on how your monitor is set up.  Much better than the older way of doing brightness/contrast in teh game, although that is also still there — it’s good for smaller tweaks.

TheSaviorCorridorThatFoundThePerfIssues

As a side effect of the lighting performance stuff, I had to do some detection to figure out when the raptor is in shadows.  That way the ambient light adjusts up and down so the raptor can see in the dark areas, which are now more pronounced otherwise (the choices were between having it wash out the bright areas or have the dark areas be super dark — this adjustment of ambient light lets me have it both ways, and kind of simulates how your pupils would dilate and so forth in response to light.  It’s not true adaptive lighting from tonemapping, I have that turned off because it causes more headaches than benefits in my opinion, but my thing is the little brother of that idea.)

Anyway, with that data in hand about whether or not the raptor is in shadows… I was able to go ahead and do a lot more with the stealth mechanics sooner than I had planned.  Destroying light fixtures now actually has a purpose aside from being fun.  I always wanted to do this, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it from a technical standpoint.  Turns out very much yes!  You get a handy little icon telling you when you’re in cover, and all that jazz.

DarkerButCanBeAdjusted

So what’s left on the to-do list?

  1. Blue and Misery are working on room designs.
  2. I am actually out of the office for two business days, unfortunately, which is bad timing.
  3. But then I need to get in more robots.
  4. And Father Brain.
  5. And our first set of voice acting needs to be integrated; it has been recorded by myself and Ben, and then was helpfully split up and processed by Craig.
  6. I need to finish up the actual procedural level generation fixes.  It mostly works, but has some bugs.
  7. I’m sure there are various other bugs that will come to light that I need to take care of.
  8. There are hundreds more objects that will populate the levels, and I need to continue setting those up and getting them ready so that Blue and Misery — and Brandon, actually! — can use them.  And me, for that matter.  And any players who are interested in that side of things.

It’s feeling a lot more manageable now that there’s a bunch of content being created by Blue and crew, and I’m not the bottleneck preventing that from even happening at all.

BluesApartment

 

The wiki is also coming to life at the moment.  We have a section on the level editor basics.  We also have a design guide for level 2, the apartments.

Shootey

I’ll mostly be AFK until Tuesday mid-day, so I’ll talk to you then!
Chris

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