Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Game Development Status Update

It's been a bit quiet about the game in the last weeks so I wanted to give you some information about what's going on and what the current state of the game is.

Let me first explain the reason why there hasn't been much info about the game recently. Three weeks ago, I started to study Media Technology and -Design and with that, I also moved to a new place near the campus. It's really nice here and I will learn many new things to improve my skills but it also means that I won't have as much time to work on the game as I had before. It's always hard to choose how to spend your time, especially now, when there is even more to do - sometimes I wish a day had like 30 hours, then I would have plenty of time for all projects and other things. So yeah, things are a bit more complicated now but that doesn't mean that the game won't be finished. I will continue to work on the game, just on a slower pace than before.

I really hope that I can finish the game in 2014, so I can finally say it's done and it's ready to be played. It's a little bit funny that, when I started to make the game, I had planned to be finished with the game in November 2013. Back then, I imagined the game to be much smaller than it is today. Over the time I had many ideas for the game and so it grew bigger - but now, one and half years after the start, I also have to think about the end. I can't develop the game forever and a part of me also wants to move on to work on new projects and experiment with new things. The game isn't actually far from being finished, the to-do list is getting smaller and there are only a handful points left.

So the plan is to finish the project in 2014, release it and then update it from time to time with new blocks or features, maybe even a new map. But there is still some time left until then and there are still many things to come. There will be the third video of the gameplay series, featuring the multi-player (which is my favourite part of the game). I haven't recorded it yet but the "script" is finished and I hope that I will find time for it soon. After that I will upload a really cool video that I wanted to do for such a long time but always thought that there were more important things to do.

Besides that, there are also all the things I've been working on in the past weeks. Most of the time I spent on porting the UI to the new system. During the process, I tried to make it look better and improve parts which were not optimal before. It's a tedious work which takes quite some time but the result is worth it. I've almost finished to main menu (including the server creation and other things) and will then move on to the other parts of the game. Besides the new UI, I've also made some progress with the multi-player sandbox which basically only needs a menu to be finished plus the rocket block which also depends on the UI in order to be finished.

I've already mentioned that the to-do list of the necessary features for the release isn't very long any more. What's left is music and sound effects, a second multi player map and of course single-player levels. Besides that there will possibly be one or two new blocks before the release, the rest will come in updates after the release. I also want to further improve the graphics of the environment and I've already detected several issues that I want to solve. Furthermore, I will try to create more publicity in order to get greenlit on Steam (The game has just passed 50% on the way to the top 100) and to have a bigger community which I think is important for the multi-player mode.

Last but not least, there are some things which may have an impact on the game. To be specific, I'm talking about Unity 5, which was first announced in spring this year. It will include PhysX 3.3 which brings enormous performance increases and multi-threaded physics calculations. As Brick Inventions is a game that heavily relies on physics, that will probably change the gameplay as more blocks can be created before the fps drop to a critical area. The calculation in PhysX 3.3 is, as far as I know, different to the one in 2.8 (the current version), so there might also be changes in the behaviour of blocks, but I will try to adjust the settings to match the current behaviour as best as possible (I just hope this won't require too much time).

I think I've covered pretty much everything that can be said about the game now, I hope that everything works out as planned, and that in the end, there will be a game that people can enjoy.

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