Wow, how close is Christmas now? It seems to have crept up and smacked me around the head with glitter and tinsel! Yesterday was definitely the main day for decorating… the houses around us are a ablaze with twinkling lights and pound shop Santa cut outs.
In dev news, the AAA hangover is starting, the last real big release that I had my eye on was Just Cause 3. By looking at the reviews it seems that the studio hasn’t followed the success of Mad Max.. which is a big shame. As a fan of JC2 and Mad Max I was really rooting for this game to be good. The main criticism is that the game is a console port and has a bunch of performance issues, lag spikes etc. I’m sure this is all stuff they will iron out … probably…. but until then, I think i’ll hold off on buying.
I’ve really enjoyed a bit of down time since my last update. Now as any indie dev will know, down time just means doing slightly less game dev… so I’ve not worked on many new features, but I did bug fix the last update. I foxed an issue where the finish line script wasn’t turning off the players Bumper Cam if selected, so for a brief moment we would have 2 cameras running in the scene.. this = mega lag and frame drop. So that’s fixed. I’ve also tweaked a number of scripts that weren’t running with #pragma strict. By putting this in, we should have dragged a little more performance out of the game. Although, alot of the heavy lifting scripts were already using this header so I don’t expect a mega difference.
I’ll be starting some VR dev this week to hopefully push a new update to Allsky ahead of all the new Google Cardboard Christmas presents dropping. Unfortunately it will still be in a development state for a number of months, but slow and steady progress seems to be the nature of the game.
Lastly, i’m super excited to see that EGR GT is close to reaching 5000 installs! I think it’s crazy that so many people have played the game, the game has evolved so much since it’s first release that I hope if you haven’t updated or tried the game yet.. please do.
So I’ve pushed a small update this week, it actually took me a heck of a long time to get out but the main reason for doing it was to lay the foundation for the next update.. putting my new Dad multi tasking skills to work I’ve been juggling 2 updates in one session!
So what have I done.. I took the decision to improve draw calls, from an already low average of around 40. To do this, I needed to replace the skyboxes. I have to this day, been using low resolution 6 sided cube skyboxes but I’ve moved to a dome, single draw call procedural skybox. It’s only a small step, but I feel with the upcoming physics and scripting change, we’re going to be pushing 60 fps and keeping heat down on almost all supported devices, which I think is super important in twitch drifting games like this, it’s all about delivering a sense of speed…
Which brings me nicely to my next piece, introducing a new Bumper Cam. I loved ridge racer growing up.. sitting in the low down view just drifting around bends at breakneck speeds, you could really get into the rhythm of it.. so I introduced a third camera. This game me another issue, as is often the case in game dev, I’d been using a 2 button camera system on my UI. I didn’t have space for three. So i created a new sprite icon for camera, jazzed it up a bit and made three instance of it, but overlayed them. By turning 2 off and configuring the button script so that it switches one off and turns another on on press, I was able to have it cycle all 3 buttons and camera views. While I was tinkering with the UI, I dropped in a new restart button. I also sharpened my other elements by removing the mipmaps option in the 2d sprite menu. I think the UI is already alot nicer, but clearly, there is always more to do!
Lastly I’ve altered some of the menu backgrounds and moved my single drawcall skybox to all of the end game screens etc.
The next update will bring ground effects.. dirt, mud etc flying from your tires! Animated steering wheel and to compliment it… a new Cockpit camera.. complete with realistic head wobble and movement!
So just to finish this up, Some Exciting news!!! … So I’m not planning any more major EGR GT updates due to the fact that I’ve committed myself to building EGR GT2. Its going to overhaul the dirt racing genre and bring stock car racing to mobile like never before. Lots of details to announce, new physics package.. damage model.. different race series across various disciplines…etc etc but more news all in good time!
Update 17/11 – Good morning to whoever reads these..
I really feel like i’m talking at myself alot on this page, which if its true that it’s a sign of madness.. I should probably get that looked at.
So here’s the rub on what’s going down this week… I put in a bit of a mega session last night to move from 7 races on each track to introduce season mode. Playing out over 3 seasons unlocking levels and upgrades as you go. The tracks will vary meaning you should be less likely to get bored of the same one. We’ve reduced to 6 races per season to keep things nice and even.
I’ve also gone and streamlined the front menu page. I’m seeing alot of devs using really simplistic front screens and its working well.. so now we have simply Race, Settings and Exit. As a player, you will now be taken to your garage to choose upgrades and cars and then to the race mode you chose.
I still need to upgrade some of the fonts and imagery, but it’s already a tonne better and gives a more natural flow to starting a game session.
Tonight I plan to hit the gym, play with my 7 month old daughter.. and then hit the dev flow again… we should hopefully get through the new f600 handling model.. improve the AI across f600’s to be as competitive as the class 7 guys and then do a bit of graphic desgin. Finally, a few code tweaks and tidy up redundant assets before playtesting for a day. Hopefully.. if testing goes well.. the Pro game should be released by Thursday and the Free update by Saturday.
Keep on keeping on!