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16 8 15 DevJournal Filling the G


DevJournal - Filling the Gaps


With Pre-alpha v11 finished, I'm finally on my way to completing Strailton. These past couple of weeks, I've been pretty busy fixing the bugs and small errors which happen to appear in the game, especially those annoying ones which appear every so often.

After having to repeatedly explain how the game works both online and physically, I eventually took to making a tutorial as soon as possible. I had to make sure the tutorial was:

  • Giving players minimal info
  • Allowed for procedural learning
  • Visually easy to comprehend
  • Minimal on the space of time

First thing I had to clear up (with myself) was the how the approach to player learning. This could be done through a chunk of text on the start, or through procedural learning where they would learn more as they go on. Obviously I stuck with the 2nd choice as I had previously setup the tutorial system to allow minimum coding.


The next thing I had to work out was the design of the tutorial. I had originally decided on a completely white design where you just have the platforms and the text, but that was used in Levels A-E, so I wanted to take a different approach. Levels A-E are the ones which come just after the tutorial, but before the main levels. They are designed to make sure that you actually understand how to play, before playing the actual game.

1


I then realised it would just make sense if the tutorial was in the theme of a blueprint, so I had my work cut out for me for the next few days. I got to work on a flexible template which could be adapted in multiple different ways easily.

2


In this new version, I have only completed the first two (out of 5) designs for the tutorial levels, and so far the template has been easy, adaptable, and effective in terms of playing with both the visually compelling and minimal style.

Tut490


The core aspect of the blueprint-style theme is to keep all the important elements sharp, and blur everything which is there for the aesthetic. How could I forget to mention how it looks while the game is paused?


I mean c'mon! Doesn't that make you just want to pause the game to watch the mesmorising background effects? This leads me onto my next topic, the one word which has been haunting me throughout the whole process of design.

Slow.


The main problem with the game, is that when I test it out on some other machines, the frame-rate is incredibly low. Now, since this is all done in Unity 4 (won't make the jump to 5 as the custom effects/materials don't translate well), I made a backup copy which I opened in Unity 5 so I could inspect the Profiler and see exactly what was going on. The first thing I found, was that in my script, everytime I moved it would reset an array and use a GameObject.FindWithTags line. Now this was especially dangerous, not just because it was going through all the objects in the scene, but because I was using a string.

After hours of tampering, I restructured a lot of the code so that it calls all of the getcomponents and find gameobjects on the startup, and when you move the character/rewind, it merely adds/modifies an already established generic list.


I then took a deeper look into the Profiler, and found that the FXProcesses were taking up all the memory. These are the post processes on the camera, and since this is done in Unity Free, the methods are a lot more processing-heavy. I found out that I had multiple cameras with FXProcesses active at the same time. I coded a handler to control what cameras are switched off at any given time, and the games performance had sped up quite a lot.

With the improved performance, I was able to continue working on some of the world fx modes which I hadn't thought people could play with without facing lag. The FX Modes are different modifiers to the look of the environment, such as toying with the colour.


I've put the modes into categories in the Dev Controls, which I then hope to use in the store later down the track. I'm hoping to then boost the amount of gameplay for perfectionists by making acheivements for completing a level on a fx mode (this would mean that to get true 100% for a level, you will have to replay it around 20 times). The categories go as follows:

ER[R]OR ///


These modes turn what could be a relaxing and simplistic platformer into a glitch-fest of pixels and distortions.



o COLOURY o

These modes aim to exploit the general colours of the game to produce some fascinating tones.



Other Worldly

These modes take the player to a different universe where the themes and colours of the world become quite out of the ordinary.


All of these and more can be accessed in v11 by pressing 'm' midgame to bring up the dev options.

I'll call it a day, so thanks for reading and I'll keep you updated. For updates on-the-go, please follow my twitter down below, and I absolutely encourage feedback.

- ThoseSixFaces
thosesixfaces@gmail.com



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Add file RSS Files
Strailton_PreA12_[Mac]

Strailton_PreA12_[Mac]

Demo

Welcome back for another exciting build featuring a more complete and rewarding gameplay! This time we have 19 functioning levels, meaning 4 additional...

Strailton_PreA12_[Win]

Strailton_PreA12_[Win]

Demo

Welcome back for another exciting build featuring a more complete and rewarding gameplay! This time we have 19 functioning levels, meaning 4 additional...

Strailton_PreA11_[Mac]

Strailton_PreA11_[Mac]

Demo

This build features the tutorial and the first main levels of the game, including an in-game dev editor! Please try it out!

Strailton_PreA11_[Win]

Strailton_PreA11_[Win]

Demo

This build features the tutorial and the first main levels of the game, including an in-game dev editor! Please try it out!

Strailton_PreA10_[Mac]

Strailton_PreA10_[Mac]

Demo

This major update features 9 complete levels! Controls are in the text file.

Strailton_PreA10_[Win]

Strailton_PreA10_[Win]

Demo

This major update features 9 complete levels! Controls are in the text file.

Comments
franbelle
franbelle

Hi Those Six Faces,

Now with alpha 11 and the tutorial the game is playable and enjoyable. You have done a great work since alpha 9.

I would suggest that:
- you speed up the transition animations a bit (it currently takes too long a bit);
- you ensure that nothing display in front of the bird view, preventing a full view of the board;
- you display somehow the best solution possible (we currently have no clue if we found a good, a great or the best path possible (in number of steps);
- you differenciate more clearly the bonus coins. At least from a colorblind point of view, they just look all the same currently.
- speaking of colors, while the current scheme is great for adults, I wonder if a more colorfull, joy-full, kid-friendly alternative, optional, theme would not be better;
- settings, Level Menu and Main menu are all Restarting the game currently. I suppose it is in developpment.

Great game; keep the good work and keep it DRM-free and internet-free please so we can have our children playing it. Thanks !

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Strailton
Platforms
Windows, Mac
Developer & Publisher
Those Six Faces
Engine
Unity
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Puzzle
Theme
Abstract
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Single Player
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Latest tweets from @those6faces

Giving world 2 a little test run for Beer and Pixels night #snaketime #unity3d #gamedev #mobilegames #indiegameT.co

Aug 6 2017

Fleshing out a storyboard for the Smake Time trailer

Aug 6 2017

Working on the level select menu for station 364 T.co

Aug 6 2017

Working on some particle systems #unity3d #screenshotsaturday #gamedev #snaketime T.co

Aug 5 2017

Looking to Futurama for World 3 inspiration #gamedev #indiedev #snaketime

Jul 18 2017

World 3: Tech.Null.G has been renamed to World 3: Station 364

Jul 18 2017

+ Mods Menu #gamedev #indiedev #unity3d #snaketime T.co

Jul 17 2017

I present: Inception mode #gamedev #indiedev #unity3d #snaketime #3d #inception T.co

Jul 17 2017

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