Last week of development started by unexpected power outage which occurred in the middle of the night. Let's just say that my laptop's hard drive didn't take it very well. Fortunately, every change on ARTIFICIAL is automatically uploaded to the cloud so all I had to do, was to power up my desktop and wait for 200 000 files to download.
I also had to set up up proper colors on my desktop screen which turned out to be pure hell. Most of ARTIFICIAL areas are pretty dark, so working with proper screen settings is crucial for my work on environments and their lighting.
Converting the project to newest version of Unity engine was also loads of fun. Scripts were spitting out errors, models went missing, but 15 minutes of googling solved most of the critical issues.
Couple of friends stopped by to do a small play test. I let them wander through first 40 minutes of the game while occasionally scribbling down notes about possible improvements in level design. In one case, all players got confused just because I showed a tutorial message for object pushing mechanic little bit too soon. They started to push random objects near them, instead of walking another 5 meters where barrel was visibly blocking a pathway. It shows pretty nicely that one should never underestimate importance of testing on other human beings.
I have spent quite some time on polishing & fixing problematic areas which were hard to navigate. Most of the issues were easily solvable by adding a few lights or points of interest that show up as a small piece of floating UI text describing important items and locations in the current level.
There were also some more interesting issues discovered during the play test. I had to increase the range from witch you can interact with objects, because picking up objects from under your feet was sometimes little bit tricky and required you to crouch. Crouching had to be remapped from 'C' key to Left Control as people who don't have a pair of baby hands like me, had hard time pressing it. I also had to disable collision detection for power lines and increase fall damage, as players could sometimes walk on them and parkour through whole areas.
DUMB WAYS TO DIE
ARTIFICIAL currently uses a library of almost 100 sound effects. This time I was implementing SFX for various death scenarios. Players can fall and break their legs, end up cut by lasers , get shocked when touching electrified objects and much more.Worker drones also got their fair share of SFX upgrades. Now they randomly emit beeping sounds and you can hear their thrusters as they fly by.
ARTIFICIAL is mostly a one person Indie game and that's why I'm often relying on opinions of people from my Discord community. Feel free to join in if you would like to help out, or just see more screenshots and videos from development!