Open alpha v5 releaseA brief summary of all the new additions/improvements and plans for the future.
With each update the game gets closer and closer to it's final release. Let's see what this update has to offer compared to the previous (v4) release. :)
One of the things that was reported to me is that anisotropic filtering wasn't enabled at all in the previous versions of the game. This resulted in poor texture quality over distance and especially at narrow viewing angles. I fixed that and anisotropic filtering properly works in the game now.
Textures are now much more detailed on narrow angles and higher view distances.
(Notice the yellow floor and the wall on the left side.) Anisotropic filtering 8x was used here.
Of course it is possible to change the anisotropic filtering level in the video options menu.
You may notice that "SSAO" isn't available anymore. It's still in the game (and you can enable it by tweaking the .ini file) but it's disabled as it is an experimental feature and doesn't create satisfying results. I'll add this feature back once i implemented a better SSAO algorithm.
I have good news for people with low-end hardware! I did a fairly big optimization on the rendering side for low-end PCs. Basically if certain options are disabled (SSAO, Volumetric light and AA) the game then switches to a simpler renderingpipeline to reduce the load on the GPU which benefits old GPUs/Integrated chipsets (with low memory bandwith and low pixel fillrate) a lot.
If you disable those specific options (AA, volumetric light and SSAO) you should have no problems to run this game on an IntelHD 4000 Chipset on at least 720p resolution at a stable 60 FPS.
First things first: two maps were removed from the game due to design/balancing issues. (The said maps are "Urban" and "Circuit".)
Also all existing medal times of the maps were rebalanced.
In order to balance the difficulty curve between the first 5 "beginner" maps and the more difficult ones (like the map "Rise" or "Playground") i created and added 4 new maps to the game. ("Balance", "Arrow", "Speedline" and "Towers")
Now there is a total number of 14 maps, starting out with very easy ones (to make the player familiar with the game) while every map is getting harder and more demanding than the previous one. (Of course new maps will be released as time goes on.)
Some of the existing maps were tweaked to iron out some spots in the mapdesign ("Rise" as an example had a very difficult section right after the first checkpoint.)
Soundeffects for the player were added. This includes footsteps, a soundeffect for the roll and a soundeffect for the slide.
There of course smaller additions and improvements, all of which you can view here:
- optimizations in the rendering pipeline (especially for low end PCs.) Setting post processing effects to the lowest settings (AA, SSAO, Volumentric light) automatically switches the rendering process to a simplified renderpipeline which benefits low end PCs greatly.
- Removed experimental SSAO from the video options (can still be enabled by manually editing the .ini file. will be added back after improving/replacing the current SSAO algorithm)
- Added soundeffects for running, sliding and rolling
- Added soundeffects in the menu. (Note that there are still sounds missing which will come with future releases.)
- Removed the map "Circuit" due to balancing and design issues
- Removed the map "Urban" due to design issues.
- Edited some maps (in particular "Passage, "Longjump", "Connected" and "Rise") to fix bugs or improve the mapdesign.
- Balanced the medal times of all maps
- Added mew Maps ("Balance", "Arrow", "Speedline" and "Towers")
- Changed the mapname of "Bluecurve" to "Curve"
- Changed mapname of "Longjump" to "Leap"
- fixed texture filtering (anisotropic filtering was previously disabled. Now it's properly activated.)
- Upscaled the block- and floortextures from 32*32 and 64*64 pixel to 256*256 pixels to enable anisotropic filtering without blurring textures (Hopefully only a temporary fix)
- playback speed of the running animation now dynamically changes with the player speed if the yellow block power was activated (if the player runs faster than 84 km/h)
- fixed bugs in the physics/collision detection
- added the ability to manually edit the gold, silver and bronze times in the map-editor
- added the ability to change the z-position of the map-preview lookat point (in the editor) by scrolling with the mouse wheel
- fixed a bug/oversight in which maps (which were exported by the editor) had unnessecary/empty data stored in them which increased the filesize. (same for the local highscore files.)
- Player physics don't stop anymore if the pause menu was activated.
- fixed crash in the editor which was caused by pressing the bronze-time-multiplicator button if no times were set
- Added a "Map Selection" button to the pause menu so that players can go right back to the map selection screen without having to go through the main menu
Plans for the future
The game is (on the technical side) mostly done. There are smaller things like tweaking some animations, adding more soundeffects for the UI, etc...
The next big thing will be multiplayer. Realtime multiplayer exists in the game, but it's currently not available to the public as there are still minor issues on the serverside that i have to iron out. However, you can have a little sneak peak of the multiplayer mode as i did a closed multiplayer test (to test the server performance) which i recorded and put on youtube. :)
I intend to release the server source code so that people get the ability to mod the server.
I also plan on creating a specific website on which people will be able to upload and share their custom maps. I already created a rough plan as to how the database for the maps will look like and started with programming the server backend. It will take some time but i hope that i'll be able to pull this off in the near future. :)
Another thing that i was thinking about was Steam. I might submit this game to Steam Greenlight in the next few weeks. (Will be an interesting experience.) Stay tuned for more info regarding Steam Greenlight. :)