Hello again. :)
Sorry about having to leave you all hanging in the last article. But lets get back to it! Alright. Where were we?
Well, one cool new feature is an improved outline shader. The outline shader I previously used wasn't very flexible, and also merged everything together. Making it very difficult to see anything unique. Plus, it was extremely laggy on slower computers. It forced the scene to be rendered multiple times, and clipped out certain objects. This was not very good...
The new shader is way better, as renders in a single shader, as an overlay in the original render. This highly increases render speed. Slower computers have a noticeable increase in framerate. Other features include flexibility, and individuality. Outlines are no longer a combination of all objects on the screen, but each object individually. This allows for you to finally see everything in front of you, when looking through walls. You can see this in action in the video. Plus, the outline can have a custom size and color per object, which hugely opens up doors for new effects and animations.
Support for all gems has already been implemented. As well as your bubble, Gyro, bumpers, and goal rings. Goal rings show up in blue to help you aim when in a crowded area. Bumpers, which are now hostile, are red. I'll explain more below.
Gyro actually now makes use of this. Now, when you look at Gyro, his outline will slowly fade to red, and get thicker. Once it's completely red, he will fire one of his floating bumpers at you to try and steal a reflect and disorientate you. This makes is a tad bit more challenging and fun. xD
You can steal attack him by charging while looking away, then at a full charge, quickly look at him and fire. Works perfectly, as long as you don't ram into the rings. So be careful. This boss is a bit of a challenge now. Good thing you have fifty hit points. You'll need them.
Well, I explained in the previous article most of the bumpers. Couple of things I forgot to mention. Number one, Bumpers now take away reflects when you hit them, just like gems. So from now on, you want to avoid hitting them except when necessary. Bouncing gems off of them is fine, though. Don't worry though, the game is set up so that a play cannot lost more than one reflect per shot, regardless of how many hits are made. So bouncing off of a bumper to hit a gem would cost the exact same as if you had hit the gem directly.
As mentioned about, Gyro will fire bumpers at you if you look at him for too long. Because they now take away reflects, they become much more of a challenge then before. There's no pictures for this, sorry.
There's been several updates to the UI over the past week. First off, I have added in a working credits popup, settings menu, version subtext, and option to clear save data on the title screen. No, they still aren't updated with any real graphics yet. That'll come soon.
Next, fixed a bug that allowed you to go to levels that you haven't unlocked yet. This occurred by clicking the "Next" button at the end of the level. It did not count your keys to make sure you have enough. Now it checks, and will gray out the button if you do not have enough keys. I also fixed the bug on the level clear screen which caused the progress score bars to drain the wrong way.
Third, levels no longer "pop" in from the loading screen. They will now quickly fade in from black. Makes a much nicer transition, and overall feels cleaner, and faster. It was a very small and simple update, but it was very important, it seems. Nothing here to really picture. It's just fading in from black. :P
Fourth, and this is a big one, the camera's view distance can now be adjusted by the mouse wheel. When the level gets a little too cramped to play, no problem. Zoom out the big picture. Need a more direct shot in a face paced boss fight? We've got you covered. Zoom in into first person mode, and aim right where you need to go.
Last, but not least, Gyro now has a working health bar. :D It's not very pretty yet. I plan on playing with it more until it fits with the rest of the theme. Outside of the death animation, this makes Gyro pretty much complete!
Alright! That about sums it up for today. I'll start working on the next set of features and bug fixes, and get back to you. Also, for the huge news:
When you read my next article, we will be entering Alpha stage. Yes, alpha. Which means... ;)
Downloadable demo. Aw yeah! Stay tuned, and have an epic day!