Networked Debris Fields

Networked Debris Fields

BAM. Drift is online – players can now suffocate and die TOGETHER! On a NETWORK




Hands are coming along.

Once again Eric and I are shifting plans. Summit is our primary focus, and we’re going to keep it simple – a small, executable project. It’s the reality that we’ve come to terms with – we simply don’t have the time for a grand scale operation.

And in keeping with that, I’m looking forward to coming up with an easily executed art style. I have some ideas in mind – stay tuned.

Humble beginnings of the Frame-Slot system

Hey All,

Eric here. I’m going to give a glimpse at the humble beginnings of our new building system. So, my goal today was to get a rough prototype up and running for the Frame-Slot system. I just wanted to prove to myself and Derek that it worked. So I made a simple Frame and a placeholder Module. In the empty spaces of the Frame, I have trigger colliders called Slots that look for things tagged as “Module.” When the Frame’s Slots detect a Module, they activate a function on the Module’s script. This function makes the Module assume the position and rotation of the Slot, ditches the Module’s rigidbody, and parents itself to the Frame. It is rough and jerky at this point, but we can make the transition smoother in the future. I then made sure that it worked on all 6 sides of the Frame, which it did. When I attached the current Satellite Dish mesh to the Module, it snapped into place just as easily. This was rad because it confirmed, to me at least, that this was the right building system for Drift.

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In the end, Derek and I will make various different types of Frames, which can be used on their own or snapped together with other Frames to form interesting ship structures, and then these Frames will be filled in with even more varieties of Modules. Each Module type will have a different look and function. So, for example, one Module could be a window, another an exit & entrance hatch, another is an oxygen generator, and some just may be different types of walls. By placing these Modules where you want on the Frames, players can create a ship that suits them aesthetically and serves their purposes functionally. Because Frames can be combined with other Frames, players who started with a small dinky craft can build up into a massive starship or space station.

Now that we know ‘it works,’ Derek is going to work on designing Modules and Frames. I’m going to continue polishing up the system and adding some gameplay and visual tweaks to make it feel just right.

Stay tuned!

Free Licenses! And an artist understanding his role.

Eric just discovered that the Unity iOS and Android licenses are available for free, at least for now.

This is astounding news. Eric and I can make Shaped and wont have to pay another dime for development costs.  Thank you, Unity – you guys just earned yourself mention in the credits for being hands-down awesome.

Development is coming along for Shaped iOS. Eric has been flexing his coding muscles and porting the game over to touch controls. It now runs as well as the PC version – just on a smaller screen and with touch controls. Over the coming weeks we’ll be implementing our other ideas for adding content to the game and making it worth the $1 we want to charge for it on the app store… more than $1 worth, if I have any say in the matter.

Here's what my afternoon looked like.

I was thinking of different ways to diversify the audio experience of Shaped and the idea of layering the soundtrack as the player progressed through the game came to mind. After an hour or so of composing I sent something Eric’s way and asked for his feedback. Part of me wasn’t certain that what I came up with fit with the game. It was good, it fit with the game sounds but it was also… upbeat. Too much so, for a game that was birthed out of a sense of loneliness. Eric’s honest criticism said as much and we’ve agreed not to make it a key part of the game… but perhaps it has a place as an unlockable.

Here, take a listen. Let me know what you think: Shaped – Building Soundtrack Demo

As I told Eric, I think part of my effort to tinker with the soundscape was prompted by a desire to shape the game creatively – something I haven’t really done recently. My greatest direct footprint had been left during the 20 hours of effort during Ludum Dare, my other contributions had been really nibbling around the edges – correcting the orientation of an audio listener or replacing a broken texture – or indirect contribution, bringing issues beyond my coding ability to Eric’s attention and watching him fix them. That’s how these things are supposed to work, after all; an artist is usually not a programmer. And I have other roles to play on the business development and marketing end of things. But part of me still wishes that I could execute things as I conceive them, directly, so I can carry out my usual work strategy of “tweak, tweak, tweak.” This is why having a good partner is so important – If I can’t do a thing directly, I can happily depend on my partner to help me figure out another way.