enjoy a few visual, work in progress.
Everything you see is NOT completed and will improve, but we wish to share a little bit of what we have done so far.
First image is from the current build with new UI. The compass minimap is only available on EASY. Remember, it is a hard game. Normal you keep the compass only. The compass is only available for Guigner, one of the three caracther, the navigator. It give you an overall idea of the direction of known area of interest. Not all of them will appear, but it's not fun when you have to seek very large open area and have no clue of what to do. It's not like linear game where the path is clear, in our game you can do what you want, the way you want and in the order you wish to do stuff. So to give you an idea of the zone that require your attention, you have the compass. Having this ability avaiable with only 1 character force you to switch and not always run with the same guy. You have to push button fast and use your brain. You have a close look of the crash site in the tutorial. Day 1
Screen 2 is a early preview of the crash site
Screen 3 is a early preview of a path you could find and take if you feel adventurous
screen 4 ... well, we can't do an alien game without cornfield. We will reveal why cropcircle exist
screen 5 is a early preview of the famous hangar that act as a safe base for your character. You need to find it and gain access to it.
The tutorial take place in a rural area in which you will learn all the game feature, control and mechanic but in a real game level. It's not a careless boring tutorial, it's an actual level that have more story driven content and yes, it is easier, but you can still die and get a gameover in there. You have ennemies to fight or avoid, it will increase you awereness level if you take wrong decision and it will have consequences for the rest of the game. We hope the tutorial to feel like a level. Old game had no tutorial, you just had to read the booklet, which we never did, or play and try yourself. Here, you get a little help.
Game optimisation - CPU and GPU
Lately, we decided to hold many content creatio to do some game optimisation as it was starting to feel it could go slow. It was a really important step to take. At first, my opinion was to don't bother and just push graphic, but it comes to a point that if you don't look at it, maybe you are doing stuff wrong and maybe you will be able to loose feature, change gameplay, adapt level, and redo a lot of stuff. Today my suggestion would be to start thinking about it not too soon, but as soon as you have enough script running at the same time. In unity, the editor profile is really helpful. At first it look quite confusing but when you look at the detail you can pinpoint which of your script is going bad in term of CPU usage, while GPU is all about managing geometry, light, shadow and passes.
any script that hit more than 0.2ms diserve to have a look at. Start by looking at the worst one and see what you can do. Update kill performance, we all know that. Instead of having a lot of them, try to find a way to trigger action by a bool switch, a collision, a key press, an action, etc. Some update are fine to have, like watching for a key. If you really really need update, think if a coroutine infinite loop would work (while(true)). You can add a delay between coroutine pass reducing the cpu work load. Almost no script need a "by frame" update. I have tried to implement a update manager, but it require a lot of work as you need to manage when and how to remove object and script update from the manager when you destroy or turn off item, so that idea was left behind. New version of unity seem to give the user better tool for that. Avoid "ontriggerstar", it will kill your cpu, just detect the in and out and have a coroutine calculate the time between them if you need to do stuff while you are inside the trigger. We did a lot of optimisation on animals agent and humanoid agent to limit their behavior on a closer distance to player and we clean up a lot of code to make the whole game much more efficient. Make sure also to manage your physics settings, there is no need to have your code react to every collision if you only want to detect your players collisions. Use layermask and physics wisely to reduce the cpu calculation and false call on your function.
this one I fell is less of a problem for PC game, but you still need to make sure your polycount is acceptable. If you use Vegetation Studio, this amount will rise up a lot because of the vegetation count itself. Stuff that have reflection like waterplane can have toggle that turn the object on and off depending on the player distance if culling doesn't work in wide and open space. Light is also a source of problem as it may increase the number of pass. Keep an eye on the culling settings of light and turn off everything that doesn't need to be lit by your light to reduce the passe.
State of the game update
The first level is still quite far from being complete, but every week important progress is made. At this point, we can actually play the game with one character. The level story is clear now, but content creation is not completed. Really important feature have been added and the UI as been rework to add information and fun to the game. Like in any good oldschool game, you need point, score, bonus, timer. We are adding detail and story element, once done, we will fine tune the level scenery, asset placement, overall look and everything.
The game run at 45 fps inside the editor on an old machine. It has a gtx 1060 which does a fine job, but the bottle neck on the machine is the CPU (firstname.lastname@example.org). Running inside the editor is very heavy, optimisation is not over and there are a lof of DEBUG which consistanly write to the console, which is also very every. We have hope to reach 60fps near release on the test machine.
- All the core feature (script) is working and are optimised. We added many secondary feature and visuals for pickup, skills, etc.
- After many test, we had to leave the use of lightscattering. It was a deprecated feature we tried to include and improve but it brought many problem with graphic and performance and it was also producing game breaking error. Without any support from the author and the asset not being updated, we had to let it go. We will loose light scattering and good fog effect. On a good note, we gain stability and speed. It wasn't killing the atmosphere the remove the feature and we have other way to achieve what we wanted in the first place. It's the kind of feature we will revisit at the end.
- The in-game UI have been rework and is now mostly completed. Still need many graphic icon. Score, timer, bonus, scene stat, awerness stat, clock, compass and minimap added !
- Added the ability to have scecret manually place bonus that will add up to your regular game bonus.
- The hangar scene still need audio
- 80% of the assets required to build 2 levels are completed. - We will soon add Tracsir and Zoile model and test special attack
- Temporal AA added.
- We are still updating/improving character controller and AI for better performance
- AI animals is completed and full system optimisation completed, animal attacking player need to be tested.
- Current Milestone : Build the tutorial level (so we can test all feature in 1 single map and improve them) (2 month remaining) - 30% done
- Next Milestone : Build a demo level to showcase the game (1-2 month) - 0% done
- Third Milestone : Finalise asset, playable character, sound and special FX of first 2 level (2 month) - 0% done