It's been quite a while since last update and the progress was quite slow, as some of us have a job and do it mostly in their free time. Nonetheless, the Android version made quite some progress.
We were able to increase the frame rates from initial 15-20 up to 40-45 on the HTC Desire, add a new 3D (perspective) view which enhance the graphic quality quite a bit. It took us quite a few attempts and experiments to find out ways to improve the performance. By moving the block textures to one single big texture/material - instead of each block having it's own texture/material - we were able to greatly increase performance by drastically reducing the draw calls. In the past, each block used to cause one draw call, now all stone blocks can be drawn with a single draw call. This greatly reduce the overhead, because multiple meshes could be batched together and send in one big batch (many mashes + 1 material) to the graphic processor.
This was much work as we had to rework a few models and textures, but it worth it and we learned pretty much about the way graphics card work and optimizing for performance. We got a net gain of ~10-12 fps, which was an increase of around 50%. Further reducing the cannon to one mesh and merging all the clouds into one single material, further improved the graphic quality
We've added a new 3D View, which increase the quality and also made the Levels 1-12 and 1-17 more obvious, as now people easier detect the intension behind these levels.
Chains & Ropes
We also added chains and ropes, for additional game mechanics and challenges. The new levels which will be added in the future, will make extensive use of it
Next, we're about to add scripted castle gates, which block the further way until a certain condition is met, which causes the castle gate to open.
Also we're about to add new 2d dynamic background (mountains, buildings etc.) which move when the camera moves as well as static backgrounds for the block structures (i.e. a castle or fort).
The Pirate Game WIP (WebPlayer)
We have also updated a new Work-In-Progress WebPlayer version of The Pirate Game. If you're curious and want to try it, follow the link to The Pirate Game Webplayer edition.
2D Artist wanted
Speaking of 2D arts... one of the main reasons for the slow progress is, that we didn't had much luck with our 2 former 2D Artists, who were quite unreliable. After the initial sketches, they went inactive. Now we're looking for a new 2D Artist (who can also do Concept arts for further games).
Since the game is mainly done and and we're just missing a few 2D Arts, we're looking for someone who is willing to join us to finish and finally release it. Since we're just a few hobbyist yet, we can't offer payed jobs but we can share the profits when the game is finally released (we're just 3 persons now, 4 with the Artist).