Post news RSS Upcoming Gameplay Video, Testing and Improvements

I will soon be releasing a gameplay video, begin alpha testing and also show various visual improvements.

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I'm currently working towards getting the first area playable in terms of exploration and combat - finishing enemies, combat and AI. At that point I'll post a gameplay video, which will be me playing on the actual device this time, that'll highlight environment destruction, improved ship controls and movement, improved camera and of course the aforementioned enemies and combat.

Beyond that I plan on finishing up the remaining items to "complete" the first area of the game - HUD/UI, humanoid form and transformation, the 2 unique items that you can collect from the first area (the energy shield and sword for the humanoid form), checkpoints and the initial pass on sound/music. Some of this is partially complete already but will be left alone until I finish the stuff listed above.

Once this is complete I will begin a limited closed Alpha Test (Alpha Test Phase 1) - which should be happening in a couple of weeks. I have one candidate so far, I will probably take on up to 4 more for the first round of tests.

Here is how I plan on doing the testing, at each new phase new testers will be added:

Alpha Test - Phase 1: First area of the game only, fully playable.
Alpha Test - Phase 2: X% of the game complete (X is still to be defined, this will probably be affected by the Phase 1 testing).
Beta Test - Phase 1: Game is complete but niceties still missing such as GameCenter integration for achievements.
Beta Test - Phase 2: The game is polished and ready for release. These testers will be getting Release Candidates (or close).

Note that once you become a tester, you'll remain so until you decide to stop or the product is released.

The reason to split the testing into tiers like this is to allow me to get "first impressions" throughout the testing process. This will be vital for testing things such as usability and controls. How easy are they to learn, how easy is it to navigate the UI, how hard is it to figure out what to do if this is the first time you've played, and so on.

I will be asking for volunteers for testing in about a week and starting the test a week or two after that. I'm not doing it now because I still have to finalize the minimum OS revision that I want to use, so cannot properly give out the requirements yet. Currently I'm using version 3.2.2 but I'm considering moving up to 4.3.x, which I will be decided soon.

As I work toward the first real gameplay video, I'll drop by to show progress as it's made.

The first thing is that the lighting has been improved. Previously the normals were based purely on the voxel faces, similar to a game like Minecraft, which causes a lot of contrast between faces up close and didn't show the overall geometric shape as well as I'd like. However I do want to maintain that "3D pixel" look and support thin, single voxel structures. So the result is a blend between the volume gradients (from which the normals would be derived when generating a smooth isosurface) and the face normals. In cases with thin structures, they will look just like they always have. For larger scale structures, the lighting is softer and the contrast between faces is lower (though still visible up close).

In addition I've also softened the camera light somewhat, changing from the standard harsh Lambertian falloff to something that allows light to "wrap" around the surfaces a bit more.

The next improvement is in the surfacing and environment, accomplished by improving the generator. Note that the "floor" and "ceilings" don't look exactly the same anymore.

Finally the ship controls and camera have undergone improvements, you can see that in the screenshots a little. Notice that the ship isn't always exactly in the center and that banking looks more natural now.

Smoother Lighting and other improvements

Smoother Lighting and other improvements

Smoother Lighting and other improvements

Smoother Lighting and other improvements

Smoother Lighting and other improvements

Comments
Paddy84
Paddy84 - - 34 comments

pls make an good acarde lylat wars clone ^^

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TheUnabridgedGamer
TheUnabridgedGamer - - 1,671 comments

...what? Who taught you how to type?

As to the game itself... looks interesting.

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