Ever since the conclusion of the gaming event that O'ink was featured at, we've truly learned a lot. A lot about the game and the directions we should take moving forward. As a result, we've dedicated much of the past month or so towards slowly making improvements to the game based upon the great feedback we garnered at the event. The event was a massive success as it helped us to see the issues we couldn't spot. After all, its one thing to play the game you made and it's another for someone else who has no idea how to play the game to do so.
It's raining particle effects!
- The base of the environment featured within the demo, The Abandoned Mine, has finished its design stage. As such, its time to start making our already lavishly sexy environment even sexier and more immersive! In attempting to do so we've made a vast array of lighting improvements in conjunction with the introduction of several new particle effects. Some of which are listed below!
- Added immersive rain to the outside sections of the map, particularly the opening beach. The raindrops do as raindrops should do in any sensible medium as they fall downwards and splatter all over the ground. A soft rain sound effect plays as well.
- Added storm clouds which dynamically shift in time intervals.
- Added bubbling lava effects over the lava
- Added periodically occurring smoke that emits from the lava.
- Added more dynamic emission of light from crystals throughout the cave
- Swapped out Minor Pig's TNT attack effect with a much more vibrant, dynamic one.
- Added an effect to give the impression of speed if Max utilizes his charge ability for long enough
AI, AI, where art thou?
- We originally had a lot going for us in terms of AI. After making a couple of monumental changes a series of aspects to the AI were broken and lost. We were able to recreate them! They are as follows:
- AI patrolling is now active. The AI will move from their starting location in a randomized path, with it being slightly new each time it resets.
- The AI now will move themselves back to where they last saw you if you move out of range from them. They patrol where you came from when you lost them rather than their default patrol spot, assuring when you come back that they'll be waiting for you!
- The AI now can kill each other. Each enemy type can accidentally murder the other, it's hilarious really.
- Miner Moose has been completely overhauled. His attacks are much more responsive and he's now much more threatening.
- Minor Pig has received an increase in his damage output. He also attacks much faster than before and much more accurately. You can't sleep on him, otherwise his stellar aim will get ya!
- Work on Bat-Bat, the level boss AI is now in progress.
Models, Animations, and Textures
- Over the past month we've been able to add three new animations, and refine eight additional ones from the game from AI animations to environmental objects.
- Added nine new environmental textures to be seen in the level beyond the Abandoned Mine, a mythical forest leading to a unique settlement high within the trees.
- Added six new environmental models for the new environment!
The Voice Thespians are taking over!
- We made mention in an earlier update that we had recently cast a series of characters within the game. Since that point an absolutely colossal amount of dialogue and scenes have been recorded. The talent we have been about to recruit in our voice actors is absolutely phenomenal. They have been killing it! Here's a preview of a dialogue moment between Max, played by Michael Malconian and Tedwin, played by Martyn Luke.
- The event was a huge learning experience as a whole. It was the first time that the game was publicly displayed in any sort of forum where people from all walks of life and gaming experience levels could get to play our labor of love! While our game was far from perfect, it was easy to see that the demo was quite enjoyable to players and the issues that did arise were in many ways known and discussed previously. Thankfully the issues that folks had with the game were mostly uniform and thereby easy to diagnose problems and solutions for them.
- Added a dynamic distance shadow to Max. This is a feature that is fundamental to essentially any platformer title worth your money. This is a shadow that occurs beneath the player to help denote proper distance when jumping or aiming for a particular object while in the air. This helps the player gauge the exact position that they're in. Such a simple feature admittedly slipped through the cracks, and it was the very first thing to tackle.
- Completely overhauled the rope. At the event, players often struggled to latch onto the rope and be able to properly swing on them. Since the event, we've been able to fundamentally change the rope swing mechanics by allowing the grabbing of the rope to be much easier and more streamlined. Additionally, there is a particle effect which helps visually aid the player in the process.
- Fixed the camera. This was one of our long term issues that was never properly fixed until now! In previous versions of the game, the camera would often times become too close and almost consume the player, only showing half of Max, if that. It often got in the way of completing challenges during gameplay. Now the camera shows the entirety of Max at all times irregardless of action. We anticipate a lot less dying now!
- Fixed a few performance related issues. Heading into the demo there were certain points of the level which would randomly induce a lag spike. We've been able to fix that, so now the game runs smoothly from a beefy PC to even on a potato for a laptop!
- Fixed an issue where on certain screens the options menu would display disproportionately and obscure text lines.
- Fixed an issue where the tutorial pictures would not display.
- Added a small, non-invasive tutorial which triggers certain steps at certain points throughout the level in timed increments of five seconds. This is so the player doesn't have to make an effort to pause the game to learn about it all at once or continuously have to pause in order to understand what's going on.
That's all for now!
- Thank you for all of the support. Its through this support that we've been able to make these changes that'll lead us to releasing an absolute gem of a title. We couldn't be more thrilled to show off more in the next month as we prepare for the next event!
Be sure to check out our youtube channel for game footage and information! You can do so by clicking here.
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