Author Topic: Beta 0.850 (3 levels, 1 scene, keyframing, guided tour, vast amounts of polish)  (Read 1967 times)

Offline x4000

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Well, this has been a productive week.

Our rendering and animation capabilities hit a new high this week, with a custom keyframe-based animation scripting engine that we've built on top of our existing engine and on top of Unity.  This lets Phil build all sorts of cool stuff directly into the themes, in tandem with all the other tools he already had.  

To see a great example of the sort of thing that this enables, just check out the amazing new work on the title screen -- to me, this is absolutely jaw-dropping work, and that's even after I had the pleasure of seeing that evolve all week.  The boat and the waving seaweed are all that are actually using the keyframing so far, but their animations would not have been possible without it.  Amazingly, all the rest of the animation on that scene is uv animation; it's amazing how Phil constructed something so dynamic out of such simple techniques.

For another example of the keyframing at work, you can see the totem in the forest theme (he bounces slightly now).  Phil hasn't made it to the forest theme just yet in his updates, but that was something I was trying out as part of my testing of the keyframing tools, and I really liked how that turned out.

But, there's a lot more that's changed here beyond just art, although the art has seen some amazing strides in other areas beyond what I've mentioned here (see the full release notes).  In general, this week we sat down and looked at the game and made a list of all the things we wanted to fix or improve or change before the PAX 10 judges would be seeing it.  That was a huge list, and it's been a really intense week for the entire team, but we're through about 80% of that list and closing in on the last 20% or so.  Most of these fell under the Misc category in the release notes, but don't let that fool you as to their importance.  The game is feeling a lot less beta, and a lot more like a finished product, with this release; so much so that we jumped from version 0.800 to version 0.850.

Speaking of PAX 10, we've also actually bumped back our time to submit to PAX 10 until Monday, so if you find stuff that seems buggy or wrong over the weekend (if you're playing this weekend), we'd love to hear about it so that we can get everything in top form for Monday.  Obviously we're still having to prioritize what happens before Monday and what will just be part of our polish cycle between Tuesday and the start of July, but we still want to know about everything anyone finds.  Monday I also intend to put out a new trailer for the game, showcasing all the new art, music, features, etc, so that should be fun. :)

This project is really flying along at this stage!  The networking work took a hiatus this week since it doesn't have relevance for PAX 10, but around about the middle of next week I'm going to be back on that in a big way.  

For scheduling reasons with our partners, it looks like we're going to release during the week of July 12th now, although I don't have an exact date.  We still expect to be materially complete with the game by the start of July, just with final testing, fixes, and possibly some last art tweaks during the period between July 1 and July 12.  The reason for the date shift is purely strategic, avoiding other large releases and sales with partners, not anything to do with the schedule for Tidalis itself.  

Hopefully by the time July 12 rolls around, AI War: Children of Neinzul will also be available for preorder, and in fact we're hoping it will be materially completed by that point, too.  We'll thus be working hard on the AI War 4.0 Unity changeover, and I'm sure racking up lots of tweaks and feedback on the CON expansion before it officially releases with AI War 4.0 in August.

And those are the updates!  If you have time to test and let us know if you find any problems, we always appreciate that, but with our PAX 10 submission getting ever nearer, we're in greater need of that now than at any other time.  What a difference a win like that could make to our business in general, and the visibility of Tidalis in particular.  So we've really been burning the midnight oil getting all the stuff ready for that as much as possible, and I think that really shows in a positive way in the polish jump between 0.800 and 0.850.

Thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 12:58:55 AM by x4000 »
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rubikscube

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Nice updates, but yah, busy week next week, I'm just excited about e3.

Offline RCIX

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Wow! a ton of updates, a nice introduction to the game, and a stunning background! One thing that may not seem like much that's missing is transitions; even a simple fade between menus or into/out of game would do wonders.
Avid League player and apparently back from the dead!

If we weren't going for your money, you wouldn't have gotten as much value for it!

Oh, wait... *causation loop detonates*

Offline BajaBoojum

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I really like the improvements I've noticed so far, especially the 'See Board' option at level end.  Thanks!

Offline x4000

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Glad it's a hit! And, heh, it's funny you should mention transition fades, that's directly next on my list aside from bugfixes. :)
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Offline jkefka

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I'm amazed by the polish on the new version, it's a really nice upgrade.  I've run into a few little tics that I'll be posting in the bugs forum shortly, mostly aesthetic issues that will take 10 seconds to fix, but do affect how professional the game looks.

Offline x4000

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Awesome, thanks!
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Offline Ancestral

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  • Dyson !
It's nice.
Dysons are coming !

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
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Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!