Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Wrapup! Sprint finish Edition

Hey all!

Its been quite a successful month of progress on the game, lots of work has been added and exciting progress made (at least for me.) The dev diaries have also been going quite well and I've enjoyed making them. Especially as work progresses I will most likely dive into specifics on some, doing tutorials or other content to break things up to keep things fun and interesting.
This week marks the end of the sprint as I mentioned. I tried to get any larger changes done early in the week so I can focus on play testing and fixing any problems with the build to get a nice solid release ready for next week. Work this week included:

  • More complete decoration pass on Wilderness map
  • Rebuilt resource gathering blueprint functionality to work based on game instance, allows for better persistence and access (previously based in character).
  • Initial work on getting controller support for UMG menus (currently only works on main menu, will expand to others once I can better package it up and make it easy to maintain)
  • Main map UI and workbench accurately track resources
  • Started testing of dynamic menus
The testing of dynamic menus ties into my goals for the next sprint. My high level goals are to focus on the gameplay by A. creating a paper test of the design layer of the game and B. developing the UI framework needed to support the design layer. By focusing on these goals I should be able to get a more complete representation of the intended game as a whole and be able to develop it much more evenly.

Have a great weekend!  - CJ

Start of more "high desert" areas.

Small lighting and decorative revisions

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Wrapup! Sweet Cactus Edition

Happy Friday!

I uploaded a new build to IndieDB earlier today and just finished uploading one to Mega (links in "The Game" tab). I'm thinking that I may simply switch over to posting one just on IndieDB as uploading two sets each release is pretty cumbersome. Alternatively I may switch from Mega to another platform that IndieDB supports transfers from, alleviating the uploading that way.

Dev Diary #2 is online and linked below, take a look and leave comments. I'm always open to suggestions and would love to hear about if there is anything particular you all would like to see in these moving forward.

This week was a little on the slow side due to moving but I'm still pretty happy with the progress I've made. Doing well working towards the monthly goals I've set so I'm feeling good about the sprint tasks I've set.

What I did manage to get done this week was some player feedback loop improvements and quick optimizations. For the player feedback I implemented some more UI checks so whether you are interacting with consoles in the base or heading out on missions, you know what is going to happen when you press the button instead of blind triggers.

Optimization is never a glorious thing to talk about but is definitely necessary and can be quite satisfying. I learned a bit about some of the lighting and post process systems, pulling both back pretty significantly which helped performance quite a bit. I probably won't focus on this for a while, just picking where I can but have a few ideas I haven't tried yet that should speed things up significantly. As a related question, do you prefer 32-bit or 64-bit builds? I've been distributing 32-bit as not to alienate anyone but 64-bit would definitely be better for performance. Let me know what you think about that in the comments.

I'll leave you to your weekends with this small model addition, inspired by very cool cactus trees. Thanks! - CJ

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Wrapup! Moving Edition

Hey all!

Keeping things short today as I am in the middle of moving. This week was a good one as it started with the release of the playable build and was followed shortly by the associated inaugural dev diary. I'm making good progress on this month's sprint tasks which mainly comprised are mainly comprised of getting quick functional models into both the Base and Wilderness maps. Hopefully I will have more finished and a few gameplay improvements for next week.

Thanks! - CJ

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Dev Diary #1

Hey All!

First dev diary is up on youtube! It a little rough around the edges and I need to remove "um" from my vocabulary but is at least a decent start. As always feel free to leave comments or suggestions.

Enjoy! - CJ

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Build Release!

Hey All!

I finally worked through my internet issues and have a new build ready!
The previous builds were kind of testing grounds to figure out the process, but I am looking at this build as a starting point, a version one if you will.
A few of you were running into issues with Mega, so I decided to also upload the build to IndieDB, hopefully that will make access easier.
As always I am very welcoming of any feedback you might have, don't hesitate to pass it along.

Moving forward I am outlining sprints to keep myself on track and making good forward progress. The current sprint is a rough proxy complete version of both the Base and Wilderness maps. In addition I am trying to refine some of the action portions of the game and implementing more of the "speed hacking" done in the character's phantom form. The deadline for this sprint is the end of the month and will probably keep on a roughly monthly deadline for future sprints.

In addition to the biweekly builds I will start posting short developer diary type videos to hopefully keep the game's progress nice and accessible to all.

Thanks! - CJ


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Slight Delay

Sorry for the slight delay, I have a build all ready and packaged up but am running into some intermittent internet issues that are making the uploading a bit difficult. I will keep you posted when it is ready and will try posting it also to IndieDB as an alternative to anyone that is having issues with Mega.

Thanks for the patience! - CJ

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Post Holiday Greetings!

Happy post holidays!

Hope everyone had a good holiday and new year's time. Mine was quite good, though with a few bumps that I won't go into.

Game progress has been excellent, all the progress that was lost in the hard drive failure has either been recovered in some form or redone. I also finally figured out a very long running problem that was preventing development of one of the game's core features. Not to be too cryptic, but I'll devote a post to it soon to elaborate more on my intentions for it.

So after an unfortunately long time I am back on a regular build schedule and am bug fixing and playtesting a new build for release on friday. Thanks for your patience! - CJ