It’s been nine months since the last video update. Of course we’ve been busy working on Smith and Winston. Here is the latest video:
- Depth of field effect to soften the distant voxels.
- Complete change of enemy and weapon strategy to bring the combat closer to the player.
- Weapons: You now get a pea shooter, sub machine gun, rocket launcher and assault rifle as well as your trusty grenades.
- Enemies throw grenades.
- Island level design.
- Skybox with cubey voxel goodness.
- Many more particle effects on explosions, birds, butterflys and flowers.
- A more functional if still not very pretty HUD.
- A front end (you don’t know how nice it is to have a front end!)
- removed nearly 1GB of memory leaks!
- 2 player co-op working
- Explosions cause explosions.
Island Level Design
With the previous monolithic level design we were finding it really time consuming balancing the levels. If we wanted to change the structure of the level it took a long time to copy and paste the voxels about. Now we can move the islands around and add bridges trivially. This is a big win for a two person team.
Another problem we’ve had is on low end machines the monolithic levels were too expensive to modify during explosions. One of the downsides of voxels is that they can take a lot of memory to store and slow machines crawled modifying the voxels, rebuilding the models and collision meshes. Monolithic levels were also taking up 1.5GB of memory. Our new levels take up about 0.8GB helping out the lower end machines.
I spent about six months adding networking to our codebase and in the end it was a failure. I didn’t have enough experience to pull it off and despite it ‘working’ on a LAN it was too dodgy for public consumption. This doesn’t mean it’s abandoned but it wont be added until after the game is released or maybe Smith and Winston 2. Replicating all the damage the player makes to the voxel world and keeping everyone in sync proved to be too much for my small brain to cope with :( The upside is that I’m making progress on the actual game play now.
Two player is great fun
I tweaked the explosion code so that it affects objects in the world, this allows you to chain up events so a grenade explodes a mine that blows up a barrel that blows up the enemy :) See how the proximity mine explosions cascade but also the turret is destroyed by the crab emeny exploding next to it.
Getting a front end, however simple, always makes a game feel more complete.