August Progress Report: VizionEck Cube Royale

Started by Legend, Aug 01, 2017, 03:10 PM

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This month's report is starting off with another blurry teaser.

More work has gone into the visuals and it's really taking shape. Visual effects were added for taking damage, getting destroyed, jumping, and collisions. Most special effects are now running on a separate thread which has once again increased performance. There are some glitches with this second thread, but nothing that gets in the way of playing. I'm not sure if I should take the time to fix these glitches or go even farther with optimizations and run these effects with GPU compute instead.

Gameplay received the most work this past month. Every mechanic was reevaluated and almost every mechanic was modified. A beta is imminent so this was my last chance to make big changes and make sure the game is what I want it to be. The new VizionEck Cube Royale is faster, sleeker, and most importantly more fun. Shots can now be fired in rapid succession and defense options received a buff as well. Weapon fire was moved from R2 to the four face buttons, simplifying the process of using the four different fire modes. Aiming was slightly modified to accommodate this. Two unannounced abilities were removed, as well as the concept of colored walls affecting the player when touched. They were somewhat frustrating when playing and didn't feel good to deal with. I want players to be focused on fighting the enemy, not fighting the mechanics.

To support the new gameplay, I started work on three new maps and updates to old maps. There's a huge amount of variety between these play spaces and I love how well they're turning out. One of the maps requires a good bit of custom code and I'm mostly finished with that.

The HUD received some updates at the beginning of the month, but with the gameplay changes it's outdated and needs a minor redesign. I finished configuring it to auto resize for splitscreen viewports so that's a nice QOL feature. Also added a little bit of screenshake.

The netcode was updated to support "prediction." Instead of freezing other players while waiting for new network data, VizionEck takes historical data and predicts what's probably going to happen. This is a standard feature for online games but I'm really proud of my implementation. It works extremely well in a simulated environment, even up to 600 ms ping. Hopefully it works just as well for real networks. Here's a gif of it being toggled off and on while moving through an invisible world.

Also on the subject of networking, I created a network ID system that works well under poor network conditions and doesn't require a host. Not a flashy thing by any means, but it's really important to have sorted out. Additionally I got VizionEck running on PSN with matchmaking through their servers. As you'd guess, that's pretty important for getting the game released. Most of the new gameplay features have been set up for networking and a few old ones were further optimized to decrease bandwidth.

Lastly, it's time to start marketing VizionEck again. I've begun reworking the front page for Cube Royale and will have that ready shortly. It's not designed to explain every mechanic of the game, but instead just give a general overview of what the game is. VizionEck is unlike any game ever made and explaining the finer details of the mechanics through text is unrealistic at this stage.

Thank you for reading all the way to the end. I appreciate your interest.
-Mike Armbrust

Reports: July June


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