Things have been a little quiet around here lately which is not great, but there is a good reason for that – I got a job. Yep, the money ran out and it was time to get back into the world of work and so I did just that which means the time I can spend on game development has been slashed dramatically. However this is not the end of the world, it just means a slower cadence to releases and updates but I shall be doing my absolute best to keep up support and improvements to Undead Blackout as well as Urban Jogging and Galactic Defence Squadron as well as actually making time for blog posts and social media updates.
The first thing to do then is get Undead Blackout up to scratch on PC and get the damn thing out on Xbox One. This is essentially a combined effort as all the optimisations and improvements I am making for the Xbox One version will feed back into the PC version and eventually make up the 1.3 patch. Given my horrific lack of game dev skills (BUT PLEASE BUY MY GAME IT IS GREAT!) a lot of the foundations of Undead Blackout are flimsy and massive optimisations are needed to get it running smoother. Luckily I know where I have gone wrong and am in the process of making these improvements but they focus on the zombie AI and the way that I have built the levels. Basically, both have been done in really expensive ways so absolutely murder the PC/Xbox as it stands.
Progress has been made though and I have a brand new method for the AI (now using Behaviour Trees! Will talk more on this in a future post) and the levels are now much more modular and using a much smaller static mesh file for walls/ceilings/floors etc. The first level I have tried this all out on is Redfield Manor which has seen the Frames Per Second jump up by between 15-25, a massive increase which I am more than happy with. All that remains is to rebuild the other five levels in the same way and we shall hopefully see the same sort of gains here. Once that is all done I will work on tightening up the melee combat as well as improving the overall “fun” factor of the game. So far I have done this by adding in a few more moody light sources (so the player has better visibility) and restricting the levels a little by completely removing the upstairs areas as the whole fighting on the stairs thing has always been a bit problematic.
With all being well I hope to have patch 1.3 out on the PC for the end of August at the very latest, I would also like to think that the vast majority of the heavy lifting will be done on the Xbox One version as well so it will then be a case of getting that through certification then deciding when to release. Given we are approaching the absolute busiest time of the year for console releases, chances are I will push that back to 2018 so that my minuscule splash is not entirely wiped out by the tsunami of new games from actual games companies.
Assuming that all goes well and I release on Xbox One without too much fuss, what on earth am I going to do then? I absolutely cannot leave Urban Jogging and Galactic Defence Squadron in their current states so I shall go back to both of those games and use my new fangled skills to improve them. GDS needs less work and will take less time so I will probably tackle that first before moving onto Urban Jogging. Cannot leave those two projects in their finished, but woefully under-polished states even if the next project could blow them all out of the water.
Speaking of which, plans have already been formulated for Game4, it was a toss up between a third-person Ico-esque fantasy adventure or a 2D side-scrolling Metroidvania style sci-fi game and in the end I have plumped for the third-person idea. The logic behind that (and I assure you that there is some) I shall go into details about at a later date.
Back to work then.