GDC, Joystiq, and Meetups

Let me update everyone on the project a bit. I’ve been marketing, designing, bug fixing, and getting ready for a few events.¬†Early in the month, I made plans to attend GDC this year. My game will be on display at Kill Screen’s GDC party on the 8th. This is my first GDC, and I can’t wait to be there!

Joystiq did an Indie Pitch feature on my game. Thanks to Jess Conditt for doing the interview!

Tomorrow I’ll be presenting my game at the New York Indie Dev Meetup at NYU Poly. I’ll be doing a playthrough of the alpha and answering some questions. Also, on Thursday I’ll be presenting at the NY Gaming Meetup.

On the practical side of things, I’ve been testing my game on various platforms for compatibility, with the help of an organization called Eyebeam. The game doesn’t run well on older Macs, and Macs in general are very iffy with all the settings on. I will need to buy a mac in the near future, I think. The playtests at Eyebeam were also helpful, in terms of seeing how people play the game, where they go, and how they tackle puzzles.

Finally, I’ve added XBox controller support back into the game’s Windows version. Other versions of the game will still the XBox controllers, but not as extensively. Today I uploaded a new version of the game with this feature added.

Polishing Up

I’ve just uploaded a new version of Against the Wal, version alpha 0.41. This release features dozens of minor tweaks. Here are some of the major changes.

  • I’ve added a zoom feature, ala Portal 2. The camera’s field of view becomes smaller when the player rolls the middle mouse button forward and backward. The camera is also less sensitive while zoomed in, allowing for more precision.
  • Players cannot fall over edges while crouching, borrowing a mechanic from Minecraft.
  • Detail maps for the wall are now a single image repeated at regular intervals across all wall surfaces. This was done to reduce the appearance of stretching. Also, fewer textures will be loaded as a result, as the detail map will be the same across all brick variations.
  • GUI appearance has been changed and key bindings work a bit better.¬†Secondary key bindings were removed.
  • The wand is now incredibly tiny, rendered by the main camera rather than a HUD camera, and placed right on top of the main camera. This way the wand is able to take on the lighting effects of the environment around the player. This also means that I no longer need the HUD camera at all, meaning there is one less camera rendering objects per frame in the scene (slightly better performance).
  • Head bobbing is now only applied to the wand and not the main camera. Before, bobbing the player’s “head” made it a bit more difficult to aim at far away objects, since any movement would adjust the position of the camera. Taking a cue from Portal 2, I took the head-bob function and turned it into an animation for the wand, keeping the camera itself steady at all times.
  • I’ve removed crouch toggling and precision jumping. These features were unnecessary, a broken, and did not really add anything to the game.