I should post a picture of the wand every week to show people how things are changing! This has to be the 7th or 8th revision that I’ve made to the wand in the last ten months. I was not 100% in love with the last programmer art permutation of the Wand, and decided to redo everything to conform to the game’s minimalistic style. Plus, I needed some kind of mechanical feature to add to the wand in order to visually indicate that the device had been fired. After brainstorming with a fan (shout-out to Mr. Brightbill), I decided that the wand should have a gyroscope inside the ring at the end. This gyroscope would fire off and slowly wind down until stopping at its original position. The wand itself experiences a bit of a kickback in this process, letting off a puffing sound-effect, as the gyroscope hums lowly. I’ll post a video of it later this week.

Some other changes that I’ve worked on in the past week:

  • The secondary fire “stop” functionality has been removed. No one ever seemed to use it (including me) and it was pretty pointless to the whole game experience.
  • The game now uses brick textures with double the resolution, from 1024 x 1024 to 2048 x 2048.
  • When something can be picked-up or activated, the wand moves out the camera’s field of view.
  • Reduced the number of cloud meshes in the sky, reduced the resolution of the Sun Shafts (still looks good), and blurred hard edges from the cloud images. Also, I doubled the size of the new skydome.
  • Added support for generic controllers (using a Logitech F310 for testing).
  • Reduced inefficiencies with every script. Too many variables were being created and destroyed every frame, which can kill the framerate. On my computer and in the editor, the game can generate 200+ frames per second (though only around 60 are displayed on-monitor). This is a big improvement from my previous 150 FPS in-editor¬†average. Brick generation and highlighting are notably improved.
  • Smaller sounds are now uncompressed while playing. Before, performance was taking a hit with for every sound played as the game worked to decompress the file. Now, the most used sounds are always ready to be played.
  • Numerous bug fixes that you probably wouldn’t care about.

One final thing: I am going to have a table at PAX East this year in the Kickstarter room. It’s a real honor to be there! Thank you to the Kickstarter community manager Cindy for this opportunity. If you are at PAX East and want to stop by, just look for me in that general area. I should be sitting there for the bulk of the three days gabbing about autokinetic bricks and tree monsters. Should be fun!

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