Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
From the level designer of Perspective comes a successor to his award-winning game The Fourth Wall, a game about limits of the screen.
From the level designer of Perspective comes a successor to his award-winning game The Fourth Wall, a game about limits of the screen.
1,048 backers pledged $37,912 to help bring this project to life.

Update on progress!

Posted by Ludo Land (Creator)
8 likes

Hi Backers!

It's been a little while since the last update! Let's get into what we've been up to.

Art

We're getting into polishing up a lot of aspects of the game, so the art's looking better and better!

Environment animations

One of my concerns with the environments were that they were too static. We have a lot of nice art, but most of it has been completely still for a while now. So, we've made a concerted effort to liven up the environments - more environment particle effects where appropriate (leaves blowing in the wind, etc), and animating the pieces of the environment where we can. Below are a couple of examples: some of Amalachi's art that I animated!

Bouncy spring and moving platform

Last update, we showed Royce's new artwork, including the moving platform and the spring. I'm really happy with how those turned out, so I animated some parts of those objects. They're subtle, but every little bit helps to add to that feeling of a living world.

The animation on the moving platform along with Ian's sound for the gears makes for a really neat piece of the game
The animation on the moving platform along with Ian's sound for the gears makes for a really neat piece of the game

 Menus

We don't have a lot of menus in the game, but we want the ones we do have to be great. They weren't exactly up to the level that we wanted them to be, so David did another pass on the menus, below is a look at them!

The main menu
The main menu
Quit?
Quit?
The new pause menu!
The new pause menu!

Level geometry art

After receiving the winter level geometry art from Royce, I wanted to give normal maps a try for the level geometry, which you might have seen in the screenshots in the last update. For those who don't know, normal maps are a way to fake depth in game art, to save on performance. In this example, you could get away with having a completely flat plane that looks like it has dents and cracks in it, to add some extra detail.

The winter level geometry with normal maps applied
The winter level geometry with normal maps applied

I wasn't really sure about how it looked, and after talking with Royce, we agreed that we shouldn't bother with normal maps. The game's art style is stylized in such a way that you don't necessarily want tons of depth and detail in every art asset. Also, this was my first foray into using normal maps. After messing with them I learned that, typically, if you are going to use normal maps, that should be taken into account from the beginning, rather than as an afterthought.

Here's how it looks in the current version of the game, without normal maps.

Much better!
Much better!

Particle effects

I'm really happy with this one - now, when ceiling walking, movement particles (dust, grass kicking up, etc) will still appear at your feet, but they'll also appear partially at the top of the screen! The goal with this is to help communicate how the ceiling walking works. It's subtle, but I think it just feels natural, to have the particle effects screen wrap where applicable.

Look for the dust at the top left of the screen. That's coming from the player at the bottom of the screen!
Look for the dust at the top left of the screen. That's coming from the player at the bottom of the screen!

There's also a short section of the game that's in silhouette. It's a neat moment, but it requires a decent amount of modified art, including darker particle effects, for every movement particle effect in that environment.

The dust is usually light brown, but here they were modified to be darker
The dust is usually light brown, but here they were modified to be darker

(You can tell that we're getting closer to the end of the project, as stuff like this seems pretty small, but this is when there's a ton of those small tasks, all adding up.)

I also added existing particle effects to the moving ground pieces, to give it that little bit of extra polish. These particle effects already existed for the player's movements, but they also work really well for moving stone.

The dust particles and the little pieces of rock falling off of the ledge were recently added
The dust particles and the little pieces of rock falling off of the ledge were recently added

Sound

New sounds

Ian recently did an audio pass on the game, creating new sounds wherever we were still using placeholder sounds. I think the game is really sounding great, I'm happy with the progress that we're making!

Sound modifiers

Along with the audio pass, we made sure to apply sound modifiers to all of the sounds in the game. These sound modifiers turn on when the screen is locked, and are effects such as reverb, high pass, and low pass. Previously, the modifiers would turn on and off immediately when the screen was locked, but now they slowly turn on or off, increasing or decreasing the amount of reverb/high pass/low pass over about a second. It feels a lot less jarring, and makes for a really neat effect, especially for one that you will hear so often throughout the game.

Audio bug fixed!

On low-end computers, we were having a really tough time with an audio bug which would repeat sounds every time the screen was locked. After quite a while, I found that it was caused by having too many audio sources in the scene. So I changed the way we are playing most sounds (by creating and destroying most sounds when we need them, rather than having them in the scene at all times), and it fixed it!

Other bits of progress

Unity 5

We finally updated to Unity 5! This was pretty much necessary so that we could port to consoles, so we figured we would finally make the jump. Fortunately, it didn't cause too many problems, and the game actually runs a little bit better now, just from the update.

Code cleanup

There's not much to show in screenshots or gifs here, but I did a pass on all the code in the game, to clean the whole thing up. I got rid of a ton of unnecessary scripts and code, did a comment pass wherever it needed it, did some bugfixing, and did some much-needed optimizing as well. As a result, the game is running more smoothly, and the porting/optimization/bugfixing process will be much quicker.

Backer credits

These credits make me really happy every time I see 'em. It's all of you guys! I implemented the Backer credits during a crunch period, and as many of you know, crunch can be brutal. But seeing this list again kept me going!

That's a whole lot of names. Thank you all so much!
That's a whole lot of names. Thank you all so much!

 Bugfixing

As I mentioned before, I've been doing some bugfixing. Let's go over one of the tricky ones I recently fixed.

One of the older bugs was a case where players, if they jumped just right, could fall through the corner of a ground tile.

The fix for this involved some extra checking for ground tiles. Normally, the player checks for ground to the sides, upwards, and downwards. To fix the corner collision, I added a check that points diagonally downwards, while the player is in the air. This fixed the corner problem!

That was an old bug that was fixed a while ago, though. Recently, I was running into a similar bug, but involving the screenwrap.

The problem was still with falling through a corner, but this time it was right after screen wrapping.

In the image below, if the player pushed to the right exactly as they screen wrapped, they could get through the top left "corner" of the ground, right next to the red X.

To combat this, I now take into account the player's horizontal movement speed, and add a little bit in that direction when checking for land on the other side of the screen. This fixes the bug in most cases!

If the player pushes to the right a little bit, instead of checking directly above the player, it will check above the player and a little bit to the right
If the player pushes to the right a little bit, instead of checking directly above the player, it will check above the player and a little bit to the right

 Dpad controls

Last but not least, I finally added Dpad controls for the gamepad on PC. It's a fairly common request in platformers nowadays, and it was super quick to implement.

See you next update!

-Logan (and the Ludo Land team)

Minzoku, Seth Pearson, and 6 more people like this update.

Comments

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Raphael S. Neto on

      Nice update Logan, lots of info on small details that will make the game look a lot better =D

    2. Ludo Land Creator on

      Thanks for the kind words, Chayne!

    3. Chayne VandeZande
      Superbacker
      on

      Color me relieved to see this isn't another of my poor KS choices. I've been very patiently awaiting the release of this one, and am very glad to see it's still chugging along and hasn't stalled out on the tracks somewhere (or run off course with all our money, as some of my poorer choices seem to have done).

      Anyway, keep up the great work! We're all looking to forward to it!

    4. Ludo Land Creator on

      Thank you for the positive comments, Pogopuschel and Tracey!

    5. Tracey Craig
      Superbacker
      on

      DAY ONE purchase if you decide to port to PS4 :P but good luck and well done on making good progress :)

    6. Ludo Land Creator on

      Hi Game Mechanics LLC!

      Unfortunately, we can't talk about release date right now, but we will be able to talk about it very soon.

    7. Pogopuschel on

      Nice update!
      The game seems to be gradually becoming something great!

    8. Game Mechanics LLC on

      It will be 2 years soon since you got the money. When are we going to see anything for it?