LoPoly Weekly Update 18/04/14

Weekly Update1

Let's just all pretend this was posted yesterday, like it was supposed to

Very quiet morning here at the NDRC. It's Good Friday, so most places are closed for business, you cannot buy alcohol unless you're at very specific locations and public transport becomes even worse than what it usually is. Welcome to Ireland in the 21st century....

Google is the name of the game

We have a name for this new game we're working on, and we think it's pretty apt for what the game actually is. So earlier in the week I took the liberty to Google the name and see what it comes up with. It turns out it's also the name of a sex toy that's popular with homosexual males. We're OK with this. I mean, there is a tradition in Irish game development of naming your game something and finding out later that it means something entirely different in a different language/context (bitSmith's Ku means something entirely different in Brazil). We're willing to carry this torch.


A couple of weeks back, Sony announced that for a limited time, Playstation Mobile publishing licences were free for anyone who cared to apply for one. So of course we did and were accepted on Tuesday. Pretty painless in terms of setup and porting, but we did learn that the Vita, or possibly the beta version of PSM Unity 3D that we're using, really doesn't like global variables used in prefabs and would cause massive framerate dips even on the menu screen. So instead of a game, we had something that more resembled an interactive flip-book. These things are not uncommon, especially with beta software and very little documentation to go on.

LoPoly Vita

For all of Wednesday I was on a bug-hunt. I created a separate branch of the game project, exported it to Vita and tested. If it didn't work I'd remove an item, change a shader or completely downscale assets and test again. All with the same result. Flip-book. But I had narrowed the search down to only a few possible things.

Brendan joined the hunt yesterday. We both suspected that the issue could be with outdated plugins, so again, we created a separate branch, updated the plugins and began testing. No joy. By pure luck we decided to delete an asset from the menu and it worked. The framerate spiked and was running as smoothly as it does on a Galaxy S4. Sometimes you get lucky with these things. I mean it only took two days!

Actual development went on this week too. Kieran has been working on some of the major sync issues that we thought were fixed last week and then broke again. According to him significant progress has been made and it looks rock solid at the moment (we've since stress tested it, and it is indeed rock solid). So over the next week we should begin some actual play testing and balancing, while also on the hunt for more game-breaking bugs. We're literally on the cusp of moving from "ahhhh this is just a random bunch of things" to "this is an actual game".

Anyway till next week, hope you all have a safe and happy long weekend. Here's some inspiring words from Dave Lang of Dive Kick and Killer Instinct fame: