We’ve got a few different things to cover this week! We’ve got news about survival mode, revamping some of the GUI elements and terrain details, and an interesting bug. And, even beyond that, updates to our website. Let’s dive in!
I was finally able to test a build with survival mode implemented this week. We really needed to do the test because it’s well known at this point that dev’s are about the worst testers possible for their own code. Without even realizing it, they’ll often do things to avoid some of the bugs they may run into. An outsider is really needed to push the edges of the code to see what breaks.
Thus far, there still isn’t a menu to actually launch into the survival mode, so getting in is still a bit tricky. This is something we really need to work on. Eventually, we’ll have multiple complex menus setup to organize things for multiplayer and what not.
I’ve played for a few hours thus far, and I’ve never been able to get past the fourth wave of Corruptrons. So clearly, there’s still a lot of things that need tweaking, such as the cost of characters, the time between waves, and the number of enemies in those waves.
Interestingly, while playing, I found a bug that allowed me to block the paths that Corruptrons were using to get to my base. I’d simply build ‘unusual’ walls made of barrels or ladders. A normal brick can be broken by them, but they don’t yet know how to deal with barriers made out of dynamic objects. Sometimes, they’d try to dig out the voxel under the object, destroying it in the process. But, more often than not, they’d just stand there and decide that they had been reborn as targets for my archers. The other downside is that the bug breaks the pathfinding, and eventually rendered the game unplayable.
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And this is the entire reason why we have a testing group. We need people other than us to test this game and push at the edges. It’s basically impossible to think of every possible thing somebody could do. Thankfully, we’ve got our small group of testers, 20 strong, to throw everything they can come up with at our builds before they release to everyone else.
Ragdolls gone wild
As usual, we still run into some interesting issues that we want to share. Here, we have a Bricktron who’s grown bored of building castles and digging, and has instead decided to explore a life of dance.
We’ve also gotten new models for the trees put together. They’ve been passed into the normal mapping process now. Like everything else, they’ll be added into the build once the majority of the work has been processed. If we started adding them gradually now, they would clash horribly with the current version of the game.
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We’ve also started experimenting with NGUI. The GUI that comes with Unity is, in a word, dreadful. So, we of course had to find a better solution. NGUI seems to be the solution we needed. It’s quite a bit easier to use, and it gives much better results. Here’s an example of the hotcorner system put together by Benoit and Germain. This system grants us a lot of new options regarding the task system. Combined with the radial menu, interaction with the world is becoming much, much easier.
Castle Story website
We’re working on a new website interface for CastleStory.net . The current version was mainly a placeholder setup for pre-orders while we were at PAX East. But now, we need something a bit more official and self explanatory. We also had to change the backend of the website because the one that was there wasn’t flexible enough for out needs. In the past, we did a ton of testing under heavy traffic loads, but the results, even if they were better, still weren’t what we wanted. So, it will hopefully be much easier for us to make changes and update the website on the fly. The people we contracted for the frontend of this website will also help us design the Roadmap system that will work with our development methods eventually.
Soundtrack of the Week
Hey guys! Box here! Who missed me? So, we’ve got something a bit outside our usual fare today. Like Thierry, I am a fan of all types of music, with few exceptions. I remember listening to a particular artists since I was much younger, and always having found his music incredibly beautiful. He’s very talented, and it’s a shame more people haven’t heard from him. He was actually the instructor of several incredibly talented musicians. You may have heard of one of them, Steve Vai. People used to always praise Steve for his talent with the guitar, and he’d constantly say, “Well, you should see the man who taught me”. His other students included Kirk Hammett of Metallica, David Bryson of Counting Crows, Kevin Cadogan from Third Eye Vlind, Larry LaLonde of Primus and Possessed, Alex Skolnick of Testement, Rick Hunolt of Exodus, Phil Kettner of Laaz Rockit, Geoff Tyson of T-Ride, Charlie Hunter, and David Turin. This gentlemen who has helped so many talented artists take their art to the next level is named Joe Satriani. He started recording in 1978, though I’ve chosen to share a much more recent album with you, Strange Beautiful Music, released in 2002. Still 11 years ago! Without any further delay, click that play button and enjoy some amazing guitar!
And, as always, thanks for reading.
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