Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Making the best game possible!

Hello and stuff
So, just like we said on the first post, we are moving on from the old blog to the new.
No more looking back, no regrets and so on. OH! Don't you dare go back there again and look at all that OLD art and stuff!

Studies for Out of Line environment settings

Current plan
So, we are all at Nerd Monkeys offices, working on Out of Line. The monkeys were kind enough to let us use their space and... err.. maybe even help us publish the game! YES! AND MONEY! Oh please, YES! We need more money to create this thing... well, not to create it, but to... you know, eat and pay bills and stuff.
Also, that money we got from the PlayStation Awards doesn't stretch that much, you know?

The PlayStation Awards!

Status of development
Right, about our game.
We have been hard at work on a multitude of things, on this second blog post we will cover two main aspects that we decided to improve upon the old ones. The brand new look of the game and the feature implemented way back late last year of the moving trees, plants and other objects.

The old game vs the new game = it's an all new game!
Out of Line was a project that came out of Francisco's mind back in the days when he was still studying at Etic. The first prototype was done in a short period of time and it was also Francisco's first attempt at it. So it's normal that things eventually get redone, and for the better! The art style and work has progressed immensely since those days has you can see by the comparison below:

2017 build

2018 build

"Look, there is some movement in the trees..."
A forest or any out door environment looks basic and dull if it's static. The same principal applies in videogames. In Out of Line, San is constantly traveling through slopes, platforms and patches of green grass so it was imperative that we reviewed our pipeline and somehow make things move convincingly. The first approach would be to animate everything individually, but that would take too much time considering the amount of assets in the game. Also, animating by bones or meshes would be probably very taxing on the CPU / GPU and doing it by keyframe would look too dated. The solution was to animate everything using a shader that displaces the texture's UV's. The shader takes a deformer texture, like an image with a gradient, and uses it's color values to distort the sprite. Then, to animate the sprite the shader scrolls the deformer texture.
Additionaly the shader uses a mask to define areas of the sprite that are not affected by the distortion.

Textture + mask + gradient (deformer texture)
Asset in Unity with animation (not loopable)

Everything looks so much better now, you can even feel the breeze coming through the monitor... hummmm... (hair sways gently).

San enjoys the breeze.

Well, that's it for now. Hope you enjoy our new dev blog here on blogger (not sponsored message). And don't forget to follow us here and on Twitter!

Hasta la vista, malabarista!

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