Hi everyone, a lot has happened since July’s Update and here is a quick overview:
- Everplant enters the third dimension: While the Game is still technically 2D, you can now go up (infinite).
- The new State-Machine allows the player to switch the current layer (Swimming coming next)
- Introducing new Branding-Content: The new Bootup-, Splash- & Loading-Screen, Everplants Slogan and a new Social Media Strategy.
- Massive performance-boost: How Threading helped me to increase the performance by up to 500%.
Thank you for reading this blog! Feel free to leave a response and comment at the end ^^
Everplant enters the third dimension 🎲
Until now, the entire game was based on a two-dimensional world (actually 3d, if we include time as a dimension). This made sense, because you cannot see anything happening on the Z-Axis as every block would cover the block beneath. This did just change:
Now, every layer is 8 pixels displaced, which makes the front-side of each block visible and the game look like the camera is not coming right from the top.
Along this important step, I changed core parts of Everplant to realize infinite layers. In contrast to all previous versions, you can’t just build on the ground right in front of you, but also into the ground for mining minerals and to the top to handcraft the monuments of tomorrow.
But, how to enter a new layer? The answer is as simple as it seems…
The new State-Machine 🔨
Of course, the player just needs to be able to jump. And that’s what I’ve done. But as always, things are not as easy as it seems.
Here are some problems I had to face:
- Sticking the player to a new layer might cause a short shake as each layer is displaced by 8 pixels from the one bellow it.
- In terms of determining how deep the player falls requires custom physics because for the engine, the game is still two-dimensional.
- After each block, the player travels, there needs to be a script that immediately checks if she needs to fall (and therefore, to check each block bellow the player). This might cause some performance-issues and lower FPS.
… right now, I’ve fixed most of these problems and found some work-arounds, but especially the first one remains on my To-Do-List.
For now, the Machine works with three States:
- Idle: The player is doing nothing but looking into the wild world.
- Walk: The player walks, obviously.
- Jump: As described above
Introducing new Branding-Content 🎨
I believe, that branding contributes to at least 1/3 to the success of a game and is a real doorkeeper. To further expand Everpants new Design-philosophy though the game, the game got various new branded screens. The first one is this bootup-Animation:
Note: The bootup-animation will include a sound along the animation which has not been chosen yet.
Next off, you will now see a progress-bar when loading a world:
And last, but definitely not least, Everplant got its slogan “Handcraft your world” resulting out of the short-description as it can be seen on Steam and this website’s front page:
Everplant is an open-world sandbox game that allows you to customize the entire world. There are no limitations to your creativity. Explore an infinite large, procedurally generated world to gather the necessary resources to reach far away planets.
Do you like these developments? I’m always open for discussion in the comments ^^
Massive Performance-Boost ⚡
The simple architecture and way, Everplant is designed was one of its biggest benefits in terms of performance – until now. As the game gets more complex, the speed of the game started getting noticable worse. While scripts were already written very efficient, Threading was still not used a single time.
I finally thought myself how Threading works and how to make Everplant benefit from it. The Chunks are now getting loaded in multiple threads, boosting performance and FPS.
Next Step 🚀
This Update introduced multiple essential advancements. In next months Update, we will an even bigger Update on the horizon:
The Space-Update ✨
Do you remember the blogpost 2 months ago, when I told you about the Mars? Well, now we need to connect multiple types of planets (Mars & Orbis, more coming soon) via Space.
But how does a rocked need to look, which stuff is needed to craft it and how will the transition from orbit to space look & feel like? Please tell me on Discord or in the comments! ^^
~ 🌱 🍂 🛠 ☁