Weekly Dev Log for February 16th, 2018


#1

Weekly Dev Log for February 16th, 2018

Hello everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Dev Log for the week of February 16th, 2018. If you haven’t heard, we’ve recently retired our old Daily Dev Log in favor of the Weekly Dev Log, which will allow us to give a broader picture and explain things in plain English, while also including some photos from development. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Tower Unite 0.4.1.0 Update

We’ve been spending time this week bringing the update into a releasable state. Things are being wrapped up with the Underwater Condo fixes, and some general optimizations and we’re hoping to release this update as soon as we can, hopefully aiming for sometime next week.

Condo Tool Updates

Scaler Tool

Being introduced in Tower Unite 0.4.1.0 is the Scaler Tool. This tool will allow you to quickly scale items up and down, making them larger or smaller. Players will be able to modify the increment of scaling, and see the current scale that the item is scaled to. Players can also use this tool to restore an item to its original scale. In an update from the last dev log, the max scale was bumped from 5x original size to 10x the original size.

Scaler Tool View Model

Stasher Tool

Another Condo Tool being introduced in Tower Unite 0.4.1.0 is the Stasher Tool, which will allow players to quickly stash items in their inventory by shooting the items.

Stasher Tool View Model

Copycat

The Copycat Tool is getting an upgrade as well. Not only is it being upgraded to support copying the scale of items, but it now will allow the copying of items onto a grid.

Copycat Tool Grid

Optimizations

Textures

@Johanna has been going through the game, identifying textures which are way bigger than then they really need to be, and bringing them down to a size that makes sense. This will not only improve performance, but help to reduce loading times, as there’s less overall data needed to be loaded.

References

@macdguy and @Zak have gone over some of our blueprints to identify and attempt to remove references that aren’t needed. To give a background, lets use an example of a Shotgun. Let’s say this Shotgun is textured, and has 3 sounds that can play, a drop sound, a fire sound, and a reload sound. In order to load this Shotgun, the game has to load not only the model, actor, and code of the Shotgun, but all the textures, and the three sound files. Now, let’s assume we have a actor in the game that has a reference to this Shotgun, or in other terms, this actor uses something that the Shotgun has, or invokes commands on the Shotgun. Upon loading this actor, not only is the game having to load all the actor’s stuff, but also having to load the Shotgun, which in turn loads all the assets the Shotgun needs.

You can begin to see the issue if you have an asset that references an asset which references assets that have their own assets, so on and so on. @macdguy and @Zak looked over some of our actors, and found areas where these references can be reduced or removed all together. What does this mean for you the player you might ask? By reducing this number of references, there’s less data that needs to be loaded for a particular actor, which can improve loading times even more. We’ve been doing this since the start of the game, and will continue working on it in the future.

The hunt to reduce and remove un-needed references continued after research into the Black Screen Boot issue that occurred with our upgrade to Unreal Engine 4.18. It was found that one of the reasons this is occurring is due to weird issues with references.

Zombie Massacre

Item Progress

Turret

@Matt finished creating models of the Turret Item in its different variations (1 Barrel, 2 Barrel, 3 Barrel and 4 Barrel). @Madmijk worked on making the Turret Item operational.

Zombie Massacre: Turret Variants Zombie Massacre: Turret In-Game & Textured Zombie Massacre: Massive Turret In-Game (Blooper)


Zombie Massacre: Turret Recoil Test (Blooper)


Zombie Massacre: Turret Recoil Test (Success)

Orbital Laser

@Madmijk also worked on integrating the model for the Orbital Laser, along with sound effects.


Zombie Massacre: Orbital Laser w/ Model + Sounds

Health Bars

@Madmijk experimented with creating some new Health Bars for Zombie Massacre.

Zombie Massacre: Health Bar Static Color Test Zombie Massacre: Health Bar Dynamic Color Test Zombie Massacre: Health Bar Animated Material Test

Maps

@Lifeless continued working this week on the Compound map.

Art

@Wergulz continued re-topologizing the Zombie Model, and @Matt has begun work on the Blade Trap item.

Music

@donglekumquat continued working on the music, working on Round 3 and conducting some preliminary drafting for the next tracks.

Furniture Items

@JJosh continued working on some furniture items, adding LODs and a Color Mask for the Gamer Chair.

Gamer Chair Render #1 Gamer Chair Render #2

Tower Express

@Caboose700 continued working on Tower Express, fixing / optimizing several segments on the JavaScript components, and adding security checks. Most of the code worked on was backend stuff so there’s no video this week to show anything off.

Art

@krionikal continued working on the first person hand, currently rigging it. @Lifeless continued working on the ??? which’ll be found in Tower Unite 0.4.1.0.

Miscellany

@macdguy was out of the office a couple times during this week due to doctor visits from his surgery. @Matt also took some time out of the office, and @Caboose700 took the day off on Wednesday (but ended up having to fix one of our servers that day).

Wrap It Up

That about covers everything that happened this week at PixelTail Games. We’ll see you all next week, and have a great weekend!


#2

Finally going to have the first batch of condo tools soon, can’t wait. Scalar is going to be the best.

Glad to see ZM coming along and that health bar looks incredible.

Also very curious to see what ‘???’ is.


#3

Great news, now we only need workshop integration to customize our condos 10 times more


#4

Second batch. Don’t forget about the copy-cat. :slight_smile:


#5

??? Could THE VENT, Being opened up. And revealing secrets…


#6

The vents been open. It leads to the original secret room.


#7

There was a second secret room?


#8

I hope the condo tools get moved to a unique store, not a fan of robs imports being a dumping area for items that don’t fit in a store role.


#9

I would make Rob’s Imports just the placeholder for a secret shop. The idea would be that there could be some kind of box which teleports the player to a weird dimension. Just a random idea but is as random as the items it would sell.


#10

I really hope we can select these as a customization option as I love each one of them.


I also think the Tool items should be sold at The Stray, as that’s usually meant to be the store for weird stuff. Rob’s Imports is just a “Classic Generic” Item store. Like Yard Sale quality items like boxes and stuff.


#11

Yeah, the second secret room is the one with the vent.


#12

I actually really like that idea. You should definitely put that in Suggestions.


#13

ZM’s starting to look really fun. I can’t wait to dive into the horde and, well… massacre the zombies.


#14

May I ask where the vent is, I’ve never seen/noticed it😀


#15

It’s in one of the train tunnels. You’ll notice one of the four tunnels is a lot longer than the others. Go down it and there’s a doorway on the left side


#16

Yeah, i know that, but theres nothing in there except for a VENT


#17

How do u open it then as u stated before


#18

It was open in the Winter (and Autumn too, I think) versions of the Plaza map.


#19

I was hoping you were talking about an actual second secret room, like the dev hq