Weekly Dev Log for June 1st, 2018
Hello everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Dev Log for the week of June 1st, 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.
0.5.0.0 Progress Update
We’ve been working hard over the last several weeks to get Tower Unite 0.5.0.0 ready for release. We’re pleased to announce we’re getting close to release. We’ve started building production lighting for maps, conducting gameplay tests of Zombie Massacre to continue looking for bugs and tweaks that need to be made, and performing some optimizations. We don’t have a release date to announce, but rest assured, we’re getting very close.
Media Player Fix
To give some background, a couple weeks ago Valve pushed an update to Steam, which changed a bit about how the web browser integrated into the Steam Client works. Unfortunately, this change made it so that YouTube videos, and Twitch Streams would just fail to load, or take a really long time for them to instantiate. As our game currently uses the Steam Client’s web browser, this change immediately affected our game. Unfortunately, this seems to be outside of our hands, and we have to rely on Valve creating a fix.
This week, @macdguy experimented on creating a fix for this. To fix this issue, he changed Tower Unite to use the built in web browser inside of the Unreal Engine. Luckily, this change worked perfectly, and YouTube and SoundCloud work just as they should, and in some cases, even a tad faster. However, there is one fatal issue with this approach. Twitch support no longer works. This is due to the fact that Twitch only uses H.264, which the Steam Browser supported, but the Unreal Engine one does not. We attempted some solutions to try to switch between the Steam Browser and the Unreal Browser depending on which website is being loaded, but these tests started to fall apart.
What does this mean for you guys? Well, 0.5.0.0 will fix the media issues, but until Valve gets around to fixing the Steam Browser, we’ll have to use the Unreal Browser, which means we won’t be able to provide Twitch Support at this time. We’re sorry for the inconvenience this may cause.
@macdguy worked this week to implement the payout system. Using @Wergulz’s clothing models for the Zombies, he created a system that will randomly generate clothing and clothing color variations for the zombies, as well as randomizing their skin tone. The decal system was also integrated this week, along with all the textures required, and @Lifeless worked to integrate these decal systems in his maps.
A bunch of audio and music was added to Zombie Massacre this week. Dog and spider sounds were added, as well as attack and damage sounds for the zombies. @Will’s music was implemented into the game, as well as sound effects for the boss intro, and for being revived. Ambient music was added for start round, upgrade, win/lose, death, and other states. Sounds were added for the acid, web, and spider attacks, and for when a zombie is ignited.
@Lifeless worked this week on bringing Gasoline and Trainyard into a beta state.
Slaughterday Night Live
Chris finished working on the RPG-7 this week, and is moving on to work a shotgun weapon.
Alex has started working this week on animating the Grenade Launcher.
@krionikal continued working this week on animating the M1 Garand.
A couple changes to Virus occurred this week, which consisted of the introduction of the gib system from Zombie Massacre, as well as the new Zombie playermodel.
Some bug fixes were made to Minigolf this week, which consisted of fixing the end round state not ending properly, and fixing mouse input issues during the end game state.
@Johanna continued working on the Kingdom map for Minigolf, creating more holes and finishing old ones.
Plaza Changes and Optimizations
@Johanna implemented the new glass fading system, which will use a dithering effect to block out geometry behind the glass. This dithering effect will gradually disappear as the player gets closer to the glass pane. She also blocked off the interior of the bumper cars building with a construction wall, and disabled the internal level from being streamed in. She also added many new LODs to items inside the Plaza. She reduced lightmaps to improve performance and load times, without impacting the visual quality. Lastly, she improved dynamic shadow performance, by disabling dynamic shadows on objects where it wasn’t noticeable.
@Lifeless added Central Circuit to the streamed in levels list, fixing an issue where it was always loaded regardless of it if was within the player’s view or not. He also fixed the high rollers room in the Casino always being streamed in, regardless of if the player was in the casino.
@JJosh has still been at it adding more items to Tower Unite. This week, he created a Navy Blue School Chair, Ketchup Bottle, Butter, Egg, Matches and a Chocolate Milk Glass.
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!