Anther good period of development since the last blog post, plenty of time spent on play testing the game and writing a big list of things I don’t like.
I also got a little bit of time to step back and take some time out to play another popular survival game.
Without further ado…
So this week I decided to give the game it’s first proper play test and I although I am happy with the underlying systems now in place there is plenty of work to be done to get the game to an early access release I would be happy with.
I have written a nice big list of things to tweak/change or overhaul so I will be going through these items one by one to tick them off in the next couple of weeks.
So I used to play a lot of games but since starting work on Shimmer my down time has really reduced and gaming as been pretty much non-existent. I decided this weekend to take a step back and play another successful survival game, The Forest.
It was the first time that I realised I was playing a game and looking at it from a developers perspective. The little intricate systems and logic that goes into the crafting, animations and base building all had me writing plenty of notes.
From this episode I realised that although my game is a survival game, the crafting is rather basic in it’s current state. I am happy that as I release this into early access there will be a limited number of items to craft and use and this will develop with community feedback but I just felt there was an element of immersion missing.
I therefore decided to implement some more immersion into the crafting, starting with lighting fires. This required a re-write of some of the crafting logic, the campfire logic, not to mention the new animations, models and UI elements coming together; however, it has been a very rewarding part of the development. You can check out the new way to light a fire below, using flint!
Early Access Release Date
My initial plans were to release into early access this month but due to a set-back with the IRS this was pushed back. Having reviewed my schedule and the games current development cycle the best option is release in mid-August. This will allow me to add/improve the features further than I originally intended and will hopefully give me enough time to get the steam page up and running with at least 6 weeks before the release.
I also set about changing the underwater ambience. As I had implemented a new ocean system, the underwater effects had to change. I decided to write these again from scratch and I am pretty happy with the results so far.
One thing I will look at improving is the under/over water transition. At the moment there is a small window where you can see underwater without the underwater effects kicking in. The same when going above water. This is currently due to the ocean system having vertex displacement (waves) which means the surface height is constantly changing. I’m doing a bit of research into the best ways to get a consistent enter/exit of the water and will post my results soon!
For now here is a screen shot of the underwater ambience which includes adjustments to depth of field, fog and particles.
Another big change since the last blog post was the full integration of the axe!
I integrated the animations and logic to use this on ‘washed up’ driftwood, giving you a nice +1 wood for every hit and logs giving 5 wood total. This should help keep your campfires burning and provide enough wood from a few island hops to start building some shelters!
I also want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read this blog post or follows me on social media. It really does mean a huge amount to me and all of the support goes a long long way!
See you next time…