Archive for Updates

Testing and Resting

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while since we had any time off here, so we’ve decided to take a week to give us time to take care of personal stuff and generally have a bit longer than a weekend (half the time we don’t even get that) to relax. We’ll be back to work again the week after, so there won’t be an update next week.

As for this week, we have been continuing to work through optimization and other less-than-thrilling-to-talk-about stuff to make Collateral run smoother. Riley has, among other things, been creating new LODs for a lot of the environment assets. I’ve been optimizing old, somewhat hacked together code that I now understand better than I did when I wrote it in the first place. Certain physics problems are continuing to pester me, but I have made progress. I’ve definitely found a whole bunch of ways NOT to fix them, and that’s something right?

Rohan has been looking further into potential Linux support. No promises on that, but we’ve had enough people asking for it that we are at least trying it. For the moment, it’s looking promising.

So that’s about it for this week. Again, there won’t be an update next week so we’ll be back again in 2 weeks. Thanks for reading. -David

Amazing Graph-ics

Hey everyone!

So as we’re working toward our next update for Collateral we’ve decided that it would be a good time to perform some optimization. Unreal has some nice profiling tools to work with that give us a fair bit of detail for debugging.

A little while ago I took a profile of the game when trying to solve some problems and the graph looked like this (the vertical axis is milliseconds per frame, the horizontal axis is frame number):

ProfileBefore

Not exactly running too smoothly, as you can see. Ideally we’d like that to look like this:

ProfileIdeal

Note the difference of scale on the vertical axis. At present we have something that looks like this:

ProfileCurrent

So yeah, much better but still a way to go to get it to a reliable and consistently good frame rate. The optimization will also probably result in a few minor changes to functionality here and there. Things like AI behaviour will need to change to make things run smoother, but hopefully in a way that both improves performance and gameplay.

Well, that’s all we have for this week. Thanks for reading. -David

Whale Physics

Hey everyone!

I’ve mentioned a few times now that I’ve been working on getting the Whale of Mass Destruction to work. Our earlier video was just a test of the whale mesh and physics asset, but now I’ve got to the point where the weapon can actually spawn whales dynamically. Naturally I took this as an opportunity to go nuts as you can see in this new video.

So as you can probably tell there are still a few bugs with the way whales are spawning and reacting to things. As it turns out, whale physics are hard to get right.

Last week I mentioned that Riley had been working on something new and here it is: The Gun Show.

Gunshow

The current game setup has only a single shop, Rip-Off Riley’s (guess who that’s named after), and we had decided some time ago that we wanted separate weapon and upgrade shops. So when this is all finished you’ll have Rip-Off Riley’s for your upgrade shopping and The Gun Show for weapons.

I hope you guys enjoyed my whale-related shenanigans as much as I did. Thanks for reading. -David

Safety First

Hey everyone!

Those of us that went to AVCon last weekend are back and we’ve been getting stuck into development again. We’d really like to thank everyone who stopped by to play Collateral over the weekend, and especially to those of you who gave us feedback on your experience. We’re reviewing what you guys said and trying to make the changes that came up most often.

There were a few common threads of suggestions like making your weapon effects more pronounced compared to enemy weapons, completely changing the Fuzz (we were already doing that anyway, but this confirmed our suspicions that players agree), and some UI changes to make things clearer.

We were also showcasing Potania at AVCon, and for those who were interested I said we’d be posting a link to it on our website. That link can be found here. The game is hosted on IndieDB where you can download it for free.

We’ve also been continuing to add more stuff since the version we just showed off. I’ve been persisting in making whales fall from the sky (it’s actually harder than you’d think) and Riley has been working on something pretty awesome that we’ll let you take a peek at next week. In the meantime, let’s take a look at Mark‘s latest addition to the chaos and wonder that is the signage of New Bedlam.

Safety_Sign_01Safety_Sign_02

Here we have an assortment of safety and public service notices that will be displayed around the city where appropriate. Seriously, if you do see spontaneous falling flower pots you should be worried. And I’d stay away from any telepathic fish as well. This stuff can really make you wonder about the sanity of people who would choose to live in New Bedlam…

So that’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! -David

Conventional Advertising

Hey everyone!

So a few of us are now in Adelaide at AVCon ready for the weekend. It’s going to be a fun couple of days of showcasing and testing. If you’re in Adelaide then be sure to come say hi!

Photo_Edit

We’ve already found a couple of new bugs since making the build yesterday and we’re already working to fix them. In fact, progress has been pretty good this week.

We started getting tired of always having to buy more ammunition, especially when it came to weapons with only a single shot. It started getting to the point where we’d mostly just use charged weapons or developer testing functions (read “cheats”) to improve things. So we thought to ourselves that we need to try something different. As such we’re trialling a reload system with this build where weapons go offline to reload after running out of ammo. This means no more trips to the store to restock your bullets, which means more time causing chaos!

Unfortunately the Whale of Mass Destruction did not get finished in time, despite the level of progress made of late. I underestimated how much needed to be done in such a short time so it’ll have to wait till next week instead. Thanks for reading! -David

Whale of Mass Destruction

Hey everyone!

It’s July, so now’s a good time to remind you that we’ll be going to AVCon in Adelaide later this month. If you’re in the area, come check out a preview of our next update with the new are of the city, new weapons, and maybe, just maybe, WHALES!

That’s a big maybe. The Whale of Mass Destruction is a weapon that I put on the shelf for a while, and Riley only just made these whales this week, so the weapon probably won’t be ready in time for the Indie Games Room at AVCon on July 19-20. They might be hilariously broken enough to include for comedic “Look how broken this is!” purposes, but we’ll see. They will be ready when the update goes live though.

Besides the raining whales, you may also notice that the taxi looks a little different in that video. That’s because it’s sporting one of the new custom skins that will be available. We’re looking into other ways of modifying the cab’s appearance but we haven’t decided on just how to go about it. Perhaps a color wheel, maybe just a bunch of presets, maybe a combination. We’re just not definitely sure yet.

We’ve also perfected the spicy weaponized burrito (not seen in the video) and we’re working on jetpack-wearing kamikaze chickens. Lots of weird stuff going on. Thanks for reading! -David

Industrial Grade Advertising: Chunky Edition

Hey everyone!

We’re back with more art goodness. Today I’m going to show off some of the adverts I have prepared and give you a little back story on the often mysterious world of New Bedlam.
Industrial Billboard 04
Big Larry’s main product is “Mexican style” food, so naturally he tries to channel the culture’s language, though he just ends up bastardizing it. As such, obligatory Spanish buzzwords everywhere! Also, tangentially, you may learn some Spanish.

Industrial Billboard 05Since we’re sort of overdoing it with “every billboard has a joke in it” we decided to restrain ourselves with a few and simply show off parts of the world. For example, the Loco-Motives that zoom throughout the Industrial Zone carrying cargo and death aplenty for those who would try and delay them.

Industrial Billboard 06
Finally for this weekly update is a little New Bedlam history, particularly that of Shyster Shipping. The company invested in a top-of-the-line container ship to transport all of their cargo. However, the ship ran aground after the captain underestimated how wide the ship was. Thus, to this day, the shipping containers are piled high with only trucks and trains able to move them.

The ship itself, dubbed the SS QuadColour, is a reference to the MV Tricolor, a $40 million vehicle carrier that was involved in three collisions in just over a fortnight and caused stupendous amounts of damage. It’s a little nod to those that know their maritime history.

And that’s all we’re going to show you this week, be sure to come back next week for more progress on Collateral. - Mark

By Design

Hey everyone!

So today we sat down and had a look at where Collateral is going. This meant looking at what is in-game and working, what’s partially implemented, and what we still have left to do. Personally, I always get excited to plan things out and speculate on what we can do with the game. This naturally results in tangents that are, well, interesting. Let’s just say we won’t be putting in a mission where you have to spray paint advertising on pedestrians, but we might include a mission where you have to pick up a large number of passengers like a clown car.

Some things to take away from this design meeting:

- Our next update will have the industrial district, new AI path finding, several new weapons, and Steam support! That’s right, we’ll be aiming to release on Steam Early Access with our next version, so keep an eye out.

- More missions! More types of missions and more variety for each type. We have a small assortment of things to try already, starting with some variants of current mission types, and from there we’ll expand.

- New notoriety system and Fuzz balancing. Driving around New Bedlam can feel a bit restrictive when the cops are always watching and seem to be just waiting for you to slip up. The new notoriety system will make the cops a little more sparse when nothing’s going on, but slip up and they’ll come running.

- Pedestrians. We’ve said before that we’ll be putting in pedestrians and that’s still going to happen.

- Destructible environment. While there are already objects in the city that react to physics like fences and lamp posts, we’ll be including more objects and parts of the environment that are destructible. This will probably be things like the classic Red Barrel, certain billboards, maybe some scaffolding. It will really depend on what makes sense in the given area.

- More vehicles. Not volume, but variety. We’ll be throwing in a bunch of new vehicle types with a few different skins each for added diversity. The end result of that will be a more rich assortment of traffic in the city.

- Progression. Obviously a good game needs to let you make progress. We’re looking at a bunch of different ways for the player to progress in order to give you more options when playing. This will include, duh, story progress, but also possibly involve random non-story side missions, and some means of gradual unlocks for players that just like driving around and shooting at stuff or doing random missions. Player progression will also affect AI progression, so when you start getting bigger and better guns, so will the other vehicles. After all, what’s stopping them from using the same arms dealer as you?

Well that’s only some of what we talked about today, but hopefully that’s given you some insight into what we’re planning for the near future. Thanks for reading! -David

Regular Scheduled Digital Information Dispersal

Hey everyone!

So this week has been another productive but uneventful week of development. Riley and Mark are continuing to add touches of detail to the new district. Rob is creating new effects for weapons and upgrades. The programming team are working on a whole assortment of things including completely revised AI, updates to the shop, updated equipment management (behind the scenes stuff), and various bug fixes among other things. Generally, we’re all continuing diligently with the same stuff as last week.

Something we were discussing earlier in the week was the sense of humour we’re trying to impart in our world. So a question to you all; Would you take issue with a geothermal energy company that uses an old refurbished nuclear power plant, which is so far up that you can’t even see the ground anymore, and calling itself “Fusion Industries”? Should it be more or less convoluted? Does it need more buzzwords in there somewhere, like “synergy” or “paradigm”?

That’s the kind of ironic sense of humour we’ve been going with in a lot of our brainstorming sessions, so hopefully you guys will appreciate it. That’s all we’ve got for you this week. As always, thanks for reading. -David

GotoState(“Current”)

Hey everyone!

We’ve been getting a lot done in the office, but unfortunately there isn’t much “new” in the news this week. Everyone’s basically been working on the same things as last week, all making plenty of progress but not starting things. The industrial zone, for which we’ve had a few good name suggestions so far (keep them coming!), is looking more and more interesting. The Fuzz notoriety system is beginning to take shape, though it’s still rough and they still act kinda stupid. The new weapons and projectiles are coming along nicely with some particle effects and retouched animations. Speaking of weapons, the trains are now armed and dangerous. They’ll need some tweaking though because at the moment their “drive by shooting” style of attack is a somewhat wild and reckless hazard. Makes for an interesting new challenge getting around though. Don’t worry about getting between zones though, because there is a tunnel for regular traffic that doesn’t have a railway death wish. The shop is getting some general fixes, as those of you on Facebook may have noticed. The taxi and its upgrades are back to playing nicely with one another.

That is pretty much the current state of things. Not the most exciting update, I know, but hopefully this gives you an insight into just how much is actually being done when we usually showcase just one thing. Thanks for reading! -David

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