Fun Infused Friday 8
It's been an exciting and busy week. You might assume that after releasing a game, the next few weeks should be slow. They're not. Between promoting the new game and working like mad to fix the completely obvious bugs or glitches in your game that you never caught but ever other gamer is now seeing, the weeks after your release can often be busier than the crunch time leading up to the release.
I spent significant time last week dealing with performance issues in Hypership. I walked through ever line of code and optimized it as much as I could first. Then I fixed a few bugs and released this as Hypership 1.1. The performance still wasn't good enough so I had to dig deeper. I worked around stuttering issues when calling MediaPlayer.Play() by reducing the sound quality of the in-game music and by combining two songs into one (thus reducing the frequency of calls in half).
My biggest performance increases came from reducing the number of concurrent sound effects, which really kills performance on some devices (namely the HTC phones). If you want all the ugly details of this, check out my blog post from earlier this week.
With the music and sound issues completed, I pushed out a 1.2 release, which should be available for download right now. This won't be the last update to Hypership WP7 but it should be the last major performance related update I do. Subsequent updates will likely add improvements to the game, such as new ships.
One final Hypership WP7 note, I wrote up the postmortem for the game too. Check that out here.
Player movement and control got a pretty major reboot this week. I read through the Sonic Physics Guide (about the physics used in the 2D Sonic the Hedgehog games) and learned a lot of new things about platformer controls and movement. Subsequently the main character in Volchaos is now less floaty, doesn't experience any wind resistance, and reaches his full jump velocity initially (previously there was .35 seconds where he accelerated if you held the jump button down). These new controls should make the game feel better and the increased speed also makes the game a bit more challenging. I started my second playtest after making these changes and am awaiting feedback on how awesome the new movement is.
I added a couple new levels, added a new key/lock mechanic, and cleaned up some other nagging issues too. The game is coming together very nicely. While I doubt I'll release at my originally planned "end of May" date, it shouldn't be a lot longer than that.
World of Chalk
World of Chalk got some loving this week too. Mostly in terms of level collision paths and what slopes you can and cannot walk up. While nothing majorly revolutionary, it is progress. I need to make a lot more in the coming weeks though to have this game ready for Dream Build Play.
I got to play with a 3DS for the first time this week and I left painfully unimpressed. Yes it was 3D, but it was 3D that went more into the screen, I guess I was expecting it to pop-out like Holochess in Star Wars. I could live with that though... it was the viewing angle that bothered me most, I had to be so exact in where I looked to correctly see the 3D effect. When I play games, I want to just play games. Forcing myself to have to think about how I look at a device takes away from that. I'm pretty sure if I ever bought one of these, I'd turn the 3D off on all my games. At that point, what is the point? Hey Nintendo, can I get a non-3D version for $50 or $100 less?
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