Excited to be a guest tonight on the virtual-reality talk show Glitched, talking about Mage Guard. This is my first talk show appearance, so that's even more exciting.
The last post mentioned my new job, which is at Hashbang Games in Seattle. My current project is a VR spellcasting fantasy game called Mage Guard: The Last Grimoire. Below is a link to the official website.
The past few months have been quite eventful, ever since my last post. My team made a new game, my first in VR, called 'Sweet Street', at a Seattle hackathon. Just after that, I got my first paying job in the game industry, which is very exciting, though my personal projects have seen less time and effort due to my newly busy schedule.
Still, we showed Fidelity: The Perfection Formula at GE2, a big gaming, technology, and entertainment expo in Seattle last month. It was great fun and exposure. Hopefully at the next such event, the game will be for sale.
A week ago, I had no real interest in developing for VR. But I was given an Oculus Rift with Touch controllers and a Vive, both by the companies themselves, and now VR is all I can think about. The games I had planned to make after Fidelity were quickly pushed down the line as new VR ideas emerged. More great timing, as a VR hackathon is this weekend. This time I'm working with much of the Fidelity team, as opposed to every other time I've gone alone and found a team on the spot. It's a great time to be a Seattle game developer, especially one into VR.
A new video is on the main Fidelity page, so this one is now archived. Also of note is that recently we've added a subtitle to Fidelity, making it now Fidelity: The Perfection Formula. For brevity sake, I'll still probably refer to it just as Fidelity.
A few moments ago I was working to make some crates and barrels in Fidelity have random textures each time the game starts. The code made sense, yet on the first test, none of the crates I was watching changed texture. Double-checking the code provided no new insight, so I tested it again, and this time it worked. Then it worked again and again. It only looked to fail on the first test. The crates I was watching did randomly change texture, it just so happened that they all randomly changed to their original ones.
Lots of progress since the last post. A few major bugs were crushed in the Gravisphere code, ones that had been around for many months. Chief among the fixes eliminated held objects beings pushed through the environment, the biggest remaining bug, one that would've prevented shipping the game. This was achieved by changing the method of held object interaction from an overly complex parent-child system involving static movements commands, to a more elegant velocity-based system.
More big news, as I was interviewed recently for an upcoming YouTube series about game developers. Mine was the first, which was also my first interview about Fidelity or any other project. The most exciting part, for me, is that an upcoming guest on the show is the creator of Diablo and Diablo 2, some of my favorites games of all time.
Last weekend, Todd (the art director+ of Fidelity) had our 2 actors and I over to his home so we could record their voices for our 2 NPC characters, Faith and the Doctor. Beforehand, I had somewhat high expectations, which were well surpassed. Conflicting schedules required that we record late at night and into the morning, and this was our only chance to record Faith, as she moved from the state shortly afterwards. Everyone was great and it didn't take nearly so long as I knew it could've gone. Plus, both actors sounded amazing and add so much to the characters.
My time recently has been spent prepping the first 2 levels of Fidelity for submission to the Seattle Indies Expo, which is at the end of this month. Integrating these new voices is the last big piece to ready before the deadline, then it's all polish.
Speaking of polish, tonight I wrote a code to control fading in and out in Unity. Nothing revolutionary, but it'll prove useful to me, as I often find the need to fade in and out in Unity.
There's a new video on the Fidelity main page, so here I'm archiving the old video. It's encouraging to see how far the game has come in this last update, especially with the environment textures and visual speech system.
Behind the scenes and equally exciting are the recent performance optimizations, which remove huge hits when a speaker is behind the player, and the combining of several meshes into single ones to remove hundreds of batch calls.
While integrating audio clips into the dialog system of Fidelity, I encountered a confusing coincidence. Working with a third-party dialog system for Unity, I accidentally named my custom variables exactly the same as some that already existed in the plugin. This led to some confusion as I couldn't see the error in my code, until I renamed my variables and the problem vanished.