I took some time off from programming and designing on Pollen and focused on the music a bit. I’ve got three new tracks done for the new desert level, a new track for drowned city and a track for the last level. I feel like I’m getting closer on the vibe of the music that I want and things are sounding pretty good.
Before showing it last time at Playcrafting I spent some time doing color correction and image processing on each level and I think the look is getting a lot closer to where I want it to be. I got a few nice color and image post effects from the Unity asset store and that’s helped things quite a bit. I highly recommend the Colorful and Chromatica packages from Thomas Hourdel. I also got a very nice bloom called Ultimate Bloom by Paroxe which is really making the lasers pop and helping the look overall. So far this is probably my favorite Unity bloom effect I’ve used.
I’m showing again this weekend at the Bushwick Film Festival in Brooklyn so I’m doing a push this week to get everything updated and ready. I’m also getting closer to figuring out a launch plan. I think I’m going to go through Steam Greenlight. We’ll see how that goes.
Here’s another level environment with a different feel. I’ve been experimenting with randomly placing large low poly objects to give the levels more visual interest. In this case it’s this funky looking cube tree. Like in the Blue Sky City level I’d like to go a little deeper with procedural generation and give these some more variation at runtime but for now they’re just randomly placed and scaled. I think it actually works pretty well. I also added some square snow particles for you to fly around in.
It’s been quite a bit of time without an update, I’ve been pretty busy with a bunch of other stuff but I’ve continued to work on Pollen, including adding some different level designs and looks. I’m starting to work in more color and other geometric forms so we’re not just constantly in that grey foggy space I’ve been using so far. I’ve also made some pretty big changes to the design which seem to be working better. I’ve created a level transition condition which is based on collecting a set number of pollen objects. These come from shooting the glowing green plant spheres that you can see in the screenshots. When you collect enough, a gate spawns and that takes you to the next level. I’m going to be showing the game here at the New York Unity Study Group in about three weeks so I’ve been pushing hard to get it into some kind of showable shape. Any NYC area peeps come out! I’d love to meet up and get some food or drinks afterward with some local dev folks. There’s a good ramen spot near Microsoft where the event is.
Here are the new screenies, click for larger size:
I’ve got a working title for my game in progress that is better than the very literal Butterfly I’ve been using. It’s:
Here are some stills from the latest. I’ve been messing with this wacky procedural slab tree flower generation thing where it makes these crazy organic looking floating rock pile things at runtime and you watch them grow in fascinating and slightly disturbing ways. It’s leading to a result that feels really organic and wild to me and I really like it. A big improvement over my floating rectangles, although those might get mixed in too.
This is definitely taking the whole procedural level generation thing in a very chaotic but also very cool feeling direction for me. The whole thing feels kind of mysterious and a little scary, which I like. I’m happy because I feel like now I’ve shaken up my design a ton and am off in the woods discovering again. Things were feeling a little linear before and I was getting bored.
Right now my frame rates are cratering and I just learned there’s something called Object Pooling that I now need to learn how to do. Yay! Actually all the geometry on screen is fine and it runs at 60fps once it’s done. It’s just something about instantiating all those objects procedurally while the game is running that Unity doesn’t like at all. Somehow though I think not knowing what I’m doing here is kind of an asset because it looks crazy and unlike much I’ve seen anyone else do, so I like that. But lag spike city, you’ll see some of the still showing a frame rate of 3.0 fps… Anyway, check out the pics.