Monday 3 September 2012

Knowledge is Power!

Long time no see! Amidst the deep silence, there has actually been a ton going on here. We've been bashing our heads together trying to come up with the best way to go forward with Odonata.

We heard what you were saying about the 2D format and we questioned why we made the decision to change in the first place. The thought of a 2D aspect took a huge weight off our shoulders but we wrongly presumed that it would be much easier and would satisfy the gameplay mechanic we had planned.

One month into a 2D prototype we realised that while the physics and collision was easier to work with we felt that it would have too much of a knock-on effect concerning the gameplay (like many of you had said!). With the problems happening first hand, we came to terms with switching back to 3D and facing our main problem, implementing a custom 3D collision and physics engine.

In the older builds (the ones you’ve seen in the videos) we were using Unity’s PhysX implementation but it was largely limited and required a lot of hacky workarounds to get what we wanted out of it. Rigidbodies are crazy unpredictable and with a bit of speed, objects can also easily penetrate walls and floors, which is just terrible!

Due to these issues with built-in features, we went back to the drawing board and learnt how to write physics and collision ourselves from scratch, which has a huge amount of background work and prerequisites, none of which you can even see, so we can’t even show it off!

It was devastatingly difficult with the general lack of online resource and while the learning process had really set us back, it is finally done with so we can get back to where we had left off.

So this comes to where we are now and what we are doing. We are done with the item and inventory system, physics and collision. Which leaves AI behaviors and pathfinding, “random” levels and the gameplay content...which is where all the fun is!

From now on, hopefully we’ll be able to deliver some interesting videos and previews, so stay tuned!

Aethena now has shorts! Yay!