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Happy Halloween! New Level 'The Manor'
Build 5464 - Halloween Update
  • Added new Sprint level: The Manor (with new music)
  • Added toggle in General settings for Halloween Features
  • Random smashable pumpkins are back
  • Updated the main menu to something a bit creepier
  • Added spider web on the car's screen, jack-o-latern image on rims, and flickery headlights
  • Added heavier film grain and vignetting effect
  • Landing tricks triggers a mysterious laugh




Development Update

As you might have guessed by the short changelog, this build does not contain all of the new stuff we've been developing internally. We still plan to release the final Adventure mode at v1.0, and while things are going well we're not currently in the best spot to branch back into the public build. Since our June update we've added quite a bit of new tech to make certain cool things happen in the new Adventure mode, but unfortunately it causes some issues with the old Adventure mode.

Since it would be sad to miss our tradition of releasing a Halloween patch, our solution was simply to patch the latest stable branch. It might be a bit unorthodox, but we figured it was better than no patch at all.


(an upgraded level from the revamped Adventure, can you guess which one?)

As I mentioned above, content for the v1.0 release (i.e. final Adventure mode and some other secret stuff) is coming together nicely. Adventure mode itself is finally nearing completion, so one of our current big tasks is to ensure performance and memory usage are acceceptable thoughout the campaign. Many of the final Adventure levels have 2x as many objects than their current early access counterparts. To ensure the new levels run as smooth as possible it requires some clever optimizations on our end. We're using the PS4 build as a performance benchmark and have been making good progress this month towards our target, though we clearly have some work to do.


(framerate data for secret new level running on the PS4)

I still can't yet announce everything that will be released at v1.0, but some very cool stuff is making the cut. We're making slow but steady progress every day over here, doing our best to stay within scope while still living up to the promises we made. Until we can say more I hope you get a kick out of this week's patch and have a fun Halloween!

- Jordan (@torcht)

Tournament on Saturday, Gamescom this month! One big reason why we haven't yet hosted a Sprint tournament is that we wanted to ensure it would be as fair as possible for all players. In that effort we've invited three talented level creators from our community to each create a brand new level. The levels will be officially unveiled on Saturday during each round of the tournament. In the meantime, here’s a teaser:



Learn more about prizes, event rules, and more on Discord[discord.gg]. See you on Saturday!

DISTANCE AT GAMESCOM

In other exciting news, we'll be returning to Germany in less than two weeks to show Distance at gamescom! We're really excited to show off some of the latest levels in Adventure mode to our European friends, host a few tournaments at the booth, and some other fun stuff. Thanks to our friends at Indie Arena for having us again!

You can find us in Hall 10.1 Booth A-020. If you’re attending, be sure to watch @refractstudios on Twitter for the latest info during the show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSpAqfuxqZY
LOOKING FOR GAMESCOM VOLUNTEERS

Since there are just a couple of us making the trek to Germany we're once again looking for volunteers to help at the booth (especially with events like tournaments). In exchange for volunteering at the booth we can get you special access to the expo and likely some other rewards. If this interests you please email ellie@refract.com with the subject line "Gamescom volunteer" and we'd love to discuss the details with you.

QUICK DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

The past couple months have largely been focused on wrapping up major content for the 1.0 release, including Adventure mode as well as some miscellaneous content for Arcade. Wrapping up a project of this scope has certainly been an immense challenge, but I can’t describe how exciting it is to see the pieces all come together.

On the PS4 side of things, our next major step is to take any content that’s locked in and do our best to make any required optimizations. Not only do our latest Adventure levels push the CPU to its limit, we are noticing that memory has finally become a concern. We’ve been holding off on these final optimizations until we knew how far the PS4 would be stretched. On the upside the visual quality of our environments has never been higher. We just have to ensure that the PS4 (and lower spec machines in general) are able to fully enjoy them.

Following gamescom we’re essentially moving into the final polish and optimization stage of development. We don’t have a perfect plan for what will be publicly released on PC before the 1.0 launch because our focus is 100% on finishing content for 1.0. There is (of course) an endless list of things we’d like to improve in the public build, but we must stay the course and get this 1.0 content locked in before moving on.

Anyway, our plan is to keep pressing forward and do our best to bring this project to a proper 1.0. We hope to see many of you at gamescom later this month, and in the meantime we can’t wait to witness the tournament madness this weekend.

- Jordan (@torcht)