It's been an exciting couple weeks at Refract, but before I jump into a development recap I want to highlight Refract's Workshop Picks for this week. Congrats to those whose levels were chosen!GIF Album:
Refract's Workshop Picks v3[imgur.com]
First off, I'd like you to join me in welcoming Andrew Nollan to the team! Some of you may recognize Andrew as a developer on our student game Nitronic Rush, on which he wrote the graphics engine, huge chunks of gameplay logic, and contributed quite a few art assets. He a valedictorian at DigiPen in 2012, and for the past three years has been working as developer support at Nintendo of America. We're incredibly excited to team up with him again!
Initially he'll be focused on the PS4 port of Distance as a way to get familiar with the project, and he's already made some great progress there.
For the past few weeks we've been attempting to convert over to Unity 5, and while some parts have transitioned smoothly we've hit a couple roadblocks. We converted to DirectX 11 and in general we've seen an 10% performance improvement. The vast majority of our gameplay logic ported over fine, but on the physics end we're one of many teams struggling with the new wheel colliders.
Long story short, wheels were changed dramatically in Unity 5 and no longer work with our damage system (especially laser slicing). To work around it we tried to just write our own wheel system, but it just doesn't feel quite as good as Unity 4's wheels. We're currently in the process of reaching out to Unity to see if we can get some assistance, but for the time being it's a showstopper.
With this new knowledge about Unity 5's shortcomings we decided to just stick with Unity 4 for now. For the upcoming experimental build we're wrapping up the custom mp3 feature, v1 of random track generation, and a few other additions like sideless roads.
After researching our options with Unity 5 wheels, Jason jumped back into random track generation development. He implemented road branching, and is now experimenting with the placement of buildings and other objects around the track. While it's possible to generate a fairly standard track, the actually possibilities are a bit insane.
Kyle rewrote how we handle road segments so that it's much easier for our artists to add a new road type. Now our artists can provide one road asset and it auto-generates all of the different banked and turned pieces that you find in the editor library. In the short term this means that sideless roads are finally integrated into the game.
He's also been developing a new feature for saving out groups of objects in the editor as a single object. That means you can create a sculpture out of several objects and save it out as a single file for yourself or others to place in the editor. I admittedly don't have anything planned for Steam Workshop support, but I am looking into it.
Thanks as always for all of the feedback and bug reports over the past couple weeks! Stay tuned for more info about the upcoming experimental build this month!
- Jordan (@torcht)