I’m going to try and keep writing DevBlogs (and calling them devblogs instead of devlogs). This seems like a good way to keep you all updated on progress and to answer some of the questions floating around the community.
( you can also read this Devblog on the steam community here )
Firstly, The The Frog Milk Coffee Co. Update is much closer now. We are aiming for next Friday, but it may well slip to the following week. Its a pretty big update as it is our exit from Unity 4, a big step that will allow us to focus completely on the Unity 5 branch that we have in development.
Thanks to everyone for your feedback to last weeks question with regards to saved data. Its so helpful and we really appreciate it.
This is what you can expect for your saved data in f0.2.8c – We are making it so some data will be reclaimable and some will not. The fSport App will have to be completely refreshed, thats unavoidable, and other things like your current appearance will not save. However, for other data we will create restore buttons on the fPhone. This is so you can restore some types of saved data like SCP or outfits to what was unlocked or collected in version f0.2.8b. This will be your choice.
So what have we been up to this week? Well I won’t tell you everything because that will destroy the surprise of the stuff in the Update. I want to tell you about egg timers, for example, but I won’t. I think thats partly why we had not written Devblogs before… for fear of spoiling upcoming surprises. These days there is so much going on each week thats not such an issue.
Bouncy Castles and Cake
Here are just a couple of fun things Hal has been creating this week. Cakes and the Bouncy Castle refresh. Here are a couple of editor screen shots.
This was exciting because we both felt like the bouncy castles had lost a lot of the impact of the original ones that we had made back in the early days of Amazing Frog? So when Hal recreated the model for Unity 5 it seemed like a good time to revisit the bounciness of it. (Thats what I refer to as fun programming). So on Wednesday we took the new model of the bouncy castle and downgraded to work in Unity 4 for The Frog Milk Coffee Co. Update. We felt much better about they way frogs flop around on it.
The Camera System
One of my favourite distractions this week has been the camera system for Amazing Frog? We introduced “Easy Cam™” a few versions back, but had never got around to implementing this for when you are driving a vehicle. So we have put some more options for the camera in the controls fApp to provide a bit more flexibility and to customise the Easy Cam™. Personally, I much prefer it when the camera moves behind a vehicle, Hal not so much, but with more settings we can both be happy. The plan is to set Easy Cam™ as the default, but those who know their way around the fPhone should easily be able to set it to Pro Cam™ for complete control of the camera. While messing about with the camera code it seemed like a good time generally tidy things up a bit and have a go at improving the first person camera a bit.
We do frequently check the Community discussions and screenshots. It gives us a good impression of how Amazing frog? is being played. We are not big fans of metrics and data analysis, we are more interested in your individual experiences of Amazing Frog?. We do our best to keep track of it all but it can be tricky. We are so grateful when we see you helping each other out. By all means, if you have questions you want me to comment on, send them my way and I will try and address them in future DevBlogs.
So heres a few comments on some subjects that have caught our attention.
VR. Both Hal and I are massive fans of Virtual Reality. I know VR worked in previous versions of AF? but there have been so many changes in the way VR is done it has been hard to keep up, especially after the Oculus SDK didnt support OSX any more. Between us we have a HTC ViVE and a Oculus CV1 but unfortunately no PC powerful enough to run them on (…yet) lol, but we will and then we will re-integrate VR into a later version from the Unity 5 branch. I am guessing the demand is not that high of VR in Amazing Frog? and its currently a luxury add on.
More Detail in unity 5 – As you saw last week and here with the cake and bouncy castle above, all new Amazing Frog? assets are made with increased detail. I just wanted to clarify that this does not mean that the Unity 5 version will cripple your machine. The great thing about the Unity 5 version is that we are streaming things. In the Unity 4 versions when you load SwindonShire you need to load everything, every texture, every model, all at once. This has been a major problem for us, especially as we have wanted to add so much more. But in Unity 5 we have been streaming not only the textures, but the models too. This allows us to deliver more scalable content at higher resolution for less CPU and graphics cost. Which is empowering us to keep creating more buildings, shops and grow things outside of the wall.
The other costumes – With reference to the other costumes pictured on the wall in the hideout. We are not intentionally keeping them from you. The time just hasn’t felt right. The boba frog costume is my favourite of all the costumes… but, I would hate to use it without a functioning jetpack. Yup, we can holster things at the moment, but having interchangeable functioning items that you can “wear” on your back, its just not ready yet.
Amazing Frog Online? – I often see the questions when is online coming? No one is more excited about online than us, I don’t think. We can’t wait to play it with you all, please be patient with us. It will have to be delivered in stages, anyway. Don’t expect to see the first Online tests until we are outputting the betas from the Unity 5 branch. We have done some tests and it looks good, but we also have to make sure other foundations are in place. When we commit to live online play it will take over so much of what we are doing and we need to make sure the scene is set properly. Everything we do is leading towards it.
Finally I just wanted to share this. There are so many great youTube videos all the time its so hard to keep up to date with them all. We really do try. This is why we put youTubers in the game because I feel we are all in this together. But check this out.