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November 16, 2019, 01:01:10 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsTOXICANT - rogue-lite survival horror
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« Reply #200 on: April 30, 2019, 10:06:17 AM »

Unity 2018.3 upgrade
Well, I bit the bullet and upgraded to 2018.3, mostly for nested prefabs. It took a couple of attempts and a few hours, but I'd say it was worth it. The biggest pain point was going from the asset store versions of TMP and ProBuilder to the package versions, but both are fairly well-documented and have upgrade utilities. I still haven't upgraded to Post Processing Stack v2, but I'll probably leave this for later as there's nothing I need from it at the moment.

I've already used nested prefabs a few dozen times and I'm expecting this will make things a whole lot more manageable going forward.

Optimization, build time reduction
With the help of Better Build Info ($10 on the asset store, not bad!) I was able to strip some more unused assets out of the repo. I'm now down to a 2.5 GB repo, a ~550 MB build, and a 7 minute build time.



I've also identified a few more performance bottlenecks (namely, methods that are generating lots of garbage). I still haven't found a solution for these yet, but at least I have a better handle on them. The worst offender is actually my own doing: the mini-map. The other is a third-party asset I'm using for dynamic culling.

Ghosts
Something I was experimenting with in the "industrial chasm" level proof of concept a while ago was these sort of floating skulls that charge you in the dark (or when you're looking away), but recoil when you hit them with your flashlight. (yes, they're definitely Mario inspired Wink)

I've introduced these to the main game to add some diversity.





Improved Attacking
My initial implementation of melee attacking left a lot to be desired: the weapon never felt like it landed a direct hit, and the hit box collider was attached to the (animated) gameobject. Not really sure what I was thinking, as this lead to all sorts of issues, like accidentally hitting the ceiling when in a tunnel, or easily missing an enemy that was dead center.

Anyway, I've tuned the animations and switched to a traditional hit box approach. It feels much, much better.



Spawn Pools
Another issue I was running into before the break was that many prefabs managed their own spawning, i.e. the prefab would have a component with a list of hard-coded prefabs to spawn. This resulted in "global" changes being difficult to achieve.

To deal with this I've implemented "SpawnPools": scriptable objects that I can use to define a pool of prefabs to pick from. So now instead of hard-coding the list in the spawning object, I just give it the ID of the pool. This will make life a hell of a lot easier when I start introducing more dynamic probability, luck, etc., because now this can all be centrally managed.

Freeze Beacons
Something else I was experimenting with before the break: different types of beacons. The most practical one for evasion being the "freeze beacon", which temporarily slows any (organic) enemies it comes in contact with.

I can see this becoming a critical item for the later levels, when the number of enemies really ratchets up.





Name Change
Last but not least, I unfortunately have to rename/rebrand the game! It turns out there was another team working on a game with the same name for about as long, and they are closer to release than I am. A bit of a setback, especially after my recently renewed enthusiasm, but I hope to get through it quickly, and get back to work!

Tentative new name: Toxicant. I think it accurately depicts the scenario, is fairly unique, and fits nicely in the vein of campy one-word horror movie titles. It's also an opportunity to introduce some toxic green.



P.S. Apologies for the graininess of the GIFs, I'm still trying to find the right tool/encoding options to balance file size with quality while also maintaining the dark-yet-also-HDR visuals of the game! I'll post some video soon too, I swear!
« Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 10:59:05 AM by snugsound » Logged

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« Reply #201 on: April 30, 2019, 11:16:17 AM »

Phew, almost ready to roll on the Steam store page rebrand.



(I'll probably leave the trailer as-is for now and just put a temporary blurb in the description referencing the change)

Edit: rebranded Steam store page is live!
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 02:30:41 AM by snugsound » Logged

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« Reply #202 on: May 01, 2019, 10:56:21 AM »

The support is my pleasure! ^_^

And that's quite a few pieces of progress that you've made, it seems! I like the ghosts, especially in this new retro-ish art-style--they fit nicely with the not-quite-realistic feel of retro visuals, I think. ^_^
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« Reply #203 on: May 01, 2019, 02:22:25 PM »

Still a heavy WIP, but here are some better shots of the "retrofied" visuals











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« Reply #204 on: May 02, 2019, 09:52:25 AM »

It looks suitably retro, I think. ^_^

(Although I do feel that some elements of the UI--such as those audio prompts at the sides of the screen--now look jarringly modern by comparison.)
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« Reply #205 on: May 02, 2019, 10:00:41 AM »

It looks suitably retro, I think. ^_^

(Although I do feel that some elements of the UI--such as those audio prompts at the sides of the screen--now look jarringly modern by comparison.)

Thanks! And agreed, I'll have to do something about--probably just drop the resolution a bit and maybe point-scale as well. (as long as it doesn't sacrifice readability/usability)
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« Reply #206 on: May 03, 2019, 09:29:34 AM »

That may well work, indeed, and may make for a nicely-simple solution if it does. ^_^
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« Reply #207 on: May 05, 2019, 03:47:09 AM »

Well, good progress yesterday. I put some serious time into refactoring melee animations and logic, as they was a bit scattered before:

  • The pickaxe and plank had vastly different setups, I've now got them sharing the same animation and much of the same code (for better for worse: I don't know that one would swing these things in the same manner, but it's definitely better for prototyping/iterating!)
  • The shared "swing" animation is now much faster, and although it still looks a bit "artificial", it's better than what it was previously
  • I gave the plank much more realistic dimensions--still bigger than a 2x4, but not like the ginormous slab of wood it was before
  • I've also started experimenting with a shield option for melee weapons in the hopes of introducing a bit more diversity in combat and also giving the player some recourse from the aggressive and unpredictable attacks of the mutant miners








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« Reply #208 on: May 05, 2019, 02:04:43 PM »

Finally getting around to prototyping this idea I had for a "dark altar", where you'll be able to exchange luck for a random buff or some such

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« Reply #209 on: May 06, 2019, 01:39:21 AM »

please read an article about videogame graffiti
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« Reply #210 on: May 06, 2019, 01:43:57 AM »

please read an article about videogame graffiti

It's supposed to be a bit campy, but thanks for coming out

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« Reply #211 on: May 06, 2019, 07:24:16 AM »

Sounds good all, I think! ^_^

And perhaps with a bit of parameterisation you might still be able to distinguish the axe and plank from each other, while nevertheless having them use the same code.

One suggestion--that you may well already have in mind, but that seems worth mentioning just in case--is that the defence-state could perhaps use some feedback when blocking a hit: spark- or dust- particles being emitted, and perhaps an animation of the weapon being knocked about by the force of the impact.
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« Reply #212 on: May 06, 2019, 07:28:05 AM »

And perhaps with a bit of parameterisation you might still be able to distinguish the axe and plank from each other, while nevertheless having them use the same code.

One suggestion--that you may well already have in mind, but that seems worth mentioning just in case--is that the defence-state could perhaps use some feedback when blocking a hit: spark- or dust- particles being emitted, and perhaps an animation of the weapon being knocked about by the force of the impact.

Agreed on both! There's some screenshake when actively blocking but it definitely needs more weight/feel to it.
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« Reply #213 on: May 06, 2019, 07:38:08 AM »

Something else I worked on over the weekend: a second pass over the "terror drone"
https://soundcloud.com/snugsound/toxicant-terror-drone

I made the whole thing a bit less abrasive, added a second "phase" to the progression, increased side chain (esp for the glitchiness), reduced the frequency of the kick, and added some variation in the rhythm.

In-game, this is split into two layers (drones/glitch, and rhythm), with the rhythm kicking in when "terrorized" for an extended period. I also have the drones dynamically low-passed, and the rhythm dynamically hi-passed, based on a "stress" parameter in FMOD--simple but effective, I'd say:



The very first iteration, for comparison:
https://soundcloud.com/snugsound/terror-drone
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« Reply #214 on: May 06, 2019, 08:03:34 AM »

That sounds pretty good to me, I think! There's a nice tension to it, understated in the first section (which I presume is the "drone"), and more intense in the section that's layered over it layer (which I presume is the "rhythm"). And the dynamic aspects that you describe seem like a neat touch. ^_^

My only critique is that there's a sort of high-pitched "scratching" sound throughout the piece that I find somewhat grating; I don't think that I'd like to hear that constantly while playing... :/
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« Reply #215 on: May 06, 2019, 08:54:48 AM »

That sounds pretty good to me, I think! There's a nice tension to it, understated in the first section (which I presume is the "drone"), and more intense in the section that's layered over it layer (which I presume is the "rhythm"). And the dynamic aspects that you describe seem like a neat touch. ^_^

My only critique is that there's a sort of high-pitched "scratching" sound throughout the piece that I find somewhat grating; I don't think that I'd like to hear that constantly while playing... :/

Thanks! And yeah, that's the "glitchiness" I'm talking about. The idea is to create unease/tension, so I guess it's working as expected Wink ("Amnesia" had teeth grating sounds, for example, which was unnerving but great!)

This music only plays while being chased by, or in combat with, the strong enemies. The rest of the time there's more subdued dark ambient music playing, interspersed with moments of silence.

I'll get a few more opinions and consider scaling it back if the popular opinion is the same as yours, although I definitely want at least a few little grating bits in there... can't have people getting too comfortable. Smiley

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« Reply #216 on: May 07, 2019, 09:40:47 AM »

And yeah, that's the "glitchiness" I'm talking about. The idea is to create unease/tension, so I guess it's working as expected Wink ("Amnesia" had teeth grating sounds, for example, which was unnerving but great!)

Hmm... I see what you mean, but I don't think that this element did work as intended for me: I don't think it made me uneasy or tense in the way that you intend--instead, I think that I found it annoying to listen to. That is, I found it to not be unpleasant as in "this is a horror game; I'm uneasy", but rather as in "I dislike this element of the music".

Still, I see what you're going for; perhaps this approach just isn't for me, personally.

This music only plays while being chased by, or in combat with, the strong enemies. The rest of the time there's more subdued dark ambient music playing, interspersed with moments of silence.

Ah, that does help a little, I do think!

I'll get a few more opinions and consider scaling it back if the popular opinion is the same as yours, although I definitely want at least a few little grating bits in there... can't have people getting too comfortable. Smiley

Fair enough! But note that there is, I think, a difference between an element that conveys an unpleasant situation, and an element that makes the experience itself unpleasant.
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« Reply #217 on: May 07, 2019, 10:06:00 AM »

And yeah, that's the "glitchiness" I'm talking about. The idea is to create unease/tension, so I guess it's working as expected Wink ("Amnesia" had teeth grating sounds, for example, which was unnerving but great!)

Hmm... I see what you mean, but I don't think that this element did work as intended for me: I don't think it made me uneasy or tense in the way that you intend--instead, I think that I found it annoying to listen to. That is, I found it to not be unpleasant as in "this is a horror game; I'm uneasy", but rather as in "I dislike this element of the music".

Still, I see what you're going for; perhaps this approach just isn't for me, personally.

This music only plays while being chased by, or in combat with, the strong enemies. The rest of the time there's more subdued dark ambient music playing, interspersed with moments of silence.

Ah, that does help a little, I do think!

I'll get a few more opinions and consider scaling it back if the popular opinion is the same as yours, although I definitely want at least a few little grating bits in there... can't have people getting too comfortable. Smiley

Fair enough! But note that there is, I think, a difference between an element that conveys an unpleasant situation, and an element that makes the experience itself unpleasant.

Fair points! I can respect that it's not for everyone, and that it may even make the experience unpleasant for some, although I would also argue that there's a large element of subjectivity to this as well.

Just as a bit of a (in)sanity check: how do you feel about this?




And how do you feel about it playing on top of something like this?




Wink

Amnesia is one of my influences for the sound design, and (objectively, I think?) I would say that what I've done so far is much more subdued/less grating.
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« Reply #218 on: May 08, 2019, 05:00:50 PM »

... I would also argue that there's a large element of subjectivity to this as well.

Just as a bit of a (in)sanity check: how do you feel about this?
...

And how do you feel about it playing on top of something like this?
...

Wink

Hmm... In that first video, I find the noises rather less grating to hear, I believe. The last few are pushing it a bit for me, but still preferable.

That second audio clip I really don't like. I do think that what you've done is preferable to that, at least!

I think that the second clip and the "glitchiness" in your piece both tend a little too close to that "nails on a chalkboard" sound for my liking.
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« Reply #219 on: May 09, 2019, 03:33:52 AM »

Hmm... In that first video, I find the noises rather less grating to hear, I believe. The last few are pushing it a bit for me, but still preferable.

That second audio clip I really don't like. I do think that what you've done is preferable to that, at least!

I think that the second clip and the "glitchiness" in your piece both tend a little too close to that "nails on a chalkboard" sound for my liking.

Interesting. I hear it a bit differently, but I respect your opinion.

I'll share some in-game audio/video at some point. With the dynamic filtering, background ambience, other SFX, etc. the glitchy stuff actually blends into the background quite a bit.

If anything I think you'll actually find the flashlight glitching SFX more annoying Cheesy
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