Coffee Diary 14/12/20


Hey Exanimates,

We just about got a release ready this past week, but of course we ran into a few issues, and realised a couple of things weren't quite ready yet, or should probably be finalised properly. It wasn't all problems though, we also made progress on various fronts and some nice additions.

Last week we talked about a new tool we added for configuring various environment parameters. The settings we create will also affect save games in future, so we decided it was better to get it right and avoid more compatibility overhead in the future. We added a lot of stuff here, which while not used yet, will be useful for future environment features such as water and weather effects. One thing we explored in particular detail is sound, as we plan to do quite a lot to improve how sound changes based on the environment. We prototyped a lot of different sound environments and tried to figure out what should be automated and what should be authored, with some really promising results. We think this will do a lot to make locations feel more unique and immersive.

This also led us to completing some GI features that we were going to leave until later. We were going to use these environment settings to configure some aspects of how the GI functions with different types of environments, hidden ceilings etc. We ended up doing this all properly instead, part of which was a big optimisation which analyses the environment and figures out which regions of 3D space need GI calculations and which remain hidden. The GI is well optimised and runs well either way, but large scale optimisations like this is something we still want to do and become more important in larger environments.

We also realised that while we managed to convert legacy items to the new itemisation system, we hadn't quite finished with how the game uses the new systems to generate new items and characters outfits and apply randomisation which wasn't really taking advantage of new features. There's also some old issues we had with items losing some properties or changing when loading save games or moving to different maps that we finally wanted to solve.

We're often tempted to release something because it's in a playable state and get a bit optimistic about when we'll actually do it. Of course there's always more to do, but we do at least want a smooth release that doesn't create even more work and problems. Nothing you haven't head before, your patience is commendable!

Have a great week!
-the BM team


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