Monday, 3 September 2012

Knowledge is Power!

Long time no see! Amidst the deep silence, there has actually been a ton going on here. We've been bashing our heads together trying to come up with the best way to go forward with Odonata.

We heard what you were saying about the 2D format and we questioned why we made the decision to change in the first place. The thought of a 2D aspect took a huge weight off our shoulders but we wrongly presumed that it would be much easier and would satisfy the gameplay mechanic we had planned.

One month into a 2D prototype we realised that while the physics and collision was easier to work with we felt that it would have too much of a knock-on effect concerning the gameplay (like many of you had said!). With the problems happening first hand, we came to terms with switching back to 3D and facing our main problem, implementing a custom 3D collision and physics engine.

In the older builds (the ones you’ve seen in the videos) we were using Unity’s PhysX implementation but it was largely limited and required a lot of hacky workarounds to get what we wanted out of it. Rigidbodies are crazy unpredictable and with a bit of speed, objects can also easily penetrate walls and floors, which is just terrible!

Due to these issues with built-in features, we went back to the drawing board and learnt how to write physics and collision ourselves from scratch, which has a huge amount of background work and prerequisites, none of which you can even see, so we can’t even show it off!

It was devastatingly difficult with the general lack of online resource and while the learning process had really set us back, it is finally done with so we can get back to where we had left off.

So this comes to where we are now and what we are doing. We are done with the item and inventory system, physics and collision. Which leaves AI behaviors and pathfinding, “random” levels and the gameplay content...which is where all the fun is!

From now on, hopefully we’ll be able to deliver some interesting videos and previews, so stay tuned!

Aethena now has shorts! Yay!

7 comments:

  1. I'm glad you made a final decision and figured everything out, it's allways better to rethink things than going down a wrong path =D

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  2. I'm glad you go back to 3D
    Sounds like the game is better that way!

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  3. Programmer, game physics, game designer, illustrator, animator, music/Sfx designer, 3d modeller, you are creating everything starting from scratch.

    One question: Why? Is it the fun of exploring that forces you to do so, Or is it something else

    Great to hear about Odonata again. BTW more art please :]

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    1. Let's not forget that Mika mobile is a team of only two as well as Odonata, and they do everything you see [Except music and or sound fx]

      Sometimes you have to do everything from scratch, may it be because you can't pay to have a large dev-team or don't know any trusty friends to help you, and we know you can't pay them with "promises" and or publicity only. :)

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  4. I am extremely happy you are switching back to 3D!! But really writing your own physics??? That's hard guys :O I hope you knew that you could crank up the physics iterations in Unity with a simple setting so you avoid it that rigid bodies go through walls... right? :P

    I want to see more of the game!

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  5. It's crazy all the amount of work that you've been up to lately. All I can say to you is to keep up the great work and we'll be cheering you guys.

    I'm part of a small dev-team [3 if you count me] and we are working on a couple projects. For now we only have one "finished" game that we did for The Edge Create Challenge 2012 "Win a Unity Pro account and an expenses-paid trip to the Unite conference in our browser game contest." Later we'll revisit that game and add more fun to it.

    Link to our game: http://www.sugoigraphics.com/edge/

    For now, thanks to Anneka and Rob for your work! :D

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  6. Writing your own physics engine is definitely challenging, so it is really awesome work you have done there! Congratulations on the progress, I just found out about it today and the mechanics seems very promising.

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