Monthly Report - November-December '18

It’s that time again! Monthly status report! This past two months have been a bit of a roller coaster - but now we’re back to set things right!

Business - Technical Issues

Well, we really did hit some road blocks! Due to the small size of the company, most of the heavy lifting such as asset creation, compiling and engine work is done on one main machine, whilst admin stuff is done on laptops, tablets or other desktops available. Well, all in one week, our main workhorse suffered a blown power supply, a broken audio setup and the monitor began to fail. This caused many issues; technical, financial and personal due to the stress of trying to replace all these parts whilst finding a way to still work - all during the build-up to Christmas.

Currently, the machine is on life support with a borrowed power supply, an older set of speakers and the monitor is just barely going but is still usable (if not very bearable.) We have already begun the process on working out finances for a replacement monitor and power supply (with the hope of also upgrading various other components - such as the ageing Radeon HD 7970.)

Business - Holiday

Due to the onset of what felt like everything breaking down, the ensuing stress and frustration and the fast approaching holiday season, we made the decision to close shop for an extended holiday; to de-stress, spend time with our loved ones and come back in the new year with fresh minds. I’d say it did the world of good, but it does feel good to be back and opening the doors!

Now we are back, social media and Patreon will resume, as will these monthly posts on the website and, of course, work on Dinosaur Run, future projects and we will be re-opening commissions!

Dinosaur Run - 3D UI & Banana Collection

In an attempt to make collecting bananas look and feel more fun, as well as a nod to those classic 90’s PSX games we grew up with, the interface icon for the banana has been recreated as a 3D sprite - and collecting bananas now has them go towards the screen while still spinning. It’s awkward to explain - so why not let the images explain instead!


Dinosaur Run - Confetti Changes

To give a more realistic feel to the confetti, the number of particles and falling speed were increased. The confetti now fires out of a cylindrical shape around the player and the material itself was made less bumpy by softening the normal map and was given a more metallic sheen than previously.


Dinosaur Run - XP and Score Tweaks

A large XP and Score bonus was added the jigsaw as incentive the player to still try and collect the Jigsaw when replaying a level, even when the next level has been unlocked. Score and XP bonuses were also tweaked all around to further balance gameplay (more on that in the patch notes below)


Dinosaur Run - Reducing Bloat

With a project going on for so long, and with both code and concepts changing so much - the game has become rather bloated. Some classes take too long to load, the game takes up more HDD space than necessary and it just doesn’t run as performant or efficiently as it should. Due to this, a huge effort is being made to reduce this bloat; cleaning up code, applying more efficient designs to older areas that were coded in a less-than-professional way, moving data to more appropriate places and much, much more. This has already begun and will continue now we are back. This is the current focus of the project.

Build Notes

  • Backend

    • Drastic work on reducing bloat

    • Moved complex code to reusable functions

    • Moved data to more appropriate classes

    • Converting multiple classes to child-classes

    • Old code cleanup

  • Gameplay

    • Added XP and Score values to Jigsaw

    • Resized Jigsaw pickup radius

    • Tweaked XP & Score values

      • Bananas: 1

      • Banana Bunches: 3

      • Special Pickups: 15

      • Jigsaw: 50

    • Tweaked Loss of score and Bananas

      • Hitting an obstacle: Lose 30 Bananas (down from 66)

      • Hitting an obstacle: Lose 30 Score (up from 15)

  • Graphics

    • Changes to confetti particles

  • UI/UX

    • Animation when collecting/losing bananas

    • 3D banana sprite

    • Bananas move to screen when collected

  • Fixed Issues

    • Speed setting affects number of bananas and gained/lost

    • Cannot use “Next Level” button

    • End Level shows Jigsaw icon even when not collected