So last week I babbled about re-evaluating the state of Primulus and talking about it’s future, blah, blah, blah. I also told you all that I would inform you of what we talked about. So here’s the quick synopsis of that.
We have each week planned out of what needs to be wrapped up for the prototype version of the game. From now until February we have set goals for us to reach to make sure the prototype release goes over as smooth as possible. Unfortunately, our Unity Pro trial is about to expire and the dynamic lighting and picture in picture features might not be in the release. We apologize for this but there is simply nothing we can do. We also talked about the scope of this project and re-thought about what we want in the final product. Space Station 13 is a very complex game. We’ve stated that we’re heavily influenced by SS13, but it’s unrealistic for us to plan for a game of that magnitude and depth. We’re compromising gameplay depth for better visuals and more understandable controls. We’ve done our best to optimize to ensure we don’t compromise too much, but it’s unrealistic to have the best of both worlds with today’s technology. On top of that, we’re a two man team taking on a behemoth of a project.
What does this mean for the future of Primulus? Nothing different in terms of what we promised. The core mechanics of the game will still be there but you might not be able to do a lot of the smaller things in Primulus like you can in SS13. For example, you wont be able to strap yourself to a rolling chair and project yourself around the facility with a fire extinguisher like in SS13 (not that we planned to have that, but you get the point). We have to simplify things a bit. At first we considered having multiple steps in the construction process (Pick up the metal -> put it in the metal fabrication machine -> make the construction part -> pull the part out -> activate it -> place the constructed part where you want it -> bolt it down -> place more metal on top to finish off the aesthetic -> bolt it down again). Now we simply click the metal in hand -> choose the part we want to build -> build it where we want it -> bolt it down. It’s still a long process but that’s just an example of how we’re simplifying some things to make the game 1. more enjoyable and 2. less complex. We wanted Primulus to be as 100% realistic as possible. So using the example above, we weren’t pleased with simply turning a sheet of metal into wall with your bare hands so we added a bunch of complicated, unneeded steps to make it realistic.
This reevaluation of Primulus has helped us find a solid balance. We have gave lighting and shadows another pass to improve performance and we ultimately decided to get rid of shadows on all lights except one. Today’s average computer can’t efficiently render all the point the point light shadows casting around the scene dynamically. It’s simply too much. We thought about adding an option for people to disable the shadows to increase performance but that would make the gameplay unbalanced and unfair. In short, we’ve made a lot of changes to the game and, we feel, they’re for the better, but we please encourage you jump on over to the forums and let us know what you think about the reevaluation and changes. Heck, any feedback about this wall of text would be great.
THE HALLWAY IS ON !
Yes! There’s now fire. No, it doesn’t hurt you, yet. It needs some work but we’re quite satisfied with our immediate results. Also, here’s a look at the revamped shadows. That one light I was talking about earlier is the sun. Well, technically it’s not THE sun but it’s a burning star much like the sun. It kinda just sits in one spot right now but we hope to do more with it later.
Once again, thanks for taking the time to read our developer blog. We’re just around the corner to the prototype release and we’re getting quite excited. One final thing I want to ask the dedicated members of the community, is please tell your friends about us. Follow and share our twitter, join us on reddit or facebook and help us spread the word. We appreciate it more than we can express. Thank you.