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  • Brides Of Vampira

Updated: 6 days ago



So, what has been happening with BOV?


Well, a ton! Although I have been relatively quiet on social media, only posting the odd picture every few weeks, I have been working nonstop over the last year and half. Progress has been quite astounding really I've been making massive leaps across all areas, in the background I've been building new models, creating AI, animation, making music, sound effects, VFX, improving environments, creating brand new character models and building tons of productivity tools.




productivity tools


I'm gonna talk about productivity tools and why they are the most important part of BOV's development. Some of the stuff in BOV takes a ton of time to do and when it's a task that I repeat a lot, I take time out to create a custom tool.




bov foliage


A good example of this is foliage placement. When I first started designing the town of Grimstead I was placing this by hand and at first this wasn't too bad because I didn't have much of it. The problem with doing it manually is that every time I tweaked the design of the level, I would then have to move all this foliage and make it look nice again.


As you can imagine this soon became pretty tiresome, so one late night I had a brainstorm to create a tool that would automatically plant foliage on the environment. So, after having yet another late night (seems to be when I do my best work) I had a procedural foliage tool. This tool actually worked out really useful and allowed me to create very complex scenes incredibly fast and so I covered Grimstead with Ivy and all sorts of debris etc, here's a simple example:




And best of all if I want to change the shape of part of the level, I don't need to redo the foliage, it just auto updates and re-conforms to the new shape. Also using a simple random seed, I was able to make the placement way more convincing than what I could do myself, so not only have I saved probably 1000's of hours with this tool, I've improvement the overall detail and look of the game significantly whilst at the same time making detailed level design much simpler.


Till next time!

Taz



  • Brides Of Vampira


2018

Last year was a really crazy year for me I made so much progress (and clearly neglected the website).

I started a new job to pay the bills, but still getting home from work and putting in time on BOV.

Here's a quick run down of some stuff I've been doing for the last year.

Graphics/Performance

One of the biggest hurdles for me has been performance - I've been struggling with this for years, it's been an obsession for me to have a game that is running super smoothly and because this game is going to have a VR mode it has to have SUPER performance.

I finally feel like I've made good progress and on my development machine the game is now running at 120 fps in 4k for non VR mode and in VR mode with 1.6 super sampling which looks incredible - all that whilst still looking gorgeous inside the Unity Editor which makes working on the game a joy. I'm going continue writing optimization tools to achieve an even higher standard of performance.

Level Design

I've made great progress on the first level 'The Town of Grimstead' pictured above. This is my 5th attempt at creating Grimstead and getting the right style and understanding level design has been hard for me it been a lot of trial and error to see what works and what doesn't. I'm finally getting happy with the results and I feel over the last year I've developed the skills to move forward. Just gotta finish Grimstead and design the other 20 levels!

Players

I've also given all the player a refresh, each has been re-modeled and re-textured in 8k, so I've got plenty of detail to work with now. Next step is to implement/redo new game play mechanics for the new players.

Tools

This is where I spent most of my time last year writing tools to make making BOV easier / less time consuming. Every time something takes me more than an hour and I know I'm going to repeat the process, I'll write a new tool to do the job automatically, this has taken a lot of time, but it means I can make more complex tasks and game play much faster not to mention less buggy, they've already saved me 1000's of hours.

Networking

I wrote my own networking system to make doing multiplayer faster, less prone to bugs and less time consuming. So far its working extremely nicely and barely requires any coding - most stuff is handled automatically, I'd like to make some enhanced visual debugging tools next...

That's all for now there's much more, but I'll leave that for another post

L8r - Taz


  • Brides Of Vampira

It's been a long time since I've posted here, something that I intend to rectify in 2018.

This year was incredible for me and although it seems like I've been slacking off on Brides Of Vampira, it couldn't be further from the truth.

VR

Most of this year I've been hidden away in the bat-cave re-writing some of the core code to be super fast for VR, I'm running it on a 980TI and the current build is a blazing 120 fps, in fact I almost have it running at 60 fps in 4k! something I didn't think was possible in unity, but I'll go over how I'm doing that in another post.

Throughout the year I've had people asking about what kind of game Brides Of Vampira VR is going to be. A few weeks ago I got an Oculus Touch (such a well made piece of kit) and with lots of excitement I almost immediately began working on a Touch version of the game.

The first thing I'm concentrating on is locomotion, which is almost complete, I've decided there will be no teleport mode, which will put some people off, but hopefully at the same time will make a lot of people happy, personally I cannot stand teleportation in VR - it ruins the game in my opinion. You will be able to play in two modes - sitting down with just a normally controller or standing/siting using the full touch version with 360 room sensor, I'm pretty excited about the latter, because it feels so natural.

anyways soon I'm going to start running scientific tests on groups of friends to reduce the motion sickness. (sorry friends!)

Game play Demo

I've also finished prototyping the game play which has been a real challenge - I've spent a lot of time trying to make it work and I think I've nailed it although there is still much refining to do - expect to seem some videos soon.

I'm so excited for 2018 and still hoping to have a full demo ready to show off late next year, so if you're reading this sign up at the top right of the site - just need your email ;)

Talk soon

Taz


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