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[WIP][3D Platformer] Suzy Cube!

Discussion in 'Works In Progress' started by Louis-N-D, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
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    (Short on time, reposting from blog)



    Gotta make this one quick as I need to help my wife with some last minute stuff for an Embassy reception this afternoon.

    Polishing Up
    My early week was spent crossing T's and dotting I's on Level S-3 and continuing to decorate main world levels. Part of this process is to look at the packing density of the lightmaps on levels after decoration to try and squeeze the most lighting resolution into a single 2048x2048 texture.


    Still some room left...

    The process is a bit tedious as it, usually, entails me bumping up the lightmap resolution, baking (takes several minutes) and discovering I've still got space on the texture or that the lightmaps have spilled onto a second texture... At that point, I've got to adjust my resolution up or down a bit accordingly and hit bake again. I repeat this process until I get ideal results or I get sick of waiting for bakes.


    Jump on down... What could possibly go wrong?

    Here, we see a shot of the opening of Level 3-2, now all decorated up. The lightmap above is actually from this very level. As I write this, I'm running another bake at a slightly higher resolution to see if I can further minimize the artifacts.

    Moar Levels!
    I've started the design of Level S-10 as well. It should be a fun departure from what the game has had to offer so far. I think I'm going to have fun working on this one.

    I also gave all the Special World levels a thorough play through on my phone noting a number of small tweaks I'm going to have to make to improve performance and playability. I sometimes don't test on the touch screen as often as I should, but fear not, I am 100% committed to the lofty goal of making the experience on touchscreens top notch!

    Technicolour
    And, finally, I had a call with Noodlecake this week to discuss, amongst other things, the look of the game. Late last week, I received an email containing some mockups from their graphic designer. I won't lie, I was taken aback by the audacity to mess with my graphical perfection at first, but once I let things sink in, and following a very productive call, I'm feeling better than ever that partnering with them was a great move.

    A big part of the call was discussing the overhaul of the menus, of which Noodlecake have agreed to take ownership. The mockups I received were quite a departure from my current menu designs, but after a very productive discussion, I think they are going to turn out great! Once we have something we're happy with, I'll show it off here. I think folks will be pleased!

    What I am going to show off now, though, are some of the initial steps I've taken to address their concerns about the muted colour tones I've been using. It might be somewhat visible in the screenshots above, but we'll be moving to slightly more vivid and saturated tones to, as they said, "better match the tone and fun of the gameplay."

    Here are a couple of before and after shots:


    before


    after

    It's not an Earth shattering change, but we are looking at a warmer and slightly more vibrant colour palette along with a more saturated but out-of-focus background.


    More pop!

    Along with these changes, we've also decided to experiment with a more pronounced vignetting effect and starker, whiter, texturing on Suzy herself to make her pop more.

    Well, I guess, I failed on that 'quick update' goal. Much like face to face, once you get me going about Suzy Cube, it's hard to shut my yap trap! Next week, I'll be propagating more of these graphical colour tweaks to the rest of the game's levels and continuing (and hopefully completing) the design on Level S-10.

    I guess that'll do it! See you all next week!
     
  2. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Darn holiday season! I've got a party to get to around noon, so I can't ramble on too long...

    So first, I wrapped up design and sparse decoration on Level S-10.



    That's right! I didn't even blur the screenshot this time. You're welcome!
    The gimmick is inspired by a challenge in Super Mario Odyssey, though a little more forgiving. Was a fun one to work on and I hope you'll all enjoy it!



    I also spent quite a while on trying to fix a framerate dip which occurs in this bit of Level S-5. I was poking around the level making some nips and tucks and I noticed I was dropping from solid 30fps on iPod Touch 5 to 25-ish. Not good! Both the shockwave bumpers and collapsing platforms seemed to contribute and my attempts so far to optimize both of them have not yielded the desired results. I shall continue to poke and prod!

    Otherwise, we've moved the project over to the latest Unity 2017.2 patch. And with that done, Noodlecake have gone ahead and merged their social and analytics backends into the project mainline. With that stuff now available to me, I've gone ahead and written in the hooks to award achievements, update leaderboards and log some basic analytics events. Much on-device testing will be needed to ensure it's all working, of course.

    And that's pretty much been my week! I hope to see you all back here next week for what might be my last update before I take a little break for the holidays. Ciao until then.
     
  3. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
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    Hey, folks! copying my blog post again this week, sorry to those of you who normally check both updates. I've got to run out and do some last minute grocery shopping!



    Oh, system updates... Why must you always be so aggravating!? I've been downloading updates all week, and let me tell you, on this internet connection, it's not great!

    Up to Date Update
    The fun all started when I realized I couldn't build for iOS locally anymore. It was making it really hard for me to keep testing optimizations. With some help from Noodlecake, it was discovered that I needed to update my copy of Xcode. One long download later, problem still persisted... OH! It's because I hadn't actually installed the latest version of Xcode, just the latest supported by Mac OS Mavericks, which I was running... So I had to update to Sierra, not High Sierra, mind you, as I was warned it would bork a bunch of stuff if I did. So, then, after another leeeengthy download, I updated to Mac OS Sierra aaand... Well, you'll have to stay tuned for the conclusion, because as of writing this, I'm still staring at a progress bar for Xcode 9, which we suspect will fix my initial issue of no longer being able to build to iOS. Maybe I should go back to designing board games?

    Meanwhile
    So, for the most part, I've been able to continue working on some stuff without influencing the downloads too much, though the installs do tend to require that I step away to allow them to complete properly.

    So, what have I been up to when not staring at progress bars? Mostly small level improvements and decoration.

    I've focused mostly on switching out a few pickups here and there and adding more coins, mostly in out of the way places as rewards for those who stray off the beaten path. In the screenshot up top, I changed the location of a teleporter which leads to a bonus room where a star can be found. It used to be, more or less, where the snowman is now. There was no way anyone would miss it, nothing secret or rewarding about it. Now, players need to realize that they can jump up to the ledge and make their way to the teleporter to access the bonus room. Much more engaging!



    Level 4-3 got a bunch of decoration love in the form of stone block patterns, warm torchlight and optimized lightmap packing.



    I didn't bother going overboard with the details as Suzy is getting chased down these towers by huge spiked crushers the whole time and players tend to rush through the level. Just enough decoration to give the space a sense of construction and theme.

    Odds and Ends
    Finally, I also received updated mockups for the level select screen from Noodlecake. I'm really liking how it's coming together! Oh, and I spent some time on the paper design for the final Special World stage. I don't want to make it super long or impossibly hard or anything, but I am hoping to pack in a little nod to, essentially, every other part of the game. I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew!

    And on that, merry Christmas! I don't foresee skipping next Friday's update, but, in case I do, happy New Year for good measure!

     
  4. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    With the holidays and all, I've only had one full day of work this week, so not much to update folks on.

    What I ended up spending my time on, mostly, was trying different approaches to optimizing the collapsing platforms which had been proving problematic in large quantities on base hardware (Gen5 iPod Touch).

    In my testing, I discovered that turning off shadow receiving on the platforms produced quite a performance boost, but Suzy's drop shadow is so integral to judging jumps, that turning off this setting simply wasn't an option.



    What I settled on was aggressively reducing the platform's vertex count from 130 to 30. This, however, did mean sacrificing visual quality and letting the texture express the shape rather than using individually modeled stonework. But, that's the price we have to pay for performance sometimes.

    Anywho, like I said, not much to update on this week. So, on that note, I'll get back to prepping for the season's last party.

    Happy New Year everyone and see you in 2018!
     
    RuinsOfFeyrin likes this.
  5. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    First update of 2018! Here we go!

    I'm working on a level and I ripped out most of the work I did last week and early this week... YAY! Update done!

    Oh, you want more details, do you!? FINE!

    The level I'm working on is Level S-11 or the very final Special World stage. It's the one players will unlock by finding all the Stars in the game.



    Much like the Mario games and many others in the genre seem to do with these "bonus level" style stages, I'm taking a "nostalgia trip" approach to the level's design. I'm attempting to call back to a number of the challenges and enemies faced throughout the game. Sort of like: "Hey, remember all that fun you had with Suzy?"



    That's not to say the level doesn't include a number of unique twits on old challenges, of course.

    So, what was I moaning on about at the top of the post?



    For a while now, I've been hoping to award coins when damaging bosses. I wanted to do this by splashing coins out when bopping the poor serpents. Unfortunately, due to some very early engineering decisions (I use the term very loosely), this proved to be quite a pain in the ass. Once I finally got it working, it turned out I had introduced a crash bug! Long story short, I ended up tearing out all the work I had done rather than continuing to try to fix the bug (which may actually be a Unity issue). I'm not saying I won't ship with some version of the feature, I'm just saying that, for the time being, it's just not worth the time and effort when compared to MUCH more pressing tasks.

    And that just about does it! I'm gonna dive back into level design and see about finish off the layout for Level S-11 before the weekend.

    Good to be back! I hope you'll all check in on Suzy's progress next week. Ciao and Happy New Year!
     
    _M_S_D_ likes this.
  6. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Hey, folks! Sorry about the late update. I had to help out with some embassy related tasks on Friday. I was able to pre-write my blog update, but not my forum post.

    Ok, with that out of the way!
    Level S-11, the game's finalist final end level of the end is done!



    It's kinda hard, but not, like, punishingly crushing like many of Nintendo's big-secret-final-levels. I wanted the level to act like a fun recap of your adventures without, necessarily, making you want to crack your phone from gripping it too tightly. With S-11 all good and done, I moved on to some more decoration work.



    Prettying up Level 4-4 is going quite well.



    I'm expecting to wrap up decoration on the level on Monday.

    Oh, and here's a tidbit which was decided on Friday so didn't make it into my blog update.
    I'm going to have a call with Noodlecake on Tuesday where I hope to discuss a number of topics related to wrapping up development and prepping for launch. Before folks get too excited, I want to temper expectations by pointing out that, though work on support for things like social features has progressed nicely, we are still at the mockup phase with the UI redesign. After this meeting, I hope to have a better sense of when we can expect implementation on those changes to begin. As we work out how long we expect this stuff to take, we can start firming up the release window!

    On that, have a great end-of-weekend, and I look forward to seeing you all next week!
     
    MoonJelly and RuinsOfFeyrin like this.
  7. RuinsOfFeyrin

    RuinsOfFeyrin

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    Heya,

    First, to say it again, love what your doing and enjoy reading the updates.

    You said something in this last update though, and I thought I would share a personal perspective on it.

    Maybe i'm in the minority here, I'm not sure, but i remember growing up and playing games and coming across these "nostalgic" sections of a game that re-use earlier enemies/levels/mechanics etc. Very rarely did they invoke "nostalgic" feelings and more often then not it left me with the question "but why?". Did they run out of time? run out of money? Run out of ideas? Did someone forget to go back over this? Did an exec say we need one more level but we have to start shipping tomorrow! They general just left me feeling like that particular section of the game was neglected when compared to the rest. Maybe the concept just went "over my head" in some cases, who knows, i was a kid.

    That's not to say there were no games that did it well, some even amazingly, they were just few and far between in my recollection. I'm also not saying that will be the case with your game, cause I think your doing an amazing job. You were just talking about the "nostalgia trip" sections of games, and i got the impression it was something you liked/enjoyed in games, and simply wanted to share an alternative impression that they often left on me.

    Love reading the updates, and really like what you have made man. Keep up the good work.
     
  8. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Honestly, Feyrin, what I'm proposing with the final Special World level probably won't be your cup of tea, given the opinion you shared above. That being said, it's impossible to be all things to all players and Suzy is very much a reflection of my own experiences and design sensibilities.

    That being said, I do still think there's going to be a lot in Suzy Cube for you to like and hope you still find a lot of fun to be had with it when it comes out!

    Thanks a bunch for your kind words and your continued interest in the project!
     
  9. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Hey yo!
    So, I had a very productive call with Noodlecake this week. We mostly discussed the upcoming UI overhaul but also touched on a number of other topics here and there, including story presentation! More on that in a bit.

    Fist, I just wanted to give a quick update on progress. It's pretty much the same old same old. Fixed some bugs, made some tweaks and improvements to levels and started work on Level S-6.



    This was started pretty late in the week, so It's early goings, but I hope to wrap it up by mid next week.

    So, what's this about story!!? Is Suzy Cube going to be winning writing awards and redefining our very notion of interactive narrative!? No, of course not. I'm basically aping a Mario game launched on a handheld system after all.

    The story, such as it is, will simply serve as a little context and some diversion between worlds. To present this thin narrative, I always intended to use comic strip style wordless panels but never really knew what these would look like. During our call, Noodlecake's graphic designer and I decide to each come up with some mockups of what we imagine these could look like, trying to keep in mind the tone of the game and our time and budget constraints. Here's what I've got so far.



    This first one is a vector trace-over of 3D assets from the game. I imagine an actual final version of this would probably include some more details to spruce up the empty areas, but this image still gives a pretty good idea of the results we could expect from this approach. Nice thing with this method is that, since it's built on top of actual game assets, it matches the look of the game nicely.



    On the other hand, we have this cut-out style take on a similar scene. The completely different approach results in an illustration which stands out against the look of the actual game while, perhaps, better capturing the cute and silly personality of the product. I'm not going to lie, this is the one which ended up better resonating with us.

    Well, what do you guys think? Let be know and I'll see you all next week, maybe with more mockups to share!
     
    MoonJelly likes this.
  10. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    I promised you a completed level this week and so I give you three!!! (one is almost finished... so sue me)
    As these are Special World levels, I'm gonna keep things vague, but I still wanted to share progress with all of you.



    First, Level S-2. This one came together fairly quickly as it's a remix of an earlier stage. Tighter time limit and shuffled enemies and pickups distinguish this one from the original while also dialing up the challenge. I also went ahead and created a dusky tinted version of the original skybox to change up a feel a bit.



    Next is Level S-6, which I mentioned last week. It's a great opportunity to get reacquainted with some old friends.



    Finally, Level S-8, a lava themed level that's about 95% done. I still have to give it a polish and pickups pass.

    And, with that, we've got all levels in the Special World accounted for!! Which means that, from now on, my main responsibilities will be bug fixes, level decoration and supporting the Noodlecake guys on their end of things.

    Speaking of Noodlecake...
    I mentioned we were working on coming up with a look for the story interstitials. Well, here's what I got back from them last week.



    I'm a big fan of the brightness and simplicity of this look. It's evocative of the game without imitating the look of the in-game graphics. Also, it's really neat to see another artist's interpretation of the game's art style and characters! I look forward to seeing more!

    On that, I bid you all happy weekend and good gaming and I'll see you all next week.
     
    MoonJelly likes this.
  11. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    As I said last week, this week was almost entirely dedicated to level decoration.

    First off, I finished off Level S-8, officially completing work on the Special World stages.



    I spent more time than I expected on these stages, yes, but I think they are all the better for it in the end.

    I then tacked the World 4 boss stage, Level 4-B.




    All about those forest hues and mushrooms and shrubs! I also ended up tweaking the lighting a bit to make it a tad warmer and more saturated.



    Level 5-1 also got some work done. This one was pretty quick as I had, inexplicably, started decorating the level while designing it. I kept things pretty understated for this level to make sure lower end devices don't choke on all the moving platforms.



    And finally, I just barely started work decorating Level 5-2. I hope to make more progress on it by the end of the day.

    Next week, I will probably be changing gears to work on control tutorials. There's not much to teach, but I still see folks dragging their finger on the touch screen like they're moving a cursor on a laptop touchpad. I'm going to have to clearly communicate how to treat the screen like a joystick.

    And on that, have a good weekend and check back in next week to see how I did!
     
    MoonJelly likes this.
  12. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Gonna go very TLDR this week and invite you all to check out my full blog post for more details:
    http://louardongames.blogspot.com/2018/02/suzy-cube-update-february-9-2018.html

    Riiiito!

    So, I spent the whole week working on functional, animated tutorial scenes. Here's a still from the gamepad version:



    Gamepad controls for Suzy Cube are pretty straight forward, the real big deal was ensuring folks knew how to play the game on touchscreens. Lots of less game-savvy folks will hold the device in one hand and make little swipe motions with their other index, like when playing a match 3 game. It was important to me to show both how to best hold the device and the idea of using the left side of the screen like a joystick.



    Here's a zoomed in view of what that looks like. I look forward to seeing how this goes down with new players!

    So, this doesn't seem like that much work, right? Thing is, I wanted to come up with an easy to tweak approach to creating these scenes which would make accommodating multiple control schemes easy too. ("WHAAAT!?")

    What I ended up doing was creating a script which sends fake inputs to the actual playable Suzy by way of an animation sequence.



    This same script then simultaneously sends these input changes as parameters to the animation state machine which drives whatever control scheme graphics are included in the scene.



    This way, a single animation sequence controls the Suzy avatar on screen while, simultaneously, driving the tutorial animations to match! This makes it really easy to adjust the actual sequence of actions with no additional work needed and with the right animator controller setup, any new control scheme can easily be represented. ("What does he mean!!?")

    Cool? Cool!
    That's it for this week. See you all next week when I plan to get back to level decoration!
     
  13. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    I had a couple days carved out of my week, so not a huge update. What I did get around to was completing decoration work on Level 5-2





    I'm also about half way through decorating level 5-3.



    This means I'm almost done decorating all of the game's levels! We're going to have plenty of nice polished content to show off at GDC this year!

    Speaking of which, I had a really productive call with Noodlecake yesterday to discuss our plans for the conference. We want to make sure we'll be showing folks some cool new stuff like levels which we haven't showcased before as well as some of the forthcoming changes to the game's UI.

    That's actually it, really. With Monday off due to Carnaval and spending a big chunk of Wednesday making truffles to surprise my wife on Valentine's Day, it's been a bit of a Suzy light week.

    Keep checking in as March rolls in to follow us on our journey to GDC 2018!
     
    RuinsOfFeyrin likes this.
  14. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Hiya, folks! Happy Friday!

    So, continuing the decoration work from last week, I'm almost done with Level 5-4!



    Once I finish decorating the level and optimize the lightmap, that'll will be it for level decoration!! OGM, this is happening!!



    It's been taking me a weirdly long time to decorate this one for whatever reason.

    For future projects, I will definitely invest more time into front loading and automating the sort of rote, mindless decoration tasks in order to get levels to a shippable state without so much tedium.

    I also worked on our GDC debug menu!



    In addition to allowing us quick access to some hand picked levels to show off (blurred out because I haven't decided what these will be yet), this year's menu also gives us a big fat PLAY button to simulate a first time play experience. This will be perfect for handing the game to new players at the conference!

    I also added functionality which should, honestly, have been there from day one. We can now enter the name of any scene in the project and hit the load button to load it up! Very handy for debugging, footage capture, etc.

    Other that some not-so-notable bug fixes, that's been it for this week. I'm off to finish decorating Level 5-4. Have yourselves a great weekend, and I'll see you all next week!
     
  15. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Wow! Sorry about this late post, folks. I literally forgot about it until right now! Ok, so what have we got!?

    Well, this week was more of a refinement week for me. Lots of time spent in all the game's levels making improvements.



    Lots of levels simply got extra coins. Hey, they are fun to collect and help ensure players have plenty of lives for tougher levels.



    Without really planning to, I found myself adding a lot of rotating groups of coins. I think I like how they catch the eye and can add a little life to otherwise plain platforms.

    I also had a look at all the lightmaps in the game. A number of them needed optimizing, so I rebaked them.



    Now all the levels have nice tight lightmaps! I wanna get the most out of my texels, baby!

    Oh! And, get this. While running around the game with the Double Jump hat, I discovered that the final challenge in Level 5-1 could be skipped entirely!



    I had to widen this gap to the goal in order to prevent players from simply jumping over to it without defeating the Skull Bullies. I found some other spots here and there in other levels where the Double Jump could get Suzy to, kind of, out-of-bounds spots, but for most of them, I just hid some coins there and left it at that. After all, I don't want to discourage exploration and experimentation. This Level 5-1 bypass, though.. ya, that had to go. ^_^

    The good folks at Noodlecake put me in contact with the cool beans from One Simple Idea who will be handling the game's trailer for GDC. I'm very excited to see what they come up with!

    Which reminds me... Holy crap! It's March! GDC is only a few weeks away!!! AAAH!!

    I hope I'll see some of you there, but for now, I'll see you next week!
     
  16. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    GDC will soon be upon us! So how goes the prep work?



    So, as you can see here, I've gone ahead and picked the three levels we'll be showing off on the GDC debug menu. They are a good mix of visuals and gameplay while also being levels that haven't been shown off in video yet. I hope folks get a kick out of them!

    Though our new menus won't be ready for GDC, I spent some time this week capturing screenshots of all the game's levels to use as backgrounds in the new Level Select Screen.



    Worse comes to worse, I'll be able to show off the great mockups Noodlecake have already produced for the new menus.

    On the trailer front, we got to see the first rough cut this week. It's not ready for the public yet, but I'm diggin' it so far. I'm very excited to see the final product and to show it off to all of you!

    Finally, I've been continuing to fix bugs and make small improvements across the game. A friend of mine played through the first two worlds on the weekend and I ended the session with a small list of observations which turned into work items for this week. The biggest of which was a pretty sizeable redesign of the start of Level 2-S.



    It's one of the game's special stages so I've blurred it out.

    Basically, the level is broken up into four little timed puzzles. My buddy really struggled with the first puzzle, needing to reattempt it several times before, finally, progressing past it. Funny thing is, once he beat the first puzzle, he completed the whole level, all three remaining puzzles, in one go! I had to force him to try again the last couple times which tells me the first puzzle was simply much too obtuse. Hopefully my changes have remedied this situation!

    Well, there we have it! Only one Friday update left before I'm off to GDC. Things are heating up!... No.. like, seriously, anyone else getting really hot in here!?
     
  17. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    I am sick and really need to get back to bed. As such, I invite all of you to check out my blog update rather than summarize it here.

    http://louardongames.blogspot.com/2018/03/suzycube-gamedev-indiedev-madewithunity.html

    For those wondering, I go into some detail about fixing a couple of pretty important bugs, including this one...



    Ok, I've got to sleep this off before getting on the plane on Sunday!

    BTW. If you are planning on attending GDC, hit me up on Twitter (@LouardOnGames) so we can meet and fist bump and I can let you play the game!

    Ok... bye zzz
     
  18. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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  19. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    My first week back from GDC has been spent not breaking anything! Instead, I've gone ahead and tackled something I've been on the fence about for quite some time: Decorative critters!





    The implementation on these is super simple! They simply play an idle loop until Suzy hits their trigger volume at which point they play their "run away" animation. The bunny and hamster will also return to their idle loops if Suzy gives them some space.

    Since the snow and sand mounds of the bunny and hamster use baked lighting to better blend in with the environment, I had to re-bake the lighting on all levels which now include them. This meant I had a lot of time yesterday to doodle while watching progress bars.



    Even though Noodlecake will be handling the production of the cute little scenes which will be shown between worlds, I thought I would go ahead and doodle up some concepts for them.

    Finally, after watching a friend struggle with Level 3-2, I've decided I'm going to have to dive into more robust state saving on certain levels.



    This late in the project, I have no intention of overhauling the game's checkpoint system, but it's shortcomings just can't be ignored. There are two levels in the game in which some light puzzle elements gate the player's progress. In both (Level 3-2 being one of them), two switches need to be hit in order to open the path forward. In both levels, these switches are accessed by guiding Suzy through some challenges. The frustrating thing is, since checkpoints in the game are only set up to save Suzy's position and which stars she's collected, the state of the progress gating switches isn't saved. In Level 3-2, this means I wasn't able to use checkpoints at all since only saving Suzy's position wouldn't get around the issue of having to backtrack and hit switches you had already hit before dying.

    All this to say, if I don't want to scrap these levels, I'm going to have to come up with a safe and effective way of saving the state of the switches on these levels so I can put in some propper checkpoints.

    Well, there you have it! The lesson here is... I don't know... Don't design levels which don't jive with your save system? Don't move forward with an inadequate save system? Maybe both!?

    See you folks next week!
     
  20. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    Sorry for the late update!

    OK! First, I solved my checkpoint issue with a simple band-aid solution. Levels which need it now contain a new object which can, simply, receive trigger messages, save them as booleans, then send out messages on level load.



    It's not really how I would set things up if I had more than two levels which need it, but it does the trick!

    My week was mostly spent playing through all the game's levels over and over and over using the Double Jump and Ground Pound power-ups. The first pass of this was to try and break the levels and get out of bounds and stuff. I added some colliders here and there or made other adjustments where needed. The second pass was all about giving Suzy more opportunities to use the power-ups.



    I did things like adding ground-poundable rock blocks to levels which hadn't much use for the power-up otherwise and also added hidden rewards to hard-to-reach spots which only deft users of the Double Jump will be able to find.



    Additionally, I was having fun scaring off my newly added critters, when it dawned on me that they would be even more fun to scare off if it awarded you a coin sometimes! So I added a low probability of earning a coin from scaring off a critter! Somehow it's made them even cuter!

    Finally, I, only now, found out that it was not possible to deflect the Bone Thrower projectiles using the ground pound! What!? Well, a quick little dive into the deflection code rectified that little issue!



    Oh, and over at Noodlecake, they've been hard at work on the UI rework, which I hope to show you next week. On that, I bid you all happy weekend and I will see you next week!
     
  21. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    Sorry, folks, tiny update this week as it's my wife's birthday today and we are throwing a big party. I've, thus, been running around a lot this week gathering supplies and have to get back to prepping the house and the food and the drinks and myself, etc.

    So, on that note, what have I got!? Simply put, this week has been an extension of last week's work to make better use of power-ups throughout the game. The big difference this week has been the focus on the Invincibility and Magnet power-ups. Unlike the power-up hats, which stick with you as long as you don't get hit, these other two power-ups are temporary. Because of this, they require situations to be set up to maximize their use. In some cases, I adapted bits of levels which already worked well for this and in others I had to add new, often secret, areas to showcase them.



    Which brings us to the other thing I did this week. As I've been going through the game's levels, I've been taking the opportunity to add more secret areas to discover. Some are as simple as hidden balconies off the back sides of platforms while others are whole secret rooms! I hope players will have a good time discovering these!

    Okey dokey! I've rambled long enough! I've got to get back to prepping for the party!
    Thanks for checking in and see you all next week.
     
  22. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Posts:
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    Sorry for the late update, folks. I wrote my blog post about three hours ago but then found myself diving back into some work before publishing it... Anywho, here we are!

    Let's see... First an update on the UI. I had a lot of back-and-forth with Noodlecake, throwing some mockups at each other this week. Since things are more in flux than I had previously thought, I want to continue to hold off before showing off their progress. Stay tuned, though! I promise!... Eventually...

    Otherwise... I spent the week making the very last edits to levels before locking that sh*t down! As we discussed dates this week, I committed to no longer touching the levels for the sake of it after today. From today onward, any changes made to levels will be done specifically to address bugs found in playtesting! So, what has this entailed?



    Well, a few last minute secret coin caches, of course! Especially in the Secret World stages (yes, I'm calling it the Secret World now to better differentiate it from the Special Stages)

    Also, I spent the bulk of the last couple days fixing up the falling waterfall logs on Level 3-4.



    Changing the setup was deceptively complicated but it was my last chance to fix the only issue I had with the stage. It's one of my favourite stages from a visual point of view and it really bugged me that, depending on the timing with which players arrived at the waterfall climbing sections, they could be stuck waiting for several seconds for a platform to drift by. Not to mention the old patterns could even leave players stranded if they took the "wrong" platform up. Well, no more! And, while I was at it, I also fixed a bug in Unity's CharacterMotor so Suzy doesn't teleport along with a moving platform if its position jumps a large distance!



    Hurray for waterfalls!!

    Finally, I continue to work on bug fixes and addressing polish issues I've had in the hopper for months (or sometimes years). For example, I changed up how the buzzing sounds of the bees are handled so they are more consistent and less grating!



    Well, that about does it for this week! From now on, I'm all bug fixes and Noodlecake support!
    I see a light folks! A LIGHT!!!
     
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  23. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    I'll try not to be too verbose this week cuz I've got some important stuff to get to...

    Since Noodlecake is swamped with the UI redesign and multi-platform support, I'll be handling the end-of-world interstitials myself after all. Here's what that's gonna look like.



    The cork-board background idea came to me based on... You know what? I think I'll let you guys find that out when you play the game!
    So, given this development, I've been drawing a lot this week.



    UI wise, I think I've been holding out on you guys long enough!



    HA HA... It still needs a lot of visual lovin' but I think it's already a step up from what I had ^_^

    Here's one fo the latest mockups to show you where things are headed, visually.



    It's a pretty big paradygm shift from the old grid-based layout, but I think it's a good direction. The biggest advantage is that extra level information, like the level description, best completion time etc. can now be displayed right on the panel instead of having to show it in a pop-up. This saves the player a click when hoping into gameplay! Yay!

    I think I kept that pretty brief! Okey dokey! More drawings and UI next week! See you then and thanks for checking in!
     
    Tiny-Tree likes this.
  24. _M_S_D_

    _M_S_D_

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    470
    I've been checking this thread for quite some time and I just wanted to pop in and say that I am really looking forward to this game.
    It's one of the most promising looking games made with Unity at the moment and it just oozes of charm. Truly loving it. :)
     
    Inter-Illusion likes this.
  25. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

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    Posts:
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    Wow! Thank you! It really means a lot to me to hear folks are looking forward to meeting Suzy! Shouldn't be TOO long now!
     
  26. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Posts:
    222
    Happy Star Wars Day everybody! No real update this week as I've got to get some important stuff done before the weekend. See you in the next one!



    If you're still reading, I guessI owe you, at least, a small update ^_~



    So, as you can tell from the image , I've been continuing to work on interstitial illustrations. Related to this, I've also set up the logic for presenting them in game and set up dummy scenes for all the interstitials using placeholder text to tell them apart.

    I've also been working on presenting the tutorial graphics over gameplay rather than in a separate scene before loading the first level. I'll have to make adjustments to the graphics and their placement, but I think it was a really good call on Noodlecake's part to suggest this.

    Ok, that's really it for now! We've got milestones to hit and I've got to get back to work!

    Thanks for checking in and until next time!
     
  27. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Posts:
    222
    Hey, everybody! First of all, sorry about skipping out on all of you last week, but I was busy climbing South America's highest tepui (flat top mountain)



    It was a 6 day trek up and down and took us across a variety of terrains. A true adventure.

    Ok, back in civilization, though, it's been a heck of a week for Suzy Cube as we've been in a mad dash to cross T's and dot I's.

    An unfortunate mishap with our graphic designer over at Noodlecake put me in charge of helping out with some asset gathering including taking screenshots for the various digital storefronts. Over at Noodlecake, they suggested I send them clean, HUD free screens which they could then resize for the various formats. Instead of doing the old 4 finger salute on my Mac in order to grab the shots, I did a bit of digging and found Unity's "CaptureScreenshot()" function. Not only was I able to build a small utility which would allow be to save screenshots straight to disk with the press of a controller button, but I was also able to save them at 4x resolution on each axis! Plenty of breathing room for cropping and resizing!


    Full Size:
    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FOYg0HVv...wCLcBGAs/s1600/Suzy_Screenshot_Boss_Large.png

    Once I got them a pile of screenshots to choose from, they got to work adding a facsimile HUD and cropping to the right dimensions.





    Good stuff!

    I also went through all the game's level's to create little representative diorama style shots of each one for use in the Level Select menu.



    And, as you can see, the menu is lookin' pretty darn slick and is only a few bug fixes away from being done!

    Finally, I've been continuing work on the interstitial images.



    Unfortunately, the guy who got hurt was the one who was spearheading the whole animated intro/ending initiative. With no word yet on when he'll be available again, we may have to fall back on more of my artwork for these too. We shall see.

    On top of all this, it's been bug hunting, bug fixing, hair pulling and teeth gnashing! Things are building up to... something... And we are all really excited and terrified!

    Next week will, likely, be more of the same as we continue our push to wrap things up! See you then!
     
  28. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Posts:
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    Holy smokes! Sorry folks! I've been head down all day and didn't realize I forgot to do my update until a few hours ago!

    It's been a really busy week, but unfortunately without much exciting to show as it's mostly been bug squishing. We are working hard to wrap things up and deliver a solid gaming experience!



    I spent hours tonight trying to get to the bottom of a sudden drop in frame rate on Level 3-4. it has always been one of the more demanding levels, sure but has also managed to keep to a perfectly playable 30 FPS on my meagre iPod Touch. Well, since yesterday's build, I've got spots plummeting down to the low teens! That just won't do! Unfortunately, I've not been able to pinpoint a culprit yet. Ouch!

    I've spent the rest of the week hunting down all manner of bugs. For example, fixing some other bug caused the bunnies and hamsters to start awarding infinite coins! Well, no more!



    Otherwise.. Let's see... Oh! We got the localization files back from the translators!



    For the languages I know, I ended up picking and choosing a bit between what they sent back and what I already had. I liked some of what I came up with more, but they surprised me with a few good level description puns! Their confirmation messages were way better than mine too ^_^

    And, finally, I finished off work on the non-animated story scenes, including the one for the end of the Secret World. Better still, the guy who's been in charge of producing the animated intro and ending was back at work this week! Suzy might get her animations after all!

    Well, that's it for this week's update. Check back in next week when I'll... I don't know... Be dead because my head exploded? We'll see! See you then!

    Oh, fine.. one more screenshot!

     
  29. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Posts:
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    What a week!! We are continuing to work hard to wrap things up in time for *redacted*.

    Not really going to do an update this week since the real update is that we are in the final stretch!

    That's right, aside from bugs, I think I'm only waiting for one implementation change from Noodlecake to call this "release candidate 1"! That being the case, almost every aspect of the game has gotten some love this week, from the most subtle of visual tweaks to the fixing of long standing bugs. I'm currently working through the very last bits of my task list while Noodlecake are hard at work building on all platforms, working on the story animations (which are looking great, btw) and putting together promo materials!

    Thanks for sticking with me so far, I hope to have a more concrete announcement for all of you next week!
     
  30. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Posts:
    222
    SUZY CUBE
    RELEASE DATE!
    JUNE 19, 2018


    Any of you who have been following along with the game's development know how much time and energy has gone into making it which is why I'm thrilled to announce the game will be available on June 19, 2018. It will be releasing, as planned, on iOS, Apple TV, Android and Steam for Mac and Windows.

    You can help out RIGHT NOW by heading over to the Google Play and Steam pages to pre-register and wish-list the game, which can greatly help our chances at being featured.

    www.suzycube.com
    Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/780500
    Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.noodlecake.suzycube

    So, spread the word and keep checking in. We are almost there, folks! Oh, and while we're at it, how about a new trailer!?

     
  31. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Posts:
    222

    I don't have much more for all of you that wasn't, already, been covered in the release date news in my previous post. I invite you all to scroll up and check it out!

    We are continuing to work to put the finishing touches on the game and ensure it runs great on all the platforms in time for launch. We are really excited to finally be sharing the game with the world... Soon anyway ^_^

    Finally, I'll be going into it a bit more next week, but if folks are in the Ottawa (Canada) area or willing to travel, I'll be flying out to give a talk at the Canadian Gaming Expo on the weekend of the 22nd. You can check out more info on their website:
    http://cgexpo.ca/

    Ok! Back to it! See you all next week for Suzy's LAST UPDATE BEFORE RELEASE!!!!
     
  32. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
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    Shorty short one this week! As it's the
    LAST UPDATE BEFORE RELEASE!!!!
    Also I need to keep prepping for my talk at the Canadian Gaming Expo in Ottawa next week.

    http://cgexpo.ca/

    In light of this, I invite you all to check out this week's post on my blog for the low down on what I'll be up to during the release and at the expo as well as a tidbit on what to expect from me in the future.
    https://louardongames.blogspot.com/2018/06/suzy-cube-update-june-15-2018.html

    If all you want is to get your hands on the game as soon as it's out, don't forget to add to your Steam Wishlist, pre-register on Google Play and if iOS or Apple TV are your bag, follow me and/or Noodlecake Studios on Twitter.
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/780500
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.noodlecake.suzycube
    https://twitter.com/LouardOnGames
    https://twitter.com/NoodlecakeGames
     
  33. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Posts:
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    IT'S HERE!! Suzy Cube is officially released!!



    Here's a handy dandy link that'll take you right to the appropriate storefront! http://tosto.re/suzycube

    I've got a lot of stuff to juggle today, as you might imagine, so I invite you all to read a special thank you message I posted on my blog... Somewhat prematurely for about half an hour this morning...

    https://louardongames.blogspot.com/2018/06/suzy-cube-available-now_19.html

    I should have a short update for you all on Friday as well. OMG!!!
     
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  34. SullyTheStrange

    SullyTheStrange

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    May 17, 2013
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    Congrats man, it's been a long time! I always forget to come here so I didn't even realize release was coming up, but I saw it on Twitter. Already bought on Steam and I'll probably pick up on Android too. Can't wait to play :)
     
    Louis-N-D likes this.
  35. Louis-N-D

    Louis-N-D

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Posts:
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    Huge thanks to everyone who's supported the game all this time and who's playing it right now! So excited to share the game with all of you!
    https://www.suzycube.com

    There have been some nice early reviews for the game! And watching early impressions and streams has been surreal!

    You can read more about the first week of release on my blog:
    https://louardongames.blogspot.com/2018/06/suzy-cube-update-june-22-2018.html/

    So, now what!? Well, WAY more people are playing the game now, so we're getting reports of new issues we didn't know about. So, short term will be all about fixing those and long term...? I don't really know!

    Check back in for the next few weeks, though, as I want to keep you all updated on the state of sales and eventually do a post-portem.
    Bye for now!
     
    SullyTheStrange and MoonJelly like this.
  36. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    Mar 30, 2013
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    4,538
    It's a shame you sell the game on Steam without proper joystick support o_O
     
  37. Crisby

    Crisby

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2019
    Posts:
    4
    Hey just discovered this game and I'm a Suzy Fan. It's such an incredibly well polished game and all came from like a one man team. Seriously mind = blown. Do you think you will ever right the post mortem ? As a dev in training I am curious to know how it all worked out.
     
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