Following last month's promises, we are still working on the tribute. This is not necessarily an easy task as this was a rather busy time, full of unexpected situations. So here we are in the times when the world is once again in chaos and a lot of stuff does not make sense.
The last post spawned a lot of discussion regards Twinsen model. Most of the voices were that you don't like the new look :/ This was a little bit heartbreaking but well, we could fight these opinions or just accept them and return back to a drawing board. Took us a few hours to process all feedback, replay comments, make a copy of the original model, and open the blender to start working. A few iterations later we have some proposition.
The truth is that changing of Twinsen model was the easiest part of the work. The biggest challenge this month was fact that the engine used by the game became really unstable :( At first, we thought that this was a result of one of many changes we did. Reality proved us wrong. The issue was that we made stuff more efficient..., yeah, by doing that, we surfaced some timing issue in our multithreaded code that was there forever. In practice, this was just a few hours of work to fix it. In reality, two weeks of intense tracking in the evenings, in the meantime, we started questioning our own skills and generally, sanity.
To protect the last one we did some experiments with the content creation. By doing that we tested tools, pipelines, and I personally de-rusted my skills in creating models. Results are not bad but also not great.
Or conclusion from this is that we will mostly use these assets as an addition to the levels and not to create whole locations. We believe that we can do better using different workflows and plan to deliver.
Another thing that helped with our sanity, was adding of new developer UI (https://github.com/ocornut/imgui) to the game, and some fixes and improvements of the tooling. This will not affect the game directly but will make an investigation of the issues a lot easier.
Finally, we were working on improving a player controller. We want Twinsen controls to feel more natural, include better feedback when he lands on the ground and some new animation. In practice, we are switching whole code to support State Machines that are also used for AI. For those who are not familiar with State machines, they are graphs (we created a visual tool to define them).