If you’re somewhat bent towards development, or somewhat curious about it. There’s a blog post about some details on a couple of things that happened for the latest FC update.
Touching lightly topics such as: procedural vs compression, DCT transform and voxels as an acceleration structure.
A couple of excerpts:
What’s the tech angle on that ? ..it’s the shift from procedural to compression. Two things that are in fact closer than they may seem. They are both about synthesizing data from a given source.
For that raycasting I used a generic voxel structure. In this case, the ray is converted from world-space to the local-space of the object/voxel and again, a 3D line is (virtually) rasterized to select the voxel cells that contain polygons that may be hit.
UPDATE: Fractal Combat 1.2 is out now! See it on the App Store.
Today we finally submitted the 1.2 update of Fractal Combat to Apple for review.
As usual, the process will take about one week, after which the update will be available on the App Store at the same place.
This is a free update for those that already have the game, and it’s still going to be a $0.99 game for those that will get it onward.
We call it 1.2, but as far as the graphics goes, this is really more like a 2.0!
Here’s a quick before & after screenshot to show the level of improvement that we reached with this update:
The sky is now not a plain shade anymore. It becomes darker at high altitude, where the stars also start to appear. The player can basically go into stratosphere! 8)
With that, the viewing distance has also been improved dramatically.
In the brighter stages, one can reach 30,000 ft and still look down the horizon and see the curvature of the planet.
We also added suns !
Though we couldn’t do actual HDR, due to hardware limitations, we still managed to simulate the effect. The sun has some actual glare and looking straight into it, will change the perception of light on the environment as well.
A simple glare effect was also added to the jet exhausts, which are now generally much more defined.
The change with the most impact however is the scenery.
For most stages, we put aside our simple fractal generator and instead created the environment using some much more advanced terrain generators.
The downside is that the size of data has increased, but the whole game is still around 30 MB.
To achieve this relatively small size, we created an ad-hoc compression scheme for heightfields. This required a few extra days of work, but size on mobile devices is scarce we think that the users will appreciate the effort 8)
Water in the scenery also received a substantial improvement, especially on devices with a more powerful GPU (iPad 2/3 and iPhone 4s), where a specular effect was added.
As for the gameplay, there are a few small but important changes. Enemies engage more in this update, and missiles coming from behind can be avoided by turning at the last instant.
This seems to make the game more enjoyable and it looks cool to see missiles pass by!
The hope now is that these changes will get more people interested in the game.
Davide & the gang
We’re generally lazy with blog updates (as we prettymuch anything, but development ;) ..but here’s an potentially interesting piece of news.
Cool idea indeed.. perhaps we’ll start mentioning some of our favorites as well 8)
It’s still early and quite a few things to change and improve.. but here’s a sample of what the environment will look like.
I think that the screenshots speak for themselves 8)
We’re working again on a new update of Fractal Combat.
The next update is going to have much improved graphics.. with the hardware out there getting better all the time, we couldn’t let FC not take advantage of that.
The gameplay will be also somewhat more fast paced, but the real gameplay changes will come in other updates to follow.
Stay tuned.. hopefully we’ll be able to show some screenshots in the coming days.
Slowly but surely, we’ve been working on a beefier update of Fractal Combat.
Here’s a video that shows the creation of a structure that will be in one of the upcoming updates.
The video is a 46 minutes long time-lapse that compresses the about 4 hours that it took to model and texture the object.
We got the game running on a Galaxy S.
Graphics 100% running at 60 fps, sound effects working, sound tracks not yet, controls somewhat broken.
We’re definitely at a good point.. I think !
We’re on the New and Noteworthy games list in several countries now, including US, Canada and Japan.
The game reception is awesome, currently averaging a 5 star rating!
Let’s enjoy that while it lasts! :)