And so, in just a few tired more weeks, Cairn will be on Beta status. Adam is actively coding up a storm. Death animations and the final sprites pack are in the works and the GUI is in the process of being coded in (although the final version might differ from what you see).
They are here. The heroic, technologically advanced and oppressive Thermocrats are now part of the game. It took a few good months to get all the animations in place, but this time we bested ourselves and came up with 7 new units for the game.
Cairn uses hand drawn sprites, which are painstakingly made by one person. The process takes around 3 weeks with a work process that was developed by us here at Embalmit. Here’s a bit of an insight of how this process usually goes for any given sprite we make for the game.
I talked previously how much a game object manager improved performance in Cairn, and I want to make sure anyone using Unity has the opportunity to use it in their game as well.
When I started researching a work around for Unitys Spawn & Destroy methods I came across a large number of pre-existing solutions. There are free scripts and expensive packages that could handle the issue, but I wanted the best of both. Something easy to use, something I can understand, and something free. This ment we had to grow our own solution, but I didn’t have to start from scratch.
Since the rest of Cairn is in C# I converted the script to that language. This allowed me to walk through the script and get a better handle on what it was doing.
Overall it’s pretty simple. Build a stack of Game Objects, mark them as active or inactive, then when something requests a new object determine if one needs to be created or if one needs to be reused.
I changed it handle more like the built Spawn & Destroy functions within Unity. The new script takes in a prefab, using it’s name to create a Game Object Pool for that specific prefab, and handles the stack of objects as the original script did from there.
You’ll notice some string manipulation and comparison that could be improved or edited, but for what I was trying to accomplish it works like a charm.
Cairn has grown. The game now includes over 20 types of units, a huge variety of attack types with fully working combat mechanics, almost 9 different Landmarks can be built, destroyed, and taken over, and dozens of doodads that have to be navigated around or destroyed for resources. All of these pieces coming together in the most recent builds has created some unique problems, mostly with the management of memory.
All of these different pieces create other objects within the game. Landmarks create projectiles that are thrown at enemies, Units create blood splatters as they take damage, and doodads break apart as they are destroyed. Everything in the game has it’s time to be removed from the game, a blood splatter is only there for a second, as it fades away after the initial hit. This spawning and destroying of game objects was really starting to hurt performance. Lets look at some figures & performance charts to better explain the problem.
Today Embalmit is sad to hear about the news of Gamespy.com shutting down. We at Embalmit appreciated the professionalism of Gamespy, which presented pc gaming news from an entertainment standpoint while keeping it brief and classy.
I know there are a lot of gaming news sites, but gamespy always had their own way of breaking the news, while other sites played catch up by commenting on the stuff the gamespy staff had written.
Now we won’t know what to read while drinking coffee in the morning, we’ll miss gamespy deeply.
Updating the blog is hard!. So here’s a bunch of small updates, because we have A LOT of loose files going around, specially images that we can’t really place in a full blown, dignified blog post, but that will give our fanbase (our moms?) something to check.
Because there’s nothing worst than an indie studio that doesnt update often.
We’ve been hard at work defining the look of the terrain and buildings for the game. The video below is a quick example of how all of the terrain is going to be destructible and you get a long look at the Tavern Landmarks for all of our current factions.