Here’s a short update on what we’re working on:
Martijn’s been busy adding parachutes to the game and it’s beginning to look quite awesome. Check out this video he made:
My first attempts at swooping with an expert-level canopy of my own design. Lots to learn. 😅 pic.twitter.com/9Y9lrBj5ib
— Martijn Zandvliet (@m_zandvliet) June 15, 2016
One of the most interesting features of these parachutes is that they’re completely customizable. You can literaly change any aspect of it. By default we will ship three parachutes with the game:
- an easy parachute, one that makes it relatively hard to break your legs.
- an intermediate parachute, one that makes it not so hard to break your legs and is more
interesting to fly with.
- an expert parachute, for everyone who knows what to do.
But it doesn’t stop there. You can go and make your own parachute and share it with the community.
All this stuff is still work in progress though and we’ll be incrementally improving this feature just as we’re doing with the rest of the game.
I’ve been working mostly on the multiplayer technology which consists of two parts:
Unity communication layer
The first part is the communication layer that acts as intermediate between Unity and Lidgren (the networking library we’re using). This layer is pretty much finished and we’re now translating all the existing concepts (the Pilot, the Wind turbines, the Whisps/Ball buddies) to a multiplayer context.
To simplify our code we decided that all games, even singleplayer, will be multiplayer games. The way this works is: when starting in singleplayer mode the game will silently start a server that other players won’t be able to see and lets exactly one player (you) join it. This significantly reduced the complexity of our code since we don’t need to distinguish between singleplayer and multiplayer games anymore.
The Master Server
The second part is the Master Server that tracks all live servers and facilitates hosting/joining of games.
For the master server the most important bit was to get all players from different platforms (Steam, Itch, Oculus) to play together and I’m happy to say that this already works quite well.
The master server, if it works well, you won’t notice it exists. The game requests a list of hosts and shows them to you, allowing you to select and join one.
We’re also working hard on getting better performance on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. We’re actively profiling our graphics code and are trying to identify shaders/scripts that somehow suck the performance out of the game when playing in VR-mode.
All of this work is ongoing. I hope we can release a network test version of the game real soon. The parachute and VR update will probably arrive a bit later.
Blue skies to all!