dev blog

New Dev Blog / Live Upcoming Patch Notes (0.9.4)

  • Posted on: 27 April 2015
  • By: DestLocke

Well, as a few of you probably know, I've been posting live patch notes (AKA as I do the work) on the forums for some time now. I'm moving these posts into the front page of the website, with other insights etc, to hopefully create a Dev Blog of sorts.

As most of you know, the Greenlight is in full-swing, and we're doing pretty well overall Our challenge is getting across how Lightrise is different than a typical arena FPS, and just how different it is, because at first glance, it's probably somewhat difficult to see. We probably need some better materials as far as that goes, and we're working on it. We could also benefit from you guys, making videos, streaming and spreading the word to more people who could and would appreciate this sort of game.

Obviously a big part of that is social these days - it's never been more important to follow us on facebook and twitter! As much as I hate it, marketing is king in the gaming business. The links are on the side of this page. And of course, if you haven't yet, vote for us on greenlight!

0.9.4

- Increased arrow speed 13%
- Made arrow trail much more visible
- Increased fireball cooldown 50%
- Improved projectile visual for Nor'Easter
- Added WaterBurst spell
- Fixed bug with Rest sound cutting out if too many people rested at once
- Remedied a network issue involving characters bumping into each other and how that was handled
- Updated dirtball sounds
- Added ThickSkin skill
- Decreased strafe speed by 25%
- Added Blood Drain skill
- Reworked blocking animations
- Added shield avatar group
- Reworked blocking mechanic:
- back damage will no longer be blocked
- Varying damage modifiers depending on which weapon you have out - sword/board > 2h > staff > bow
- Fixed damage on melee differing between giver/taker
- Fixed lightning ball sometimes registering front/back in same spot over multiple shots
- Fixed various animations (still more to come)

First week of Open Alpha

  • Posted on: 13 January 2015
  • By: DestLocke

First of all, thanks to all of you who have given Lightrise a chance, there's no doubt it's a niche game, in a cross-section genre, and it's also Alpha, so I understand that a lot of people may look, but only a tiny fraction will touch at this stage. I get it; bookmark and come back when it's further along! That said, despite it being a tough sell at the moment, the response has been very encouraging, and I thank everyone for that.

So far the Alpha has been invaluable. In any given play session with a handful of players on, I can find and log a so many more bugs than if I were just testing by myself with multiple clients. That's the additional challenge with multiplayer - testing is harder than a single player game, so having people willing to chat about issues they are having in game is a big help. Lord knows the in-game chat has been used a ton.

Aside from the advantages from a testing perspective - open Alpha has been a lot of fun; I've met some really cool people, and also have gotten killed.. a lot. The game is definitely intensely skill-based, because there are already people who can dust me like a coffee table. That's what I was going for, so mission accomplished there - so far.

IndieDB has featured our game on their front page, which has been amazing, and has gotten us a lot of "looks", which is great for exposure now and down the line. We're at our highest ranking ever right now @ 17. I took a screenshot of it, while it lasts! :)

Anyway, this is my first time really throwing a PC specific title out there for the world to judge, and it's been a very positive experience so far. I don't know if that means I did it right, or I just did right by the niche I was going for. Either way, the overwhelming majority of comments and feedback have been very positive, and that's exciting!

Stay tuned for more!

One Year Of Unity3D - A Post Mortem

  • Posted on: 5 January 2015
  • By: DestLocke

Like most developers my age (pushing the big 4-0), I've evolved along with computers for my whole life, forced to learn a new language, ide or platform about as often as I've upgraded my PC - if not more! It all started with the wonderful language of BASIC. Not only was it basic, but it was called that too. Nevertheless, that flashing prompt was full of possibilities.

My father then plopped a book on the desk next to the computer, and that was it. My brother and I transcribed the seemingly endless Walking Man code listing from the book Computer Animation Primer most of that day...

And when we finally finished, I typed RUN proudly...

About a day and half later, after becoming intimately familiar with the words debug and syntax error, and after typing RUN a few hundred times, finally it ran, and the Walking Man walked. I knew at that moment it was something special.

My how the times have changed.

When I first fired up Unity, it looked more like a modeling tool than any development environment I've ever seen. This was a little scary, because I knew it was going to take A LOT of learning to make the jump; and it was not without risk - I was already making fully functioning games for iOS with Xcode/ObjC and one might question why I would even pick that time to take the plunge. Well, Unity had just released their official 2D Tools, and I figured it was finally time to listen to all the noise and see what Unity was about.

The first couple of weeks I spent a lot of time on YouTube. YouTube is a great way to learn visually, and since Unity's nature is visual - it was a perfect fit to learn basic operations, user interface among other things. I'd never used C# either, and although I was familiar with Javascript, I always hated it's untyped, sloppy nature. The next month or two was spent rewiring knowledge to get up to speed with Unity. By this I mean, for instance, I would take something I could do very easy in XCode/ObjC, and then seek out how to do it with Unity. With the ultimate goal being completely "rewiring" my knowledge to Unity.

Around the two month mark of using Unity, I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Not only was I rewiring everything, but I was starting to wire things I'd never wired with any platform in the past. This was truly a revelation, and I knew at that moment it was something special - the same thought I had when I first laid eyes on BASIC.

We made our first concerted effort with Unity in a couple of weeks time in February - it was written horribly; I was still grasping some of the more underlying concepts of Unity and object referencing - but it worked, and we released it on iOS and Android, and the web. Cross platform for the win! The game was nothing fancy, but even still, for me, the whole process just felt much more manageable than any other game development cycle ever had. That could possibly be the greatest thing about Unity - just by design, once you fully understand it, projects naturally become more manageable.

So now it's been a year, and I feel more at home with Unity than I've ever felt with any development environment in my whole life. All roads have led to here, and for the most part, using Unity is a joy next to all other options. I think Gary said it best at the end of his interview with Unity concerning porting Rust to Unity 5 - "Just thanks for making Unity, it’s just made our jobs easier and more fun compared to the old days." After looking at the code above, I couldn't agree more.

Revamped UI

  • Posted on: 30 December 2014
  • By: DestLocke

One of those things that's been pecking at me for the past month or so is the UI. It was fantastic to start with, being able to move skills where ever you wanted freely, but as the amount of skills grew, and the complexity of the game, I realized my revolutionary UI might not be so cutting-edge afterall. I tried to implement a grid, which just lead to a big mess once you started factoring different resolutions and dynamic resizing. After fiddling with it on and off since almost the beginning of development, I realized I was going to have just gut it and start over. Starting over isn't something I enjoy doing, and in the past I've probably spent more time trying to avoid starting over than just getting the starting over over with. Lol. Anyway, sometimes trying to be different just leads you back to being the same. Still, the skillbars I designed are a bit different than you probably are used to seeing. The skills bars are merely just pin boards, which can be 1 to 10 slots long or tall. Then you just swap and shuffle skills around on the different skillbars until you have a setup you like. All in all, I think it's a UI I can live with. The chatboxes also got makeover #203. These changes will be in the next update.

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Game Mode: Duels

  • Posted on: 23 December 2014
  • By: DestLocke

So I've finally started implementing the back-end to support different room properties. Until this point, it was simply drop onto a map, and kill anyone you see. Which is fine - and that will remain the Free For All game mode. But, I realized that as much as I initially resisted game modes, they are necessary. In the next build, there will be a new mode, Duels. Duels will focus around 1v1 consensual battles. In a nutshell, each player will be invulnerable until a duel is agreed to, by simply looking at someone and hitting the challenge key. If that player agrees, the duel starts immediately and last until either player dies. Only these duel matches will be recorded on the world leaderboard at this time. This will give other players in the room the opportunity to watch a duel, learn from it, and call next without being harassed in the meantime.

Happy Holidays

  • Posted on: 20 December 2014
  • By: DestLocke

Today marks the 2 month anniversary of starting this project from scratch. Yikes. I think it's important to take a look back from time to time; because in addition to being pretty amusing, it certainly illustrates how far it's come in a very literal way.

The first picture is of the last build before deciding to start over (instead of using a project off github as a starting point):

The second is of the current build:

Hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!

Fully customizable avatars on the way

  • Posted on: 13 December 2014
  • By: DestLocke

We finally established a workflow between 3dsmax and Unity as far as being able to couple meshes on a model for different body parts and ornaments without breaking something else; this will go a long way in providing a way for players to individualize themselves down the road. This opens the door to new models as well.

I've also been working on lots of bugs, changes, additions and optimizations. It's getting there.

Pictured is the first test alteration of the hood.

New UI in the works

  • Posted on: 4 December 2014
  • By: DestLocke

Trying to get some new UI in before Playtests this weekend. Still a work in progress, but here's a sneak peak.

My programmer-art UI up until now, however adequate, of course at some point needs to be redone completely by an actual competent artist.

That artist would be my brother! I like the direction he's going with it, although the keyboard binding indicates still need some work. (don't worry, they are toggle-able as well if you don't need the reminders)

Playtest #1

  • Posted on: 17 November 2014
  • By: DestLocke

I held a very small play test last weekend; it was literally the inaugural test of... well everything. I hammered away all day on that Saturday trying to get to the point of "playable". This was not easy to achieve when "playable" can be VERY subjective! Around 11pm I finally got a few of people (my clan basically) to log in and give it a whirl.

The result:
It was actually pretty fun! Of course knock-ups "stopped" working, spells didn't do damage at times, bugged chat window eventually brought everyone to 1fps, and other weird annoying netoworky type things occurred, but other than that plus too much mana usage overall (and the fact that stamina didn't really have much of a purpose) .. and when knockups did work they would shoot people WAAY into the air at times..

Even so, fun was had. Everyone said it felt smooth and movement was pretty spot on for the most part... it actually even felt competitive. As encouraging as it was to see it working fairly well and get some good feedback, it was nothing more than a limited proof of concept from the combat perspective.

I included one pic from the test for historical purposes.

Back to work,
-Dest