In this article I’m going to try and describe how I take my game design sketches into the next stage, which is prototyping.
In my previous article I described my approach for designing games. If you didn’t read it already, I would suggest you should read it because I am going to refer to it throughout this article.
After completing my designing stage and having a “worthy” design to work with, I’m moving to the next stage, which is making a proof-of-concept for my idea. I consider this step a crucial one because no matter how good you are with simulating your game-play in your head or on paper, a prototype would give you a way better understanding of how your game will be played and whether it is fun or not.
I’ve been working on many game designs lately. Only few of them ever reach the prototype stage and even fewer will ever get turned into final products. Since game design is not an exact science, everyone doing it has its own ways and techniques and this makes it more or less the “black art” of game development process.
I’ve done more than a dozen game designs during the last year, up to various degrees of completion, and I’m starting to recognize a process here, my own way of doing game design, so I thought of sharing it with you, get some feedback on it and maybe you can share back some of your own techniques regarding game design.
About a month ago I have wrote an article about the optimizations I have done on Wisps in order to get it to run decently on lower end machines.
This time I want to focus on the optimizations I have to do on top of the previous ones in order to get the game running on Android. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the game running decently on devices older than Snapdragon S2, but still it was a nice experience to have.
(By the way, you can get the Android version for FREE).
In patch 1.0.4 of Wisps: The Redeeming I managed to get up to 40% performance boost on some integrated chipsets and even more on gaming grade video cards, although this is less important because the game was running on more than 60 FPS (frames per second) on those already.
Unity 3D is a tool, and like any tool it is the right tool for the right job. It is very good for games that have pre-created levels in its editor, where you can bake lightmaps, batch static meshes and what not, but it falls short when it comes to optimizing games with dynamic content generation. Wisps: The Redeeming is such a game. Every labyrinth is randomly generated by an algorithm at a logic level. Then the terrain height map is created based on the logic level to create elevations and nice texturing, after which all trees are instantiated and carefully positioned, while still looking as random as possible through rotations and scaling.
The story of myself and Wisps in an interview for True PC Gaming
Wisps 1.0.4 patch notes:
- Up to 40% more frames per second, now runs acceptable on most integrated chipsets
- Hit Alt + Enter to go into “Windowed” mode for up to 15% more performance on integrated chipsets
- More visual punch for the glowing trees
- Added “Enable Weather” option in “Options” menu so weather effects can be disabled on slower machines