Welcome back to the Piggy Payback! devblog. We're closer yet to the alpha demo release! We've experienced a lot of unexpected issues, so it's taken quite a bit longer than expected to get this demo out. We truly appreciate you for sticking with us. We have some fine tuning in this post, so enjoy the read!
We still had some instances of that corrupted triangle block in the game. This was causing us some issues. So we went through every level, as well as the content browser and eradicated every trace of that pesky triangle. So that problem is finally solved.
We started the master material this week. The one that will be the parent to the instances that are applied to every mesh in the game. We also created an instance for the triangles. It’s the same wooden texture as before, only now it’s an instance, so its one less draw call.
Something we noticed in the first alpha demo tests was that sometimes the player would try to hit the launch button but they’d miss it. So what we did was we increased the size of the button. We also increased the size of the button’s collision even bigger. So if they slightly miss the visible button, they still launch their pig. These little fixes add up and make the game feel more complete and thought out.
We also changed the main menu camera. We deleted the original one we had that was rotating left and right. We then added another camera on the hill facing the waterfall. We have a pig standing on the patch of grass next to it. This will eventually be the pig you can customize and accessorize, and also pet. We want this pig to be seen in as many places as possible to increase the endogenous value of the accessories the player can buy. In addition, we updated the main menu level to make it look better.
We had an issue where in the vertical levels the piggy wallpaper and the level background looked like they were z fighting. This was strange because they weren’t even close to touching. We managed to fix this, then on the next Android build the bricks on level 6 were doing the same thing. We fixed that too, so hopefully it doesn’t come up again
Another problem we were having with the vertical levels was in the HUD. There wasn’t enough room for the “Next Pig” button and “Pigs Remaining” elements in the row at the top. So we made the next pig button round instead of capsule shaped. We replaced the word “Next” with a green arrow above the little piggy. So now it’s round. We then stacked these two elements on the top right side of the screen. Now they don’t get in the way of anything and it looks better.
We did another Android build and noticed some problems. A small one was the pig next to “Levels” in the level select screen was off of where it was supposed to be. It was also very small. I moved it into place and anchored it to the top left but I couldn’t change its size. So we put it in a horizontal box and changed its size and that successfully changed the size of the pig image.
We did another thing to improve performance, especially on older phones. We decided to turn of all shadows on every object in the game. We don’t really need them anyway, and this will definitely make it easier on the older Android devices that try to run the game.
Like we said, we’ve been having a real problem with the triangle pieces in the levels. We have a bouncy physical material applied to them but they weren’t bouncing the pig at all. The pig would stop dead when it hit the triangles. We also have the problem of needing various shapes and sizes of triangles for different places in the levels. Well, we solved both problems.
For the bounciness, we created a blueprint for the triangles and added a small amount of impulse. We used a network of nodes to make the impulse direction the exact opposite of whatever angle the pig hit it at. So the pig now bounces off the triangles realistically.
For the other problem we created a whole bunch of different sizes and shapes of triangles and created an Enumerator with all of their names. With that enum, and in the construction script of the same triangle blueprint, we set it up so we can choose any size or shape of triangle in the details panel. We used a “set static mesh” node and attached it to each of the out pins of the switch on E_Triangles node from the enumerator. Then in each set mesh node we put all the different triangle shapes. So now we have one blueprint for any size or shape of triangle we want.
And that wraps up this weeks installment of Piggy Payback! Thanks again for reading. We hope to have the demo out by next weeks post, so we'll see you on the other side!
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