Alien Blitz: camera, borders, limited vision, hit vision, performance

Camera

Camera is now farther away on PC, usually on PC screens are bigger than phones, so it’s best to have a bigger field of view. So on PC the camera will always be more zoomed out than mobile (= we can see farther away).

 

Borders

Borders around sprites are a bit bigger, they were 1px before but because of MSAA they were sometimes disappearing behind the sprite itself. So now they are 2px and never disappear.

 

Limited vision

Continuing work on the limited vision..

Sprites are now impacted by vision (you can’t see sprites that are not in the field of view), but the health bar are still visible, so I just make them invisible after a few seconds now.

The terrain used for the vision is really modified now, at first I was using the real one:

capture_2015-02-06_19-11-27_0318_Alien_Blitz_

Problem is it doesn’t look so good, even if player should not be able to see what is behind those small grass it doesn’t feel nice.

capture_2015-02-06_19-11-53_0426_Alien_Blitz_

So now when checking vision there is virtually no ground, only walls big enough can block the view.

It’s really nice to play with limited vision, it’s crazy how quickly we can loose track of where we are and what rooms we have already visited are like. Of course in my case I have already completed levels 100+ times, so I kinda remember them.
And opening a door to an open area after being in small rooms for minutes feel nice.

 

Hit vision

While playing with limited vision I decided to try to change the far value of the camera if the player has been hit recently.

Minimum far + fire damage:

capture_2015-02-07_12-05-03_0983_Alien_Blitz_

Normal far:

capture_2015-02-07_11-50-54_0460_Alien_Blitz_

The minimum value can only be reached if the player looses half his life (after armor reduction) in a few seconds, so only after being hit a lot. The far slowly goes back to normal after a few seconds or after taking a medkit.

This combined with red borders is very stressful, I like that :)

 

Performance

Performance wise this new vision is ok:

  • Laptop, integrated card, MSAA 2x, 512px depth map : 50-60FPS (95% of the time it’s 60FPS, just a few drops barely noticeable sometimes)
  • Laptop, integrated card, MSAA disabled, 512px depth map : 60+ FPS
  • Laptop, integrated card, MSAA 2x, 256px depth map : 60+ FPS
  • Laptop, nvidia GTX 660M, MSAA 2x, 512px depth map : 60+FPS
  • Computer, nvidia GTX 280, MSAA 2x, 512px depth map : 60+FPS
  • EeePC, nvidia ion, MSAA disabled, 256px depth map : 20-30FPS
  • EeePC, nvidia ion, low quality : 50-60FPS

These tests with the integrated card are just to simulate a low end PC, in this case I think players will understand they could just lower quality a bit. And again, playing in high quality is ok, I would not have noticed the frame drop if FPS wasn’t displayed on screen.

Maybe I’ll just add a new quality slide : lowest / low / medium / high / highest. And an advanced option where you can individually select quality options (MSAA, depth map, lighting quality,…)

  • Lowest : no MSAA, no dynamic lights, no shadow mapping,… basically it’s the mobile version
  • Low : no MSAA, but full lights, shadow mapping with 256px depth map
  • Medium : same as low + MSAA 2x
  • High (default) : same as medium + 512px depth map
  • Highest : same as high + MSAA 4x + 1024px depth map

On the EeePC of course it’s still not playable, but that’s what the low quality option is for (in lowest quality it’s fine)

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