Some news as to how things are travelling for us down here in Fremantle. As we mentioned in the last post, things haven’t got any easier in recent weeks as we’re fixing some nasty crash bugs whilst we work our way toward Sony submission. It’s been tough going but, we’ve also made some significant code improvements on the visuals and audio along the way:
- VISUALS: Foam: We’ve implemented a new foam system which is getting there. We’re rendering foam sections on the water surface, (a thick white section and some thinner membrane like sections) and we have needed to modify the speed and direction of the individual sections of the foam across the water surface which undulates. We also needed to alter the direction of the undulation (sine waves) to allow for more convincing animation of the foam across the surface. Both sections of the foam – needed to fade in and out and animate in particular directions so there’s a fair bit of tweaking in the code and configuration.
- CRASH BUGS: We’ve overcome our language version bugs and previous crash bugs, but we now need to try and do a clean run end to end in the main single player game mode. We’ve got some memory leaks to overcome and what happens that is we essentially run out of memory once we load into the next level. There are files that aren’t being deleted properly from one level to another. It could be something simple but Sony has made some helpful suggestions so hopefully, we can overcome these issues soon. Just this week we seem to have discovered the root of the problem so with luck in the next week or so we’ll be able to overcome this problem. There’s also a streaming based audio bug that seems to occur that appears at about six or seven levels into the game which is annoying in that the audio starts to stutter as the stream is interrupted. It plays, but stutters badly both on the audio side and on the FPS side so we need to fix this problem as well.
- MORE VISUALS: Specular and lighting: on the specular side, we’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to tweak our specular to appear in a slightly more blob like fashion on the surface of the water which has taken some time to get looking right. It’s taken us months to get to this point, but we’re nearly there with the look we’re after so touch wood we’ll have the result we need soon.
- AUDIO: We’ve added some further logic to the AI to play audio, which has also been scripted ready for the voice actors. It’s a tricky balancing act between adding reasonable logic that plays when it should, the audio itself needs to be entertaining and not repetitive and above all – isn’t annoying. The code is in place now and so we need to do some testing and then organize the voice actors to drop in the audio.
- SAVE GAME: We’re also currently working through a small list of save game fixed that need to be addressed before we can submit. For example, in the main menu: when a game is auto loaded, the Surfer warning message in the main menu bar area displays just the one time. If a player goes out an into the menu, or swaps game modes, if you then load the 1P Champ again, the message is cleared when it should always display. A more serious bug is in the save data itself that appears when a game is auto loaded, the stats for costumes, boards and repair kits aren’t saved at all, which is a must fix bug.
- SHOP: We’ve just signed an agreement with Noll surfboards in San Clemente, which we’re pretty stoked about. We’ll be featuring a couple of their boards in our passport/ shop area that players can buy and use in game. We’re still working on modelling them and dropping them in, along with adding specific stats to the physics of the boards
We’ll have some new screens, a trailer and with a bit of luck some firm release dates at some point soon.
The Bungarra Team