I finally have a release candidate for PC & Mac ready. I’ll be distributing it to a select few people for a thorough final scouring for bugs but barring any big surprises, this is the final product.
If you have a key you can download the game here.
UPDATE: Seems like most of the new sound effects were ignoring the mute setting and always playing. That has been fixed in RC3.
The list of the most important changes and updates in RC2 includes:
- Final Music from Svavar Knútur. The temporary placeholder tunes with vocals have been removed and the instrumental, loop friendly, ukulele versions put in their place.
- Title Music Changed. The song in the main menu has changed from Clementine to Baby, Would You Marry Me. This was mainly because the bare instumental verion of Marry Me compared to Clementine seemed a bit more cheery and welcoming as a first impression, as well as the fact that it’s the most “pimped up” (i.e. with more instruments and “meat”).
- Final Sound Effects. Some sound effects were temporary placeholders and some were simply missing. In addition to recording, editing, tweaking on my own, the game development community (indies in particular) were fortunate enough to receive a gift of more than 10GB of professional high-quality sound effects from the awesome guys at Sonniss around the time of GDC. That bundle happened to include exactly the sounds I needed to finalize the sound effects. Again, huge thanks to Sonniss. Some of the new and/or edited effects include:
- Clicking sound added when you drop a cog in it’s place after rotating.
- Reduced the volume on button sounds (they were a bit too loud)
- Added “bounce” sounds to the tracking widgets when they’re running out of time/moves who’s pitch increases with each bounce.
- Added a breaking sound to when the stars in the tracking widgets break.
- Added a dramatic cymbal/gong type of thing to the stars that you win.
- Added some background applause and cheers and whistles to winning a level (just for that little extra).
- UI Optimization for PC/Mac. I finally stopped trying to develop for every single platform at the same time (mostly) and started concentrating on delivering a solid product for PCs and Macs first, and then “worry” about the other versions later. When polishing and putting on the final touches, it really matters whether you’re assuming the game will be running on a tiny little phone screen designed to be poked at and watching every megabyte of memory you use or a 21 inch screen with 1920*1080 resolution and have 2GB of RAM to play with (these were just random examples though). This included.:
- Increasing the Font Size for all Text-Meshes. The smaller font size looks better on mobile devices but in full screen on a desktop or laptop, they’re just pixelated.
- Increased Texture Resolution for a few things, most notably the tutorials. As with the font, they just didn’t look good in fullscreen.
- Added a Prismatica style Mouse Cursor. The point here was threefold. First of all, the tiny mouse cursor of PCs and Macs just looked kind of small and insignificant among all the huge hexagons as well as a bit of a style breaker. More importantly (in my own humble opinion at least) making the cursor a hand, who’s finger presses down when clicking meant that the PC/Mac level I-01 tutorial would also work for touchscreen devices and any gameplay clips and/or tutorial footage as well as screenshots and such would be more clear and mostly platform independent. Finally, the plan is to use the cursor for console versions of the game (although not as a “virtual mouse”).
- Added Window Resize Handlers. This means that you can leave fullscreen mode and resize the game window as you see fit and all the UI elements will respond by adapting to the new size (for the most part). I actually did this when developing the “AnchorManager”, my UI placement framework, but I turned it off when I built the game for mobile, since the screen size never changes on phones and tablets (mostly).
- Made the Buttons Slightly Smaller. The first build was for a 800*600 Web Player version and the size of the UI buttons were made to fit that. Then I made a mobile build and had to increase the button size a bit to make them “finger-friendly”. Then when I ran the game on my PC in full screen the buttons just kind of looked ridiculously big. This doesn’t really matter all that much but I felt shrinking them a bit for the PC/Mac version made the UI feel more “PC”-esque.
- Loomus Logo Added to the Title Screen. If you’ve got a cool logo, flaunt it!
- Disabled Zooming for PC/Mac Versions. The zooming was another bit of mobile specific enhancements that wasn’t necessary for “real” computers and when using a mouse and since it was still kind of jittery and buggy, in stead of wasting time perfecting a feature no one would use, I just disabled it and moved “zooming” over to the mobile feature list.
- Tutorials Redone One More Time.
- I removed the animating arrow on level one and replaced it with a “ghost” Mouse Cursor that appears, “clicks” down, rotates and lets go. I’m pretty confident this will get the point across perfectly and it removed the need for a rather “sloppy” sprite animation who’s resolution was way to low for fullscreen.
- All tutorials now have a texture resolution that displays well on a big screen.
- I also simplified the tutorial images themselves and reduced the use of nerdy mathematical symbols. It made them a bit less “scientifically accurate” when over-thinking their meaning, but people rarely “over-think” tutorial instructions and the simplified versions probably convey their meaning better when only glanced casually at.
- Level Design Finalized
- Some levels got swapped around.
- Other levels got redesigned from scratch
- Many levels got simplified. In most cases that meant reducing the number of cogs/pieces that weren’t really needed to control the level’s complexity and/or difficulty but just added “pointless busywork”.
- The zoom level of a few levels got tweaked.
- Scramble scripts for the first tutorial levels were tweaked.
- Some key levels also got scramble scripts. In most cases these were levels that introduce new mechanics/layouts/difficulty/combos where I wanted to make sure the scrambling didn’t accidentally “ruin” the level due to randomness being so damn random.
- Level Previews Rebuilt
- The Launcher Got Pimped Up a Bit.
- Added a “Prismatica” texture image.
- Removed unused “Input” settings.
- Simplified the “Quality” settings to “Simple” and “Pretty” (although it’s really hard to spot the difference; it’s a very simple 2D game after all).
- Set the launcher to start in full screen and native resolution by default.
- Finalized the Credits List. This is what if looks like now:
- Design & Development: Thordur Matthiasson – http://loomus.com
- Music: Svavar Knutur – http://svavarknutur.bandcamp.com
Marketing & PR: Heidrun Finnsdottir – http://heidrun.me
Additional Sound Effects: Courtesy of Sonniss Limited – http://sonniss.com
Special Thanks: Guðrún Harðardóttir, Matthías Þórðarson, Jón Henrik Bartels, Hrefna Rós Matthíasdóttir, Stephen Northcott, Nicolas Tittley, Andie Nordgren, Thomas Dähling, Charles Palmer, Pétur Örn Þórarinsson, Leifur Alexander Haraldsson, Ívar Kristjánsson, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, Dan Bisciglia, Mary Kish, Elsa Nielsen, Aþena Katrín Þórðardóttir, Matthías Tristan Þórðarson, Anna Hrefna Þórðardóttir, Ron Carmel, Dan Adelman, Lisa Bell-Cabrera, Dave Mianowski, The Extra Credits Team, Everyone at CCP Games, All My Playtesters, …and everyone else I can’t fit onto this list! <3
- Created a Installation/Setup Wizard Package with Inno Setup by Jordan Russel.
- And of Course; a Metric Tonne of Bugs Fixed!
- I could probably list them all up but that would just make me sad.