Version 1.2.1 of Prismatica shipped to Google Play and the Amazon App Store on July 24th with the following changes:

  • Enabled “Back” button functionality for Android devices
    • The physical “Back” button now functions as one would expect.
    • It backs out of any menu in the game (from level to  episode, from episode to main, from settings to main, etc.)
    • It exits the game when pressed in the main menu
    • It exits a level when pressed in a level’s pre-scrambling and post-solving (win) menus
    • It enters the pause menu/solution preview menu when pressed in during play
    • It unpauses and resumes normal play when pressed in the pause menu/solution preview menu (i.e. it doesn’t exit the level as in most other cases to prevent accidentally exiting  while playing)
    • In the PC/Mac versions the Escape button functions identically
  • Added a “loading” icon during level loading/unloading
    • The transition between “scenes” was a bit to barren and ominously silent, especially on older and slower devices where loading levels can take a few seconds
  • Optimized performance and stability
    • This version was built against the latest stable versions of Unity and the Android SDK which should fix some device/model specific bugs and/or compatibility issues
    • Added persistent preloading of common resources to reduce unnecessary loading time while unloading resources from memory that then got reloaded again right away.
    • Reduced the number of individual sprite-sheets by combining them
    • Removed old, unused and development/debug resources and code
    • Optimized the build process for Mobile to reduce package size
  • Routed the Fast-Forward button’s sound effects through the correct Audio Mixer channel
    • The volume of it’s “click” sound should now be on par with other buttons in the game (it was loud as hell)

Updates in 1.2.2 (Android only):

  • Fixed a package signing error that prevented some devices from updating version 1.2.0 to 1.2.1.

Prismatica version 1.2 shipped on July 21 to Steam, the Mac App Store, the Humble Store/Widget. Version 1.2 is also be the initial version to be ported to mobile, i.e. iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android phones (via Google Play, the Amazon App Store and the Humble Store), Amazon Fire Devices and Windows Phone as well as selected Blackberry Devices (via the Amazon App Store).

As of this writing the new build is still being reviewed and/or reprocessed on some platforms so the exact availability may vary for a few days.

I got some really good feedback for version 1.1 and there was a noticeably consistent consensus in most criticism of the game. With the excretion of the volume imbalance problems (of which I was blissfully oblivious thanks to bad hardware) it turns out, the complaints that people had pretty much mirrored my very own “list of stuff I wish I had time to do” so this update is especially fulfilling to ship as it addresses many things that have been bumped to the “nice-to-have-if-I-have-time” list all-too often.

  • Added “Challenge mode”
    • Well, not so much “added” as split the game into a calm and cool “Zen mode”, where you just solve the puzzle in your own time and your own way (as the game was originally designed to be played by the way) and a “Challenge mode” where you try and beat the clock with a limited number of moves to earn more stars.
    • In order to unlock the “Challenge mode” you must complete the first 6 levels of the game.
    • If you have already completed 6 levels upon updating the game to version 1.2, the “Challenge mode” will simply be unlocked already.
  • Audio and volume rebalancing
    • Turns out the built-in sound card in my laptop is complete sh*t and as such, what sounded fine and balanced to me, turned out to be shockingly jarring and aggressive on pretty much every other machine (lest they happen to have a similarly sh*tty sound card).
    • I also added fading (and pitching) out to the music since it’s abruptly stopping between transitions didn’t really jive well with the smooth-feeling transitions I was going for, especially with the animations.
  • Revamped the “Win” screen
    • The animation sequence when solving a level has been redone from the ground up to make the event feel more natural, transitional and “shiny”.
    • The transition between normal play and the win-screen/menu always seemed a bit rushed to me which actually added a lot to the “shock-treatment” you got from the way-too-loud audio during the winning sequence (i.e. when you rotate the final piece into place the music abruptly stops and you are suddenly surprise-attacked by the jarring sound of cymbals crashing and the all-to-loud jolly Lalala’s of Svavar Knútur.
    • The transition as a whole has now been made to feel smoother and to “ease” you into receiving all those shiny stars so that even if the volume hadn’t have been rebalanced, solving a level wouldn’t have been as much of a shock.
    • This also allows for the injection of the “Challenge mode unlocked” dialog when appropriate as well as any future dialogs like achievements and such (yes, there will be achievements added soon™).
  • Added “Fast-Forward” button for level intro and scrambling
    • This button unlocks with the “Challenge mode” after completing 6 levels and will fast forward past the level intro animation and the levels initial scrambling.
  • Added simple text message in dialog boxes
    • More specifically; “Reset all stars?” in the reset confirmation dialog, “Color blind mode on/off” in the color blind mode information dialog and “Challenge mode unlocked” in the challenge mode unlocking information dialog.
    • I finally caved in my “all-too-clever” attempt to have the entire game text-free when I realized that it was starting to adversely affect the design over all and some players experience. A few players even reported having accidentally reset their scores (something that I sincerely hoped would not happen but was secretly afraid of).
  • Added subtle mouse-over effects to the puzzle board (PC/Mac only)
    • When hovering over a piece, the cog that will be affected by clicking and dragging now grows slightly. This is to better indicate which cog you are about to rotate when clicking a piece that lies between two or more cogs. In case you’re wondering, the logic is simply; the cog to which your mouse is closest.
  • Music encoding changed to Ogg Vorbis
    • Unity now uses Ogg Vorbis encoding for all audio by default (instead of MP3) which means that loop skipping due to the dreaded “MP3 file padding” is no longer an issue. Having already programmed around that issue, I never the less just re-encoded all the music to Ogg Vorbis and turned off the CPU expensive audio file pre-loading process which removed the skips created by the “MP3 file padding” (by having the code literally “listenin” to the files really, really fast to find the padding before playing them).
  • Tutorial changes
    • As part of the split between “Zen” and “Challenge” modes, the tutorials have been changed a bit.
    • The level I-02 tutorial which pointed out that you received the middle star (or only star in “Zen mode”) for solving the level has been removed as it only made sense as the first part of a trilogy of star explanations.
    • The “you-get-this-star-for-beating-the-clock” and “you-get-this-star-for-using-less-than-so-and-so-moves” tutorial hints now appear back-to-back in the first two levels you tackle and solve in “challenge mode”, regardless of what levels those are.
    • Please note that if you update to 1.2 with more than 6 stars, those tutorials won’t display at all (as that means you’ve already seen them).
  • Other UI improvements and tweaks
    • The time and move tracking widgets now display a “+”instead of a “-”  in front of their value after you run out of time/moves to indicate that how much you’ve gone over the allotted time/moves. The minus, although very intentionally added, just looked a bit “buggy”. Somehow we seem to be instinctively vary of integer-overflows in video games, even those who have no idea what that means.
    • My own name turned out to me misspelled in the credits… go figure! ;)
  • Code refactoring and optimizing
    • The code-base itself finally got some long-overdue love; removing debug code and unused scripts, updating outdated animation functions, removing sub-par object look-ups and references and so on.
  • Smaller bugs fixed
    • …of which there were surprisingly few! :)

Prismatica version 1.1 shipped to Steam on July 1 with the following updates:

  • Added a “Color-blind mode”
    • Color-blind mode can now be turned on/off in the main menu settings. Turning color-blind mode on overlays three distinct sets of patterns on the puzzle pieces, all of which can “blend” together to form combined patterns in the same way the colors (e.g. the red pattern is a circle, the blue pattern is dots and purple is dots in a circle and so on).
    • The color-blind symbols can also be helpful in case people aren’t sure how the three primary colors blend, something that I’ve simply taken for granted without giving it much thought. Iceland’s education system is pretty heavy on arts and crafts in the early stages but assuming everyone in the world intuitively knows how to blend green or purple seems a bit thoughtless now that I think about it (although the level intro-animation sequence does show how the colors blend piece by piece so that’s something at least).
  • Added a “Really reset all stars?” confirmation dialog
    • Clicking the “reset stars/score” button in the settings now opens up a confirmation dialog that shows the level stars breaking up and falling away and the levels locking up. This replaces the mechanism where you click the button twice to confirm the “reset”.
    • The icon on the “reset stars/score” button may make sense once you know what it does but accidentally resetting your scores is a pretty harsh price to pay to find out.
  • Increased the volume of the track “Clementine”
    • The volume of the sound files them selves was about 20-30% lower than all the other tracks.
  • Tweaked the volume of various sound effects
    • Trying to control the volume of multiple 2D sounds in 3D space is tricky. I’ve gone through all the audio-sources in the game and configured them to ignore 3D specific voodoo like Doppler effects, distance from the camera and so on.
    • Also tweaked the in-game volume of some effects as the sound files were never actually normalized together volume-wise.
    • UPDATE: Turns out that my sound card was probably the cause of the audio-imbalance in the game and not bad file-normalization. See here: “What’s new in Version 1.2.0 :)