After almost four days straight of working 18 hour per day on tackling the mysterious recent crashes of Prismatica from the Windows App Store, it’s finally solved and Version 1.4.1 has shipped, not only addressing the crashing issues but also bringing with it a whole bunch of improvements and optimizations as an unintended side effect of hours upon hours of bug hunting.

I’d like to extend my deepest apologies to all those who were inconvenienced by this bug. Not only my awesome customer who’ve been unbelievably patient and understanding, considering they basically payed my money in good faith, expecting an interesting new game to play, but receiving only an overly colorful way to crash their phones, but also my wife and kids who’s only time spent with their husband and father this weekend was when they, knowing I tend to forget to eat when immersed in work, regularly brought me some nourishment well as a few reassuring hugs. I love you guys and I’ll make it up to you next weekend! <3

Updates in 1.4.1:

  • Fixed a critical issue that caused the game to crash.
    • This primarily affected Windows 10 Phones as well as recently updated Windows 8.1 Devices.
    • I’ll blog about the details of that whole blunder soon. To make a long and complicated story really short in as honest a way possible: I messed up the building process.
  • Removed the software rendered mouse cursor temporarily on Windows 10
    • Using it locked the cursor inside the App Windows which is terribly annoying.
    • This seems to be something that happens automatically in Windows 10 (at least in Unity) when you hide the OS’ hardware cursor, despite explicitly instructing Unity not to do so (which works fine on other platforms).
    • This probably means that this is either a new, intended feature or a bug in either Windows 10 or Unity 5.2. Either way, once it gets sorted out or I find some other good workaround I’ll add the hand back in.
  • Rewrote the level thumbnail preview shader from scratch
    • This shader is used for level thumbnail previews that are locked and converts colors to grays while maintaining the sprite alpha channel intact.
    • The old one either displayed nothing or garbled images on Windows 10 so I’m guessing it wasn’t DirextX 11 compatible.
    • I used the Unity basic sprite shader as a base and simply tweaked it to change color to gray and even added a configurable level of “grayness”.
  • Fixed issues with app window size and placement on Windows 10.
    • Not critical but really annoying.
  • Made sure no Scale Animators ever reduce Meshes scale on any axis to absolute zero (or less).
    • Shouldn’t crash anything or cause problems but apparently it annoys and confuses the GPU.
  • Audio optimization to reduce memory usage
    • Tweaked the audio file compression a bit reducing their size a bit without affecting quality noticeably
    • Changed the way music is loaded and played from loading and decompressing an entire song into memory to streaming one clip at a time from “disk” as needed and decoding and decompressing on the fly while playing.
    • If you notice any “hiccups”, “jumps” or “gaps” in the music, especially on older devices, please let me know at support@loomus.com
  • Texture optimization to reduce memory usage.
    • Combined a bunch of smaller textures into bigger texture atlases.
    • Changed the texture compression format to DXT5 for most textures, reducing their size dramatically.
  • Removed old and/or unused assets
    • Including textures, icons, sound effects, scripts, shaders, materials, game objects and the likes.
  • Various tweaks to the whole building process, both big and small

Version 1.4.0 sees Prismatica’s debut on the Windows App Store (e.g. for Microsoft Surface and other RT platforms as well as Windows 8.1+ Desktops) and has also shipped to the Windows Phone.

Update 1.4 for Google Play, Amazon App Store and the iOS App Store will ship in the next few days and weeks.

Version 1.3 was a Windows Phone specific build and only shipped for it but everything from 1.3 is of course also included in version 1.4 and beyond.

Updates in 1.4.0:

  • Added Portrait mode support
    • Prismatica can now be played in portrait mode, e.g. one handed thumb action on your phone or split screen shenanigans on Surface or any other device that supports it.
  • Added fully dynamic and adaptive resizing to the whole game.
    • To say “added portrait mode” is actually a bit of an understatement, since in reality, the whole underlying UI framework was torn apart and then put back to gather again, bit by bit, with additional magic to allow for a seamless, adaptive, live resizing of everything to any reasonable resolution.
    • In other words, the game doesn’t simply support a screen ratio approximately between 4:3 & 16:9 in both landscape and portrait mode, but anything in between or beyond like; 1:1 (a square windows) or 4:9 (a “snapped” app in Xbox One).
    • This also means you can resize and/or switch orientation while playing without it interrupting the game.
  • A couple of bugs got their due as well

Updates in 1.3.0 (Windows Phone only):

  • Core compatibility changes related to the Windows Phone port
    • In other words, no actual visible changes or updates, but the framework code changed so much that the bump in version number only made sense (i.e. this was a full-blown no-turning-back update, just without any new visible features).
  • Removed the “pitch-out” effect on the music when loading levels
    • It just sounded somehow like something went terribly wrong and the game just broke (though defect related audible pitch distortions is unique to analog audio playback only, the mental association remains strong, at least in my generation it seems. Digital audio that bugs out simply “breaks” all the way and either stops completely or turns into some god-awful garbage noise).
    • I left the “pitch-out” effect unchanged in the level win sequence however, since I kind of like it and in that case there’s no mistaking the “bendieness” for an error)
  • Minor bug fixes