Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Painscreek Devlog #7: Collaboration Tools Essential To Our Team

(In-game documents categorized inside Trello.)
Throughout our five-and-a-half years of developing The Painscreek Killings, we designed 9 custom buildings, developed 20 characters, constructed more than 100 documents (consisting of diaries, newspapers, flyers), produced more than 900 props (half of which were not used for the final build), and wrote about 26,000 words. Along the way, our team grew from two to seven members. Yuri, our one and only programmer, worked from Japan while the rest of us were stationed in the United States. Looking back, we could not have managed it without a few, essential collaboration tools. Surprisingly, most of them are free.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Painscreek 6/21/2018 Patch Notes

Hi everyone. As of today, we've finally finished optimizing the game. This includes the Mansion, which is the heaviest scene in the game, as well as all other smaller and medium-sized scenes which were not originally part of the optimization but we decided to include them as well. Improvements to the game are as follows:

1. Reduced the game's file size from 18GB to 10.6GB, a reduction of about 40%.
2. Reduced RAM usage by approximately 40% when accessing the Village scene.
3. Reduced RAM usage by approximately 30% when accessing Mansion and Hospital scenes.
4. Improved Unity's batching process by about 40%, which is the number of files needed to be read by the CPU, especially when accessing the Mansion and Hospital.
5. Improved load times when switching between scenes during gameplay.
6. Improved prop textures for some locations.
7. Lowered the system requirements to run the game (as shown below).

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Painscreek Devlog #6: Designing The Menu & UI

(An early design of the Painscreek's grading system. Background image taken from 'The Secret World'.)

When first designing the user interface, we decided to go with a minimalist design, for a number of reasons. First, we couldn't understand how to use Autodesk's Scaleform. Second, we were new to Unity and didn't want to spend a lot of time on implementing a complicated UI. Third, we thought that an immersive experience meant placing on the screen only what was mandatory. Fast forward 5 years later: Although more UI elements were added as the development progressed, our end-product embraced much of what our original design set out to be. It was rough in areas, but it got the job done.