It’s been a while since our last post, and some news are long overdue. In the past few months we’ve been on working on a lot of improvements in the game, and we’d like to tell us a bit about that, and also announce a few major changes that we’re very happy to see coming to fruition!
As we’ve already said many times in our Facebook discussion group and in social media in general, we’re focusing hard on our Steam version. We got greenlit in 2014, and our Steam launch depends only on ourselves, and this year we’ve made it our top priority to prepare the game to get there. We’re going to launch on Steam Early Access first, in a probably-soon date that we still haven’t decided – but, when we do, you’ll be the first to know!
About the changes: First, Unity 5
Probably the biggest reason we’ve been so quiet in the last months is that we decided to update the game’s engine from Unity 4 to Unity 5.
We thought that it wouldn’t be such a big deal at first, since the compatibility between both engines is very big, but that ended up taking a few months of development. We had to change all of our shaders, materials, lightmaps, etc, and also do a lot of bugfixing. But other than that, the biggest thing is that we took the opportunity to optimize the game A LOT.
Graphics optimization a long time needed
In the last updates we introduced a lot of new features and didn’t have the time to properly optimize everything, so a lot of stuff needed some re-checking. Unity 5 also comes with some cool new features that help optimization, so we worked hard to make the game run on 60 fps on Unity 5 on most PCs. We’re still gonna have to test that with some people before launch, but we sure have come a long way.
Game interface in full HD
I don’t know if any of you noticed, but our current main menu UI is full HD (1080p) while the in-game one isn’t. The in-game interface is also not localized, being always on english. On top of that, we discovered that the user interface was a big bottleneck in the optimization, so it was the best time to fix all of those problems for once.
In the next update we’ll release a new UI (which looks a lot like the old one except for a few changes) but that is much lighter, in Full HD and using a new technology, now ready to be translated to other languages. Yay!
Lots of new visual effects!
New engine and new shaders means that we also had to remake a lot of the particle effects in the game….So, as you can imagine, we also took the time to change a lot of them! Some of the effects were really old and could look better, and we’re gonna be on Steam soon, so we gotta step up!
New environment art: BigRigs
This one we already spoiled a bit on social media, but the BigRigs collectors map got a big overhaul. It is the first of the maps to get environment art in the new style we’re working on, and it is a major improvement from the other ones.
For those interested in more technical aspects, on the Steam version we will have some features that make the game look much better and “next-gen”: real-time lighting, normal maps, occlusion maps, SSAO, etc.
An important thing about the new environment art is that we made it with a lot of future improvements in mind. The fact that we never got to fully determine a background story for the game was always holding us back in terms of art. So, in the process of making this map, we decided it was time to take a few steps back. This is not only the beginning of a new art style we’re developing, but also the start of a lore, coming to life inside the game.
The tutorial map will be the next one to get a facelift. We think it is super important that the first time players join the game leaves a good impression, so we’re starting from there. As soon as we finish it, we will start with another map. Maybe you guys can tell us your favorite? Tell us in the comments!
So yes, we now have a BACKGROUND STORY for the game, and we’re starting to add it little by little.
Yes! That’s right. It was a feedback from many many players that they missed some kind of plot behind the robots fighting, and that they wanted to know what was the background story behind the game. Who created Dummy, the bot? Why do they fight? Why is there a chicken robot? Who’s the damned scientist?!
We finally took the time and sought help to fix this problem. We brought to our rescue someone who understands a lot more about narrative and stories than ourselves, and asked them to help us organize our ideas. Turns out we already had a lot of good ideas, a lot of things more or less decided, but we needed help putting them together and connecting the dots. We finally did it, and we hope we can share it with you guys soon!
The first thing you’re gonna see: Team identities!
The first thing that we’re gonna introduce are the team’s names and logos. Until now, when playing a team game mode (Team Deathmatch and Collectors Mode) the players would be assigned to the teams Electrify and Overclock. This was just a placeholder we created using the power-ups names loooong ago, and we thought it was lame but also a bit funny.
Now, our Dummies will fight on either Team Matrix or Vertex4, the two potencies battling for supremacy in the dummy-arenas-universe. The teams are sponsored by two rival super-corporations that are trying to take control of all things Dummy-related. I won’t give a lot of details just yet, you will discover more in time!
And the biggest change of all, coming with the Steam version: we’re gonna change the name of the game.
That’s exactly what you heard. In Steam, Project Tilt won’t be called “Project Tilt” anymore. We’re gonna give it a new name, that we have finally decided after a LONG, VERY LONG time, and we’re very happy about.
We know this may come as a surprise for many of you, and that some will certainly be disappointed to see the game they like and have been playing for a while change names all of a sudden. It’s not ideal to change a game’s name after we’ve built a community around it, but we feel it’s needed.
Project Tilt was called that way as a “project” name – a placeholder to be used during the development. But, since we wanted to release it early and have people playing it from the start, we used that name until we got the final one. It took us two years to decide on a new name, and now is the perfect opportunity to change it.
A new beginning!
Project Tilt was always meant to come to Steam, and we also have plans for Playstation 4. We’re gonna enter a new phase now that we’re getting close to our goal, and we wanna do that with a new name, new logo, new art, and a background story to link it all together. Actually, the reason we were able to find a final name is because we could bring all the pieces together like this. For us, this is like a rebirth for Project Tilt and we’re gonna make it a lot better.
So stay tuned, we will announce the new name and show some more cool stuff soon!
And don’t worry, if you don’t like anything we’re doing (not just the name, anything) feel free to tell us. We accept criticism and feedback, we love to read it and we reply to everything.
To end this all, we’d like to thank you for being with us in this journey! Seeing the players reaction to our game is our biggest accomplishment and is what keeps us moving forward. You guys are the best!
SEE YOU IN-GAME!