Pierre

Devlog 20

SMYS now has a Steam page, it’s been up for a few months now and I’ve been able to collect a few wishlists. Feel free to wishlist if you haven’t yet.

I’ve been working on a demo to participate in the next Steam Next Fest coming up in a few months, and I also made a short trailer for it. It’s maybe a bit too short and I realize that it may be hard to understand precisely what the game is about, but it will allow me to get some feedback for the final official trailer.


The game has reached its final state, and the name, formerly AHEAD, is now Libe.

Rebranding, Linux support, optimization, new graphics, new trailer,… a lot of work has been done for this last update, you can find all about it in this long post I published on Steam : https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1330500/view/5641338588657581438

Releasing the game’s soundtrack has also always been something I wanted to do, so here it is proposed as a DLC for the game on Steam for just a few more cents using the game bundle Game+OST.


Voxel Sushi Bar released on July 9th 2022, a restaurant interior pack themed after chinese and japanese establishments.


Voxel Nature received a winter themed update, basically doubling the number of prefabs including versions with snow on top. I first tried to had snow using a custom shader but the results were pretty mediocre and I think it looks way better with dedicated snow blocs on top, and the geometry is about the same so it doesn’t impact performances.

Working on an update for Voxel Nature I ran into an issue : this pack theme is too general and choosing which direction to go in when working on updates is difficult.

So I decided to depreciate the asset early 2023 and split it into 2 new nature themed asset packs in which the models of Voxel Nature will be included. Owners of Voxel Nature on depreciation date will receive the 2 new assets for free. The price of the 2 assets combined will exceed the current price of Voxel Nature so needless to say it’s a great time to acquire the asset.

On top of Voxel Nature’s models, the 2 new assets will have optimized custom shaders, subsurface scattering, and a ton of new models. For instance Voxel Nature features 9 tree models for now, and the first asset to replace Voxel Nature, Voxel Meadow, features already 60+ tree models, plus a lot more new models like tree trunks, mushrooms, flowers,… and that’s not counting the snow variants.

The point of all of this is to extend drastically the creation possibilities by adding loads of new quality models while staying in a set theme, which will also allow devs to purchase what they really need.

Voxel Camping released on October 18th 2022, it is a small asset pack meant to be used with other environment packs like Voxel Nature.


Defense of Humanity : Major Changes

This project has been under development for around 5 years now, it’s been put on hold multiple times and I’ve had the chance to change the gameplay radically everytime for the better. The project had an advanced prototype really close to what I wanted it to be, unfortunately the game still felt like there was something off even at its best.

It is when I started having ideas for sequels and that the game design documents for these future projects reached an advanced point that I think I understood what was the real issue with the game : the genre.

While the game had some original gameplay ideas as a 2.5D action platformer/tower defense, it was not enough. And as the sequels were all RTS games, it was so weird thinking about how confused the players of the first game would be, seeing all the sequels were too far from the first project gameplay wise. So I’m officially changing the game genre to a RTS.

I already have a lot done thanks to all these years prototyping RTS systems, from production management to units micro-management, grid building systems, procedural map generation and a ton more. A prototype only took a week to set up and it already feels better than the advanced prototype I had before the genre switch.

I’m on for a wild ride and I can’t wait to work on this project. All I need to do now, and that’s quite an understatement, is find a budget, so I might have to work on other projects before this huge one to be able to sustain myself and reach a playable demo I can show to publishers and investors. 

Devlog 19

URP Support Update

A major update has been published to all my assets on the Unity Assetstore : URP support!

All the different shaders used for my voxel assets have been re-done in URP and you can now switch between the different render pipelines by opening the corresponding material package located in each asset pack under Models/Materials/RenderPipelines.

I am not planning on adding HDRP support, and I just removed it from Voxel Planets which was the only asset pack supporting it.

From now on, each new voxel asset pack will come with both Built-in and URP support.

Pixel Assets

I talked about it a while ago, and it is finally happening!

I am working on porting my voxel assets to 2D to be used on their own, or along the voxel packs of the same themes. I have seen great performance increase from using 2D assets for backgrounds in my voxel game projects, similar to what you would get with impostors or LODs.

The first 2 packs that will be published will be Pixel Planets, then Pixel Nature shortly after.

As I’m not working from scratch to make these assets, their price will be lower than the voxel assets of the same theme, something like 50% cheaper. Also I think it would be great if owners of the voxel packs could get the corresponding Pixel pack (e.g. Voxel Nature => Pixel Nature) for even a cheaper price so I’ll look into setting up a discount in the store once they are published.

Here are some WIP shots at Pixel Planets and Pixel Nature :

Devlog 18

As I recently mainly published assets, I felt like it would be a great time to set up a newsletter specifically for these.
So you can now join my Unity Assetstore newsletter HERE.

You’ll be notified at least a week before an asset is published to the store so you can grab it with the launch discount when it’s available.
You’ll also have a say on what the next assets will be as I have many assets planned but not a clear idea of what developers really need right now, so I’d appreciate your feedback on what assets you actually need, or what I could improve on the already released ones.

If you’re still hesitating about whether or not you should buy my assets you can now have a taste of my work.
By joining the newsletter you’ll receive a free voxel sample pack, featuring unique models to go along my paid assets. You’ll be able to see if the quality of my assets meets your expectations and how I structure my packages.

Here are some shots at this free sample pack 1.0 :

You can find more screenshots on the newsletter joining page.

Everytime I publish a new voxel asset pack on the assetstore, a new unique model themed after this new pack will be added to the free sample pack.

Devlog 17

It’s been a while since the last devlog, and a lot of projects have been released since. I have been working mostly on assets so let’s talk about these first, and then I’ll finish with some progress I’ve made on SMYS, CastleQuest, and what’s coming up later this year.

The development of Voxel Modular Chalet started in early december 2020, and this unfortunately is the asset I spent the most time on, ever. Being my first modular asset I wanted it to be as complete as convenient, and I ended up overscaling the project REAL HARD. At some point the asset contained OVER 16000 bloc prefabs and while being as complete as it could be, it was far from convenient for someone importing the asset for the first time.

The asset also lacked optimization and I decided to do a first refactor, then a second one… 6 months had passed by and I still wasn’t statisfied with the state of the project. It still had 6000+ prefabs and was unconvenient to use. So even if the asset was pretty much ready for publishing I decided to hold on and move to another project : Voxel Nature.

I learned my lessons and made an asset that way more people would actually have a need for, went straight to the point and set myself a prefab limit right at the start. Even with the water shader I included and hadn’t planned at the start it took me 2 months to finish and I was proud of how it looked.

I also learned a lot about optimization during Voxel Nature’s development, squeezing more than 4 times the performances I had importing my models straight out of Magica Voxel. (https://twitter.com/i/status/1452612006620680195)

I then released Voxel Interiors Vol.1 two months later, then Voxel Dungeons 4 months later… 2021 passed by and I felt like I only got work done from July to December.

We are now in 2022 and Voxel Modular Chalet FINALLY released on March 19th! Making great use of everything I learned along the way, I did an ultimate refactor of Voxel Modular Chalet, reducing the amount of prefabs from 6000+ to 350~. It is now optimized and easy to use, and even though I spent 8 months total on this asset I feel like I did accomplish something in the end.

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Voxel Nature released on November 22nd 2021, this is my most popular asset on the store to this day even though it is one with the least amount of prefabs in it.

To me this asset is lacking content and while you can easily create beautiful landscapes with the included models it would benefit an update. I have a huge todolist for this asset and 2 updates are already planned in 2022, adding more models and improving the existing content.

Once I feel the asset is not lacking content anymore I am planning to rise the price of the asset which is sitting as low as 20$ for the moment.

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Voxel Interiors Vol.1 released on December 23rd 2021, it is the first interior/prop asset I have made and I think it turned out pretty nice!

I’m already planning on doing different styles of furnitures in the future so that’s why it is stated as « Volume.1 ».

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Voxel Dungeons released on February 20th 2022, it is my biggest asset so far with over 1000 prefabs included on release.

To be honest I’m extremely surprised how optimized this one turned out to be,  after some proper testing with a lightmap and a few scripts running in the demo scene the framerate skyrockets and shows plenty of room for gameplay logic. I still won’t use it for a mobile game because voxel tend to be expensive in general but I might give it a try just out of curiosity.

It already feels super solid and I have a huge todolist for potential updates, can’t wait to add more content to this asset.

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After learning so much about optimization I couldn’t let my first asset as it was, it received a huge optimization update, as well as new models : asteroids!

I’m thinking about updating the current planet shader to incluse atmosphere simulation, an update should be available later this year.

Game Projects and Coming up this year

Some progress has been made on SMYS, in particular on the gameplay and main interaction system, and I’m currently working on getting the Steam page up so it might be available soon-ish.

CastleQuest has been paused and I’m actually thinking about bringing back my first big game project Defense of Humanity as my main game project, it is way more creative and original in its concept and gameplay than CastleQuest and I’m planning on getting an early access version ready for this year to secure fundings and to be able to go full-time on this project. I need at the bare minimum 50k to finish the game and I don’t think I’ll be able to fund it myself so let’s hope I can find a publisher or that early access sales can make up for it, or both if I’m optimistic.

About assets I have already started working on a new one, Voxel City! I have still no idea when it will be released but this year for sure. I’m also working on releasing Pixel versions of my released Voxel assets, Pixel Planets and Pixel Nature are almost ready!

I’m also working on a free asset pack to be released this year, containing a unique asset themed after each one of my already published Voxel assets.

 

Thank you for reading, see you on the next devlog!

 

Devlog 16

Three projects released

This project is finally coming to an end, after an initial release on Android, then Steam, and recently Itch.io, I gathered players feedback for a post-release update bringing new features people asked for.

I’m still looking to port the game to Linux, and a Switch release is a possibility but no precise date for now.

• Google Play Store Page •
• Steam Store Page •
• Itch.io Store Page •

Being familiar with quiz games, I decided to make another one, this time on movies.

 Since its release in July, more than 1500 people already downloaded Movie Quiz and this number keeps growing. More movies are added to the app every month with a priority to what the users ask for. This month, the app will surpass 100 quizzes, for a total of over 1000 questions on movies of all types from action blockbusters to japanese animation.

• Google Play Download Page •

VoxelPlanets is available on the Unity AssetStore and is the first of hopefully many assets I’ll be publishing. The theme for the next one still remains a mystery but you can take a look once from time to time at the Assets page to see if the In Development caption has been updated.

• Unity Asset Store Page • 

After publishing 3 projects, SMYS was supposed to be my new main focus until its release, but as it is a collab project and not everybody working on this is a fulltime developer, I ended up having most of my tasks completed and being too far ahead because of how much time I was able to work on the project compared to others. Therefore, I decided to set this game as a side project.

Here are some screenshots of the current state of the game :

I finally finished the map design of the entire game, and everything have been digitalized and ported to Unity. Next is gray-boxing the everything to have a proper idea of how the game scales, and especially to be able to start programming map interaction systems, AI, and Character Controllers.

Experiments

I was previously experimenting with sim-building and map generation in 2D, but this little project continued escalating and I decided to go from 2D pixelart to 3D voxel as i’m most familiar with voxels and I believe this game will benefit from this change. The building and map generation being pretty much done, it’s now time to turn this into an RTS and add units we can interact with, so lately I’ve been experimenting with crowd simulation. It’s still not perfect, but I believe it reached a point I’m somewhat satisfied. I can’t wait to put everything together.

Robot model used for prototyping from Quaternius.

StarvingFox Studio Website

A quick update on some changes I’ve been doing recently on the website : Games and Assets are no longer displayed on the homepage and have their dedicated pages you can access using the navigation menu at the top right of the website. There might not be much content on the assets page for the moment, but more assets are in development and will be added to the page as soon as they are available.