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Devlog 15

Welcome to the new StarvingFox Studio Website

It took a while, but I finally finished the revamp! As the website is not hosted on wordpress servers anymore, I now have pretty much full controll on the design and customizability of the website.

Beside the new design, every released game has now a dedicated page on which you can access the different download pages according to the games’ platforms, specific informations related to the game, and a press-kit download button for anyone willing to share the game on his own website or media platform.

First there was a page dedicated to every project I am currently working on, but as there was nothing on their dedicated page beside some infos about the game, it felt meaningless and I decided to keep it down to the games that are currently available.

I did also set up a mailing list you can join to be notified everytime something important happens, like a game or asset release, or a new devlog. As these happen once in a while it won’t be spammy at all, I’d say maybe around 10 mails per year considering I release between 1 and 3 games per year, and a new devlog pop up every 2 months ish.

Release date

The game will be officially released on Steam August 8th 2020. Watch the new trailer :

What's different from the Android version

The main difference is of course the absence of advertisement, but this also impacts game mechanics as cancelling your last move, beeing now limited to 5 uses per level, or skipping the level, now free of use.

Some other noteworthy differences :

  • Post Processing Effects
  • Settings Menu
  • More Soundtracks
  • Partial Controller Support (not working in the settings menu)
  • Steam Achievements
  • Better Graphics

>>> STEAM PAGE <<<

This game is the first I’ve ever published and it has been around for a while now on the Google Play Store, so as I was redesigning the entire app I decided to include English translation.

With almost 50.000 downloads and a rating of  4.7/5 out of 800 ratings to this day, it is my most popular game so far and I’m glad it is now available for everyone.

The translation might not be perfect and I’d appreciate any feedback on this.

>>> GOOGLE PLAY STORE <<<

The final asset, the Moon, is finished, and I also reworked Mars, Uranus, and Saturn models.

This asset pack is finally ready for publishing and will be available soon.

The graphic redesign of DoH has been paused due to the numerous recent releases, it will be resumed in August.

Taking a step back from this project, I think the game graphics might be too generic, or common to what other developers are doing at the moment. I think it is due to the fact half of the models in the game come from Synty Studios asset packs and as other games use the same assets it just doesn’t feel right to me anymore, I need to find a proper identity for the game.

That said, I decided to not use Synty Studios assets as they come out of the box, but rather use them as a base material to still get a time boost and at the same time have the game to look like no other. It is quite time consuming as Synty Studios models are not designed to be modified or customized, this means I have to import each model into Blender to rework the model, then redefine UV maps, then import each model into Substance Painter for texturing, then import the new model into Unity.

I think I’m still getting a slight time boost doing all this, even if I have to rework most of the models to get a decent UV mapping I might spend half the time I would spend on modeling these from scratch. So let’s say if modeling represent 30 to 40 % of the work on each model and I have to spend half of this time reworking the model for UV mapping, and as Synty Studios models represent half of the assets I use in the game, in the end I still get a 7,5 to 10 % time boost on 3D models.

Here’s a look at a room I reworked :

I’m quite comfortable making lowpoly assets and no matter the direction this project take I feel confident about the final look of the game.

Experiments

I’ve been working on grid systems for quite a long time now, starting with square grids, then hexagrids, and now back to another square grid system. With the soon release of 3 of my projects I think it might be the time to turn these systems into something. I first thought about an Android game, but writting a paper on the core game mechanics has rapidly turned this idea into a PC game as the amount of content can’t suit a mobile game anymore.

It was at first a simple medieval builder/management game but then I made an entire tech-tree, added seasons, deseases, military and diplomacy. On paper this is quite a large game and I’d have to find a way to split it or cut things out to be able to release it. I’ve been wanting to make a building-management game for a while, and I hope this time has come, more infos on this to-be-project soon.

Devlog 14

The code refactor is coming to an end, and what I can say is that, beside being way more optimized, the game has changed A LOT.

To list a few changes :

  • The inventory has been expanded to 5 slots (instead of 2)
  • No more health doors, every health related item will now be stored in the inventory and usable at any moment.
  • New item (coop only) : Life Syringe, used to revive your friend during a wave.
  • No more random guns, albeit you can still buy a random gun for a mid-range price, every gun will be available in the Item store. These will still spawn on gun doors all around the map, each door having 3 slots and every gun bought once can be picked by both players in coop.
  • All health doors replaced by gun doors.
  • Both the Upgrade Store and the Item Store are now already built on every level when starting the game.
  • Some upgrades have been removed from the game as they were never used.
  • No more stamina
  • Separate banks in coop

I’ve been really inspired to rework the current models of the game and I can’t wait to start building the new face of the game once I’m done with the code refactor.

The asset is finally close to being ready for a release, will be available : Earth (and the Moon), Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, Mercury, Venus and Mars.

I wish to publish it on the Unity Asset Store in the first place, then Itch.io. As I have very little experience with Unreal, nothing is planned yet for the Unreal Marketplace, but it is not to exclude in the future.

3 assets will be available : Voxel Planets, Pixel Planets, and a discounted pack with both Voxel Planets and Pixel Planets.

The last « planet » I’m currently working on for this asset is the Moon.

Depending of how it goes with the publishing process on the Unity Asset Store, it should be available April or May 2020.

With Defense of Humanity’s code refactor and the release of Voxel Planets approaching, the prioty has shifted off CastleQuest and will remain as it is until Defense of Humanity’s graphics rework is done.

If everything goes according to plan, I should get back on working on CastleQuest once Voxel Planets is published, around April/May.

The game is most likely ready for a PC release at this point, just need to take time to add some more soundtracks, rework the menus and port it.

The PC release is planned for the second half of 2020, not yet decided on which store.

Devlog 13

Ahead reached over 100 players

So far the recent reviews have been 100% positive. Thanks to the huge feedback since the initial release I feel like I managed to improve the game to a point it is getting ready for a PC release.

I’m currently working on adding more soundtracks and improving the menus to start working on the PC port.

Download the game: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.StarvingFoxStudio.Ahead

With Casler Graphics, we recently announced a couch multiplayer game called SMYS (Show Me Your Stairs).

For now it is planned as a local multiplayer game only, but an online networking solution has been discussed and might come later to facilitate connectivity between players.

We wish to publish this game during the first half of 2020, and a month before the release date, we have planned to run a closed beta to collect players feedback. We’ll give away beta keys on Twitter so stay tuned.

A huge progress on the level design have been made, with new rooms already prototyped in the game engine, and much more on paper waiting to be built. The 50% milestep have been passed.

An entire code refactor have been recently started and as the project have been on hold for a long time (~6 months), it allowed me to step back and get some fresh ideas to improve the game.

A lot has changed since the beggining of the refactor process and I gotta say the project is heading in a way better direction thanks to this break.

More news coming as soon as the code refactor ends.

Experiments

I’ve been playing around with grid systems for a long time, but I recently had the pleasure to experiment with procedural hexagrid terrain generation.

This was a real pleasure to build and it turned into a game ready system I’ll certainly use in a future project.

Devlog 12

Ahead 2.0 is available

After 2 months of hard work, the major 2.0 update has been released.

Almost everything have been reworked, making the initial release look like a pure prototype.

  • New Color palette
  • New SFX
  • New VFX
  • New UI (Menu interfaces and In-game interfaces)
  • New app icon
  • Skip level and Rewind last move features

  • No more ads with the retry button
  • Objective quests
  • 2 new languages (French and Spanish)
  • Tutorial level
  • Camera touch controls
  • Game speed control
  • Story based player animations and progression
  • New store page

The game looks and feel better than ever and will continue improving with new upcoming content such as more music tracks and languages.

If you ever wanted to play the game, it is time.

STORE PAGE LINK:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.StarvingFoxStudio.Ahead

With Ahead 2.0 release, it is time to move the main focus back to CastleQuest. Recent work has really teached me that focusing on 1 project at a time is the way to go and CastleQuest is the project I chose to focus on next.

Expect loads of content about this project in the upcoming months, this is going to grow fast.

Devlog 11

Upcoming update - 1.3

The entire UI have just finished being reworked, here are comparison shots of all screens side by side (1.3/1.2).

Also a lot of the UI is now animated, and existing animations have also been reworked for the better.

This next update is clearly a big step-up for the game, everything is being reworked but the level design. Next on my to-do list are the such asked camera touch controls and an entire SFX rework.

Voxel Planets

My voxel planets asset is progressing and I’ve already got Mars, Saturn, and Uranus (Earth is also done but I’d like to rework the oceans).

No name project

My sim-building/management side-project is getting new building props. Different color schemes will be available in the game but here’s my favorite of the bunch I’ve tried so far.