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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.

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.