Dysis development has been shifted to a secondary tumblr blog (to accommodate multiple user postings so that I can spend my time programming rather than talking about my updates) - the new blog (including all the old posts) can be accessed from:
Dysis has achieved the Underwater Battles and Naval Units stretch goal, leftover from Kickstarter and amended with PayPal pledges!
Since it’s a little difficult to tell from the image above, I’ve taken the time to project a water-surface reflection onto the game floor/terrain/everything, here is an animated preview:
This new biome will come with a host of new units, some designed only to be used underwater! The physics (of course) are also different under water, so expect some of your normal units to not work properly, projectiles to be slower, and a number of other exciting things!
Also notice that the ARC now has “scanning” capability. I’ve been working on a special GLSL shader to highlight anything that comes into contact with the “beam”, but that’s just for some graphical fun. As I previously stated, the ARC will be used to transport units - to do this, it need to scan and pick them up first!
There is also a new building mixed into the shots - the helix turbine. Not only will players need blocks for building things, but power too! This is just one of the many ways of gathering power, but I hope people will build them all over the place!
Dysis now has team colors! (let’s face it - it’s been quite long enough). The team colors are all hue based (since all units and structures thusfar have been one color and shades of grey), so I have a new special GLSL shader that shifts the hue based on player choice and team.
This shader switches unit and building colors from RGB space (as they are in openGL), to HSV (hue, saturation, value/lightness) - changes the hue, and then shifts them back to RGB. Since there is no default blending to do this in openGL (that I am aware of?), and this is non-trivial - I wanted to test out my function on the entire screen first. Hue ranges from 0 to 360, while saturation and value go from 0 to 1. This is a 180 switch of the hue:
This is mostly correct, however in my initial tests I did run into a small typo where I was testing value/lightness instead of saturation while bringing HSV values back to RGB (you can tell by the purple spots in the top right/grey textures), and testing over the entire screen made this very obvious. After I fixed that up, I narrowed the hue shift to units and buildings based on team:
Players will be able to choose teams by a set number of colors (pre-chosen by me) that will be available. This will ensure that nobody chooses a color too similar to anyone else who is playing. I will also open up saturation and lightness to be altered by players, however I will likely clamp these to avoid players having fully black or white units.
In preparation for the Dysis Prototype Initiative in December, I’ve been working on a lot of things. I’m overhauling the menu, adding tons of content, and doing a lot of different system testing (because while Dysis may work great on my Dev computer, not everything else is built the same way). Dysis loads in a lot of high resolution textures when it launches; I’ve been using a lot of PNG format images for transparency (and because I am a bit of a quality snob - so when it comes to JPG, I try to avoid it), but decompression takes time -plus the uncompressed format you end up with can get enormous.
To speed up testing (I launch and re-launch Dysis constantly throughout the day to test changes), I dumped the uncompressed textures to my hard drive, where they are cached into RAM and load very quickly (the only bottleneck is sending them to the graphics card in the raw format - which still took almost a full second). All this, and the images were taking up lots of hard drive and video memory space. While I have a powerful graphics card with plenty of on-board memory, not everyone does - and moving forward, there will only be more textures to take up more space. The solution? I’ve swapped everything over to DDS/DXT compressed formats!
I’ve been aware of the DXT formats for a while now, but I’ve never used them, nor have I known what sort of difference they could make. Load speeds are much faster, plus the memory footprint both in installer size and video memory is drastically cut, awesome! Each DXT format (1,3,5) has some different properties that make it best used for a specific situation (higher compression without alpha, explicit alpha, interpolated alpha…etc), but now Dysis uses them all!
The other advantage to having compressed textures is: if I want to use the same memory footprint for some textures, I can actually use much higher resolution images. Win, win!
I’ve been whipping up some new units for Dysis - and they fly! Here are a couple basic ones that’ll help get you started:
The ARC is a flying transport robot capable of picking up other robots and placing them at hard to reach places on the terrain. The model isn’t quite finished yet (those front pieces are actually large thrusters - so you’ll see some big flames coming out in game), but I believe it will be crucial for use around floating islands!
This is your basic flying attack unit, single weapon, easy to destroy. It’s relatively small, but is fast and agile!
With the Kickstarter over, it’s time to go even faster! I’ll be pursuing several forms of distribution, with Steam and looking into GOG, Humble Store, Desura, hosting on Dysis.net (if anyone has some recommendations/complaints with those - let me know!), but right now I am focusing on getting the word out for Greenlight! Even if you aren’t interested in Steam, I would really appreciate you helping me out to get Dysis on Steam - as a larger community with help me build a better game (plus I will be releasing updates across all distribution channels, not just Steam)!
I’ve also gone ahead and set up PayPal links on the Dysis.net site in case anyone was unable to pledge and get in on the Kickstarter. Pledges are the same, and I’ll be gather information (names, shirt sizes) at the same time as I do with all the Kickstarter pledges. Also, since we didn’t reach all the KS stretch goals, I will be adding the PayPal total to the Kickstarter one (I’ll post the total on Dysis.net soon) so we can still hit them! If you have any questions regarding this - shoot me a message.
Stay tuned for more updates - and thanks for your support everyone!
Kickstarter Going Great - Prepping for More Updates!
Hey everyone! First off - anyone here who follows my progress and supports Dysis - thanks so much! The Kickstarter funding is going really well - let’s keep it up!
I’m working on a class of robots that will play a big role in Dysis: The Architects!
These robots will be a lot stronger than the fodder you will be throwing at your enemy and will definitely be where the FPS action is at! I’ve been whipping up their models, in-game animations and getting them ready for presentation on the next KS update:
Do note that this is just one type of Architect - there will be a lot of upgrades available to these, and I’m working on getting some examples of those ready to show off :)
There are only 2 $250 tier reward slots left - these will give you your own personalized Architect (plus T-shirts and four copies of the Protoype, Beta, and full game!) to oversee your army and base with, so get em while they last! I’ll be working with those who pledge on this tier to make their Architect exactly what they want - slap some flamethrowers on the back? You got it. Small and stealthy? Sure! You want jetboots - you got em!
The update begins! Check out the Kickstarter launch either here, youtube, or on Kickstarter itself (where I’ve added extra commentary on my mission, the game, and rewards!). The new website is now live, and I’ll be updating it to coincide with the Kickstarter as we go on.