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Old March 5th, 2012, 07:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Block Story -> Minecraft like RPG

Hi everyone,

My partner and I are developing a game for Android called Block Story. It is going to be an RPG game similar to Minecraft and Infiniminer only faster, prettier and funner . Currently it is in alpha, but it is coming into shape rather quickly.

We want people to test it on their phones, so please head over here to try it for yourself and give us feedback. Specifically, it would be great if you try it with different settings and report back FPS (lower left corner) along with your phone description. Thanks.

Features already implemented:
  • Endless world in all directions, even up and down
  • Super fast, works well even on arm6 phones
  • floating islands
  • Interconnected cave system that extends for kilometers
  • Beautiful water
  • Colored lights
  • Day/night cycle
  • Snow up in the mountains
  • Digging and placing blocks


Features in the pipeline:
  • Monsters
  • Game saving and loading
  • Hell, dig deep and you can find hell
  • Leveling and skills
  • World sharing so you can upload your world to our web site and people can search, vote, comment on and download worlds
  • Many more (open for ideas).


Here are some screenshots.







Version 2.2 beta is available now:

Changelog:
Version 2.2
  • Bodacious new GUI, based on the fantastic NGUI framework.
  • Now you can open inventory, and keep playing. Perfect for building since you can quickly switch between different items quickly and without fuss.
  • Sliders in settings page are easier to hit and easier to read.
  • The settings background is transparent. When you adjust sliders, you can see the effects immediately, as well as how it affects fps.
  • Completelly rewritten from scratch collision detection system. Now player cannot fall through the ground (I call upon all beta testers to break it). This rework was necessary in order to have monsters.
  • I get around 60% more FPS now in my phone. Will see what testers report.
  • Stars are back at night
  • Added a planet to night skybox
  • Now we can have fog even on dynamic sky. Configuration is simplified to a simple slider for fog density. Set it to 0 for maximum performance.
  • Dynamic, vs foggy vs simple sky is gone. Now there is a simple sky quality slider that trades speed for quality.
  • Building at your feet should work better now.
  • Improved rock, ore and leafs textures.
  • We have our first monster.

Version 1.5
  • Multilingual support. Now translated to English, Spanish and Russian. If you speak other languages and want to see this game speak your language, drop me a note, it just takes 5 mins to translate.
  • Player can no longer spawn inside a mountain
  • Fixed glitches with placing blocks. Hint: Try placing a block at your feet.
  • Much faster digging and block placing.
  • New game screen now comforms to the the theme.
  • Awesome level up animation

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Old March 6th, 2012, 01:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I appreciate the opportunity to test apps before theyre on the market. I've downloaded and i'm starting my first world now. I'll give you some feedback soon!
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Old March 6th, 2012, 01:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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WOW great work. Just getting into it, i've developed some likes and dislikes
Like:
Sounds, animations, compas, menu, jump height, repeating autojump.
Love:
how you can build underneath yourself without having to jump, floating islands

Dislikes:
bit glitchy with the build underneath yourself, the blocks dont show up till i jump back up again.
placing blocks is a long hold instead of a quick tap as was expected but its not a major flaw.

Running at 30 fps avg at standstill and 38 while active
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Old March 6th, 2012, 01:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike G View Post
WOW great work. Just getting into it, i've developed some likes and dislikes
Like:
Sounds, animations, compas, menu, jump height, repeating autojump.
Love:
how you can build underneath yourself without having to jump, floating islands

Dislikes:
bit glitchy with the build underneath yourself, the blocks dont show up till i jump back up again.
placing blocks is a long hold instead of a quick tap as was expected but its not a major flaw.

Running at 30 fps avg at standstill and 38 while active
Thank you for the feedback. On the todo we have an item for fixing placing blocks. Currently you can place blocks that overlap with the player. But now that you mention it, being able to place blocks under you is good, especially for building tall towers, and especially in mobile, so I will have to think about how to do it.

The only problem with instant place, is that there would be accidental places when you use drag to look mode.

Also, please try with different settings in the Settings -> Graphics menu. You have some very good FPS, so you can afford to have better quality

Please report back FPS you get with the different settings, and what kind of phone you have. Specifically, I am interested in CPU, memory, and screen resolution.

Also, please you include the version you are testing. We are releasing almost every day, so it would be helpful to keep track.
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Old March 6th, 2012, 03:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tip. I'm currently using the Casio G'zOne commando
Display
Resolution: 480 x 800
Size: 3.6-inch
Type: TFT LCD

Operating System: Android 2.2
RAM: 512MB
Processor: 800 MHz Qualcomm MSM7630

running beta 1.3


Some more feedback:
just started a new world and spawned inside a block, not sure how to get out.
The button for starting a new world is skinny and elongated which makes it somewhat difficult to press. also the back soft key on my phone does nothing in your application, i'm not sure if you planned it that way or what, just an observation
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Old March 6th, 2012, 03:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike G View Post
just started a new world and spawned inside a block, not sure how to get out.
The button for starting a new world is skinny and elongated which makes it somewhat difficult to press. also the back soft key on my phone does nothing in your application, i'm not sure if you planned it that way or what, just an observation
Thank you. I will get those issues fixed soon. For the time being, you can just dig your way out, or start a new world with different seed.

Try the tilt mode in Inventory -> Settings -> Controller. It is my personal favorite. It is great for exploring around.
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Old March 6th, 2012, 06:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Spike,
I just loaded this on my Galaxy Nexus (VZW) and it loaded fine and the screens are smooth as silk. I am dealing with some home network issues (neighbors wifi colliding with mine) so I have to get the family up and running. I will test on Droid 1, Droid 2, Kindle Fire, and the GNex when I get a chance.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 12:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Somebody made this cool video, where we show off some of the features:

Block Story beta 1.3 (HTC EVO 3D GSM test) - YouTube

We will release a new version soon. There are a ton of fixes and changes that we have made.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 08:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Version 1.5 beta is out.

Please try it
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Old March 13th, 2012, 07:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Trying right now, on my LG P500 480x360 with PerfectPeso2.2 custom ROM clocked at 806Mhz governer: performance.

I gotta say that i am really astounded by you work! I finally found game like Minecraft PE that can work on my phone and it is even 10 times better!!!

You my friend ROCK! It is late now, so i will post my testing results little later, but until now it runs pretty good! On MAX settings it sometimes get 5-25 fps, and sometimes runs smooth at 15-25fps, and on moderate i get about 5fps boost. I am wondering why it sometimes lags while sometimes it runs smooth! It probably lags when its making new terran right...? Cuz it starts to lag when i start to explore new territory, but it is totaly playable!!! Thank you soo much!

Keep up the good work!

P.S. I like TILT option soooooooo much it is best thing evah!!!
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Old March 13th, 2012, 08:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vajsmilan View Post
Trying right now, on my LG P500 480x360 with PerfectPeso2.2 custom ROM clocked at 806Mhz governer: performance.

I gotta say that i am really astounded by you work! I finally found game like Minecraft PE that can work on my phone and it is even 10 times better!!!

You my friend ROCK! It is late now, so i will post my testing results little later, but until now it runs pretty good! On MAX settings it sometimes get 5-25 fps, and sometimes runs smooth at 15-25fps, and on moderate i get about 5fps boost. I am wondering why it sometimes lags while sometimes it runs smooth! It probably lags when its making new terran right...? Cuz it starts to lag when i start to explore new territory, but it is totaly playable!!! Thank you soo much!

Keep up the good work!

P.S. I like TILT option soooooooo much it is best thing evah!!!
Awesome. A fan of the game

Yes. It probably slows down somewhat while generating new terrain. It is much better if you have multiple cores since it can use one core for terrain generation and another for rendering screen.

It also depends on what you look at. Sometimes you might look at terrain that is more complex which might affect FPS. Pretty much anything above 15 FPS is comfortable to play.

Our next release will be one of the biggest yet. It will happen within a day or two. Stay tuned as we would like to see what impact the changes have on other phones.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 01:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Here is what i got:

I always used dynamic sky, and view distance 150, chunks load 60 and 60m and selector to 2.

On max settings game looks gorgeous, it even has like dents if terrain is set to 3 but it takes 5 fps more to work...:/ So i noticed that on max if it doesn't lag much i get around 10-20 fps, but it gets to drop to like 3fps sometimes, but on moderate i get 15-30 fps unless it starts to lag sometimes and gets down to 5-10fps. but on low graphics i don't get any boost in fps and it even lag sometimes more, or its just me trippin...xD But i think its totaly playable on medium.

Bugs: think that its known beta bug, but safe option doesn't work with me, and also sometimes terrain gets these blue dots, and also doesn't load terrain sometimes, is it because of my low performance phone?

Also, will we be able to craft anything in finished version like weapons, and will we be able to mine our own blocks and not have and infinite number of blocks in inventory...?
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Old March 14th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Here is what i got:

I always used dynamic sky, and view distance 150, chunks load 60 and 60m and selector to 2.

On max settings game looks gorgeous, it even has like dents if terrain is set to 3 but it takes 5 fps more to work...:/ So i noticed that on max if it doesn't lag much i get around 10-20 fps, but it gets to drop to like 3fps sometimes, but on moderate i get 15-30 fps unless it starts to lag sometimes and gets down to 5-10fps. but on low graphics i don't get any boost in fps and it even lag sometimes more, or its just me trippin...xD But i think its totaly playable on medium.

Bugs: think that its known beta bug, but safe option doesn't work with me, and also sometimes terrain gets these blue dots, and also doesn't load terrain sometimes, is it because of my low performance phone?

Also, will we be able to craft anything in finished version like weapons, and will we be able to mine our own blocks and not have and infinite number of blocks in inventory...?
Thank you for the review.

Dropping to 3fps is definitely a concern. We will take a look to see what can cause such dramatic slowdown. Dynamic sky is somewhat expensive, so if fps is not tolerable, you can switch to simple of fog sky and that helps a lot (albeit it is not quite as pretty). I am glad someone noticed the "dents", as they took a lot of work. Water is also very pretty in max quality, check it out.

The save feature will be a full version only. The free version will not be able to save. But we have not implemented persistence yet. This is a known problem and very high in our priority list.

I am painfully aware of the blue dots. It is a price we had to pay for performance. There might be a workaround in the future that allows me to remove them, but it will require pro version of Unity for android which costs $3000. That is the reason I have not been able to fix them yet. It may need to be a toggle in the settings because it might affect FPS.

The terrain might just take some time to load. We have implemented prioritization so that the terrain closest to you gets loaded first, but the fact is that there is a lot of math going on in background while terrain is generating and slower phones just have to wait. There is an "invisible wall" that does not let you wander off from loaded terrain, that at least prevents you from jumping off into the void while terrain is being generated. There might be more speedups in the future to help with this.


Crafting is in the pipeline.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 03:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Awesome!
Yeah, i noticed the water and i was like O.O...just forgot to mention it in the last post...

Also, now i maxed out everything, even view distance and chunk loader at 150m and 100m and it runs damn pretty good, like 15-30fps, and sometimes drops to 10fps, but there are sometimes still down-peaks when it gets around 3fps but now more rearly, and ofc, on moderate it runs even better but it is playable even on max... Also, don't worry blue dots don't make a big problem!

For getting best performance, before playing this game i usually restart my phone
clock it to 806Mhz and kill all the running programs exept "settings" and "LG keyboard", so phone uses just 60MB od RAM and thus, game is always tested in same situation, so that you know i don't have any app running in behind and changing test results.

P.S. Can't wait for the update!
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Old March 14th, 2012, 04:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Also, don't worry blue dots don't make a big problem!
These darn blue dots have haunted my dreams for about 5 months now. They are the fly in the champagne. My partner does have unity pro. So I will try that workaround and hopefully I can finally put that issue to rest.

Here are some screenshot of new gui:





Not only is the gui MUCH prettier now, it is also faster, in my phone I get around 5 extra fps with it.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Wow, looks awesome! Can't wait to try it!

Ah yeah, i wanted to ask do only i get these brown/orange lines beetwen each block? :/ You maybe won't be able to see them clearly cuz i had to lower the quality to be able to upload it...

here is better quality: http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/5089/shot000005h.png
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Old March 14th, 2012, 04:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vajsmilan View Post
Wow, looks awesome! Can't wait to try it!

Ah yeah, i wanted to ask do only i get these brown/orange lines beetwen each block? :/ You maybe won't be able to see them clearly cuz i had to lower the quality to be able to upload it...

here is better quality: http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/5089/shot000005h.png
Congratulations. You found the other fly in the champagne

You sir, get the full version for free for detailed review, and attention to details.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 05:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Congratulations. You found the other fly in the champagne

You sir, get the full version for free for detailed review, and attention to details.
Thx man! Well, if thats the case, i will continue to test this game the best i can, and post my test results to you until it's completely finished!

Glad to be of help to someone just by doing one of my favorite things, playing games!

I don't know if you know this, but i changed walking speed to around 5 and my character started to randomly "sink" and sometimes gets stuck 2-3 blocks below surface every 1-3 min so i need to dig myself up...xD Need to confirm this to see if it's because of speed. o.O


P.S. I forgot to mention for my phone specs, that it's running on (modded) android 2.3.7, and has 410MB of RAM.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 07:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thx man! Well, if thats the case, i will continue to test this game the best i can, and post my test results to you until it's completely finished!
That is very nice. Thank you.

Quote:
I don't know if you know this, but i changed walking speed to around 5 and my character started to randomly "sink" and sometimes gets stuck 2-3 blocks below surface every 1-3 min so i need to dig myself up...xD Need to confirm this to see if it's because of speed. o.O
That is very useful. I had no idea how to reproduce the problem. In hindsight, speed is an obvious way.

The next release will feature a rewritten from scratch collision detection system based on sorcery from here. I had to rewrite the collision detection system in order to have monsters. It will be very interesting to see if you can reproduce the problem with it.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 10:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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These darn blue dots have haunted my dreams for about 5 months now. They are the fly in the champagne. My partner does have unity pro. So I will try that workaround and hopefully I can finally put that issue to rest.
Workaround did not work. I will have to live with the sparklies (blue dots) in the name of my god FPS.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 11:10 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Workaround did not work. I will have to live with the sparklies (blue dots) in the name of my god FPS.
Thats too bad...:/ Did you try to fix this with the Pro version...?

But with the game that is this much awesome, i think it will be tolerable, at least i don't mind. Are all hopes lost or maybe there will be some way in the future to fix this and not pay the price of fps...? You said something about toggle options in settings, like will we be able to choose between option for no spots and lower fps and with spots and better performance, is this possible to implement...? How much fps gain are we talking about?

P.S. Sry for bothering you with all these questions...
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Old March 15th, 2012, 01:41 AM   #22 (permalink)
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This runs pretty smoothly on my HTC Mytouch 4G Silde. Which has 768 MB and a 1.2 Ghz dual core running a stock deodexed rom which is GB at stock frequencies. With the graphics settings on fantastic and the sky on dynamic I average around 30-40 FPS while moving and while standing still I average around 55 FPS (this is with the default view distance and such). There is an occasional slowdown and when saving it will slowdown for a second or 2, but overall very smooth. Also with every setting at it's highest (besides chunk loading) I average around 30-40 FPS in loaded chunks and when entering unloaded chunks it drops to around 20-30 FPS this is while moving around. Overall I like it so far! Good job guys! Also I like how the different ores glow
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Old March 15th, 2012, 09:40 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Thats too bad...:/ Did you try to fix this with the Pro version...?
Yes. I did. I need image effects to fix this (which is a pro only feature), but when we tried, they don't seem to work at all in android.

Quote:
But with the game that is this much awesome, i think it will be tolerable, at least i don't mind. Are all hopes lost or maybe there will be some way in the future to fix this and not pay the price of fps...?
Not all hope is lost, there are a few things I can try, but to be honest, for us other things like persistence and monsters are more important right now.

To give some background: I have a very unique optimization where adjacent blocks are merged together and form large rectangles. So if you look at a water surface for example, or valleys, the whole thing takes just a few triangles. Unfortunately, this causes adjacent triangles not to align perfectly because of floating point errors in the video card when a large triangle is next to a smaller triangle. This is not a bug in the video card, it is the nature of floating points in computers that cannot have infinite precision.
See here for screenshots illustrating the optimization, along with some numbers.

Removing this optimization would just kill the game. FPS could be halved or worse.

Quote:
P.S. Sry for bothering you with all these questions...
It is no bother at all, engagement and feedback is the reason I posted in the forum in the first place. Plus I like talking about my work .

@marc12868
is the slowdown happening when saving? If that is so, then I could fairly easily eliminate the saving overhead on FPS.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 10:42 AM   #24 (permalink)
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It turns out that dynamic sky at minimum detail is faster than simple sky (and more beautiful). So we are dumping simple sky altogether, as its purpose is no longer valid.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 11:23 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I don't know if you guys have waited long enough. But I would like you to check out dawn or dusk with dynamic sky. The day lasts 12 minutes, so there a dawn or dusk every 6 minutes. I think on that version the day starts at midnight, so you just need to wait 3 minutes before dusk. This also took quite a bit of work.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:09 PM   #26 (permalink)
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@marc12868
is the slowdown happening when saving? If that is so, then I could fairly easily eliminate the saving overhead on FPS.
There was some slowdown at saving, but not much. But it seems kinda random other than that although it isn't too bad and it jumps back up to 30+ FPS fairly fast so it isn't a problem

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I don't know if you guys have waited long enough. But I would like you to check out dawn or dusk with dynamic sky. The day lasts 12 minutes, so there a dawn or dusk every 6 minutes. I think on that version the day starts at midnight, so you just need to wait 3 minutes before dusk. This also took quite a bit of work.
There doesn't really seem to be a difference for me or at least not that much difference in FPS between the time cycles.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:23 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I don't know if you guys have waited long enough. But I would like you to check out dawn or dusk with dynamic sky. The day lasts 12 minutes, so there a dawn or dusk every 6 minutes. I think on that version the day starts at midnight, so you just need to wait 3 minutes before dusk. This also took quite a bit of work.

I played for several (in game) days. Day cycle works flawlesly, and also didn't notice any fps changes during night and day.

When saving, it drops fps but its like for 3 seconds and on every 300seconds, so no big deal...

Also, would it be possible to make something between dynamic sky and fog, like in minecraft, to be able to see dynamic sky when we look up, but there would be also fog near the ground where our line of sight ends so that we don't see parts of land that are not loaded far away, if you know what i mean.

And thank for explaining this optimisation thing, alot of stuff is now clearer to me!
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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:46 PM   #28 (permalink)
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There doesn't really seem to be a difference for me or at least not that much difference in FPS between the time cycles.
I wasn't clear enough. Dawn and Dusk don't affect FPS. I was just talking about how pretty and colorful the sky looks. That was not easy.

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Also, would it be possible to make something between dynamic sky and fog, like in minecraft, to be able to see dynamic sky when we look up, but there would be also fog near the ground where our line of sight ends so that we don't see parts of land that are not loaded far away, if you know what i mean.
Yes, it is possible and easy to do. I actually had it that way in earlier desktop versions, but it got lost along the way for some reason. In fact, now that you mention it, it will help make the sparklies (blue dots) less visible in caves. We will take a look. The only thing I didn't like about it is that fog was not dark inside caves. Minecraft has the same problem.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 01:10 PM   #29 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=paulpach;4079567]I wasn't clear enough. Dawn and Dusk don't affect FPS. I was just talking about how pretty and colorful the sky looks. That was not easy.

Ah yea, it's very pretty! especialy how the ores glow in the dark! *_* But why is it different from night sky in this video...? Block Story beta 0.4( test 10)[MineCraft analog on Android] - YouTube

In 5:43 you can see that the sky had more stars (colourful) than now... Or is it just with my phone...? o.O
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Old March 15th, 2012, 01:26 PM   #30 (permalink)
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In 5:43 you can see that the sky had more stars (colourful) than now... Or is it just with my phone...? o.O
I think we had a higher resolution skybox back then. We reduced the resolution to save memory/make it faster, but the stars got lost when scaling the skybox.

I will try to regenerate the skybox for lower resolution instead of shrinking it so that we can have stars.

Good catch.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 01:37 PM   #31 (permalink)
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If anyone wants to give it a shot at making a pretty skybox for night, I use this tool

resolution target is 256 on each face
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Old March 15th, 2012, 01:58 PM   #32 (permalink)
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If anyone wants to give it a shot at making a pretty skybox for night, I use this tool

resolution target is 256 on each face
Thx for link, looks interesting, gonna check it out little later when i get a little free time...
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Old March 16th, 2012, 12:03 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Would there be a way to add the settings to the main menu before you enter a game? And also a reset to default button in settings under graphics?
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Old March 16th, 2012, 02:32 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Would there be a way to add the settings to the main menu before you enter a game? And also a reset to default button in settings under graphics?
Ran it by partner who is making all the gui. He agrees, so we will add it.

Thanks.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 01:03 PM   #35 (permalink)
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So i noticed that on max if it doesn't lag much i get around 10-20 fps, but it gets to drop to like 3fps sometimes.
I think we found the source of this problem. It might be any one of these, or a combination of them:
  • the simple sky is actually slower than dynamic sky at min detail.
  • the collision detection system in there has large overhead, so sometimes when walking around it lowered FPS. I have rewritten the collision detection system from scratch to take advantage of the rectilinear geometry and it does not seem to suffer from this problem anymore.
  • loading chunks was using a _very_ expensive function from unity. This caused fps to take a nose dive every time a chunk was loaded.

We have fixed all three issues, and results are very promising. We have one last outstanding issue to resolve before making a new release.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Amazing! Glad to hear that you resolved those problems and are progressing very fast! Can't wait for release!

I also gave my friend to try the game on his Xperia mini ST15i with 1Ghz proccessor and 480x320 screen with 350MB RAM and it runs damn smooth on all MAX 30-50fps.

1.So he tried it for few days and he told me that after about half an hour of playing, game just shuts down, and i think i experienced the same problem 3-4 times till now on my P500.

2.Sometimes lags when placing or breaking blocks, also experienced on my P500 sometimes.

3.And also a bug when placing blocks underneath you, but i think you already know that one, and probably the previous ones...
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Old March 16th, 2012, 02:14 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I also gave my friend to try the game on his Xperia mini ST15i with 1Ghz proccessor and 480x320 screen with 350MB RAM and it runs damn smooth on all MAX 30-50fps. So he tried it for few days and he told me that after about half an hour of playing, game just shuts down, and i think i experienced the same problem 3-4 times till now.
This is the kind of things why I posted in the forum in the first place. I do not have the time to play with this thing for 30 minutes straight, so I would have never noticed this.

This sounds like there is a memory leak somewhere. Memory leaks are a PITA to find, but I will see if I can find it.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #38 (permalink)
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@Vajsmilan & @marc12868

We have made our bug database public. You can go there and see everything we have in our pipeline, as well as keep up with each individual item we are working on. You can also submit bugs.

It is not the most advanced bug tracking system on earth, but we are only 2, and it is sufficient.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 04:43 PM   #39 (permalink)
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@Vajsmilan & @marc12868

We have made our bug database public. You can go there and see everything we have in our pipeline, as well as keep up with each individual item we are working on. You can also submit bugs.

It is not the most advanced bug tracking system on earth, but we are only 2, and it is sufficient.
Wow, this is great! THX

Like the idea for hardware keys support, but will we be able to assign controls to move forward or placing/destroying blocks to buttons on our devices...?

Like the automatic placing blocks under the player, and added fog option to dynamic sky! Also presistence world will be awesome so that we don't have to wait for already generated chunks to be loaded again, it will be like on minecraft, right...?

P.S. Started playing with Spacescape, and gotta say its simple and impresive program but 512x512 skyboxes look really squary, and i don't even wanna talk about the 256x256 ones... So actually you guys did impressive job with the night sky!
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Old March 16th, 2012, 05:00 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Like the idea for hardware keys support, but will we be able to assign controls to move forward or placing/destroying blocks to buttons on our devices...?
Believe me, there is nothing I would like more than having trackball support, but Unity is not sending us messages from the trackball at all, so we have not been able to figure that one out yet.

As for making it configurable, I suppose it can be done, go ahead and submit a bug if you like. But it cannot promise we will get to it right away because I think the other stuff in the list has higher priority.

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Persistence world will be awesome so that we don't have to wait for already generated chunks to be loaded again, it will be like on minecraft, right...?
Not exactly. Chunks will still be generated, I will never save chunks per se. I will only save your changes to the world. This way I can have infinite worlds taking up just a few bytes of space. This also will allow me to upgrade your saved world, so if on future releases we add extra ores, your saved world from previous version will see the new ores.

But the time it takes to generate chunks has been improving steadily. It used to take minutes on desktop, now it takes seconds in mobile. I will continue to enhance it as I find more and more optimizations.

Persistence means that you build something, walk away, come back and it is still there. It also means that you build something, exit the game and come back, and it is still there. This will be available only in the full version of the game, which you will receive for free .
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Old March 16th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Aah, thx for taking time to explain this to me!

Planning to make a gameplay video when you release next beta!
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Old March 16th, 2012, 06:00 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Planning to make a gameplay video when you release next beta!
Would you like to make a trailer? we would feature it in our web site.

I will make a web version available for you so it is easy to record video.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 06:34 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Would you like to make a trailer? we would feature it in our web site.

I will make a web version available for you so it is easy to record video.

Heheh, i would really like that! But honestly, i don't have any experience in making trailers, and i don't have much free time because of college preperations...:/

But i will look into it, and if i get some awesome idea for trailer, and some spare time i will definitely try to make something great and worthy enough for this game! thx for suggestion
tho, definetly gonna consider it!

P.S. What are your thoughts for adding a dead zone in tilt mode...? So it can be used even while crafting and building.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #44 (permalink)
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MASSIVE update. This is our biggest update yet. This is from our changelog:

Head over here to download

Please go ahead and test this thing. Try to break it. Also, please report if there is any change in FPS between previous version and this version.

You will need to uninstall previous version before installing this one.
  • Bodacious new GUI, based on the fantastic NGUI framework.
  • Now you can open inventory, and keep playing. Perfect for building since you can quickly switch between different items quickly and without fuss.
  • Sliders in settings page are easier to hit and easier to read.
  • The settings background is transparent. When you adjust sliders, you can see the effects immediately, as well as how it affects fps.
  • Completelly rewritten from scratch collision detection system. Now player cannot fall through the ground (I call upon all beta testers to break it). This rework was necessary in order to have monsters.
  • I get around 60% more FPS now in my phone. Will see what testers report.
  • Stars are back at night
  • Added a planet to night skybox
  • Now we can have fog even on dynamic sky. Configuration is simplified to a simple slider for fog density. Set it to 0 for maximum performance.
  • Dynamic, vs foggy vs simple sky is gone. Now there is a simple sky quality slider that trades speed for quality.
  • Building at your feet should work better now.
  • Improved rock, ore and leafs textures.
  • We have our first monster.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 06:11 PM   #45 (permalink)
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OMG, thiz iz awesome! O.O

Like:
- HUGE performance boost, almost never drops below 15fps on MAX and average 20-25!
- Faster chunk loading
- New interface
- night sky is beutiful!!! And also like the planet!
- monsters

Dislike:
- Tilt option is now very bad, it spins like crazy exept on minimum, and even then it's very hard to make it work like in 1.5 version.
- Why are all ores now yellow...? I personaly liked the previous ones much better!:/
- And home screen was prettier before i think. Here's a screen shoot.
Imageshack - shot000012s.png
Imageshack - shot000001mf.png
- Also, my inventory slot is bugged i think...:/ http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/6163/shot000013.png

But overall it's really great progres you made! Love it!
When i started it for first time, i played it for like half an hour strait, couldn't belive how it runs smooth now...! xD
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Old March 18th, 2012, 10:39 AM   #46 (permalink)
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- Tilt option is now very bad, it spins like crazy exept on minimum, and even then it's very hard to make it work like in 1.5 version.
We overlooked something, I submitted a bug.

Quote:
- Why are all ores now yellow...? I personaly liked the previous ones much better!:/
Yellow ores are only for gold. Other ores will be different. For now, all ores are yellow until we get to more ores. We will support texture packs, which people can share in our website, so this can be a matter of picking a different pack.

Quote:
- And home screen was prettier before i think. Here's a screen shoot.
Imageshack - shot000012s.png
Imageshack - shot000001mf.png
I agree, I added a bug.

Quote:
- Also, my inventory slot is bugged i think...:/ http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/6163/shot000013.png
I added a bug, will fix soon.

Quote:
But overall it's really great progres you made! Love it!
When i started it for first time, i played it for like half an hour strait, couldn't believe how it runs smooth now...! xD
Yes. there is a lot of optimization that went into this release:
  • The GUI. Even though it has more effects and animations, is significantly faster. We rewrote the whole gui using NGUI, and it alone is responsible for at least 5fps extra in my phone.
  • Loading chunks is faster now. I avoided a costly unity function I was using before
  • Optimized shaders, particularly for skybox.
  • Rewritten collision detection is optimized for rectilinear terrain. No longer using unity's collision detection.

On every single release, I keep thinking I cannot possibly optimize this further, but every single time I find something else. I have this sensation again, I think I reached the end of the road, hopefully I will prove myself wrong again
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Old March 19th, 2012, 09:06 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Another release: 2.2.5.2 , fixing some of the issues reported:
  • Fix tilt mode
  • Main screen brings back the green Block Story label
  • Monster now comes in 3 sizes: Baby Giggles, Mr. Giggles and Grampa Giggles.
  • equipment icon now aligns properly at top left corner
  • Magic. Select the skull in the inventory, and tap Mr. Giggles.
  • Now you can kill Mr. Giggles
  • Mr. Giggles respawns after you kill him.
  • Monsters have a health bar and name above their head

I also updated the web version of it so that it is easier to make videos.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 02:01 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Here is a beta 2.2 gameplay video i made, even it's filmed with HD camera, it's still quite poor quality, maybe photo cameras don't take good films even with 720p recorder... And sry for ocasional unintended moving of my phone acroos screen, i had to play on table, because i don't have stand for my camera so i had to improvise with 2 empty cans and a wood board to hold camera...xD

But i show almost all of the in game features: homescreen, Mr Giggles (lol, didn't know he had a name...), water, night sky, glowing ores, building, snow, caves, etc...

Plus added some extra music to make things more interesting while watching video...

When i get some time i will make new better one, cuz it needs a little room lightening, changing britness to the max and to try not to move phone a lot during filming...

Block Story LG P500 gameplay Beta 2.2 - YouTube
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Old March 19th, 2012, 03:09 PM   #49 (permalink)
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@Vajsmilan
Thanks. That is a cool video. I like the music and how you show most of the features. You rock flying much more than I do .

I have made web and pc version of the game available. You can record video with tools like FRAPS. It would look significantly better than recording your phone with a camcorder.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 05:07 PM   #50 (permalink)
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I found a low hanging fruit:

Apparently when the game starts, Mr. Giggles AI or most likely the collision detection for him is taking a lot of CPU, causing the game to lag significantly. After a bit, the slowness goes away and game is fast. In other words: Mr. Giggles eats CPU.

Hopefully I can get this issue resolved today, just need to figure out why this happens

One thing I forgot to mention, we now have "tap to place" mode, so construction is much easier. But it does not work when inventory is open. I will try to fix that.
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