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Block Story -> Minecraft like RPG


  1. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    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 :D. 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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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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    Vajsmilan likes this.
  2. Spike G

    Spike G Well-Known Member

    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!
  3. Spike G

    Spike G Well-Known Member

    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
  4. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    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.
  5. Spike G

    Spike G Well-Known Member

    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
    paulpach likes this.
  6. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    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.
    Spike G likes this.
  7. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven What does this button do? Moderator

    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.
  8. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

  9. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    Vajsmilan likes this.
  10. Vajsmilan

    Vajsmilan Member

    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!!! :D :eek:

    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...? :confused: Cuz it starts to lag when i start to explore new territory, but it is totaly playable!!! Thank you soo much! ;):cool:

    Keep up the good work!

    P.S. I like TILT option soooooooo much it is best thing evah!!! :D
  11. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    Awesome. A fan of the game :cool:

    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.
    Vajsmilan likes this.
  12. Vajsmilan

    Vajsmilan Member

    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?:D

    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...? :)
  13. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    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.
    Vajsmilan likes this.
  14. Vajsmilan

    Vajsmilan Member

    Awesome!
    Yeah, i noticed the water and i was like O.O...just forgot to mention it in the last post...:D

    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...:D Also, don't worry blue dots don't make a big problem! :rolleyes:

    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

    P.S. Can't wait for the update! :D :eek:
  15. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    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:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not only is the gui MUCH prettier now, it is also faster, in my phone I get around 5 extra fps with it.
    Vajsmilan likes this.
  16. Vajsmilan

    Vajsmilan Member

    Wow, looks awesome! :D Can't wait to try it!:cool:

    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...:confused:

    here is better quality: http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/5089/shot000005h.png

    Attached Files:

    paulpach likes this.
  17. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    Congratulations. You found the other fly in the champagne :)

    You sir, get the full version for free for detailed review, and attention to details.
  18. Vajsmilan

    Vajsmilan Member

    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! :D

    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
    [​IMG]

    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.
    paulpach likes this.
  19. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    That is very nice. Thank you.

    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.
    Vajsmilan likes this.
  20. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    Workaround did not work. I will have to live with the sparklies (blue dots) in the name of my god FPS.
    Vajsmilan likes this.
  21. Vajsmilan

    Vajsmilan Member

    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. :cool: Are all hopes lost or maybe there will be some way in the future to fix this and not pay the price of fps...?:confused: 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? :D

    P.S. Sry for bothering you with all these questions...:rolleyes:
  22. marc12868

    marc12868 Well-Known Member Contributor

    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! :D Also I like how the different ores glow :D
  23. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    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.

    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.

    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.
    Vajsmilan likes this.
  24. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    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.
    Vajsmilan likes this.
  25. paulpach

    paulpach Active Member

    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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