1. A new version of the Alpha has been released! (July 17th)
    Sandbox Mode, Level Editor, Level Sharing and Solutions Browser! Download the new Alpha now!
    http://godisacube.com/for...

News - 2015 August 22 - new version v00.05.00.11 "Heliotrope Dirt" - Opening Video, histograms

Discussion in 'News and Announcements' started by King_Kadelfek, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. King_Kadelfek

    King_Kadelfek Administrator Staff Member Age of DNA - Alpha member

    Hello Cube Followers,

    The new version v00.05.00.11 "Heliotrope Dirt" is available! This is the update with a real game mode you can actually play!
    • Full 3D Opening Video
    • interactive tutorial
    • fast forward button
    • better ergonomics (Drag and Drop, etc)
    • histograms to compare your solution to other players from around the world
    If you have not subscribe yet to the Alpha, you can still do it here.
    If you have at least the Salmon Dirt B (v00.05.00.07b) version with the new autopatcher, the game will be automatically updated.
    You can also download directly the new version of the game right now:
    http://godisacube.com/forum/index.p...e-age-of-dna-v00-05-00-11a-heliotrope-dirt.25


    Opening Video

    I made an Opening Video for the game. Still no sound, with the current art, and work in progress, but it should give a solid idea of the ambiance I'm looking for.



    To give you an idea of the scale, the big hand at the start of the video is 2 million kilometers long (1.2 million miles).
    The video is 100% ingame and filmed at real speed on a 2006 computer. It should be available ingame in a future version.

    Also, I am currently in discussion with a composer for the game, so we should at least have some music in a couple of months. :D



    New Direction for the Game

    I'm showing the Puzzle Game Mode, and everybody seems to have forgotten what I did previously, and now think that the Puzzle Game Mode is the real game.
    I understand it, because previously the game was a hell to explain. Mainly because it wasn't really a game, more of a tool.

    People are calling God is a Cube "Spore how it should have been". Then saying they only liked one part of Spore. I'm calling it the "Spore Syndrome": a game where you can do everything needs a player which can do everything... and want to do everything.
    I knew the key was to focus on each step one by one, but people are asking for far much than "just a mode", they want a real game.

    So I'm still planning to develop the game as the 6 steps presented back in January, but instead of "modes", I now intend to release full games. There was already the idea to have a solo Campaign to learn how to play the game. Here, the idea is taken further by adding more work into each part of the Campaign.

    A strong point which makes me seriously consider this option, is that I got more players with the last version (with the Puzzle Mode) in 1 month than with ALL previous versions combined (without the Puzzle Mode) in 5 months.

    It would imply that I will focus more and more on the Puzzle Game, by adding more levels, such as color detection, functions, multiple Divine Cubes, etc.
    I would also add new Modes dedicated to this game, such as a Puzzle Editor and a Puzzle Sandbox.
    There are ways to do ton of stuff just with this Puzzle Game, so I am willing to give it a try if people really want it.

    Any suggestion about this?

    TL;DR
    People are asking for Puzzle Game Mode to become a real full game with more content.



    Gameplay changes

    Fast Forward button
    There is now a Fast Forward (x2 speed) button.

    01-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-fast_forward.png

    Is the new speed option ok for you? Or would you like another speed option as well (such as a 4x speed)?

    Drag and Drop System
    I replaced the "Select and Drop" Minecraft-like system by a Drag & Drop system.
    You can take a Rune from the Toolbar and drop it on the DNA, as well as reorganizing DNA Runes directly on the DNA itself.

    02-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-drag_drop.png

    There is also Take & Drop system, closer to the previous system, where you can click on a Rune, then Click somewhere else.
    Besides, keeping the CTRL key pushed will allow you to easliy create duplicate of the Runes, for both Drag & Drop and Take & Drop systems.

    If you have any other feedback on the ergonomics or would like to have something different, it's the right time to talk about this. Because we are going into a defined direction for this part, and everyone should feel at ease when manipulating Runes and DNAs.


    Tutorial
    The game now features an interactive Tutorial, which explains the controls (Drag & Drop, Take & Drop), how to delete Runes (which I didn't explain previously), etc.

    03-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-tutorial.png

    I'm using an advanced level to show a glimpse of the future (what you will be able to do at level 30).


    Histograms
    Real histograms are here, and they will show all players scores for a specific level. This way, you will be able to know if there is a more efficient solution than the one you found.
    I said it before, it's inspired straightforward from Spacechem.

    04-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-histograms.png

    To avoid cheating, I am planning to make an online verification system. It's currently not 100 % in place, so if meanwhile you see a "0 cube solution", it's definitively that someone found a way to upload data of its own.



    Saves
    There is now a save system, which allow the game to know which levels you completed, to display stats, and make various computations as explained below.

    Auto Load Last Solution
    When displaying a level, the last solution you found for said level will automatically fill the DNA (you can still reset the DNA by using the Reset button).

    05-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-autoload_last_solution.png

    Besides, all solutions you ever find are saved in the local database in your game's folder. It goes far beyond your classical file save, or "3 slots for each level" system. I designed the system to record hundreds of DNAs (50 levels multiplied by several solutions per level), and the system is already compatible with evolutions such as new DNAs and new Runes.

    There will surely be a way to display solutions you found for each level (a window with all solutions for the level sorted by number of cubes or something like that), so it will help you to find more and more otpimized solutions.

    I will talk again about it when people will have assimilated the current version of the game.


    Level Ratings
    which will tell you with which rating you finished the level. Which means if you finished the level with a Gold rating (all Stars collected), a Semi Gold rating (not all Stars collected) or a Dark Rating (no Stars collected).

    06-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-levels_ratings.png

    All levels are still accessible as you wish because we are in Alpha, but beware of the fact you should make them in the right order.


    Game Completion Percentage
    There is also a Game Completion Percentage, which will go up to 100 % when you finish all the levels with a Gold and a Dark rating.

    07-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-game_completion.png


    Ending Screen
    After the last level, you will be sent to the Ending screen (no Ending video for now but there will be one), with a few statistics and some hint to know how to get the True Ending of the game.

    08-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-ending_screen.png

    Because we are in Alpha, the hint is not subtle at all. Besides, you will surely have guessed at this point there is some secret stuff in the game.
    But remember that Secret Solutions use a lot of tricks, so you will be better to beat them after you completed the game the normal way.

    One last point, you can go back to the Ending Screen whenever you want by going to the Levels List Menu and clicking the corresponding button (which unlocks when you finish the last level):

    09-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-button_ending.png


    Feedback surveys
    I added a very short feedback survey at the end of each level, in a similar way to what the game Infinifactory did (it's a game made by Spacechem creator).

    10-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-feedback_survey.png

    They take literally less than 5 seconds to check, so please play the game. It's thank to these data that I will know where I should add, delete or move levels.


    Mac and Linux versions
    I'm still supporting Mac and Linux versions, though they are experimental (I don't a Mac or a Linux). I added the Launcher Screen so people can put up their names, but as said on this screen there is still no auto updater in these versions.

    11-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-Mac_Linux_Launcher.png

    People are telling me Mac versions are not working and are launching red errors at start.

    12-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-Mac_bug.jpg

    Looks like it's a premissions problem due to the fact I'm creating the zip on a Windows instead of using a Mac.
    Though people are saying it works fine if you make a chmod 755 on the game folder. I will of course look further into the issue so more people can play.
    In the meantime, here is the procedure to go past this problem:

    Code:
    chmod 755 giac.app/Contents/MacOS/God_is_a_Cube-Age_of_DNA
    
    You should:
    - open the terminal
    - type "chmod 755" (dont hit return yet)
    - drag the related file to the terminal window to get the path
    - hit character return key
    
    If you have more precisions, you can contact me so I can make the game working better on Mac.


    Minor changes
    • Launcher, Loading, better introduction message so people don't think they are forced to have an official account
    13-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-Launcher_better_message.png

    • Launcher, Loading, warning message about the time it can take
    14-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-Launcher_wait.png

    • DNA Mode, Button Menu, higher to be over "development build"
    15-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-button_menu.png

    • DNA Mode, Play Button, replace red playing icon by red square icon
    16-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-button_execution.png

    • DNA Mode, Divine Cube, directional arrow more visible
    17-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-blue_arrow.png

    • Level 01 First Steps, change description to avoid using the words "Directional Arrows", which refer in the mind of the player to the keyboard Directional Arrows instead of the ingame Arrows
    18-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-First_steps.png

    • Level 31 Old Mirror, put additional Rune in the base DNA and change description to give better explanation of the Direction Runes
    19-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-old_mirror.png

    I made these changes after feedback on specific levels by people:

    20-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-feedback_motors.png

    I you have something to say about a level, or a suggestion to make it better, feel free to say so. That's the purpose of the Alpha. :)


    Performance Optimizations

    I found a new way to load Cards at launch, so now the Cards Loading process is 48% faster, which represents a gain of 3.7 seconds (on my computer).

    Besides, I didn't pay attention to how much time the Cache Folder and the offline Database were taking to be created (around 17.5 seconds). It explains why so many people were quiting the game during loading, thinking it was stuck.
    I am now integrating the Cache Folder and Database into the release, so the first loading has now a gain of 17.5 seconds.

    Here is a graph to show the difference between the 2 versions:

    21-2015_08_22-God_is_a_Cube-performances.png

    So the game first loading goes from 28 seconds to 6.7 seconds, which is 76% faster!

    Now, most of the game loading time is due to Unity slowly transforming PNG files into textures, so I can read their data. I could make a custom PNG reader to access data faster, so we could gain around 3 seconds (and the total loading time would be around 3.7 seconds).
    But first, I will surely add a loading bar at start.

    On the development side, I am very satisfied with how fast and smooth the game runs. The game engine is insanely complicated, with everything made of 3D worlds imbricated into other 3D worlds made of cubes. And yet, there are no lags and no memory leaks. And I am developing the game on a 2006 computer, so it should run even better on more recent computers.

    Most of the code is not optimized at all, but I spent a lot of time on the structure. Besides, making several modes (Creative -> Factory -> Puzzle) allows me to refine the structure.

    So now the game has a very strong structure, which avoids unforeseen events (commonly called bugs, glitchs and leaks).
    I can build other code on this strong base, without fear of creating problems. And the best is that it let the door open for very resource consuming but awesome features.



    Bug and Glitches Corrections

    People reported no bugs at all for the last version, and on my side I found only a few bugs and glitches to correct. Besides, with the researches I did to find optimizations, I found that there is no more abnormal Memory consumption.
    I think we can say that the engine most technical part is almost done. There are still optimizations of course, but as far as I know there are no longer things you could call problems.

    Menus
    • Ending, BUG, correction : after finishing the last level, click "Next" redirect to the levels list instead of being stuck without any GUI and input control

    Glitches
    • DNA Mode, Mode Menu, GLITCH, correction: windows who should be invisible kept being invisible instead of showing for a frame
    • Tooltip, GLITCH, correction, invisible when referent element is invisible instead of being visible
    • Creative Mode, Cube Globe Graph, GLITCH, correction : the cube globe graph appearance is normal instead of displaying a green cube


    Complete Patchlog

    GiaC-AODNA-v00.05.00.11a - Heliotrope Dirt A - 2015 August 21
    • reflection, work
    • DNA Mode, refactor code
    • DNA Mode, Introduction, hand 3D to voxel, tests
    • DNA Mode, Introduction, camera tests
    • DNA Mode, Start Menu, first button in blue
    • DNA Mode, execution changes the interface
    • DNA Mode, BUG correction: it's no longer possible to launch red errors by changing level during execution
    • DNA Mode, Mode Menu, GLITCH, correction: windows who should be invisible kept being invisible instead of showing for a frame
    • DNA Mode, Introduction, camera, work
    • DNA Mode, scenario
    • DNA Mode, introduction, general structure
    • DNA Mode, introduction, camera controls
    • DNA Mode, introduction, camera angles, work
    • DNA Mode, introduction, face cubes fleeing
    • DNA Mode, introduction, tree, work
    • DNA Mode, introduction, tree, camera moves
    • Cube Globe Graph, GLITCH, correction : the cube globe graph appearance is normal instead of being replaced by a green cube
    • DNA Mode, introduction, Antescher Walls up
    • DNA Mode, introduction, Creature spawning
    • DNA Mode, introduction, falling cubes
    • DNA Mode, introduction, planes inside
    • DNA Mode, introduction, broken cube
    • DNA Mode, introduction, cube order
    • Stocks, calculate maximum, redesign, find the solution
    • DNA Mode, introduction, spawning tree of knowledge
    • VIDEO, introduction, draft 1
    • DNA Mode, introduction, cut scene system
    • DNA Mode, introduction, light circle
    • VIDEO, introduction, draft 2
    • DNA Mode, introduction, cut scene text disappear
    • DNA Mode, introduction, hand, cube alive moving
    • DNA Mode, introduction, tree, light at next cubes
    • DNA Mode, introduction, hand, dark to normal, work
    • DNA Mode, introduction, city, all creatures
    • DNA Mode, introduction, glitches corrections
    • DNA Mode, introduction, camera ease in and out
    • general brief, why reboot the 80s
    • music brief
    • DNA Mode, send level result
    • music, main music, feedback
    • DNA Mode, get level results, SQL request
    • DNA Mode, Button Menu, higher to be over "development build"
    • Tooltip, invisible when referent element is invisible
    • DNA Mode, Play Button, tooltip invisible when reaching Winning Pre
    • DNA Mode, Play Button, replace red playing icon by red square icon
    • DNA Mode, Divine Cube, directional arrow more visible
    • DNA Mode, Items, Drag and Drop
    • DNA Mode, Fast Mode, Button
    • DNA Mode, Fast Mode, system (speed x2)
    • XMLDeserialization
    • DNA Mode, Winning, get level result from server
    • DNA Mode, save working solution, SQLite, work
    • DNA Mode, Level Results, percentages
    • DNA Mode, Histogram, Level Result, full bars
    • DNA Mode, SQLite, save solutions
    • DNA Mode, Histogram, Level Result percentage parts
    • DNA Mode, SQLite, get solutions exits
    • DNA Mode, DNA, Drag and Drop
    • DNA Mode, Winning, feedback survey, GUI
    • DNA Mode, Winning, feedback survey, SQLite, send
    • DNA Mode, Winning, server, send and get result
    • DNA Mode, Feedback Survey, auto fill with previous answers
    • waifu Cube Chan, try
    • DNA Mode, Feedback Survey, online
    • DNA Mode, Feedback Survey, online, auto update
    • Logical Object Cube, data string, sorted cube globes and cube alives
    • DNA Mode, Level Result, auto update
    • Cards, loading, OPTIMIZATION
    • DNA Mode, Click & Click
    • DNA Mode, Click & Click, CTRL to paste several instances
    • Launcher, Mac and Linux version without autoupdater
    • Launcher, Loading, warning message about the time it can take
    • Tutorial, GUI blocks direct mouse input
    • Tutorial, Dialog Window
    • Tutorial, allow click on Next button
    • Tutorial, specify DNA cell position
    • Tutorial, specify level position
    • Tutorial, specify DNA several start-end cells position
    • Tutorial, Panels, write
    • Tutorial, Panels, logic, work
    • DNA Mode, Take and Drop, special cases
    • Grid, Detect Diagonale, split code between First Data Dositive and First Position Positive
    • Grid, detect first data pos Right Back
    • Tutorial, specify whole level coordinates
    • Tutorial, Stock Hover, display only when
    • Tutorial, Panels, all done
    • Shaders, test
    • build, test
    • DNA Mode, SQLite, load last solution
    • DNA Mode, SQLServer, load last solution
    • DNA Mode, autoload last saved offline solution
    • Level 31 Old Mirror, put additional Rune in the base DNA and change description to give better explanation of the Direction Runes
    • Tutorial, Level GUI highlighting positionning, correct
    • Ending, BUG, correction : the games goes back to the levels list instead of being stuck at the last level
    • DNA Mode, game completion percentage
    • DNA Mode, Ending, tutorial screen
    • DNA Mode, detect if last level is finished
    • DNA Mode, Feedback, send only if new or changed
    • Cache, include calculated Cache Folder and Database into build to speed up first launch
    SebLuca likes this.

Share This Page