Working with resources

I don’t have much to report about resources, except I’m still working on that. I decided to refactor some code, which I’m not quite done with yet.

There was an issue with an object factory in the code, responsible for creating items from inventory. It’s used many places and it takes time. Luckily the compiler do complain extensively about where and what is wrong.

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Tools/weapons ship

We have started to work on a new big feature for Burnt Islands – a tool/weapon ship. Player will be able to build a ship from resources available in inventory. Form of the ship and tools/weapons as well as a number of each will be totally defined by player. Here is what we have planned:

- Build ship with basic craftable boxes. You can build unlimited if you have resources to craft boxes.
- Attach tools and weapons to the ship.
- Jump up the ship and travel/do things (would need an energy tank filled with oil)
- Dig/build with the tools from the ship
- Transport resources

Here is what we have for now (boxes that can be attached to each other in order to make a big ship):
Building space ship in Burnt Islands. Here start boxes. Green.

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More resources

At the moment we’re working on adding resources. So far, so good. Here is a screenshot of the work in progress. Please, no references to Minecraft. Those cubes are to be replaced by real models soon!

screenshot_20140711T211504.347852 screenshot_20140711T211509.644155 screenshot_20140711T211522.875912

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Texture site got texture number 1000!

Earlier in 2014 we began building our own high resolution textures site as it was quite difficult to get really good seamless textures for the game for free. All new textures that are being added are free one week. If you are an indie or some artist that need textures, follow us on twitter and get all totally free textures as they are being added: @sf_textures

We were making sometimes really huge texture just for fun: this one is over 15000 pixels long (for really long walls).

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Burnt Islands release 0.14.1

Burnt Islands 0.14.1 Windows
Burnt Islands 0.14 OpenSUSE 12.3
Burnt Islands 0.14.1 Debian 7.5

This release fixes three more crash bugs.

Also the there have been some tweaks here and there regarding the skills max speed and strength and the physics engine is upgraded from Bullet 2.80 to Bullet3 ‘latest-at-Github’.

Improvements:
- Tweaks to experience / upgradable skills
- Three crash bugs eliminated
- Objects are prevented from falling through the ground before the ground/terrain is created.

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Explosions with performance issues

A video of a “Blue eye” weapon explosion in Burnt Islands after refactoring threads in the game. We’ve had a real bottleneck here!

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Burnt Islands release 0.14

Burnt Islands 0.14 Windows
Burnt Islands 0.14 OpenSUSE 12.3
Burnt Islands 0.14 Debian 7.5

This release has more unplanned features as a result of the feedback from players. Main improvement is better flying. Player now uses fuel only when you are moving while in the air.
Try it out!

New features:
- Many small islands all over the world. Player can now fly in all directions continuously. Only your capabilities is the limit!
Many small islands in Burnt Islands release 0.14

- Metal trees that give metal when destroyed.
Rotating metal tree

- Burned House with some resources inside.
Burnt house with resources

- Drill tool
Metal drill tool that digs in terrain

Improvements:
- Planks that represent the door at start is moved to the side. Perhaps it will be easier for players to understand what to do.
- Pickaxe is changed to drill.
- Visual images in the inventory make it easier to see what you have.
- You can now place items in scene and use them as walls/barriers. They won’t be picked up unless you want them too.
- You can see where you can plant trees. Red means you can’t plant at the spots, while green means you can plant it.

Bugs fixed:
- New game inside new game didn’t work in release 0.13

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Magic explosions

Blue eye explosion in the airBlue eye explosion beautiful Burnt Islands game

While testing a “Blue eye” weapon I noticed that you can shoot up in the air and the bombs will collide with each other making beautiful explosions.

Also, this blue explosion cannot damage the ground any more, just robots. The reason for this is technical difficulties as you can shoot many bombs fast and thus the whole game will be busy updating terrain.

Shooting a house with a blue eye in Burnt IslandsBlue explosion island 4 in Burnt Islands

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Rethinking a door

As a game progresses we set new goals. A new one for next release is more time players play “Burnt Islands”. In current release 0.13 the longest time played is 33 minutes. Which is bad. We get feedbacks where people tell us that they don’t understand what to do. So in order to fix this, we are changing the “door” concept.

Burnt Islands door opens by destroying planksBurnt Islands door that consists of wooden planks and is closedThe door will now be placed on one of the walls (and not in the ceiling as it was before). The planks will have some space between them so that player sees what’s behind them. And, behind the door is a “spiral” tunnel that leads players out. The tunnel is “dug” procedurally and thus all the resources that player gets by digging in this region are lying in the tunnel and the player can pick them up. It is mostly oil barrels for now that are used as an energy fuel in order to fly.

Burnt Islands tunnel out with resources lying on the groundBurnt Islands tunnel spiral algorithm digging

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Second attempt at Steam Greenlight

steam attempt 2 burnt islandsAfter our first attempt at Steam Greenlight, where we were totally smashed within 5 minutes, we decided to work more on graphics and representation of the game. After that, we were wondering how much we gain by simply improving “Burnt Islands” Steam page. So, we took some more interesting screenshots with different explosions and graphic effects. We didn’t change description or video, although we made a new and more fancy logo.

With new screenshots and logo we’ve noticed also that people were bringing more time on our page then during the first attempt.

The new page was public for 25 minutes and got 37 new visitors. We’ve got 2 yes votes and 29 no votes this time. That gave us a ratio of 5/78. In order to get Greenlit we need an approximate rate of 60/40 which means that 60% of visitors should vote Yes. The results of changing a logo and the screenshots gave us thus 22% less no votes and 5% more yes votes. Much better!

All this shows that while it is important to have a “professional”-looking logo and cool screenshots, quality of video and description is the next step. Our video is somewhat boring and doesn’t exactly look good and description is at a minimum. So now we are going to work more on the quality of the content, make new cool video and continue improving graphics.

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