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Age of Decadence July Update
Game News - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Fri 8 July 2011, 20:26:29Tags: Age of Decadence; Iron Tower Studios; Vault Dweller
The best month of them all sees another development update on The Age of Decadence.
Increasing performance was and remains an important goal, especially when there are many characters on the screen. We've found a new way to optimize character models. While we're still working on it, preliminary tests show a frame per second increase from 100 to 220 fps with 10 characters on-screen, and from 55 to 140 fps (!) with 20 characters. Also we've made some improvements of the models and textures while we were at it. I'm sorry for the lack of screenshots, but we haven't finished our work there just yet. Also, we've discovered a new way to place objects on the levels that reduce memory consumption, makes loading faster and gives a general 10% increase to FPS. AoD is going to run a lot faster which will make a significant difference for people with older PCs and consoles.
Our 2D artist continues to work with the GUI. It's slowly getting a more decadent feel, along with a marked roman looking style, fitting with the overall look of the game much more. We are working on the inventory, alchemy and crafting screens, and also implementing a new dialogue screen that shows more of the action AND more text. It made a huge difference, and makes the transition from moving around the game world and dialogue way smoother.
Now all these graphics update are nice and all, but what about gameplay?
We're testing the demo portion of the game extensively, going over everything, taking notes, and fixing/adding things daily. Thoroughly testing a quest takes awhile due to the number of possible options and outcomes. The fact that everything is skill- and event-based (some options aren’t even shown if you don’t have the right skills or didn’t do something a certain way) makes things even more complicated. Key characters Feng and Dellar have over 15 different conversation triggers (other than quest reporting) just for Teron; they all need to be tested. We’re slowly learning what everyone in the industry already knows – non-linear games with multiple solutions are a bitch to develop. Oh well…
The game is slowly becoming a game. Every now and then I force Vince to play and give me some feedback. Usually he’s too busy working with text files to be a reliable tester.
His reaction in May: "mixed emotions..." [endless complaints and bitching removed to protect our fans' delicate sensibilities]
His reaction after playing the last week's build: "Fucking love it. Can't stop playing it. Don't expect anything this weekend, I'll just play. It's fucking fun. The new dialogue interface is perfect. Way better than I expected."
And yes, the new dialogue interface is great and makes a HUGE difference.