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Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter Update #18: New Backer Goal, Engine Talk
Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Mon 23 February 2015, 22:29:18Tags: Chris Siegel; Jeff Kesselman; OtherSide Entertainment; Underworld Ascendant; Will Teixeira
The Underworld Ascendant Kickstarter campaign hit the $500,000 milestone over the weekend, something that the guys at OtherSide were quite happy to break their vacation to celebrate in a Kickstarter update. Owing to the quick success of the Splatter Seed Sling backer goal, the update also went and announced a third backer goal for next week, to be unlocked at 10,000 backers. Naturally, it's a Shambler artifact - a sharp-witted talking skull (hmmm...) named Chattering Bart. But today's update is more interesting than that. OtherSide's decision to use the Unity engine for this game has received criticism for some quarters. In the video accompanying the update, programmers Will Teixeira and Jeff Kesselman talk about the advantages of Unity for developing a game that's heavily based on physical simulation. It also includes some new footage of the game's prototype. Check it out:
As with the games we developed at LookingGlass, our philosophy is to avoid putting a lot of time into making pretty in-game visuals during early development. This enables us to iterate fast early on, rapidly improving game play. The tradeoff is having less impressive visuals to show off with a prototype. For fans who want to see gorgeous visuals upfront, this can be a hurdle.
Good news is that we can and will dramatically step up the visual bar. Not at the expense of gameplay, and not to try to chase AAA games that have tens-of-millions to throw at visuals, but we'll deliver a great-looking indie game.
Explaining some of the how:
Beyond tapping into the enthusiasm of Chris’ kids, our art team has track record of delivering games known for their wonderful art style and 3D visuals: BioShock, BioShock Infinite,Uncharted 2, The Last of Us, among others.
As for the software engine, we are currently using Unity 4.6 for the prototype. This version’s visual capabilities are dated. However, it's proven and robust, enabling fast prototyping.
This week we started doing test builds with a beta version of Unity 5. Its capabilities are hugely improved. Notable new features include physically-based shading, PhysX 3.3, and global illumination. Check out what Unity 5 promises to deliver when it is released for production useHERE.
When the Unity 5 beta becomes sufficiently stable that using it will not slow down our development, we will make the switch. We expect Unity 5 will be a good fit for the project’s needs. However, if we are surprised to learn it fails to deliver, we will switch to a more suitable engine.