Every Second Counts
In less than two weeks, we will be presenting at DreamHack Denver! Knights of the Drowned Table was selected as a finalist for Best AR / VR Experience! We will be presenting multiplayer demos of the Tavern as well as the Drunken Dunes levels we have created in the last month.
This is an amazing opportunity for the RillyBoss Studios team and we are so excited to be a part of it. Before we can present we will need to optimize, polish, fix bugs, and enhance the boss fight. There is still so much to do, and we have less than two weeks until the event. We have upped our production dramatically to ensure we offer the best presentation possible.
Optimize and then Optimize Again!
Virtual Reality is an amazing experience when it works. However, it can be nauseating when it does not. Because Virtual Reality games needs to be rendered separately for each eye, your computer needs to do double the amount of work. If it cannot do the work fast enough, you will experience visual lag which can cause motion sickness. In order to prevent this, I have spent the last week profiling and optimizing Knights of the Drowned Table.
Drunken Dunes is a large open space. Although this creates nice visuals for the players, it creates an optimization nightmare. Every object that is visible to the player needs to be rendered and this causes a performance hit. In our desert landscape hundreds of plants, rocks, and enemies can be seen looking out into the distance.
One problem we have is that there is a large amount of small cacti scattered around the landscape, and it was causing a performance hit. We attempted to cheat the system by only rendering objects that are a certain distance away. In Virtual Reality, this effect is less appealing as the user can see objects appear seemingly out of nowhere.
By adding blowing sand effects in the distance, we have masked this issue and were able to gain a nice performance boost. In addition to this, we have also implement many more optimization techniques such as occlusion culling (hiding objects not visible to the player), combining static geometry into one object, and more.
Even with all of the optimization, we still aren’t quite there yet. We need to maintain 90 Frames per Second, and some portions of our scene are rendering much slower at times. We will be continuing to dedicate a large amount of time to ensure Drunken Dunes is ready for our fans.
One Man, Many Hats
I am still learning how to wear the many hats that come bundled with running a business. I founded RillyBoss Studios just a few short months ago. Since then, the to-do list has grown substantially.
Programming games is now just a small fraction of what I need to get done every day. Advertising, marketing, payroll, community feedback, research, management, web design, and procurement eat up a huge portion of my day. I have learned a lot about quite bit in a short time, but am not yet an expert by any means.
I am also struggling to manage the stress, and it is starting to pour into my day to day life. I had hoped that things will cool down a bit after DreamHack, but I know we will be pushing full steam ahead to hit the Holiday release deadline.
Luckily, I am surrounded by a passionate and talented team. Without the substantial work from Jeremiah, Julian, and Taylor there is no way I would be able to complete this project. Game Development requires a vast amount of work, and my team has proven time and time again they are up to the task.
We recently joined BrightLocker and will be bringing Knights of the Drowned Table live on their platform this week. BrightLocker shares the same vision as us – getting fans involved with the development of their favorite games – and we are thrilled to be a part of it. By following us on BrightLocker, our fans will be able to directly influence the vision and direction of Knights of the Drowned Table!
The Knights of the Drowned Table webpage is up! You can view the page by click here or by visiting www.knightsofthedrownedtable.com. Expect to see some visual updates coming to the page such as new videos, features, accolades, and more in the coming months!
Last but not least, we will be attending PAX South in Austin, TX early January 2018. This will be another huge event for us, and we are already hard at work planning our presentation. We hope to see you there!