Dev Blog 20 - Everything Is Terrible, Except Videogames (Which Are Only Kind Of Bad)

Greetings! Everybody wants consistency and something to look forward to, so we’re happy to share with you the outstanding progress we’ve made in the past couple weeks.

I have two big announcements, which I’d like to make right away! First: we’re finally comfortable sharing our first public roadmap.

As we move forward we intend to add more specificity, and potentially shift items around. But we think this is what we’re ready to roll with! And to clarify, none of those features you see in ‘Future Releases’ will ever cost money. They will be delivered as totally free updates!

And for the second big announcement: this is a new ball you will be able to unlock in the game.

pumpkin baby

Just kidding.

Also, please don’t download that image to your computer - this is my only copy of it. It’s also cursed, and will manifest in your bathroom during the evenings.

Let’s jump into the update!

I’ve been popping off on level design lately! Before I share any new levels, I’d like to show you all some older levels I’ve been updating, as my standards have gotten higher and higher over time.


more levels

do you like levels?

i love levels

i'm just crazy about levels

Here are some screenshots of the newer levels you’ll hopefully be playing.

A simple downhill platforming level, with lots of different criss-crossing connections.

nothing i like more than levels

Continuously descending spiral of madness.

give me levels

Big fans.

craving levels, baby

The new artists that Skymap have brought onto our team have also been making terrific progress! We have some cool screenshots of our updated Heavenly Chamber and Candy Factory assets right here.

beautiful cathedral

glops of props

We’ve also got a brand new design concept for the Desert Ruins area.

bueuatiful picture of a bueitufle world

Anyways, we have two writeups coming from CraftedCart and Neal! Take it away.

The runtime asset registry

Y’know sometimes it really feels like we’re writing half a game engine, on top of another game engine, in our quest to support custom content, potentially simulate gameplay without having the entire Unreal Engine loaded, and run custom physics code. The newest addition to the engine-on-engine family is a small asset registry. Why, I hear you ask?

…you didn’t ask that? …you just think you can outsmart me like that by going against my assumptions?? Well.. yeah, yeah you can.

Anyways, as I mentioned in the previous post, we had been using Unreal Engine’s built-in collision handling for special objects - this includes using collision meshes generated by Unreal. Moving away from using Unreal’s physics code hence also involves a new way of making and fetching collision meshes - that’s where our asset registry comes in.

On game startup, the game will briefly poke around its Content/RuntimeAssets directory a bit to figure out what files exist there, and quietly make a note of where those files are (as a “data path”) and what type they are: for example, a file Content/RuntimeAssets/world/debug/colis_bumper.fbx will be noted down as the data path rolledout:world.debug.colis_bumper. When needed, a special object, such as a bumper, can request to fetch the asset at that same data path from the registry, which will load if if it’s not already loaded before passing on the data to whatever requested it - simple†1!

Anyways, with that I can tell you bumper collision is working now - and now that this whole framework has been made, collision for other special objects should be relatively straightforward.. hopefully†2.

†1 nothing is ever simple with game dev

†2 see †1

Hey everyone! Neal here. It’s been about a month since my team at Skymap joined Polarbyte, and our combined efforts have made a ton of progress. Recently, we’ve been focusing our efforts in a few areas:

First, there’s been a refactor taking place on the game’s systems to make sure it’s more futureproof. An issue games face when you’re considering multi-platform support is that technologies like plugins and certain external libraries don’t always mesh well. By taking time to make sure Rolled Out’s structure is set up in an agnostic way, we’re future proofing to put the game in new places. More news on this in later posts!

Second, we’re spearheading lots of new art. Brandon already posted some pics that give a pretty good sense of the quality and quantity of work being performed. The first couple of weeks coming into the project, we were able to establish a pipeline for art; and now that we’re at full-speed we’re producing a “world” worth of assets every 5-7 days.

Third, and finally, UI/UX! We’ve got an awesome UI/UX designer who is helping to map out all of the interfaces, including menus, in-game UI, etc, and putting them into a functional prototype.

Working on Rolled Out has been a blast, and the passion of the Polarbyte team shows. We’re glad to be aboard, and looking forward to more announcements in the near future.

Wow. Lots of stuff happened. I barely got any sleep last night, so I’m just gonna wrap it up here, folks!

Thanks for reading, and see you on the 15th.