Alpha 3 is out the door, 67 days after Alpha 2. Much of that time was spent creating or re-creating sprites and other art assets. Tom and I have also been making steady progress on level design. Micah has been improving the audio system, but no new sounds quite yet. Read on for more details.
- Added settings to let players customize keyboard controls and adjust asset resolution.
- Added anonymous event tracking to support ongoing improvements to level design and pacing. The Google Firebase 👉 Bigquery 👉 Data Studio workflow is a bit convoluted but I got things up and running well enough!
- Redrew almost all in game art (cutscenes, logo, in-game sprites, inventory illustrations, ect).
- Redesigned the main character’s sprite and animations.
- Added a new debris layer to the game, so some levels have plants, stones, and spores scattered across the ground.
- Added twice as many animals to the garden.
- Added more than twice as many varieties of plants, animals, fungi, and other obstacles to the garden.
- Finished a first draft of the mid and late game. Alpha-3 is the first release where nearly the full game can be played through start to end. The later levels require mastery over all the game’s skills and systems and we can’t wait for players to try them out.
Performance & Rendering
- Image assets are now loaded in batch, rather than as individual files, which should speed up initial load times and fix a bug where sometimes no image assets would not load at all.
- I discovered the layers tab in Google Chrome! This lead to a refactor that reduced the number of render layers by over half, resulting in noticeable framerate improvements.
Alpha-3 will be the last release distributed over the web. We’ll move to Electron builds and Steam distribution in the future. Besides getting our build and release system in order, level design and pacing will be the big focus for Alpha-4. We want players to start unlocking abilities and exploring the more creative and open-ended later levels faster, which means streamlining the early game.
Wilderplace can now be wishlisted on Steam! The best way to keep up with the game’s development or request access to the Alpha is to join the discord.