Monday 3 June 2013

Surfacing soon...

I have to admit, when I released the first alpha version of Chapter 1 in February I had hoped Chapter 2 would follow pretty closely behind. As it turns out, releasing a game - even just one part of an unfinished game - and dealing with the ensuing promotion and maintenance takes up a lot of your time. Who knew?!

So I'm now very pleased to be able to say that the Chapter 2 alpha is just around the corner (I mean a matter of mere days away) and that I have a few other cool things lined up too! Read on for the run-down...

Rezzed PC and Indie Games Show

Luminesca will be on show at the Rezzed game show mega-event in Birmingham, UK on 22-23 June 2013, as part of the Leftfield Collection. You'll be able to play the latest build of Luminesca, including Chapter 2 and the new, updated version of Chapter 1. I'll be there in person, manning the station, handing out free art cards and chatting about the game to anyone within earshot. If you can make it, come and say hello! Bring friends!

Here are some art cards you can have for free if you'll only come and talk to me...

Saturday 18 May 2013

Luminesca now available on the Humble Store

Following some feedback from customers, I'm very pleased to announce that Luminesca is now available to purchase through the Humble Store, using the widget on the Luminesca website!

This brings several new benefits over the old payment system...
  • The Humble Store accepts a wider range of secure payment types than the previous payment processor including PayPal, Amazon and Google payments.
  • With a single payment you will have access to Windows, Mac and Linux versions of the game. The previous system had these listed as three separate products, and customers were limited to just the one you purchased.
  • Humble Store focus entirely on video games, so it's a little more robust in that sense.
  • I'll be able to easily link Desura keys, plus Steam keys in the future (if the game succeeds on Greenlight that is, so send your votes this way!)
If you have already purchased Luminesca through the old system (Gumroad) I will be sending you an email soon with a free key for the Humble Store. It's up to you whether or not you use it, of course, but I recommend it! You can always gift it to a friend if not!

Don't hesitate to drop me an email if you have any questions or contact the Humble Store's excellent customer support team.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Chapter 2 coming soon!

Slightly later than planned, but Chapter 2 of Luminesca is so very close! Here's a brand new trailer showing off some of the new areas, as well as some additions to Chapter 1.

You can pre-order Luminesca now from, Desura or Indievania. Anyone who pre-orders gets instant access to all available chapters, and new chapters will be added at no extra cost as they are released in the future.

Thanks for your support! I hope you like the new video!

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Sublevels in Unity3D (when prefabs aren't enough)

Most Unity developers will use 'prefabs' sooner or later. For those who are unfamiliar, they are basically a way to clump together a group of objects or behaviours so that you can clone them repeatedly and have them all look and act the same way.

In Luminesca, planktids are prefabs so they can be easily dropped into a level in large numbers, and any time I need to make a change I just edit the prefab and it perpetuates all the way down through all the individual instances.

In the screenshot above, the planktids are two instances of a single prefab. The glowpod is also a prefab. The plants are very simple prefabs, and even the large rocks are too. So they're pretty versatile and will save you a ton of work, but sometimes you need something extra.

During development of Luminesca, I've been tackling a scenario where a large background area of one level is clearly visible at the start of the next level. This area is made of multiple prefabs and is quite complex. Prefabs aren't really appropriate here because you're doubling things up too much, and you might want certain minor elements to differ between levels.

The solution I implemented is a nifty trick I learned from using Unreal Development Kit, and it's a special way of loading content called 'sublevels'. The way sublevels work is that you can run a script at any time which loads the contents of one level over the top of the level you are already in.

A sublevel can contain whatever you want (it's essentially just a bog-standard Unity scene) and you can load it into as many other levels as you like. You just need to be a bit savvy to make sure you have the right objects saved in the right scene, and that their coordinates line up properly. I achieved this quite easily by building everything in one scene, copying all the shared objects over to the sublevel, and then deleting them from the original scene (or, more specifically, I just disabled them for now so I can easily peek at where they line up).

The script to perform this is Application.LoadLevelAdditive (the standard method would be to use Application.LoadLevel, which automatically unloads the current level). Then it's just a case of putting the script on an object in each scene that needs to use the sublevel.

Sublevels can be pretty handy if you have more than one person working on the same level, because they can both be working in separate scenes which then get loaded together.

You could even get really clever with this and create your own level streaming system, so objects are loaded/unloaded as you get near them. Using this method you could have one giant, continuous world with no loading screens.

Finally, there's the added benefit of drastically de-cluttering your main scene so Unity runs nice and smooth!

Monday 1 April 2013

Luminesca on Greenlight!

Luminesca used to be listed on Greenlight Concepts, which is a section devoted to early ideas and demo builds. Now that development is well under-way, I've submitted it to the main Games section for approval by the community.

Help get Luminesca on Steam: vote for the game here and I'll be forever grateful!

Adding it to your Favorites, Following, Sharing and leaving a Comment all help too. (yes, even leaving a comment really does help its chances!)

Votes from the old Concepts page no longer count, so even if you voted there I'd appreciate it if you took a moment to do it again on the new one.

Thanks for your support!

Find out more about Greenlight here.

Monday 25 March 2013

Name your price on IndieGameStand

For a limited time only, you can pay what you want for Luminesca over at IndieGameStand and get some special goodies to boot!
  • Pay $1 or more to get a Desura key.
  • Beat the average price to get special bonus content: brand new soundtrack and a sneak peak at two early prototype builds.
  • Pay $10 or more to make it a bundle with IndieGameStand's previous game, Space Pirates and Zombies, and the next mystery game, plus all bonus content!
Head over there now to pick up a bargain, some special goodies, or both!

Friday 22 February 2013

Luminesca now available for Linux

I'm very pleased to announce that Luminesca is now available for Linux operating systems! You can pre-order it directly from the website to get instant access to the pre-alpha builds. It's also available on Desura and Indievania.

Important note: Unity3D's Linux support is still in very early stages, so several features simply do not work yet. These are trivial issues for the most part, but please be aware of them before purchasing! I apologise for the shoddy nature of this first release but please remember that it is a work in progress and any issues will be fixed in subsequent builds. Read on for a full list.