Alpha 1.3 planning

After the massive push for Alpha 1.2 release on Saturday I didn’t do anything on Survivalcraft on Sunday other than thinking where to go with it next. Basically there are two options: (1) PC connectivity, so that you can upload, backup or share your worlds and maybe other data, and (2) animals.

I think both are equally important. It is a question of whether to add more content (animals) or add more ways of messing around with the existing content. At the moment I am inclining towards the animals. I hope it will be fun stuff to add, and will definitely add a lot of playability to the game. It will also force me to nail down some of the survival mechanics I’ve been thinking of. It’s time to give justice to the game’s name after all :-)

On the other hand PC connectivity is badly needed: it would allow you to back up your worlds, share them (or move between phones), and maybe even download and compress videos recorded on the phone. Especially the last point is important – having videos on YouTube would be ace. On the other hand, I am not sure about the video quality that the phone can achieve – low res and jerky videos would ruin it.

It’s a shame devs can’t use the video compression hardware that the phone camera has. That would be awesome. Or how about a mirrors system that projects screen image back into the camera hole? :-)

In the marketplace I’ve seen several reviews complaining that world is invisible after spawning (i.e. player is floating in midair). I have so far not been able to reproduce it. If someone sees it, can you please file a bug report in the forum and give as much detail as possible, esp. what did you do to make it happen, what phone model, and what fixed it (if anything). I remember someone saying that phone reboot fixed it for them. A screenshot would also be welcome.

Some people also mention unsatisfactory performance. I think it’s subjective – some find it OK and even increase resolution on 1st gen phones, while some find it too slow even in normal mode. I’ve spent a lot of time optimizing it, and I don’t think the game can be made to run faster without reducing something. Reducing visibility range is one way, but it’s a kind of “last resort” option. Another way would be to remove water transparency. I haven’t tried this yet.

A bit of explanation: there are 2 performance bottlenecks in Survivalcraft. One is the rendering speed. This affects your framerate when you are not moving much (or only rotating). The other is world generation speed. This causes periodic framerate drops as you move across the world (roughly every 16 blocks there will be one). The first is related to GPU speed, the second one to CPU. If you say that the performance bothers you, please can you specify which one is it: the periodic jerks or the constant slowness :-)

The performance is highly dependent on your area. In some areas, where there’s a lot of caves and foliage the performance will be much worse than elsewhere.

And finally thank you for all the feedback so far! Without it I would be totally in the dark :-)

 

40 Comments

  1. KDBZ
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 19:23 | Permalink | Reply

    Kaalus, I think that you have done a massive job so far and I would like to offer my appreciation to your continued efforts in developing SurvivalCraft. Many devs tend to offer sporadic updates every few months, while you already have 2 in less than a month and have a third one in mind. Kudos to you. :)

    As for 1.3, I believe that adding animals would be more viable than adding PC support. Many players have called for the addition of mobs so that the survival factor is really there. PC support is still badly needed, but, given your own admission that there could be many issues with it, maybe just basic support (so no video record), maybe just upload the worlds. But do the animals use up block IDs too? So that could be a problem if you plan on adding more block types later on. Just my 2 cents. :)

    • Posted December 13, 2011 at 19:51 | Permalink | Reply

      Hi KDBZ. Animals will not use up block ids.

  2. Basti
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 19:46 | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you again for your awesome work, Kaalus!
    I also think that a bit of survival gameplay would be a good next step, because it would add some depth in terms of gameplay and atmosphere.

    I’m pretty much sure that performance is very subjective. Personally I would prefer a better GPU rendering performance because I like smooth controls and kamera movement a lot.

  3. Callum James Yates (Calgen)
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 20:00 | Permalink | Reply

    seriously man, you are doing incredibly, i wanted to donate the other day but i see you have no donation buttons anywhere, i would make that a thing on here also,
    im syked for the vids and hope we can help you with the invisible thingy :)
    if i see it i will be sure to drop you a screenshot on the fourms buddy:)

    keep it up

  4. hugo_hand7
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 20:36 | Permalink | Reply

    Hey Kaalus ;)

    I’d vote for animals also.

    Continue that amazing work, this game will became as good as Minecraft in a year at that speed!

    • Daniel
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 22:12 | Permalink | Reply

      +1

      • LUCKYSHOT52
        Posted December 13, 2011 at 01:35 | Permalink | Reply

        -1(jk)
        But I think I would enjoy the computer thing cause it would open up possibility of servers via PC that would be cool=D

      • kenkesey8
        Posted December 13, 2011 at 06:32 | Permalink | Reply

        Yeah, the feature I’m really looking forward is Multiplayer, of course :)
        Well, that’s probably the most difficult one too. I think it would be an option to create PC connectivity, and when it comes to creating multiplayer, the host(server) would also be the PC, so it wouldn’t use any plus resource on the phone. But that’s just an idea :)

  5. the masteriii
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 20:39 | Permalink | Reply

    I also think animals are needed more…
    Btw I wanted to tell you that you are really doing an awesome job!!!!
    Keep it up!

  6. kenkesey8
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 20:53 | Permalink | Reply

    Sorry, I’m writing about my performance problem again. I think it would be amazing if you could modify the renderer so, that it only renders the visible side of all blocks. I think that’s possible, if not, then sorry ;)
    It would be awesome if there were an option to hide the GUI buttons in-game too, not just in snapshots
    I’m very grateful if you read my comment this far, but one last thing :P
    it would make it more easy-to-use if there would be multi-language support. I could help you with Hungarian translation :)
    And, at least, I’d like to vote on animals too, as next feature. Thx for reading this hilariously long comment, if you do :D

    • Posted December 12, 2011 at 21:59 | Permalink | Reply

      Multi-language support is just the thing. Hungarian can’t help :p but for the english-to-french traduction I can help, gladly!
      French people we have quite a bit of reticence to use apps that are not in french (how narrow-minded!)
      Awesome work as usual Kaalus ;)

      • Posted December 12, 2011 at 22:17 | Permalink | Reply

        Kaalus, if you want, I can try a german translation.
        Sure, I’m not the best in English, but it should be enough to translate SC.

      • LUCKYSHOT52
        Posted December 13, 2011 at 02:26 | Permalink | Reply

        um guys I think kaalus is more than capable to use google translations to translate they few words used in this game=P

      • Posted December 13, 2011 at 09:34 | Permalink | Reply

        @luckushot52 you can’t even imagine how crap is Google traduction. Not even is french-to-english literal traduction acceptable. It’s really unthinkable to use Google trad… It would be like to put french customers firmly behind.

  7. dogmeat12
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 21:02 | Permalink | Reply

    ure doing an amazing job dude thanks for all ure hard work, i would like to see animals in the next update if possible, cheers again buddy;-)

  8. jriot10
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 21:21 | Permalink | Reply

    I vote animals and buckets too

  9. Posted December 12, 2011 at 22:12 | Permalink | Reply

    I vote for beasts.

    Personally I have 0 peformance problems, using a 1st gen HTC Mozart. Performance always fine even in large cave structures, only slowdown for me is when water is flowing somewhere new. Performance is then fine once it has levelled.

  10. Thekillerguy69
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 22:19 | Permalink | Reply

    You are doing such a great job at making survivalcraft kaalus. You are cranking out updates crazy fast and always making the game entertaining. Your game on windows phone is the one I play the most, so u would like to congratulate and thank you. :D

    On your question, I would say animals. This is to provide new survival mechanics to make the game more interesting. Right now I just have to fear falling :P

    • Thekillerguy69
      Posted December 12, 2011 at 22:20 | Permalink | Reply

      I* not u :P

  11. Posted December 12, 2011 at 22:25 | Permalink | Reply

    Hey Kaalus, this SurvivalCraft is an AMAZING piece of work and I’m really glad you decided to do this on the Windows Phone 7.5.

    My opinion, I believe you should add videos into the phone. First, the phone checks to see if it is connected to a power source (computer, outlet). Then the phone takes the video while the person walks around. The video is then compressed and saved into the Pictures library, where users can send their videos to their friends or put on Facebook and upload to YouTube from there.

    But I agree you should add animals. You should also add NPCs that follow you if you are in a certain block range away from you and cause damage by either coming in contact with the player or hit the player with a projectile. Also give the player some way of defending himself from the enemies

    Since this is a pirate-themed approach, a suggestion is other castaways that want to take control of the island. Some have swords and other have guns. The player also gets supplies from NPCs that he kills or by just craftting.

    Again, amazing work, and I’ll keep waiting for the update.
    And if you want to allow me to help in any way, just let me know.

    • minirlzrnova
      Posted December 13, 2011 at 02:25 | Permalink | Reply

      He can’t use the video compression he just said that..

      • jriot10
        Posted December 13, 2011 at 22:18 | Permalink | Reply

        Griffin is my brother in case anybody wants to know. And griffin videos won’t work and just cuz there was a ship doesn’t mean its a pirate game.

  12. Alex
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 23:29 | Permalink | Reply

    I think just the ability to backup/save/share worlds on skydrive would be ok for most users now that Microsoft have opened their API for this.
    http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_live/b/windowslive/archive/2011/12/07/skydrive-apis-for-docs-and-photos-now-ready-to-cloud-enable-apps-on-windows-8-windows-phone-and-more.aspx
    hopefully you can use this.

  13. reebs
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 00:27 | Permalink | Reply

    First off, great job as usual. Love the game, love the amount of effort you put into it. Truly inspiring.

    As for my thoughts on the issue, I think that logically it would make more sense to begin development of animals for one major reason: give players the ability to make amazing worlds, then allow them to be shared. This is so that the introduction of sharing can have as big an impact as possible and have a greater chance of pulling in more consumers.if sharing is introduced before what is shared is as amazing as possible, interest won’t be as high (both the literal and conceptual kind)

  14. minirlzrnova
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 04:50 | Permalink | Reply

    Would implementing a slide bar to the options menu to change how far you can see be helpful? And maybe it was certain seeds that made those people spawn with nothing around?

  15. Posted December 13, 2011 at 11:39 | Permalink | Reply

    Hey there, I’m loving the game. I just wanted to let you know that you have some competition now. A game showed up on marketplace called Craft World by 2.0 Studios

  16. Buurbinator
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 14:10 | Permalink | Reply

    I spotted another minecraft clone in the market. Craft world or something like that. Knock them out Kaalus !!! :D sry my english isnt the best but i hope you understand what i wanted to say. In yes i vote for animals to. Great work. Thanks

    • jriot10
      Posted December 13, 2011 at 22:24 | Permalink | Reply

      Craft World is nothing compared to SC. All Kaalus has to do is add more items and keep on moving along and SC will always be better!!

  17. KDBZ
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 15:16 | Permalink | Reply

    Craft World is decent, but its rather buggy and seems to be more if a MineCraft clone, unlike SC, which is trying to distance itself from MC. It has a different approach than SC, so it may cater for other consumers.

    • Posted December 13, 2011 at 16:24 | Permalink | Reply

      I tried a too short demo of Craft World and then, I bought it just4fun.
      I must say, it’s not so good as SC was as it was released.
      This is one Point more for SC and shows, how good kaalus worked on SC (it’s just my opinion, if someone thinks, that craft world is good, then it’s your thing to think so)
      Now, I will let CW rest until the first update will be released (that means, I rather let it die than play it at the current version/state) and play SC instead.

  18. Posted December 13, 2011 at 16:52 | Permalink | Reply

    I would say animals, but that would also require the addition of some other recipes, like weapons and armor…and a forge…

  19. zxcvbad
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 20:24 | Permalink | Reply

    Kaalus, please don’t remove water transparency as it’s so cool to build constructions like this: https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/Public/Survivalcraft%202011-12-13%2020-17-13.jpg?w=e5f20a98

  20. kenkesey8
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 20:58 | Permalink | Reply

    Could you please send me the crafting grid texture that you used in the Recipaedia? I would like to use it on the SurvivalCraft wikia. Thanx ;)

    • Posted December 13, 2011 at 21:25 | Permalink | Reply

      Use this link: https://kaalus.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/recipaedia.png. You may need to edit alpha a bit, I’ve just seen there are glitches with shadows that are not very visible on the phone, but may be visible on white background.

      • kenkesey8
        Posted December 13, 2011 at 22:00 | Permalink | Reply

        That’s really not a problem, I’ll remove them with Gimp :)
        thx again :)

      • Posted December 13, 2011 at 22:44 | Permalink | Reply

        Is there a way you could give us access to the whole Recipaedia so that it can be published on the different wikis?

  21. Blade402860
    Posted December 14, 2011 at 00:51 | Permalink | Reply

    Please add MOB’s Kaalus! I think they would really enhance gameplay. The pc stuff is nice but I thing add the real survival part first is more important. Also, the ability to craft swords would be most welcome. Thank you for being so dedicated!

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