Sunday, February 10, 2013


This has been an incredible week for Magnetic By Nature. On Thursday we brought in a bunch of students and faculty to play through our games and provide feedback. Based on their feedback we have revamped the control scheme, rethought the way we handle the robot head, and made several changes that take our game to the next level. DING!

On Friday I interviewed with a great local company - SmartBomb Interactive. They're probably best known for their incredibly successful browser-based kid-friendly MMO Animal Jam. They've got another upcoming title for a more mature audience - Sky Legends. The developers there really seem to know their stuff - here's hoping I made a good enough impression to warrant a second interview!

Over the weekend I've been working on some much-needed enhancements to the way in which we handle 'special objects'. Our editor has always supported grabbing an item from a toolbox and dropping it into the world, allowing us to easily bundle together functionality for spikes, magnets and so forth. Once our team got into really building levels a major flaw with this philosophy reared it's ugly head - the difficulty of applying a change globally.

For instance, when we needed to tweak the size of our magnets to accommodate some changes to the art work we had to use some regex tricks, manually editing XML, and in the process we broke some things. I have taken a page out of Unity's book now by linking the objects back to the original template/prefab. In other words, we can make a change in one place and have it applied globally.

A nice bonus was that this enables us to reuse a single instance of each component on ALL instances of that object type, saving some memory. The new system is versatile enough to allow overrides on a level-by-level basis, too.