Dev Update #3 - Development Resumes

A short development update - but an update, nonetheless! The redesign phase is ramping down and development on the game has resumed.

Unity 2018.3

Over the course of the redesign phase I did not touch the prototype of Parabola. I opened Unity for a couple game jams - but otherwise spent my time writing and refining the game's design document. This included gameplay tweaks and the development of the game's narrative.

This weekend, following the release of Unity 2018.3, I have spun up a new project and begun the process of moving the prototype into the latest tech available through 2018.3. This has come with a couple challenges, but has gone quite smooth considering how big a jump this latest version is in terms of features.

Most notably, we will be adopting the HD Render Pipeline into development. By the time Parabola is slated for launch in 2020, this high-end graphics pipeline will be ready for production. The overarching reason I chose to adopt the HDRP over the legacy RP was volumetric lighting and the use of the new ShaderGraph.

I really wanted to take control of Parabola's art direction and the latest tech in Unity makes that ever more enjoyable. The increase in graphics fidelity out-of-the-box will free up more of my time to focus on the level design that really makes games shine. Plus, ShaderGraph has already proven to be an indispensable tool for me to take control of the games style and effects.

Concept Art has been slow...

I've not had much time nor much luck with the tiny drawing tablet I have currently. So given that, not a whole lot of art has gotten produced.

However, with the holiday bonus I received from my day job I have purchased a Huion KAMVAS Pro 13, a well-reviewed budget display tablet (a third the price of similar Wacom hardware). That should be arriving in the mail tomorrow and should make the art process much smoother for me.

My comfort with the non-display tablet is wishy-washy. I am a traditional artist and while I don't spend much time with it outside of game design and doodling - I'd say over 90% of my time spent as an artist over the years has been spent using graphite, charcoal, and ink. Switching to the display-based drawing tablet will allow me to use the skills I have more effectively, rather than struggling with comfort on a normal tablet (where the lack of rotation, pen tilt, and obvious visibility issues are a constant detractor from my work).

So in lieu of an abundance of concept art for the January site update, I will have some more in-game development footage incorporating the new tech and gameplay features.

Time to put my nose to the grindstone!

Michael DeLally