It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, so I wanted to share a bit about what I am working on for 0.4.5.
As I mentioned before I am following a pattern of alternating each update between fixing bugs and adding new content to the game. The last update 0.4.4 was a larger content update (controllable rockets and some new levels), so 0.4.5 will be more of a bug fix patch.
The big thing I am working on for this patch is performance. I’ve gotten quite a few questions about performance, and it’s past time for me to do an optimization pass on the game. I did some quick queries of the database, and it looks like the current average number of pieces per design is…..
That actually surprised me quite a bit. I honestly expected it to be in the 30′s or 40′s!
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge to performance for Crashtastic is the CPU performance of the physics simulation. Due to the fact that all pieces are jointed together, it takes a signifigant amount of computational power to simulate stable joints. Of course the more pieces you use, the worse the performance gets.
I’ve done some initial testing with a few improvements, and I am already pleased with the results. I do want to give fair warning that the simulation results for designs in 0.4.5 will be different that those of 0.4.4. So some of your designs might not work as well as before. I’m hoping that this will be the last time I have to make these types of changes.
I’m also looking at adding drag. I had disabled drag originally due to performance concerns, but I’ve got some things I am considering adding in the future that really won’t work well with infinite acceleration.
Another item I am hoping will be ready for the 0.4.5 update is an actual Game Launcher and auto updater!!!! My buddy Matt is helping me out with this, which is greatly appreciated. I think he finally had enough of downloading 40 Meg zip files every time I patch! This will make updating the game easier for everyone in the long run.
Those are the big items, but I may sneak a level or two in the game as well.
The last thing I will add is that I plan on increasing the price of Crashtastic to $9.99 after 0.4.5 is released. I appreciate all of you early adopters as you have helped me nail down many many bugs and issues!! Tell your friends if they are on the fence to order soon, because it won’t be $7.99 for long.
Well back to work!