Max Did It
Coding
,Mon
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Rendering Silhouettes for Concealed Objects

If you are creating a 3D game which gameplay requires the player to know the exact position of the character, then you have to think about what to do when the model is behind other objects.

You can either test whether the 3D object is occluded by other objects and then make the objects where this is the case transparent.

Or, you can save yourself the trouble of performing a raycast and use another trick which uses mostly GPU functionality to render an outline for concealed objects. Many games, like Torchlight 2, use this method.

Torchlight 2 Silhouette Effect

Source: Torchlight 2, ©Runic Games, Inc.

I wanted to implement the same mechanic for Rubberband Racing in Away3D, since the new track I've implemented has a lot of objects that can appear in front of the car.

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Game Design
,Fri
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Letting Go Of Game Design Features

When is it a good idea to follow through with a game design idea, investing the time to implement, balance and create assets?

And when should you acknowledge that a feature is not working the way you had hoped, and might even be detrimental to the game?

Rubberband Racing Collecting Pellets

I had to make this decision recently for Rubberband Racing, the 3D Flash game I am currently developing, learning a couple of interesting things in the process of doing so.

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Coding
,Wed
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Testing Rubberband Racing on Android Devices

Even though I am currently concentrating on developing and optimizing Rubberband Racing for desktop browsers, publishing it to mobile devices is an interesting option that I like to keep in mind.

Before I worked as an independent developer, one of my assignments was to test how fluent Flash games that have been ported to mobile devices ran. At that point, I was introduced to the AIR Development Tool for the first time, which, among other things, allows you to package SWF files as iOS or Android apps.

I fell back on that knowledge in the last couple of days to test how well the game would run on my Nexus 4. And considering that I barely changed or even optimized the desktop version of the game for mobile devices, the answer is: surprisingly well.

Rubberband Racing Title Screen on a Nexus 4

The title screen of Rubberband Racing on an Android Phone. (Click to enlarge)

Below, you will find a video of the game running on my Android phone and some details on how I packaged it.

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Game Design
,Mon
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Using Heat Maps To Improve Track Design

Employing useful metrics like heat maps can really make a huge difference when creating good level design. In the last days, I have learned once more that some features can only be implemented in a meaningful way once you are able to visualize how people play your game.

Heat Map Rubberband Racing

This is also the first time I publish gameplay pictures of Rubberband Racing! Check them out below!

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