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Weekly Update 12/08/2022
Enjoy Monkey Empire devblog and keep in touch with the ape game development

Art

This week, I was able to accomplish rendering three buildings: the Hospital, the Research Center, and the Wall Segments. As usual, it was so fun to make it look rad! I had also been playing Rage 2 which is one of my inspirations for color combinations so far — since scrap metal would probably be colorful when used together and that was one of the challenges I had when I started.
I actually started the Hospital rendering the week before — but I had a bit of a setback. My son got Covid, as it turned out. But he’s fully recovered. I actually moved the schedule that I’d only be able to finish 2 buildings this week, but had the chance to get back to work during the weekend. And so far this week had been smooth as I moved to the next building — the Research Center. In the initial sketch i made, it wasn’t really clear what the details are. And I wanted to add a bit of more sci-fi feel to this specific building compared to the others hence I added the glowing substance that perhaps the apes have discovered to power up some of their buildings. Lastly, the Wall Segments were pretty straitforward. A bunch of sacks, beams, and wires, just like how they form it on low budget military fences based on the initial sketch. All in all, I and the team are really happy with the direction of the buildings so far!

Game Design

There are updates on initial game balancing, and updates on Building descriptions and requirements, MKC conversions, and started listing down some KPI related features. Currently designing the In-Game Shop Screen wireframe and logic. From this screen, there will be a couple of tabs such as daily offers, limited time offers, VIP, black market, game currency exchange, etc.

Backend

On the backend side I started preparing the new game design implementation. As we are running a special event to give away prizes to the players, I had to spend some time wiping the villages from the data base.

Blockchain

Monkeycoin withdrawal and deposit on the way ! Each ape will get his own wallet and will be autonomous soon. I’m very excited to release the version with the testnet token soon.

Frontend

This week I continued working on the UI, re-did the login UI cause had some problems with layers and buttons, make adjustments on other UI and add functionality to them, create the Battle Initiate Widget with all its features, solving bugs in Village Gamemode, add a way for players to see them troops and let them go back to World from Village.
I have been through a lot of cleanup recently. Removed Sky and water effect on the worldmap for better performance. Change the city asset, and made it blend with the environment. Nvidia DLSS has also been removed, it will come back for final game release. We want to keep things simple until we get all game features properly implemented, especially as we support a lot of different platform. Talking about that, the first macOS release is available on our website ! First build was about 10GB, I could reduce it to 3.3GB. We could also build the game on iPhone and generated a .ipa install file. You can get it here if you know how to install it on iPhone :
As the tournament started, I went through some balancing. Things will go much faster now : Barracks, Shooting Range, Clubman et Rock Thrower cost have been decreased significantly. As cost were changing, I took the time to solve the UI bug where displayed price was wrong. We have two projects : one for desktop devices, another for mobile devices. I removed desktop devices related plugin from mobile version, and did the opposite for the desktop version. Cleaned some code specific to the mobile version in the PC version.

Level design

In this week we mostly done troubleshooting some issues in dynamic weather system. Also optimization is done now, we have over 110+ FPS on ultra settings with RTX gpus. Thanks to the graphics adjustments menu, players can set all the settings on their desires to gain best performance and view on their devices. Global Illumination would be a separate feature from now, So players can choose Lumen; UE5 latest technology or default Screen Space GI. We do this in order to save performance cost on low end devices. Also we fixed some flickering bugs in materials, and fixed some glitches in riverside. Furthermore we did improvements lighting.

3D

Orangutan : The Character is ready to animate . 3 versions with different quantity of polygons were done . One for marketing with around 51k polys that doesn’t include the fur. One version for Pc (15k including the mesh Fur) and one version with a total of 2k polys for Mobile. Capuchin monkey : New monkey in production, currently in blockout. Working on the proportions
High poly version of the chimp stone hunter done
work in progress on the mkc mine, still a lot of work on it but on the good path
One of the biggest problem we had with the mobile version, is that it was completely different to the pc version, so to change that, we decided rework the trees from the pc version to make them optimized for mobile,to do that we just had to reduce the number of polygons to respect the budget of mobile games, it’s nearly done finished, the mobile version will look similar to pc version now in the coming weeks

Sound design

I spent part of the week working on various aspects of the game, such as enhancements, button sounds and all the interaction with the new UI.
I think I’ll have to spend a lot of time on the game’s music to get enough content and hindsight to select sounds that match each other to have a coherent sound world.
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Outline
Art
Game Design
Backend
Blockchain
Frontend
Level design
3D
Sound design