DevLog #012 – Q&A

This time around, we thought we’d take a moment to answer some of the questions we’ve been getting about this project – although the game/engine is at such an early stage, the answers are likely to change as things progress.

If you’ve missed any of our previous posts, you can check out the entire DevLog here, or start at the beginning to get a better idea about what we’re trying to achieve.

1. What’s the purpose of this project?

We’re developing a voxel game engine using our existing in-house graphics engine as a base, which will hopefully become a fully-fledged game for Android sometime in 2021. This Developer Log allows you to follow our progress!

Testing the new step blocks and some new house building materials in the background

2. What is the game called?

The game has no title yet, but we’re calling it “Untitled Block Game” internally. It’s not unusual for us to choose a name late in development, but showing our progress at this early stage is quite new to us!

3. Is this just a clone of that popular ‘mining & crafting’ game?

Absolutely not! While there’s one obvious influence for any voxel building game, we’re drawing on inspiration from several adventure/building games and genres. Most importantly, we want our game to be filled with unique ideas and gameplay, and a graphical style quite different from anything else.

4. What technology are you using?

The game is being built using our own graphics engine, “deepScene”; which uses the OpenGLES 2.0 API for Java. All 3D models and animation are created with our own in-house 3D modelling tools.

Incidently, “Untitled Block Game” and our 2D platformer “Mazuna World” are built using the same engine with some optimizations to suit our new project.

5. When is the release date?

Short answer, when it’s ready. We expect a closed beta by January 2021, and a full release sometime in late 2021 – but it’s far too early to give a concrete answer, so watch this space!

6. Will the game be free or paid?

Probably free, since this is the model we prefer for Appijo games, and it’s what works best on Google Play, but honestly we haven’t decided yet.

Another test of building materials at night

7. What are the biggest technical challenges?

In these early stages, the biggest challenge has been keeping the memory usage down to a reasonable amount for mobile devices. This type of game typically needs to juggle a lot of memory to store all those blocks, and streaming terrain in and out as the player explores. Another challenge has been to optimize rendering as much as possible to reach our target 60FPS. Most of the work so far has been focused in these 2 areas.

8. Will there be a public beta?

Yes, but there’s no solid date for this. In the mean-time, feel free to register your interest via our contact page, and we’ll be in touch.

 

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