Physworks Status

Since the DreamBuildPlay competition ending over a month ago I’ve been continuing work on Physworks. Several parts of the game have been rewritten and improved in some way or another as well as over 100 bugs removed.

A few things that have changed since the DBP version was submitted include:

  • A new level format – Saves and loads faster. File size has decreased slightly.
  • Updated art/icons for existing objects – This was done for all of the objects in the DBP version of the game
  • Several new objects – Many of which are interactive or mountable. This was only really shown of with the piston in the DBP version, on the last level.
  • New/Improved levels – Many of the levels in the DBP version were a bit rushed to show off certain features of the game, close to the deadline. Several of those levels have been replaced or improved.
  • Improved graphics – This was a hard one to achieve for a phone game without killing the frame rate, but ended in success. The game runs smoothly on my HTC Radar.
  • Improved SFX
  • Improved User Interface – Many of the changes here were simply to improve visibility of certain elements on a phone screen and generally make the game more user friendly. This was pretty hard to achieve, since a good balance of visibility of the game world and UI has to be maintained. Filling the screen with UI elements and large text means the player is likely to get frustrated when a piece of your game’s UI is blocking something they want(ed) to interact with in the game world.
  • Performance Improvements – Some of you may already know that Physworks uses Farseer Physics engine, which can be resource hungry in terms of mobile hardware. A bit of fine tuning was done here both in the core game and the physics engine itself to maintain a decent level of performance, while also allowing a large amount of physics objects on the screen (over 100!)
  • Fast Application Switching (FAS) Support – For a Windows Phone 7 game, this is pretty important. The DBP version of the game did support this feature, but only in basic form. The new implementation is much more robust, with one of its best abilities being that it can save the game state and resume it at any time, even after the applicated has been fully closed. For example, the player exits the game in a rush and forgets to save, this system will ensure they’re dropped back exactly where they left the game next time they start it.

Thats it for now. I’m currently working on a couple of other features at the moment, but don’t want to say what just yet. Check back in the near future for more progress updates and ‘maybe’ a few screenshots 🙂