Update #5: Tutorial Level + Optimization! + Item Compass!
Welcome to Castle on the Coast’s 5th update! A tutorial level has been added, and the game has been optimized to run XTRA FAST for MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE! Graphics settings have been added for those with slow (or beefy) computers.
We hope anyone previously locked out of the game due to low specs will have a chance to play!
A dream-like tutorial has appeared at the beginning of the game!
Players often felt overwhelmed when starting a new game. They would be surrounded by collectibles and wondering why the controls were not explained. This caused much discomfort. Hopefully the tutorial removes just enough mystery to get people started, while not revealing TOO much.
Intro cutscene has been redone to help the transition from tutorial to castle make sense. Players opening a previous save will enter the tutorial. This will give you a chance to nab the stars within.
The demo has the tutorial worked in as well, replacing the starting area (turn on arcade mode if you want to revisit it).
THE SKY IS PRETTY!
While my focus was shifted towards graphics settings, I realized light rays could be added to the world for S+ tier graphics.
The sun now changes position based on where you are in the castle, allowing for more artistic placement per area.
Shadows have been sharpened for extra style points baybeeeeee.
In preparation for porting, the game received some much needed optimization. You should notice a SERIOUS BOOOOOOST in FPS!
- Removed ambient occlusion, sped up GPU significantly with removal.
- Wormholes now act as loading screens. Before the game would keep both ends of a portal loaded when you were in the general area. This will increase CPU speed.
- Reduced distance of dynamic sun shadows and cascades, removing about 75% of draw calls, which unleashes GPU to move faster.
- Tweaked level streaming volumes in the library so that caves only load in when you get closer to them.
- Made sure the library doesn't load in when spawning at docks. This will help game load easier when starting a new file.
- Made ocean water opaque to prevent game from drawing stuff beneath the surface, removing many draw calls in the ocean area.
- Turned off screen space reflections since nothing is mirror-like in this game.
- Played with instancing meshes. Turns out Unreal handles this automatically as of 4.22.
Need EVEN MORE BOOOOOOST in your FPS? Some graphics settings have appeared in the pause menu! A handy FPS counter will help you figure out what settings are best for your machine!
Shadow distance and screen percent will make the biggest difference.
Here's an exciting one!
Are you a completionist who likes scrubbing worlds for every last collectible? The compass has been repurposed to point towards uncollected stars, costumes, and flowers! Once an area is cleared, it will turn into a checkmark to let you know you have 100%ed wherever you are in the world. Thanks to Mendel and Meowskivitch for the suggestion.
For anyone interested in credits, or who voiced a particular character (there is a surprising number of them), check out the new "about screen" in the main menu! An online version of the VO credits can be found here.
- Keystones are now removed from inventory upon being used. Before they stayed there to help indicate progress, but this proved unnecessary.
- Added a controls screen for Swirlz the Squirrel in the Input settings. Thank you for the idea Mendel!
- Added credits for Epic Mega Grants. Thank you Epic for your support in our game's development!
- Camera adjusted for tightropes.
- Camera adjusted for Co-op when Swirlz runs around free.
- Made pillars in forest ruined hallway see-through.
- Now you can travel to the lava canyon via the dimensionHub... you just can't really get anywhere if you do it before fighting Aleandra though.
- Speedrun timer is now paused during wormhole sequence. It now acts as a loading screen, so sequence times will vary between computers.
- Added some wreckage to the ocean area.
- A head shake was added to Meeting Vendrick cutscene.
- Replaced Segeo font with Museo Slab fonts.
- Setup font to support characters from strange, foreign lands...
- Refactored translation system.
- Setup a not-yet implemented menu for changing languages.
- Removed collision from air bubble graphic, which would cause submarines to bump into it.
- Added some slight interpolation to squirrel head movement.
- Filled out some info in the properties of the game.
- Adjusted volume of a few sound effects.
- Adjusted number of levels listed at end of demo from 5 to 8. I have a hard time figuring out if dimensions should be counted separately or not, lol.
NOTE: Game has not been translated yet. Changes in that area are for future-proofing.
- Attempted fixing the elusive, yet common “I'm in water but not swimming” glitch.
- Camera can no longer get hung up on doors, they are see-through.
- Refined Stair collisions since it was too big near the top, causing floating giraffe phenomena.
- Camera now properly switches positioning when squirrel jumps on and off George.
- Camera can now switch back to auto mode when on tightropes.
- Camera no longer has odd behavior when going on and off tightropes.
- After beating crystal dimension, cutscene places player in a safe location instead of possibly dropping them into a pit.
- Fixed level streaming to not repeatedly loading/unloading levels for distance views.
- Aleandra watching cutscene no longer misplaces camera at end.
- Changed max costumes from 8-9. I forgot about an extra secret one when counting.
- One pillar in sky dimension didn't have shifting material applied to interior. Fixed it.
- Fixed some oddness with rotating objects in Sky and Periculo Dimension using the power of QUATERNIONS.
- Fixed flickering in Stunt Park distance model.
- Upon loading world, music should play instead of there being an awkward silence.
- Fixed issue where the last selected file would not appear highlighted upon exiting file focus menu.
- Removed a bit of grass landscape that was bleeding into Library doorframe leading to Stunt Park caverns.
- Camera no longer shifts rotation upon exiting vehicle.
- Camera no longer shifts rotation upon riding ball.
- Fixed carpet in rainy castle the was penetrating castle edging.
Update is available on PC and Mac. For the few who have Steam Beta Keys, the update is live on Steam as well. If the game was unplayable due to older specs, give it another shot! It runs much better now.
This update is most likely the last update until its official release! The game may receive some attention on the porting/language/marketing end from a potential publishing partner, but we need to leave that as unconfirmed until details are solidified.
Being satisfied with the current state of the game, I will be moving onto my next project outside of Big Heart. No worries! I'll still be in the Discord and Twitter, chatting it up and, when needs arise, making sure the game has a good launch.
Stay in touch @CastleCoastGame for COTC related news and its eventual, official launch!
-Peter UwU ♥
Get Castle on the Coast
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