Additional Press and Save System

When I was in New York earlier this month for Kill Screen Fest, I met up with architecture journalist Alexandra Lange.

My interview with her was just published on Curbed: http://www.curbed.com/2016/6/23/12005774/manifold-garden-video-game-william-chyr

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It is one of my favorite interviews I’ve done so far. I talk about the different architectural influences on the game, and how the works of Frank Lloyd Wright and Tadao Ando offer lessons in level design. I highly recommend checking it out if you want to know more about the inspirations behind Manifold Garden.

It seems like Manifold Garden has been getting a lot of press lately. On Thursday, June 23rd, Manifold Garden was on the front page of both Polygon and Curbed!

Polygon Frontpage

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Really exciting!

Save System

Tom has been making progress on the save system of the game.

It’s turning out to be a pretty massive undertaking. The challenge is that a lot of the gameplay objects (boxes, water, etc) can be brought from one level to another. This means that there is a very large set of states to account for. For example, you can bring a box from world 1 to world 2, direct water from world 3 to world 2, then use the water from world 3 and the box from world 1 to grow a tree in world 2, then bring a box grown from the tree to world 4…

It’s coming along though, slowly but surely.

Indy Pop Con

Right after E3 ended, I went back to my hotel, packed up, and headed to the airport to catch a flight to Indianapolis.

I got there at 6 AM. Indy Pop Con was about to start in just a few hours.

If you’ve been reading this devlog for a while, you might remember Pop Con from previous years. It started 3 years ago, and I’ve been there every year since the first one. Last year they introduced the Reboot Award, where Manifold Garden got second place.

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As always, the best part of Pop Con is meeting the players. The convention is small enough that with 2 computers, I don’t really have to cut people short when they’re playing the game. I just let people play for as long as they wanted to, and several people played for over an hour. One person even played for close to two hours. This is a really good indication for me that the beginning of the game is strong and engaging.

You also remember people from previous years. What’s really cool is that for some of these people, they’ve been able to see the game grow over the course of development through Pop Con.

Like at past events, this year Alienware lent me 2 laptops for the show.

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This year, Manifold Garden was also a finalist for the Reboot Award, alongside Tumbleseed and HiveJump.

Once again, this year Manifold Garden got second place, losing to HiveJump.

I now have 2 skateboards…

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After Indy Pop Con was over on Sunday, I got a ride back to Chicago with Trinket Studio.

When I got back to my place, there was a really wonderful surprise. The latest issue of Game Informer had arrived!

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E3 2016

2 weeks ago, I flew out to LA to begin my convention tour.

I arrived in LA on Sunday, 2 days before E3 started. On Monday, I went to the convention center to upload a new build of Manifold Garden to the show floor PS4. We had submitted a build to Sony a week earlier, but had added additional content and fixed a bunch of bugs afterwards.

E3 was Tuesday to Thursday, and was basically just a whirlwind of press events. My schedule was pretty much completely packed during all three days.

Like last year, I was in the Sony booth, in the PS4 section. This year, the area showing indie games was about a third of the size it was last year. I’m super grateful to have been part of the PlayStation 4 booth this year. I was asked to be in it on the last day, and it is just such a fantastic opportunity.

This year, I was booth neighbors with Night In The Woods, ABZÛ, and Thumper. All beautiful games in their own right. What fantastic company to be a part of!

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Usually at conventions, on the last day is when the press will go around putting “Best Of” badges on the various games they have selected.

This year, Manifold Garden got 4 of them! Thank you IGN, PlayStation Nation, 4Player Network, and LevelCamp!

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Manifold Garden was nominated for IGN’s Best of E3 2016 Awards in the puzzle game section, alongside Batman: Arkham VR and Deus Ex Go. Batman ended up winning, but it was still super exciting to be nominated!

IGN Best of E3 2016

Manifold Garden was also on two of Polygon’s writers’ top 10 games of E3 lists!

The game also got a ton of press! Here’s a list of just some of them:

IGN - E3 2016: 17 Awesome Games You Probably Missed

Polygon - Manifold Garden takes Inception’s twisting architecture and turns it into a puzzle

PlayStation Universe - Manifold Garden is a puzzle gamer’s dream: Hands-on impressions

Northernlion - Northernlion’s Best of E3 2016

Easy Allies - Manifold Garden – E3 2016 Impressions

Arcade Sushi - Tripping Through The Manifold Garden

PlayStation Lifestyle - E3 2016 – Manifold Garden Preview – Be a Witness (PS4)

FactorNews - Premier vertige dans Manifold Garden

IndieMag - Manifold Garden, Le Puzzle-Game Vertigineux, Dévoile Une Vidéo de Gameplay Pour L’E2016

Famitsu - 幻想的かつ幾何学的な世界を舞台に重力を入れ替えながら進むパズルアドベンチャー『Manifold Garden』【E3 2016】

GameSpot - Solving Puzzles in Different Perspectives with Manifold Garden at E3 2016

PC Games Hardware - Manifold Garden: Trailer zum außergewöhnlichen Puzzle-Spiel

Game Revolution - E3 2016: Manifold Garden Is Where Falling Doesn’t Mean Certain Death

Digital Trends - ‘Manifold Garden’ Creator William CHyr Wants You To Think In Three Dimensions

My biggest highlight of E3 this year was that I got to meet Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainment! He was a delightful person, and stopped by to check out Manifold Garden!

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He also had some really nice things to say about the game! :D

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After E3 ended on Thursday, I went back to the hotel, then headed straight for the airport to catch a red eye to Indianapolis for Indy Pop Con. I’ll talk about that more in the next post.

Kill Screen Fest, E3 Prep, and Weird Build Bugs

The third development update video is now up!

Kill Screen Fest

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his past weekend, I went to NYC for Kill Screen Fest, where I was a speaker.

Kill Screen Fest is a one day event. This is the 4th year that it has been happening. Previously it was known as Two5six.

The day consists of a series of panel conversations. Each one would feature one or two speaker, along with Jamin Warren, the founder of Kill Screen. For the panels with 2 speakers, one speaker would be from the games world, and one would be from outside. Together, they’d discuss a shared topic.

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For example, there was the “Hellscape” panel, which featured game developer Kitty Horrorshow of ANATOMY, and theater director Felix Barrett of Sleep No More.

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There was a panel about post-apocalyptic environments, which had Alex Graham, environment artist on “Everybody’s Gone To the Rapture”, and Diane Lederman, the production designer on the shows “The Leftovers” and “The Americans”.

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Then, there was a panel about the genre of girl detective, featuring Zeffa Kinney, the writer of several Nancy Drew novels, and Joe Russ, the creator of Jenny LeClue.

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I was on a panel called “Bending Architecture” with architect Jing Liu of SO-IL. It was a really interesting conversation and we discussed a lot of the similarities and differences with creating architecture for digital and physical spaces.

All pictures from above are courtesy of Steve Cate (@Jrnicus)

E3 Prep

Currently working on getting ready for E3.

Yesterday was a pretty rough day, full of a bunch of strange bugs. I had run through a build of the game on PS4, and gameplay-wise, everything was there. However, when I went to the pause menu, the UI didn’t work. It worked fine on the PC. This was very worrisome, because I knew this was going to be one of those really painful bugs to track down.

Eventually, we found that it had to do with SRDebugger, a plugin I had downloaded from the Unity Asset Store. We hadn’t integrated the SRDebugger in the game. It was just sitting in the project folder.

As it turns out, SRDebugger puts itself at the top of execution order, which was causing problems with inControl. SRDebugger is meant for mobile dev primarily so this isn’t really its fault.

However, this is important to be aware of if you’re making a game for console. Many of the plugins on the asset store have not been tested to work with each other or on console, so you’re going to run into issues like this if they’re running behind the scenes.

There was also another bug that prevented me making builds for PS4. This turned out to be some corrupted file, and deleting the Unity project library and rebuilding it fixed this. However, the project is so large now that rebuilding the library takes around 20 minutes or more.

Finally, there was an issue where the inspector was showing rotation as quaternion values.

This happens when you have the inspector set in debug mode, but this wasn’t the case.

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After searching around, I found this post: http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/547905/inspector-window-transform-component-showing-only.html

We had a editor script that had this at the top:

[CustomEditor(typeof(Transform))]

And this was what was causing it. Deleting the editor script fixed this issue.

That’s it for today’s update.

If you’re going to be at E3 next week, I hope to see you there! I will be showing Manifold Garden in the Sony section.