The “Dyson Ball Project” developed by the domestic independent team Yuzicat Game and released by Gamera Game has continued to sell more than 350,000 copies, and the Steam store has received rave reviews.
The following content is the answer of producer Katsuki Cat on Zhihu topic “How to evaluate the game “Dyson Ball Project” developed by Chongqing Grapefruit Cat Studio?” GameRes is authorized to release.
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Today is still a busy day, collecting player feedback, fixing bugs, setting priorities for future functions, etc. It seems to have been busy since the “Dyson Ball Project” was launched. Before “Dyson Ball Project” went live, I always liked to ridicule and said: “My friends, come on, you can relax after EA”. Whenever this time, our producer would come up with a familiar sentence: “EA is the official start of our Dyson Ball Project.” Yes, EA is the real start of the Dyson Ball Project!
Many people have asked me why I chose to do indie games and choose to do “Dyson Ball Project” because there are so many uncertainties. Perhaps, the dream of making independent games has always taken root in our hearts, slowly sprouting until it grows into a towering tree, which can no longer be suppressed. After working for a few years, we had some savings at that time. I remember that I was discussing with the producer whether we should start or not. At that time, we thought, what is the worst result of this project? Can we bear it? Dreams and reality, what should we do? After some thinking, we don’t want to leave regrets for ourselves, and we don’t want to look back at the past when we are old, and regret that we did not take this step back then. In the worst case, we can afford to give ourselves a certain amount of funds, give ourselves a period of time, and give ourselves a chance. In this way, we started the journey of independent games.
As for why I chose “Dyson Ball Project”, one is because I like it, and the other is because I like it. Every time we design a game, we ask ourselves, can this idea ignite you? Do you like it yourself? Do you like it enough? Will you still like it after today? Only after constant questioning and scrutiny, you still insist that it is the best, then this idea is the best. Because, in our understanding, if you design something that can’t ignite you, then it certainly can’t ignite the player. Only if you are hard enough and loving enough will you convey this love and this intention to the player. They can feel it.
“Dyson Ball Project” was officially approved in early April 2019. In the months before that, we conducted core gameplay and technical verification. When we set the entire automated factory to be built on the surface of the planet, we first encountered a technical problem. If the entire planet is rendered at the same time, the operating efficiency is very low, so the surface of the planet must be rendered in blocks. Regarding how to partition is the most appropriate, we also racked our brains. After continuous experimentation and optimization, we finally decided to adopt the following partitioning method.
If we simply divide the terrain on the surface of the planet, then the entire planet looks like a smooth ball, so the terrain must have certain undulations, but if the undulations are too large, it looks like a potato again. After all, ours Planets are relatively cartoonish small-sized planets. After some balance, we used the Perlin Noise algorithm to generate the terrain of the planet, and distributed the terrain in a trapezoidal way, so that the entire planet did not look like a potato. After that, we have to consider the coloring of the ocean and the coloring of the vegetation of the entire planet.
The problem of terrain generation and vegetation distribution on the planet’s surface is solved, and we can initially verify our vision. But what does it look like to build a factory on the surface of the planet? In order to verify the conjecture, after the planetary terrain was rendered, we used a white model in Unity to initially conceive what the factory would look like after it was built. Although there is only a simple picture, it seems to see the scene of the mass production line running on the entire planet surface, it will be very spectacular!
Next, we need to consider a very difficult problem: optimizing efficiency. Because we are all critically ill players in simulation management, we know how important operating efficiency is to a simulation management player. For example, if you work hard to build a lot of things, the experience will be very bad if the last one is one card, so optimizing efficiency is the top priority. According to our design, “Dyson Sphere Project” is based on an automated factory, and it will render tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of items on the same screen at any time. If there is no way to solve the problem of rendering efficiency, it will be difficult to do so. As a result, we began to conduct technical verification of the same-screen rendering of a large number of goods.
After technical verification, after we had a good idea of the technical realization of the same-screen rendering and rendering efficiency, we began to slowly render the atmosphere.
At present, it looks like the progress is pretty good. In fact, there is still a big boss waiting for us, that is: the conveyor belt. Conveyor belt is one of the indispensable important elements of factory games. It is the infrastructure of the logistics system, and there will be a lot of conveyor belts built. The comfort of the construction process and the flexibility of the conveyor belt are both big challenges. To this end, we have also thought of many ways and made many attempts.
Splicing of hexagonal transmission belt:
After some attempts, we found that this solution is not optimal, and the feel of the player’s operation is not that good, so we started a new round of attempts. After overthrowing countless solutions, it is finally possible to support connections of any shape, which can transmit items smoothly and smoothly. The most important thing is that there is no rendering pressure even if a lot of them are placed.
Looking at the moving goods, I was inexplicably moved, and finally moved.
You need to keep in mind to optimize efficiency at all times, so you need to test the efficiency of large-scale construction of conveyor belts.
I have seen feedback from many players that we hope our goods can be made into models. In fact, we have considered this design at the beginning and tried it, but the efficiency will be greatly reduced. We must make some trade-offs in terms of efficiency and beauty. In the end, we chose efficiency, and at the same time, we did our best to make the goods look better.
In order to make the buildings match up when they are being laid, we designed a construction grid. The neat arrangement of the buildings is a must for players who simulate the business of OCD. Regarding the distribution of the architectural grid, we have also tried many schemes, divided into hexagons, quadrilaterals, etc. After a series of demonstrations, we still chose the quadrilateral division. Although most of the grids are basically the same size, the distribution of the latitude and longitude lines will still be misaligned, and the network distribution of the poles becomes more special. Placing squares on the surface of the star is indeed flawed, so if players with obsessive-compulsive disorder want to make the building very neat, it is recommended to build it according to the latitude.
Haha, the UI we designed earlier is also on this picture.
Next, it’s time to optimize the grid. Many players have given us feedback that the coverage of the power induction tower can be square or rectangular. We have designed the grid to be circular. First of all, because we are building on the surface of the planet, and the grid on the surface of the planet cannot be uniform in size, if the coverage of the power induction tower is also designed as a quadrilateral, it may It will make OCD players more uncomfortable.
Before optimization, the power grid is like a spider web, with complex disks. In order to optimize this grid connection line, our producer also took great pains, and finally it became the appearance in the game.
Everyone knows that the Dyson sphere wraps the stars to capture most or all of the energy emitted by the stars, so first we have to have stars in the game.
At the same time, we have also produced some gas superstars.
In this way, “Dyson Ball Project” is steadily advancing according to our plan with everyone’s efforts. In “Dyson Ball Project”, you can build Dyson Cloud, Dyson Ring, and Dyson Ball.
Dyson Cloud in the development process:
Dyson ring in the development process:
From the establishment of the “Dyson Ball Project” to the present, we have watched him change bit by bit, and watched him get better and better. We are happy, excited, and even moved for each of his changes.
Now, seeing so many players like and support us, I am very happy. It is a feeling of being recognized and supported. Now “Dyson Ball Project” is in the EA stage, there are still many shortcomings, we still have a long way to go. However, there are so many lovely players and a group of lovely publishers who have been supporting and encouraging us. I believe we can keep going and get better and better.