[Broken] Our Apartment v0.0.7.a: Lot of rewriting, reworking, android build will have to wait longer.
Hey everyone! This month was not the best thanks to some personal reasons I posted on twitter and discord. I took about a week off. But I'm past that, and getting back to work.
As a result, this time I'm only able to release a pre v0.1.0.a release and I'm doing it cause i promised to on itch. And things are still very much broken.
On top of that while I wanted to release on all platforms, I'll have to hold off on an Android build for now. Maybe until the actual v0.1 release.
Let me explain...
About Delaying the Android Release
Unfortunately at the moment the android build will not load even on my phone (A Samsung Note 10+) and i know if it won't run on my phone it won't run on just about anyone elses. This is not an uncommon problem, but this kind of issue is the reason android builds are much much slower to release than any other platform.
It is a bit surprising though, cause many asset changes were intended to avoid issues like this. But maybe I'm just not managing it well enough yet.
The usual process here is go through primarily every asset and figure out what's causing the game to not load. It's usually post processing or something. The problem is this takes SO LONG I could spend a week trying to get things in a working condition. And for what? A build that's otherwise broken. On top of this I end up making so many changes to the game it tends to adversely affect the PC version if I'm not keeping track of everything.
This is why in the current release as people have told me, some transparency on clothing and objects looks weird on PC. This is cause the last build release I made was for android (I think), and i changed transparency for some items.
Also considering part of android issues I'm guessing relate to memory issues, and one aspect I'm rewriting should majorly improve that it could be worth the wait on many levels for compatibility to more devices. But we'll have to see.
I understand some users are probably only able to play the game on their android device, but I'll have to ask for further patience until v0.1.0.a. It doesn't make sense to spend time on the android release when things are in this state.
I'm sorry about this. But I hope you understand. Android will always be a priority, so don't worry about that, but from a dev standpoint it's better to get things properly working first.
Rewrites, Reworking, Reconsideration
I mentioned rewrite a bit ago, that's been most of the work at the moment. And the reason why so much is broken in the first place. I want to explain a few things being changed due to some discoveries.
Memory management in Unity is something I have very little experience with, but it's not something done with simple programming. It's done with asset management and programming. Namely Asset Bundles/Addressables, at the moment Our Apartment uses neither of these things. I made some attempts a long time ago, but it resulted in accidentally doubling memory use.
This is because to use addressables, I must also rewrite features of the game like the Outfit system to properly. See the outfit system currently uses "direct references" which means each clothing item is directly referenced in the "level". As a result, apparently, the data of ALL clothing items is kept in memory, scriptable object, model, textures, etc. And when you have 300+ items including variants and growing, you can see why that might be a big problem.
And I was going to wait but it looks like I'll need to push that change ahead. Making a broken release like this, isn't entirely a waste of time cause now I know I absolutely have to.
The next rewrite comes down to scene management and animation. Up until now I don't think I've utilized the power of unity's Animator to a degree I think is possible. And while there won't be sweeping change on everything like sex sim there is room for improvement at least.
This has resulted in some black magic. Now to some extent this vortext might be unnecessary, as I've learned some things, but in my mind I like to do what i know for a fact works, then scale back as a reuse. It may be possible to simplify this more later.
See the issue is this is the simpler option. Cause each of these nodes have more animators INSIDE THEM. The reason for this is due to some analysis on the way dialogue animations are handled in the Ume Musume game. The way dialogue animations seem to work to keep things looking natural is they use "Enter pose > Loop > Start Exit Pose > New Enter Pose" and while it might seem obvious internally it means each dialogue gesture has at least 3 animations.
The exit being the most interesting it basically sets up the next pose cleanly by releasing the gesture. So if i have a pose where Naomi crosses her arms, this exit pose uncrosses them before doing the new pose. This avoids somethings you might have seen in "Ask Naomi" in the preview where Naomi's hands went through her body a few times.
For a while I struggled to find a good clean solution, eventually i realized I haven't use "Sub-states" yet and this is my answer. And thanks to how these work, it may also lead to solutions for adding more animation variation to Sex Sim. Something that was a single node before like an Idle loop, may now contain options to vary that loop randomly OR conditionally.
I'll probably try to contain myself on this and not go too far with it. Cause the way it looks, I could...in theory... easily have a different animation based on Naomi's H-level. And that is a very alluring idea. But also a terrifying one given the animation work needed.
This is called feature creep...I think. And I wanna finish this game lol...
Thanks for your support and patience!
Seriously, and sorry for not getting as much done as i intended this month. But I'm skipping my usual start of the month break to get things back on track.
Any questions feel free to ask!