What is Squillamorph?
Please consider getting Squillamorph on Steam and leaving a review. It is in Early Access and still very early in development but the more feedback I get now, the more enjoyable the final game will be!
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Below is the development log for Squillamorph. It is GIF heavy and it might take a while to load them all.
Hello everyone! The game is now out on Steam Early Access! I am so excited about the launch and I hope those of you who get the game enjoy it as much as I enjoy making it!
Early Access Launch
The game launched on Steam Early Access on the 17th of November and I am so excited about it! I was making last minute improvements right up until the moment I launched it to iron out as many issues I could find. As a sole developer, managing all aspects of my business and developing the game can be quite challenging at times. However, this just makes it that much more rewarding to see everything come together into a launch.
Last Minute Improvements & IL2CPP
There were a few things I needed to add and change before launching. I had forgotten that the tutorials I made for controllers were specific to Xbox controllers. For the images this doesn't matter too much as most controllers have similar layouts. However, the text tutorials had to change. This proved to be more challenging to implement than I thought but I've got it working. The button text will now be replaced according to the name of the buttons on the controller in use. This is one of the main visual changes I made. However, perhaps the most noteworthy change is something no one would notice if I didn't mention it. The next few paragraphs are quite technical, so feel free to skip them if you aren't interested.
I discovered something last week that intrigued me. While researching how to build the game to ship it, I learned about a thing called IL2CPP. If you are interested in a full description of it find it in the Unity documentation. IL2CPP (Intermediate Language To C++) is a Unity-developed scripting backend that converts IL code from scripts and assemblies to C++. The main benefits of using it, rather than the default option, are performance, security, and platform compatibility. I switched to it just to see if I could and discovered that the game worked just fine. However, there was a small problem I had after implementing something recommended by Steam.
One of the things Steam recommends to developers is to pause the game when a player opens the steam overlay. This can only be done using the Steamworks API. To get this API in Unity I use Steamworks.NET. This is fantastic and it's relatively easy to integrate into Unity games. However, it does not work with IL2CPP. Rather than take the easy way out and use the default scripting backend, I decided to search for a solution. After scouring the internet, I eventually found a solution in a GitHub issue thread. It wasn't easy for me to get this working but I managed to in the end. In hindsight, I maybe wouldn't have spent as much time on it and just stuck with a little less security, performance, etc. In the long run it should be worth it though.
The Next Steps
My main priority is currently optimisation. The more computers that can run the game, the better. I've discussed the main performance issues a lot recently, the main perpetrator being the lighting, and how I added quality settings to combat this. Even so, I still haven't properly optimised the game. Secondly, there are several improvements I need to make to certain gameplay elements. Making infesting slightly easier, preventing several unfair situations from occurring so often, and a few other bug fixes.
There's a lot to do but I'm doing my best to get it done! If you play the game and have any issues, please let me know. Either send me a message on social media or join the Discord server and let me know there.
That's it for this post! If you get the game, I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for reading!
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I'm the game developer for Squillamorph! I'll post here on the devlog as often as I can.