For about 6 months now, the four of us have been working on Schacht, further improving the experience.
That is, next to building up the company itself and digging through financial, legal or organisational matters of course.
The first major milestone of this development will be an upcoming content update for the Steam version of Schacht in October! 😀 😀 😀
This update will not only include some important bug fixes or improvements and tweaks of existing mechanics. There will be some new features as well – some more visible, some seemingly invisible.
Here are a few of the points we’re working on. Hopefully they will get you a little more hyped about Schacht and its further development 😉
Major Performance Improvements
This part of development definitely took up a lot of time, even though it is pretty much invisible ingame. Optimizing and improving the performance of the game was the major task for our engineers in the past few months.
To be fair, Schacht wasn’t build with something like good performance in the first place, due to its unusual development story.
The biggest tasks to resolve this problem were:
- switching from Deferred Shading to Forward Shading
- implementing Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) including Stencil Mask optimization
- massively reducing the overall polycount by optimizing the existing assets
This led to an overall performance boost of up to 70% across a lot of different setups, from low to high end PCs.
These performance optimizations are necessary for the targeted 60 FPS in native 4K we are going to bring to the PlayStation 4.
New Checkpoint Mechanic
In the old system, the overall time you needed for one track was recorded in realtime and used directly to set your rank in the leaderboard. However, this implementation punished the players differently depending on the distance they covered from the last checkpoint they activated before they failed. We thought this odd treatment of players is a bit unfair, so we reworked the mechanic. Now if you die, you will still reset at the last checkpoint and a fixed penalty time is added to the time you had when you first activated the checkpoint. This will treat every failure the same, regardless where on the track a player fails, and in this way much more fairly.
(We will move the decimal point down soon 😉 )
To enhance the visual aspects of our game, we’ve created some background 3D models which will orbit around the tracks in Schacht. The art style draws inspiration from classical science fiction to achieve a more immersive atmosphere.
To recap the most important information from this post: there is a big update coming to Steam at the end of October.
Besides that we are making great progress on the PlayStation 4 version of Schacht!
your friendly neighborhood scientists