Hey! Are you ready to try the first play-test from LIGHT⚡NITE? Single-player ready baby. We always remind your to keep your expectations low, the game development status is in prototyping, not even a pre-alpha.
We are releasing this first prototype very early so we can shape the game design, mechanics and so on based on your feedback.
The single player prototype will feature a very simple and crude character controller, with minimal features, acting as a placeholder until the final character controller is available, over the next few releases.
For now, you can do basic actions such as move, crouch, jump, shoot and reload, but more will be added in the upcoming weeks.
Even though this is primarily a battle-royale game, one way we depart from the competition is to support a wide variety of optional mini-games (easter eggs, missions with bitcoin rewards, co-op challenges, and much more), fully integrated with the main map.
While battling on the main game, you and your buddies may want to take a break from the exhausting killing and mayhem around you, and play a round of target shooting in the CQC level, race some karts, canoe through some rapids, or engage in any of the many activities that will be available in the full map.
The mini-game gameplay will sometimes be radically different from the core gameplay, featuring mechanics such as racing, platforming, puzzles, etc.
There will be individual leaderboards for each mini-game, and some may even hold special easter eggs as well as surprise rewards, if you’re able to conquer the challenge.
Most mini-games will also be available to be played in single player, co-op and local multiplayer (split screen) modes, with single player becoming available right now with this first release, followed by co-op and remote multiplayer (local multiplayer will be available further down the line).
This being the first prototype, we have not taken many optimisation steps, other than making the game playable in an average computer, but you can expect performance to be improved by many folds, over the next few months, especially when we enter the beta stage.
For now, if the gameplay feels sluggish and unresponsive, you can change graphic options such as quality and resolution through the settings menu (access it either through the main menu or the in-game pause menu, by pressing the Escape key).
CQC facility map - optimisation
The first version of the level we were doing, the CQC (Close Quarters Combat) facility, was completed, but it needed a bunch of optimisations to make it run from 30 FPS to 60 FPS.
To achieve that, one of the most useful tools we used was the Mesh Combine Studio, a plug-in for Unity made for combining the object's meshes of the level into bigger (but unified) ones. This way Unity doesn't have to handle that many objects in scene, resulting in a 10-15 FPS boost. However, this process will have to be revised in the future when we'll implement the destruction system.
We also fixed many overlapping planes and other light bugs we had on scene. When you try to make a modular level, sometimes it gets hard to fit all the pieces together. In some development practices, to make a building for example, they usually make the entire mesh manually. Or they take pieces and then fix them together. But again, with the destruction system in the horizon, we have to make sure that everything is divided.
Several tweaks in shadow parameters from all the lights were also done to boost performance, as well as in the lights itself and in the volumetric lightning system we use.
And last but not least, we had to make sure the collider from all the objects were well adjusted and optimised. Colliders are the invisible systems that are aware of the collision between objects. They are done with simplified meshes well adjusted to the original shape of the object. For this tedious task there are also tools that can help you to automate the process.
The UI (User Interface) refers to every menu you can find in the game, from the main menu, to the HUD (Head-Up Display) in the gameplay itself.
These are several mockups for the main menu:
We wanted to find something that was visually nice, but also simple and clean, for it to be intuitive. Color palette is also important in these process and for now we are going for a similar approach as the Light Nite logo, combining several tones of yellow with black and white.
And other mockups for dialog boxes and smaller elements:
On the technical side of the UI, for now we are using the good old Canvas system. But we plan to introduce in future releases UI Elements, the new UI system in Unity, which promises to be a lot more flexible, reliable in performance and aspect-ratio friendly. This system allows as to build the UI in a markup language, in a similar fashion as web design, instead of relying on manual placement of elements, which makes it unpredictable for different screen sizes, among other drawbacks.
Prototypes and open development
Early on we decided to follow the open development paradigm, where we share with our community all progress and plans with full transparency and let early access backers play the prototypes, however raw and glitchy they may be.
This wasn’t an easy decision as we’re making ourselves very vulnerable, while exposing many of our original ideas to the competition, but we feel that we can grow our community organically this way, as you’ll all be a part of the team and help shape the development of the game.
Having said that, please keep your expectations in check, there’s still a long road ahead to the final release, we’ve barely taken the first few steps, so please take these early prototypes with a grain of salt… ?
We welcome your feedback and ideas, hope you decide to join us in this adventure!
Improvements at play.lightnite.io
Despite our attention during the last weeks has been mostly focused on the actual game development, the team has also devoted part of its efforts to improve usability at the Light Nite shop.
We started allowing Users to change their password & email address after registration, something we all making multiple registrations per week find convenient often.
Additionally, we received from a bunch of users the proposal to enable changing username. Some additionally suggested the possibility of having usernames as another type of asset that could be sold and re-purchased in the secondary market.
Although that sounded initially like a good idea, that would naturally imply a cost for users wishing to change username, and possibilities to get the range of fancy names available at regular prices reduced, since they might be reserved by other users just for reselling. We decided to offer the username change at a cost of 10K sats, but we plan to set it for free.
Finally, we have also implemented the password recovery functionality for users who forget their credentials. An email reset link is sent when “forgot password” is clicked at login stage, allowing easy password restoration.
Another interesting improvement we’ve made thinking in the users has been implementing a customer support chat both at the main game site lightnite.io and the store play.lightnite.io.
Although unfortunately we’re not able to attend 24/7 just yet, this is a first step that intends to get us closer to users, ease the onboarding process, act as a shortcut to solve any potential issues that might still arise at the asset store and game access, and be at reach for any questions about the game road map or any other topic our users want to ask about.
Feedback and Issue reporting System
In line with the above, we wanted to offer a direct channel to report spotted issues and provide feedback in a very simple but effective way. In the end, we are the most interested in getting early warnings on things working unexpectedly, and solve them swiftly. But not only that! We also want to listen to users’ preferences and wishes for our next development steps, so that best ideas can be introduced in our pipeline for future releases.
That’s why we’ve created the channel issues.lightnite.io. Any registered user can send us his/her ideas, suggestions of new features, skins, objects, missions, game dynamics, or any other proposal to make the game funnier and more attractive. All suggestions will be voted and best ranked ones will be selected to integrate in the game. We are super-excited to hear brilliant new ideas!
Game development, particularly at early stages where Light Nite is now, passes through lots of unforeseeable circumstances, which constantly modifies planning. Therefore, from time to time, we make an overall re-evaluation of the development roadmap so that our users can get the most realistic outlook on coming releases.
After the release 0.1.0. of the first single-player prototype, yet with no character customisation and using paper targets, we want to inform you about coming releases that will happen every 2-3 weeks normally:
- Release 0.1.1: Character customisation, basic NPC targets and the Damage System will be integrated
- Release 0.1.2: Item Picking System and basic Inventory System to manage asset mounting/unmounting will be operative in this release
- Release 0.1.3: Simple Multiplayer release, on death match mode, released.
We are working hard to fulfill our milestones as planned, despite the current global situation affecting us as most businesses. We’d like to count with our users’ and fan’s comprehension in case some delays happen, as well as declare that they can rest assured that the game development is progressing if a bit more slowly, as firmly and consistently as always. Next 6-8 weeks will be plenty of nice surprises. Global roadmap has also been updated at lightnite.io.
We have been also working on new hoverboard designs and concepts. Underpinned by existing vehicle designs, we’ve elaborated new scaled down, adapted designs to match hoverboard basic appearance, but pushing boundaries to the limit.
Based on the all-terrain vehicle, we’ve created this 5-drive hoverboard design looking really powerful and super-robust
Similarly, we’ve used the sport car design to give birth to a really fine, sophisticated hoverboard with a feline eyed frontal light, three lower propulsion engines and a super aerodynamic, high stability profile. Really looking forward to seeing them in scene!!
Blockstream Satellite Packs
As part of our easter-egg policy we are making a collaboration with Blockstream to add include them in the game. We have initially added some models to integrate the blockstream satellite to the game. A sneak peak of what we are creating can be viewed below.
Soon we will share more details about this ongoing collaboration.
A new character joined the game and it comes from the Alien City Zone. It's a female robot produced by Egamers.io Industries and called Egamers Trooper. Only 100 units were produced, which makes the item a rare type. Egamers Trooper units aim at keeping public order within the Alien City. You can get the Egamers Trooper by pre-ordering the game at lightnite.io/ref=egamers
For gamers who like more old fashion guns, a new machete joined the Light Nite arsenal. It comes directly from the Playtoearn.net gunsmith. You can get it at lightnite.io/play2earn