Prophour23 is available now

Prophour23 is a fast-paced, replayable real-time strategy. It's designed for short, quick plays. A single playthrough will take you about 15 minutes.
I worked on it for 20 months and I'm very satisfied how it turned out.

Prophour23 release date - 22 Oct

Prophour23 is done! I put in the last piece of music (it's bizarre... I love it), which was the last missing part. All other assets and features are already in.
So, does that mean that the game is ready? Not yet! There are still some bugs waiting for a fix; I hope to clean them up during this last week before release.
It will be released on the game's page: and on Steam.

And since some of you asked:
Yes, you can monetise videos of Prophour23.
Or in a more official way:
I, Przemek Müller, hereby grant permission for anyone to make videos of Prophour23 and to monetise them. All of the music and art for the game was created for the game at my commission, I have full rights to grant this permission, and no-one else has any copyright claim to any of the game’s content that could supersede this permission.

Vote for Prophour23 on Steam Greenlight!

A few days ago I put my game on Steam Greenlight. If you have a Steam account, please help me get on there!

Creating insect death animations

As a part of ongoing polish work I wanted to animate bugs' death somehow. Here's how it looked like recently:

It just disappears. Not very cool! I just got an idea how I want it to look like and I implemented it this weekend.
The effect actually consists of 4 parts:

1. A dying insect breaks down into a few parts.
2. There's a simple particle effect on top.
3. A stain is created underneath. It is animated, so it "spills" from the insect.
4. The dead parts attract other small insects, which feed on such carcasses.

The 4th part needs a little bit more work, but I'm quite satisfied how it all turned out.

The stain below a dying insect is barely visible, but I had a lot of fun putting it together.
Here's a breakdown of the stain effect:

1. A stain is actually a triangle fan. I start with a fan of 30 triangles and radius=1. The positioning and scaling are done in the vertex shader. Scale is animated, so the fan appears small and then grows a little (I colored triangles with different shades of grey, hope they're noticeable).
2. I needed to deform it somehow. So I made a simple, tileable 256x256 noise texture in GIMP (there's a checkbox in the noise rendering filter to make it tileable):
Then, every stain picks randomly one row of pixels from this image. I read the pixel's color value in the vertex shader (before applying scale) and deform the vertex' position using this value. It was pretty good, but I wanted the circle to deform gradually - so I multiply the noise color value by a displacement factor (which is animated from 0 to 1). So:

Note that there is no jagged edge between the first and last triangle (black and white ones). That's why I generated a tileable noise texture.

Shader code:
//read pixel from noise texture. u_displacement_row is the row chosen for stain (random 0 -> 1)
vec4 displacement = texture2D(u_noise, vec2(v_texCoords.x, u_displacement_row));
//color values are between 0 and 1, I want it to be between -1 and 1
float displ = (displacement.x - 0.5) * 2.0;
//deform the mesh. u_displacement_factor means how much I want to deform, 0 gives a regular circle
v_position.xy += (v_position.xy * (displ * u_displacement_factor));

3. Then I just added a texture in the fragment shader and voilà!

Prophour23 - site and trailer

Just a quick info: I made a small site for Prophour23 with a trailer. Take a look!


It's about time to announce it officially on this blog: I'm working on a new game called Prophour23.
Prophour23 is a procedurally generated real-time strategy with emphasis on mechanics. It's designed to be short and replayable. Inspired by Spelunky, Super Hexagon and Atom Zombie Smasher. It's both strategic and real-time, but isn't an RTS in a traditional sense (like Starcraft). A single playthrough will take you about 15 minutes, if you're good (but you aren't, yet). But the next one will be different. And anoter one as well.
I wanted to recreate the look of old biology books and the game looks currently like this:

It plays on a single screen. There's an "organism" consisting of various organs (circular shapes with red/blue bars). You grow these organs, move them on the screen and connect to make use of them (e.g. you connect muscle organ to a stomach organ to make it work). There's a constant threat - insects wanting to destroy your organism; so you need to defend yourself as well.

The game evolved from a prototype I made about a year ago. There's a few months of work left to do: proper menus, sound, overall polish. I will release it (with a price) for desktop computers, still considering other platforms.

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