Rediscover gravity and explore an Escher-esque world of impossible architecture. Witness infinity in first-person, and master its rules to solve physics-defying puzzles. Cultivate a garden to open new paths forward, where an eternal expanse awaits.
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2018
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Available: 2018

 

Recent updates View all (6)

April 15

Development Update Video #10



Development Update Video #10

Unity 2017.4

We recently upgraded to Unity 2017.4.

There are a few key reasons for this. The main one is that we can now use MSAA for Anti-aliasing instead of just super sampling. We’re using our own rendering pipeline, and it wasn’t possible for us to use MSAA until 2017.4.


Tech

As far as the rest of the tech is concerned, we’re not adding new features.

We’re focusing on optimization, visual glitches, and bugs - basically making sure the game runs as smoothly as possible.

There are a lot of interconnected systems, so it often feels like we’re playing whack-a-mole with bugs. We fix one, but then 2 more come up.

One of the optimizations we’ve done is we’re using a slightly different render system to render the duplicates. In the past, to create duplicates for the cube, there were 125 instances (as it was on a 5x5x5 grid). However, this meant there were 125 transforms getting updated. The new system actually bypasses the renderer component. Instead of sending information for each transform to the GPU, we store the information for one in a buffer, then just look it up and add the positional offsets.

Additionally, we’re also now doing frustum culling on the GPU.

Saving and loading continues to be a really tricky problem, but it’s becoming more stable. Testing it is rather time-consuming, as it involves playing through the game multiple times.



Audio

We've been working on audio design for the past several months. Most of the sounds in the game are currently placeholder, as we’re focusing on the technical side.

We have about 90% of the audio hooks in. The remaining hooks involve more technical complications. For example, we need to have different sound filters depending on whether you’re indoor or outdoor. This means we need a systematic way distinguish the spaces, which isn't as straightforward when there is world wrapping and complex architecture. There are also situations like having sounds play continuously when you go through a portal (The approach we are using here is to have the sound emitter on the player instead of on the door itself).

Localization

We’ve finished localization. Currently for launch we are planning on having: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, and both Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

There’s still some work left to adjust the layout for each language and to accommodate the difference in length of words.



Level Design

Most of my focus with level design now is figuring out and refining the pacing in the last third of the game. At some point, I will return to the opening level and retweak it. I was at GDC last month and saw a lot of room for improvement when people were playing the game.

Additional Info

As always, you can find me on twitter and twitch, where I stream development daily.
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December 12, 2017

Development Update Video #9

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEp3kMZJyzA

I'm back with another update. I had hoped to release the game this year, but as you can see, that hasn't happened. Lots of things have come up and development has been slower than expected. Currently looking at early 2018.

Tech

At this point with tech, we are featured-locked (thankfully). We're not adding anything new gameplay-wise, just focusing on optimization and making the game more stable.

Lots of edge cases with the game saving and loading system, but it's mostly stable now. Saving and loading games has been a big pain to get right. In Manifold Garden, there is a timer in the background running to save the game regularly. The player can also press "Save Game" to save the game, as long as it's not during specific moments where it's disallowed (during transitions, etc). At the same time, neighbor levels are loaded in and unloaded dynamically. Getting all the systems to play together nicely has been a real headache, but it's more or less there.

It's a huge relief because previously playtesters would have to leave the game running on the computer if they wanted to take a break. Now, they can close the game, and not lose all their progress.

We're working on Mac build as well, but having some problems with this as we don't have a mac machine to work or test on.

Sound Design

I've integrated FMOD into the project to begin sound design (more news on that soon). It was pretty straightforward and took much less time than I had expected.

Starting to focus on the PS4 version once again. Lots of issues initially, but this was expected as we hadn't touched the build in months.

Photography Mode

We've added photography world back into the game.

Had to disable this feature while I did a major refactor last year. We had to switch between two cameras, and it was just kind of a pain to maintain at the time.

It's currently using the new graphics pipeline that Arthur implemented, and I've brushed up on the UI. It's still pretty basic at the moment, but we're not going to add anything until everything else is done.

https://i.imgur.com/xOsEX9v.png

https://i.imgur.com/TKwdWWC.png

I'm pretty excited about this feature. Can't wait to see what people come up with.

Level Design

I'm continuing to focus on level design. In the last update, I talked about how there were a few design challenges we were facing and some proposed solutions. These have been implemented, and it's definitely an improvement. Players get a sense of their purpose much earlier in the game, which really helps establish where they are going and what they're working towards.

New Art Assets

Been working with a few artists part-time to improve various assets in the game. Mostly focusing on replacing place holder items with final assets, and also adding animation. Here's a selection of the improvements:

https://i.imgur.com/bQxLB7E.gif

https://i.imgur.com/v2OpCGk.gif

https://i.imgur.com/iTb09fG.gif

Producer

I've started working with a producer to stay on schedule, and it has been incredibly helpful. I've gone from thinking "what does a producer do?" to "how can anyone get by without one?". We check in on a weekly basis, and I've found it really helpful in establishing realistic milestones and staying focus on what's important (shipping).

3 comments Read more

Reviews

“There's something undeniably artistic about its colors and architectural displays.”
Polygon

“It’s just this absolutely beautiful strange thing that gives me a little pleasure spike every time I see it”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“It’s got mind-obliterating puzzles for days.”
Kotaku

About This Game

Manifold Garden is a game that reimagines the laws of physics.

Rediscover gravity and explore an Escher-esque world of impossible architecture. Witness infinity in first-person, and master its rules to solve physics-defying puzzles. Cultivate a garden to open new paths forward, where an eternal expanse awaits.

In November 2012, William Chyr began working on Manifold Garden. Initially the project was called Relativity, and it drew inspiration from various physics thought experiments. In early 2015, Manifold Garden was backed by Indie Fund. Over the course of its development, the game has been shown in over 20 game conventions and festivals, including E3, Tokyo Game Show, Gamercamp, and Indiecade East.

Key Features

  • A unique gravity-manipulation mechanic that allows players to walk on any visible surface.
  • An expansive and beautiful world filled with secrets for players to explore.
  • Mind boggling Escher-esque architecture.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GTX 780
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