January 2

7 comments

Update: How is the Demo Doing?

January 2, 2024


It’s been a couple of weeks since we released the demo to a first group of people… we have quite a few news to share with you.

But first, let me wish you a Happy New Year!

Back to BioSynth, here’s what happened.

The Feedbacks We Gathered

We got incredibly valuable feedbacks from this first demo release.

Let’s start by saying that, even with its flaws, people liked the game. Which is great!

One of the praises that the demo received.

Apart from that, we got detailed feedbacks about things to improve and bugs to fix. I put together a list of all of these and… yes, it’s a long list (but not too long!), it’s going to take some time and will require a lot of work…

…BUT…

… fixing those is the thing that will make a difference in the long run.

The current task lists for BioSynth.

And it isn’t just about refining the game as is now. It’s the attitude we adopt that’s the key. Let me explain with an example.

I still remember when Swen from Larian (by the way, I’m so happy for him and his team that Baldur’s Gate 3 won the GOTY 2023!), in one of his talk said that, when working on Divinity Original Sin, they started gathering feedbacks from players and they compiled an endless list.

Then, even if the work seemed endless, they started working to fullfil that list. We all know how it played it out…

That’s the whole point: when you listen to players, your game will become good.

Which brings us to the next point…

Improving the Game Based on Players’ Feedbacks

We already started working on the list mentioned above.

One of the top critics to the demo was about navigability. Unluckily, it’s super-hard to make a cyberpunk city environment with a lot verticality easily navigable with an isometric view.

For example, many buildings, pipes, cables and dozens other things will be in front of the camera soon or later. At first we thought about fixing this with a solution similar to this below:

By making objects invisible between the playing character and the camera, you can move without problems. Both Bladur’s Gate 3 and Divinity Original Sin 2 adopted this solution to avoid navigation problems.

Then, we got this right after countless attempts and realized that it couldn’t be the solution we were looking for.

A fantasy environment is very different from a cyberpunk one. In a fantasy world, most of the times, between your character and the camera there’s only going to be a tree or a rock. Making it invisible is kind of easy and a great solution.

But when you have to make invisible multiple layers of wall, a screen, a pipe, some wires and a street lamp all together, that’s a real challenge. It doesn’t always work as you wish… and even if it does, it’s costly on your computer performance.

Sure, it’s still working, but it’s ugly as hell. Look at that tank… you want to make it explode…

So, we tried a totally different strategy and it seems to be working incredibly well. When an object gets between your character and the camera, the camera will simply move in front of the object.

We’ll have to gather players’ feedbacks about this, but we’re confident that this is the best solution for our specific case.

Other then navigability, we started working on an improvement for the skill system. One bug exposed a problem that could lead to bigger issues along the way.

After looking at the code, we decided to take this chance to rework the system and make the skills modular. This is a BIG step forward, since it allows us to compose totally new skills with only a few clicks.

We found the building blocks in our skill systems. Then started remaking the entire skill system so that each skill is made only of those building blocks.

Figuring this out, with 72 skills (some of which are very specific and different from others), was a hell of a job…

It’s a very challenging operation, but the more we progress, the more it seems an amazing solution. It’s looking so great that in the future we intend to bring it to the next level by building a drag and drop tool that will make composing skills a breeze – it’s very similar to the idea behind the dialog maker.

Anyway, we’ll talk about these better and will show you the results with a video soon.

About videos, there’s more…

More Videos Are Coming Up

We realized that we have to make more videos. It’s cool to write and share images or even animated GIFs…

But seeing a video is on another level… we can share a lot more cool things about BioSynth with videos.

Here are two examples you can watch, since recently we published a couple of videos…

I always restrained myself from making videos because English isn’t my first language and I find writing easier than talking – so I don’t have much problems writing a blog post, while a video is more difficult for me.

I decided to overcome this and the results seems encouraging, so I’ll keep making videos. Subscribe to our channel not to miss them.

What’s Next for BioSynth

As you can expect, we’ll keep working on the list of improvements we talked about at the beginning of the post. We’ll release new versions for the demo while we make progresses and will share the demo with more players – if you want to play the demo, join the waiting list (it’s free).

Once we’re happy with the state of the game, we’ll start adding new content.

It’s likely that around that time we’ll also publish an open demo on Steam.

Once the new content is ready too, the plan is to release an early access. While I’d love to see this in 2024, it’s more likely to happen in 2025.

Remember to subscribe to stay updated.

Talk soon!

  • Hi, can you guys implement a framerate limit in the options? I tried playing the demo on a high-end system, but it was turning my GPU into a heater. It would be great if I could cap the framerate.

  • Hi Mauro! Happy new year to you! 🙂
    The approach to avoid blocking the camera sounds great, that was definitely my main issue in the demo! I’m looking forward to try it in the next version!

    • Thanks, Martin!
      It will likely be necessary to fine-tune it, but after trying it in its current state I can say it’s a far superior solution compared to making materials invisible.

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