With our increasing number of users, we have decided to utilize GameLift (a service provided by Amazon Web Services) to easily launch, update, and scale game servers so that we can scale to massive numbers of user supports.
We are trying a lot of things to improve frame rate, including making sure that not everything is rendering (showing up on the screen) at the same time, especially complex models like characters. This is called “occlusion” — when you can hide objects behind blockers, such as walls, so that it doesn’t render and take up computer resources. We have this working better, and have added some tall decorations to block the view of characters and made sure that they won’t be rendered when being blocked. This means you should experience less lag and better overall performance.
One of the awesome things about video game art is how technical it is. We’ve had to update our maps significantly in order to increase performance, and our technical improvements gave us the space to add a lot more life to the game world. For a tour of these improvements, and commentary on the technical and user experience reasons why they were made, you can watch this video:
We’ve been joking that Marysol finally got her funding and the clinic has moved from the bottom floor of the apartments to its own new building! We’ve moved all the quests that took place in the clinic to this new location, and spread things out. Looks better and has better performance!
Having more options for pets was one of the most popular requests from students, so we added a new pet shop with 30+ new pets, including both real-life animals and the unique animals of Ovo.