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The trials and technical triumphs of Obra Dinn

Lucas Pope shares the details behind why it's taken him 1.5 years to get his latest demo near his original vertical slice -- and shares technical solutions to making his game work in Unity.

Papers, Please developer Lucas Pope has been updating us all on the development of his latest game, Return of the Obra Dinn over at TIGSource, and his latest post on the development of the game contains a musing on the nature of moving from vertical slice to full game.

The post outlines a dishearteningly complicated challenge, but also reveals technical solutions to problems in the game's systems that should provide insight to a number of developers making complex 3D games in Unity 5.

The game, which takes place on a sailing ship, required custom solutions for its rigging -- "neverending ropes," per Pope's post -- and he talks about the custom solution he coded to make that all work in Maya. He also writes about the architecting of the game's flashback system, and the cloth and wave systems he's implemented in the game. 

The post combines technical and creative insights well: "Fluid simulation is another dynamic touch that I wanted as a cool way to emphasize the frozen action of the flashbacks," Pope writes. 

It's well worth combing through the post if you have a curiosity about the game, Maya workflows in Unity 5, or which middleware to pick up if you're thinking of implementing controller support in your Unity game.

For more on Obra Dinn and its distinctive visual style, read our article: Lucas Pope and the rise of the 1-bit 'dither-punk' aesthetic, or this short Q&A

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