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  • Writer's pictureTyler Clementi

Dev Diary #72: The Results of Updating 100K Lines of Code

Howdy folks,

In our last update, we briefly mentioned the massive update we made to convert the game into Unity 2022. Freeborn has spent the last several years in Unity 5. As you can imagine, suddenly switching to a new version of an engine after 6 years of updates can cause many existing parts of the game to break. There were also many systems that we ultimately decided needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. Fortunately, most of that process has already been completed. All of the environments that people saw in prior conventions and screenshots are already playable in the new engine.

We wanted to show you some previews of this monstrous undertaking and the visual results of converting to the new engine. This process required the updating of over 100,000 lines of code. The reason so many lines needed to be updated is because the original project was written in Javascript. When updating to Unity 2022, every single line of code had to be converted into C#. The results are better lightmapping and better performance across all previously constructed environments.

Mark stands among stone arches and other ruins, as a crystal floats nearby.
The new realm Mark visits is alive with floating crystals, migrating orbs, and waving grasses.
Mark looks from one floating, upside down pyramid platform, to another down below.
Wisps of energy glide between platforms, drawing player attention towards new pick-ups and dialogues.

We’ve also completed brand new environments for the revised opening sequence of the story campaign. The original iteration of the mind lounge area has always been one of the most intriguing aspects of Freeborn, both for the players and the team. We wanted to expand on this environment and make it a larger component of the story. Mark’s adventures are taking a darker turn, and the expanded “mindscape” area will showcase some truly supernatural environments. The improved lighting features come into big play with the new mindscape areas which sometimes feature otherworldly lighting sources.

Mark stands in front of a seemingly-ancient portal with large, floating light particles.
Mark moves between portals separating the new realm from his familiar world.
Mark stands by a pond, with a long, abstract crystal floating overhead and light rays falling from the sky.
The update from Unity 5 to Unity 2022 allows for significant improvements to lighting, as shown in the reflections and light rays here.

The visual improvements aren’t restricted to the in-game environments. Significant updates were also made to the UI in the card battle screen. New visual effects have been added to the base UI and the particle effects that occur at the conclusion of a round.

The Ekosi UI update comes with some slick, colorful, round-finishing animations.
The Ekosi UI update comes with some slick, colorful, round-finishing animations.

We’ve also been hard at work adding new character portraits. To complement Mark’s adventures taking a darker turn, some dark and mysterious characters will be encountered during his repeated escapades into the mindscape. We don’t want to spoil the nature and motivations of these characters just yet, but rest assured you will be encountering them a lot more in the near future.

That’s all for now. Stay safe out there!




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