I am releasing a graphics update for some versions of Date Ariane. Currently this is for the English and German PC, Mac, and Linux versions. Portuguese and French PC/Mac versions are now updated as well. Let me explain this update Q&A style:
What has been updated?
About 95% of the pictures have been updated, over 1100.
I don’t see much difference, what has changed?
Lets start with Ariane. I am using an improved V4 model that corrects the shoulders and makes them look more natural and realistic. You can pretty much tell the difference between the old and the new by simply looking at the shoulders. Also a minor clothing change, Ariane’s underwear is dark grey instead of tie-dyed pink. I also give Ariane some fun expressions that she uses in certain circumstances.
Lighting has changed, there are a lot fewer hard shadows. Also reflections on glass and surfaces is more realistic. Since most of Date Ariane takes place at night, windows should reflect the interior light. Different locations use different lighting and rendering. Backyard is partially rendered in “superfly”, bedroom uses IBL lighting.
I also created a more realistic look for Rebecca. Still “petite”, but she no longer looks like she is starving. Also she has got a “bush”, since at least one of my characters should have one.
Ariane’s SUV is the one I used in the Rachel and Ariane pictures. She no longer is driving the cartoon car I have been using since 2004. Her car actually looks realistic. The convenience store actually sells food now.
With all of these moves toward realism, how come the pictures still don’t look real?
Because realism is not the ultimate goal, beauty is.
Why only 95% of the pictures, why not 100%?
I am actually working on a 2.0 version of the game with pictures that are more than double the resolution. In order to save memory, I am rewriting the code to reduce the number of images the game needs, mostly eliminating the “ending” scenes you want to try and avoid anyways. I mostly finished the images for this HD version, and decided to reduce them down to the non-HD size and update the graphics, but the current 1.0 still needs the pictures I have eliminated in 2.0, so in those cases the old pictures are still there.
Don’t be surprised if you occasionally see the old Rebecca, or the old shoulders, or the old underwear. I’m pretty sure I eliminated the old car pics, but I might have missed one or two.
If you are working on new code, why not incorporate it into the game?
Because complex changes to the game will mess up the translated versions. When 2.0 is finally done it is likely the translations wont work on it. I am trying to figure out a way to fix this, but it is going to take some time. 2.0 is no where close to ready anyways.
Besides graphics changes, are there any other changes to the game?
I eliminated a bug in the English and German versions that under the right circumstances would allow Ariane to drive downtown naked, but there is no code or pictures to support it so it crashed the game. I also eliminated the trailer for “Something’s In The Air” on the translated versions.
By the way, thanks to translator Thorston Frei, the English and German versions are the same game, the only difference being the window title, the default language settings, and the help page. In both versions, you can go into settings and switch between English and German. Note that some lines in the German version will appear untranslated. Only about 97% of the lines have translation, and the ones that don’t will appear in English.
I eventually want the French and Portuguese versions to work this way, but for now their code is unchanged.
Why are there no graphics updates for the android versions?
There will be eventually. Despite my efforts to control jpg compression, the new versions are now bigger in size than before. The android version was already pushing the limits of max size for an app, so I need to do some further size reduction before I can make new android versions. The 2.0 HD version will never work on android, but I want the updated pictures to be available in app form at some point.