• Freejam Chris

New Windows! - Dev Blog #54

We’ve been exploring a lot of different options for windows and wanted to share some of our thoughts and progress.

Our main goals are:

- To have great looking windows with the intention of having beautiful reflective and refractive glass in the future

- To have detailed curved frames around the windows as we think that this adds an important level of realism

- To allow for a large variety of vehicle types

- To keep control over how many variants of windows are in the inventory

We tried to develop a set of shapes that could build all manner of windows, but it produced a lot of very fiddly small shapes, didn’t produce nice looking windows and would have had a bigger impact on performance. We had to drop this route.

So, we have decided to refine the current window set as we think they are producing nice looking windows but do not currently allow for enough variety in vehicle types. We’re going to remove some of the variants that were not that different from one another and instead add more variants in width and height that will allow you to create a much greater variety of vehicles.

We are planning to add even more variants in the future. It’s worth noting that Techblox will have hundreds, possibly even thousands of Blox over time, much like how Lego feels like it has a near infinite number of blocks! We are aware the current inventory doesn’t scale very well when we add more blocks, so we will be investing development time in creating great inventory tools that will allow you to navigate a large array of blocks more easily.

These are the windscreens which come as small as 5 Blox wide for single seater vehicles and up to 11 Blox wide for larger vehicles. There are also some variants that are quite slanted which are up to 4 Blox in depth, and some that are a little taller, but you’ll notice we’ve removed some of the extra slopes in between.

Here are the new revisions for side windows. They will be available in two sizes, 2 Blox high and 3 Blox high, There are fewer variants of 'slopes' but more variation in terms of height.

We’ve revised the way you make frames too. We’re adding new, more modular, scalable shapes that can fit this purpose and also adding new scalable glass plates and frames that will let you add glass in areas that you could not before.

One more final note is that we are not planning on adding a paintable glass material type that you can paint onto any of the available blocks. The glass frames above will be the only way you’ll be able to place glass. The reason for this is that it can introduce a lot of visual artifacts and can kill performance. But we will be looking to add some specific shape and component options that feature glass.