So what is Simian Tech: Mode 7?
It’s one part of our proprietary engine called Simian Tech, and specifically what gives The Other Brothers its distinct rendering style.
Built on top of the standard unity rendering pipeline is a dedicated set of tools, shaders and custom mesh code we’ve created that perfectly emulate 16 bit style and DOS style rendering. This technology enables us to colour cycle, flash, make things a “virtual resolution”, add realtime dithering and realtime resolution normalization so that you get a real retro feel from it as opposed to just drawing it all. It includes vignetting, plus screen “burn” effects to emulate an old monitor display as well, however that is kept to a minimum for The Other Brothers in order not to detract from the fine artwork.
Weeks of optimisation have gone into this with hand crafted shaders – none of that rubbish unity default prefab nonsense, this is coded from the ground up for speed.
We can confirm ipad1, ipad2, and the new ipad as well as iPhone 4 and 4S as running at a cool 60fps so far – this is with mode7 and vignetting, burn etc…
And most Droid owners will be really happy with 60fps!
3GS has yet to be tested but if it’s not 60fps on them it will at least never drop below 30fps. It was a nightmare to pull off because whenever I moaned about overdraw / fill rate to them they would stick their fingers in their ears and cry “la la la la la la we can’t hear you! la la la la” and happily just built levels with masses of waste overdraw – all in the name of art!
SIGH! but anyway after losing hair and sanity I think Simian’s pulled off a fine little engine to drive TOB with and the gamers will appreciate the fluid framerates and fast responsiveness.
We made a couple of design decisions such as jumping being on auto repeat (hold it down and it will jump as soon as you land again) – to minimise slips, or fingers not connecting properly with the screen (perils of a touch screen device) and much care has gone into making it feel responsive with good reason… sometimes you get a murderous amount of enemies trying to take you down – they are almost like mini bosses in some ways!
There will be a sexy new video coming very early after the weekend which I hope you guys will be pleased to view.
Thanks for reading!