VZ Games
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VZ Games

Hash Rush Update: Visuals? Check!

It’s that time again! The pre-playtesting euphoria is back in the office, and we are all diligently preparing to show you the new and improved details of this brand new stage of development. Depending on which one of us you ask, we will all favor a different new thing we’d like people to know about as soon as possible. Even so, we’ve all come to agree that the first thing we’d all like to gush about is the very first thing you’ll notice starting up the game.

Enter visual updates!

The previous playtest had shown you Hash Rush’s new, raw world, of which we are undoubtedly proud. It served well to establish the direction in which we are taking it, re-assess our ideas and plans, and set up a firm base to further improve the overall graphics and environmental visuals.

Incoming visual updates

We’ve aimed for the world of Hash Rush to be a colorful one… In all the wrong places. Sometimes, less is more, so we have decided to reduce the over-saturation of the Planet’s environment to get more natural-looking, muted tones.

A base? A tree? What could it be?

To keep the background where it belonged (in the back of the stage playing a tree, clearly), we further reduced the sharpness of the ground lines and textures on the non-interactable parts of the environment, such as wild trees and stone surfaces, to simplify them. We’ve significantly reduced visual strain, directing the eye to the map’s relevant (interactive) parts.

The little guy feels right at home.

Not only will this allow the player to easily locate and target individual resources within the environment, but the entire world now gives out a powerful extraterrestrial note that emphasizes all those glowy arcane elements, including the crypto crystals!

But, wouldn’t all this color reduction make the environment on the surface just a little bit too uninteresting, you wonder? Because of potential over-blending, we have refreshed the area by splitting up all the green with a charming river and some stony banks. It has introduced a magnificent shimmering component, which is both comfortable to the eye and maintains the dynamic aspect of the map.

Don’t worry. We wouldn’t let you off the hook that easily. To ensure you get a healthy amount of anxiety over your buildings and units during your gameplay, we have built a sturdy bridge that can provide passage even to the heaviest of mobs. Enjoy the invasion!

…or just let the others handle it while you blissfully enjoy a good picnic at the riverside. It’s a free world.

“The river in the game is sparkly. It’s so pretty…” — Lixil, 2022.

Buildings: Can we fix it? Yes, we can!

But that’s not all! The entire environment redesign would surely fall somewhat short without some visual upgrades to the structures. As things were at this point in the process, buildings (especially the player’s) existed on the map but were hardly interesting enough to pay attention to. Naturally, naming them for what they are in the selection menu is a sure way of differentiating them, but once placed on the map, they would get lost due to their simplicity.

Ma’am, trust me, these are Barracks…

The player’s ability to visually distinguish and identify each building was our priority. For example, what made the Barracks other than the name, and what could we have done to make them stand out within the environment? Following this example, we are addressing the currently available buildings, re-assessing their appearance, textural complexity, and differentiating details. What you can see in the screenshots above are what it currently looks like, take note of them as we’ll share the new updated models soon!

Reconsidering and reimagining some of the buildings will allow us to highlight details on the specialized and magical facilities. So now, we’re working on giving them an additional visual advantage against the mundane structures, thus enabling them to live up to their names more consistently. In other words, yes — we are making sure the Hall of the Heroes now looks as magnificent as it sounds. Check out the current model below, and remember it, the new one will be truly epic!

More like a Hall of Mediocres, am I right? Heheh… I’ll see myself out.

After fully implementing said visual changes, all of the ally and enemy buildings will follow the overall atmosphere of the map and complement each other while still managing to stand out on their own! This implementation is also expected to rid us of some other annoying problems such as the over-complexity of the designs, lack of optimization, and visual details missing in action. Since the old structures were created to fit a fully spherical 3D world, redesigning them will make them look perfect for the flat map. Yes, we are aiming to get most-if-not-all of this in the next playtest!

Units: Marching on! Fabulously.

Now that we’ve diligently refreshed the entire map, it’s only fair to come full circle by showing some love to the most dynamic part of the world: units. The initial models for both the player’s units and the enemy mob units did their part to the best of their abilities. But being the opposite of the environment, they did nothing to stand out.

Ernack or a lamp post? Guess we will never know…

Refurbishing the little guys (and the not-so-little-ones) was a must. We felt that, to do justice to the fantastic skin designs in the making, the models that would adorn them needed to be individually visible and a lot more mobile. To achieve this, we are redoing the unit models. Now they will be flapping their limbs left and right independently from the rest of their body. This change alone allows for more freedom by introducing interchangeable, carriable items, toggling carried weapons, etc.

Breaking news! No longer a one-hit-wonder.

Additionally, we have adjusted some of the models and enhanced the texture of the others for some extra flair. With more details on them, both friendly and enemy units are guaranteed to make for an enjoyable visual deployment on the field.

And then?

And for the cherry on top: We will bring on all of these visuals in High Definition! It is a big, slightly intimidating jump from the previous version, but we love how it’s all coming together, and we are confident you will love it too!

One big step, many more to come. We are very excited and proud to share the development process with you as we go. As we continue to update you, keep in mind that your feedback is always welcome! We would love to hear what you think of our roadmap so far and what do you hope to see us do next to make the word of Hash Rush as unique as it can be.

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