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  • Optimizing Human: Fall Flat For Mobile Devices

    - Peter de Jong
  • Human: Fall Flat is a physics based puzzle platformer published by 505 Games where you run, jump, lift, climb and fall your way through a ton of fun levels. We at Codeglue were tasked to bring this game to more players around the world by porting it to mobile phones. In a previous blogpost we went over the challenges we faced with implementing touch controls for this PC title. In this blog post we dive deeper in how we made this performance heavy game run on mobile phones.  

    The problem

    With the playable levels becoming more and more intricate the further you progress, we had to make sure the performance would stay optimal for a fun experience. Physics calculations are expensive and when paired with big open level scenery, low frame rate becomes a valid concern. We'd like to take you through a few of the steps we took to make this game run buttery smooth on even some low-end mobile phones.

    Optimizing physics

    The player character consists of many physics driven body parts which are - often in hilarious fashion - constantly colliding with the level and other objects. How the player character reacts when he falls and flops against the terrain gets determined in complex physics calculations. In order to save some much needed processing power, we had to make these calculations both easier and less frequent.

    Many of the level's objects had their colliders altered. A collider is the shape that the ‘physics world' sees the object in, regardless of the visual shape the player sees. This means that the physics interactions can be calculated for a much simpler representation of the object's actual shape. Great! That happens to be exactly what will make the physics calculations a lot easier for the hard-working mobile phones. A small golf club composed of a grip, shaft and head gets represented by something less complicated - a stick. A bigger golf club? A bigger stick! The big golf club has an added box at the end to more closely represent the club head, but these primitive shapes are still much more performant in calculations than its complex visual shape. On top of that we decreased the amount of times these calculations get performed from 60 times per second to 45 times per second. Less calculations, means more juice to do other demanding tasks such as the visuals!

    The big golf club


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