October 2018 Recap
Its time once again for the monthly recap! After attending GDEX, one of the largest gaming expos in the midwest, we refocused ourselves and had some design decisions to make. This past month was a result of that refocus, and for that reason we have plenty to talk about in terms of upcoming mechanical and art changes! Along with some of these changes to the core game, we have also created plenty of sleek new promotional art pieces to show off some of the objects in game. Now, enjoy the recap.
In the upcoming weeks, we will be making some widespread changes to some of the core game systems as well as building upon others that are already in place. Some of the systems that will undertake considerable change are aiming and shooting. Systems that will be iterated on are most of the systems that keep the game together such as scoring and the core gameplay loop. It has been our short term goal for a while to complete a polished vertical slice of the game, and we feel we are close to achieving that goal!
At its core, this game is a hectic precision-shooting action game, and we want to leave plenty of room for you to pull off some crazy moves while playing. It is for this reason that we are looking at other options for aiming systems. In its current state, aiming can only be done on around 10 locked axes in a circle around the character. This is not precise at all, but was a direct response to how difficult we felt aiming was when we tried it with all 360 degrees around the character being free to aim in. We are going to revisit 360 degree free-aim, but make some changes to make it a bit easier to hit your targets. Rather than using raw input from the controller joysticks, making the aiming feel very difficult to control, we will be averaging the movement from the joystick out. Along with this, aiming will be slowed just a bit so that smaller adjustments can be made without having to be uber precise in the direction you point the joystick.
Another system we feel has some room for improvement is the general shooting system. If you have seen previous blog posts, you are probably familiar with the laser sights that come out of the gun of each character. We want these laser sights to identify “danger zones” to drive gameplay so that you are constantly trying to avoid being the line of sight of other players, as it is a risk to being debilitated. Because of this, we felt like having physics-based projectiles that actually moved in the game world was a bit detrimental to that style of gameplay. In the coming weeks, we will be transitioning the gun play to being more of a “hit-scan” style (pressing the fire button while aiming on a player instantly counts as a hit).
Along with these system changes, we are building upon the groundwork of our current game loop and setting out to achieve a fully playable version of the game. We currently have a rough version of the round counter screen (which displays after each round ends, with each player’s current wins) which we plan to iterate on, as well as a match over screen which will display accolades for each player as well as other statistics for the match.
A lot has changed since we first started making the game, which is the reason for evolving some of the gameplay systems. As our gameplay systems evolved however, some of our art which complemented old gameplay systems did not evolve. We realized this, and decided to iterate on some of the artwork as well, particularly the platforms on each level.
Back when player switching happened on a timer rather than being initiated by the players themselves, we wanted a visual way to easily communicate this switching of players. To achieve this, we decided to have the colors of the players suits transferring through the platforms and into the new suits. Because players will be initiating this themselves, and will always be right next to the player they are switching with, we found that there was not longer any reason to do it this way and decided to make platforms fit the theme of the world/level they are on instead. Below are some concepts for the first level, which is themed as a smelting facility with a lot of red hot lava:
More of these concepts and actual platform art will be coming soon as we iterate through different designs and create new worlds.
We also decided to do a bit of world-building lately and provide some hints into the functionality of weaponry that is used in the game world. The below concepts outline the gun and the suit currently found in the game, and the features each have:
This was a bit more of a short and sweet update, but there is plenty of exciting news pointing towards coming updates! Stay tuned to this site to follow our progress, and be sure to check out our social media feeds updated weekly on the side bar to the right of this page 🙂