Week 8 – Proof of Concept

Now that we’ve challenged out of the Deep Dive phase and are working towards completing our proof of concept, our game is starting to grow into the vision that we all have for it. I spent this week doing a hodge-podge of different tasks involving documentation, feature implementation and edits to our current level to prove our game is feasible and heading in the right direction.

I started the week by creating a new mock-up for our UI. We realized that the stat change UI needed to be re-positioned so it wouldn’t cover the part the player is holding in their hand. I also threw together a few options for how our HUD which shows the player’s health, weapon ammo, and their current gun combination. We wanted our HUD to be simple and out of the way so players can see it when they need to, without taking up too much screen real estate. I looked at games like Overwatch and Team Fortress 2 for inspiration since their HUDs are good at communicating information to the player in a simple and easy to read way.

hudMockup_3D-withPanels

I got those mock-ups out of the way early in the sprint so I could spend more time implementing features like weapon crates, turrets, and our rarity particles. When James started building support for the weapon crates, we quickly found that the documentation I had put together for how they should work wasn’t detailed enough. I answered James’ questions and updated the Design Doc with more information on how crates should work during a match and he was able to easily set those up. After James’ job was done, I went in and created 4 different crate types and placed a lot of them around the map–seriously, a lot of crates. We took a build that had the crates around the map to QA and for the first time had a lot of testers saying that there were too many parts on the map. This data is really helpful because now we know what our limit is so we can start dialing it back until it feels right. (video courtesy of James)

Getting turrets in the game this week was both exciting and nerve-wracking because I wasn’t sure how players would react to them. I built three different turrets that would drop rare or legendary parts and placed them in select locations around the arena. I wanted players to be able to attack turrets from all sides so I had them in very open areas. When we brought this build to QA we saw that players were interacting with turrets most of the time instead of other players. This wasn’t the result we were hoping for so moving forward, I plan on placing turrets in more confined areas where players won’t be within their sights as often. However, I wonder if giving players the ability to override turrets will change how often players interact with them. That will be something we’ll have to test next sprint. (video courtesy of James)

With different methods for collecting weapon parts implemented, I could finally start classifying weapon parts using our tiered rarity system. James created different particle effects to make rare and legendary parts look even more powerful. After including a parts rarity in the documentation, I started applying the correct particle effects to the parts in engine. Now, players can find yellow, blue, and purple parts around the arena and start to learn what those colors mean.

Finally, as the sprint nears its end, I spent the rest of my time replacing the white-box structure of the level with assets from the new environment kit that Tyler finished this week. Seeing my arena come to life with these assets is really exciting and I can’t wait to get new materials for the floors and surrounding walls to pull everything together. New props have helped control some outrageous lines of sight and the structural pieces are starting to shape the atmosphere for this map.

updatedLevel

Our goal is to challenge out of Proof of Concept this week and get right into Vertical Slice. We all feel really good about our progress and our plan for the rest of the semester so our hope is to get to the final stage as soon as possible. Until next time!

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