Week 19 – It’s Alive!

Last sprint was a big undertaking for us. We had a lot of tasks planned and a few of us were estimating over-hours but it’s all coming together very nicely. Our of all the updates that happened last sprint, Mike’s changes were by far the most exciting. By adding in scenery assets and doing a preliminary lighting pass, our game feels so much more alive. It’s astounding how much of a difference Mike’s work makes. After seeing this, I think the whole team is feeling a wave of inspiration and desire to make re[Mod] as good as it possibly can be.

Enter the Arena

Mike spent a long time last sprint bringing the arena to life. He started by doing a material pass on the architectural assets for the map. He designated team colors for either base and used purple as a neutral color in the central parts of the map. Getting these colors in last sprint was important because we were also implementing and testing our new Team Deathmatch game mode (but I’ll get back to that later).

After the new materials, Mike worked on setting up the background assets. This includes the stadium that surrounds the map, the crowd sprites, and the neighboring towers for other businesses. I’m a big fan of some of the easter eggs that Mike threw in when he created the trim sheet for the holographic ads on the surrounding buildings. On the side of one of the buildings, you can see the old logo that I concepted for our game, back when it was still called Modulate instead of re[Mod]. There is also a sign for the Empire Hotel, which is a reference to the game Mike worked on last semester, Empirical.

Finally, came the initial lighting pass, which brought up a couple issues. As most of us are aware, Unity’s lighting tools are not easy to use. After a lot of effort from both Mike and James to get the lights to build properly, the arena is now lit with very intentional stadium-style lighting. There are still some changes that have to get made, but Mike is aware and knows how to handle those edits. re[Mod] is only going to start looking better from here on out.

newArenaArt_screencap

Team Deathmatch

While Mike was working on making our game pretty, James was setting up our new game mode. Players now get to fight each other in teams instead of having to totally fend for themselves. So far, we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from our testers. Player’s have stated that they feel being on a team takes a lot of the pressure off because they now have someone to watch their back. However, we’re also getting some feedback showing that players are confused about which team they’re on and who their enemies are supposed to be.

As of right now, in order to show players which team they’re on, we change the color of the player’s HUD to either blue or orange. To show players who their teammates are, we change the color of the third-person player model and change the color of their nameplates to a dull gray. On the other hand, enemies will be the opposite color and their nameplates will be a bright red to grab the players’ attention.

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Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be enough. Our plan is to continue iterating on our team play, so that players are very aware of their teammates versus their opponents. We also need to work on incorporating more team-play elements. Our first step in that direction is to allow teammates to capture stage areas together. This was always a part of the design for team play but didn’t get implemented in time for testing last sprint. That’s one of our top priorities this week. In addition to that, we also need to brainstorm how teammates can be more aware of where they all are on the map and how rewards should be divided.

That’s all for this week. Until next time!

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