Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
We're building up to something! HUD faces Postcard Front
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Sharing a level - Level design for shared screen!

0 comments by stray-shadow on Jul 16th, 2014


Out of all of Mech Mania's Arenas, Scrapyard is the one that so far has been through the most iterations to try and get it right. It's still ongoing but right now we think we're getting close!

 Cramming everything you need on one screen for four players is a bit of a balancing act, constantly trading off between various essential elements to get the game as playable as possible. Below are some of the issues encountered designing not just Scrapyard but across all of our maps.

Also, Mech Mania now has its own Facebook page, to keep up with Banter and general Dev!

 Scroll to bottom for TL;DR

The Map

 The Arenas have to be large enough to allow the four players to move around and actually play the intended mini-game. Some required larger areas than others. The larger the map however would put the camera further away from it in order to keep all of it in shot at once.

Race Arena

  Race encountered few of these problems as all of the action takes place near the camera with the sides free for any HUD we needed to add. The addition of player markers at the base of each character further helped with distinguishing who was who.

 But, the further away the camera went, the smaller the player characters got and it became difficult to distinguish who was who or even where you were.
 It also made spotting obstructions even more difficult resulting in lots of getting stuck on knee high boxes.

 To get around this, all of the maps had to give the camera an unobstructed view right across from corner to corner forcing us to be more creative with how maps were decorated. Anything suspended from the ceiling or towering into the sky in the map had to be removed and replaced with something either lower or which the player could see through.

Scrap Yard WIP

 This gave us a finite distance the camera could not go beyond before the game became difficult because of poor camera placement and a few guidelines for object placement for the levels design.

 Scrapyard eventually ended up looking like this-

Scrapyard Scramble game play

 Exacerbated by the fact all four players are sharing a single screen , we also needed to bury part of it under some essential HUD elements. These had to be in a position the players could quickly glance at, realize which one they were and not need to squint to make out what it's trying to tell you.

 Thankfully the games are very simple, but still these bits and pieces have to be found an ideal position!

Flying Crane WIP

 Here with Skycrane we've got it pretty wrong, not only is the camera pulled back unnecessarily far from the players, we also have fog! Blue/gray fog on a blue/gray arena with a player playing as a blue coloured character. The HUD is also much bigger than it needs to be and the detail a bit distracting.

Not ideal.


A bit of tweaking later and we have what ever coloured fog we like. It is also moved down to give the appearance the craft is flying really high above the clouds with the tallest spires of buildings poking through.
 The camera has also been brought in closer and elevated to a similar angle as in Race.

 A little bit further down the line we arrive at this, though still a work in progress. Everything is already infinitely clearer, though the camera has been intentionally pulled out for this screenshot and the fog colour is yet to be changed.

Sky Crane progress

 The HUD itself (in this game mode) displays the players current state using three health bars as well as a more obvious central head which changes expression depending on how well each player is doing.


HUD faces
We also ditched Orange as an Orb colour in favor of blue as the two were pretty similar. This did however raise the worry that the blue player may assume blue Orbs are uniquely for him/her.

 Each mini-game is also fronted by a short instructions screen displaying the controls and how to play. It appears as the level is loading and must be dismissed by the player before it disappears and the game begins. This gives unfamiliar players time to work out what they need to know before progressing without it becoming intrusive for experienced players.

 This one currently appears before Race (as Race is presently stand-alone), very placeholder but you get the idea!

There is still a lot of work to do on Mech Mania, but we're steaming ahead. Each time we encounter a new problem I've found it really fun trying to find ways to overcome it. As you can see we have a lot of old assets and placeholders which we're slowly rooting out and replacing with the real thing as we go.

The TL;DR of it is, designing for shared screen mini-games was very different from my first days messing about with first person shooter mapping. I'm really looking forward to moving on with this project and then choosing an utterly different genre to attempt for a next game (ever hopeful!).

Media RSS Feed Latest Video
Post comment Comments
d10sfan
d10sfan Jul 26 2013, 5:27pm says:

How are you planning on supporting Linux with the UDK engine?

+2 votes     reply to comment
stray-shadow
stray-shadow Aug 12 2013, 7:05am replied:

Probably be going the Dungeon Defenders route and using SDL 2.0

Getting on Linux is a priority of ours are we are also Linux users =)

+3 votes     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Dec 5 2012, 4:41pm says:

I played this game at the ExPlay festival in Bath.
Brilliant little game that totally kept me on my toes.
I have soooooo voted for you. Keep up the good work guys :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
7heSAMA
7heSAMA Dec 3 2012, 7:23pm says:

So - kind of like Fusion Frenzy?

+2 votes     reply to comment
stray-shadow
stray-shadow Dec 4 2012, 8:49pm replied:

It should have similar chaotic madness.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Icon
Mech Mania
Platforms
Windows, Mac, Linux, AndroidTab
Developer & Publisher
Infinite Playground
Engine
Unity
Contact
Send Message
Official Page
Infiniteplayground.co.uk
Release Date
TBD
Game Watch
Track this game
Share
Style
Genre
Party
Theme
Sci-Fi
Players
Single & Multiplayer
Project
Indie
Twitter

Latest tweets from @infplaygames

RT @SouthWestVR: The first SouthWest VR Meetup is happening! July 29th! T.co

Jun 5 2014, 1:34pm

RT @RedPandaAudio: 4 tracks into the #MechMania extended ost - huge pulsating beats, saturated leads, plutonic layering #composition #video

Jun 5 2014, 1:34pm

RT @forcehabit: What's that, new Toast Time music? Why would that be happening?.. T.co #toasttime

May 27 2014, 6:07pm

RT @TIGAMovement: 10 x free places available on The Games Quarter course, thanks to Capital Enterprise Some fant­astic news for a... http:…

May 27 2014, 6:04pm

RT @RedPandaAudio: 3 complete #MechMania extended tracks in the proverbial bag - @InfPlayGames #audio #music #videogames

May 27 2014, 5:17pm

RT @RedPandaAudio: #SonarX2 decides on a Tuesday hangover, therefore over to #Cubase for #MechMania OST extended! @InfPlayGames #compositio

May 21 2014, 12:32pm

Seriously amusing fighting game! Free demo, go get it! T.co

Feb 15 2014, 12:58pm

3, 2, 1 MANIA!!! @mwcomposer @RedPandaAudio

Jan 21 2014, 11:15am

@RedPandaAudio really digging collections theme!

Jan 19 2014, 7:09am

RT @RedPandaAudio: So hard to decide which track is the greatest of the #MechMania OST? Special affection towards pause cue @InfPlayGames

Jan 19 2014, 7:09am

Embed Buttons

Promote Mech Mania on your homepage or blog by selecting a button and using the HTML code provided (more).

Mech Mania
Mech Mania
Statistics
Rank
1,780 of 22,791
Last Update
1 week ago
Watchers
30 members
News
16