Quick recap of what we’ve done the past two weeks on the game. This is devlog 0.17 !
Main Menu integration
We’ve integrated the main menu scene into the game. The features are not bound yet, so it’s mostly just sitting here, waiting for some love.
We’ve started implementing a first draft of what we want to happen after a game ends. The hardest constraint for us is to have something that works in showcase and regular mode. The end game happens in two “phases”: first, players are rewarded with a badge qualifying their performance (not done yet). They hold B to dismiss this panel.
Then, when all players have dismissed it, another panel pops up, presenting all players with 3 options: go back to the main menu, play again, or change map. Large rotating buttons are shown, so that everyone can read them. All players control this panel.
Our artist got his hands back into the engine and tweaked a bit some emitters. When someone picks up the gold, it now looks like this:
Looking at it, maybe this will need another pass.
And when the player with the gold hits a wall, it now looks like this (more on this below):
Right. So currently, the player that carries the gold emits a small flash whenever she hits a wall. Someone that understands the game knows that being immobile when the other players have forgotten where you are is a sure way to win, as they have no way of knowing where you hide. We consider this a flaw in the design, and a potential exploit.
That is until one gold is scored, at which point a “reveal” pickup spawns. Picking this up reveals all the other players for a small amount of time, preventing the gold carrier from hiding.
But we have a couple of issues with that design. First, this pickup is introduced to counter a deeper design problem (the gold carrier hiding exploit). Second, it is a separate mechanic, kind of dangling off the core of the design. Third, if we have all players visible at some point, then we’re no different than other top-down shooters.
For these reasons, we decided to try changing the reveal effect. The gold carrier emits a flash periodically, every few seconds. This, hopefully, will be simpler to understand, will fix the exploit and will enable us to remove this whole pickup mechanic.
As I’m a bit late writing this, I’ve already started my infamous issue number EB-171, which is a big one. I want to rewamp the way maps are selected and loaded, and this requires large changes on the architecture of the game. So I’m already “having fun” with it. As a “teaser” for the next devlog, here’s a picture of the architecture I’m putting into place for this.
Another thing we want to get ready for the next event is an event store, coupled with insights. I may do a deeper technical article on this later, but the technique is to raise events whenever something happens in the game (such as a player attacking, or someone scoring etc.) and store all these events. The benefits are countless:
- Reward players based on specific playstyles at the end of a game
- Extract usage statistics
- Reproduce issues
That was all for this one. I have the next week off at work, so I’ll have plenty more time to work on the game. Happy holidays !