Thursday, October 29, 2015

The finished game

Here we are, the finished game. What you see above is the game that will be presented tonight at the closing ceremony. It contains all the art, all the features, all the effects and more than we hoped when we started the project. The game in this state is considered done.

We are proud of what we accomplished and it was a great experience making a game together in Seattle WA, USA. The journey from nothing to a finished game was long and at times hard, but it payed off and we are proud of what we have accomplished. I(Mads) want to personally thank all of the readers of this blog, it was fun writing, I enjoyed it a lot.

Almost at the finish line, sound and more polish - Progress report #10

We added the sounds to the game and polished some last things in the game.

If you have sound on, you can hear that a pretty important and valuable part of the game has been added. Sound! Our artist and team leader, Mathias recorded sounds with our artist, Watson. The sounds were edited by Mads and implemented in the game by Daniel. Adding the sounds has really improved the feeling of the game, giving all the actions a a much stronger impact. 

The sounds were recorded in a soundproof room with a sound effects recorder. The countdown is voiced, when the seasons change Watson, the announcer, also announces which season it is. When someone wins, it's also announced which season it is. Having sounds takes the game from a work-in-progress to something that feels more complete, something enjoyable.

The map's obstacles are also randomly placed now, giving the map a new feel every time you play the game. This makes it more difficult to master the game as no two maps feel the same. Sometimes all the obstacles are on one side and there is a huge open area, sometimes they are evenly scattered and so on.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Art and polishing - Progress report #9

The game is nearing the finish line. The last art and more is implemented in the game.

As you can see, the game looks a lot more complete now that things like the particle effects and the last placeholder art has been replaced by the final art. In this version of the game, the boss' projectiles are a lot faster than usual, but this is not final. The final speed of the projectiles have yet to be decided. You may have noticed that the summer character has it's particles falling off her all the time. This is sand and it is to show that she is flying as opposed to walking or running like the other characters.

The characters are also getting their own seasonalized projectiles. The leaf you see here is the projectile used for the fall character. A pile of leaves firing a leaf as it's shot. The snowman also has it's own projectile which has been used since the first playable state of the game, the ice projectile. Only the summer and the spring character needs their own projectile now.

Today we also got a lot of feedback from a play-test that our teachers did. They came with a lot of valuable input that we will be considering and implementing over the next few days to make sure the game is completely done.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

New snowmen, aiming arrow when shooting - Progress report #8

Finally, the snowmen that has been the characters up until now are beginning to be replaced by the actual art. Placeholders out, final art in. An arrow for aiming the shots have also been added to make it clearer where you are shooting.

As requested by some players, an arrow has been added to indicate which direction you are shooting. This is because there are two ways of aiming your bullets in the game. There are still the normal controls where your bullets are aimed in the direction of your movement, but recently there was another control scheme added. If a player chooses to, he can use the other analog stick to aim his shots independently from the movement. However this made it, at times, unclear which direction you were shooting. A arrow was added to make it instantly clear which direction you are shooting.

There is a small amount of debate as to whether or not the arrow is having a positive impact on the players performance. I, myself, really prefer having the arrow there. But some of the other players, including Daniel the programmer is saying that it's making him play worse. A thought among us arose that it's not because the player is performing worse, but because the player is becoming aware of his aim.

These are the new snowmen! Finally, the final art for the snowmen has arrived. The increase in detail and cuteness is high. To the left we see the snowman in small mode, being small and cute. To the right we see the snowman in boss mode, big and scary. Side by side here, they are equal size, but in game the snowmen different sizes, of course. Now the only character that is left is the summer character and it should be coming right along.

Last environmental art, win condition - Progress report #7

More art for the game as well as a win condition, have been implemented!

To finish off the showcase of the environmental art, here is what the different seasons' floors look like when the seasons change. Mossy stones, snowy stones, leafy(?) stones and just regular stones for summer and no season. This ties into the obstacles that was showcased in the last post. So when the spring obstacles are shown, the mossy floor is also shown. However a decision was made to not include the leafy stones for the fall. It just didn't look right when the leaves were repeated on the entire floor.

A win condition has also been added to the game, finally making it winnable. Before, there was actually no way to win the game, it never ended. Now there is a way to determine who won and who has lost. When a player reaches a set amount of kills, the game ends and the player has won! This makes the game significantly more competitive and exciting, because the game has an end.

Monday, October 19, 2015

New controls and lots of new art - Progress report #6

The game now has more traditional twin-stick controls and a bunch of new art has been made!

A lot of new refinements have been made to the game since last progress report. The core gameplay is the same as last post, like the shooting, the boss mode. However, a lot of graphical improvements have been made. There is now a dynamic environment that changes based on which seasonal character is the boss. When there is no boss, the generic background is used to indicate that there is currently no boss.

These are the new characters for fall. The pile of leaves is the character when it's small and the whirlwind is the fall character in boss mode. When the player controlling the character reaches a point with enough charges, the pile transforms into the whirlwind of leaves. We chose the whirlwind because fall is characteristically windy and feels strong.

Here you see the different seasonal themes of the obstacles. When the summer character becomes the boss, the flowers grow in the box. When it's winter, the pine trees grow, during fall it's the fallen leaves that clutter the box. Finally during spring it's grass and sprouts growing. This adds flavor and gives the game a dynamic feel, making it more exciting and have more impact to be the boss. We want you to feel strong and victorious when you are the boss!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Reaching playable state and more art - Progress report #5

From the work done yesterday (Monday) and today (Tuesday) our game has reached a more or less playable state! More art has also been done for the characters

From the video above, you can see we have had massive developments since the last video. Now you can shoot instead of having a melee attack. The boss mode is now implemented, giving the game the 3v1 aspect that I described in the game plan post. Charges and a charge bar has also been implemented. The charges is what actually makes the small characters able to grow into their boss mode. The charge bar above each player gives visual feedback as to how many charges the player has collected as well as showing much more they need to collect before reaching boss-mode.

Actual code from the project
As you can see in the video, the small characters has to shoot the boss in order to kill him. The small characters are unable to damage each other. When there is a boss, it's the small characters' job to avoid the large burst of shots from the boss, as well as compete against the other small characters collecting charges. When there is no boss in play, it's only a race to see who can get the required amount of charges fast enough. As you might suspect, this is only work in progress and the damage numbers, spawnrates, health as well as several mechanics are still subject to change. There are still a lot of tweaks to be done in order to insure the game will be the most fun possible.
Spring boss-mode
What you see here is the boss form for the spring character that was posted in the last progress report. It's a lot bigger and a lot stronger than when the character is small. When the spring character has collected enough charges, he turns into this big, dangerous, all-smashing tree monster. It takes many shots from the small players to kill him.