Devlog 28-Feb-2020

Struggle to focus


Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

          All right, so this pas week the struggle to focus kicked in. I mean, when you are well organized this should not be a problem, but we aren’t. And whenever I finally manage to implement a new feature, upon testing the functionality in action new ideas pop into my mind and it is so hard to focus.  It usually happens that in the late hours of the evening I find myself working on some new idea that was NOT in the plan, and then as the day ends I can only say: again I drifted away…

          Nevertheless, we did manage to do some things that were in the initial plan, and more than I wanted, are still pending. This is the reason I wanted to start writing this devlog, as to make myself follow the path I set up in the first place, or in other words to force myself stay on the right track.

Things we did

Player hurt animation

          Even though is still not final, managed to set up the hit animation for the player. Some frames are to be changed as soon as the sprites are ready, but even as it is we are quite happy with the result. As I was implementing this animation I went on to add a small hit animation for the enemies as well, the same, it is not final, but every step is a small progress.

Time-recovery ability

          As from the start I wanted to have two main resources: time and score, and since until now I was focused on score dependability, now  I got into time as well. The player is gifted with the ability to recover time in order to complete the level, but he can do it only when he is close enough to a time collectible item.

New Enemies

          Implemented 3 new enemies with different abilities. Still early concepts and will need polishing later but enough for testing purposes.

Unified Damage code

          As always, it happen that I had code taking care of the damage functionality scattered all around the place, and sometimes I would see that player or enemies would double hit. It took a while to figure out that I had a script(which remained from the early testing stage) on one of the enemies, and so the script was doubling the function.… time sink …

Health bar for enemies

          Spent some time also trying to decide whether we should have health bars for enemies or not, and if we should have them linked or separated. In the end we settled for this:

Set up transition between levels

          Of course having multiple levels requires a transition between them, but never seemed to find the right time to do it. Until now, since most of the mechanics are in place, it seems a good time to start adding content to test it out, and prepare a demo for better feedback.

Other tweaks and fixes

Many other small tweaks and fixes have been attended also:

  • adjusting visual animations for damage
  • tweaking moving platforms force
  • limiting platforms equations
  • adding a new attack type for enemies
  • changing bullet collision handler for better accuracy
  • changing the way platforms perform the equation checks
  • adding a simple key collection animation(required to pass to next level)
  • adding a Field of View for enemies

Things we did not do yet

Player animation and visuals

          Player still needs some animations and more visuals are to be added. Jump/land, shooting visuals are the main things that at this time are lacking.

Enemy animation and visuals

          Animations and visuals for the enemies at this moment are just basic, and will need some more work.

Sound

          No sound at all implemented in the game. It will make a huge difference once we add soundtracks and sound effects.

Main Menu

          Since I thought main menu will be easy to implement , have always postponed it’s design and functionality.

HUD

          Heads Up Display is nowhere near it’s implementation, I think it will still take a couple more weeks to have something close to ready.

Game Over mechanic

          Game over mechanic is not a top priority at this moment since tests are needed in areas where this doesn’t have an impact.

Other tweaks and fixes

Many other features and functionalities are to be addressed, from which most important are:

  • environment interaction
  • power-Ups
  • secret areas
  • bonuses
  • stage progression
  • player progression

Devlog 26 May-2020

The road ahead..


Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

Things we did lately

Fixed collecting hexagons

          There was an issue with hexagons collection that was causing the amount collected be out of sync with the acctual value.

Remove platform equation

          This is a big one. After some feedback decided that the equation on platform is too much, so decided to remove them. Of course we could’t ignore that this was one of the core ideas of the game, so instead we will now have just one number to represent the platform’s weight. And to make it more intresting and let the player’s action acctually matter added triggers on each platfrom that can change the weight.

Modified Area and bomb explosion effects

          Bombs and explosions behaved differently when interacting with enemies/player and so we tried to get them to a unified effect state – WIP

Change environmental style from 2D to 3D objects projection

          This is a major change. We considered mixing the 2D with 3D elements for a more in-depth look of the game. After testing with some assets we feel is the right choice.

Changed physics and added new moving platforms to work with the new physics

          Of course by changing the environment and mixing 2D with 3D it was expected that some part of the code will need adjustment as well.

Added new mechanic to destroy enemies under falling objects

          Purely because one feedback was that falling objects should damage/kill enemies I gave it a shot to see how it looks/feels. Turned out to be a win.

Added gun evolution system

           It is still a work  in progress but it has the basic functionality.Each shape will have it’s own evolution path.

Changed Enemy hit animation

Changed Enemy hit animation and re-asign animator separately for each enemy type for better control

Added bullet effect system

          Adding Freeze Shot, Slow Shot, Blind Shot was a really nice improvement as it gives the player a lot more options. At this time Bullet effects are also shape restricted and applied only temporary.

Unifying bullet scripts

          Some code required attention again.

Added sound effects

          Added sound for bullets, explosions, hits, impact, charging shot, freeze effects, debris bricks and frozen, knife projectiles and more.

Added chance for bricks to drop power Ups

          Since the levels have a lot of destructible walls why not use those to get power ups? For now it seems a good idea.

Added Hanging Exploding Boxes

          Just to make the word more responsive added these boxes that explode on impact.

Added visuals and sounds for bullet effects on enemies

          For some of the effects* WIP

Improved Enemy behavior

          There is always room to improve the AI, but every bit counts. 

Devlog 10-Apr-2020

Keep at it

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Things we did past two weeks

Boss animation and mechanics

          Reiterating over boss animations and mechanics to make it more responsive.

Fixed item system using item but not granting item

          By testing the game, found that in some cases the item was being used but not actually grant the item/ability. 

Fixed EdgeWalls causing player to pass through if attacked by enemy

          Bug found by one of the playtesters, some enemies have quite a fast attack and in some areas the walls had a very slim collider – result was obvious: player would pass through walls if pushed ferociously in that zone.

Evolutive shot(triangle)

Worked on one of the evolutive shots (unlocked at a later stage of the game). Turned out great and part of the code served very well as starting point for the power up visual script.

Work In Progress – Power Up system

          Power Up system was intended for the game core mechanics from the start. Finally we started working on it: materials, colors, types, category and effects are just a few of the stuff we had to consider

Improve Player jump animations

          Added  take off, landing and shooting animations for the player to make it more dynamic. I still need to reiterate and improve upon but at least now is closed to what we want.

Main Menu concept

          We started to make at least a concept for the main menu, in order to move closer to a demo release.

Work In Progress – added more icons and power ups

          There is a lot more to do on this but managed to add a few more power up icons and mechanics which improve on game feel and play.

Charging shot improvement

          Charging shot which was previously added was somewhat glitchy, so took a whole day to optimize it.

Power Ups reinforced by color code

         Altough the power up system started with a more complicated verion on paper. When tested in game, decided to drop on some layers of it and improve the readability which in term was due to color coding.

Power up GUI

          Of course power ups need to visually impact the user to know what it actually happens. Even though i thought it will be an easy task, this gave me a lot more work than anticipated.

Change game name

          Decided on a game name change, and so we will need to redesign the logo for the game in the future. At least we settled on the name now: GeoAdventure – the challenge.

Work In progress – tutorial

          Every game need some sort of tutorial, be it small tips or a whole system of rules. We want to create an interactive  tutorial, but we’ll see what we end up with.

Changed Text animation for score gain

          When score was gained the text animation was somewhat slow and static, and added a bit more ‘life’ to it. It feels a lot better

Devlog 17-Mar-2020

Keep going

unsplash-logoTracy Adams

Things we did this week

Item system

          At the beginning of the week spend almost two days implementing an item system that can be used later and improved upon(since the power up system is still not set up). At the end of the week I noticed a few issues with it that are due to be fixed next week.

Improved enemy’s target detection

          Improved enemy collision check and made them react to any hits they take from the player.


Title and icon

         Dedicated some time to work on Title and icon. We came up with

Fixed colectible text not showing the right amount on explosion

          Discovered there was an issue with the amount of damage taken on multiple targets, displaying the right amount only on single targets.

Work in progress on level 2

          Level 1 was finished so, Level 2 is in the works. I know it is not the best workflow to create each level manually but it gives me a sense of creation more than procedural creation.

Improved moving platforms script

          After testing a few times transition from level 1 to level 2 found an issue with the moving platforms preventing them from moving when passing from once scene to another.

Added new wall structures

          Destructing walls structures as prefabs saves alot of time and so added a few more viriety to the list.

Added time recovery item

          In order to get more testing on the item system that was recently implemented added a time recovery item to go along with the player’s ability.

Improved attack on pentagon shape

          Playing with the idea to differentiate each shape the player can take lead to adding a specific attack for the pentagon shape. This was a result of the many tests conducted which seemed to point out that the pentagon shape was the least loved amongst.

Reduced the fire cooldown on square shape

          It was only fair to do something special for the other shape types as well, so the square was the lucky one to get it’s fire rate increased.

Added first Boss enemy

          It is still far from perfect but  a working boss enemy type is ready to be tested and improved. So far his place in the word is unknown, need to work on that too.

Devlog 09-Mar-2020

Few more steps

unsplash-logoLubo Minar

Things we did this week

Change enemies animations to physics handled

          It was a tough decision but I think is the right one. It seemed easier to create animations for the enemies with the animator but by doing it so the physics system gave way to some issues. It had to be fixed.

Fix enemies shield (sometimes bullets passed through)

          Because in the beginning the bullets moved slower the shield seemed ok, but once faster bullets were introduced the shield started to miss some bullets. 

Added obstruction check for enemies attacks

         Noticed that sometimes enemies pass through obstacles during their attack so the check minimized this issue.

Area explosion behavior and explosion effect for player and enemies

          It may require more adjustment in the future but for now the explosion has a better effect and it takes into account player, enemies and destructable objects.

Redesign some animation for enemies

          Spent some time to adjust the timing and to add idle animations for the existing enemies, trying to make them a bit more “alive”.

Change game pace

          It felt somewhat slow, and so decided to set the pace a bit higher from the speed point of view.

Added destructable walls with animations and physics

          Destructable walls were a part of the core game mechanics so it was only a matter of time until implementation.

Integrate secret attack for player

          Just to make the player a bit more interesting, added a secret attack for him.

Improved the transition screen upon level complete

          It’s still a work in progress but  every new iteration leads to new ideas.

Broke prefab of initial enemy to create separate behaviour for each type of enemy

          Postponed this until it finally turned into a problem. Because I had all enemy types connected every time I needed to change a feature or mechanic on a certain type of enemy, inevitably other enemies were affected by the change, which in turn, ment extra work. Now every enemy type has his own prefab and is clearer each time a change has to be made.

Fixed enemy collision issues with platforms and walls

          Fixed some more issues that arose on enemy collisions.

Level 1 design

In order to test properly , needed to set up a full level, so level 1 is now finished(even tho it may suffer changes in the future).

Time

Time…

Time , it’s time for a change. And change is neither easy or convenient, it always comes with a cost. But most changes are for the better in the long run, I strongly believe this.

So here we are, finding ourselves in front of a change. Sometimes the change comes because we need it, sometimes because we want it and sometimes we have no control over it, we just have to accept it, and adapt.

The reality of the change is that it forces you to realize how important time is. Whether you have everything planned out beforehand, or if it catches you by surprise, sooner or later the “time wall” will hit, and taking you to the so commonly used phrase :   “If only I had more time…”

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