Tension devlog - 02 - End of Prototyping
It’s been a week since we have posted our last developer log, so here we are with a new weekly update. Things have been hectic this week to meet our deadline and the approval to move forward with Tension, which is our goal for tomorrow.
With last week’s feedback in our head we were set out on making improvements where necessary and they were. Our mentors were extremely fond of the concept behind our game, but the execution was done rather poorly. We missed the fun in our fun game. The feedback was justified however, since right now we only had a square box divided by an invisible line, four tables on each side and a bomb on one side, while tools at the other. So frankly put, it was a bit dull, even for a prototype. Yes one might argue that prototypes are to dissect your project and see where tweaking had to happen, but this was a bit more than tweaking. So with this in mind we literally went back to the drawing board and started drawing layouts for our level.
It wasn’t long till we decided to go for an octagonal shape, which would keep things interesting with the 30 degree angles. Which forced us to use the space in the centre of the playfield instead of going for the walls. This gave us more freedom in placing basic obstacles to overcome, while also adding a form of stress factor to the game.
However, our devs, ran into quite some problems while coding as well. Mainly the rubber we use to bind the characters together, it proved very frustrating to implement and to make, even after trying multiple methods. Secondly, the collision of the players cause quite the stir of their own. As a matter of trial and error, the dev team used two hollow cylinders as fictional characters. They could make the collision work but since it gave too many problems and glitches, they moved on to the third problem, which were the physics joints. The joints proved extremely challenging, as they didn’t update in real time so it took a while to find bugs and problems to solve. Also the joints had to be attached to each other and use limits with the corresponding springs. Eventually it got to a working state, but then the player kept rotating around it’s own axis while not even having a rotation set up, for some miraculous reason it stopped but we continued experimenting for a different setup as this didn’t feel quite right.
Part of this we also tried out everything in Unity, just as a matter of research, but eventually we ran in an unfortunate amount of glitches and bugs, which proved too much for us to solve. So we did decided to stick to UE4.
With this in mind, the development team, together with our artists, was very fast to fix the layout and make it a lot more appealing, the only thing missing were some art assets.
Those were still in the works, with our artists still working on concepting and documenting everything we intend to use, and how to use them. For now, we stuck with a small environmental prop, a character and a particle effect. With our artists dividing the workload, they all set out to deliver said assets for out next meeting with the mentors. Though neither of our artists focused on one thing in particular, they worked together on most things, also in close relations with our developers and programmers, so we left no turn untouched in forms of opinions and whether it was doable or not.
The small environmental prop was finished quite fast, so we could move out to the character and the particle effect. While we all decided on staying in a cartoony style, we had to make these accordingly. With the particle, we went for a knock out-ish particle for when one of our characters hit the forcefield. For the character, as we kept it rather simple, it was pretty much done in a few hours with the model, the rigging and the skinning combined. This came in quite handy to put it in the prototype, as it looks more appealing than having a simple cube or cylinder for Player 1 or 2.
(small rig of one of out characters in the works)
After this we also had to make some particle effects, however this proved to be a bit more challenging than anticipated as we didn't want your usual around the mill basic particle. So our artists did our best to come up with something that is worth showing. While brainstoming about what, let mentioned before, we went for a KO like particle for when we hit the forcefield. This was done very simple with some ducks floating above your head with some stars around, this is still a work in progress however, as we met a few bumps in the road we couldn't finish without some help.
With these items available in our arsenal, we are meeting up with our mentors and hoping we get the green light. As always, we like to hear about your feedback as well, not just from our mentors. So if you feel we lack something, or something works superb in your eyes, please let us know.
The development team
Get [Group20] - Tension
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