This week we had EAE day where we showed our thesis game along with the cohort ahead of us and some of the other games made by the program. We got some really good feedback from industry pros, students, and faculty members who hadn’t seen the game much. I was really impressed how well people were able to use the detach camera controls and definitely think we can make it a main feature of the game.
From the other games shown my favorite was a top down temple run style game played with ‘twitch plays pokemon’ style controls over the web on your mobile fun. It was really fun to see everyone trying to steer the character together as he slowly dodged obstacles in his way.
While parenting the gun to the character we ran into some sizing problems where the gun was too small. I made it a bit bigger and I love the side effect of the gun being twice as big as the character.
We are using mixamo to rig our characters which is pretty fun because we can drag and drop animation systems into unity and they already work. We still don’t have our character movement speed locked down but when we have a lock down for our controller I will go through and tweak the animations to fit.
John also dropped in FinalIK (an amazing inverse kinematics unity plugin) and it just seems to work! We played with it for a little bit and the character now procedurally blends to aim the gun at the on screen target and automatically places its feet on the surface. It even works with the detached camera though it gets a little funny when crossing over directly behind the character. We got it working on the local player last night and after a bit of fiddling it turns out the animations will pass over our network with just a little tweaking. This gives us quite a bit of juice for free. We will definitely be looking to exploit more of the FinalIK system in the future.
Testing out some textures and colors for the hippo. The bunny is on hold until we have some other characters figured out. Zum modeled out this one off the base mesh I created. I added the hard surface details and carved out some shapes in nDo and then textured it using dDo. Quixel makes this process a lot of fun especially with the ability to reload and rebake the base textures. I do wish there was a way to draw on the model in 3do but I can work around that a little bit by using zbrush or blenders built in bake tools to get an idea of where nDo features should be drawn. I think this hippo needs a fun paint job (maybe flames, racing stripes, or stickers) in the future.
Yesterday I had the chance to hear from a student whose passion is game testing and game analytics. I realized that I should be much more focused on playtesting features. One thing she told us was that “If you aren’t embarassed to show a game, you aren’t showing it early enough”.
Most of the playtests I’ve been to around campus I often feel like the designers are using me to resolve an argument (often with people shouting across the room “He didn’t like the controller! I told you it was bad!)
Tomorrow we are showing the game at the union building during an indie game festival. Because we are doing some pretty crazy stuff with the camera I always expect some negative feedback (usually a passerby making vomiting noises). Reload360 is definitely not a ‘for everyone’ type of game so knowing what games people like to play would be very helpful for the playtest. She also suggested picking a few elements of the game to focus the questions on. She was so excited about playtesting she got me a bit excited about it too.