Winter vacation was really really refreshing. I spent precious little time thinking about the game, but I did spend a lot of time recharging my batteries. The new semester began and we hit the ground running.
Based on the feedback I received from the team and faculty about my performance last semester, I decided to step down as creative lead. I never want to be a block to my team, so it was just the thing to do. Joe stepped up as Art Lead and I maintained theme and narrative duties. Tony also physically left the team to go work for EA Tiburon in Florida. We’ll be communicating primarily with him via Skype and Slack. Kyle took up the design lead mantle, and we decided to implement some crazy stuff.
Before Tony left at the end of last semester, we had a kind of impromptu design meeting to talk through some of the ideas that had been tossed around the last few weeks. We landed on three ideas that all seemed to tie in nicely with each other.
The ping has gone from an always on, oscillating radius to a flashlight – that is the player may choose when it’s on and when it’s off. Certain paths will be blocked by inhibitors that the enemy hurls and plants in the levels. The inhibitors are activated when the ping comes into contact with it, so we now have a reason to use the ping strategically. The player will be given a bandwidth meter that is filled by travelling on fast lanes and depleted by travelling on slow lanes. Finally, when one fills the bandwidth meter, the player can use a power shot to destroy the inhibitors when in range. We also toyed with procedural levels, which turned out to be a bit more trouble than it was worth. I think we are going to stay with the loading system we have, with some fixes of course.
So we got to work getting all of that madness designed and planned out. The first thing was the new ping, followed by the bandwidth meter. I created the meter and basic hookups in UMG, and researched how to do custom meters. I also began concepting out the inhibitor:
In other news, we received quite a few plays on the IGF build that we prepared for the judges. Which is amazing and terrifying. Hopefully we’ll hear next week who the finalists are and if we’re among them. Also we made the front page of IndieGames.com! Which is actually HUGE, their readership is vast and they are part of the UBM network, who hosts GDC. We had a significant spike in viewership due to these things and I’m pretty stoked about it. We will continue to move forward and get this thing ready to present at GDC!