Weeks 9 & 10 – More dual posts, sleep is for the weak, and the beauty that is the Pie.

Another dual post this week. The only real thing I can say about the two weeks is that we went full tilt into the IGF submission. We worked a crazy amount of hours, weekends, evenings, into the wee morning hours to get everything together. I tasked the art team with level dressing, shader polish, and animation polish, all of which were completed with stunning results.

Brenton and Matt worked on the trailer animation with Unreal’s Matinee system, which I am so impressed with. Everything in that trailer was done in engine and it looks amazing. We went from a storyboard to full trailer in just two weeks, I am so so proud of Brenton, Kyle, and Matt for all their hard work, and to our new addition Keaton Anderson, sound guy extraordinaire for the wonderful soundtrack. Here’s the final version:

Some amazing design decisions were made in the last few weeks as well. The first one was we decided that all slow tiles will now be fired from the enemy, instead of residing in the levels automatically. The enemy uses the same firing system as before, but instead of focusing on both firing ahead and at the player, it predicts where the player might go and fires ahead of them to cover the area in slow tiles. This forces the player to look forward and be a bit more strategic about how they move. We also added the ability to clear the slow tiles by activating a counter ability. So if the player can negate the slow tiles to maintain speed and flow. Both abilities are still limited.

The other big design decision was to add the option for 3rd person view. We played through it just for funsies last week, and people in the lab were pretty interested in what it looked like. We playtested it out with a few people and it was about a 60/40 split in favor of 3rd person.

What’s interesting about this is that it’s reinforcing some patterns that have been emerging about our game. It appears that we have two types of players – the speed runners and the platformers, and there are different sets of expectations from both types of players. While it’s not impossible for either type of player to play the game, there are definitely things that make the experience more enjoyable. Adding 3rd person perspective made it a much more enjoyable experience for our platformer-inclined players. It’s just easier for them to orient the player in world and make the jumps and such. So we added the ability to play as 3rd person.

Prepping for the IGF submission was probably the most fun I’ve had not sleeping. It was an astounding amount of work, but my team should really be commended for making the process actually fun. We are now fully submitted for the Independent Games Festival Student Showcase, which feels amazing and terrifying at the same time. We will still be doing weekly builds to improve on the game, and we are so excited to start receiving feedback as we move forward.

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