The End Is Nigh.

Well, winter is here. And so is the end of another semester. 1 More to go. It has been a very draining semester and I am just waiting for the semester to end and go to visit my family for christmas! EAE Open day is approaching too. Our game is taking a firm shape now. But things seem to be moving much slower. I think everyone is burnt out by now.

I was assigned the task of trying to find juice for the game owing to this lethargic pace of things right now. But it was much more tasking mentally then I thought. I did end up coming up with a minor tweak to the way the character movement is affect when he enters certain areas of the level. I feel very positively about this as it added something speed to the game that was missing. I have more ideas for that section, like obstacles that I want to add, but may be I will wait for the next semester to start to try these changes. I am really pumped for it. I hope my teammates like it!

This is most likely my last update for this semester. You can view my engineering blog over here: Engineering Blog! I might update here with my final project for the engineering class for this semester.

See ya around!

Just another day

Ever since we have had a more structured approach towards the team management, everyone has been much more motivated! I for one have been enjoying my tasks with much aplomb. The game is getting made smoothly. It may not be the explosive FPS we once had in mind, but it is something that we can be happy if not proud about.

I reworked the entire respawn system and couldn’t have been happier with the result. It is a much more expandable system then what we had during the IGF submission. I learned a few neat tricks while developing it too. It was during this time that I realised how much fun it can be trying to solve problems and taking design decisions.

I also worked on animating doors for our level. It is a hexagonal door with a really cool animation where it splits into 6 pie like peices and twist open. You might have seen this effect before too though. It is nothing radical, but I like it anyway!

Everything is moving along calmly. Is it the calm before a storm? Who knows.

Over the hump~

After a really tumultuous last month, Our IGF submissions went smoothly. For the sake of time, I had to make do with a very hard codedy resqawn system for the game. But I hope to tackle it over the coming weeks!

After the turmoil of IGF we decided to do something about the communication issues in the team and decided to have a team lead and leads for design, art and engineering to streamline the way the team works. I honestly feel this has been a very positive change! There have been less and less conflict in the team as well as smoother work assignment across the board.

This could also be attributed to the lack of stress that arose from the IGF submissions. People are more open to experimentation. We also changed the direction of our game(yes again). We are now officially pursuing an espionage game, where you play the role of an infiltrating spy! Everyone figured that 360 vision goes in tandem with a Fly’s eyes.

The UI has also come along well. Here take a gander:
UI-1024x576

Miscommunication!

Well, I thought our last team meet was a crazy change. These past weeks make me reconsider. It turns out that not the entire team was on the same page regarding the bullet hell game. What we did end up with, and what we are submitting for IGF for now is this!

Pan-1024x576

It is an intense dodging game where you maneuver through intense patterns of randomly moving obstacles. Although it might not sound too intense, the 360 camera vision actually makes it much more intense! It is indeed hard though, to correctly recognise where the obstacles are coming at your from owing to the warping nature of the vision that is provided by the 360 camera.

We need to rush to polish it for the IGF submission but I am assuming the game will probably change in some form after the submission when we will try some experimental stuff to see where this direction leads us to. It has been an amazing month. I never imagined we would remake the entire game just a month before IGF, a very big milestone for the semester. But we persevered!

Its a DISASTAH! WOAW!

Remember when TobiWan yelled with much fervor, “IT IS A DISASTAH!” when Universe Echo Slammed into the Rosh Pit during, single handedly winning Evil Geniuses the TI5 Finals a month ago? No? Here: It’s a disastah! – TobiWan, circa 2015

This was thought after the big team meet we had regarding the game’s direction, just a month before IGF. Recap: Andrew Witts disliked the camera during his visit, ergo the camera had to go in some people’s opinion. :O :O :O
When I joined this team, the main hook that attracted me to this game was the 360 degree camera and all the possibility. And here we were, voting on wether to remove the camera or not? Now to be clear I was not of the opinion to keep the camera just because it was what got me here, but the other alternative, that of a regular FPS with only wall walking as the novel mechanic to keep it different from other FPSes, was not too attractive.

I voted to keep the camera in the game and with a majority of the team voting for the camera, we decided to move ahead and get rid of the wall walking. We had an hour long discussion to explore other games we could come up with, that would use our novel camera. It resulted in us deciding to make a 360 bullet hell game? Hmmm…. something in the veins of Tower of Guns, but with 360 vision.

Having previously worked on the player tracking and shooting turrets, I was assigned on helping in making the turrets that would shoot crazy patterns! Lets see what we can come up with only 3 weeks remaining for the IGF submission with the Fall Break included! :O ITS A DISASTAH!!

Salt Lake City Comic Con 2015

It’s that time of the year. Adults dressing as characters from their favourite comics which are argueable made for a much younger audience. But I guess the kid in us never dies! I personally was turned off by the HUUGGEEE Queues at the comic con from last year so I skipped it this time.

But what didn’t skip comic con was our game! Yes, it was playable at the Department’s booth as the Comic Con for public critique. I am sure some people from our team who volunteered to be there enjoyed it alot!

Over the last two weeks I worked on getting player tracking turrets into the game for the tutorial level. Also ended up scripting some additional parts for the tutorial levels.

One thing that shook the team a little was the visit from Andrew Witts, the lead designer for Rainbow 6 seige, a fellow senior from our department. He had a lot to say about our 360 camera. And those things raised more concerns rather than affirm our belief in it. I hear whispers of change. A drastic change…. People are suggesting we drop the camera entirely?? :O But nothing is decided yet! We are going to have a big team meet soon to decide on the direction of the game, which to be honest has been pretty stagnant when it comes to iteration. We have been pretty much pursuing the same wall walking 360 mania shooter since the start. Mabbe change is good?

2 Weeks In…

Wow alot of things changed on the engineering side over the summer break! It has been hectic to catch up to all the changes but I am making it there!~ Also with the new Unity update we have decided to do away with the plugin being used for networking previously and move on the native Unity networking. Hope it solves some of the issues we had previously with networking.

We decided it was best to have some sort of tutorial level to ease new players into the chaotic world of 360 degree omni vision awesomeness! And I have been working on helping with the flow of the tutorial level. I am also working on scripting the tutorial level to the needs of the team.

We are still working on ironing out the matchmaking. We will have a big playtest within the team in sometime, to test how the matchmaking goes, as soon as we have some bugs in networking ironed out! We will have visitors from the industry! soon! 😀 Pretty excited about that their opinion!

Cliched Title: Winter Is Coming

I know, I know, But got this last Game of Thrones season was gooooood. Without spoiling much though, I must say Jon Snow’s death was brutal. Coming back to class after the long summer break is going to be good. I can’t wait to experience a semester where I work on a game for more than 4 weeks! Let’s see where it takes us.

I am sure the entire team is pumped to be back. Some of my mates worked on the game during the break and did some really great things with it! I was unable to do much as other work kept me busy (aka paying for rent).

Just a quick recap, I was working on a multiplayer FPS arena which had a 360 degree camera and teleporters and Jumpads and was trying to capture the feel of the Quake series with an added twist, being able to see all around you! The reception in the last Open was pretty encouraging although it could be polished.

This semester our main goal is to get the game polished, Have a robust multiplayer matchmaking and submit our game to IGF!

Here’s a few screenshots from the game:
PanOptics

Winter is coming and the workload is going to be fun! 😀 For The Watch.

All good things must come to an end~

EAE day was a blast! and also tiring. And I was right~ it was indeed much bigger than last year. More people, more cooler games, more exposure! Our booth was pretty sweet. It was literally sweet~ with all the candies there!

Yummy
Yummy

We got a lot of great feedback, both from the faculty and the general public. It was mostly positive! 😀 And no, no one puked after playing our game so the biggest criticism that our game had was disproved! Before I go on, let me present the trailer for our game! Pardon the cheesy music~

Pretty cool huh? I am proud of what we have and I am sure this is going to turn out into something amazing over the next year! We plan to continue working on the game over the summer. There were talks of porting over the game to Unreal, which I would love, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I would rather focus on adding in cooler guns and more varied combat options and polish it up.

Anyways, its the end of another great semester at the U. I’ll leave you guys with some more EAE day goodies!

The poster!
The poster!
The People!
The People!
The barf bags. Note: None were utilised for the duration of EAE day.
The barf bags. Note: None were utilised for the duration of EAE day.

Alert – EAE day incoming!

A lot has happened and a lot more will happen in the coming time! EAE day is very near and we need to get our game ready for display.

We have added some really cool stuff to the enviornment now. We have jump pads and teleporters in the levels. Having 360 vision allowed you to have your enemy in your sights at all the time and we need to fix it so we decided to go with teleporters. That way you can just jump out of sight and recuperate.

Our models and animations are also coming along really well. I love our artstyle!

Mechapotamus Prime, I choose you!
Mechapotamus Prime, I choose you!

I am waiting for all the feedback we are going to get next week. Gives up stuff to work on over the summer. I have a feeling that this EAE day is going to be much bigger than last time~ After all the location is pretty huge! Gotta go now~ See ya later, space cowboy!