Week 10

This week was again all about the digital prototype and getting the requirements necessary to challenge Stage 2.  Unfortunately the prototype was not ready for testing by the weekend, and as such we are not able to formally challenge the stage this week.  However, we will be prepared to do so next week, and intend to perform a mock presentation this week to refine our formal presentation and deliverables.

The digital prototype has evolved greatly over the past week.  Currently, the modular system for creating abilities is in place, including the weapons themselves, the effects they produce, and the ways by which they target objects.  Still required is the functionality for teams, implementation of the NavMesh pathing system so that the mechs move around obstacles, as well as conditional effects for weapons–for example, when this weapon deals damage, flip a coin.  If heads, deal the base damage again.  Additionally, we were able to create a basic build of the game, and successfully deploy to a tablet device.  Still remaining in that area is proper scaling of the HUD and GUI, as well as implementation of touch controls for gameplay.

Art and audio are likewise progressing nicely.  We now have access to all the pieces required to put together a level, and refined mech body and weapons are following right after.  Similarly, a basic background/ambient loop has been created as an example of the feel of the game’s overall audio direction.  This loop will soon be refined, and we will add some example sound effects to the build as well.

We have continued to test the paper prototype to experiment with some additional mechanics.  We tested a new turn system, wherein players roll for turn order, keep this turn order for three rounds, and then roll again.  This process repeats throughout the whole game.  Results seemed to be positive, though more testing will be needed to be conclusive.  Additionally, we tested a new type of ability called ‘ubers’.  These abilities are currently usable once per lifecycle of the mech–if it is destroyed, when it respawns it becomes usable once again–and have a very powerful effect.  For example, QuickBoost grants your mech an additional 7 units of movement for one round, while System Shock causes the actions of all enemies within a radius to have a chance to fail, for one round.  Results again seemed to be positive, though more testing will be needed.

We also intend to implement more weapons, especially shields, which have been a request from testers.  Rather than simply granting mechs invisible bonus defensive stats, we are attempting to make use of shield have an impactful active and reactive use.  For example, on shield might be capable of enlarging in size–therefore protecting a larger area–whereas use of another might cause line-based effects to be reflected back at their creator.  Another still might allow the mech to grapple another mech to the shield, causing the grappled mech to be damaged when the shield protects the controlling mech from damage.

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