This week was spent classifying and designing spectacles, as well as continuing to tweak the currently drafted ideas behind the rift system.
Beginning with the rift system, we looked at possible edge cases, as well as what would happen should no player be in need of a rift to catch them up to other players. We decided that if the game checks to create a rift, and finds no player in need, there will be a very small chance of creating a short and difficult ‘speed-boost’ style rift. Upon entering such a rift, players will have to contend with a much more difficult than normal subspace drag race, which will only see them being transported forward a distance of one or two waypoints, depending on the map. Furthermore, we also discussed what would occur should multiple players enter a single rift. Currently, the concept is that, as a drag race, players will be artificially accelerated until they are all at the same position next to one another, moving at the same speed. The subspace track will initially be wider in this case, though as it goes on, it will rapidly become narrower, forcing players to jockey with one another as well as oncoming obstacles. Finally, we have currently decided that rifts necessary to catch player up will close immediately if they are missed, while unnecessary random rifts will remain open for roughly one second if missed by the intended player.
When it came to spectacles, the lead systems designer quickly came to the conclusion that we would need specific vocabulary and definitions before we could full describe the events. We decided upon:
Static – Objects on the side of the track, or out of reach, which either do not move, or perform a simple animation, such as a sign.
Repeating – Events that occur throughout the race, such as a ship performing a flyby.
One-Shots – Events that occur once, and then turn into either a static or repeating spectacle, such as a ship crashing and becoming wreckage.
Triggerable – Events which can be triggered on side paths that cause events on the main track path.
Faux-Spectacle – Events that appear hazardous to players, but are in fact not, such as a laser cannon that shoots ‘at’, but will never hit players.
Easter Egg – Humorous small events, such as the Mars Rover floating past.
Single-Use Paths – Paths or events which, after use, are not useable by subsequent players
Centerpieces – The giant, awesome spectacle that helps define a track.
Fake Obstacle – Events or set pieces which appear to disrupt the path, but are in fact the correct path, such as a large glass window.
Additionally, we made some rules about the spectacles themselves:
1. Spectacles should never simply stop. If a ship crashes it should crash in an explosion, and the wreckage should spark and smoke for the remainder of the race.
2. Spectacles–with some exceptions–should never be seen by only one player.
Now that we know the general themes of the levels, we will present the current concepts to the rest of the group and with their input, likely begin creating specific obstacles soon.