- GDC, Zeemotes, and Kinect combat on Gamasutra
- Anthony’s new company, Kermdinger Studios, is wildly successful-esque
- Detection, feedback, rhythm, and queuing
- First playtest with new combat gestures
- Global Game Jam!
- Meet the Power Claw
- Action in Motion is Back in Action!
- Playtesting and Polish
- Work Since Halves – Prototypes 5 & 6, effects, animation variations, more attacks!
- Preparing for Halves!
Monthly Archives: November 2011
After finishing up prototypes 5 and 6, the team moved directly into the final few weeks of the semester where they focused on playtesting the product, iterating based on feedback, and polishing the final demo as a whole. Informal playtests have been conducted all semester when smaller features were implemented, but since all prototypes were finished and integrated the team put together a full day of formal playtesting to see how the full experience felt to various individuals. The team received a lot of great feedback, but the two most overwhelming and impactful comments were along the lines of:
- “I can’t target any enemies and I’m having a hard time hitting them. I feel like I’m just slashing at the air in an arbitrary direction.”
- “When I hit an enemy, I pass through them and have to turn around. Could you maybe hit them back a little so they always stay in front of you?”
In response to these two pieces of feedback, we implemented a targeting system and improved enemy hit reactions so they actually stumble back and stay in front of you for a more manageable combo. The targeting system was something we had not planned to implement, but in response to the overwhelming amount of feedback regarding the lack of targeting we put in a left arm targeting system. When the player winds up for a slash with their right arm, they can use their left arm to point in the direction they would like to turn and aim, and when they get relatively centered on an enemy a “target” reticle pops up around that enemy and allows the player to slash directly at that enemy.
Beyond the playtests, the team has also been busy polishing all existing elements of the final demo. Dismemberment has been added to the game to enhance the gratification of killing an enemy beyond simple ragdolling, and with this the sync kill now has scripted dismemberments that fit the slashes exactly and make the sync kill event sequence more rewarding.
Blocking has also been implemented so the player can choose to block enemy attacks when necessary. This is performed by a simple gesture (hands above head, in front of face), and this causes an energy shield to appear in front of the player and block any incoming damage from enemies.
Finally, new textures have been added to the hero and enemy Riggs that make them stand out against each other even more and help them telegraph their movements better. These textures are included in the above screenshots.
The team will be making a final push towards soft opening and finals to get in any last changes and polish elements before the semester is over.
The team has been very hard at work since halves presentations.
On the programming side, prototypes 5 and 6 are finished and the programmers are now working on polishing the existing material and adding in more content as planned. Prototype 5 consisted of more blended slashes being implemented, and Adam wrote a Unity Editor script to let him mirror animations to speed up the implementation process. More slashes are being added to the hero character to give the player variety in the way they attack, and the blending and math work continues. For prototype 6, Anthony implemented several environmental and special effects as well as all of the UI layer and the big payoff moment in the game, the Sync Kill. The Sync Kill is a quick time event (QTE) sequence in which the camera switches to a cinematic mode and the player basically interacts with a cutscene when prompted to trigger the next part of the cutscene. When completed correctly, the end result is a very fluid set of three kills that the player feels like they performed.
The artists have been diligently working on adding more animations, developing the UI elements, and working on effects for the world. Patrick has been busy creating particle effects for things such as wall smashes and hits on the enemy, and he has also been tuning the enemy animations and adding more variation to their behavior. Pei has been designing and painting all of the UI elements, including the Sync Kill gesture guides, the health and charge meters, and the combo counter.
Below are some examples of effects and things that have been implemented since halves!