The Endless Sprint: Weeks 13, 14, & 15

Jehan – Production:

This post covers development for weeks 13, 14, and 15. 
The past few weeks have flown by… time for a quick recap!

You wouldn’t believe how far along our experience has come over the past couple weeks. We’ve refined the player experience to be more engaging and intuitive (dare I say “fun”?). We’ve been working on our visual polish, the interface, combat balancing, unified soundscapes– even new weapon mechanics, shaders, and….. particle FX!

We have also been in close communication with our client, the National Robotics League, preparing everything for the end of semester handoff. Their parent organization, the National Tooling and Machining Association, recently expanded their media development team and have received certification as App Developers on the App Store. We have been in correspondence with this team for the past few weeks, as they will be receiving our deliverable to run further QA/Optimization on it before taking our beta-build to TestFlight, then eventually the App Store.

Professors get a hands-on chance to demo our experience and provide their feedback during Softs.

Softs, also known as Soft-Opening, is a day set aside for ETC faculty to demo the various  projects and provide “last minute” feedback to the teams. Faculty tried our experience in groups of 2-3 over the course of the day, and shared their constructive critiques as well as their thoughts on what we should fix in our precious time left.

From Softs, we prepared for the 2018 ETC Fall Festival, an evening devoted to showcasing of ETC Project works and select experiences made by first year students and attended by some 400 people: friends, family, and visitors from the industry. After feeling like we had been in nonstop crunch mode the last few weeks, the evening was especially nice– seeing guests smile in enjoyment while they played, people lining up to have a go, there were a few younger kids who didn’t want to put it down!

Next Week:

Regardless, there’s a ton more work to do! From here, we need to prepare for our final presentation and walkthroughs by faculty, and most importantly, preparing our final handoff for out client!T

Nicole – UI & UX:

In these two weeks, we made our best to merge all separate parts together and fine tuning all the details from beginning to the end. Before Halves, for the team, showcase and battle are the two significant parts of our experience. People work so hard on testing and implementing this two. On the other hand, before softs, we need to consider other parts are not that challenged but still important for us and client like title screen, NRL branding integration and pause menu during the battle, which could make the whole experience more smooth.

Specific to my part, even though all the work of the interface looks like tiny things but matters a lot. I spent a lot of time with Programmers and they helped me to change all placeholders image into the high-fidelity one. After receiving the feedback from soft, the biggest problem for our experience is the ambiguous state. We added a state bar to identify different states on the left side of the screen. Menu inside of the showcase phase was a big problem at that time. Programmers use a carousel plugin to implement this feature but it looks horrible on the screen.

We also spent a lot of time to find a way which could be implemented but also make sense on the screen. And we have our final iteration of all components description UI with different value of 4 features from design. Besides of all the things mentioned above, I changed the rest of UI elements to keep the style consistency as much as I could.

Kang – Art:

In this week, in order to make the battle clear and juicy, we iterated and redesigned several times. Firstly, in the visual aspect, we added a blue ring under the player’s bot which can easily show that which bot are controlled by the player. Based on many videos of real NRL bots battle, we found out that the sparks and the damages of bots cased by metal impact are always make people excited. So we implemented those elements into our experience. When two bots crashed into each other the spark effect will come out and the different components will also drop off when it got enough damage. How easy it will break depends on its material.

In addition, to make the battle more diverse and the different weapons more distinguish. We set up two different controlling ways for the players. One is the Beater Bar and Spinner that the players only need to hold the attack button all the time to case damage. Another one is the Rammer that the players need to hold the button to charge and then release the button to make dash and cause damage.     

Guanghao – Programming:

We now start iterate on the battle part. We first came up several physics solutions to deal with component based bot. The difficulitis laid on how to make them behaves like an real physical world while still have those dramatical smash moment kept in our game. We modified the existing system in the Unity and finally got the value we want.

After physics done we finally be able to tweak our opponent AI. To make the system to be stable and avoid unexpected error behavior opponent, we trying to make the jump between different states simple enough. We add some randomness to the FSM so that the enemy could look smart but still competatable.

Development: Weeks 10, 11, & 12


This post covers development for weeks 10 to 12.

Oh man— everybody is feeling the heat!

As the semester rapidly approaches its end, the team has been working feverishly to juice up what we’ve built. We have put great effort into refining the experience, spending time fine tuning the interface, sounds, physics, visuals, and the stability of our product. Unfortunately (and speaking strictly as a producer), we have Thanksgiving break, which effectively turns a week of valuable development time into more like… 2 and a half days?  

That being said– Guanghao and Trisha selflessly spent the break working on integration, implementation, and bug-fixing (thanks you two!).

Our next major milestone is Softs, by which we will have stitched together all the different stages of our experience into one end to end experience. In preparation for this milestone, we came up with a Softs-specific priority list based on the input of our faculty instructors:

Neither our client, the National Robotics League, or their parent organization, the National Tooling and Machining Association, had much of a digital presence beyond their respective websites, to date.

Part of why they were interested in our work is because they want to diversify their methods of outreach and engagement with new audiences, in our case with an App– and this means obtaining Apple Developer certifications. Trisha, our Designer/Programmer, put together a docket outlining this process for our client, which I passed along at the beginning of Week 11, and we have since been in communication with their web development team.

Outside of production, I have iterated on and come up with the final version of the onboarding script, component & material descriptions, and other in-game copy, including win/loss text and boss descriptions. You can check out some of my work, attached as a PDF:

Additionally, I corresponded with our external SFX/music talent to grab one last batch of sounds to integrate.

Most of the time was spent on transferring the prototype work into final content. There was an overlap between design and programming this week.

We also spent time on creating a Technical documentation for building an app for iOS. This is one of our deliverables to our client.

UI & UX:

In the 12 week, we spent most of our time implementing all the prototype we had before playtest day. After receiving all valuable feedback from our demographics, we made lots of design decision during the showcase and battle.

Before the break, I work with programmers closely to implement all the UI I had. I mainly focus on the user interface of showcase this week. I have the 2nd iteration of UI design of showcase and export all the elements for programmers to implement.


Before Thanksgiving break, we almost finished all the 3D models in our final build as well as the textures of every components we made. We have one body frame, two types of armor, three types of weapons and two kinds of wheels. And all of them have different textures of different materials. After that, we started to refined our textures to make them more realistic.   


We spent a lot of time on Showcase integration. We support features to switch and replace component. The whole showcase animation is now script controlled, which means we can play animation for any component either existed or in the future. We implemented a carousel UI to allow player choose the component they like in an intuitive way.