Newsletter (Dec 1st – Dec 12th)
Over the final two weeks, there were some significant changes made. We actually came off a bit of a rough softs on the 25th of November, where the game had some issues with stability. We knew we had to correct this as well as fix some of the other issues with awareness and movement in the game. Players still struggled to find there way to animals, and having removed the map to replace the assets it was even more of a problem. This we felt like we had answers to, however, and it just needed to be implemented. Hence the workload we knew we had.
James spent time making the video and updating some of the website for the team, as that was going to be needed for soft opening online. He also looked at making sure we had most the final UI assets in the game, and did some QA work to make sure the build didn’t run into the same issues as before with instability and/or game bugs. The team also worked together to make sure we knew exactly what we wanted with the final build, and to see if we could get that finished in the time remaining.
Christian spent earlier time working on the final ideas and implementation of those ideas with the team. He looked at the animals and where they would be located, and how the game would flow. He then looked at how it may work to spawn animals near the players during gameplay. This may happen if players are struggling to find animals during a stage. Unfortunately, it cost the game a little too much in terms of performance to implement and could not be forced into the game. Christian also spent a lot of time cleaning up code for the tutorial as well as the UI. This he made far more efficient, speeding up the UI and making less wholes for buggy and unpredictable UI. This all came together really well for final build, implementing both the tutorial and UI code for the Thursday delivery at Mountainview.Christian also added many sounds to the game, to help with feedback (such as a successful track) and general feel to the game.
Shashank spent time preparing final animations. He made animations for the Polar bear hunting the seal as well as the final animal into the game, which was the Arctic Hare. The polar bear was also made to stand up, which was something we always wanted to do but were never sure if it would make it. Unfortunately, again, due to time constraints we could not put that particular animation in the game. The hare did make it though 🙂 .
Eric had to spend more time on looking at the map again. This time though he hit the nail on the head, making the game map smaller, but keeping the segmentation alive and making the player feel a lot more satisfied in terms of the flow. Eric then spent some of his time texturing the animals again, as he felt like they needed a few touch ups. This led into including some new poses for animals into the UI for the log book, as the animals originally looked a bit static.
Amongst Christians help for the programming, Ken and Levi also had plenty of work to do. Levi had to make a system that made it able for our client, Jenn, to move the server in the future. He made it possible for her to do so, and then had to move on to leaving documentation for the ETC as well as her to be able to reference. He also needed to add a method of being able to add students log in information onto the server, and make it easy for the client to do.
Ken added a lot to gameplay. He added the additional animals and animations I spoke of earlier, as well as working with Christian in implementing the tutorial and new UI code. We also needed some final UI assets, and therefore he needed to replace a lot of existing assets. Additionally, he replaced the map that Eric made, and moved all the existing set up into the new map. We received some new UI for the log in screen and tools panel, which had to be implemented too, and Ken kindly obliged with this.
The team drove out with the advisors to go and hand over the product. The trip to Mountainview was quite fun, and it was by our accounts a success. The school hosted an assembly, and a short demo was done by Ken and Christian. The advisors spoke on behalf of the team and the ETC, and Jenn gave very kind words for the team. We were all very happy with the trip and very grateful to the school for organizing a special event for us. We hope they enjoy the product, and will also have a great project next semester!