Monday, August 4, 2014

ThumbderDome Alpha

One Thing Missing
So I have the first build of the game and everything is working great. I don't have any audio yet but I've been looking into sound effects and the various licenses I need to obtain for certain things. Further info is being collected but I haven't implemented anything for that yet. I also didn't quite make it all the way to my alpha goal. The game is playable from beginning to end but it's missing the taunt scene in between the match and the continue screen. this scene is cosmetic and has not input from the player so I'm lumping it into my beta deadline next Sunday. So let's take a look at some things That have changed.

Character Selection Animations
Characters now play a selection animation when you select them. If you move to another selection they return to their idle thumbs up animation. This animation is re used when the player wins the match and also when they continue at the continue screen. A bunch of refactoring went in to support this because before I wasn't expecting to have anything play when character is selected.

Split Screen Adjustments and Struggle Meter
I change the orientation of the split screen margin. It used to be diagonal but it was weird for one player to have a different view space than the other. I also change the second player cam to more closely reflect the first player camera on the left. They still aren't 1:1 but I will sort that out in the beta build. Additionally I added a struggle meter at the top. When a player is pinned they wiggle the joystick and the meter will push in the other players direction until filled and they escape the pin. Before I was just incrementing a counter and didn't have any ui to support this. I also added some code that would allow the player that is pinning to fight back against the struggle meter to force the pin down. This is commented out as I can't really test it on myself because my brain is always letting the other half win. The idea is that the pinned player will have a max value to achieve that is multiplied by the number of times they have been pinned in a round. The player that is pinning has a static value for which to fight back so the more times a player is pinned the harder it will be to win against the pinning player. At least in theory. Again I haven't tested it yet so it's commented out in code and I'll test it with some players. I also changed the "Pinned!" ui text to be on top of the player that gets pinned instead of showing up in the middle.
The idea I went with for character select scene.
 Another example of some grids leading off into the distance.



Player Specific Win Animations and New Look
 As I mentioned before animations are being used for each winning character. For Grave Digger I googled "Relgious hand gestures" and found one that I hope isn't offensive. The other are ones that I just came up with. This also required some hefty refactoring to support the changes. You'll also notice the neon grid in these scenes. Let's just throw this out there. I like 80's pop culture art and misc. I don't know why exactly. Maybe just something fun to look back on. Maybe it's the super simplicity of it. Maybe it reminds me of being a kid. I just like the way technology and the future were represented in the 80's.  In any case after making the start screen I realized there was a visual inconsistency through the scenes. I decided to create something simple but still appealed to my direction of wrestling's golden age in the 80's. I looked at some images for inspiration and added some of them below to look at. My characters don;t really have any specific 80's look to them they just represent a theme that a wrestler might have taken on and represented to such an extreme. Plus they're floating hands sooooooo you know.

Continue Screen
I added a continue screen where a countdown begins. If the player doesn't press their respective trigger then the game ends and it returns to the title screen. If they continue then it returns to the character select screen. This was all done on Saturday night. I looked at the clock when I called it done and realized it was 5:00 am. I have to stop doing that. (Don't look at the timestamp on this post.) The 80's neon grid is in view here as well. I made a shader that would falloff to black so it would look like the grid fades into the darkness. Also made some trigger icons that follow the theme of the font I'm using.

Conclusion
So there is still plenty of work to do to reach beta. I need music and sound effects along with a bunch of other things on my list. I need to make the taunt screen I mentioned a polish some animations. I started looking into selling the game for a really small amount and still haven't worked out all of the logistics there. We'll see where I land once this things is done. I also still need to make a simple animation of a ui element telling the player to wiggle the joystick when they get pinned. I'll post another update soon.

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