Multiple control schemes, Part 1.

Development Blogs

Over the last few weeks there has been a constant issue plaguing the progression of this game, the Diver’s control scheme. The diver’s movement has either been bugged because of the physics systems (which is now currently fixed) or was just awkward to control. Going into this week we aimed to fix this issue through the wonders of QA testing, to be put simply we were going to try and test three different control setups against each other to see which one felt the best.

On a tech end this could of been tackled in a number of ways, three builds, testing through the editor, or through swapping at run time. The first two would of been the easiest to implement, however would of made testing clunky and slower than it needed to be. So I opted for the third option and started digging into swapping controls at run-time.

Enums.PNG

To do this I added two major additions to the code, firstly an enum to indicate what control scheme is currently being used, this would allow the code to act differently depending on the controls. Secondly I set up three different layouts within the rewired editor, though the API i could swap between these with keys being pressed. While this is simple digging into the rewired documentation to figure out exactly how to do this was a tricky task, however after my research I prevailed and came up with an answer. With all of this in place and a simple UI element to indicate which layout is in use and QA was ready to go!

Layout swapping.PNG

All of that being said there was also the three different controller layouts… Which I’ll get into in the next blog!

 

Thanks for reading!

-Alex Hubble

First week of production!

Development Blogs

We are approaching the last week of the production cycle, with this we have been assigned our tasks for the week and is approaching being finished. My goal for this sprint was to refine our diver movement and fix the issues we’ve been having with the previous build.

Previously we were using a rigid body with force based acceleration and rotation. The issues with this was generally a lack of control, players were bouncing off surfaces, taking too long to start up, and just generally having issues with control. We decided that the fix would be moving to a character controller based moment, this gives us full control over the player’s movement and reduces the amount of bugs that were being produced!

The big downsides of character controllers is having to hard code in physics simulations, however due to the nature of this game we don’t need to worry about this as the only major physics that the diver will encounter will be gravity. Other than this we can have all our current movement coded through this character creation. This switch alone already fixed our blocking bugs and has tightened control!

Thankfully one of the other programmers on the team had experience with these systems, so they did the initial setup while I focused on tweaking and polishing the movement to fit into our game!

For this I fixed rotation movement while moving forward, all movement while falling, and restricting animation speed wile falling! While this would all be possible with a ridged body, it was far simpler to implement using the character controller!

Going forward past postmortem

Development Blogs

At this point, we had just completed our postmortems. Presentations were done and no one on the team knew if we were going to proceed with our game or be merged into another team. Several days past and we had all decided what teams we would want to work on in the situation that we would be cut. However, our game went through! We are continuing to work on Gaze of the abyss for the rest of the semester, and we would be getting several new team members to help us produce this game! We got 1 new programmer, 2 new designers, 1 new artist, and 1 new producer.

While this is all wonderful, there are several new challenges that comes with this, firstly communication between programming and design is a must. Keeping 6 people on the same page is huge for going forward. The next issue is going to be catching up the new programmer on the build. Thankfully we have enough comments and documentation that this should go smoothly!

While these will be issues we will have to look out for, there is a lot to look forward too! We can now scale up greatly! The game will improve a ton with the new minds working on the game!

I’m very excited about the future of the project, while there is challenges ahead I’m sure we can work through them!

The Gaze of the Abyss (Alpha)

Projects

Gaze of the abyss

Project statement

Gaze of the Abyss is a two player cooperative horror puzzle game where only one of the players controls the camera. In this game the players are tasked at exploring a sunken ship while being hunted by an unknown being. Here they will need to solve puzzles, avoid hazards, and solve the mystery!

Trailer!

Project and team information

This game is being made over the course of a semester and is currently still in progress!

  • Producer – John (Alex) Stopen 
  • Programmer – Alex Hubble|Niklaus Bair 
  • Designer – Andrew Chepega
  • Artist – Samantha Arehart

Project specifications

  • Unity 3D
  • C#
  • Agile / Scrum
  • Mercurial Repository

My role in the project

I was one of two programmers in the this project. My main objective thus far is to focus on game feel and direct game-play elements.

Three prototypes enter, one leaves…

Development Blogs

Over the course of the last three weeks me and my team was tasked at creating three prototypes (each with a development time of a single week) with the intent of picking one of these three to continue development through the rest of the semester. With our team of two programmers, one artist, one designer, and one producer we set off to work.

Our current team

Alexander Hubble – Programmer; Niklaus Bair – Programmer

Andrew Chepega – Designer 

Samantha Arehart – Artist

John (Alex) Stopen – Producer

Prototype 1: “The Rocket Knights of Castle Neon”

This is a game where two players go head to head in a jousting arena, except the horses are rocket powered. As the player’s break they begin to charge their boost. The interesting part of this project was getting the player movement to feel good. It had to be tight enough that the players felt like they were int control but not too tight to remove some of the chaos away from the game.  My job on this project was to focus on getting the movement to feel fantastic, I feel like I achieved this fairly well for having a week to work on it! This project was really fun to work on, I love working on party style games and this one was a blast!

Rocket Knights of Castel Neon

Prototype 2: “Battle Beetles and Friends”

This game is a simple RTS style tower defense where you are attempting to stop a swarm of ants from devouring your sandwich. Essentially you throw AI controlled bugs onto a field where swarms of ants attempt to eat your sandwich. The hardest part of this is simply the sheer volume of things to get done within the week, we had to get throwing feeling good, get AI working for both the ants and the player’s units, and have a completed game loop. We did this by having Nik focus on making the systems and AI while I focused on getting the throwing and game play loop in. This was an interesting project, I have never worked on a strategy game before and this was a new experience!

Bug Game

Prototype 3: “Gaze of the Abyss”

Imagination a two player game, where only one player has a camera. This is Gaze of the Abyss. This cooperative horror game takes place in a sunken ship where the players play as a diver and a drone, but the diver’s camera is broken. Basically it summarizes down to a cooperative puzzle game with a tense atmosphere where only one player controls the joint camera. Programming this one has been tricky to say the least, mainly getting the game to feel correct. Once again I have been tasked with game-play and Nik has been tasked with systems. Most of the time I have spent has been trying to get the physics and movement to simultaneously feel like they are underwater and not feel awful for the players considering they have a single camera. Most of the issues has come down to finagling Unity’s built in physics system to feel correct, getting the camera’s controls was fairly simple, but the diver has been some trouble.

Gaze of the abyss

Moving forward!

So the question becomes, what prototype will go forward? We decided as a team that it will be… Gaze of the Abyss! This game satisfies everything that the team wants, as well as being an incredibly cool game! We have already put two weeks worth of work into this one (as opposed to one week for the other two) and we are preparing to go onto the next step, the Midmortem presentation. Here all the teams in the class of 2020 will present their games, and two teams from every class will be cut and merged into the others. This will all be decided soon, only time will tell what will come next!

Trailer for Midmortem!

Here is a quick trailer that we made for Midmortem!