We have now just completed our fourth week of development and during this week we were scheduled to give in our first basic game prototype, which would count as 30% towards our final grade in this module.
During this week, the team worked tirelessly to ensure that we could provide sufficient evidence as to our vision for the game and therefor through the work produced, the tutors would be able to easily recognise the direction the development was heading in. As a part of this deadline, the team produced a detailed Game Design Document (GDD). This GDD outlined all of the various art, designs, character concepts, other visual representations of the game features and also it contained the game mechanics that are to be implemented in the final version of the game.
My task this week was to try and implement as many initial features as I could that were in alignment with the end product. One of the biggest priorities in terms of game mechanics for this deadline was character related features such as movement and actions. Therefor out of the list of the different features that we as a team have outlined, I decided to put a huge chunk of my focus onto the player character being able to climb a wall ledge and whilst on the ledge. I ended up being able to create this feature par a few optimisations – which are to be done at the end. So essentially what I have produced was a player having the ability to walk up to a specified climbable wall, climb up the wall using an input key such as ‘E’ on the keyboard and through this they would be moved towards the ledge of the wall. Once on the ledge, the player has the ability to move left or right and when they reach the end of the ledge which is adjacent to another end, they can shift their body around to be hanging onto the adjacent ledge giving them free movement around all sides of the walls ledges.
The next set of features that I spent a considerable amount of time on was the various pickups that are a part of the game. This included the likes of; timed speed pickups, health pickups to increase the health of the player, Fuel for the characters jetpack, battery for the flashlight, data cores which are a part of the players progression through the game. The data cores also link to a time trial like feature, where after picking up one core within the game, a timer is initiated which if they manage to pickup another in the specified timeframe then they would receive more time and also a multiplier score increase. The multiplier score increase would essentially multiply the score that they would normally get from picking up a core within game by the amount the multiplier has reached. This adds another dimension and a mechanism of urgency in the game for the player to achieve a high-score. A score mechanism has been attached to ensure that the player believes that they are working towards a goal from the get go.
All of the above pickups are displayed using a widget within the unreal engine, one this was used for testing purpose and two to show the tutors that the mechanisms are working correctly. Saying this, the pickups will need to be optimised later on in the development phase to ensure that they fit with the overall gameplay accordingly.
The final feature that I worked on was a hint of A.I. for one of the enemies within the game – turrets. Through this feature, the turret follows the player once they reach a certain distance from the turret and once they are in this state, every specified timeframe they fire projectiles at the player to cause the player damage.
From the previous week, you may have noticed also that I was working on a wall run feature. This feature was consuming a huge chunk of my time and I couldn’t get it to work correctly, therefor I have placed this feature as something to come back to in the later stages of development.
Following on from this week, I intend to begin working on other features that we are to have within the game. However, I have decided that most of my focus will go on the work for my other modules to ensure that I do not fall behind on my work.