Game Designer & Programmer

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Senior Project - PPJ #21

For the first time in a couple weeks, I had an insanely busy week, and it felt awesome. This week, I implemented and tested new aim UI elements, added first-pass character textures, tested controller rumble functionality, and created a dev environment in-game for specific camera controls and attended a huge event-planning session and playtest.

Character Textures
I didn’t get to adding this into my last PPJ, but I spent a large portion of last monday getting the first pass character textures in-game and adding the functionality that determines what mesh gets what material based off of the choices the players make in the sign-in screen. This took a solid amount of time and some of the models/UVs are a little messed up, but the system is all built now, which means updating the assets is super easy. All of the character components are being assigned the correct texture and we tested it pretty thoroughly, so I’m happy that it works. All-in-all I am managing 34 different materials, all covering different match-ups of skin color, clothing, hair color, head-gear color, etc. This was the hardest part and took the most time since it’s just a massive amount of materials and textures to keep track of and match up correctly. However, now that it’s all done it can be changed really easily.

New Aim
A while ago, Amy drew up some new aims, so I got a chance to mess around with some of those and get one in before our playtest on Sunday. Many of us were initially against using an arrow since arrows almost universally depict movement, especially in games when placed at a characters feet, but the arrow design Amy made worked surprisingly well as long as it was given the size and distance it needed. I stretched it a bit to make the aim a lot more obvious and I still really like that variation since it makes the aim direction much clearer, but it may not be necessary. I also tested the cone element that I thought was the most visually clear.

Dev Environment
For our trailer and any other footage moving forward, we needed a way to get better up-close footage of the game without losing quality. So, I wrote a dev environment for special in-game camera and game controls. It’s pretty simple and just allows you to zoom in on any of the four players, the hill, or reset to the original camera position. It also allows the user to turn off/on the scorebar and the player UI. Not much to show for this, but it ate up a solid couple hours.

 

Rumble Tests
I don’t have anything to show for this, and there are a lot of unknowns on whether it’ll work with other gamepads or on other platforms, but I got it to work in tests and I am very excited to work on it more. Rumble add sooooo much to our over-all game feel and provides some much needed tactile feedback to certain in-game events. It’ll really elevate the game I think.

Event Planning / Playtest
I spent all day Sunday at Westphal discussing upcoming events with the team. It was a huge ordeal and took a while, and Jess did most of the work anyway, but I’m super excited about the events we have coming up and I’m very glad we’ve gotten everything planned out. We also held a huuuge playtest, in fact it was the biggest we’ve ever had and elevated our number of unique player responses up to ~140. I’m sure you can read about it in more detail in Ardens PPJ, but it was very successful and we learned a lot about some of the newer things we’ve beeing focusing on.

Time:
-Char Textures : 8 hrs
-Aim Testing: 3 hrs
-Rumble Testing : 2 hrs
-Dev Camera: 5 hrs
-Playtest / Event planning: 6 hrs
-meetings: ~3 hrs

Total: 27 hours

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