Game Designer & Programmer

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Senior Project - PPJ #28

This week was pretty busy and I felt like I had my hands really full again for the first time since PAX, which is great! This week I implemented almost all of our animations, tested building to xbox(!), did some design with Arden, Tyler, and Gabe on the alternate gamemode, and some other assorted stuff.

 

Animations
I’ve been working pretty steadily with Gillian since PAX on getting animations prepared for import and implementation and this week I finally got a whole bunch of them in. We have been using placeholders for a while now for running and idle, and it was nice to be able to just replace those really easily. All of the other animations needed to be programmed in and triggered. I got building and destroying set up before PAX, and Gillian went through a second pass on those, so that was easy to replace as well. That left four more animations: detonate, respawn, get point, and revive. Embedding the animation events into our project has been a lengthy process, but it’s been really easy since we have such well-defined events in our code.

 Our pretty simple anim state machine

Our pretty simple anim state machine

Alt Design
Arden has been working on the alternate gamemode for a good long while now, and Tyler buckled down super hard and got it functional this week, so we got to have our first internal playtest. We found a few issues and had a long meeting to discuss how to make the mode better. The new gamemode is simple, but really fun. Most importantly, it can be played with any number of players (1 – 4) as opposed to our main gamemode which requires 4 players. Having the ability to play our game with as little as 2 players is super important to us. We love our main gamemode, but it is restricted to 4 players and one of the big things we heard from PAX was that people wanted the ability to play with fewer people. We also believe that we need more variety and content in general to justify a commercial release, so getting this in and tested is a big step for us.

xbox
wow, okay, here’s the big one. We’ve been worried about the xbox porting process for a while now, especially since we were supposed to be able to begin xbox development at the beginning of the quarter. We got really stressed about our timeline and were afraid that we weren’t going to have enough time to finish the porting process. However, we used a personal xbox and dev account to start experimenting and learning and got further than we thought we would. Tyler and I headed over to Ardens for a couple hours and learned the export process from Unity to xbox. It was a pretty easy process to learn and is very similar to the Unity to iOS export process. Once we got the file exported correctly, we uploaded them to the xbox just to see what would happen. I expected the input to be broken as well as some other stuff. However, the game worked, and with some tweaking, the full game loop was playable! There are 3 main issues that physically break the game, but we know how to tackle them: timeline instantiation doesn’t work on xbox, Wwise needs a plug-in (we had to disable wwise to get it to export), and ther are some system libraries that we are using for stat-tracking that are unavailable on xbox. All of those are pretty shallow tasks though. The big main problem was the FPS. It was butt, and that was cause the memory filled up. I have a hunch that the render textures for the ground that get created each frame aren’t being offloaded from the memory, but we might also have a memory leak, so that will be our main hurtle to overcome. All of that aside, we didn’t expect to even get the game running, and we are much more optimistic about our timeline going forward now.

Assorted
I did some smaller stuff this week too. I messed with some UI stuff some more, did some event planning with the team, and helped Jackson with some audio stuff.

 

Time:
-Animations: 10 hrs
-Gamemode design: 2 hrs
-xbox tests: 2 hrs
-audio: 1 hr
-event stuff: 3 hrs
-meetings: 4 hrs

Total time: 22 hours

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