Capstone - Semester 2 Week 8 & Week 9

By: James Keats | 23 March 2018

A lot has changed over the last few weeks!

Unfortunately, due to a technology limitation, there won’t be many screenshots or videos again this week. But I’ll briefly discuss some things that have changed since the last blog post and some challenges along the way!

Magnet Arm Animations & Overhauled Scoreboard & Death Animations

One of the first things you’ll see the next time a video is posted is that the player’s magnet arm has animations and an actual visual presence on-screen now. Having this extra visual feedback for such a core mechanic was really important and the response at QA has been very positive. We’ve also slightly reworked the controls of the magnet arm to align with what people have been saying at QA; previously, everything was all on one button (E), but now dropping has been moved to a separate button (Q).

We’ve also given the scoreboard at the end a major overhaul. The previous iteration was actually a hold-over from a long, long time ago when the game was two-player split screen. It’s been given minor functionality tweaks since then, but was never really brought into the newest iteration of the game. Charlie, the lead designer, and I worked closely together to try and create something that fits the current feel of the game. This is what we arrived at:

New Scorecard

I also worked with our lead artist, Tyler, on adding a death “animation” to the players. Now, instead of simply disappearing into a cloud of placeholder triangle particles, the robot’s body falls apart into pieces, and a lighting effect plays. It’s much more satisfying, and I can’t wait to capture some video to show it off. It’s added a whole world of feel to re[Mod].

Score System & Intro Sequence

To fully utilize the above scoreboard, we also had to implement the score system that we’ve had planned for a while. Players get points for:

  • Getting kills
    • Extra points for headshots, multi-kills, killstreaks, and breaking other players killstreaks
  • Capturing stage areas
  • Equipping legendary parts

This involved new event tracking systems on the server-side of the game, as well as the UI changes necessary to inform players as they were gaining points. This has had a massive effect at QA, where players are having more fun than ever and finally starting to see the value of team-based play. I also implemented several fixes and improvements to team-based play, including fixing a bug where teammates would sometimes block you from capturing a stage, and ensuring players know which team is capturing.

In order to segue them from the lobby area into their teams, we’ve also added the following intro sequence, using Unity’s Timeline feature:

That’s all for these last couple of weeks. The project is starting to wind down now as we near the feature-complete milestone. Check back later for more and for our final trailer coming soon!

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