version 0.16 / game menu concepts
Ahoy there! Here’s the devlog for version 0.16. Initial concepts for the game menus, and horizontal scaling on the menu !
Halving the controls
We’ve decided to get rid of the button B. It was used to reveal yourself without attacking. At the last festivals we saw all players use the attack to see where they were, instead of using the reveal button. So why keep it? We’ve tweaked a bit the visuals as well.
We’ve added a new animation when someone scores. It uses UE’s Spline component and a small collision box structure to keep the gold in place and voila!
This enabled us to get rid of even more UI ! No more UI for the scores and timers, everything is shown in-game and feels much more like a board game. Plus, the Golds are physics objects, so when you win more you see them stacking nicely 🙂
Now that we feel like the core of the game is solid, we’re starting to re-think about content. This will also force us to get one vertical slice of the game polished (i.e. from picking up the game, through selecting options, playing the match and ending it).
We’ll aim for somewhere between 4 and 6 game maps and 3 game modes. The maps will each have a different feeling and unique mechanics, and the game modes should be oriented towards mastering different aspects of the game (staying invisible, knowing your attack, the maps, the timings, predicting the other players’ moves, etc.).
Here are the game modes we’re planning so far:
- Gold Rush: The classic one. One Gold in the center of the map; keep it for 30s and you score one point. First player to 3 points wins.
- Free For All: I don’t think I need to describe this one.
- Ninja (temporary name): This one is still in the early phase of design, but consider this: You win points by killing others. You lose points when attacking. The first player to a given score wins. This encourages players to time their attacks perfectly and always know where they are.
We also have a few other that we keep in mind. I’ll put their names here and let your imagination work:
- Team Deathmatch
Making the game more accessible
With the game being so skill-oriented right now, it’s hard to introduce new players. They either get destroyed all the time, or you play bad on purpose and let them win. No fun for anyone. We’re planning on adding new random/unpredictable elements into the game, probably on certain maps only. The intent is to blur the skill gap between players by introducing luck. Here are just a few sketches and ideas we’ve laid on paper so far.
“Final vs Showcase”
This game faces us with an interesting problem: we want a game that can be left alone in a festival in a “showcase” style, as well as downloaded on a PC/console at home, meaning more options, menus etc. But we also want to avoid maintaining two different branches of the game, because with Unreal’s binary assets all over the place it would quickly become a coder’s nightmare.
Our line of thought is to design the flows of the menus in the game for the “final” version of the game (the one you would download on your home computer/console), but also plan where/how the showcase build would deviate from this flow. A configuration file would allow us to switch between the showcase and final modes.
Here is how we envision the menus for now (very classic indeed):
You can notice that some arrows have (showcase) or (final). There are the points that would deviate between the two versions. We already have a basic system working, and that should be all we need. The game would start on the “Lobby” in showcase mode, and on the Main Menu in final mode.
Here’s a first look of the main menu (it’ll be seen from above in the game):
We also have a few ideas for and end game panel, with stats and badges for each player. The trick is to try and come up with a design that would work both in “flat” mode and in “regular” mode (with the screen laid flat or straight).
Our initial concept is to divide the screen in 4, one for each player. Each division would show the rewards each player has according to their specific playstyle. This design allows us to flip two screen divisions when the screen is in “flat” mode.
You’d then press B to dismiss your panel, and then a panel would show up, asking you to either leave the game, keep playing or change map/mode.
We’ve received printed posters of these images. 3D printed versions of the Gold should arrive soon also.
In the next sprint, we’ll implement and test some new maps and mechanics, and work on the other game menus.
We’ll also need to get the build ready for Ludicious, a festival in Zürich (Switzerland), so this means a lot of testing until January, as the goal is to have a showcase build that we can just leave there without supervision.
Maybe we’ll take a break for the holidays as well.
See y’all next time