Quick recap of what we’ve done the past two weeks on the game. This is devlog 0.17 !

Main Menu integration

We’ve integrated the main menu scene into the game. The features are not bound yet, so it’s mostly just sitting here, waiting for some love.

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End Game

We’ve started implementing a first draft of what we want to happen after a game ends. The hardest constraint for us is to have something that works in showcase and regular mode. The end game happens in two “phases”: first, players are rewarded with a badge qualifying their performance (not done yet). They hold B to dismiss this panel.

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Then, when all players have dismissed it, another panel pops up, presenting all players with 3 options: go back to the main menu, play again, or change map. Large rotating buttons are shown, so that everyone can read them. All players control this panel.

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Cascade tweaks

Our artist got his hands back into the engine and tweaked a bit some emitters. When someone picks up the gold, it now looks like this:

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Looking at it, maybe this will need another pass.

And when the player with the gold hits a wall, it now looks like this (more on this below):

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Periodic reveal

Right. So currently, the player that carries the gold emits a small flash whenever she hits a wall. Someone that understands the game knows that being immobile when the other players have forgotten where you are is a sure way to win, as they have no way of knowing where you hide. We consider this a flaw in the design, and a potential exploit.

That is until one gold is scored, at which point a “reveal” pickup spawns. Picking this up reveals all the other players for a small amount of time, preventing the gold carrier from hiding.

But we have a couple of issues with that design. First, this pickup is introduced to counter a deeper design problem (the gold carrier hiding exploit). Second, it is a separate mechanic, kind of dangling off the core of the design. Third, if we have all players visible at some point, then we’re no different than other top-down shooters.

For these reasons, we decided to try changing the reveal effect. The gold carrier emits a flash periodically, every few seconds. This, hopefully, will be simpler to understand, will fix the exploit and will enable us to remove this whole pickup mechanic.

What’s next

As I’m a bit late writing this, I’ve already started my infamous issue number EB-171, which is a big one. I want to rewamp the way maps are selected and loaded, and this requires large changes on the architecture of the game. So I’m already “having fun” with it. As a “teaser” for the next devlog, here’s a picture of the architecture I’m putting into place for this.

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Another thing we want to get ready for the next event is an event store, coupled with insights. I may do a deeper technical article on this later, but the technique is to raise events whenever something happens in the game (such as a player attacking, or someone scoring etc.) and store all these events. The benefits are countless:

  • Reward players based on specific playstyles at the end of a game
  • Extract usage statistics
  • Reproduce issues

That was all for this one. I have the next week off at work, so I’ll have plenty more time to work on the game. Happy holidays !

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