After banging my head against the wall multiple times, I finally managed to extract and abstract a system for easily creating and managing different game modes. We’re also adding more balls to the game, so I’ve added a “ball selection” thing.

Alpha testers

First things first: Now that the game feels pretty robust on our machines, we’re looking for alpha testers! So if you are interested in taking part in the process, try out the game and give us feedback, reach out to us, we’ll happily welcome you on board! We’ve setup a Google Forms here to make the registration process easier. Fill it up and we’ll send you a link to the latest build, together with infos on how to provide us feedback.

King Of The Gold

In this new game mode title “King of the Gold”, players earn points while they have the gold, and they can steal it from another player by killing him. The first player to total 30 seconds wins the round, and the first player to win 3 rounds wins the game.

The nuance with the traditional “Gold Rush” mode here is twofold: first, if you get killed, the time you carried the gold still count. Second, if the gold carrier gets killed, he drops the gold where he was killed. You may see now why I call it a “noob-friendly” variation of the Gold Rush: the main difficulty in Gold Rush is that one has to survive for a whole 30 seconds to score.

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Notice how the player killed “drops” the gold. The gives this mode more a feeling of chasing a ball, and a better reward for the player that kills the carrier: he can grab the gold right afterwards.

Ball and Game Mode Selection

Up to now, each controller was assigned a specific ball. For instance, P1 was always playing with “Arges”, the white/lightning ball, and P2 always got “Fujin”, the red/fire ball. One thing we’ve wanted to make for a long time was expand this set of balls and explore the possibilities of Cascade, the particles engine of UE4.

But to have that, we needed to break this strong link between a controller and its ball. It took a couple hours of strangely painless refactoring to get that.

I also took the opportunity to expose and link that feature to the main menu. We had a “button” in the main menu called “Balls”, that was unused yet. Now, one can highlight this menu item, press A and then use left/right to scroll through the available balls. There’s unfortunately no visual feedback for it yet, but the stuff is working (trust me)! An interesting component of it is the bit of logic that ensures no two players have the same ball.

Since we now have several game modes, and both the ball selection and the game mode systems work in a similar fashion, I figured I’d also bind the “game mode selection” feature to the main menu. Just as with the balls, highlight the “Game Modes” item on the menu, press A and scroll left/right through the available game modes. Also no visual feedback yet (my artist is lazy), but it’s working.

We also took the opportunity to add two more balls in the game: Flora and Broly.

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PolyLan & Spectator Mode

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This week-end, we have the pleasure of hosting a small animation at the PolyLan, a large LAN event in Switzerland. In-between Hearthstone and Overwatch tournaments, for two and a half hour players will have the pleasure of destroying each other’s balls for virtual points, which will eventually be transformed into real-world geeky goodness.

Since this is a more local event, we plan on bringing more equipment. We’ll have the game in “flat” setup, as well as a second screen which will display our spectator mode. That way, external players will have an idea of what’s going on.

Because we are planning a kind of tournament and our allocated time is limited to 2.5hrs, we also added a timer in-game. At the end of the countdown, all players blow up and the game is over. We will have a system of pools of players, pitted against each other. The winner of each pool will be the one with the most gold scored. To get a bit more golds scored, we’ve reduced the time to score a gold to 20 seconds. Number of kills and then “time spent invisible” will be the stats used to split ties.

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The in-game timer adapts to the flat setup. In regular mode, the bottom timer disappears and the top timer is rotated.

What’s next

Show us your interest by watching us on indiedb and follow us on twitter for the latest rants and complaints. And if you’re interested, sign up for the alpha on the Google Forms here !

That was all for this 0.22 sprint. Next sprint we’ll polish some of the things we’ve left behind (visual feedbacks, pause menu etc.) and prepare for the NordicGame conference :))