Project 7: Breakout (Week 10 Presentation Postmortem)

Earlier today we had our week 10 in class presentation. Our presentation build is supposed to represent a near alpha version of our game. This post will go over where we were at at the time of the presentation, go over the feedback we received, as well as take a look forward at our plans moving forward.

Preparation:

As discussed in Devlog #4 we spent the last week or so preparing for the presentation. As of that post we had just started bringing in our character animations. Since then we have implemented the rest of these animations in game. We also have started bringing in our art assets to replace our placeholder level. Our main goal was to ensure that all our gameplay features were implemented for presentation in order to do a full playthrough.

arachnid_animations.gif
arachnid_animation_hack.gif

Bringing in our actual assets made a huge difference to the overall look of the game. It is definitly starting to look more and more like a real game.

placeholder level

level with assets

We ended up bringing in as many finished assets as we could before the presentation, most getting brought in at 3AM the same day; with some even being added minutes before we presented.

Presentation Feedback:

After our presentation we were able valuable feedback from our classmates and teachers. We received positive feedback new level assets and the texturing style. It was good to see that the comic book art style we were going for came through in the final product. We also received some good advice for future changes. One suggestion was that the walls should be a bit more metallic and less like concrete since this is supposed to be a futuristic prison. Another suggestion was to add some diversity to walls so long hallways are a bit more interesting. Both these suggestions are things we are keeping in mind moving forward.

 
 

Development Review:

As of the presentation we have reached the 10th week of development on Project 7: Breakout. Over the course of the past 10 weeks we have been hard at work, implementing as many of our game features as we could in that time. We have successfully implemented almost all of our game's features and are very close to being "feature complete". I'm very happy with how much we were able to accomplish in these first 10 weeks of development.

What We Learned:

The development of this game required us to learn some new things. One major thing I wanted to focus on with this project was making sure our code was as modular as possible. Making the game modular allows us to easily build different levels and set up stuff in different sections of the game. This idea was crucial to the development of the dialogue system because it needed to be able to display any dialogue we gave it at different times throughout the game. Another big focus was setting up scriptable events for in game story events. This also needed to be modular so we didn't need to write separate scripts to handle each story event we wanted to trigger in game. In order to accomplish this we spent some time learning Unity Events and how to use delegates in order to trigger these events when we wanted them to. This allows us to make sure things happen in the order they are supposed to in the story.

story.JPG

One difference between this project and some of my previous projects was that for a lot of the projects I have worked on, I was the only programmer on the project. Having a second set of eyes when trying to solve problems proved to be extremely helpful. Many times throughout development one of us would get stuck on an issue and the other would be able to figure out a solution, or one of us would noticed a bug that the other may have missed.

Problems We Had:

We didn't have a ton of trouble with our development. The one main issue we had was coming up with a steady workflow on the art side of things. It initially took a little while to figure out who would be handling which assets and to get into a steady work flow. Once this was worked out, it has been pretty smooth sailing.

What's Next?

Our next major priority, along with implementing the rest of our level assets, is to spend the summer doing a major overhaul of both our combat mechanics and the enemy AI. As of right now our enemy AI is extremely basic and needs some work so that it feels more engaging and makes combat more fun. We also want to flesh out the rest of the combat mechanics; things like improving hit detection, combo timing, and power mechanics are the list of things we want to work on. While our combat is functional right now, we want to improve the overall feel and flow of combat. The goal is to make combat fun to engage in instead of just a task of mashing the attack button.

 misc. assets to be added

misc. assets to be added

After our combat refinements we will be reaching the point where we are "functionally complete". Having all our functionality done by the end of summer will leave us with almost 10 more weeks of development to focus on polish. We will be spending this time working on adding stuff like particle effects, lightning, camera shake, improved UI elements, and other flashy features that will "juice" up the game. Being able to spend a bunch of time dedicated to polish should allow us to end up with a really polished and complete looking final product. As well as working on "juicing up" the gameplay we will also be able to spend some serious time playtesting our game and using feedback to improve the final product.