Project 7: Breakout (Devlog #5)

Following our week 10 presentation we set up working on improving our gameplay. The first step was to make the enemies more responsive. After improving the enemies we also set about improving some of our combat mechanics.

Timing for combos was changed so you can't just tap the button 10 times and sit back and wait while for the animations to finish, now you actually have to press the button at the right time to continue the combo. This also makes it so when you stop pressing the attack button you stop attacking.

Another thing we wanted to add was a bit of aim assist to Arachnid's grappling hook move. We wanted to add this because we felt like it was difficult to reliably hit the enemies with the attack. Aim assist allows you to instead having to look directly at the enemy you can just look in their general direction. We also made some small improvements to the targeting for the spider-bots. In addition to the aim assist we also changed it so that the follow up punch to the grapple only occurs if you actually grab onto an enemy.

 
 

Besides just the functionality of our combat, we also wanted to start working on improving the feel of combat. Fixing the combo timing was the first step to improving the feel of our combat system. The next main step was adding in camera shake. We set up different shake events for different in game actions, such as, hitting an enemy, getting hit by enemies, and using power moves. The camera shake did a great deal to make combat feel a bit more impactful.

In addition to the camera shake we made it so each time you hit an enemy the game freezes for a fraction of a second. This helps increase the feeling of impact and really helps make it feel like your punches have weight to them. Another thing we did to improve combat feel was adding a particle effect for when you hit an enemy, as well as a particle effect for when you activate your boost meter.

 
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Besides combat we also started working on UI to help the player understand the game more. We changed the drop in mechanic to allow you to drop in before you unlock Evolve, however in this circumstance, instead of actually dropping in you will instead see a notification telling you you need to free Evolve before you can play as him.

Another UI element we added is an objective popup. This popup will appear after dialogue sequences that set you towards a new objective, as well as whenever you visit the pause screen. This will help the player keep track of what they are supposed to do next in the game.

The final addition we have started working on is ranged enemies. These enemies will check to see if 2 other enemies are already attacking the player, in which case they will stand back and shoot laser shots at the player instead. These enemies will help the combat feel more diverse as well as help prevent the player from being completely surrounded. The ranged enemies aren't 100% complete yet, but they are getting there.