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Games Mittens' Adventure - Top down shooter + multiplayer

Discussion in 'Works In Progress' started by newjerseyrunner, May 18, 2018.

  1. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Hello Game Devs and Unity Enthusiasts, I've been working on a top-down shooter for a while now in my spare time and I think it's come time that I show a little bit of it. I'd love any feedback on anything that I post here (I plan on using this thread as a sort of dev-blog for this project.).

    Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 2.25.25 PM.png

    The Pitch

    For millions of years, Cats and Rats have competed with each other in the vicinity of a mysterious dome so ancient that it predates both of them. Now advanced enough to apply technology to their curiosity, the Rats have attacked a Cat temple in search of an artifact. They believe the artifact will grant them access though the barrier and explore inside the dome. It’s up to Mittens and his squad to stop them.

    In this over-the-top action shooter you play as an adorable fuzzy Cat named "Mittens" and will fight your way through scores of enemies. Use a wide variety of guns, vehicles, special power ups, and your bare claws to spill as much Rat blood as necessary and discover for yourself the ancient horrors that lurk under the dome.

    Play with your friends in a wide variety of LAN multiplayer modes including co-op, deathmatch, capture the flag, and many more.

    Single-player Gameplay
    The gameplay is intended to be fast-paced. Mittens is very fast and can be made faster by bunny hopping. He's also very nimble, able to fall from any height, jump wide gaps, and double jump. He's got 8 weapons at his disposal (sword, pistol, shotgun, machine gun, sniper rifle, rocket launcher, flame/plasma thrower, and antimatter), all of which have three upgrade modes. These as well as powerups are scattered about the levels. Some types of bullets will go straight through walls and others will bounce around.

    You have to be weary of your health, as a recharging shield is a powerup you'll not get right away. Enemies drop health when you kill them, but it goes bad quickly, forcing players to continually push forwards into combat rather than taking cover. Cover is rare and circle strafing is the intended way to fight. The player will learn this from the enemies themselves as their AI circle strafes on the navmesh and flying enemies will circle above on a custom 3D nav system.

    A powerup early on also gives Mittens an infinite supply of explosives, which can be lobbed at enemies. Even though he loves his guns, Mittens is also capable of killing enemies with deadly melee attacks.

    Many levels can be sequenced broken with precise platforming or advanced techniques like grenade jumping, though neither are required to beat the game. Levels have switches that activate a number of things to allow progression. The level design heavily influenced by DOOM.

    Some levels have long expanses which can be covered in a variety of vehicles, which switches up the gameplay a little and makes for some intense dog-fighting in hovercrafts, tanks, ATVs, and a ridable special friend.

    You start by storming a Cat temple that's been overrun by rats, then follow them back to their tunnels to get the artifact that they stole. The artifact allows Mittens' entrance to the mysterious ancient dome where he is confronted by an ancient being and the horror that are trapped it there in the first place.

    Level progression works by bringing you through the story with cutscenes that play while the next level is loading in the background. There is an overworld map which can be accessed which allows you to go back and replay sections. This is important for completionists as some of the most powerful upgrades are in early levels, but out of reach without powers you don't get until later. There are also a handful of super hard levels that have to be unlocked by secret exits of particular levels.

    Multiplayer Gameplay

    You can play the campaign with a friend. All AI are fully networked.

    There are also a variety of PvP modes. The classic deathmatch is face paced. Weapons laying around slowly switch to their upgraded versions throughout the match, causing matches to become more and more intense.

    Yarnball is a mode with a single ball of yarn. Whoever holds onto it the longest wins. You can only hold a pistol while holding the yarn ball, but the ball itself is bulletproof, so hold it between you and your enemies.

    Capture the Yarn is a two yarn ball mode where you have to capture the enemy ball and bring it back to your base. If they take your ball, you have to kill their carrier. Then you have to bring the ball back to your base, he's hoping your health is high enough. There are health packs in multiplayers, but you have to weigh that against the objective.

    The Preview
    The lack of sound is a fault of my capture, not the game. Everything from the gunshots to the blood splatter makes noise. Walls are untextured because I'm focusing on gameplay and I don't want to have to retexture stuff if I just want to change a ledge. Shown are the base weapons (they become overpowered through upgrades.)


    0:02 You see your health and stats on the crosshairs, I found through play testing that your eyes are normally on your crosshairs, not in some arbitrary corner of the screen
    0:04 You see group AI, attacking one caused the rest to work together, when I killed the leader, the lower ranks got scared.
    0:08 You can see enemy bullets ricocheting off of walls
    0:10 You see me pick up health that was dropped by the dead enemies
    0:12 I switch from the pistol to the shotgun (notice how the FOV changes)
    0:16 I kick and enemy to death and it goes flying
    0:25 I switch to the machine gun
    0:30 I follow an enemy that has surrendered into its hiding spot
    0:45 I demonstrate the chain reaction of explosives
    0:52 I toss a bomb to an enemy on the ledge which gibs it
    0:57 I flip a switch that turns on a bridge I need to get across
    0:58 The circular thing near the switch is a thruster that allows Mittens to jump very high, it's turned on by a switch elsewhere in the level
    1:01 I used a grenade to jump higher than I normally can (not a necessary trick, but a speed run strat)
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  2. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Sorry about the video quality, Youtube ate all of my pixels. Here is a screenshot with actual pixels.
    Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 3.45.28 PM.png

    I'm quite proud of the amount of carnage that I can render at 60fps on my MacBook. Every kind of effect has an efficient pool, which both allows easy creation of effects but also limits them. It's even staggered so that old stuff doesn't get removed completely sequentially, meaning if you go back to an area you fought in before, there will still be blood on the ground, just less of it than during the battle.
     
    JohnLabern and salfingerandrew like this.
  3. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I have a cutscene early in the game that features a large-scale battle. The Rat army is storming a Cat temple, and the Cats have to do their best to repel them. This was the first test round of that battle. The Rats are forced to rush up the ramps into oncoming fire and push through with brute force. Once on top, they spread out and flank. Once the area is secure, they head towards their objectives in on the second floor. They're divided into squads and they move as a group. None of this is scripted, it'll all AI. AI is controlled by the server, but there is a lot of client-side logic to keep everything in sync with such a large number of actors.


    0:00 The Rats storm the ramps, trying to push to the top, Cats squeeze the top
    0:14 The Rats push through and fan out, the Cats also spread out to compensate
    0:33 On the top left, you can see a group of Rats try and take the higher ground, but are stopped by a Cat
    0:50 You see a coordinated group push for the higher ground again
    0:55 You see the remaining Cat retreat and the Rats run after it
    1:00 The Rats return t their objective at the second floor
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  4. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Part of what sets Mittens' apart from other topdown shooters is it's use of verticality. Some top down shooters may have different levels and staircases, but Mittens is a cat, so he's extremely nimble. He can wall jump, double jump, and the level design takes advantage of this. Skilled players will use Mittens' nimbleness to flank the enemy and reach secret areas with special weapons and powerups.

    The enemies are also skilled at navigating the 3D environment, including some that fly in true 3D open space.

    The focus of this game is fast-paced combat, but there will be a few sections where platforming is required. For skilled platforms though, they should be able to find multiple paths through every level which can provide advantageous positions.

    You may notice a few times when an enemy right next to me will explode in a shower of blood without a bullet being fired. When you are close to and looking at a target, Mittens' will automatically use a powerful melee, which you see in this video a few times as I actually kick then off of high places. I never meant for this to be used much except with a sword in PvP, but I found it a lot of fun and useful so I've been honing how it works. If you sneak up on an enemy, your melee will one-shot them regardless of their health and they'll release extra pickups. I'm using this to continue to idea of push-forward combat and causing the player to never retreat as their most powerful attack is super short range.


    0:03 I wall jump between two vertical parts to reach a high ledge
    0:05 An enemy tosses a grenade at me
    0:11 I drop down to gather some health from my slain enemy
    0:16 I jump across a gap to an unsuspecting enemy and assassinate him
    0:21 I double jump to another hidden platform, leading into another set of wall jumps
    0:28 I kick an unsuspecting enemy off of the edge to his death and get a good view of enemy positions
    0:31 I toss a bomb to an enemy on a wall then fire at him to distract him
    0:36 I do some tight jumps to a sniping tower and melee the enemy on it
    0:46 I use my height as an advantage to slaughter of the guards with my machine gun and bombs
    0:57 I use quick bursts to control the spread of the machine gun


    Does anyone have any thoughts on what I've presented so far?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  5. Serinx

    Serinx

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    Hey this looks really nice. I haven't seen this style of shooter before.
    Very interesting way of shooting at enemies at different heights.
    Have you had any playtester feedback? I wonder how quickly new players can pick up the top down 3d concept :eek: Looks like it would take a bit of practise
     
  6. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Thanks for the interest. I have had some play testers. They did find controlling Mittens' a little hard at first, but after a quick tutorial level they seem to be able to move intuitively. I've adjusted my game slightly in response to that. I've made some catwalks wider, and reduced the number of 45 degree angles. The first enemies you'll run into don't shoot at all and just chase you, to help the player learn movement. I have reduced the amount of platforming necessary to beat the game in response to this however.

    I was worried that aiming would be too hard from this angle, but I implemented an aim-assist early on and have honed it to where it now should feel invisible. The crosshairs has a magnetic attraction to enemies, so it snaps between them, but the effect reduces over distance so as to never feel like you're not in control over who you are shooting at. The bullets also bounce off of the floor and some guns have a fairly wide spread to help the player hit the target. I never want the player to feel like they are fighting to line up their shots, everything should be reactionary and "close enough" should count.
     
  7. Serinx

    Serinx

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    @newjerseyrunner Wow, it sounds like you've put a lot of work into the user experience which is awesome!
    Looking forward to seeing more updates :)
     
  8. CharisVik

    CharisVik

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    Love the idea , really unique.

    The environment looks confusing but i feel as they get textures over time it will not be a problem.
     
  9. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Thanks, I plan on trying to have an update at least once a week, or at very least a new screenshot. I've done a ton of research into tricks to making the player feel powerful.

    Thank you. I also expect the levels to be easier to navigate once they are textured. I also plan on adding decorative architecture which will subtly lead the player around. Lights will be the most obvious way that I make paths obvious. There are also some levels where you have allies that will help guide you to the objective. In several of the levels, the end of the level is actually visible from where you start from, they are fairly small arena-style levels. Some levels though are designed to be maze-like.
     
  10. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I was hoping to show off a multiplayer game today, but I haven't touched that component in a month and my recent changes introduced a bug or two that I'd like to fix first. So here is a run-through of one of the early levels called Catwalk. There is more to the level than what is shown, but I'm not going to give away the secrets. One cool little feature is that if you look carefully, the enemies eyes change color depending on it's state.

    Also good news! I figured out how to get Quicktime to record the game sound, so this has audio. How's it sound? Everything will make noise since I have a very efficient pool of audio sources which only trigger at certain distances. Every single bullet has bounce and impact sounds, I want it to feel like total chaos.



    Interesting times:
    0:15 I'm going after the orange Rat, because he has a shotgun which can both kill me quickly and dish out way more damage than my pistol
    0:22 I clear out the bottom section and pick up some health (by killing enemies I can actually get it up to 300%)
    0:42 I notice a green Rat. He's got an assault rifle so I prioritize him. He's actually not supposed to be down there, he jumped away from a grenade that one of his allies threw and fell
    1:20 I active the switch guarded by two shotgunners, which actives a bridge on the other side of the map, but I don't have to backtrack, I just hop down
    1:34 You have to double jump across that gap, so this level forces you to master that
    1:52 I sneak around a shotgun rat who's sitting down, jumping on barrels to get back up, then blowing them up, nearly killing myself in the process
    2:00 I consider rerecording because I fell, but decide to use it to show off how useful wall jumping can be
    2:13 Notice that I'm still bleeding from that blast. This is useful because you can follow blood trails to injured enemies in both campaign and multiplayer.
    2:15 Notice the two grey circular objects, we'll come back to those later
    2:38 I use a bomb to create an especially gruesome gib
    2:51 A Rat grenade severely injures me and I'm force to retreat
    3:01 Check out the amount of blood splatter and bullet holes!
    3:08 I put my cursor on the wall to see that my health is at 15 and consider how to go about the next section
    3:47 You see a behavior that I recently programmed, the Rat jumps away from the grenade I threw at it
    4:18 I active the switch that turns on those grey circular jumpers from before
    4:28 I gather ammo I left on the ground floor then use the jumpers to get back to the top without having to go around
    I end at the end of the level, directly above where you started from

    Does anyone have any questions about what they saw?



    PS: Please forgive any grammar or spelling errors, autocorrect misbehaves sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
  11. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Last night I wrote the code for Mittens' invisibility powerup. I didn't want to have to write refracting shaders or anything like that, so I looked to techniques from the past. I implemented what Quake did: you become completely invisible except for your eyes. Enemies can't see if unless you shoot in this state, and it's easy to hide as a set of eyes in deathmatch.

     
  12. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    So here is a demonstration of the PvP. This is a game mode called “Yarnball.” The rules are simple: The enemy yarn ball is in their base, you spawn in your base with your own ball. You have to balance defending your own ball and going to get theirs.

    You start with a pistol and no bombs, but your bomb count will recharge quickly. There is a machine gun and shotgun on the map to be picked up. To add to the chaos, the weapon pickups all get upgraded twice. This causes the game to get crazier and crazier as it gets near the end. You respawn with just a pistol again, but pickups respawn quickly.

    The map you are seeing us play on will not be included in the final game. Knowing the layout of the map is a major advantage in a multiplayer game, so to fix that during my playtests, I just recreated a map that both players already knew. This is the Halo CE level "Longest."

    I noticed a few bugs during this play through, but they were minor so I just left them in the video. The system was confused about which team I was on. As of writing this, that has already been fixed.

    This video should really highlight the juxtaposition of violence and cute. Here is a screenshot of Mittens model himself, isn't he cute? (I still have some work to do like bump mapping and alignment, but you get the idea.)
    Screen Shot 2018-06-08 at 12.39.57 PM.png



    Timeline:
    0:00 You can see the layout of the entire map, notice how for this recording, I'm the client and my wife is the server. This is actually running over our wifi between our two MacBooks.
    0:10 We're waiting in the lobby. You can shoot each other in the lobby, but not die. Players stay in the lobby until all players have joined.
    0:17 Match starts, I spawn in the red base with red armor (this game mode is a team mode)
    0:23 That's one of the Campaigns AIs. Not sure if I'll leave enemies in the deathmatch arenas, had the idea that the arenas themselves were dangerous like The Hunger Games. I was actually surprised to see it there because I thought I'd removed it for this video. But it's actually kind of nice because I've mentioned before that all the AI is networked too but I never really showed it. The other computer is the server, so no AI is running on my machine at all. These are dumb animals who's only interest is defending their own territory, they'll actually leave you alone unless you get to close and they'll warn you before attacking.
    0:31 Wait, did that just say she's got my ball? I cut across the hallway and head back to my base to try and get it back
    0:42 Opponent sneaks out of my base with holding my ball (I don't actually notice her yet)
    0:56 We start in a pistol fight, she can shoot through the ball, but it also blocks my shots, so I have to circle strafe around her. Not sure why she got gibbed from the pistol, that's a multiplayer bug I think. I'll fix it today probably.
    1:02 I pick my ball up to return it (I could have just left it there if I wanted to, or taken it somewhere else and hide it). Notice how I'm moving slower with the ball.
    1:10 Enemy ball reset? Oops, looks like the team system has a little bug in it. I've already fixed that upon writing this. The incorrect audio confused me which is why I tossed a bomb.
    1:40 I kill the opponent with a bomb... weird, that's when it should have gibbed. Probably in the same code so it'll be fixed with the other.
    1:45 Assault rifle. This powerup's aura is green, that's how I know which weapon it belongs to. There is also a weapon model there, I'm trying to make the weapons distinguishable from this overhead camera vantage point.
    1:55 I hear gunshots so I check over the ledge to see if I can spot where they're coming from. She's clearly gotten into a confrontation with an AI.
    1:56 You have to double jump to make that gap (I think)
    1:58 "Weapon pickups upgraded". All weapon pickups laying around the map are now an upgraded version of themselves. I make a move for what is now a double barreled shotgun. The shotgun is orange.
    2:12 Notice how grabbing the ball caused me to switch to my pistol. I can switch to another gun at any time, but I'd drop the ball too.
    2:20 I run right into her holding the ball as she's killing a native beast. I hear that she's picked up the upgraded pistol (called the Phaser) and her aim is dead-on. (@Serinx This is encouraging to me because she's only played a few minutes, it lets me know that the controls are easy. I'm clearly going to be better at combat than her, but a first time player can control well enough to do that.)
    2:22 This is what it looks like when you die, I'm waiting to respawn in my base but I can see my body, so I'm aware that she's pickup up and moved the ball.
    3:00 You'd think your vision would feel tight with the overhead view, but because the camera tilts and moves with the cursor, you can actually see a great deal. I can see halfway down this long hallway. Some weapons (like sniper rifles) have wider FOVs and could easily see both ends of the hall from the middle.
    3:05 I'm not just jumping to jump, Mittens moves significantly faster whilst bunny hopping. I want to really encourage acrobatics.
    3:20 I miss horribly because I was aiming at the wall above my opponent and she killed me before I could adjust. Notice where my bullet holes are. That's just me being bad, and my wife kind of beasting it. Notice that her pistol bullets are yellow.
    3:25 I spawn right next to her and run. Notice how she can shoot straight through that pillar, but my bullets hit it. This is because she had the Phaser. There is no cover when the enemy has that so (especially since she's behind the pillar and out of my reach) my only hope was to try to get out of her field of view and try to get to the assault rifle before I die.
    3:36 Now with the chain gun (which is the upgraded assault rifle) I have a better weapon than her so I go to fight.
    3:44 I get the upper hand and kill her with my chain gun.
    3:54 I drop down to pick up the phaser just because. I can hold all weapons at once so it doesn't hurt, but I'm heading for the shotgun (which has now both a double barrel upgrade and an explosive round upgrade.)
    4:12 I spot my opponent heading down the hall towards my yarn ball. From the position that I'm in, she actually can't see me (or can barely if she jumps) so I ambush her with my explosive double shotgun. I shoot it a few extra times because it's a lot of fun.
    4:34 We run into each other again. The explosive shotgun bullet has a delay so if it hits a wall right after being fired, it'll just impact or bounce. This is necessary or else you would blow yourself up a lot, which sucks.
    4:35 That's my dead body from before. Bodies and giblets will stay the entire match. The blood and bullet decals are in a staggered pool. A lot of the blood from when I died is still there, but not all of it.
    4:43 Double chain gun, this is a bullet hose with faster moving, more damaging bullets.
    5:00 I notice how much time is left and try to see if I can get it to my base, but the clock runs out.

    If anyone is wondering, it's running between 40 and 80 FPS (Averaging around 60) on last year's MacBook Air.
     
  13. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Today I did something scary: I touched almost every script in the whole game. I added one of Mittens' final and most useful features: Time Warping. Late in the game, Mittens will encounter a powerup that locally alters the passage of time. I didn't want to globally alter the deltaTime because I wanted it to be an entirely local effect. This is so that it can be used in multiplayer and will only affect those close to the player using the object. It also changes your motion through time based on how far away you are from the source of the field. Objects near the middle move extremely slowly and allow you to duck and weave between bullets with ease. This will help with later bosses and areas that would otherwise just be considered "bullet hells."

    Here is a small sample: Notice how bullets slow down as they enter the field, but then regain their speed once they've left it. Even the navmeshagents and gravity is affected.


    I also plan on using this feature as a way of soft-locking you out of certain areas in early levels. I have some upgrades that are protected by turrets that will spread you very quickly, unless you're really good or can bend time, which makes dodging the bullets quite easy.
     
  14. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    So a little about me and the scope of the project: I'm a 32 year old software engineer for a media technologies company. I have a wife and am raising my nieces and a nephew. I work on this game in my free time and play parts of it to relax sometimes. I'm making a game that I want to play and have fun playing. I enjoy playing many different kinds of games for different reasons. I grew up on Mario, Contra, Metroid, DOOM, Wolfenstein, and Halo. I still go back to the classics very often either in an emulator or collector editions. Sometimes I play casually, sometimes I ramp the difficulty to the max, and sometimes I speed run. Mittens is an evolution of an idea I've had rattling in my head ever since I saw a top down level of Contra and made my first game in QBasic eons ago. It was my favorite level in the game and I've always wished there was more top down levels.

    Mittens' Adventure itself will be 42 levels long, 34 of which are involved in the story. 25 of which are currently built. None are finished because I'm purposely holding off on texturing because I still move things occasionally, but several are ready for that step, all enemies have been placed and triggers are set.

    The game starts in a Cat area. Structures are very Cat-like: Buildings either look like jungle-gyms or like their made out of cardboard boxes. Everything is happy and fluffy. You will work across varied terrain to the area civilized by The Rats where the levels get more maze-like and there are lots of interconnected tunnels and little holes for rats to scurry around in. You'll discover an ancient relic which allows Mittens to follow the Rat army through the until-now impenetrable energy barrier. Under it, the levels change again and head in a sci-fi direction as you explore the ruins of the advanced species that erected the dome in the first place. There are two major plot twists here so I won't post much about these levels, so if I have long stretches where I don't post any updates, I'm probably working on them. The final section takes another turn in level design as you encounter the downfall of the advanced species. The 8 levels that are not involved in the story have to be found. I'm calling these the "Kaizo levels" and they will be orders of magnitudes more difficult than the rest of the game. They'll require tight platforming and combat and lots of tricks like grenade jumps. The last of these levels is the game's true ending and reveals another twist, but I expect very few people to see this ending.


    The levels are fairly small. I have multiple reasons for this.

    First and foremost is that it's expected to be fairly difficult and dying and starting the level over I expect to happen to a casual player at least a few times and I don't want it to be frustrating. The levels are laid out so that I expect it can be completed casually in less than ten minutes. I die plenty in Mario, and it doesn't feel back to retry those levels, even if I died right at the end. The levels are also small enough that you can remember the whole thing while you're playing it. This is my template in terms of die-and-retry mechanics. I haven't decided, but I may also leave doors unlocked if you die, sort of like a checkpoint. I'll playtest that and see.

    Secondly, all of the levels double as multiplayer arenas. In campaign, I keep levels fairly linear with locked doors and jumps that are too high/far. In multiplayer, I unlock most of the doors and activate jumper platforms to allow completely free flow around the map. Maps are also specifically designed to have two "ends" where defensive bases are. Usually this is the beginning and ends of the map, which maps sense, in campaign, you start out in a defensive position and push out, ending in the most heavily guarded enemy area. That's already perfectly laid out for asymmetric capture the flag.

    Third I require that my game is fun for both a quick sitting and a long stay. Lots of gamers are adults with stuff to do. If I'm going out in a bit and just wanna play something while my wife's getting ready, I'll fire up Mario because I can have fun with it in five minutes where a game like Halo requires that long just to get into it.


    The game moves forwards automatically with cutscenes, loading the next level in while the cutscene is playing. But there is also an overworld, much like the Mario games. This allows you to go back and play any level at your discretion, as well as just roam around the map looking for clues as to where the hidden levels might be.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  15. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I'm building a few more weapons this weekend. I do expect them all to be completed by the end of the week. I've had some people ask me when I described the game how weapons such as sniper rifles would work in the top-down. Here is a demonstration of the sniper rifle.



    The higher FOV allows you to see significantly more of the map than any other weapon. This allows you to take out enemies in the campaign from high above or far away. It also allows you to pin down and take out opponents from long range during multiplayer. I've designed the maps for sniper spots so a well positioned sniper isn't invincible, but can hold a team off for a short period while teammates respawn or cross the map. The bullets move way faster than any other too and hit with enough power to one-shot a player without a powerup. It will require some skill however, because it has no auto-aim where all the other weapons do. Close enough is not good enough for a sniper shot.
     
  16. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    This weekend I did some iterating on some of the levels, rounding out a lot of the corners. I fixed places where the camera would clip into walls, and moved some things that felt claustrophobic. I'm always jumping around the levels to make sure all the movement is fluid. All of the modeling is done in blender, and I'm keeping from baking any lights or texturing anything so that I always feel free to adjust geometry.

    So here is a demonstration of the tank, which is the first vehicle that the player will encounter. There will be a few different vehicles and the end of the game is a mad dash on a high speed scifi vehicle after the final boss. You steer with the mouse and can go forwards and backwards. Each vehicle has different types of weapons, the tank tosses a powerful explosive, which detonates on contact. You can also hold the "jump" button which will lock the vehicles trajectory and allow you to fire your guns in any direction. You can see me run an enemy over at the end of the video too.

    The tank gets introduced before the first boss, so I want the player to feel powerful leading up to it.

     
  17. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Yesterday evening I was tweaking my rocket launcher. I've had it built for a while but I've been changing how it works slightly.

    The rockets are programmed to head in the general direction of their target for half of their flight, taking slightly random paths. During this phase, they move more or less on a flat plane, but slightly up. Then, they dive-bomb straight to whatever the crosshair was on when it was launched. There is a powerup that allows you to also guide your rockets and have them chase your cursor. During this video I have a quad rocket upgrade attached, which allows me to fire up to four rockets in rapid succession by holding the trigger down. This allows you to sweep across an area and light then whole thing up. The rockets also have a safety mechanism where they'll only partially detonate if they hit something before the delay is up. I find it quite easy to accidentally fire into a wall so this helps with that.



    *I didn't notice the mouse cursor there, I think it's an artifact of switching to Quicktime to start the recording. It's not normally there. That's actually good because it demonstrates how the crosshairs is magnetically drawn towards enemies. Most of the time the crosshairs is right on the mouse, but not when near enemies, I'm just moving my cursor in their general vicinity. I don't want my game to be about precision shots, but more about movement and feeling powerful.


    This is a demonstration of the homing missiles. I fire and as long as I hold down the trigger, they will follow the crosshairs. When I let go, they'll home in on the last thing it was on. They're quite maneuverable: I can make them orbit or even turn around and blast myself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
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  18. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I had to work today but after work I finished a first draft of my tutorial level. I put t off until after more than half of the levels are already built because John Romaro said to do it late when you’re good at level design.

    The tutorial starts with a set of narrow bridges to get the player used to controlling the character. If you fall, you climb up a ramp and try again.

    An attack dog creature will jump down at you and try to knock you off the bridge at the last minute to try and rice the player to go over the bridges at least twice and see the enemy behavior in relative safety.

    Then comes a series of jumps, each higher than the last so that the player understands that the longer they hold jump, the higher they go.

    You then loop around to a high bridge where you can see the start of the level below you (and can fall to.). This shows the player that verticality will play a role in Mittens, which normally isn’t very important in a top-down shooter.

    That then leads to a boss battle. The boss isn’t difficult, it just charges you but it’s got very high health. This engages the player until a group of allies show up. They fight with you in a big showpiece then the boss runs off, ending the level.

    I finally got all of this working today and look forward to play testing it.
     
  19. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I've created three new levels this week, all of which are later levels in the game. One is full of lava, which has to be evacuated before the lower section of the level is accessible. There is some platforming, meaning you'll have to jump between rocks in the lava, but the rocks are large and not far apart. The main danger is the enemies that are shooting at you while you traverse.

    The second is a run down area designed for playing ontop of a special type of vehicle. The vehicle moves fairly quickly and is nimble. It has no long range attack, but you can use your own gun, and it'll automatically kill anything tat gets too close to it.

    The last is a rat level. It's the only level that's explicitly a maze. It's not huge, but I do expect the player to be lost in this level and make several wrong turns and have to backtrack.
     
  20. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I have all of my weapons create shockwaves for a number of reasons:
    1) It helps players determine where off-screen shots are coming from in both multiplayer and campaign
    2) It helps you identify the weapon your enemy has (each weapon's shockwave are their own color and correspond to bullets, flashes, and the weapon itself.)
    3) It creates a lot of nice graphical effects on the screen while being very cheap to process, as everything is in a pool. (Basically a low-level Skinner box.)

    Movement is key to playing this game and I really want to emphasize that so I have a fairly large movement set. As fast as Mittens is normally, you can make him nearly twice as fast by bunny hopping. While bunny hopping, you get a shockwave and a perkier "meow" to let you know that you're doing it right. By doing three bunny hops in a row and then maintaining that, most of the maps can actually be crossed in a few seconds, which is perfect for multiplayer.

     
  21. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Recently, I've been optimizing enemy spawns in all of my levels. Originally, I just had all of the enemies alive at any given time, but this limits me severely with the number of enemies that I can have and prevents me from refilling an area once it's been cleared. I've come up with both switch-based and volume based triggers which enable enemies. On load, I spawn all of my enemies (in order to call Start) on them, then immediately disable them.

    Then if the player walks into a trigger volume, it will enable the group that's attached to it while simultaneously disabling itself. Inside the group can be any type of objects: mostly enemies, though other triggers can be loaded here too. Additionally, as I already have switches that open doors and do other things, I created a trigger based on switches that will allow me to spawn enemies behind the player after the flip a switch.

    I am doing this because even idle enemies have some AI, which is constantly on the lookout for an enemies and in rooms that are far from the player, this is not needed. I also explicitly don't want some of them to trigger until certain points. There are several levels where I want the player to walk past a hole in the wall only to have something jump down out of it after they've past it. This gives the illusion that the enemy is trying to flank you. This also allows me more careful control over firefight set pieces. I can simply not spawn enemies that I'm supposed to see fighting until I'm close to them, otherwise, the fight may be over before the player even gets there.
     
  22. Sluggy

    Sluggy

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    I love these styles of games so I'll be watching this one for updates. Keep up the good work!

    One thing that kinda bothers me while watching the videos though. The camera is tilting at very unnatural angles that makes me feel like I'm hanging upside down from a helicopter or something - it's a little unnerving and disorienting. I see why you did it as it gives the player a greater field of view in the direction they are aiming but I can't help but feel that it might induce discomfort or even sickness in some players. Perhaps there is a way to keep the effect but leave the camera situated in a more upright position? Also, the videos are quite dark. Please consider boosting the light sources a little so we can see it better.

    *thumbs up*
     
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  23. Serinx

    Serinx

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    Looks like this is coming along nicely, looks like a lot of fun :) keep up the good work!

    One thing I'm not a fan of is the information next to the aiming reitcle being projected onto the ground.
    Could you have the heart, text and ammo face the camera at all times and keep it the same size/rotation?
    I understand that the size/rotation of the aiming reticle itself might be useful but having the information rotating and scaling makes it a bit distracting and hard to read.
     
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  24. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Hello! I appreciate the feedback.

    I've altered the way the camera rotates a little. I need it to be able to rotate so that I can look down a long hallway with a sniper rifle. I think that the issue may actually be the way in which it rotates, not it's overall rotation. I've noticed that when Mittens accelerates, the camera may swing wildly, and that is likely what you're seeing. I've greatly reduced this by adding an additional degree of freedom. It should be a smoother now.

    Sorry about the lighting. I hadn't really considered it for the video since I'm only lighting everything with a Sun light. I'm going to bake in light map once I texture the levels.

    Hmm... I've experimented with a bunch of ways of displaying ammo and health. I've moved the ammo counter to the bottom of the screen since I've found it's not necessary to be always in the player's vision. They can go to look at it in between fights but during fights, it just gets in the way. This is not true for the health monitor. Being able to respond to the health affects how you play so it has to be in the center of vision. I actually originally had done what you suggested, but the difference in how the cursor and text moved caused a lot of disorientation for me. I'll consider other ways to make it less confusing looking, especially when upside down.


    This is a video of a special type of level. There are 8 levels that are meant to be much much harder than everything else. If anyone has every played Super Mario World, you may remember that after the Special Star Road, there were more levels that were insanely hard. This is the idea, none of the levels like this will likely be seen by most players, and none of the tricks in them are required to beat the game.


    0:05 - We start with three pillars that you have to jump across. You have to jump as soon as you land to bunny hop, or else you can't make these jumps. The very last one will be the fastest bunny hop and you have to double jump at full speed to make it.
    0:12 - Here you're faced with a wall that you can't jump up. You have to do a grenade jump. I actually fail first because I jump too early. You have to time it correctly because the grenade can also kill you.
    0:17 - I actually make the grenade jump this time
    0:25 - You're faced with another grenade jump, this time with distance too. You have to do the grenade jumps well enough to do both without dying.
    0:28 - You have to wall jump back and forth to keep yourself high enough to get to the next part, the walls are just close enough together to achieve this
    0:36 - A tight catwalk (I may make it even tighter) that will eventually include some combat
    0:51 - Another set of three pillars, but spaced so that you have to press both directions. The last one is one foot wide and the next jump requires a double jump. I miss the jump the first try, but all of the obstacles have ways to go back and try again.
     
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  25. Sluggy

    Sluggy

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    Much improvement with the camera there!
     
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  26. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Thanks, I'm always looking to hone everything so that in the end it's perfect.


    Throughout the adventure, Mittens will come across some ancient technologies that can be selected and used at any time. Most work on a charging system, you can use them for a bit, then they have to recharge the ability slowly. If you use it while it's recharging, it'll still work, but only for as long as it's charged for.



    First, you'll get the bomb generator. I've shown this in most of the videos. You have up to five bombs that take about two seconds each to generate. They're both quite destructive to large groups of enemies and can be used to escape as enemies will try to jump away from them.

    Second, I show off the invisibility cloak. You can remain invisible only for about ten seconds, so with the limited time, you have to chose the right time to use it and move efficiently with it. In the video you see me sneak around two guys and assassinate them without firing the gun. Mittens is invisible to the enemies and only his eyes remain visible.

    As I go down the ramp, I activate the time manipulator. This creates a local field that alters the passage of time for anything inside of it. The field affects Mittens less than everything else, so he can move around them while they are trapped in slow motion. You need this in order to get through some areas that I've lined with turrets.

    Lastly, there is the most powerful weapon in the game, received only after reaching the game's true ending, which is at the end of a series of beyond brutal levels. The obliterator projects an energy wave outwards that latches onto and obliterates anything it touches. Most players won't get this item and it's mostly to help completionists go through the added challenge of finding everything without being burdened by having to fight enemies that they should now find easy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  27. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Recently I did a little bit of updating to the UI and actually coded the ammo counter. I also added a score and time system, which will be shut off by default I think. It'll be an obvious option in the main select if you want to speed run to play for points or just play the game. I'm also going to code a system that will remember your best time/score for each level. I'm hoping that this will increase replayability, I'm going to have an achievement system and there will be a par time and score for each level. The first pars will be very easy to get to encourage to continue to complete the achievements.

    Each enemy you kill increases your score by a set amount (most are 100, but there are a few tougher and weaker enemies that vary.). There is also a hidden scalar, which increases as you kill things and decreases over time. So killing things quickly will get you more points than going slowly.

    Along the bottom are the ammo counts for all of the weapons. It's not necessary to really keep track of your ammo on a moment-to-moment basis so it's not much an issue to be out of the way. Each color corresponds to a particular type of gun. Your Powerups counter is also down there.

    UI.png


    I've also done some work on the flamethrower. Now it doesn't only cause damage while the enemy is in the stream, but it also lights them on fire so that you can turn to someone else while they continue to burn. In some of the later levels where enemies throw fireballs, there are often raging fires all around you.


    Oh, and I also noticed that the videos earlier on did seem like they were swinging the camera a little wildly, so thanks again for pointing that out. It's actually not that noticeable while you play because your eyes follow the cursor, not the character so it feels more natural. Of course, I don't want streamers to make their viewers sick, so it's a good thing you noticed that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
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  28. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Here is a demonstration of the flamethrower. In this video, I'm actually showing a powerup up flamethrower called the plasma thrower. I'm also playing with it in a level that doesn't normally have this weapon against enemies that are much weaker than those you'd fight against normally, which is why they go down so quickly.

    This isn't something that I've been working on, it just happens to be in a level with an enemy that I'm working on. This is later in the game and past the twist in the story and I wanted to show the weapon off without spoiling the second half of the game.



    0:03 I use the flame-thrower as crowd clearing to kill a number of creatures all at once.
    0:08 I gather the health that they dropped
    0:11 I melee the first one to death, then roast the rest
    0:14 I accidentally light myself on fire
    0:22 You can see a Rat engulfed in flames, but still moving around
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  29. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    In the past couple of days I have been focusing on the many boss battles. There will be lots of bosses (two in each of the 8 worlds, plus an easy one in the tutorial.)

    It's an interesting learning process of figuring out the best type of architecture for the different kinds of weapons. I've built lots of pillars for combat against chain guns, and lots of low cover and ramps for fighting against enemies with rocket launchers. I've also gone back and altered some of the maps in order to better fit the type of combat I expect in the area based on this.

    I also upgraded the aim-assist slightly. Now instead of drawing the cursor towards where the enemy is, it draws it towards where it will be. I noticed that the aim-assist was actually working against me over long distances because it didn't account for bullet travel time. It now helps you lead shots.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  30. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I tend to do my development in big bursts where I write a lot of buggy code very quickly in order to get the concept out. I like this because I get to see systems working together before they are code-frozen and work on both bug fixing and polishing together. That's what I've been doing recently, which is why I haven't shown videos of new stuff, most of what I've done recently is just polish on stuff that I've already shown, but I'll probably show a boss battle soon.

    There were a few cases where the camera would get stuck. I've enhanced the AI of the camera slightly so that it's much harder to trap it somewhere. It'll both avoid places where it can get trapped as well as more intelligently get out of them.

    I've also started adding ambient sounds and cinematic tracks into the scenes thanks to SoundEffectsFactor's Creative Commons 0 license. I will add my own score as well with a keyboard and electric guitar, but this will act as a springboard to get that to where I want it. The musical tone I'm going for is sort of like if you mashed together Metallica and Pink Floyd. I have some fast intense metal for the boss music, but plan on using whining guitars ala David Gilmour for the sci-fi isolated mood. I've created a nice audio manager so that I can actually utilize multiple channels for ambiance and mix them on the fly.
     
  31. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I decided to handle the graphics of my tutorial level. It's the simplest level and I wanted to know how long it would take me, as well as learn some of the nuances of the light mapper and stuff that I hadn't used yet. I also plopped in a bunch of background audio in several of the levels and set up triggers to get them to crossfade with each other.

    I hit a few setbacks. For example, I didn't know I had to create a second non-overlapping UV map in order of the light mapping to work. I also had to slightly modify my normal map creating GIMP extension so that it worked better with organic textures like grass. Obviously, this is still rough, so you may notice some stretched textures and some triangles where the scale is a little off. I also used a 128x128 light map just so that it was fast to test with, obviously I'll bump it up to 1024 when I'm done.

    Screen Shot 2018-08-09 at 4.50.37 PM.png
     
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  32. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    So here is a play through of the Tutorial level. I hope this will give you all a good idea of what Mittens will look and sound like. No more grey walls and silence. Enjoy and lemme know how it looks and sounds!

    @CharisVik does it still look like it might get confusing now that it’s textured? I had the same concern as you and interested in your opinion.


    0:06 - This is what my hints look like. There will be a diagram in that empty box and it's missing the Press Enter to close button. This hint will show up only the first time that you play the game with a new character. (I'll probably make it so that you have to hit it a second time to trigger it.)
    0:12 - The first enemy you see doesn't have a gun and demonstrates jumping. The bridge is made out of rope to fit in the cat theme.
    0:30 - Here I force the player to do three jumps. The third jump can not be made unless you hold the jump button down, forcing the player to understand this.
    0:42 - You can start to hear the music very subtly here. It's actually been fading in since the beginning of the level and will continue to build.
    0:56 - I melee one of the attackers. I put these two here so that by the time you shoot one and turn on the other, it's close enough to you that you'll probably melee it by accident.
    1:03 - By sending the player over an area they've seen before, I try to drive home that this game will include a lot of verticality.
    1:06 - If you know that you can wall jump, you may notice the crevice on the left that goes all the way to the bottom. You can wall jump all the way up that and skip most of this level.
    1:16 - I put the player at a dead-end with a high cliff and tell them how to wall jump.
    1:22 - I entered a trigger box that's going to activate the boss music on top of the music that's already playing
    1:30 - That circle is one of those thrusters that allows Mittens to get up high, but it's off. It's only turned on in multiplayer and it allows quick travel back to where you started (it leads to the crevice that you can wall jump up.)
    1:50 - I run out of ammo. I expect most players to actually run out. The boss is a bullet sponge and meant to stay alive at least long enough for your allies to jump down and help you. They battle for a bit, then chase the creature away.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  33. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    This looks so cool that I had to share it before it was even done. I think I've shown this level before and pointed out how the architecture was cat-like. This is their village. It's a very open non-linear area where you explore several buildings looking for a series of switches. The buildings are all made out of cat building materials. Notice how the one on the left looks like a cat jungle gym, complete with carpeting all over and pillars made of scratching posts. The building to the right is made entirely out of cardboard boxes stacked on each other.

    Screen Shot 2018-08-11 at 3.51.07 PM.png
     
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  34. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Some more before and after texturing / lighting. I've shown this area before, and it no longer feels boxy and dull but more like an ancient mysterious structure.

    Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 3.35.59 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 2.39.10 PM.png
     
  35. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Here is a playthrough of the fifth level "Catwalks," which I've shown before. I know I keep showing the same levels, but I don't want to show all of the early ones, and I'm not able to show anything after 2/3 of the way through the game without revealing the plot twist.

    I think with the textures it feels way more like an ancient derelict structure.



    0:01 - You see the exit teleport directly above you when you start
    0:05 - The first Rat decides to throw a bomb at me
    0:15 - The orange Rat has a shotgun, so I want to get that
    0:38 - I wall jump around to keep form being hit and shot off Mittens' agility
    1:03 - I don't want to wake up the shotgunners, so I wall jump to get high enough to shoot the explosive barrels behind them
    1:11 - I flip a switch that activates a bridge elsewhere in the level
    1:20 - This enemy has not noticed me, so I backslap it instead of shooting it
    1:25 - I toss a bomb down on an enemy and gib it
    1:36 - This enemy has surrendered, so I don't kill it
    1:45 - I do a double jump in order to get across the gap
    2:11 - I flip a switch that turns on another light bright, allowing me to pass
    2:24 - The barrels chain react with each other
    2:45 - You get to see an enemy blow up up close, it's head actually rolls off the edge
    3:22 - Chaingunner tears me up
    4:40 - I pass over the exit teleporter to activate a secret switch
    5:15 - I use the jumpers that I activated to get to the top of the level. These jumpers are always active in multiplayer mode.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  36. salfingerandrew

    salfingerandrew

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    Love the level design and sound design!!! great job the game looks amazing!!!!!
     
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  37. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Since I had textured this level, I decided to also polish it. This way I knew what I would need to do with the rest of the levels and keep it in mind as I build them. I learned a lot about how to build things so that it's easy to alter. In the video and picture that I showed, there was a baked light map, but it was just a bunch of point lights that I placed around to give myself and idea. Last night and tonight, I actually placed real lights and baked it. Check out the lines of holograms and hi-tech lights.

    (The prisms are enemy spawns, so ignore them.)
    Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 9.21.59 PM.png

    Demo Proposal

    I've decided to package an alpha so that I'm sure that all of the fundamentals are polished and perfect before I continue building the rest of the levels. I'm no where near ready to do so, I figure maybe about two months of polish has to go into it, then I'll probably sit on it for a week testing it repeatedly.

    I'll include five levels of the campaign, all of which take place in different areas. The first is outdoors, followed by a Cat village, then storming a temple with a tank, into the ancient structure shown above, then end up in a Rat maze.

    I'll also include multiplayer, both co-op and several verses modes. This will be limited to LAN, but I might include split screen. I've been looking into it's feasibility. I expect to be able to support both keyboard and Xbox controller for this demo.

    This might be a OSX-only release, I have a Windows PC, but I'll have to see if it migrates nicely or not. I'll try my best to create a Windows version too.
     
  38. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I've been considering taking the online co-op campaign out in favor of splitscreen. I've optimized the hell out of the AI pipeline and it's way over the bandwidth requirements because part of the game is flooded with enemies and there is no way to keep them all controlled and in sync. It wasn't a total loss as I optimized everything to use bitmasks and condense player rpcs as well. I haven't built any splitscreen code yet, but I know how to do it so it should take less than a day.

    The verses modes will all be online though, that's optimized nicely too and has never caused a problem, even over a VPN across the country. I'm working hard on polishing everything so that I can release a demo. There are tons of bugs that I've kept pushing back because they're little and don't interfere with overall development. I'm focusing an these right now.

    I'm also polishing up the tank and ATV. These are the only vehicles that will be included in the demo, but it should make for some fun multiplayer.

    This weekend I plan on adding support for the XBox One controller. I need this in order to test the splitscreen. The controls will be similar to most 3rd person games, left thumbstick controls the players movement and right controls the cursor. Triggers fire weapons and I'm trying a number of button combinations to nail down a default. Of course these will all be customizable. I'm hoping it plays well, I may have to ramp up the aim-assist for controllers, but I'll see.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  39. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    So I've been working hard on polishing the levels that I plan on building as an alpha. I figure that I have to include at least one vehicle, so of course, it has to be the most powerful. I made a better model and textured it as well as gave it some sound.

    In multiplayer, this level will have ATVs as well, which move much faster, but aren't as powerful.

     
  40. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I always show these levels slowly to order to show them off. The levels are meant to have multiple paths through them if you are clever and use all of your tools. This is important to me both because the levels double as multiplayer arenas, but so that there is deplayability.

    You'll also notice that the lighting looks even better. Through most of development I just had big point lights that lit up everything as a rough idea, but I've since modeled out physical lights and baked them.

    I also sent a video to my brother who knows a lot more about sound than I and he suggested I research side chaining, so I implemented that. It's very subtle, but it makes a huge difference in how the gunfights sound. The music kind of backs off when the player is shooting. I also added different ways I can crossfade.



    0:07 - I know this guy has a shotgun, so I want to get that first
    0:20 - I kill two attackers with melee shots in close quarters
    0:26 - I start bunny hopping for more speed
    0:30 - A Rat throws a bomb at me and ends up hurting himself
    0:46 - I use a grenade jump to get to the ledge above
    0:54 - I jump across the top and kill the Rat with the Assault Rifle
    1:25 - I'm outnumber and outgunned so I blow up the nearby barrels to kill them all
    1:36 - I use another grenade jump so that I don't have to go all the way around
    2:00 - This corner is meant to be tough, lots of enemies, but that also means lots of health drops
    2:12 - The reddish tint tells me my health is under 10%, so I toss a bomb and retreat
    2:52 - I pass over the exit to go hit the third switch, notice that I could have gotten to the end without hitting any of them
    Final score - 8265
     
  41. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    The camera in this game is very dynamic. It reacts to Mittens by tilting, zooming, and moving and I noticed that sometimes I'd put my cursor right on an enemy and the camera would react in such a way that it'd Lerp it's way off of the enemy. Obviously, this kills the feeling of control, so I added a flag so that when the cursor is directly over an enemy, the camera locks itself in place, rotation, and zoom relative to Mittens, then Lerps back. It's made a huge improvement in gameplay.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  42. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    Today I added another important feature for the demo that I plan on releasing. I did a proof-of-concept of using an Xbox controller. I will add PS4 controllers as well, but I wanted to make sure the style of gameplay was even compatible with a controller scheme. It played fairly well, with the finer control of a thumbstick, Mittens moved around great and I was surprised at how easy I found aiming. The aim assist that I programmed in was a big help, but I still have some work to do. The acceleration isn't terribly smooth, but it wasn't with the mouse at first either, I can fine-tune it.
     
  43. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    All four levels for the demo are completed and textures for their campaigns. I’m adding the multiplier spawns soon but right now I’m focusing on fixing various bugs in the code. The split screen campaign mode is falling together. I’d written the player and camera code assuming there would only be one of each so I’m refactoring them to work better.
     
  44. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I’ve been working on translating my scenes from starting from the editor with one player to having a persistent state with many players.

    I’m also modeling the level select overworld, which in itself should be a little bit of adventure. There are several items visible on the overworld map that you’ll need power ups from the levels to get. Then when you select it’ll load seamlessly into the level and back again.
     
  45. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    New Video!

    So I stitched together the overworld and I can now go into whatever level I please and get send back to the overworld if I die or beat the level. This now allows me to test the demo as a whole. I've also added spawns for some of the more powerful weapons, which in the full game will be moved to later in, but I wanted to include in the demo. Since there is no regenerating health, it is meant that players will reenter easy levels with overpowered weapons to farm health and ammo.

    Here I return to a difficult level after picking up the grenade launching shotgun powerup, rocket launcher, flamethrower, and sniper rifle.

    Technical stuff you might notice is that I've put even more control on the camera, when the crosshairs is over an enemy, it will not pan, tilt, or zoom, giving you more control over where you shoot. You'll notice that the music is more reactive to the player and softens during combat and ramps up to fill down time. The ammo display now makes the active weapon's ammo bigger (in this video there is a bug where two displays seem to be overlaid.)



    0:01 - I start out with the shotgun, which has been upgraded to fire explosive rounds, watch the bodies fly!
    0:13 - The large group of enemies on the ground is no match for my rockets.
    0:25 - Switch back to shotgun to kill the enemies crawling out of the holes, paint the floor with blood!
    0:40 - Heading into close quarters, let's light them up with a flamethrower!
    0:58 - Awkward angle, better to just toss a bomb up there.
    1:10 - Got a good view, let's switch to the sniper rifle and clear out the path ahead.
    1:45 - I fall down and am hit by the shotgunner, better get some distance and snipe it.
    2:37 - I always gotta gib this guy with a bomb, he never sees it coming.
    2:45 - Normally a difficult section, but rockets blasts and showers of health are so satisfying!
    3:13 - Did you see that shotgunner sneak up on me? Lucky I had my sniper rifle equipped.
    3:16 - Man, those chain gunners are tough and hit hard... BOOM! Headshot!
    3:22 - Gimme that assault rifle, but let's punch this guy out for the hell of it.
    3:28 - You hiding from me you little beast? Have a bullet spray.
    3:40 - Whoa, you snuck up on me, eat my fully auto!
    3:50 - Dark hallway... need flamethrower.
    4:12 - Ahh!!! I lit myself on fire on the burning corpse.
    4:20 - Oh look, they're sitting waiting for a rocket to drop on them
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  46. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I was play testing it with a controller on my tv and my puppy was attracted to the meow noise Mittens makes whenever he jumps.

    A4EF1775-BB15-4884-8879-BCB2998B5D0D.jpeg
     
  47. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I had to rework some of the vehicle code today to work with the new Xbox controller. With a keyboard/mouse, the vehicle will follow your mouse cursor and accelerate and brake with forwards and back, but on a controller that felt all wrong so I gave it regular controls where the joystick controls the motion of the vehicle and I have a reverse button.

    I also wrote some code for trigger boxes where the vehicle is supposed to jump. Using the physics engine is too much so I just added a small force at the top of each jump to make it feel right.

     
  48. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I'm currently in the middle of a brief interlude between jobs, so I've been putting a lot of time into my game, really sprucing it up to be able to release an exciting demo. I'm putting in a good number of hours because my new job will take my time away for a bit.

    Today, I scattered all of the weapons other than the biggest throughout the six levels that will be included.

    These are the weapons I plan on including in the demo, attachments will compound so if you pick up both, you'll get both at once:
    Pistol - standard sidearm, accurate, but weak
    Phaser attachement - makes bullets more powerful and shoot through walls
    Silencer attachment - makes the weapon not alert nearby enemies and creates a three bullets
    Shotgun - a spread of powerful shots, fairly good range though, not like most video game shotguns
    Double barrel attachment - three times the bullet spray, more power
    Shotgrenade attachment - rounds explode on impact
    Assault rifle - Fully automatic weapon with a wide spray
    Left chain attachment - Increases the rate of fire and damage of bullets
    Right chain attachment - Increases the rate of fire and damage of bullets
    Sniper rifle - High power accurate weapon with wide FOV
    Railgun attachment - increases power and bullet speed
    Sniper phaser attachment - allows bullets to pass through walls
    Flamethrower - Intense close quarters weapon, but easy to burn yourself
    Afterburner attachment - increases temperature and thus damage, also range
    Plasma baller - turns fire into three bouncing balls that explode on impact
    Missile Pod - Fires explosive rockets
    Quad Rockets - Chamber four rockets at once for rapid fire
    Homing missiles - You can steer the missiles after they've been launched
    I plan on having a play tester or two go through it and see how which of these weapons they end up with because I give you some of the basic ones and even an upgrade or two just laying around, but most of the upgrades are hidden away.

    You'll also get the following powerups throughout the journey if you can find everything:
    Double jump - You'll get it after your first boss fight in the third level, allows you to reach more stuff
    Bomb Generator - Gives you infinite grenades, and you'll get it part of the way through the fourth level
    Time Dilation - Allows you to manipulate the passage of time and it's at the end of the main five levels
    Invisibility - Makes you invisible (except for your eyes) and it's at the end of a special hidden level

    I've also finalized the vehicle set for the demo, it's only going to be two because there is only one level that's wide open. They both exist in the campaign, but the tank is the focus, though for multiplayer, those vehicles are important for some game types.
    Scurrier - A Rat tank. It's slow but takes a lot of damage and has a mortar which fires explosives
    ATV - A fast four wheeler with a machine gun mounted on it. Heavy enough to run down some rats, but doesn't offer much cover.
     
  49. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    As I've been playing through the game multiple times, I've been altering the weapons slightly as I find how they fit into their niches. I've noticed that once I got the shotgun and other weapons, I never used the pistol again, unless I had the phaser attachment. Then I started using the phaser more and more to kill enemies that are otherwise impossible due to weird angles, and it was next to impossible to kill enemies on a perch above you without it. The ability to fire through walls means I kept going back to it and actually used the pistol. Because of this, I've move the phaser powerup way earlier into the game, so that the intended way to play is to fall back on the pistol in situations like that.

    Here you see me futilely shooting an enemies above me. Without the phaser, I'd have to jump up there and risk being shoot apart, but after I grab the phaser powerup, they are within my sights. This solves the problem I was having about how to help the player deal with enemies above them before I give them the ability to throw bombs.



    I also solved a problem that I was having where a horde of AIs all trying to get me in a corner could push me through a wall. Now they just knock up up a little bit. Instead of solving that particular problem with the AI, I programmed a general purpose solution, so it should now not be possible to clip the player through a wall no matter what. I've been blasting myself with rockets and having the biggest enemies push me around with god-mode on and I haven't fell through yet where before it happened literally once or twice a play through.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
    GarBenjamin likes this.
  50. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner

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    I animated the intro cutscene today. I already had some of it done, but I've now implemented the story. I also recorded some of the voice acting today that help drive the story along. I've also polished the code a bit, I ran the profiler over my scenes and found a few bottlenecks. I was getting frame drops into the 20s, so I fixed the code and got the FPS back up to 80 on my meager MacBook, so it's running quite smoothly.

    Cutscenes are a combination of Unity’s animator, script, and AI.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018