- October 13th, 2013
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Special thanks from the guys at Klink… <3
Special thanks from the guys at Klink… <3
It’s a good one!
One of the things I’ve wanted to focus on has always been music and sfx. After chatting with a mate during the EBExpo I think I’ve decided how to proceed with the audio for SMM.
Most of the time I use third party audio or create my own simple loops. This time it would be nice to have more of a dynamic audio system built early on in the project.
I’d like the style to be very retro but not necessarily exclusively so. After discovering unity’s support for MOD files I’m very tempted to try and use this system. My only problem here is generating the music. I don’t have much experience with the tools. (In general my music making skills are pretty low) This would be a good chance to learn.
I don’t even know where it will end up… which is sort of the best thing about it. Create as many cool things as I can and try and make them loop and play at the right time…. what can go wrong with that? Dynamic song generation. Perhaps I can group up all commonly themed loops and randomly arrange them?
Firstly, if you’d like to grab the build of Super Mega Mega that was playable at EBExpo .. go here
Once again it’s been a little while since the last post. I spoke about deciding to focus on the random level generation … which I have now switched to completely disregard and push forward with a more hand crafted approach.
The main problem here is ‘multi-plane’ nature of the levels. It just makes it too hard to get any sort of interesting gameplay when the level is random. Even when using the Spelunky style with hand made segments arranged randomly.
So anyway, I had a exhibition booth for Super Mega Mega at the EBExpo for 3 days. Man it was a long time. I spent most of the time by myself with a little help from the Rizzle (Cheers dude!) and RyanB which helped me stay sane with a couple of breaks to eat and walk around the halls.
What did I learn/achieve from the event? Well at first I was a bit dubious at whether it was worth attending. This opinion didn’t change during the first few hours… there were a lot of very young kids. Totally not the audience for either the Rift or SuperMegaMega. But they still seemed to love it and soon there were more varied ages arriving. I can only remember about 2 time during the whole 3 days (about 35 hours of actual show time) that there wasn’t someone playing the game…… that’s a lot of people.
The hardest thing was extracting a meaningful play test from someone who is trying the Oculus Rift for the first time. Most people are overwhelmed and struggle to learn even the most basic platforming mechanics. There were a few people that really ‘got’ the game almost instantly and destroyed all the levels with ease. That was really encouraging. It also helped me cemented the games focus going forward.
So overall… Awesome event and met some great people. Now to use the feedback to finish off the game design and then get to work on development. If we’re going to release near the Rift’s consumer version then we’ll have to get a move on!
Here’s a couple of photos taken… should have taken more but forgot…
Starting a content pass…. need lots of enemies and weapons
Also need better lighting…. soon!
The word of the day is Random.
This is what the levels are going to be in Super Mega Mega.
The initial intention was to create hand crafted levels with a story flowing through them. Instead now it’s going to be a randomly generated cylindrical level and story elements will be woven into the game play without directly controlling the flow.
A couple of games out there are already doing the randomly generated level thing… (not just a couple… lots) so it’s not an unsolved problem. I don’t see there being too many problems…… but I’ve been wrong before.
The first thing to do is adapt the current level editor structures to allow me to create the smaller level building blocks to use in the generator. I think this is the way Spelunky handles the problem and it should be a good fit.
I haven’t decided on the blocks/level dimensions yet. It’s a bit hard to decide until I’ve tried it out a bit. The nature of the 360 degree levels means my first try might not work at all. It’s just a matter of giving it a go. Time to code up the system and plug some numbers in with some test data and see if it makes a decent level.
Needed to make a better logo so here’s a new revision: I haven’t decided if it’s the final yet.
Not much time at the moment but here are a couple of videos..
Using head tracking for shooting is going to be especially fun… just need a few more interesting enemy types.
I took a little development break this past couple of weeks, mainly to prepare for the birth of my new kid (it’s a boy yay)… but I’ve had some time to start getting back into some work…
- One of the problems I noticed when using ray casts for the “Is the player looking at something?” test seems to be it’s high accuracy. Most of the time the player is not actually looking directly at their desired target and it’s not obvious why the it isn’t being highlighted or it can be frustrating moving the head around to try get the exact positioning.
I’m trying to ditch the ray casting and use the Unity trigger system to filter out the objects that enter/exit/stay in players view. First tests say it will work well. The technical parts work fine this way (so did ray casting) … but now there’s more room for a fudge factor to play with. Previously I would have had to cast a bunch more rays to try and get a better indication of what the player could possibly be looking at. I won’t know for sure until I get some more play testing done.
- A quick improvement for the demo is to make the player character visible when behind blocks….. adding this will greatly improve the playability in a few of the parts of the game. It will also mean I don’t have to worry about hiding the player as much. Could also maybe use it for enemies and things.. dont know yet.
- The game still needs more VR specific game mechanics. I’m experimenting with a few different things still. I’ll have to add them in for the next play test for sure.
I recorded a video of the build I used at PAX … and here’s a link if you want to try it
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