Thursday, November 21, 2013

Arc Dev Diary 11/21/2013 - New Terminals & Armory


Today I started with cleanup and final touches on our ready room.  I wasn’t happy with how the field of view was distorting the consoles on the ends and that you couldn’t see the keyboards.  So I did a quick redesign on them.

I then did more light baking and texture touch up.

After finishing the room, I had to duplicate the scene and switch the lighting and materials for OUYA, which is much simpler than it sounds.  We are working on two versions of the game right now, PC and OUYA.  This pic is from the OUYA version.

After that, I did a lengthy skype call with zach to figure out Armory stuff.  This was the funnest part of my day because we got to go in and test weapons and utilities.  I got a kick out of playing our platform level with tweaks to our jetpack and speed boost utilities.  Zach will explain that stuff in his post. This is the stamp from that call, as you can see we hammered it out for a couple hours. 


Today was spent working on the Armory.  The Armory is where players purchase and upgrade Weapons and Utility items.  Much of my time was spent on HUD presentation, highlighting equipped items and changing helper text to indicate what actions can be performed.

This is the kind of work that is a no-brainer on say Android or iOS where you have list adapters to work with.  But it’s more or less a nightmare in a game engine when you’re rolling your own implementation.

Part of what makes this crazy is that I originally decided that all of my UI screens were going to be cross-platform and input device aware.  That means that every HUD can potentially have 4 different layers:
  1. PC
  2. PC w/gamepad
  3. OUYA
  4. Mobile

The project has 27 cross-platform HUDs… I’ve created a monster :o
So, because I’m taking screenshots on the PC and don’t have my gamepad turned on, it shows the PC HUD which uses on-screen buttons and keyboard input.

Whereas with gamepad turned on I get the Xbox button labels.  As you can imagine, if I’m on OUYA, I get the OUYA button art instead.

One of the most time consuming tasks today was the joint task of defining data for our item upgrades.  This isn’t something we’ve really explained yet.  Here’s how upgrades work.

Upgrade System
  • Every time you level, you gain 1 upgrade crystal
  • Upgrade crystals can be placed in weapons and utility items to increase their potency
  • Each item can be upgraded twice (it starts at level 1)
  • Level 2 upgrade costs 1 crystal
  • Level 3 upgrade costs 4 crystals

We went through all of the finished items and set the stats for the upgrades.  It took 2 hours to come up with these values.  This involved a bunch of number fiddling and some pretty hilarious episodes where, for instance, the marine’s run speed  was set faster than his projectiles :)

Defining data is actually really hard!  Now we just have to plug it in :)