Week twelve updates:
This week we’ve been continuing development, full steam ahead.
Our artist and UI/UX designer have been focused on clarifying the visual information that is being conveyed to players. Thus, we have toned down the moving textures on the ramps (which were drawing the eye a bit too much), as well as the electric trail particle effects, so that we can free up some visual space to convey important game information to players. Continuing on this improvement, environmental objects that can boost you upwards (fans, ramps) now share the same blue color so players can easily tell how to engage with the environment.
In addition to this, we have implemented a minimap to give players more information on their location in the arena. Each player has an icon of a unique shape denoting their team, and unique color denoting their specific icon. This color and shape correspond to their individual resource UI, which have replaced the energy number display in order to make the information more easily readable.
Our programmer has been working on improving both camera and controls – we’ve decided that we need to pick a scheme and stick with it, as long as we allow players to learn how to interact with the game easily, through consistency of control mapping. Camera has also been improved; ball cam now pans to and from the player/ball instead of cutting, in order to provide more spatial context for the player.
The arena has also evolved since last week, reducing the number of fans and adding platforms for defenders to take advantage of next to the goals. This has stemmed from thinking about how players will get from one side to the other with more intentionality.
We’ve also added some features to the arena this week. The aforementioned platforms are now one-way, meaning that players will no longer get stopped from boosting upwards when they run into the bottom of them. In addition to this, we have been experimenting with team-specific fans directly below the goals and fans on the walls to allow for more interesting traversal to the goals.
In thinking about these additions and how they influence competition in our game, we have also been discussing how much our game feels like an arcade experience, vs a simple fun experience. We’ve been looking at some of the differences between the depth and engagement of precedents like NBA Jam and Rocket League, seeking to push our game closer towards one or the other.
This upcoming week, we are going to continue development, solidifying the control scheme, clarifying the animation visuals (making glide/dive more clear), and adding in more polished SFX.