Condors: Week Fourteen

Week fourteen updates:

This week we have been mainly focusing on tweaking things since our playtesting day in week 13. We haven’t planned to do a playtesting session at the end of this week in order to hunker down and finalize the game. We’ve also decided on a name for the game: “BZZAP!” inspired by the two stage sound effect that happens when players lock on to and attack other players.

Soft opening went well for us. The major questions we got from faculty were with regards to aspects of the game we were already thinking about – the question of defense still remains, as well as tweaks to the visual balance of the game.

This week from a design standpoint, we have worked on the finer details of how players move through the environment. Our week 13 iteration with halfcourt walls worked fairly well at funneling players towards the center of the court and giving them more opportunity for strategic play around the arena. However, we feel like it’s too easy to get stuck in corners, and have decided to open them up along the edge of the arena.

In addition to physically opening up the space, we’ve decided to change out the textures of the walls to make them transparent. This was a consistent problem players were running into, where they’d be facing a wall and unsure of their position since the walls were untextured (didn’t show movement), or had necessary information for the players on the other side.

Updated Wall Textures Courtesy of Healthy Moeung

In addition to this, we’ve decided to experiment with adding boost strips on the ground along those opened up sections, to allow for greater ground mobility.

With regards to defense, we’ve been experimenting with different ideas to restrict movement and make gameplay more strategic. These include:

  • Removing lock on boost towards the hoops.
  • Allowing players to change target that they’re locked on to.
  • Slowing down the player who has possession of the charge.
  • Prohibiting scoring from under the hoop.
  • A shot clock to encourage passing the charge more.
  • Slowing the speed of the charge when passing to allow for interception.

We will be testing these internally at the end of the week to see what works best for us.

From a UI/UX standpoint, we’ve also done some work on the main menu to match the rest of the game more thematically and allow for functionality that we want to implement regarding tutorials/controls, and the ability to exit out of the game.

So in addition to contextualizing the arena via a zoom into the computer upon hitting “Start,” players will have the option to learn more about the game before they dive in.

Finally, this week, we have decided to begin working on a tutorial video. One consistent problem we’ve been facing is that it usually takes a while for players to learn the controls and mechanics of our game. Typically it takes one playthrough for people to fully understand how to play – and we believe that adding a short introductory video (similar to the controls videos in Smash Bros.) would help us cut down on that time and get to the meat of the gameplay quicker.

Moving into next week, we plan to put finishing touches on our build for the ETC’s Open House, as well as wrap up our documentation for final presentations.