Capstone Blog #10

Week 10: The Game is Amazing Now

Motivated by the progress made last week (and the impending deadline), I decided to try even harder this week, and I got so much done. It feels like the team as a whole managed to get 2 or 3 weeks of work done in just one week, the vertical slice is almost complete, and I think it’ll come together before this Saturday. The week started with me spending a lot of time on a re-designed level, and Nick R. completing his work on the inverse kinematics, so we had the spider roller-skating around a new level with its feet tracking the ground by Friday. I thought this was just the coolest thing yet, so I put together the crawling animation system that night. It was to be Nick’s job, but I was inspired, and he said he was fine with me tackling the problem. I’m quite proud of how it turned out, it was a real collaboration between Sean, Nick R. and myself:

Our QA build on Saturday was quite successful, with the new level being a lot more interesting for people to play through, and highlighting a few changes I ought to make to certain areas to make it less confusing for players to figure out where to go. I didn’t finish the third room I’d wanted to build, but I think the two that are in there now demonstrate the game well enough that if I don’t have time to finish a third, it’ll work well enough with the two.

Finally, for the last three days, I’ve been working on the boss battle. Sean finished modeling the boss, and adding most of the animations we’ll need, so I’ve spent a lot of time getting his stuff to work in-game and putting together the boss’ attacks and behaviors. Nick R. created a system to organize AI behaviors, but it’s a little more complex than I had time to learn this week, so we’re building the boss without it for now. I know it’ll be extremely valuable later on though, because our enemies behavior logic is a little disorganized, so Nick’s system will be a big help. I spent more time than was really necessary on sound and visual effects for the boss, but seeing how excited Sean was to see his creation moving and interacting with the player. As seen in the first picture in this week’s post, the boss has big intimidating eye lights, and makes angry robotic growl sounds before it sends a barrage of lasers at the player. It’s awesome!!

Next week is the week I go to MIGS, so I’ll only have up until Saturday to work on the game, but I think the team will be able to have the vertical slice done–minus some polish–by Saturday, especially if I can keep up this week’s pace until then. I’m feeling pretty confident my team will go forward at this point; I think the game is a lot of fun to play, and I think what we’ll have will demonstrate potential beyond what we’ve made so far. I just hope our presentation goes smoothly. Presenting in front of a large group has never been inside my comfort zone, but I’m excited enough about this game that I think it’ll be fun showing it off to so many people.

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