Back Up at Bat

Welcome back loyal readers to another issue of my incredibly engaging senior development blog! You’ll find that as my sanity slowly begins to slip away, I also become more modest. Anyways, to make up for the incredibly short post that I made when you all last joined me, I’ve got a much beefier post filled to the brim with updates for you all. So grab some popcorn, sit down, strap in and enjoy the show.

First of all, if you haven’t inferred as much from my title, we’ll be challenging again tomorrow (the 24th)! This time, we’re challenging to move out of the Deep Dive phase and into the Proof of Concept phase, and that’s extremely good for us but not just because we’re moving forward. No, just being in the Proof of Concept phase means that we can petition the instructors to present our game on the 21st of next month, the day before the dreaded team cuts. Sure, it’s not a guarantee that they’ll let us present since we do still have to ask (unless we make it through Proof of Concept), but if you don’t present your game on the 21st, then your team will be cut the next day, it’s as simple as that. The best part is that we’re absolutely prepared for this challenge, and though it may sound a bit cocky, I’m almost guaranteeing that my team can pass on our first try, just like last time! We’ve all worked ourselves to the bone to get the game to the point that it’s at now and we’re all absolutely proud of what we’ve created.

Now on to the fun stuff, though, the updates! We’ve done a whole hell of a lot since you all last joined me here and I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to tell you about it. We’ll start simple, with one of my now infamous bulleted lists:

  • First of all, we’ve taken the game to 2 different QA sessions, but this time they were formal and in the labs.
    • Instead of getting just 4 testers, we got a total of 40 between the two tests, receiving a ton of amazing feedback along the way.
  • We’ve added 3 different enemy animations into the game, with more already made and ready to be implemented.
  • We changed the color of the level from red to blue, added more fog and added a moon and stars.
  • We revamped the bridges and the platforms, changing the bridges to varying lengths and changing the platforms from circular to square.
  • We improved the combat system in a few different ways:
    • We added a knockback to the shield as well as the ability to block enemy attacks with it.
    • We improved the enemy management system with staggered spawns and a new enemy walk animation that made them a bit slower and a lot more manageable.
    • The enemies now have attack animations and attack the crystals and the player if they are close enough.
  • We’ve added VO and several different sound effects to the game, giving us a proven audio pipeline.
  • We’ve completely overhauled the teleportation system:
    • We added the ability to teleport to any platform you’re pointing at in one of the 4 cardinal directions.
      • This has a 30° margin of error on both sides of the desired platform.
      • We added a rune system to replace the old arrows. Specific runes float above each platform to better tell the player where they’re teleporting to and where they’re at when they do.
      • We added an audio cue to the teleportation system as well.
  • We’ve added a green tint and glow to the enemies to make them easier to see further down the lanes.
  • We added a particle system and sound effect that play whenever an enemy spawns to let the player know that more enemies are inbound.

That’s a lot of stuff, huh? Well all of that stuff was incredibly demanding and tedious but we loved every second of it and it all brought us one step closer to our goal of making it through the team cuts. I’m not done just yet, though! This time, I’ve got a little something special for my readers: a short gameplay video! It shoes off basically everything that I’ve covered in my blog post this time around! Check it out below. Enjoy and thanks for reading! Check back for weekly updates on your favorite game, Sword of the Sorcerer!

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