Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Week 6 Day 2 - Character Movement, Cone Push and Alpha 2 Prep

On Saturday, we had our first test, Alpha 1.  We had 10 players participating (Big thanks to all of you!), and got a lot of great information out of it.  Also the post-play questionnaires brought up some good points.  A few we already were aware of, in particular:
  • Players couldn't be pushed if they moved
  • Over the head viewpoint tends to cause pushes to be down into the platforms, and not be as useful
  • Jump counter could be reset by any kind of contact with objects, not just your feet hitting the ground
We also had a server disconnect during the second game, and all clients thought they were still in the game.  Right now we are relying on Unity to call the correct functions when this disconnect happens.  Obviously that isn't enough, so we are considering inserting our own pinging method.  The idea would involve each client pinging the server for a connection, and if they didn't receive a response within a second or two, to automatically disconnect themselves.
We already completed a couple of things on our list of tasks for Alpha 2:
  • Characters can now be pushed while moving
    • We are moving the rigidbodies of players in a new way, which has a new issue in that their velocities are not effected by it, however pushes work as expected now.
    • This new method also feels much smoother than changing the velocity
  • The chatbox in the lobby and game was broken during the test, and has been repaired
    • We forgot to update how we are sending players now, since that update in the last week before the test
  • Duplicate names now have a number appended to them, which increments until it finds an open possible name
We've started the list for Alpha 2 goals, which will undoubtedly be modified in the coming days:
  • Design abilities
  • Implement abilites (Why is this one item?!)
  • Game Lobby Character Creation
  • HUD
  • Handle Server Disconnect
  • Respawning at game end
  • Follow camera while respawning
    • This is optional really, we are debating whether we even want this, as an overhead camera is fine
  • Hit detection
  • Proper scoring for players and not just teams
  • More thorough testing on mouse input
    • One of the testers reported issues when looking down while turning
  • Try aiming camera from the side of the player, rather than from the top
    • pushes will be generally aimed downward with the top camera, making the pushes less effective
  • Characters currently lerp to their respawn location from where they hit the boundary, they should simply be teleported
The plan is to hit a few of these odds and ends issues from the test for the remainder of the week, while also beginning to draw out what all the abilities are going to be.  We hope to have a ready list of abilities by next week.  The 2 weeks after that will be spend implementing as many abilities as possible.  The remaining 2 weeks will be spend cleaning up the other systems before the Alpha 2 test.

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