Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 16 Day 1 - What we did, and what we didn't - Beta 1

We just realized that it's been about 3 weeks since our last update (below the goal of at least 1 post per week).  Break was a bit less productive than we had hoped, partly due to other obligations, and partly due to the difficulty of models/animations with the player characters.  We were unable to finish any more abilities.

We've made quite a bit of headway recently, and also uncovered more issues we didn't realize we had.  The problems that are solved are crossed out below.

Issues we knew about:
  • Disconnecting from an unresponsive server takes too long
  • HUD will occasionally crash while respawning
  • Tab-score menu does not get drawn with consistency every frame
  • Gravity Toggle stops the player's momentum from their own movement (but not momentum from pushes and other abilities)
  • Slam ability (called Gravity Increase during alpha 2) does not properly throw surrounding players into the air
  • Blink ability requires that a player be standing completely still to activate
  • Detecting when a player is grounded is still inaccurate.
  • Players will on rare occasions be granted an extra jump when they leave the ground (because the game thinks they are still on the ground)
  • Players will appear to not be on the ground when going down small inclines 
  • Players can select resolutions from the Unity Game Menu that do not work with our interface
  • This options should really be moved to the settings menu 
  • There is no tooltip for what all of the abilities on the Game Lobby actually do.  Players are currently selecting abilities at random based on their names
  • Players can't edit their options from the game lobby

  • Issues we found out about:
    • When a client gets a kill it doesn't always get counted
    • Ground Slam will sometimes pop the caster into the air
    • Area push should really be a sphere, rather than circle around the player
    • HUD will have similar not-getting-drawn issues as the Tab-score
    We were able to get a model and some basic animations in for players over break, however this took longer than expected, slowing progress on other aspects of the game.  We have a different walking animation for forward, backward, and strafing left and right.  There is also a single animation frame that is active while players are in the air.  There are almost no options for free animations, and we had to get some raw motion-capture data off the unity store for free, and make our own animations from the motion capture data.  You can see the blend of movement animations below:

    Along the right side of the screeen, you can see the breakdown of where Unity will blend our animations.  Our individual animations can be partially blended together by unity automatically, we simply have to feed in values for the x/y of the 2D blend.  I set the red dot for the current mix of values at the top in the matrix, displaying the forward animation in the lower right.  In the center of the screen, you can see the entire blend tree with all of the attached animations, and sliders for the variables the blend is based on.

    Player Weight
    We also added weight to the players.  This currently is only effecting the movement speed of the players.  We will need to do some serious tweaking to the values to get weight to properly effect abilities in the expected manner.

    Effect Handler
    We are starting to realize that there are a large number of abilities and other things that are starting to effect certain stats on each player, like their movement speed, and their weight.  We are thinking of implementing an Effect Handler for each character, that would handle how long these effects last and ensuring they are properly organized and removed.

    Preparations for Beta 1
    In the final week before the Beta 1 test, we hope to add another ability or two, see if the weight can effect more than just the movement speed of players, and try to eliminate more items from the bug list from the top of this post.

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