disk_concepts_iterations

Dev Diary: General Concept

Turns out there’s a lot of ways to draw a Gyrodisc.  This week: concept art, decisive AI and combos!


gloves_all

This week has seen a sizeable body of concept art produced. We’ve been thrashing out ideas regarding stadiums, characters, Gyrodisc equipment as well as the Gyrodisc itself.


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We’ve also been spending some time developing our art pipeline. All our characters now use variations of the generic model seen last week and the disc model has been replaced with a model based on some of the concept art above.

AI have a more complex decision process that weighs the different throw types based on the current situation in the match. Whilst this doesn’t create an especially noticeable difference in AI that are trying to play perfectly, it will be instrumental in creating different difficulty levels by making the AI less effective at making decisions.


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We have added a new gameplay dynamic- combos! When a player throws a disc, the speed is determined by how long the player has held the disc (less holding time = more speed). The disc gets an extra speed boost if the player throws it within a third of a second, signified by the disc trail turning blue and a sound effect. Players are able to chain these speed boosts together seven times resulting in the disc turning blinding white and becoming uncontrollably fast. The AI are especially good at maintaining and aiming these combos. Typical.

See you next week!

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Dev Diary: A Wild Artist Appears!

Finally, our game will be as pretty as we are. This week: resizing, special moves and an artist!


The week started with some reworking of our current game. We were getting a peculiar optical illusion with our court looking normal from above, but too small and thin once the camera was down at player height. We realised that the stock player assets we are using to prototype are incredibly thin and tall, making the court appear larger from above. Fixing this not only required us to scale the court, but also all the values for player run speed, disc speed, player collision etc. We took this opportunity to add in some temporary background assets, namely the blue skybox by G.E.TeamDev and the baseball stadium by Bunt Games.


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Players can now throw super throws! At any point that they are not holding the disc, holding down the throw button locks the player in place and begins charging a super. If the player catches the disc once fully charged, they can release the button for a powerful super throw. Each character’s super throw will be unique, but for now for every character the disc trails blue fire and zig zags across the court.


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Anthony Devlin has joined the team as an artist! He’s currently working on concept art and figuring out our export pipeline. He has also modeled the generic looking fellow above who we’ll stretch and morph to work out character proportions.

See you next week!

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The Towelman gets a bit disoriented, to the crowd's amusement.

Dev Diary: Lobs your uncle

No, wait, a bang up lob! Don’t give up the day lob! Uh, lobbing for apples? This week: lobs, particles and gameplay cameras!


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We’ve added a bit of energy to the prototype this week, exploring what can be done with particle effects and a dynamic gameplay camera. The disc now sparks off the walls of the arena, causing the camera to shudder based on the strength of the blow. Players fill up with energy when charging a super throw, and the camera bounces around the arena attempting to keep up with the action.


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The new visual effects are not just for aesthetics! We found that players were struggling to catch the disc when it had been lobbed into the air. To solve that, we’ve added a catch indicator. The indicator rotates on the ground at the point that the disc will end it’s arc. When the player is in position to catch the disc, it turns white and the player hears an audible *ping*. They can then prepare to smash the disc back into their lob-happy opponent’s face.

Speaking of lob-happy, the AI can now throw and react to lobs. So they have another tool in their malevolent arsenal. Great.

See you next week!

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Dev Diary: Beam me up, Gandalf!

Well, great, I miss out on an easy post title about Star Wars Day by one day. I won’t let that stop me! This week: evil AI is complete!

Jenny has completed her first pass of what she describes as “evil AI”. They are now able to anticipate curved throws, dive when required and throw the disc at the position most likely to score. AI is now at the point where they are essentially unbeatable in a singles match, and only lose points in doubles by hitting each other with the disc. Jenny’s next task is to start adding human-like flaws to the AI so that they become an enjoyable opponent, as opposed to a constant reminder of humanity’s inevitable defeat at the hands of our machine overlords.

We’ve begun to think about how we can improve the feel and aesthetic of the game through more dynamic use of the stand-in models we have and animating the camera. I’ve particularly enjoyed this talk by Jan Willem Nijman on “Game Feel” and this video in Mark Brown’s Game Maker’s Toolkit. In the title video, you can see us just beginning to toy with the idea of some screen shake and bending the shape of the disc as it get’s faster.

The rest of our week was spent bug fixing, project restructuring and optimising, which unfortunately does not make for pretty pictures or fancy videos. See you next week!

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