Due to external circumstances, until yesterday, it had been a month since we last did a proper playtest of Gyrodisc. I was relieved to find that the work we’ve been putting in has made the game incredibly fun to play. I was even more relieved to confirm that I’m definitely the best player on the team. This week: visual data, gameplay tweaks and aspect ratios!
We’ve been implementing and designing a new UI system this week that focuses on using graphics instead of text to explain the current score in the game. The image above shows our new round counter UI. Every time a team wins a round, they get a circle on their side. The team that wins get the large gold circle in the centre. This was originally going to look a lot more like the best-of-five interface from a soccer penalty shootout. By using the above interface instead, the players receive a heightened sense that they are racing towards the same goal (winning three rounds) in a way that a simple scoreline, such as 3-1, does not.
The team meets in person roughly once every two weeks. During these meetings, we take the opportunity to play the game, discuss how other playtests went and tweak the gameplay to try and deal with any issues or complaints. We’d been finding that dives were far too powerful (to the point where the best tactic was to dive constantly around the arena like a maniac). Dives have now decelerate exponentially and travel less distance, so they are slower than running over long distances but are still effective for last-second reaction dashes.
We were running into issues with the edges of our gameplay being cut off on certain screen aspect ratios. Instead of setting up a new camera angle for every common aspect ratio, we gave the camera an algorithm to calculate its own position. This algorithm takes in a bounding box that encompasses all the key gameplay elements (plus a safety buffer), an angle relative to the floor and the required field of view. The camera calculates how far back it has to be to fit the bounding box within the current screen. I assured the team that aspect ratios will never, ever, EVER be a problem again. Let’s see how that works out.
See you next week!