Well, turns out our game was only perfect until some people played it. This week: concept art, super AI and playtesting!
This week we’ve finished our first pass AI by granting them their most potent ability: super throws! AI can now spike the disc into the air and charge up a super. Since super throws are the best action they can take in pretty much any situation, we’ve had to re-jig their priorities a little so they are not spiking and supering every chance they get. Good lord, we’ve finally coded in some mercy.
We’ve been exploring ideas for setting and arenas, with ideas ranging from sub-sub-sub-basement car parks to the highest peak of Mt. Olympus. We’ll get a cohesive plan soon, I’m sure! We are also moving towards completely replacing art assets from the unity store with our own temporary assets.
We’ve had friends down the pub try our game out here and there, but this week we had our first focussed (read: sober) testing session with notes on being taken. The game held up surprisingly well considering the lack of testing so far, but a large amount of issues we’d been sweeping under the carpet really came to the fore. Players were struggling to catch lobs and get supers throws charged in time, which they found frustrating. Our in-game UI overlaps the court in doubles as well, which went unnoticed until a key rally was lost due to it’s presence. Oops!
We also noticed some issues in design during the playtest. We currently use a tennis-like scoring system of games, sets and matches. Tennis however, is a game of subtle ebb and flow in a way that Gyrodisc isn’t. Most players did not realise they were winning sets and were not aware of how close they were to victory until match point. Matches were also running too long, usually lasting around ten minutes instead of the desired three. We are now moving to a simple but effective rounds and matches system, with three rounds required to win a match.
The most enjoyable aspect was collecting and discussing new ideas our testers were suggesting. New features to expect soon: instant replays upon winning rounds and being able to knock over your teammate when diving!
See you next week!