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Dev Diary: The Road to Armagedinburgh

We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be at Armagedinburgh on 25th of July! This’ll be the first time we’ve shown the game off in a public space, so we’re getting the game ready for our first demo. This week: health bars, super lobs and crowds!


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We’ve continued our move towards in-world graphical UI during gameplay. The team scores are now represented by health bar panels at the side of the court. This produces several knock-on effects:

  • Players are able to interpret the change in score quickly, allowing us to keep up the pace between rallies
  • The game feels more aggressive, as you are no longer scoring points to win, but reducing your opponent’s score to make them lose (despite the actual numbers being identical)
  • There is a visceral connection between action and result (score a goal on the right side, the right side health bar changes)
  • Using coloured bars to represent potential scoring in a rally, we can do away with having to spell out that a rally is a “match point” or even worse a “potential match point”. If the coloured bar reaches the whole length of the opponent’s score, the corresponding coloured goal will win the round.

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On the gameplay front, we fixed up our super lob ability. Every character has a unique super throw, but they all share the super lob. Super lobs are performed by holding down the lob button until fully charged. They arc up into the air and land on the ground like a lob- but unlike a lob, they then accelerate into the opponent’s goal to catch them off guard. This past week we fixed up the behaviour as they were a bit too fast and brutal. We also added a particle effect so they are easier to react to.


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We also created a test scene so we can start work on figuring out our technical limits. Of most interest this week was exploring how we can make our crowd. Crowds are a tightrope between having enough variation so they don’t look like clones and not destroying your frame rate. By having groups of crowd members all use the same animations at the same time, but dispersed randomly throughout the crowd, we should be able to create the illusion that they are all unique entities cheering or booing in reaction to the game.

See you next week!

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