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Dev Diary: 28th January 2016

New Features

  • Jess Gyrodski enters the league! The current Gyrodisc Super League champion and crowd favourite, Jess is an all round player who faces each match with utter confidence. Similar to her brother john, she has a balanced moveset with a slight tendency towards speed over power. Reflecting her relaxed attitude compared to the uptight and serious John, she has physics-enabled long hair and a belt sash that flow behind her as she plays. Her super causes the disc to spiral across the screen rapidly, bouncing wildly off the walls to keep her opponents on their toes.
  • Our audience is now coloured based on the teams that are competing in the current match. They also play different animations depending on the current result.
  • We made some minor changes to our new stadium model, including altering the colours of the seating area, retexturing the speakers and giant monitor, adding an ambient map and darkening the player entrance tunnels.
  • We started our next pass on our sound setup. We started composing some new tracks for parts of the game that need a change of tone (such as after the match has been completed). We’ve also been remixing some of the tracks we currently have. Codewise, we’ve been modifying our sound manager in preparation for randomised or variable sound sets, such as audience cheers and character voices.
  • We began work on improving our animation systems. We made a custom animation rig to be used across all of our characters to help us keep shared animations consistent. Jess is the first character to use this rig, so she has a few features that John doesn’t- the most important of which is facial animation. We also have been working on a idle animation for Jess, along with a more complex but satisfying catch and throw sequence to be used on all characters.
  • We had reports of the disc sometimes ending up in a position where it was bouncing back and forth between two walls with no way for the player to stop it. To help with this, we added a safety check so if the disc bounces in the same places for two long it gets a nudge in a random direction to get the game going again. We also overhauled our management of the celebration state to make it easier to add special effects and sounds when the player is celebrating winning a point, round or match.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issue where stadium was using wrong material.
  • Fixed issue where crowd could end up missing a texture.
  • Fixed issue where player could end up passing through the disc.
  • Fixed issue where pips on health bar do not make a noise when restoring.

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Dev Diary: 20th January 2016

New Features

  • We implemented our new stadium model. The aim of this model was to reduce the amount of flat, grey textures that were being seen in the game. Of particular importance was the floor- since most of the game is spent looking downwards, having the floor be a flat, grey plane was affecting how the game looked. The floor is now made of red clay (used in tennis courts) which warms up how the game looks and gives the edge of the screen a rougher, more interesting look. We added barriers between the two halves of the crowd to prepare for having the audience supporting one team or the other. Finally, a large golden statue of a hand holding a Gyrodisc adorns the far end of the stadium.
  • We realised that our super throws were a bit unreliable (especially on the new court layouts) so we spent some time giving them new rules. We started by moving their variables into our Stats Manager to make editing them easier. All super moves now bounce into a lob if they manage to hit the back wall of the court. Super lobs no longer angle towards the goal and push the players back when it gets caught. John’s right angled super has been slowed down and changes direction more often. Jess’s spiral super now moves forward in a more circular motion and has a much calmer, controlled reaction to bouncing off of the walls.
  • When a curve throw bounces off a wall, it now skiffs off of the wall in the direction of rotation.
  • We removed our “Funnel” level and replaced it with a new court called “Chokepoint”. In this level, the score boost is boxed in between walls and nets in the centre of the court. This creates an interesting point of focus for the players, as they often have to choose between making a reliable shot into the opponent’s goal, or trying to make the skill shot to hit the difficult score boost target.
  • We gave running out of time a bit more prominence. On timing out, we play a claxon sound and hard cut the camera over to the jumbotron. The jumbotron displays the current time (of 0 seconds) as well as big red text box saying “Time!”.
  • We have added more functionality to our disc trails. The trail now turns red when the disc is charged by a score boost. Super throws now have unique trails to make them appear more important. We also decreased the length of the trail on normal throws so that it looks more impressive on fast throws and super throws.
  • We added a simple banding texture to our score boost arrows to help emphasis which direction they are pointing at and a cloudy blue texture to our bounce blocks to make them easier to see.
  • We improved our mouse functionality. We have our own custom cursor and worked on making sure our menus can be controlled using the mouse. We also added the functionality so that when the keyboard and control pads are being used, the mouse cursor disappears- but when the mouse is moved, it reappears again.

Bug Fixes

  • Improved frame rate. Achieved by alleviating garbage collection, avoiding certain UI functions that cause spikes, text optimisation, pooling objects, creating more assets during our loading screen and avoiding using “GetComponent”.
  • Players now move relative to the jumbotron camera when the jumbotron is full-screen.
  • Fixed issue where match settings may not be set correctly.
  • Fixed issue where sound effects did not play in victory counts of more than five rounds.
  • Fixed End of Match menu not able to be controlled.
  • Fixed issue where the wrong team would be credited with winning if the match ended by timeout.
  • Fixed issue where timing out in the serve state would stop the game progressing.
  • Fixed issue where round counter was not getting reset properly.
  • Fixed issue where text in scroll boxes that should be hidden could be seen.
  • Fixed issue where dragging scroll boxes with the mouse causes the text to flicker.
  • All active players can now navigate the level select screen.
  • Fixed issue where players were unable to back out from level select and character select.
  • Fixed issue where characters would not play the intro sequence after the match had been restarted.
  • Doubled the length of time of the window to perform a perfect return.
  • Fixed issue where players were not getting pushed back by fast throws.
  • Fixed issue where player would stay in the spike state too long if they missed a spike and then caught the disc.
  • Fixed issue where the player’s arm getting stuck in the catch position.
  • Fixed issue where players being able to hit themselves in the back of the head when throwing a super.
  • Fixed were restarting a doubles game caused the players to run on the spot and not return to starting positions.
  • Added floors to the goal models as it looked strange seeing the new clay texture underneath.
  • Fixed issue where AI players lobbing would reset the AI demo match.
  • Fixed issue where players could lob between the nets in court “Two Nets Two Walls”.
  • Decreased the saturation of the game due to new, brighter assets.

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Dev Diary: 16th December 2015

New Features

  • Games can now have a time limit. Each round has an overarching timer that counts down to zero. When it reaches zero, the round is given to the team with the most points. If both teams are drawn, a tiebreaker occurs. During a tiebreaker, the players play one more rally. Whoever wins that rally wins the round.
  • We added a court element model manager to change how our court looks to match the stadium the match takes place in.
  • We did some work on our between-round cutscenes. The main change is that the player can now hit start to skip them allowing players to jump straight back into the match. We also improved the end cutscene with some better camera shots, and skipping the end cutscene cleanly snaps to the final camera shot of the match with the menu displayed.
  • Camera now slams dramatically towards the goal when a player score. It slides back into place once the team’s health points start to decrease.
  • We’ve been creating a generic animation rig for use across all our characters. This will allow our animations to be more reusable and help prevent issues when importing them into Unity.
  • We began a high-res mesh for our Jess character. We used the white box model as a reference. Making sure that she had a natural-looking shape took some time. The face has enough detail to allow facial animation to run smoothly. We also looked into some colour combinations for Jess’ outfit.
  • We implemented a new model for our crowd. While it only currently has one variation, it looks rounder than the old model and fits our world better. It also uses the polygon count more efficiently, so we can fill up our seats using less people. Our intention is to vary their size, colour and seating position to make them appear more varied.
  • We made some changes to our gameplay. We were finding that it was very easy to curve the disc backwards to score an own goal, so curve throws now stop curving as they near the point of turning backwards. The serving player had a serious advantage in being able to throw the disc incredibly quickly on the first throw, so we’ve dampened the disc speed in the first two throws of a point to allow a decent rally to get started. We changed score boosts to only count on your opponent’s side (so you can’t walk up to one to get a boost to your score). We also changed the default poses that the characters use when winning or losing.

Discussions

  • We received some recommendations that we should flesh out the story of the game before we advance any further in development. We discussed our core story, the nature of Gyrodisc and the world and creating strong narrative starting points for our characters. The world is already feeling more coherent and fleshed out- watch out for new announcements coming soon!

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issues with the new raycast based disc collisions. Visual indicators added to help with issue identification. Artificially increased the disc speed to force issues to occur (including blasting the disc out of the stadium in a single frame). Issues included the disc bouncing against the same wall twice, collision point not being set due to the capsule intersecting the collision and the collisions not returning in order of occurrence.
  • Fixed bug where points alert text were not the correct colour.
  • Fixed bug where winning by time out would then progress to a tiebreaker.
  • Fixed bug where both team health bars would declare victory when winning by sudden death.
  • Fixed bug where pressing “start” on a pad to skip cutscenes was causing the game to pause. Players can now only pause during gameplay, or by pressing escape.
  • Fixed bug where jumbotron camera was rendering when it wasn’t being used
  • Fixed bug where the camera shake felt less intense when the camera was further away from the action.

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Dev Diary: 2nd December 2015

New Features

  • We continued our gameplay pass this week. Lob and spike times have been lowered across the board, with super-charging now faster to match. Curves are now more subtle, with the aim to create large, looping throws without hitting the walls. We broke down our pushback mechanic into separate stats to allow characters to have different weights and pushback strengths.
  • Players can now hit multiple score boosts with a single throw to chain-increase the score on that shot. We’ve also been experimenting with different looks for the score boosts.
  • We’ve been working custom game rules to allow the player to change the nature of their matches. The back-end is complete for the players to change the number of rounds required to win (with the UI altering to match). Work on a time limit for each round is underway.
  • Progress continues on creation of the Jess character asset.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issues with new method of monitoring disc collisions. Disc will now correctly bounce accurately over the course of one frame, even if the disc is travelling exceptionally fast and bounces off of multiple surfaces in that one frame.
  • Fixed issue where players do not smoothly slide along the outside walls of the court.

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