Arco Week 5 Dev Log

arco development

June 19, 2016

This week's Overview

After a weeklong vacation, I came back to some great progress from the team. While before many had been slacking a little bit with asset creation, everyone seemed to be in full gear. Design-wise and programming-wise things were moving along at nice pace too, with many systems being finalized and being implemented at a good rate. But with a "Vertical Slice" presentation due next week, I had no shortage of things to work on.

Personal Contributions

This week had a big focus on the main character, Nora. First, I made a lot of updates to her gun and fixed a hard to find bug that arised from our over-heating mechanic. When the player fires their weapon, their gun's temperature bar rises. The bar decreases over time, but If the bar fills up completely, the player cannot fire until the bar has completely emptied. What was happening was that in certain cases, the bar would fill, but the player could still fire. Thankfully I fixed that and many other tiny bugs we were having.

Aside from that, Nora's model and animations were either finished or close to being finished. So I started to implement those in-game, as we still were using the default UE4 character models and animations. This involved setting up new sockets on the static mesh for the gun so she could either hold it in her hands or holster it on her back, creating and editing animation blendspaces, and making an animation controller to keep track of all the releveant values need to trigger the correct animations at the right time. One spot of trouble I had was getting the correct direction the player was moving in when compared to their current forward vector, so I could play strafing and back pedaling animations correctly. But after a good bit of thought and messing around with UE4's Blueprints, I managed to calculate it correctly and moved onto my next task.

The last Major thing I worked on this week was a new mechanic that we're calling "Hyper State" (shown in the screenshot above). When testing the game, we felt that the player had too many moves that were all either too similar or complicated the game for little benefit. So we simplified things, removing the player's ability to sprint, slide and dodge, and essentially combined them into one mechanic. Development of this mechanic didnt take too long because it built off the old moves, but what did take a little bit of time was getting the values to feel right and the animations to transition fluidly.

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