Arco Week 9 Dev Log
July 17, 2016
This Week's Overview
In the last week before Alpha, I think everyone had really been feeling the crunch. All the pieces of the game had been assembled, now it just needed to be put together into a cohesive product. This proved to be way easier said than done.
I accomplished quite a bit of tasks this week, both minor and major. I'll start with the more simple changes:
- Updated Hyperstate to allow shooting
- Fixed up hyperstate animations
- Finalized pause menu art
- Created the main menu
- Changed background music based on the district the player is currently in
- Added in dialog trigger events around the city
- Tower boss functionality updates
- Set up our in-game cinematics to play correctly
- Lots and lots of minor bugfixes
Then there were the major updates. The first of those was adding gamepad controls to the menus. This proved to be much more complex than anticipated, as UE4's built in menu has no support for gamepads. Another consideration was that our equipment and inventory menus had to be dynamic and simple to use, so brute forcing this would not work. A lot went into making this work, but I'll let the image below of the blueprint that I developed to make it work do the talking.
The gamepad menu controls were something I had been concerned about for awhile, so I'm glad I finally had a breakthrough on that front.
Next, I had to make some way to help guide the player through the streets of our open world. Making a minimap or a map accessible from the menu both seemed to be too out of scope, so we went with a kind of guiding "compass" that would be a 3d object around the player that would always point towards the next boss. It works well because it doesnt tell the player exactly where to go, so they still have to explore, and they don't have to stop what they are doing to access a menu to look at a map.
One unexpected task had me scripting the game's tutorial dialog and events. This was assigned to another team member, but by Friday it turned out that not much work had been into it. So I took it over and cranked out the tutorial as fast as I could. I was proud of the turn-around time of developing this, as it showed that I was certainly getting comfortable with UE4's tools, one of my main goals of this project.
The final, and most difficult, task happened over the last days of this week. The open world level had finally been finished, but many of the elements of the game that worked perfectly fine in test enviroments had pretty major bugs. After many hours of quick fixes and changes, we finally got things to an acceptable level of functionality. There were still issues, but there simply wasnt enough time to fix everything.
We started the building process and were met with so many issues and errors, that we ended up taking all of the relative content for the final game and copying it into a new UE4 project. This seemed to work, and we finally had our Alpha build, mere hours before it was to be presented. I'm used to having projects finished early, so this part was very stressful for me, but in the end it was a good learning experience.