Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Update #4: GDC Prototype

Hey guys! As I kinda mentioned last time, I'm going to GDC next week! It's my first time attending, and I'm super excited about all of the cool people I will hopefully meet there. I've been very hard at work trying to get Quest For Funk ready for the conference, and I'm happy to say that I will indeed have a playable prototype with me. I'll be wandering around the expo hall all week, so if you're attending, make sure to come say hello and give the game a try!

Quite a bit has been done since the last update. The bulk of the time has been spent laying the groundwork for Stage 1 levels (the Twinstick Shooter portion of the game). As you may recall, Quest For Funk has 2 stages in each level: a Twinstick Shooter where you get points for every enemy you destroy, and a 2D Platformer where you must find all of the hidden NPCs before time runs out. The length of the timer in Stage 2 is determined by your score in Stage 1, so it's a continuing process. Everything I've shown off so far has been from Stage 2, so it's time I posted some Stage 1 images.

Now this doesn't have any of the actual artwork in yet, because I've mostly been focusing on functionality. Twinstick control setups in Unity aren't as widely documented as a lot of other features (especially involving touch screens, but more on that later). So getting this part up and running was fairly time consuming, but it's pretty solid at this point. You move your character with the left stick (or WASD) and aim with the right stick (or the mouse). Firing happens automatically when the right stick is in a non-neutral position (or when the left mouse button is clicked). Right now you just shoot falling objects, but eventually you will face AI that shoots back and moves in more complex patterns. My goal for this prototype was simply to get the controls working correctly, and I'm happy to say that they are fully functional (with 3 different input methods, in fact!).


Another big chunk of my time has been dedicated to implementing touch screen controls. This has been a very challenging task, but thanks to the amazing YouTuber Devin Curry, I've managed to get things working fairly decently. I created an omni-directional touchscreen joystick that behaves similarly to a physical one. Some actions are still a bit buggy using touchscreen commands however, so I plan to have a PS3 controller on-hand at GDC to ensure players can try the game with optimal controls.

Aside from those two major tasks, the rest of my time has been spent adding polish and replacing anything that was still whiteboxed. There are now pipes all over the sewers so that every area is accessible. And the game now has fully functioning ladders!

There are also crates to climb on! Because what kind of game would be complete without the good ol' wooden box?

I've added in a few secret areas as well that give the player a reason to go off the beaten path. I'm a huge fan of hidden rooms and secret powerups, so I plan to include a lot of things like that in Quest For Funk. Now that the base of the prototype is solidifying, I should have some time to start adding in the fun stuff!

Speaking of fun stuff, here's a bouncy collectible! These music notes serve a similar purpose to bananas in DKC or rings in Sonic. The more you collect, the higher your score is, but it's completely optional. I think it really adds something to the game when the player has an extra challenge to work towards. And since levels are timed in Quest For Funk, collecting all of the notes before time runs out could prove fairly difficult!

And that's all I've got for ya this time! There are still a handful of items on my "To Do Before GDC" checklist, but I'm very happy with the state that the game is in right now. If you're going to the conference, get in touch. I'd love to meet you there! For everyone else, stay tuned. Some time in the near future I plan on releasing a playable prototype online. Until next time... Adios!

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