We've spend the last week creating a prototype, driven by the questions we raised during our brainstorm sessions. These questions vary from technical problems to fun factor. In order to make sure our game is "fun" we tried to answer these questions by creating a prototype, that contained our most basic mechanics. These most basic mechanics consisted of:
- Falling: Our game is a skydiving game afterall, so it had to feel like you are falling from the sky
- Movement: As prototype we limited ourself to 2 players, each having their own controlls, the movement is 2D based (up, down, left, right), as the falling cannot be controlled
- Obstacles: Without obstacles there wouldn't be a reason to move around
- Knockback through attacking: We wanted to make pushing other players out of the screen the main fun factor of our game
- Controller support: Why this was needed for our prototype is explained in our questions
With these basic mechanics we were able to answer the following questions we asked ourselves during brainstorm sessions:
What is better? Making the player fall? Or the obstacles rise up?
We started out by making the player fall as this would make the most sense. It turned out this gave unwanted results for our movement, making it take forever for the player to slow down, after he was pushed. Even when trying to make yourself stop by using your controlls, the player kept going in the direction he was pushed in. This was due to our falling force, this added up to the direction the player was pushed in, and since the falling force couldn't change, the added force from puching was stored into the falling force. This was a physics related problem. When switching to making the obstacles rise up, we noticed no performance hit even with thousands of obstacles on the screen. And we oticed that with the same movement, this strange phenomenon vanished and the controlls felt a lot more smooth, while still feeling like the player is falling.
What kind of controlls will work better? Keyboard or controller? Or both?
So we tested to see if we could make the game playable using a keyboard, however we noticed that it was incredibly hard to move or character around using limited keyboard space, and of course the awkwardness of how you have to place your fingers. This is why our prototype needed controller support, so we could test using a controller, which made it drastically easier to move the character around, while having easy acces to yout attack button, whenever you need it.
Knockback, is it fun to push each other out of the screen?
Originaly we thought this was going to be fun, but after making a prototype and playtesting we came to the conclusion that it is A LOT OF FUN. We even added something extra, players starts with regular knockback/damage but each time a player gets hit (either by an obstacle or by another player) he will take 10% increased knockback until the player gets smacked out of the air!
Will the camera be able to capture the games action well from a top-down view?
Top-down view looks good, but we still need to modify the camera to find a solution to the width and height of the field. The characters seem a bit too far away and it’s hard to see the detail to them. A solution to this is to calculate the center between all players and use this center to make the camera zoom in or out. When the players float away further from each other we zoom the camera out. When the players come closer to each other we zoom the camera in .
Apart from the questions we were able to answer, there are a few other questions that we haven't been able to answer yet. We will answer these next week.
Does the minimalistic style work for our game?
How will we make our HUD clear and understandable without having it block important sections of the game?
For next week, we are planning on finishing our prototype and answer our final questions, so we can start with the development of our game. The current version of our prototype is available here on itch.io and will be updated by next weeks blog post.
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