We spent this month working a lot on AI and adding enemy types. On the code side we went back and made the code more modular, allowing us to add enemies with different abilities and difficulties much easier.
We took a second look at the original AI combat tree and simplified it. The idea is to have an enemy type that can be added to the world with a few sliders in the editor that can completely change the way they fight. By manually editing or even randomizing these values, the enemies can end up being way more aggressive, defensive, evasive, etc.
We started to add in the AI behavior for the ranged classes of enemies as well. Since they have to act a bit different than melee with spacing and priorities, they took a bit of custom work.
Art wise, we concepted out a bunch of new enemies and have been working on particles and some texture reworks. It's looking much better, although we definitely need to finish our lighting pass on the level...
Well we got a short little gameplay vid together finally (Click read more button to see it). It's getting fun now, you can really get a feel for the game. Development wise we're tweaking and redesigning some of the character's abilities that didn't feel so good after testing. Mostly Akardo and Ela. Red has a pretty solid moveset right now.
Programming-wise, we've been reworking the pathfinding, adding in projectiles and making the state machine a little friendlier to use.
Art-wise, we did a few concepts of the new move redesigns and have been pretty much animating. Animation seems to be our biggest time sink by far.
We also made a quick concept of the bar, the main characters homeworld hub. Super happy with the way it came out!
This month will be all about tweaking the characters movesets and getting their gameplay feeling good and maybe finally getting rid of these placeholder particles.
Mike's been working on animations pretty much non-stop this week and I've been jumping between camera work / code / animations sometimes to help him out. Looking back, animations seem to be our biggest time sink. We have a lot of features now that are just waiting for animations/content.
To get something feeling right just requires so much time and we're hand-keying everything because we physically can't do most of the moves we want in mocap haha. We're also putting a disproportionate amount of work into our main character's animations in relation to enemies and other less important characters, so I think it should speed up once we push over this bump.
Our base gameplay is pretty much there now. We started building out the level with placeholder cutscenes, dynamic cameras and added breakable portions of the environment. Unity's Cinemachine has been well worth the wait and the cameras do a great job of not looking robotic when they follow objects/characters. Highly...
This month we've mostly been finishing up Akardo animations and focusing on gameplay. We added a lot of new stuff aside from working on the main 3 characters (UI elements, combat code, assembled new NPC characters) .
We also managed to get a lot of the camera code working which I honestly thought was going to take a lot longer.
These are a few screenshots of our latest NPC Mike put together. Super happy with how she came out.
Akardo animations are nearly complete, we made a quick little video showcasing a few of them. Toolbag is really nice for these kinds of things since we don't have to waste time setting up a scene just to showcase
This is an older NPC but Mike put together the fur coat gearset and he looks pretty cool imo.
And finally we did have to revisit/iterate on a ton of abilities for Akardo since as we started playing with him we realized some stuff just doesn't look right in game. So here's a little bit of the concept work we used as we brainstorm...
This month has pretty much been Akardo time. We've been working on getting his rig up to date, fixing some issues and making sure all his blendshapes (each rib has a blendshape to open) were in working order. Animating him has been a challenge because we're trying to keep clear of any zombie-ish motions and his very wide shoulders cause a lot of rework when importing any sort of mocap.
This is the last of the main characters and after this we're going to be back to tweaking gameplay and working on implementing "Ultra" style moves with time-stops and more advanced combat features.
Speaking of mocap, we finally have a somewhat decent solution! After dealing with the perception neuron for awhile with all its quirks, we started using Ikinema's new Orion software that works with the Vive and trackers. I stuck two of the trackers on some old shoes, put another tracker on my waist and the rest is the default vive setup (controllers, HMD). It's working great so far....