Friday, January 31, 2014

Capstone: Green Light and Beyond

    This week consisted of our Green light presentation.  This presentation was to make sure we have all of our priorities in order, a well thought out and documented plan of how to complete this project, and a solid foundation to build a upon.

    VXT has had an overarching problem of being too much the famous Sonic the Hedgehog, the main point of the game is to go right, very very quickly.  So we really need to work on defining how different we are from  the blue blur himself.  We came to the conclusion we had to encourage and put much more  emphasis on our shield interactions.  Our shield and it's interactions with the world we put it in is what really can help define our game as its own.

    Our designers have come up with quite a few new interactions that me and Mike will be working on over the coming weeks.  Below I have listed the feature and what exactly it aims to do.

    Boost Mechanic- We have collectibles in our game that do nothing aside from add points and help you complete challenge modes. They feel very empty and artificial just being used like this, there's no real purpose besides arbitrary numbers.  So we decided to add a game play goal onto them, as you collect them, a bar fills up,  upon pressing a button you will gain a speed boost that rapidly depletes the bar, this will allow our players who are skillful at collecting these orbs to be rewarded by allowing them to use this speed boost to either recover from a mistake and achieve a better time.

    Break Mechanic- Our players have no real hazards to avoid, the real challenge comes from ones own reaction time to the quickly passing environment.  Our idea is to add objects that block the players path, these objects it collided with will shatter into pieces making a really cool looking particle effect to make the player feel good about smashing through things with great speed.  Game play wise if the player is either not going fast enough, or does not have his shield facing towards this object, upon breaking it they will have a loss of speed.  On the contrary if they are about a speed threshold and have the right shield facing towards it they will satisfyingly smash through it and continue on as planned.

    SlipStreams-  VXT is a very fast and intense game, there is very little time when playing through a level for the player to relax and catch their breath.  Our idea is to add a way from the players to keep up the speed, still have really cool traversal of the level but get a breather.  We decided to create a node based system in which energy will flow from one to the next,  If the player collides with this energy using the correct shield color they will be sucked into the flow and follow along it at high speeds.  This allows the player to continue working towards the goal of reaching the end but allowing them a second to rest before having to make split second decisions again.

   From a technical standpoint I am most excited about this feature has our way of implementing this dynamic flowing energy source will come from the use of our own custom made particle system, which will not only allow for this to look, move, and feel amazing, but open up other avenues where it could be used to really enhance the overall game.

    For now these are the 3 main mechanics being added to the game to go through testing, there are a few others still in the concept stage but after seeing how these 3 play our with our tester we will make a decision if we should attempt others or refine these.

 Overall it was a good week, we've been Green lit and production can officially begin!

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