Yesterday marked our first full week of fully online classes at Michigan State. It has been pretty crazy over here, as it has been all over the world. This is definitely a learning opportunity. All meetings with our mentors from High Moon are now over voice chat rather than group video calls.
The team is still hard at work over here. The main updates from this week are:
New build phase UI
New buildable 'Jump Pad' in game
New buildable 'Wrecking Ball' in game
Second Golem rigged and animations are being finalized
Since the last dev log, us students at Michigan State University have had our spring break. Many of the game dev students (myself included) were on a west coast trip where we visited game studios. It was really awesome to see how a AAA studio operates, and how similar and different their development processes are to ours.
Since it was spring break, and most of the team was on the trip, not a whole lot of work has been done for Rubble Rumble. Mainly small fixes and some switching of our score screen, which can be seen down below. Also below, is a little gameplay demo that we whipped up for the President of High Moon Studios. He couldn't make it to our actual meeting, so our mentors from High Moon passed this off to him.
Another interesting note about what's going on currently, is that as of about 2 hours ago from me typing this, all MSU classes have gone fully online due to the Coronavirus. Classes will be online until April 20th, and possibly further if need be. This hopefully should not affect our development, but will definitely be an interesting to work around.
This week was a little bit less progress than we normally make per week, as most of the team has midterms. Despite that, there has been progress updates that are worth discussing.
First and most noticeable changes were the switch to a more standard and more user friendly UI during the build phase. We previously had a radial menu (which can be seen in last weeks video), and while it looked nice, it needed to be changed. It was clunky, and took up too much space on the screen. Our lead programmer Brandon whipped up our newest wireframe and it's a major improvement. Another change we made this week was adding randomly spawning power-ups instead of static spawns. We made this change to discourage camping and also to give players other things to fight over during play.
Other things completed this week: new UI (crosshair, hitmarker, health bar), lava textures (for lava hazard), new explosion VFX, and more work on blend trees for animations.
I'm going to try to do a weekly dev log for my current project. It is the capstone project in MSU's Game Design and Development minor. For the project, each team is paired with a studio in the industry for mentorship. Our team is paired with High Moon Studios. I'm starting this dev long a little late, as Rubble Rumble has been in development for a little over a month. On this project, I am the producer and lead designer.
Rubble Rumble is an arena style first-person-shooter where players create the map they play in. The game is played in two 'phases'. The first phase is called the 'play phase'. It is the traditional first person shooter mechanics where players duke it out. It's elimination, so there is no respawning here. Once the last player standing has been decided, the game transitions to what we call the 'build phase'. This is where the map manipulation comes into play. During this time, players can purchase buildable hazards to map geometry to place in the level. After the build phase has finished, players return to the play phase for another round. The cycle repeats until a player reaches the determined amount of points to win.
After over a month of development and feedback from our mentors at High Moon Studios, we have a playable game that is fun. Though it is a little buggy currently, we are still on schedule.