Internal Milestone 002 – Gameplay Improvements
After finishing our first internal milestone at the end of July (which I talked about here [link]), we only had one playable level and all of the cameras we tested were pretty bare bones.
For our August milestone, we had two main goals:
1) Create a few more levels to play around in
2) Polish up the two cameras we decided to focus on after completing the last milestone
I ended up creating three new levels, each with a different purpose.
The first level was intended to be used to teach the player one of our core player mechanics. I think we pulled it off fairly well, but it definitely needs more playtesting to make sure it’s successful.
The second level was intended to play around with optional objectives. Obtaining the optional objective was designed to be difficult, while overall there was a simple solution to the puzzle. This level worked fairly well, but there is definitely a lot of room for improvement.
The last level was designed to be a pretty simple maze but used verticality. This one is very rough and needs a lot of work. The level design was very straight forward and much too boring, so this will probably be getting thrown out.
We decided to keep iterating on the 3/4 up and 3rd person perspective cameras. The original camera system I put in was extremely hacked in and didn’t even work between level loads. Fixing that was the first priority as having inconsistent camera setups on different levels just wasn’t going to fly any longer.
After this code was in, setting up the 3/4 Up perspective camera was quite easy. It was just a matter of working on the distance and angle of the camera. We looked at a few games that used this camera and realized that almost all of them had the camera quite far back and would leave enough space so that the full length of the player was always visible. The image below shows the current setup that is working for us. It could change in the future, but right now it’s in a good place.
(A test room with our current 3/4 up setup)
For the 3rd person camera, I decided to study the cameras of Uncharted 4. I started by watching some YouTube videos and taking screen shots of the different locomotion modes and camera angles to determine where the main character was on screen.
|Looking Down||Looking Up|
This was a very informative process as it made me realize that the top half of the screen is almost always open for gameplay (with the exception of when the camera pulls in tight). It is also setup so that the main character’s left or right arm (depending on preference) is always just touching the vertical halfway line. I tried writing a script to accomplish this for an hour or two and realized that I was being silly. Unity’s awesome community would obviously have the answer to my problem! With a little searching I was able to find a script for mouse orbiting an object. A few tweaks and controller support later and it was almost perfect. Also a huge improvement over what I had before. Voila, a basic Uncharted 4 camera ready for testing!
Next milestone we are hoping to test out some of the bigger technical challenges that the design is currently calling for. Wish us luck!