• Mike

MA Multiplayer Game Design: Presenting the Current Progress Plus UI & Other Updates

Hello hello!


So, this week was the deadline to make our presentations for showcasing our progress so far. Despite some setbacks, we managed to produce a pretty decent slides (I still feel I could've made my half better 😅) and I was able to create a very quick placeholder logo and name for our game which turned out not too bad!

Placeholder logo and name

I couldn't get the characters to move into the positions I wanted them to be in in time for submitting the slides, so I left the Security Bot T-posing menacingly. Once we finished doing up the content for our slides, all that was left to do was present! You can see the recording below, although only the screen and audio was recorded in the class:

We must've done some things right since we managed to secure the full 10% for this part of the assignment - woohoo! There were some things we could've improved though:


  • Some more visual elements to show info (like in tables)

  • We could've gone through the information a bit faster to cut down on time presenting

There's still quite a few design elements I feel still need figuring out and finalising on, so my work isn't quite done yet.

 

Updating the UI


After the presentation was done, I spent some time updating our UI in the main screen after the user logs in. I took inspiration from Fall Guys and made a gradient background with some particle rings, added the font used in our presentation, and did some small changes to how the UI looked:

Oh, I forgot to mention - the current plan I have in mind is that you can customize both your Rogue and Security bots, hence there being 2 characters on separate podiums, but I am thinking of making it just the 1 character. After looking into how customisations are done in games like TF2 and CS:GO, I think it will be better to have the main body colours remain consistent (red for one team, blue for the other) but give customisation to everything else. So custom colours can be done to the eyes / face and perhaps other features, but the overall main colour needs to be left alone.

 

Nailing the Catch Mechanic


There are a few big features which need to be completed on my side, such as the level designs, but something important that needs finalising is the intricacies of the catching mechanic. Since we are using ragdolls, I need to think about the kinds of scenarios all the players might find themselves in so that the ragdolling doesn't feel too unbalanced or unfair. This is particularly true for when the players are in a situation where they are being caught or are capturing someone. Several thoughts have been noted down as I try to figure this out, the main ones being:


  • Knocking over players shouldn't be easy

If a Rogue bot is knocked over too easily and can't get up, they don't get a chance to escape from being caught - there's no fun since they know they have no chance to recover. When a Security Bot lunges, they would need enough force to knock a player over, but run the risk of activating the ragdoll on themselves.

  • Stamina needs to be given a larger role

Currently, its used for the basic abilities of dashing and lunging. Stamina can also be used to determine the outcome of a catch. Rogue Bots can use their stamina to help them break free from a Security Bot's grab while Security Bots use their stamina to grab onto Rogue Bots. If 3 seconds pass and the Security Bot has held onto the player for the entire time, we can check to see which player has more stamina left. Depending on who has more stamina, it will determine the outcome of the catch - if the Rogue has more, then they are not caught and escape from the grab (i.e., we stop the grab from being active) but if the Security Bot has more, then they have caught that player. This also will force all players to be mindful of their stamina bars and give it more importance instead of just being linked to the dash abilities.

 

Closing Thoughts


That covers all the main things that happened this week. Some other stuff happened, like grabbing more assets from Sketchfab through a Unity plugin and experimenting with some level ideas, but I'll hopefully have something concrete for the first level by next week. The plan is to try creating 3 levels that feel good to play, which would cover 6 rounds. If things go well then I might be able to bump it up to 5 levels so we get 10 rounds in total.

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