I recorded and cut together the Eye of the Swarm gameplay for our Alpha gameplay trailer.
I worked on the Eye of the Swarm game trailer for Alpha. James from the team did the animations and most of the video work then passed it to me for audio. I added music and sound effects from Apple's sound libraries and did some minor retiming to the video.
Our game has really started coming together the last two weeks. But it was really lacking in quality art and aesthetics. And some of our aesthetics that we had in place way back had fallen out of our latest version. So I decided to take it upon myself while everyone else crammed for finals to give the game a major makeover in time for our presentation to the class, teachers, and EAE Master's students, and before the big EAE Open House.
Here is how our game looks from a quick snap of gameplay, zoomed out a tad:
Here are the quick and noticeable eye sores:
I went through each of these and made each thing a bit sexier. For the frame, I took some of our artists' rock art and just cut out slices of rock using photo shop to frame the play-space edges. I also resized the play-space while I was add it making it a little less cramped based on some previous feedback.
I removed the fixed health bar and resized the floating health bar.
I added some of the layered art the artists had done for the environment and replaced the placeholder concept art. The new art was also designed to replace the volcanoes. I added my previously written parallax script and added the layered art to it. It was missing some depth so I took some more rocks, gave their sprite a blue overlay and some transparency to appear fuzzy through the depths of the water. These rocks were also added to the parallaxing for a better effect.
I updated the swarm unit prefab to include the newer piranha art in place of the starfish.
I updated the damage floater to be easy-to-read integers instead of 6-decimal precise float numbers and if the number is less than one, will now read '< 1'.
I also updated the damage floater to be able to take strings (instead of just floats) and added a new prefab with a green font (instead of red). Then utilized it on the volcano charges which when destroyed spawn new swarm units. Now it says '+ 5' or whatever number of units you just earned.
I updated the art for the volcano charge to be an egg and added the damage indicator so it turns red upon damage. I also added a spin to the charges so they rotate while they move toward the volcano.
I updated the volcano charge script so that it would generate a random number of swarm units in a range determined by the designer and then determine its health based on the number of swarm units it contains.
I splashed the environment with plant sprites.
I moved the volcano on top to the bottom since it just makes more sense. This required photoshopping the art.
Doing all this turned the game into this (except the gridlines and not showing health bar or unit counter):
The University of Utah EAE open house is this Friday. This gives us about 30 hours to polish the "Eye of the Swarm" for the big demo. There will be a few things that have just placeholder "art" on them, which is pretty unfortunate. Otherwise, the game is looking and feeling a lot more like a game. Professors Bob Kessler and Roger Altizer finally gave us some positive feedback which only took us 3 months to earn.
I am really looking forward to the networking opportunity that the open house offers and am excited to meet new people and get some feedback on our game. Please come by if and check out everyone's hard work and enjoy some cake while you're at it. It's Friday 12/12 from 4pm-7pm.
See the press release: http://unews.utah.edu/news_releases/u-students-to-show-off-latest-video-game-projects/
I've gotten started on adding UI elements to the Swarm game. I first created a player healthbar that was fixed on the screen with a few simple public variables for options of resizing in scale of the provided healthbar sprite image, and options to be aligned to any side of the view. But after this was conpleted, we canned player health in favor of a unified health of the swarm. So I opened the fixed healthbar up to be able to be applied to any entity since the game moved in favor of a boss-fighting game instead of a side-scrolling, battle, adventure. I didn't like this much, because it took up too much real estate for one entity. So I moved in favor of a floating healthbar that follows the entity to which its attached. The healthbar can be resized, and offset in +/- X and Y directions. the designer can also determine how long the healthbar will show upon a health change. If the health goes up or down, the healthbar will appear for whatever duration is set. Otherwise, it is not shown. I would also like to open this up such that the designer can select the color indicators on the healthbar as well.
After this, since the player's health is essentially the sum of the swarm and it's not totally easy to see how many swarm units are flying about, I added a swarm counter. The swarm counter uses GUIText to set up the basics (i.e. Font color, font size, position, base string, etc.) of the text. Then my script allows them to set the colors that indicate a positive and negative change and how long to show that change.
The Turtle Boss has his 5 appendages which poke out every now and then and those are what take damage. The placeholder way this was done by the team is by having a weak point with some scripts for retracting, taking damage, and protruding. This game object had a stock box overlay that would turn red upon damage. This was butt ugly. So I updated the well-written color-fader script to allow the designer to select the sprite the coloration should affect, if the sprite is not specified, it assumes the sprite that shares the GameObject with the script. Now, when a Turtle appendage takes damage it turns red for a set time and fades back to its default color.
I mentioned a while back that I tried NBA 2K15 on Xbox 360 and was superbly disappointed in the changes especially since it had been 2 years since the last installment that I had played - NBA 2K13. Once I got my little fingers on the Xbox One, I set out to give NBA 2K15 another shot. When the game launches, you are immediately thrown into character creation and the very first shot you see is a close up of your character's face. The Graphics certainly do not disappoint. I could see true edges of beard hairs, the light glistening off his buzzed head (which even looked just a smidge greasy), lightly bloodshot eyes – it looked good. Unfortunately, I had to go the cheap route with by Xbone and get it without the Kinect, so I couldn't do the automated character creation with its assistance. The amount of detail you can go into on creating a unique character is pretty amazing. My body IRL is sort of designed for basketball, but in a short figure, I've got long legs and really long arms (but a short torso); I could reflect each of these details in my 2K character. Even the symmetry of my face/head for crying out loud. Well done 2K.
I made my guy a point guard and jumped straight into MyCareer which too has a nice update with a whole new story, and not just one canned voice for your character...now there are two!
This installment of NBA 2K15 provides an exciting new underdog story. Your character starts out in his quaint little home apartment watching the 2014 NBA draft on his big flat screen TV. The commissioner announces the last selection and...it's not you! You go undrafted. Your agent comes over and makes fun of your apartment (calling it some kinda dump when in fact it's large, modern, and expensive looking). Anyway, he tells you that teams are still interested in giving you a shot to workout with the team. You get to pick from a list of ten, he flies you out, and you play a scrimmage with the big boys. I picked the Utah Jazz (since they've been my team for 26 years). I faired okay for a short scrimmage getting 6 points, an assist, and keeping my guy, Trey Burke, to just 4 points. I got the contract.
I won't go too much more into my personal play through, but I'll mention some of the silly quirks and details about the game and story.
As you play through the career mode, there's a player on the team that takes you under his wing. For me it was Trey Burke. Was it because I'm a point guard? Or is it because they paid the real Trey Burke to come in and voice the part? I plan to find the answer to this. I've only started one MyCareer mode, so I haven't been able to compare and contrast the differences of playing a different position on the same team or playing on a different team, etc. But again, you have some choice on how to handle your interactions with your new mentor. But it does feel a little rushed; it's kind of obvious which answer will keep you on good terms with your team.
Something I find a little weird is the coaching situation. I understand they didn't get all (any of?) the coaches to voice their parts, but there's some other random coach that does all the talking, while the real Jazz coach, Quin Snyder, still exists there in the background and in my directives. I find this too strange and think they should have just made my coach be a made-up coach. What do I care?
And since Trey Burke was the starter on the Jazz, and I was this new guy in an already crowded Jazz backcourt, Trey was the very guy I was looking to replace on the starting line-up, yet he's going to mentor me? Maybe this really happens, but I can't exactly see him being thrilled about me being there. And when I did (quickly) replace him on the starting line up, he was still my best friend. At least they make you look like the nicest guy alive Trey!
More to come...