Dev Week 7: Minor Fixes and BGM revisit

This week consisted of various tasks including mechanic fixes, sound bug fixing and a return to music work.

Task Time Spent (hours)
Implementation of UI elements 3h
Experimentation with dodge roll, trying to achieve balance for fair play 3h
Work done on Greed music theme 6h
Time spent changing the feel of Heresy theme according to completed level 4h
Fixing this week’s sound bugs in Heresy level 4h
Assisting with playtesting on Monday the 4th – general note taking on player experience 3h
23 hours

I was tasked with fixing the speed, distance and stamina cost of the dodge roll. Some of the required changes initially were

  • Enabling the player to do this in directions independent from the camera orientation, however Jack’s changes to the player movement in relation to the camera solved this problem organically.
  • Increasing the speed and distance
  • Disabling the trip by chance mechanic, and instead having the player trip when they do not have enough stamina to roll.

The 1st and 3rd points listed above were fairly simple rearrangement of existing code, however the 2nd took a lot of trial and error to get the speed (measured in delay after the roll action itself) and the magnitude (of the player’s forward launch correct).

The animation was also too slow for what I wanted it to be so I had to jump into the Lil Death dodge animation and speed it up to match the amount of delay that I set.

After feedback from the team that the dodge was now overpowered, I then played with the 3 variables of post-dodge delay, launch magnitude, and animation speed to find a dodge which would be satisfying to use without being overpowered.

Because it was hard to strike this balance, the final suggestion which proved to do the job was to increase the stamina cost of the dodge rather than decrease the effectiveness. This also meant that players would have to rely on the now quick-activated block to manage their stamina effectively while fighting each boss.

Another thing that would be nice to fix in future is the amount of clipping into the ground that Lil’ Death’s dodge animation suffers from, however for now it is not a priority.

As sound bugs were found in the levels this week surfaced (especially Heresy with sound activation in different phases) I also jumped in to fix them. This was also an opportunity in the Heresy level to arrange the sound cues in a way that made more sense, such as:

  • Having the frog babble to warn of a special attack pattern.
  • Saving the frog’s normal pain sound for when it runs into a pool of acid.
    • This was commented on positively in playtesting this week as it made it more obvious that the frog could be damaged after running into a pool of acid (although Lucifer’s dialogue already clearly states it to the player).

Finally, I spent the rest of my time reworking the scores for Heresy to match the finished level, as with Greed. I had not touched music for a while but it has become much more of a priority in recent (later) weeks now that playtester’s feedback is turning towards the emptiness that a lack of music creates in the levels.

Finally, I assisted with note taking for the playtesting session held yesterday (Monday the 4th), taking notes on our playtesters’ general experience with gameplay. Hopefully this can augment the in game mechanics-based observation Alex was conducting, as well as the player behaviour observation done by Bob.

Tasks for next week:

  • Getting my music in some shape or form into the game!! I haven’t had a chance to focus on it for a while, but the goal is to get the bulk melodies out and into the game without too much polish (which does take time).
    • This may take research on how to loop tracks in-game cleanly.
  • Finally implement the sounds for Treachery now that the level has been completed.
  • Muffled dialogue in-level for lil lucifer
  • Interactive UI elements such as
    • Dialogue box display
    • Death overlay animation
    • Health state image for Lil Death’s avatar
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