Individual Project – Production Dairy #1

After I had finished with my post-production for my individual project I began production within the Unreal Engine as I felt it would be the most appropriate game engine to start production of my game.

Kindred Spirit Begins

The initial idea for this game is to have two different characters which the player could use to perform specific tasks and solve puzzles with the main mechanic allowing the player to switch between two different characters. Unreal Engines uses Blueprints which is a form of visual scripting in comparison with Unity which uses C# programming I am comfortable with both these types of scripting and programming which meant I could immediately begin to script the main mechanic for my project.

Player switching between two characters.

Within Blueprints, I was able to have two characters where you can switch between them and control them separately using the Q button to swap between them. However, I wasn’t happy with how the camera constraints as it would instantly switch between both players and was thinking of adding a camera transition or something to visually show you have changed to a different character. With that in mind and using the timeline blueprint within Unreal Engine, I was able to have a smooth camera transition which would smooth transition between both characters when they are switched.

Camera transition when switching characters.

I was happy with how the main mechanic for my game worked out. However, beyond just the main mechanic of switching characters, I was struggling with what else to add to the game. I began to work on the first level of my game in which the player would switch between the two characters to stand on-top of buttons which would allow a door to open.

Basic puzzle for Kindred Spirit

However, beyond just the main mechanic of the game, there wasn’t really anything else I could script or program and it seemed like this project would be more art and modelling oriented which is not something I am specialised in and wouldn’t be able to show off my skills that I have worked on during my degree. From this, I began to have another look at my ideas and properly figure out what would be the best thing for me to do.

Dungeon Danger is Born

I went back and looked at my first idea which I skipped out from initially due to it being too much of a project to handle in a 10 week time frame but it would be more of a technical challenge in comparison to the other two ideas I had. Due to this, I had to scale back the project and decide what ideas to remove/delay from the project to make it easier for me to implement and not get overwhelmed with work.

  • Choose between two characters
  • Knight & Archer (melee & range)
  • Wave based
  • 1 dungeon with scaling difficulty (easy, normal & hard)
  • 3 basic enemy types for each dungeon difficulty (goblin, skeleton, evil cultist or necromancer type enemy)
  • A very low poly style (colourful, childlike)
  • Kill all the enemies in the 1st dungeon to progress to the 2nd dungeon and then 3rd.
Basic task sheet for each week.

With my idea decided upon, I began to work on a task list and schedule of tasks I want to complete every week and set the priority of the task and the progress during the week which I can easily show my supervisor during our weekly meetings on what is completed and what is needed to be done during the week.

One of the first tasks I began to work on was a basic player and camera controller which will let me control the player character and have a camera that will follow the player in an isometric/top-down perspective.

Movement and Camera Controls

I am really happy with how the camera controller worked out as it smoothly follows the player around the scene with a little bit of delay. The player controller is a basic controller which allows me to set the speed of the character and will also let me rotate the character wherever my mouse is pointing this will work with both the melee combat for the Knight and the ranged combat for the Archer.

Prototype melee combat.

Despite this version of melee combat working well where the player can point the sword at enemies to attack them, but it won’t feel very satisfying when it comes to killing enemies so I decided to go back to the drawing board and come up with another idea for melee combat.

Using mouse buttons to rotate sword.

One idea I came up with was the player using the left and right mouse buttons to rotate the sword left and right which makes the combat much more satisfying as it feels more like a slashing movement of the sword rather than a pointing and stabbing motion.

Over the last week, despite changing my idea and restarting production I was happy with the progress. However, due to changing my idea I am a little bit behind on my project so next week I will need to do more work in order to catch up to where I want to be on my schedule.

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