Hex it up.

My oh my have I been busy! Hence why I haven't updated my blog.

So after the break in my last post we started our end of year project. This has been interesting and challenging. My role has been Production and Design. We are working in a six person team. Two designers, two artists and two programmers. Three out of the five that I'm working with I had worked with last year on a project so we have a good working relationship... I think.

The game we're working on is a 2D top down multiplayer shooter set in a (virtual) cyberpunk universe. Think of the game play of Hotline Miami but with multiplayer. Hotline Miami has been our greatest inspiration. I personally just wanted to play that game against friends. The game is called Hexed.

So what we have been working hard on is the player controller. Trying to get the right movement controls to make the game feel quick and have a great flow. I think we are pretty close to that.

I worked on creating a base sprite sheet for the animations for the characters. What we are trying to go for is the same animation controller and just different sprites for the players. Think of it like Towerfall, all players are the same yet they look different for readability.

Readability for UI has been a tricky one. Originally we were going to have UI showing the players health down on the bottom of the screen and a few other stats of the player, yet people were finding that they were no focusing on the bottom of the screen so it was useless. We decided to move the UI and incorporate it into the player. When they are shot the health bar will show up. If they are knocked out a stun bar will show up. This made it a lot easier for players to see and judge how they are going through the game.

I have also been working on the particle effects of the bullets, trying to make them all different. Here's a few I have created:

Don't they look snazzy!

The game gets pretty hectic when four players are playing.

The next thing we have been working on is the balancing of the stun, and the ability to smash a players head into the ground to kill them. These actions go hand in hand. If a player can always get out of being stunned then the head smash is useless. We found this issue in the most recent play test. So tweaking values is what we need to do. I did get my artist to create a series of sprite for the head smashing... And well, she got the design a little off.

It has now been corrected, but it was hilarious when we found it.

I've also been designing the menu placement and how to navigate it, that and the win screen and pause menu. It's been fun designing this and trying to get a nice flow that looks good and feels fast enough. Here's my horrible default sprite version in the works.

I've been sourcing sounds and editing them to give them a more natural to the object sound. Combining multiple sounds until it fits.

I've also got into contact with some artists to make some tunes for the game. I've got some friends making music and some others from overseas. It's been great to outsource music, meeting people and getting connections.

Well I'm sure there's so much more on this project I can talk about but I don't want to make this post too long.


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