Level/content stuff

I’ve made some more additions and fixes to the level creation side of things. Multiple player-entry points can be placed in a level and one will be randomly picked at level creation, this will help mix things up a bit when you are travelling through the different sub-areas of a level.

I noticed all the enemies in packs were spawning facing the same direction despite being set otherwise in the Unity editor. Turned out to be a problem with scale and rotation not being carried over when prefabs are baked into the scene at runtime. I use a custom prefab system so I can see a prefab item in the scene without it actually being there at runtime. This lets me create layouts and groups etc as they’ll look in the level at game-time and some other handy stuff,like prefabs-in-prefabs, but it was broken. So I fixed it :)

Level areas now know when a player enters or exits them (they still persist even when you’re in another area, for multiplayer and game-state stuff) so I can do things like enable and disable level-specific lights as you travel around. This was a problem before as you’d get the lighting from the Town area along side any level-specific lighting for the current area you were in, and vice versa. Basically everything got brighter and brighter the more areas you visited :)

I added a simple cutscene dialogue system and tied this in with the rest of the mission systems. Dialogue panels can now be triggered by mission objectives, entering certain areas, etc and can be chained together with other mission events.

You can see it working together with all the other mission events in this video: (I put the fire extinguisher that close on purpose!)

Melee damage

Melee damage now actually exists! This is one of those things that I became oblivious too after playing the game everyday. It was always something that “I’ll do soon”, but never did soon and I kind of forgot it wasn’t actually working – I’d even still avoid enemies that couldn’t actually hurt me.

Enemies like these below, that don’t shoot at you, but instead rely on smashing into you to do damage, now actually hurt you!

I tried a couple of ways of implementing this and I settled on a DPS (damage per second) value that you can assign to any enemy. Rather than just do an initial chunk of damage when they hit you, they will continually do damage while they’re in contact with you. This seems to work pretty well I have started to die a lot more :)

Ability system

This is what I’ve spent most of my time on recently – it involved quite a bit more work than I first expected.

It’s now really easy to add new abilities to the game and make them specific to a certain class. They can now unlock at a certain level, the player can pick and choose which ones they want at game-time and they can be rebound to any button/key and slot in the Action Bar. They’re all saved and loaded along with the character data, so your choices, layout and binds are stored per-character.

All this stuff was hard-set or not even possible before, so it’s a pretty big step forwards in terms of customisation and feeling like a real game.

It’s a bit hard to follow what I’m doing in the video below as I haven’t added anything to the ability screen yet to show which button each ability is assigned to and which ones are even assigned at all. With that in mind, here’s a video of me starting with no abilities on my action bar (bottom of the screen) and then selecting and mapping some from the abilities screen. And then re-mapping them all again.

It’ll be a lot clearer next week when I’ve added those extra bits of information to the ability screen, and also when there’s some real icons in place for the abilities.

Mouse/keyboard work

I’ve always imagined playing this game on a Steam Machine, so I’ve primarily been focusing on controller play until now. I want to get some kind of super early preview/demo out in the not too distant future though, so I figured it would be a good time to improve the mouse and keyboard support as obviously I want people to be able to play just as well on a regular PC.

Basic movement and combat is now working nicely and I’ll be working on the ability/action bar and other interactive stuff like cutscenes and menus over the next week.

Concept Corner

Howie drew some baddies…

Megan drew some baddies…

…and Paul drew some NPC/Race ideas!

Next week

– Finish off ability screen extra info bits
– More work on the controls and standardising interface functionality
– Back to gameplay stuff!