The whole team is back in the studio as Craig and Henry return from Melbourne International Games Week 2016! We had an amazing time in Melbourne and got to meet a bunch of awesome people at both GCAP and PAX Australia. Sky Noon was on show at PAX and we got some really good feedback from both game devs and the general public who came down and checked it out.
Our friend Rudeism dropped in at PAX and busted out his custom makey makey controller to play Sky Noon. Can’t wait to see what this guy comes up with next!
Duel Map – “Turbine”
Logan has been hard at work putting together a new duel map and now we are ready to show it off! Check out some screenshots below.
King of the Hill
We have begun work on our King of the Hill game mode where players earn points from securing zones on the map by being the only person in the zone. We have some basic UI and particles set up to show when you are holding the zone, when it is contested, when an enemy is holding it and when it is empty. There is still a long way to go in terms of balancing and map layout for this new game mode so stay tuned for more KOTH coming soon!
Mines have been reworked again and this time we are pretty happy with how they have turned out. We had a lot of feedback that the mines didn’t feel rewarding to use when they were “set and forget” mines. Now we have made them remote mines which makes them a lot more useful for mobility as well as offence. Mines can now be used to save yourself by throwing them towards the kill sphere and detonating them to push you back towards the map.
From the Artists
With the king of the hill gamemode being prototyped I was tasked with creating the UI and particles that will accompany the new gamemode. The UI was an interesting task managing readability while matching the existing UI style. Originally I tried to mix in some old gauge elements. This created a good look but I found that the readability was less than ideal. I toned back the new elements and settled with a single bar that fills up as the player accrues time. It also shows the position of the leader of the match. If you are not the leader you will see a red bar ahead of your own giving a quick indication where you stack up. The control point mesh is a simple cylinder mesh, however the material takes in the gamemode information changing the color to match the current gamestate. This week was a slower week for use with two of our members in Australia for Melbourne games week. However, our contribution to the project in this time has been good. This time allowed us to fix bugs and issues we have not otherwise had time to fix.
This week I spent most of my time cleaning up and finishing off assets that still needed some work, which is a major on going task for the next couple of weeks. I also created a new duel map, with a focus on a central point where the super crate spawns. I tried to make it so that going for the super crate is as dangerous as when the player has a super weapon so I placed it inside a broken train in the center of the map. This location is always easily visible and also makes for a great way to safely swing around since the rest of the map is littered with turbines. This makes it easy to set up traps with abilities or even just wait on the other side of the train and shoot through when the other player goes for the crate, encouraging fast rounds.
Hello again my loyal subjects. I, too, have spent the week touching up and finishing off assets. I have touched up the minecart and track changer with substance painter so at least they have unique materials now. I learned a lot about substance painter this week thanks to Logan. That guy is pretty cool. This is going to be my job for a while now as there are a lot of old assets that desperately need a clean up. It’s not the most interesting or noteworthy task but there it is.
From the Programmers
This week I worked on getting the King of the Hill game mode up and running. I added a capture zone and the functionality for recording time spent in it, and made sure to expose all the necessary values for the new HUD for it (which Alex implemented). We playtested the early version of the game mode and found it to be a lot of fun, with battles happening constantly as players focused their attention on the capture point. Work still needs to be done to make the mode feel better when not in the lead, and to give players a chance to catch up. However, these final refinements will be left till after Gold polish is done, as this is more of a priority.
The new aiming poses were made this week by Nathan and I updated the aiming vector to accommodate them. I’m now happy with the way they look, as they are a lot more subtle.
Controls are now saved out when they are rebound. This is a job that was long overdue and I’m happy it is now in the game.
The final major job that was done this week was the reworking of the mines/boosters. This ability has been altered a lot as we weren’t satisfied with how useful/fun it was. I changed it back from a booster to mines and allowed it to be remote detonated, allowing for detonation in mid-air. This satisfies three factors that make abilities useful in Sky Noon; push players, travel with it, and save yourself from falling off the map with it. Internal playtests have been positive, but I will continue to refine this ability (and others) as more playtests are undertaken.
Last week I was lucky enough to attend Melbourne International Games Week. I met a lot of developers and learnt a lot of things that could be applied to Sky Noon. Showing at PAX Australia was an amazing experience and we got a great deal of feedback from people, both the general public and other game developers – definitely stuff we can take forward.
I was lucky enough to go to Melbourne last week with Craig for PAX and GCAP! It was an awesome trip and was so cool to show Sky Noon to a bunch of people who had never seen it before. We even had one guy tell us it was his favourite new game of the show! We had a lot of people asking about beta sign ups so this is something we will have to look into in the near future.