It’s been another productive week here at Lunar Rooster as we’ve been working on polishing Sky Noon. We’re getting to the point in development where our focus is making the game look and feel better, and we’re excited to share our progress.
The Saloon has had an update, making it look much nicer and more detailed and also a bit larger. The method for making this building is also different, now being done with a modular technique. This technique will make the creation of more buildings even easier in the future.
The jetpack has now fully made the transition to being jet boots! This makes the ability more unique, and importantly changes its silhouette from the Dash ability, which will take the back slot as a thruster pack.
Our customisation menu has had an overhaul, with many more cosmetic options like hats, an epic poncho and character skins. The menu now has the appearance of a wanted sign. Thematic!
Custom Game Mode Settings
You can now mess around with settings to customise the game modes to your liking! As shown below, you can change things like the kills and time limits, and also what can be found in crates. Revolver duels anyone?
From the Artists
Hats, heads and ponchos. This week I was busy finishing off the customisation loop. Logan, our artist and saviour, exported his many hats to be rigged and imported into engine. This brought some much need life to the game with different characters grappling about the level. This brought about some much needed changes to the customisation UI. This menu is an amalgamation of stats and character customisation in a single menu. The new iteration is based on a western wanted poster. This is a really good way to contextualise the player statistics and customisation. The hardest part of this process was finding a simple way to run the menus. Each customisation menu requires its own function to loop through all the different customisation options. I also got the chance to work on a poncho that is now added to the game. It would be a travesty if we were to finish the game without at least one poncho. In off time throughout the week I was working to finish the poncho. I took the asset all the way from concept to game within one week. I was also interesting to learn how Craig implemented the customisation and integrating the poncho within it. It looks great in game and is especially dapper when combined with the Bowler hat. Finally I worked on some of the older particles to get them up to the current standard. The revolver reload particles was added and the jetpack particles were redo using the dust particles that are already in engine. This week was a refreshing mix of sculpting, modelling and technical art and I enjoyed all the time I spent on the game.
This week I finally finished modeling and texturing the saloon. I used a very modular approach, creating tileable texture and trim sets to lay the UV’s of the geometry onto as I built instead of making unique maps for everything. This approach was a little time consuming at the start but it will be greatly beneficial later on to be able to reuse these maps and to easily create variations both in the texture sets and the models themselves. Because of this I left some blank space in the trim set so that we can add stuff later on without having to create even more texture maps. I also worked on a another character head to add to the customization options, having finished the high poly I moved on to retopology and textures.
Greetings once again my loyal subordinates.I have had a rather standard week of modelling and re-texturing old models again. At this point I’m comfortable using substance painter and am able to rapidly produce nice textures. Logan’s modular texture set has sped up the process a ridiculous amount making for some of the easiest modelling I have ever had to do. Right now my main considerations are resolution of textures, density of models and amount of materials used in engine. We have started having issues with frame rate in the past so it’s a good idea to be proactive with optimisation. I’m trying to keep resolution low while maintaining a good visual fidelity which can be a challenging balancing act. LOD’s are also in the pipeline for performance but can tend to take a fair amount of time to sort out. That on top of unwrapping UV’s and creating collisions can result in a somewhat lengthy process despite the ease of texturing.
From the Programmers
I added some graphics settings to the game this week, to aid judges at the IGF who couldn’t run the game fast enough on their computers. I added a new menu for graphics, but then bound all graphics options to a single button that can be set to Low, Medium, High and Epic. This was due to prioritising other tasks, the graphics settings will be more customisable in future.
Another task I completed this week was fixing bugs in some of the abilities where they weren’t hitting specific game objects. Examples of these are the cart and the track changers, where the dash, dynamite and mines weren’t interacting properly or not at all.
I fixed various other bugs that were still present in the game. These include the mines not detaching from crates when they are picked up (they now detach, fall, and re-attach to the surface they hit), the dead player not being dressed in the correct customisation, and the pull hook not being able to hit moving crates consistently. I also made the pull hook easier to hit in general by making its collision bigger.
Overall, this was a week of bug fixing, balancing and polishing. I’m very happy with what we have accomplished in the time we have had.
This week we got back into development after Melbourne Games Week. Essentially for me it was a whole lot of bug fixing on a lot of small things. One of the big things was getting character customisation working all the time for all clients and the server, as previously the only time character customisation was set up on the characters was if a user was around for its creation, i.e not after joining the game late, or if the load in was slow. By using functions like PossessedBy for the Server and OnRep_PlayerState for the clients, I was able to set the character customisation as soon as the characters were ready to have it set.
It’s been good to get back into the swing of things after Melbourne Games Week! I’ve been working on my update session settings for the game lobby. Players can now change settings like game time and score as well change which weapons and abilities will be inside of the crates. I ran into some problems with the IOnlineSession Update Session function as there is very little documentation on it but I managed to eventually get it working through a lot of trail and error. In theory, players should be able to search for games based on their game settings so you can find games with only Shotguns and Jet Boots if you wanted to. I will try to implement custom game searches over the next couple of weeks.