A little bit of this and that
Updated: May 25, 2020
As the title might suggest this day has been a bit all over the place when it came to tasks. First and foremost my objective for today was a more elaborate design for the enemy waves. The overall idea is to have 3 different phases with a rising difficulty curve:
Phase 1 - Introduction:
Will introduce the player to the 3 different enemy varieties (basic, sprinter, elite) and show the spawning points. The last wave of this phase will require the players to unite on one side of the map to defeat a larger number of enemies
Phase 2 - Pattern: This phase is designed to force both players to move around on the map. During some waves they have to unite their forces and focus on one of the two platforms where a large number of elite enemies will spawn. Other waves will require the players to split up and each defend one of the platforms because weaker enemies (basic & sprinter) are swarming in rapid frequency.
Phase 3 - Swarm:
The last phase will try to overwhelm the players with mass. It still makes use of the patterns that are introduced in Phase 2 but the number of enemies will be increased. If we have the time we might even introduce some sort of boss during that last phase.
So much for the theory. The more hand-on part - aka playtesting - turned out to be a little bit more complicated today, since my co-designer was ill and I technically had to test a two-player game as one single player. A designer from another group was kind enough to step in and we were able to establish a prototype for Phase 1. Still, I think we need so much more playtesting when it comes to the enemy waves since it is a core part of our game.
Meanwhile, our programmer has been very productive today and not only implemented the player and enemy models into the game engine but also managed to finish the script for items. Now the players can collect an item that heals the HP of the Power Core they have to defend or can pick up a status boost for themselves. It still has to be tweaked and tested but the basis for everything is established now. Implementing the character models was also helpful in different regard because it showed up a problem: our prototype for playtesting used cubes for the enemy and a cubistic model for the player - but since our enemies are snails and therefore more elongated than a cube the way they assemble around the Power Core has to be re-worked (otherwise we will have a banana bunch of snails at the Core).
Concerning the features that were mentioned in the last entry I’m still a bit torn. The idea of having different values (and therefore playstyles) for the two players is still very appealing to me and could be established with relative ease. On the other hand, it would require a re-balancing of the enemy waves, if not a complete overhaul. So I guess we should put it on the shelf until we have made sure that the current features of our game work fluently.