September 12, 2012

Progress of main title sep 2012 update

So for the last few weeks I've been really focused on the main title. Now that things are getting in working order and bugs removed I started swapping models for better looking ones adding some detail. I then have been looking at the multiplayer and upgrading that adding in the weapons I'd planned and making them work while balancing them. Then I finally broke down and considered a non team mode and a new team mode. The FFA deathmatch was surprisingly  entertaining while the new team mode clearly needed tweaks. Spawning in both modes was a problem so I calculated debris to adjust spawns, and calc enemy line of sight within a spawn radius, which was constricted in team. The idea was to make absolutely sure nobody would spawn right in front of an enemy player, I also put in a spawn denial radius for all players so you wouldn't spawn near an enemy regardless of sight. In all it went fairly well. The new team mode was basically a deathmatch without vehicles and would likely show up in rank 1 multiplayer, but it depends on how much people like it.

To review from prior there's 4 ranks of multiplayer separated by tech and artillery and special units. Players spawn in 2 vehicles determined by team. There's an additional multiplayer that used to be labeled rank 5 which was persistent world multiplayer however it's been modified into a unrestricted gametype and stripped of rank. Which is to say all tech artillery and special units are available at all times. It also supports more players to the tune of 64 so far though I hope for much more later on. I'm also trying to increase team size from 4 to 5 per squad however in the specials and vehicles squads it becomes a little unbalanced so I'm thinking about simply modifying overall squad size keeping the specials limited to 4 while increasing perhaps vehicles by 2 instead of 1 or putting the extra players on squads 1 and 2.
 In the new team mode since there are no vehicles the two teams merge their spawns. I'll be adding objective modes to this for testing over the next few days and testing for the next week.

Most of the weapons added were in rank 2 however one weapon I really liked was added in rank 4 creates a trail of fire behind the shot rather than mist and explodes on impact. It's more of a visual weapon than a serious damage dealer, while it's certainly powerful it's in the upper part of the lower tier in that rank, comparatively it would be in the lower part of the high end in rank 3. I also designed a similar shotgun type weapon I'll be adding in tomorrow which will likely be in the mid range. I'll also be adding it as an ammo type for some launchers and other shotguns among the ranks.

I've also been working on the skill system adding in new perks and balancing costs. The rings are now working like proper ellipses stretching in the appropriate directions instead of remaining perfect circles. I modified the actual layout to be more dynamic and add nodes and paths beyond the predefined based on the pattern I established. Thus the further out you go the more it may cost but the nodes themselves are worth more and the paths because of their increasing inner expenses make them viable options etc. I moved some existing perks around to be closer or further away, some on different tiers which as mentioned in a prior post were restricted by multiplayer rank modes. So for example the node required for you to duel wield laser pistols is on tier 4 because it's a rank 4 weapon, and of course in order to access it you must have bought a path to tier 4 access. Something which I also revised so now instead of having to buy the perk for dual wielding pistols on each tier you don't have to now you can just pick and choose which you want. I also added a core path to the upper tiers if you just want to move from the center out. Buying similar nodes will still give you the discounts mentioned in the previous post about the node system. So while you may not have to buy the duel wield node on each tier you might want to for a discount if that's something you use often. I also modified the system to allow selling of nodes now which I'd planned but hadn't gotten to, and they sell for the same price you bought them at regardless of current value so that way you can't buy two nodes for discounts then sell them in different orders for profit, same goes for paths. I increased the number of tier paths. I'm also considering a logic step in which if you buy the dual wielding pistol node once it works for all pistols regardless of type. Though the above examples would still apply in a similar fashion to what they represent.

I finally decided that I would indeed go through a plan I had before because I don't want bodies to simply fade away but they're too intense to keep lying on the ground after all I set up an animation in which the player who made the kill will have a small bot materialize go over to the kill and zap the body into disappearing collecting all that he had on him and giving the player resources based on estimated value of what the other player had on them. I also have map bots that go around and clean up some of the more random debris leaving large chunks but removing individual bricks from the ground. basically providing a reason for why things disappear off the map that need to for better overall gameplay.

Lots of other tweaks like that, they seem small but it takes time to get them done right.

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