10/31 - 11/14 | Development Blog for Project Tower F21

Studio-wide & Project Tower Meetings

This past sprint was a bit of an anomaly. I prepared two meetings - one for 11/07, and one for 11/14. However, due to my overnight shift for the Turkey Jam over the night between 11/13 and 11/14, Nikhil helped run the 11/14 meeting in my place. Additionally, our 11/14 meeting was remote (also due to the Turkey Jam). Otherwise, our meetings went as usual.

Art Work

I spent a large amount of time this sprint doing artwork. Our artists have been doing phenomenal work, although we have seen a slight bit of dropoff from our initial momentum (as is normal for this time in the semester). I worked with Crystal, the coordinator of our narrative team, in designing two narrative portrait drafts. I believe I showed off Yrsa (the old lady) last sprint; the new character is Revna, a defiant little girl. They can both be seen before. I'm satisfied with Revna's design, but Yrsa may change a bit in her final sprite. Additionally, I'll be paying closer attention to Zelin's art style when I finalize these sprites to see if I can maintain a bit of stylistic cohesion.

Something that ate up a huge chunk of time was finalizing our level art for all 3 levels. Lucy did incredible work with her drafts for all 3 levels. Due to time constraints, I took over finalizing her drafts this sprint. They can be seen below (in order of in-game appearance):

I also integrated these assets into the game, which took a considerable amount of time. In accordance with the systems set up by our programmers, I had to carefully place colliders matching the geometry of both the paths and the environmental obstacles for all 3 levels. I also went through and added some "finishing touches", including simple snow particles, 2D lights, and a custom water shader. The final result can be seen below:

Overall, I think this did a lot in terms of bringing Project Tower from looking to be in its early stages to being more reminiscent of a game that will be finished soon. There are several more art tasks that need to be completed by the end of development, but things are shaping up nicely!

Programming & Design Work

I also completed quite a few programming and design related tasks this sprint. Among these tasks included an in-game representation of "bulk" enemies (such as Rainbow balloons, which break into other smaller balloons when destroyed), a balancing pass on enemy speed, and an in-game representation of MOABs. The only remaining "balloon" type that we will be implementing is the camoflauged type.

Thanks to the excellent work of other programmers and designers on this team, I was able to get this work done smoothly. Bulk enemy scripts were already created, so it was merely a task of dragging, dropping, and troubleshooting pre-existing systems.

Another small programming task I performed was the integration of projectile art. This involved a bit of troubleshooting the rotation of projectiles as they are instantiated. A snapshot of these tasks can be seen in the short clip below.

Final Thoughts

Finally, I helped the Project Bloom team a little with staff designs. This was a pretty straightforward task: for each weapon type, I created a quick sketch that visually represents the weapon in question. I had the opportunity to sit in-person with Brandon Schulz and George Castle to discuss. The sketches can be seen below, and 3D models for each have made it into Project Bloom!

Overall, I'm noticing a pronounced upswing for both Project Bloom and Project Tower. Project Bloom struggled with earlier sprints, but the team has kicked it into high-gear and the game is making great strides. Project Tower has been in a consistently good place thanks to the work of our members.

The final focus for Project Tower will be getting the rest of the narrative in, finalizing art, and making some final passes at balancing. We have 4 more weeks to give it our all before wrapping things up, and it looks like we'll have something really great to show off in December.

I'm looking forward to giving a detailed postmortem on all my thoughts relating to WolverineSoft and WolverineSoft Studio come my graduation from the club. Even more so, I'm looking forward to working hard in this final month! That's it for this post - see you in 2 weeks!