• Josh Grazda

Cash Force: Back In The Saddle

This semester marks the beginning of the end... ...of Senior Production that is!

Going into the final semester of senior year we have expanded our team after mid-mortem cuts, and are excited to bring the dream of Cash Force to life. With that, our team has grown to a total of 15 developers! So without further to do, let me introduce the new and improved Holo Hexagon:


Holo Hexagon Members

(* indicates new members)


Production:

Austin Roorda - Lead Producer

*Louis Klarfeld - Associate Producer

*Brett Schwartz - Business / Marketing Consultant


Design:

Emmett Friedrichs - Lead Level Designer / Product Owner

Karl Lewis - Lead Designer

*Joseph Apicella - Combat / Systems

*Harry Goetz - Experience / Systems

*Lauren Ritze - UI / UX / Narrative


Programming:

Josh Grazda - Lead Programmer

*Kelly Herstine - Gameplay / General

*Cameron Belcher - AI

*Michael Zheng - Systems / Tools


Art:

Adam Streeter - Lead Artist

*Kaylee Sharp - Characters

*Jonah Vita - VFX / Animation


Getting Our Bearings

With all our new members, there is lots of catching up to do! We have spent our first week this semester introducing everyone to our code base and reviewing documentation to familiarize everyone with the current state and vision of the game. In doing so, we have iterated on documentation to make sure everything is in line for this semester. Our teams have been meeting by discipline to breakdown the tasks that need to be completed for our greenlight milestone. As lead programmer, I have been discussing with the programming team what areas they would like to make priority the first few week. Doing so has given us a strong base to build off for future development.


Technical Priorities

Handling / Interaction System:

This is the core system that drives the grabbing and interaction of object with the player's in VR. While working on this system during the previous semester, we decided we would like to reinvent the method by which we can interact with objects in game. This system is vital to our games success. Without natural hand interaction, we quickly lose the immersion we set out to create for our game. Through the redesign of this system we hope to correct the issue of accidental dropping, player intent, and socket connection in our game.


AI Behavior:

More importantly... AI Flocking. Our current enemy vehicles use a whisker system developed during prototyping. While it was a quick way to get intended behavior, it is not perfect and has many foreseeable risks for future development. Flocking implementation can solve many of the risks we face. In doing so we can also provide the ability to alter behavior in a more organized manner, giving more power to our designers to create interesting combat scenarios in our world.


Gun Architecture

We want more guns... lots of them! Our current architecture supports our weapons in game, but does not have the modularity we need. With a redesign of the core architecture we can provide more ways to modify and design our gun library. Not only speeding up our gun pipeline, but also providing the ability to balance and adjust variables from a central location. This will allow us to focus on creating a cohesive system to support future development.


Level Generation

Finally, we want to provide the player with a unique experience on every heist. To do this we would like to explore procedural level generation of our city. Doing so can allow us to adjust the difficulty and scenarios, providing challenges to varying player experience levels in our game. This pipeline would also take the weight of hand designing each level off our designers and instead focus on the core elements that players enjoy in our level design.


So What's Next:

Over the next couple weeks we will begin to prototype and implement the above features into our game to lay the base for this semester. Once all is said and done, we will have strong documentation and systems that will help us plan out the future weeks of development. I'm confident our team will be able to complete the tasks we have set out this semester, and I can't wait to share updates on what we have completed as the semester continues. Until next time, it's time to get coding!