Cash Force: Greenlight means GO!
Updated: May 1, 2020
After having complete our greenlight criteria to move forward into our alpha development period, our team is prepared to keep the momentum going! The past few weeks we continued to build out the prototypes of multiple features we had intended for Cash Force including the procedural generation, AI behaviors, gun interactions, and handling systems. While we have made substantial progress on all these, there is still more work to be done. Our team presented our greenlight criteria to faculty this and were giving plenty of feedback on the direction of our features and priorities for future sprints. This not only helped layout the groundwork for development, but helped us determine what needed more player feedback and polish.
Handling & Interaction
One of the core features that was implemented into Cash Force was the new handling and interaction system. This provided players with a better sense of what they were grabbing and provided constant feedback when using said objects. This system mainly applied to our guns (which are the main interactable objects used by players) to provide a more realistic feel to weapons. This system was originally using the built in Unreal physics handle, but after continuing to have issues involving the movement of the player in the van scene, we decided attaching the objects directly to player provided a better experience. This system also includes a distance grab to help players reach items that might be slightly out of reach without breaking them from the action.
While the handling / interactions system was being worked on, we decided it was time to update our method for animating our guns! Using our previous method of timelines to create animation, we added an alpha value to lerp between the position of the animation based on the players hand location along the gun. This gives the look and feel of pulling back the trigger and providing more feedback to the interaction. We hope to incorporate more of these animations into other guns and objects in Cash Force to provide the player with a sense of immersion that we were previously missing out on.
Procedural City Generation Pipeline
With adjustments to the project timeline, we have decided to adjust the way we are incorporating the city procedural generation into our game. Previously this method was going to be done during run time in order to create constantly new levels every time the player readies up for a heist. We have moved to favor optimization of our game load times and control over the generation by using the system as a tool for creating unique and rewarding levels for the player to experience. This is an ongoing process and more information on how this is being done and the adjustments to the pipeline will be discussed in a future blog post! I'm excited to be able to work on more tool creation as this is one of my passions in the game development pipeline. This tool will notable be heavily used by our level designer and therefore will need to be comprehensive and efficient to be most useful for the future creation of our city levels.
Over the next couple of weeks we will be honing in on our gameplay and finalizing the background game systems for the features in our game. Once the level generation tool is finished I will be shifting my focus to helping designers polish our gameplay features and make sure there is ample and rewarding feedback for all interactions the player has in our game. I'm excited for the next few weeks and being able to jump into build and develop out the player experience we have been dreaming of for Cash Force. But for now, I need to jump back into some code!