Hello everyone, welcome to another edition of the Piggy Payback! devblog. It's been a while since we brought you guys anything, but we have been doing a whole lot of reworking and optimizing in order to bring you the best possible experience. It is our vehement wish and ultimate goal to give you as fun of a game as we are humanly able to. So, grab a coffee, sit back, and enjoy the update!
We’ve made some updates to the home screen of the game. We’ve added some new buttons which will be the finalized buttons for the game. We really like that sleek, pink glass look. We’ve been perfecting the black outline system for all the objects in the game. It took a LOT of research to find the best way to create the black outlines, and a lot of messing around with settings and parameters, but we’re getting closer and closer to the perfect system. Since objects farther away react differently to the outlines than closer objects - The outlines don’t look right on farther ones, we’re able to use a different outline system for any type of object we want. So the pig will have one set which has more detail, the trees and rocks around the pig will have another, and the objects farther away will have yet another. This system allows for a lot of customization. It’s coming along nicely.
This week we’ve been doing a lot of updating to get ready for the upcoming demo. We’ve been bringing all of the accessories that will be in the demo into the project. We have to bring in all the meshes, the textures, create material instances out of those textures, and also bring in the thumbnails for the store. These will be the things you see and tap when you want to buy say a hat or some shades for your pig, except they will be inside of a nice pink glass tile.
We’ve also been doing a lot of tidying up of the project, and making the game more efficient. For example, in the 3D main menu level with the waterfall, we’ve been changing the collision on the trees and different rock meshes to a simple box collision for each one. Since you will never run into these objects there is really no need for any collision at all, but they had complex collision on them, and it would be absurd to use complex collision for something like that. We will likely remove the collision altogether once we know for sure that it isn't needed.
So, basically what we’re saying is we’re preparing for the beta demo. We’ve been doing tons of micro adjustments to the levels and their different pieces. As well as to different back-end settings to make the levels play as perfectly as possible. The key is to make the levels challenging, but not frustrating. The trick to this is to keep the player feeling challenged more and more as the game goes on, but with short rest periods in between the challenges. This is known as the “Flow Channel”. If the game gets too hard, the player feels anxiety. If it gets too easy, he feels boredom. The sweet spot is in the middle, while continuously getting more and more challenging as the player becomes more skilled.
We’ve also been adding the meshes for the different mechanics. The physics gate, the boxing glove and more. It takes a lot of fine tuning after the initial setup in order to get these mechanics working properly, but nothing we can't handle! The boxing glove punches an extra pig that’s on top of the frame once you hit the button in the level enough times. That pig rolls down the chute on the side of the frame and down a ramp into the level. We put an ‘Add Force’ volume which will both push the pig into the level with some force, and prevent the pigs from flying back up into that chute.
We’ve faced some challenges creating the different mechanics and power-ups, etc. But that just inspires us more. Sometimes you could swear you’ve done everything right, but just one error completely breaks the thing you’re working on. You just have to keep working your tail off and you WILL succeed. The two power-ups that will be in the game are the “Slow-Mo” Power-up, which slows down time for a few seconds. As well as the “Big Pig” Power-up, which makes your pig larger for a few seconds, making it easier to squash birds. The trick here is making sure every level is such that the pig doesn’t get stuck due to its larger size.
We created a mechanic called the “Omni-Button”. This button can be used to trigger any blueprint we want to do anything we want. The idea is you toss your pig into the button, the button presses in, turns green for a second, then goes back to idle. It then triggers something else to happen. Anything we need. We can set the button to have any number of required presses we want before it activates the associated Blueprint. So, we could require the player to press the button 3 times, at which time, an egg cage in the same level unlocks and drops the Golden egg, allowing the player to then collect it.
We also modified the slow-mo power-up so it ca be a power-up or a hazard. We have it so we can easily swap out the power-up mesh for a mesh that represents a sped up time. Then we have it set so we can select whether this same blueprint slows down time or speeds it up. So we basically have two mechanics in one, of which we can change at any time we want and put where we want it in thew level.
We’ve been working closely with our 2D background artist, perfecting the first horizontal level background. We’ve got the static image that represents the base background for the first set of levels exactly how we want it. We also had Layla edit the background so it’s vertical. That one is for the vertical pinball-style levels in the game. Next thing we need to do is make the sprites that will be animated on top of the background image. We’re going to have clouds that move across the screen, with their shadows and highlight from the sun updating as they move, birds that fly across the sky, an animated water...sort of wave in the pond. This is a ring that expands outward from the middle. And a couple more animated elements. We can’t wait to have it all setup!
We’re currently building another brand new level based on the design we created a few months ago. This level contains a button that the player has to press with his pig. There is a vertical steel piece that looks like a girder, but in the middle will be a green bar. The bar gets taller every time the pig hits the button. The idea is to hit the button enough times to fill the bar. Once it’s filled, the red light/siren on the top turns on to let you know that you’ve unlocked something in the level. We plan to have mechanics like this bar unlock different things in different levels. It’s a really cool mechanic that we’re excited to show you!
We’ve also been working really hard on the piggy cosmetic items you’ll be able to grab on the demo. This will be just a small sample of the selection you’ll have in the final game. We’ve added the first pig head accessory, the arrow that is mounted through the pig’s head. There will be two versions, one that’s just the arrow, and one that has the headband like the gag gifts you can buy from those stores like Spencer’s gifts. We’ve added two types of bracelets/rings/earrings/snout rings. There will be one of each type of jewelry piece in the same style.
We also plan on making sets of accessories. So, for example, we will have a hat or head accessory, a pair of shoes, and some jewelry pieces that all match, and go together in a set. Some of these can be purchased in the Piggy Store, while others can only be unlocked through gameplay. Challenges will be a great way to unlock rare items that can’t otherwise be obtained.
We plan to have a pretty large stack of challenges in this game. Such as scoring a certain amount of points in one level, total points scored, collecting a certain amount of golden eggs, and so on. There will also hopefully be levels of challenges. Like collect 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 golden eggs. We feel adding these challenges will add another layer of enjoyment for you, the player. Later on we plan to have achievements. These are a list of the best challenges in the game that are meant for showing of your Piggy prestige. We plan to make them similar to Xbox/PS achievements and trophies in that a box will pop up in the corner of the screen to tell you when you’ve unlocked one of them. These won’t be in the beta demo, but we hope to add them in eventually.
Well, we hope you enjoyed the latest in the Piggy-sphere! We're working really hard to bring you this beta demo. We want to have it out in the next few months, but there are a lot of moving parts involved, as we also need to have a new beta trailer and other things at the time of release. Until then, please stay tuned and kindly continue to join us on this amazing journey!