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Piggy Payback! Is Shaping Up! | Indie games

🤝Welcome back, guys! We're so excited for the upcoming beta demo. The to-do lists get shorter every day, and we are working our curly tails off to bring it to you. So buckle up, put your sickest piggy shades on, and get ready to ricochet!🎱

Checking how fast the pig is moving
Blueprints: Pig velocity check

One of the trickiest things about the entire game’s development is figuring out at what velocity (the pig is moving) to end the turn. We need the pig to “auto destroy” when he comes to a stop, and even before. If we just allow the pig to roll to a complete stop, it will often take too long and the players may get annoyed. So we want to destroy the pig and end the turn when it gets to too low a velocity. But it’s not that simple. There are times when the pig is rolling uphill, and comes to a complete stop, but is about to start rolling downhill. We can’t destroy the pig when this happens. So what we do is we have two velocity checks. First, when the pig begins to slow down, and then another one two seconds later to make sure the pig is still going slow. If both checks come back as ‘true’, we end the player’s turn.

Volume that makes pig disappear and ends turn
Auto-kill volume

We also created an “auto-kill volume” for the wide parts at the bottom of the level where the pig can roll for quite a distance. This volume auto-destorys the pig and ends the player’s turn if the pig is below a certain velocity. This is just an extra check so that players don’t get to keep playing if the pig is slowly rolling across the bottom of the level, and also so they don’t have to wait for the pig to get to another paddle.

The 3D  level in which the main menu exists
3D Main Menu Level

So, we’ve setup the 3D menu level so the main menu is on a hill next to the river, where your main pet pig is standing and hanging out. We plan to play an idle animation here on a loop. This is where you can choose to play the game from the level you left off from, go to the forge to buy piggy accessories or cannon upgrades, and accessorize your pig. The forge section of the menu is just across the river, in the same 3D world. We had the camera snapping between views of the main pig/menu area and the forge, but we just decided to make the camera fly across the river to the forge (and back) when you choose to go there/tap the back button. This is a much nicer effect and it really makes you feel like you actually exist in this beautiful meadow.

The signs in the main menu level
Signs in 3D menu level

We added some signs! The main menu view has a sign showing the directions of the forge and the battlefield. We also put a sign in front of the forge that says “Swinestein’s Forge”. We really love the look of these signs. We still have to setup the patented Piggy Payback! font for the text on these signs.

The list of items that are in the store section
Store Items

We now have over 100 items in the store for the beta demo. We added all of these items to the data table, and this is where they are stored in the code. A data table basically lets you have a bunch of attributes associated with an object. You can apply a thumbnail image to it, a static mesh, you can give it values such as price or quantity. You can add anything you want to a data table. We have hats, head accessories, shoes, glasses and more. We pretty much have the store functioning nicely, except for a few bugs which we’re working on now. In the full game, we plan to have several hundred items to buy or more. We really want you to be able to express your style through your hogs!

Check mark used to show which item is applied in the store
Check mark graphic

We also added check mark graphics for the item you’re focusing on, as well as “Owned” graphics over the items you already own. These are currently placeholders, but we will update them soon. We also separated the items in the list by item type so it’s easier to sort through them all and see what you want to buy.

Style menu within each item.
Item Style Menu

You will be able to pick the color/style you want in the box that pops up after you tap/click one of the items. SO most of the items have different skins you can choose from. We wanted to put this in a separate box so your screen doesn’t get cluttered. Soon, we will have the code setup for you to be able to select the orientation of certain items. For example, if you click on a hair bow, within the styles box that pops up, there will be a section to choose whether you want the bow on the left side of the pig’s head or the right. So many options!

The settings menu in the game
Settings Menu

We finished the settings menu for the beta demo! We just have two volume sliders here. One for music and one for SFX. As you slide the music slider, it plays the Piggy Payback! Theme song to let you hear how loud you’re setting the volume to, and for the volume slider, it plays a pig oinking sound over and over. Originally it played the sound way too fast and our speakers sounded like they were about to explode. We used concurrency settings to only allow the sound to play once every 0.2 seconds.

The screen that you see at the end of your turn
End Screen W/ Egg Gems

We completely overhauled the end screen that you see after all of your pigs. We finally added the egg gem screen. This is like the stars page at the end of an Angry Birds level. The way it works is, if you beat a level, you are able to earn egg gems. If you do so-so, you get a white egg gem. If you do good, you get the white and the blue gem. If you do outstanding, you get those two, and also the gold egg gem. Your challenge is to score the golden egg gem on every level and master Piggy Payback! When the screen starts, there is a progress bar that fills up as the game counts your points. As the bar goes from left to right, it passes the egg gems above them. If you get enough points to score a blue gem, for example, the bar will pass it. This shows you exactly how well you did on each level. We also plan to have an ever-changing letter grade attached to your play so you can keep tabs on your you’re doing as you go through your pigs. With a final letter grade given to you at the end. Both your grade and your egg gems record are stored on the boxes that represent each level in the level select screen.

Animation that says "Unlocked" when you unlock something
"Unlocked Animation"

We just added some animated widgets to the game for some flash. Including a spinning word that says “Unlocked!” when you press the omni-button the required number of times to unlock its counterpart, as well as animating every button when you click it. We will add much more of this for the final game.

A GIF of the Crow-Bomb mechanic
Crow-Bomb GIF

The Crow-Bomb is complete! We had to fix it because it would sometimes explode after the pig disappeared. We had to set up custom events from the Crow Bomb blueprint to tell the Pig blueprint when it was hit, and when it was destroyed. When it was destroyed, it would only then allow the pig to destroy (disappear). Now, when you bounce it with your pig, a timer starts and a ticking sound begins to play, over this time, the crow begins to pulsate in size, as well as in color. It turns red and starts glowing as he’s about to explode, then then….boom. You just cleared a relatively large section of the level.

The docks that exist in the 3D main menu level
Docks in Main Menu

We’ve done so much work on the 3D main menu level. It’s looking truly beautiful at this point. We added a set of docks on either side of the river on the 3D main menu page, and a boat on the near side. We feel this adds a nice touch to the level and the artwork is really good-looking. We’re very happy with it!

The slider that let's you choose the power of your Cannon
Power Selector Bar

We added a new power bar widget to the HUD. This is the slider where you select the power of your milk-cannon. This is still just a placeholder, but we will use it for the beta demo. Eventually, we will have one single widget for selecting power and aiming. A single motion with your thumb will be used to select your power and launch your pig. Kind of how in Angry Birds, you just pull back and down on the bird in the slingshot to choose both factors.

The visible points that pop up when you score points
Pop-Up Points

As of now, every mechanic in the beta demo has pop-up points working properly. The visible numbers that pop up, bounce around, float up and fade away when you score points. The bumpers, the spin gate, the birds and eggs themselves, etc. We will color code the pop-up points so you can tell where the points came from, and we are part-way finished this.

Indicator that shows your current point multiplier
Point Multiplier Indicator

We now have a widget next to the score that shows your current point multiplier. This value is constantly changing since some mechanics give you a multiplier, and they are also added to the point multiplier you get depending on the velocity of your pig when you squash a bird or an egg.

I've learned so much along the way of developing this game. I've learned that persistence and endurance are crucial for success in anything. I've learned how to fail and keep going. I've improved my leadership and team skills. And I've learned that the gamedev and gaming communities are full of some truly impressive and inspirational people. I love making indie games, I'm so excited for my future in this industry, and I can't wait to see what comes next.


💪Remember guys, it's not how many times you get knocked down, it's how many times you get back up.

[Times got back up] > [Times knocked down] = Success



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