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Piggy Payback! Now We're Cooking With Gas!

Well, it's Christmas Eve 🎄and the Piggies are wrapping their presents and devouring every cookie and candy cane in sight. It's their day off from making their game and their neighbors, the mad birds 🐦 are side-eying 🧐 the piggies' sty from their nest. We did some much needed tweaking and updating this week and we're even more excited to bring you this game! Enjoy the read!

Today we created optimal trajectories for the player to aim for. The birds and eggs are positioned in lines that go across the level, and then change angles when they come up to a level piece. So, the player needs to launch the pig at the right angle so they can score chain Squashes and get tons of points. But this takes pre-thought and planning. 🧠An added challenge. So, the game has active and reactive gameplay.

We've been focusing on the UI lately to bring the game to a point where it feels like a real video game. We setup/changed the "New Pig" button so that the player can choose when they want a new pig to load into the Cannon and destroy/disappear the old one. When we have it on the phone this will be a 1 second touch and hold button so the player doesn't accidentally destroy their current pig. These little UI/UX features are so important if you want a game that stands out, in my opinion.

Another cool feature we added was an angle widget on the Cannon. The widget continuously updates and displays the angle of the Cannon as it automatically rotates. This can help the player if they try to get their next shot at the same or a similar angle to the last one. But on harder levels we will remove this feature for an added challenge. Moreover, we added a return to menu and try again button to game over screen.

We had to redo the oink SFX for when the pig Bounces. We did this with event hit nodes and by Turing on "Simulation generates hit events" in the Details panel. We had a delay node in the logic so the pig didn't spam his oink, but I turned it off and now when the pig is rolling he oinks really fast and it's quite funny. I'll probably add a delay node of 0.2 seconds just so it doesn't sound like it's bugging out.

Another UI feature we added was a sort of report card that pops up after each pig until the player taps the screen. This widget shows the number of each type of egg the player collected and the total score. This is nice to have because it keeps the player up to date on their progress.

We also updated the minimum score of each level to 2500, which is shown in the pre-play screen before each level. We'll have to change this for each level based on how many points the average person gets. We'll have to wait until we have a prototype/demo for the Android OS first.

We realized the pig could look like it overlaps the birds 🐦 and eggs 🥚but not collect it. This is because they're 3D meshes and don't technically overlap, but look like they do because of the angle of the camera in relation to the collectibles. So, I slightly increased the height and width of their collision spheres. Now this problem doesn't happen.

We made some minor adjustments to the level, like moving the paddles to better spots and putting a post from the edge log of the level and making it end in the center of the log round that forms the pivot point of the paddle. This is to make it look like it has a pin through it which is the physical pivot point. We hope to have the great looking finalized paddles in the game soon.

Since we had to redo a lot of the pig's logic and change it from a projectile back to a physics body, we had to readjust the physics material of the pig and logs. This is going to be a long term task. We need to balance the bounciness of the physical materials of the pig and logs, the number of birds and eggs in the level, their point values and the threshold of points to beat the level. We need to make it not too easy to pass the level and not too hard.

The pig is bouncing very nicely now. Not too little, not too much. But I realized that the level didn't have enough birds/eggs in it so I added a few more of each. The average score for level 1 is about 4000 and level 2 is 6300. I need to keep testing these levels to find the average points the players get and set the score threshold to beat the level a little higher than that.

Next, we cleaned up the levels by using the orthographic view. Lining up the birds, eggs, logs and paddles so they're dead center in line with the frame of the level (outer logs). I also created a Blueprint for a third paddle and wrote the logic. Soon we will have one Blueprint for all the paddles in the game. This will be much neater and take up less space. Lastly, we added new music tracks for the BGM, created sound cues out of them, put them on a loop and then input them into the level Blueprint. Now the songs for the newest levels play upon beginplay. Eventually we will create one master sound blueprint for the SFX, as well as a master music blueprint to handle all the music.

And that's it, folks! Once again, thank you so much for spending your valuable time with us. We promise we won't disappoint. And we hope you come back for the next installment, and maybe even tell a friend! Have a great Christmas and new year!🎆

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