We are back, players! We have a whole lot of exciting updates today, so the post will be a little bit longer. This installment covers the updates from the beginning of February to early March.
Today we fixed the bird blueprints 🐦- they somehow took on the nature of the eggs, 🥚in that they were on a 24° angle and rotation like the eggs. So this was something that was an easy fix. In addition, we have added a fourth level to the game. We created a vertical level and added the level 04 open map logic after level 03. This causes level 4 to open once level 3 is beaten and the player taps the "Next Level" button.
We noticed that the Cannon wasn't rotating far enough downward/to the right. This cut off a decent amount of potential trajectories that the player could have taken. We changed the cannon's automatic rotation so that it goes below level and faces slightly downward to the right (on levels where it goes from directly vertical to horizontal on its right side). Now the player has more options as far as which direction they want to launch their pig in, which opens up a lot of possibilities.
The next thing we did was set the "Post Boartem" (post pig report) so that it doesn't close automatically. There are a few stats that it shows the player, so we set it up so they have to tap the screen to close it and load the next pig. We also added the "Post Boartem" to the top and "Tap To Play" to the bottom. We plan to add animations to a lot of the UI elements for a more lively look and feel.
Next is the win screen. We added the total eggs collected of each type, and the score that that pig accumulated to it. We want to keep the player informed of these things between each pig because we plan on including an option in the game that allows the player to play with a minimalized HUD for a more clean look. And finally for this screen we added the retry and next level buttons.
We plan on changing the range of power the player can set their cannon to depending on the difficulty, so we set up some variables to adjust the Cannon power per level.
For the birds we added some logic to the construction script to update the materials of the birds when we duplicate them and change their type between small, medium and large. We also set up logic for their scale.
Next, we added two brand new features. We created a pinball style bumper. When the pig hits the bumper, it adds an impulse to the pig in the opposite direction, adds 50 points to the player's score, shows the point values pop up above the pig's head and fade out, and play a cash register sound to emphasize the points the Player is earning with each bump.
The other feature we added was a moving log. It's a log that moves back and forth on a loop to create a moving hazard for the player. The player will have to time the cannon's rotation with the moving log's rotation to ensure they can launch the pig past the log. We can set this blueprint to be any type of log and move back and forth in any directions on the X and Z axes.
These next couple weeks will be heavily focused on the UI/menu system again. We currently have a very basic main menu, pause menu, between pig report card and game over menu. We're about to change that. We plan to improve all of these menus and add some, including a settings page, episode select page and level select page. We've started with the main menu. We set up a background with a forest, waterfall and river. Andrew is going to dress it up with his impeccable level design skills. The camera rotates left and right on a loop and I added some cute and fun background music. We put a dark background Blur on the left 1/4 of the screen. Then added the logo to the top of this strip and then added 3 buttons with text boxes that say "Play Game", "Options", and "Quit". Next we coded the buttons so the text shrinks when tapped, then goes back to full size. Next we coded these buttons to do what they say. The Play button (for now) opens level one. Soon, it will open the chapter select page. From there, the player will be able to select a chapter, open the level select screen of that chapter, then pick from any of the levels they've unlocked. Finally, the quit button exits the game/app.
The next day I spoke to our 3D artist and he's in the process of creating some professional pinball style paddles based on my design, as well as some level pieces - A corner piece that creates a wall on a 45° angle in the top corners of the levels, and a pointed corner piece that act as a jutting out "obstacle" in the levels. The paddles are a two tone style. The outer edge is red, and the middle part is a natural wood grain.
Later on we got the paddles and wooden angles pieces and I set up the Blueprints to use them as meshes. The game looks a lot more professional now. I'm going to have to have them lengthened a bit, but we're on the right track.
Now that we have these great looking paddles in the project, I had to find a way to give them accurate collisions and also have the collision thicker on the Y Axis to make sure the pig doesn't fly right by them. The thing is, the default collision hugs the mesh nicely, which is what we need. We can't use a box collision because the collision for the tip of the paddle must be rounded like the mesh. This is so that depending on which exact part of the tip the pig was positioned at when the paddle was flapped, the trajectory off the paddle is very different due to the curve. So the problem is that no preset collision component will work, and we can't stretch the default collision on any axes. The solution turned out to be using two paddle meshes for each paddle blueprint. One of them is very wide (deep on the Y, and has a fully transparent material. The other is just the normal paddle. The invisible one acts as the mesh, and since it's deeper on the Y Axis, it will always block the pig.
Another thing we've been doing is creating the first pig character. We need a custom made pig, not just for the game, but also for the pictures and videos we make to show off the game. [Show image of old version of pig]
Currently, I have a nice looking stylized pig head made of a Sphere attached to a custom modeled snout. Next I created some tusks and some buck teeth at the very end of the snout which look Hilarious. Soon I plan to map the UVs, create the pig's Mohawk, and rig it and create different animations for different purposes.
I created a splash screen with the DMG logo and name. This screen will fade in and out before the main menu, once you open the game. I'm also working on getting the rights to the Unreal Engine and Blender logos for another splash screen.
And that's all, folks! We hope you're as excited for Piggy Payback! As we are! As usual, we will bring you all the latest updates in the next installment. Thanks, everyone! 🐽
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