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Piggy Payback! The Demo Was A Success!

Another week, another installment of the Piggy Payback! Devblog. Since the release of the alpha demo we’ve been having a lot of big ideas, and now we’re able to start looking toward the beta phase of the game. We hope you enjoy the updates!

We updated the splash screen that you see when the game starts. Before we had a black screen with a white DMG logo, but this didn’t fit the theme of the game. So we created a white screen with a black DMG logo and a few bird and pig characters on it. This is much nicer to look at and better fits the Piggy Payback! Theme.

We noticed the boards were suddenly not bouncing the pigs like they should. This is the same thing that happened with the triangle pieces. So we did the same thing, and added impulse logic to them. We’re going to have to figure out why this is happening so we can just use the physical material for the bounciness instead of the impulse logic. This will give the pig a much more accurate bounce direction, and also save on performance.

We also set up an auto save and load system. Currently it’s just for the music and SFX volume, but we will add in more variables like levels unlocked and currency later. To do this we created a game instance and referenced it/called it when the game first loads to load the variables, and when it ends to save them.

We decided that the CrowBomb didn’t move enough when hit by the pig. So we changed its mass to a smaller value. Now it bounces around the level just enough to not make it a random thing where it explodes.

Another thing we did was fixed the problem in the new levels where it automatically takes you to the win screen when you reach the points threshold. This was very frustrating and could ruin a potential high score. All it took was connecting a few wires, and boom, done.

We think we finally fixed the bug where the game destroys the pig while its rolling uphill and about to roll downhill. The pig would temporarily stop moving, but be about to start moving again, but the engine of course did not know that and would destroy the pig and load the new one into the cannon. This was of course going to annoy players. What we did was after the velocity check with the if statement asking if the pig’s velocity was below a certain value, we put in a 1.5 second delay node and did another check before destroying the pig. So the pig has to be below that low velocity threshold for a full 1.5 seconds before it can be destroyed. Since then we haven’t had the pig destroyed at the wrong time once. Rejoice!

A problem we’ve been dealing with is the pig bounces and rolls for too long when you already know it’s going know where and your turn is about to end. Like when it’s bouncing straight up and down or just rolling along the floor. To combat this, we increased the linear damping on the pig from 0.1 to 0.15. This worked wonders to slow the pig down once it was already starting to slow down. It decreased the time from when it’s starting to slow down to when it comes to a stop. This removes those lull times where nothing is happening, while not affecting the auto destroy in any way.

We did some minor tweaks this week to the mechanics, like increasing the impulse on the triangle with the red rubber outline on the bottom of level 5, and decreasing the impulse on the bricks in level 6. Those bricks were really launching the pig with too much force, but they’re a lot better now.

We also adjusted the point thresholds on each level based on the playtester feedback and Google Analytics data. We found that some levels were about right, while others were too hard, and still others were too easy. We really need to fine tune the difficulty of each level to keep players in the flow channel.

We also made level 6 easier by removing one of the three layers of bricks. We found that the players had a very hard time breaking through all three layers, so reducing them to two layers should make it the perfect difficulty.

We increased the Global Time Dilation of the game from 1 to 1.3. This will make the game a bit faster and more challenging, but not too much. More importantly, it will make the pig come to a velocity where it can be destroyed quicker, without destroying it while it’s in a spot where you don’t want it to be destroyed.

Another issue we’ve been facing is the pig rolling to a stop or getting stuck on the paddle connectors. This was because they were at a much shallower angle than the paddles. So we angled them at the same angle as the paddles. This should fix the issue.

We added a really cool camera shake effect to the CrowBomb explosion sequence. We also added a smaller one to both types of bumpers. We had to create two camera shake blueprints, set the shake oscillation duration, amplitude and frequency for both pitch and yaw, and then call this blueprint inside the CrowBomb and bumper blueprints. We feel this really adds a feel of impact when the shake is called.

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