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Summary of our changes for our alpha build for our school project

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This week, our team focused on implementing some of our final features, and beginning the polishing work on current features that we've implemented. Some of these new features include:

  • Creation of a store for players to hire crewmates and use gold
  • Redesigns of the offensive and defensive encounters
    • The defensive encounter now starts with the player in an isolated bay, with two islands meeting to create natural defensible chokepoints for the player to defend
    • The offensive encounter now take places within an atoll, creating a natural "fort" for the player to try and breach and attack - Introduction of a new battle encounter as first level of game
  • In preparation for player being able to buy and control larger ships, we've given the player control of the Turtle for the offensive level
  • Updates to the tutorial of the game
  • Improvements to enemy ship AI and movement
  • General improvements to UI and player guidance:
    • Completed islands on the level select now have a surrender flag and are not selectable
    • Active missions on the level select have a floating exclamation point above them
    • On the mission brief screen, missions now show what type of encounter they are, what the win condition is, and victory from winning
    • Cannonballs have a UI "pop" effect on load
  • Addition of new sound effects and music for the store and main menu
  • Graphical overhaul of islands in the game

Bug Fixes:

  • Stationary cannons now actually have a texture
  • Health bars for ships no longer rotate
  • Players show up outside of island they just beat/lost
  • Gold should now not show up on islands
  • Gold should now not persist between scenes
  • Crew management graphics should be fixed

As mentioned, a lot of our motivation behind our changes this week was finally implementing some of the final features that we wanted in our game, namely the creation and implementation of our store. Beyond that, a lot of our new changes also come from feedback and beginning the process of polishing up our game. Namely, we've significantly reworked the design of the multiple encounters in the game, changing their layout and difficulty in an attempt to make them more approachable and understandable for new players. We've also made multiple changes to address a consistent problem of player guidance: Significant UI changes were made to our battles, tutorial, briefing, and level selection screen to make it more clear to players what is happening and what they have to do. Ultimately, we are largely done with major content for our game. Our focus going forward is to polish our current work and adjust the game to be more accessible and enjoyable to players.

For our next iteration of the game, our team will largely be focusing on finishing up our implementation of the store and implementing a final boss for the game. Other than that, improvements will be made in UI, sound, juice, and graphics to make the game look and feel more appealing.

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