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The start of the development blog, with a near feature-complete build.

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IMPROVEMENTS

We've been building this game for about 4 weeks now. Major features for this specific build were:

  1. A revamped player setup screen. Players register their controller, are assigned a color, and pick teams. Previously, we simply assigned players to teams based on which controllers registered first.
  2. Levels now have spike hazards, which hurt the players when touched and make them respawn at a checkpoint.
  3. Teams now have differently tinted miners and score trackers.
  4. Greatly reduced grappling hook elasticity for more stable movement.
  5. A Voronoi splitscreen camera, like the one used in the Lego co-op games.
  6. Players gained pickaxes, which can be thrown to stun other players, and dynamite, which will be used in future levels to blow up breakable walls.
  7. Misc bug fixes.

Our previous build had a number of bugs, which we managed to iron out, and the old splitscreen camera confused players as it only zoomed out for one player and also swapped the positions of the screens depending on who was in front, but in a jarring manner. Players were also moving through levels at an erratic pace, and they bounced too much because our ropes behaved like bungee cords. Changes 2, 4, 5 and 7 address this.

We wanted to give players more to do while traversing our levels. Player interaction was pretty limited, though the miners could collide and slam into each other. Change 6 addresses this.

Lastly, our UI was simply lacking and players were not aware of who their team mates were or what they were swinging through the mine for, or who was winning. Changes 1 and 3 address this.

In the immediate future, we'll need to think hard about level design to encourage use of these items. We also need more levels, sound effects, and refinement of the grappling hooks.

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