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In this week's iteration on the road to completion, a lot of work was done to clean up existing features of the game. We tried to work on making our game more balanced by implementing two rubberbanding mechanics. We also incorporated more narrative elements into our game.

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This week's changes/improvements:

  • Modified the player respawn signifier to indicate when a player will respawn
  • Enhanced the look of existing powerups to make them more enticing
  • Modified UI so the player scores are just numbers (previously Color: number)
  • Players are no longer bringing coins to a random area in space. They now drop them off at the alien ship with the hyperdrive.
  • Sped up the opening cut scene
  • Implemented respawn rubberbanding so players who are behind respawn faster
  • Implemented system to collect more in-game statistics and display them on a more detailed scoreboard
  • Modified game instructions to include controller buttons and less text
  • Fixed issues where camera could move to an area where there was no star background
  • Fixed the orange/yellow player to be a consistent color
  • Implemented a "pooled energy" mechanic for the laser and boost abilities, hopefully resulting in more interesting choices
  • Modified timer to flash and give indication of low time remaining
  • Added asteroid rubberbanding so players in the lead are now targeted by asteroids
  • Added an asteroid break-up sound effect
  • Modified the lasers to look less like block-y rectangles

As we near the completion of our game development phase, we have begun to shift focus from essential player mechanics to making the game feel more juicy and fun to play. We received more than a handful of complaints during playtesting last week that the game was not really balanced. It was hard to bring someone down from a drastic lead and incredibly difficult to catch up if you were incredibly behind. To fix this we implemented some rubberbanding with our respawn and asteroids. We also cleaned up player lasers and the in-game scoreboard, as well as incorporated a new design for the mysterious fifth ship with an extra hyperdrive into both the intro video and the main game.

Further playtesting will result in additional tasks being added to the queue for next week, but there were a number of tasks we didn't get to this week that will be addressed in the upcoming deliverable. Now that we've fully incorporated narrative elements into the game, we need to juice up the fifth ship so players are inclined to move there to score. Our art up until this point has not been textured, and we hope to receive materials from our artist this week that will greatly enhance the look and feel of our game as we move to the p3_polish deliverable. We have also been collaborating with a music artist, and we hope to incorporate new sounds into next week's iteration. We will also be working on a game trailer this week.

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