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Action game centered around a rhythm mechanic where you defend a tower from hordes of robots

Platform PC
Genre Rhythm/action
Engine Unity 2019
Role Project manager
Team size 12
Time 7 weeks

Contributions

Enemy Co-Design

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      <h2>Drone</h2>
            <p>The Drone is our main enemy, steadily attacking in greater numbers as the game goes on. Attacks the player when in range but if six Drones are engaged with the player any more instead focus on the core.
            </p>

Drone

The Drone is our main enemy, steadily attacking in greater numbers as the game goes on. Attacks the player when in range but if six Drones are engaged with the player any more instead focus on the core.

<h2>Shooter</h2>
      <p>The Shooter is mostly a threat to the core, ignores the player wholly until it is in attack range, then only attacks the player in self defence. Has one slow moving attack!
</p>

Shooter

The Shooter is mostly a threat to the core, ignores the player wholly until it is in attack range, then only attacks the player in self defence. Has one slow moving attack!

<h2>Hunter</h2>
      <p>The Hunter focus only on the player. Introduced last as the player needs some skill to dispatch this foe. Has great speed, range, HP and two attacks.
      </p>

Hunter

The Hunter focus only on the player. Introduced last as the player needs some skill to dispatch this foe. Has great speed, range, HP and two attacks.

Enemies and Combat

We quickly came up with the design around the enemies. The idea was to have three distinct behaviours that would bring different experiences and have synergizing behaviours. The Hunter was first envisioned as a Boss but we quickly changed that to allow for more interesting waves of enemies. The shooter was first designed to attack both player and Core but we changed it due to time-constraints, and I believe the game was better of.

Player Co-Design

To allow the player to focus on the rhythmic gameplay we streamlined the controls to support this. X and Y buttons are used to attack, A button is used to dash and the camera only rotates on one axis with an automated zoom that reacts when player enters combat.

Rhythm Centric Combat

To allow the player to focus on the rhythmic gameplay we streamlined the controls to support this. X and Y buttons are used to attack, A button is used to dash and the camera only rotates on one axis with an automated zoom that reacts when player enters combat.

The combat is connected to the music by having the light (X) attack animation span ¼ of the bar and the heavy (Y) attack span 2/4 of the bar.

Spawn Design

<h2>Tool Design</h2>
      <p>I helped design the tool, developed by a programmer, that I used to design the flow of enemies. The functionality supports spawning different enemies and amounts, choosing at what point the enemies would spawn, if there should be waiting time between spawning events and if the tool should pause until all enemies spawned are killed.
      </p>
      <p>I used different combinations of these functions to create a flow of enemies that fit with the music. I also made an approximation of how long it would take players to fill the SYNC meter, this helped me plan out when to increase spawn intensity and balance the gameplay.
      </p>

Tool Design

I helped design the tool, developed by a programmer, that I used to design the flow of enemies. The functionality supports spawning different enemies and amounts, choosing at what point the enemies would spawn, if there should be waiting time between spawning events and if the tool should pause until all enemies spawned are killed.

I used different combinations of these functions to create a flow of enemies that fit with the music. I also made an approximation of how long it would take players to fill the SYNC meter, this helped me plan out when to increase spawn intensity and balance the gameplay.

My spawn behaviour was implemented after the project was finished, because I wanted to strengthen the connection between enemy flow and music while also shorten the waiting time. Currently one playthrough clocks in at roughly ten minutes.

Score and Streak System

      <h2>Grades and Score</h2>
            <p>The player collects score when attacking enemies in rhythm. A base score of 50 is always awarded and a grade is set with a connected bonus score, sent to the multiplier before being added to the total score.
            </p>
            <p>The grades are:
      Miss 0p
      Good 20p
      Great 30p
      Super 40p
      Perfect 50p
      If the player has a multiplier of 10 and performs with PERFECT input they are awarded with 1000p for every attack.
      </p>

Grades and Score

Together with our UX designer I designed and implemented our score system to improve the games sense of progression and add to our “Visual Spectacle” PEG. Having to contribute to an established codebase late in development was a great learning experience. In hindsight, we should have connected the score to the player damage output.

The player collects score when attacking enemies in rhythm. A base score of 50 is always awarded and a grade is set with a connected bonus score, sent to the multiplier before being added to the total score. If the player has a multiplier of 10 and performs with PERFECT input they are awarded with 1000p for every attack.

Grades: Miss 0p - Good 20p - Great 30p - Super 40p - Perfect 50p

Music

Adaptive Music

I built a horizontal music system in FMOD around the SYNC mechanic, the power accumulated by the player when she attacks to the beat. A float value from 0-1 determines what part of the music to play. To allow for immediate audio feedback the shift in music intensity is instant. To spare time I opted to implement real-time-mixing with FMOD snapshots that add some effects to the music during a transition to mask the cut, instead of writing music transitions. The shift always transitions to a prelude of the coming piece to glue the parts together.

SFX Implementation

Besides music, I used FMOD to design and implement sound effects. Most SFX was provided by our resident UX designer and I used those files to create our final soundscape. FMOD also allowed us to connect the music to the gameplay with their “BeatEventCallback” method that is connected to the BPM track I created for all music events.

Average Rhythm

I decided early on that the music should be 120 BPM. It is said to be close to the average heartbeat and based off of data mined from the last ten years billboard hits, many people prefer songs between 120 and 130 BPM. Me and our UX designer composed all music and I consolidated the tracks within a template I set up to give us a coherent sound. I mixed and mastered the tracks inside Logic.

Project management

<h2>An Agile Vision</h2>
      <p>As project manager I would continually provide a vision of the product that informed our decisions regarding design, UX, art and programming. I also allowed for pivoting by taking development issues into account and by focusing on our minimum viable product (MVP).
To achieve this I worked closely with our Scrum Master during sprint planning. We poured over and used our backlog to move toward something feasible every sprint while maintaining our MVP.
</p>

An Agile Vision

As project manager I would continually provide a vision of the product that informed our decisions regarding design, UX, art and programming. I also allowed for pivoting by taking development issues into account and by focusing on our minimum viable product (MVP).

To achieve this I worked closely with our Scrum Master during sprint planning. We poured over and used our backlog to move toward something feasible every sprint while maintaining our MVP.

<h2>Pillars of Design</h2>
      <p>We worked with PEGs (player experience goals) as part of our initial design. These were handy when assessing the project from a broad perspective, enabling quick decision making when needed.
Feel like a badass
Perform to the beat
Simple combat and controls
Visual spectacle
Accessible
Maximum output with minimum input
</p>

Pillars of Design

We worked with PEGs (player experience goals) as part of our initial design. These were handy when assessing the project from a broad perspective, enabling quick decision making when needed.

- Feel like a badass
- Perform to the beat
- Simple combat and controls
- Visual spectacle
- Accessible
- Maximum output with minimum input