Week 5

Hello everyone! I’m David Fenton the gameplay programmer for Those Guys.

My role on Those Guys:

I am the gameplay programmer.  I specifically work on the player controller.  This entails working with the designers, mainly Jonathan, to get the game mechanics working properly.

Update about my work:

The past milestones I wrote a player controller where everything worked together across two files: the player controller and ball controller.  This included movement, throwing the ball, and climbing.  This past alpha milestone I needed to write the swinging mechanic as well as the player abilities of running, high jumping, and gliding.  To top it off, I had also decided to rewrite the player controller to be state based so it would work better because I felt the controller was too rigid and not flexible enough to handle what we wanted to do as a team.  So during week 1, I wrote and rewrote the swinging mechanic four or five times until it worked the way it was planned to work.  During week 2 and 3, I designed, UML diagrammed (states and transitions), and wrote a state based architecture for the player and ball controllers.  I also put the player abilities into the controller code.  And during week 4, I finished up the controller by adding in the missing ball pulling mechanic.  After finishing, though, I kept tweaking and bug fixing the controller such as adding an input lockout so animations can fully play and fixing a problem with the controller sliding down slopes when it should not be.

Update about the game:

Art side: Adam and Hojun have been working very diligently to finish blocking out all the models in the game.  Some are completely finished and textured and they have planned to finish texturing the rest soon.  Anne ran into some major issues with her rigging and skinning on That Guy.  She and Jonathan worked very hard to solve the problem and learned there was something missing during the exporting phase of the animations.  Since that was solved, Anne’s animations were put into the game and they look fantastic.  Speaking of fantastic, Decker modeled a moth and bat which Anne animated.  He also drew some concept art and did a lighting pass on the game levels for alpha.

Design side: David, Jonathan, and Brandon finished a blocking pass on their levels.  The levels are currently undergoing an evaluation phase on what works, what doesn’t work, and what serves best for the narrative and mechanics of the game.  Jonathan added in the moths and bats to one of the levels to show their implementation for later use.

Tech side: Hans finished and is tweaking his path finding system for the moths and bats.  It works well and is easy to use for the designers.  Adrian’s fog looks astounding in game and he is currently working on adding frustums to the list of available shapes.

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Now, on a completely off topic and random note:

If everyone stopped working on what they were doing and we, as humans, put everything we had into making a time machine that could go back in time, everything would become irrelevant.

Week 4 Update

Web_Headshots_Anne

Hi there! I’m Anne, the animator for Those Guys. As we roll up to our Alpha deadline I will give you an overview as to what we’ve been up to.

My role on Those Guys:

I am the animator and rigger for Chained. As our game has a very strong theme, I focus on using my animations not only to give the player feedback but to help sell the experience as well. I work closely with our art director and designers in order to ensure that the mood through my animations is expressed correctly while also fulfilling the needs of the game mechanics.

Update about my work:

After successfully troubleshooting a rigging issue, I have been creating and testing animations. It’s always quite interesting how differently things can work within Unity as compared to Maya. While this creates a very iteration-heavy process, it is a very ideal work flow as we can not only test animations early but also discover what tweaks are necessary to improve the look of them in within Unity.

Update about the game:

We have all been working hard for our upcoming Alpha milestone.

Keith has been keeping us all on track and running towards the milestone.

Brandon, Jonathan, and David S. have each created several levels to help teach mechanics as well as emphasizing story beats. We have a really powerful moment set up within Chained, but I won’t spoil it for you!

Adrian has updated the level streaming system to allow us to “snap” levels together with minimal work from the designers.

Hans has been improving the Wisp system and has finished implementing node-based pathfinding using the A* algorithm.

(I will freely admit I needed some assistance with our programmer’s work description, as my “they made really cool stuff” just wouldn’t cut it.)

David F. has been fine tuning the animation controller. I’m excited to see how my animations will work with it.

Decker has been producing a lot more concept art for props for Hojun and Adam to model. He also modeled the Moth and Bat to use for guiding the player.

Hojun and Adam have been modeling and texturing like beasts. They’ve made huge progress within the last week.

Jon has been doing sound passes on the levels. His music really helps to sell the mood of the game.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been animating That Guy, the Moth and the Bat.

Enjoy our Alpha!

Week 2 Update

Web_Headshots_Keith

Howdy everyone my name is Keith Leiker, and I’m the producer for DigiPen’s “Those Guys”. We have an extra long post today because we’ve been gone for the last month and lots has happened!

Announcements:

New Team Members

I would like to welcome Anne Feeny, David Scamehorn, and Adam Purvis to the team. The scope of the game is such that we need more hands on deck and they will be instrumental to completing the game to the level that we want.

DigiPen Foundation Studio

Those Guys are one of the six teams selected to participate in a pilot program that will see us trying to do some scholarship fundraising! We are super excited and will send out more details soon about how you can help support us and the other five teams.

However that means that we will be more strict with the content we gve out. Weekly blog posts will come to all, and we will keep putting up art nuggets, but the Alpha and Beta builds may not be available. Stay tuned for more on this.

We have a new team space!

DigiPen has finally put together a floor plan so teams can have some official space. We have a nice corner  of the new 3rd floor computer lab, named Tesla the best real world mad scientist ever!

What I do:

My job as the teams producer is to make sure everyone has what they need to succeed at building their part of the game. That means planning meetings to discuss design, animation, and programming. I define what goals we will strive to hit for milestones, and keep track at a high level the progress of the team.

Update about the things I do:

After a quiet winter break we have been running really hard as a team to accomplish a ton of stuff. We split up the fourteen weeks of spring semester into seven, two week sprints, to help us keep our noses to the grindstone. We are currently running toward our Alpha milestone, where we need to have all of our mechanics finalized, a grey box of our entire game complete, and some significant rework of the art assets that populate the game.

I am happy to be working at getting our new team members on-boarded and hope to t be able to show some excellent artwork and more audio soon.

Updates about the Game:

We have quite a few new mechanics that we are trying to get in, and Jonathan and David are busy getting a new player controller working  with these new mechanics.

Anne has been busy re-skinning our main character “That Guy” and building some fresh animations.

Brandon and David have been discussing all of the story beats and level flow along with Jonathan, we should have some significant progress soon!

Adrian, and Hans have been working on getting us some new AI behaviors for our “NPC” and building some excellent visual tech to make the game pop.

Hojun, Decker, and Adam have been hard at work refocusing on what needs to be rebuilt and what else we will need.

It’s an exciting time for us, there’s lots of possibilities that we are sanding off to get the game ready for milestone though.

See you next week!