These two weeks was that just working on a few things for that game, as we still had to finish off some of the other assignments. I worked on animating the security guard to have a better run cycle just too polish off the main screen. But other than that the game was pretty close to completion and is was all about polishing off the levels and working on level design.
This week all of the art for Klepto was done, and it was just up to the programmers to fix the odd bug and make the final build of the game.
This final stage of our production has been focused around optimising the game, finding and fixing bugs and ensuring that it is as visually pleasing as possible. One of the first visual improvements has been the decorating of the new Aztec level select, which can be switched to upon completion of the first world. When switching between worlds at the world select panel in the van, the respective worlds props are enabled. A new cut shot has also been added with a pop up canvas to prompt the player that a new world has been unlocked upon the completion of the first world.
We have also spent some time improving the opening camera cut scenes when the player is introduced to a new world for the first time. To do this we have opted out of using manual camera movement through code and instead changed the cameras to use an animator to store positions and rotations at set key frames. This gives us much more control over where the camera moves, how fast it moves between certain positions as well as how it rotates. It is also much easier and quicker to set up these new camera movements which have a much smoother flow and transition then previously.
Screenshots have also been taken from each of the new jungle levels and have been used to make the jungle teleporters to be used in the level select. These teleport images are also changed between wild west level images and jungle level images depending on which world is selected. Apart from this I spent a lot of time decorating and baking the lighting for levels 1 and 2 of the jungle as well as fixing a large amount of small and large bugs and issues within the game.
Overall the game is now polished and completed. I am very happy with the outcome - which is indicative of the hard work and effort that we have put into it throughout the year.
Last two weeks have been winding up. Most of the polish work is being done as well as testing. This last 2 week period I spent working on promo material and preparing for the Accelerator pitch that Zac has been working on. A few Ui elements have been updated but nothing much has happened due to other projects taking most of the art teams time to complete. I retouched the logo render for the Accelerator Pitch.
We're almost at the end.
Week 7 was all about prop placement and touch ups for me.
I placed props throughout the first jungle level, replacing the existing blocks with platforms and poles, in an attempt to make the jungle level feel much better. I also placed a lot of the jungle blocks, as well as torches, and tried to make the temple feel as dark and mysterious as possible.
Feedback from Dylan when he was playing through the level involved navigation - he continually got confused between the paths that he had taken, and the paths that he hadn't been down. To fix this, I added in some of the cobwebs he had used in his gauntlet-style level, to make sure that players didn't have as many problems navigating.
I put the finishing touches on the first level, making sure that everything was good both visually and mechanically, before moving on.
I spent the start of week 8 on fixes to the audio manager, as well as adding sliders into the canvas interface. Players can now adjust the game's volumes - both sound effects and music - separately. I have also adjusted some of the sound values again, to make sure the audio is more appropriately balanced.
I feel like we're ready for submission today, and looking forward to finishing it up in a nice little package.
I added a few sounds this week to give some things more feedback. A splash is played when the player falls in the water and a sound for the pressure pads has been added. Cogs also make a sound as they turn. The checkpoint sound has been edited so that the sound plays exactly as the flag animation plays so it feels more impactful.
I spent lots of time doing prop work this week, some in Jungle Level 2 and most in Jungle Level 3, now named Pulley Problems. In Pulley Problems, I added a small platforming challenge to acquire the Arcade Token, a bunch of floppies, Junkbots and a few torches and other assorted props.
The glider section in Jungle Level 4 needed some attention to make it look comparable in quality to the Wild West sequence. I made new materials for the grass and stony river bed using flat albedos and normal maps. I was careful to ensure that texture stretching was not obvious on the terrain grass. Many rocks were added along the terrain’s cliffs to make the terrain look more interesting.
I also took care of a few miscellaneous things throughout the week. I edited the mega plate texture in Photoshop to show 2 weights instead of 1 and removed ‘RB to run’ from the controls screen UI. The torches have also been modified to have an offset so they do not flicker in sync.
I am happy with the progress made this week and I feel we are in a good place for submission.
This week I spent primarily working on my own assignments that I had put on hold in order to work on Klepto. The following weeks will be similar.
This week I managed to make one more model for Klepto. It’s a projector made out of playskool toys, duct tape, wood and a viewmaster toy. It sits in the van as a projector to display the world names.
This week has been heavily focused around finalising the new Aztec levels with their mechanics and decorations. To aid the jungle levels within the game I decided to create a water shader with various adjustable properties, which could be tweaked to create different water effects. This water shader has now been used in numerous places and helps add to the environment of the levels that we are constructing. A simplistic fish AI was also created and various fish prefabs were made to swim around underneath the water. This has no impact on gameplay but again helps add to the environmental aspects of the game. The new water is now also used as a “kill floor” for the player which if touched will trigger the respawn of the player as well as crates that the player can pick up.
The first section of the Aztec glider level has now been fully completed with assets and incorporates a fishpond like environment for the player to navigate through. One thing noted during playtesting the level was that players would often get confused as to which of the four directional lanes they had been down already. To combat this, we decided to include a new spider web prefab which when touched by the player would create a dust particle effect and destroy the web. These webs were then placed at the entrance of each of the four tunnels so that players could clearly visualise which lanes they had been down already by spotting which lanes were missing the spider webs.
Whilst the rest of the group were over at PAX on the weekend I also decided to experiment with some simple combat mechanics as well as a more open world approach to level design within the game. In one day I managed to create a new open world level using unity terrain and also added destructible crates with collectable coins and enemies for the player to hit with a throwable sword. This provided a completely new experience to the game which may be further looked into in the future.
The group attended and displayed Klepto at Armageddon over the weekend and received a large amount of feedback and responses about the game. Overall, the players enjoyed the game with a few players spending up to an hour playing through the various levels. We also managed to reach a variety of players of different ages ranging from school children to adults in their 30’s / 40’s. The older players felt that Klepto was very nostalgic of the old platformer games which they had played in the past, while some of the younger players who had never experienced a 3D platformer before found it new and refreshing to play. During the week following Armageddon, there were a lot of small bugs and glitches which were found and resolved.
Apart from this we also replaced all of the old teleporters in the game with the new teleport effect which now holds a separate image/screenshot in the centre to represent each level that the player is about to enter.
The new glider level in the Aztec world has also been fully laid out with its obstacles among the terrain and is now ready to be decorated and completed. The main menu has also received an overhaul to create a more interesting running sequence. The main menu now includes a custom “track” which Klepto runs through and includes jump pads for Klepto to jump on as well as a section where he translates from running to flying away from the guard on the glider.
With the game in a good state and all known bugs now resolved, we created our final build of the game to take to PAX over the coming weekend. The Itch build of the game has now also been updated to the latest version of the game, which we will be sending to PAX.