October 2020 Update

Hello All! I’m deep in the semester currently (my second to last), but wanted to pop in here to try and share what I have been working on game wise! Firstly, if you haven’t checked out Liquidators yet, please please do! The game can be found on Steam and Itch.io, and you can read a little bit about the mission here. I worked as the Lead Producer and Designer of this project over the last year, and am SUPER proud of it. This has been taking up a fair amount of my time lately, as I have learned more about the “post-production” process. It has been amazing experience seeing our game played by so many online, and being received so well in reviews. We just passed 14,000 units today, and taking part in this awesome team has been one of the most fullfilling experiences in my life. Here is a video of Tomato Gaming playing Liquidators in a livestream… One of my favorite playthroughs so far!

Aside from post-production work on Liquidators, I have also been working on a new full year project. I have been working as the Lead Engineer on The Trials of Snowshoe Thompson. The game emphasizes a unique movement mechanic, and realistic skiing physics, to take players through a narrative experience based around the famed mail delivery worker, John “Snowshoe” Thompson. This is by far the largest project I have ever taken part of, with over 20 team members, and we hope to be finished with Alpha sometime in January. The project has truly tested me as an Engineer, and I have loved every second of it. I lead a team of 5 other Engineers, and so far the most rewarding part of the game is working with such hard working individuals. Communication is something I think is most valuable in a game development environment, and being entirely remote has presented me with some unique challenges, but having a hard working and dedicated team has really made these issues non-existent.

So far, our Engineering team has conquered a lot of ground… I’m not sure how much I should really be showing of this, but ANYTHING for my website… (and I’ll keep it pretty concise for now). We have almost completed the movement system which is meant to simulate a realistic skiing experience. Furthermore, we have implemented a unique style of map meant to entirely replicate how a traditional map would be used to triangulate one’s position. The mechanic utilizes a compass, and a functionality which aligns the Map’s north with the World’s north. Obviously there is a lot more at work, but these are the most unique systems that we have (and the easiest to show off here). If I had to highlight any specific code chunk as my favorite from the project so far, I would have to say it is how we are handling the Player movement state. The Player is currently under the control of a finite state machine, which has 3 states: Moving, Not moving, and Map. But the movement state contains a sub-state enum which allows us to pretty seamlessly (and realistically) play with the player’s ability to move in certain scenarios. For example, a substate in the Movement State is “Right Stride Window”, which allows us to track (from within our Movement State tick) when the window for another stride opens up, and then expect/adjust behavior accordingly. And then based on this behavior, the Player Script (not to be confused with the state tick) will operate and adjust the active substate, which is then fed back into the Player Movement State Tick… Here’s a clip of some of our skiing movement!

And then a clip of the Map in action!

I’d like to emphasize that this has been a team effort for all of what we have accomplished, and I don’t in any way mean to take credit for this. These have been a product of the hard work of my team, and I’m just lucky to have people who care enough about a good product.

The final project that I’m currently working on is for a class, and the production takes place over about 6 weeks, but we plan to take this to a full vertical slice, by working through the month of December. So far, we are about 4 weeks in. The game currently has a working title of Wicker. The basis: You are being pursued. You must run through a storm of cubes to escape. The closer the pursuer gets to you, the faster the storm moves. Running through the storm slows you down. Left clicking clears a tunnel infront of you, right clicking places a light for you to see…. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but hopefully images and clips will help you understand!

I’m working on this project with the same team as made Boomer & Zoomer!
I have been writing all of the code, and have really enjoyed my first venture into a “pursuer” style horror game. While we are still working on a lot of the horror aspects, we have finished a fairly comprehensive sound system which plays a pivotal role in one of our core mechanics. Essentially, players are following their ears, trying to reach an objective, while evading an ever pursuing AI. Here’s a clip of some gameplay we have:

Thanks for checking in guys! I really appreciate the continued support on my site! I’ll hopefully have something playable for you in the next post from both Snowshoe and Wicker.

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