Week 24 to 30 April

With all levels finished during the previous week, all that was left was to publish the levels, make the post on Reddit to get feedback and focus on the final touches of the final report and the rest of materials for their respective submissions.

In addition to these tasks another one coming from the ExpoTees team was requested. Even when is not mandatory to create one, a poster for the project came as an extra tool for the students to present their work so I started its creation following the examples showed during the lectures dedicated to ExpoTees.

The design of the poster is simple and it promotes the levels created for the main mini campaign and the challenge mode with a background that remembers an old book written by hand. I will be asking the responsible for the posters to ask any necessary change before the deadline on May 5.

During this following week it is my intention to consolidate the elements for the submission on May 5 with my supervisor as well as receive feedback about the report before its submission on May 12.

Week 10 to 23 April

After two weeks working during Easter on the project I can finally say that this project is almost over. Some things happen though in terms of problems.

Like I mentioned in my previous entry, my main piece of work was going to be the first extra level also known as the fourth level of the mini campaign. The development of this level went really smoothly due to the already good knowledge of the logic modules and the well thinked gameplay for these main levels of the project.

The first of the problems that came was the big change in my alternative version for the mini campaign. Due to an issue with a weird delay in the spawning of the enemies the possiblity of making all the encounter optional, boss fights apart, was discarted beign the main guilty of this weird bug.

Many options were studied, even using enemies instead of encounter logic modules. Sadly due to the amount of enemies of each map making this in a level with all the four main maps was out of the discution right away. None of the ideas tried supposed any help so I changed to plan B.

Instead of making a level using classic rooms, I took the levels already created and heavy modified them to make alternative versions of them (easier encounters) and at the same time I improved the logic a little bit more. Introducing the changes of the final fourth map into the first and second level was the hardest job. Because of the wat they were build I had mostly recreate the enetire level from scratch.

The second of the problems was to find out how to make the boss rush map with multiple difficulties. This map was tricky to create because I was trying to create somthing more difficult than I already created.

The first challenge was to find out how to apply different buff of health and damage to the enemies of the boss fights depending of difficulty choosed by the player at the beginning of the map. After some tests I finally managed to find a solution.

Making use of custom nodes, booleans and two modules related with the AI. So, in the image above can be seen the process. Depending of the dificulty choosed by the player, when the player enters the “Boss Fight Room” the boss rush begans. For each AI spawned in the map, the system checks if the difficulty choosed and applies a buff to that enemy of health and damage depending again of the difficulty.

 

Week 27 March to 9 April

The 27 of March began like any other week going to the last practical before the Easter break where I got the usual feedback from my supervisor. After that I published my third level of the project the same day and created the post on Reddit to get feedback from people.

For the rest of the week I decided to get some rest and only work on the third level with the feedback received. But even creating the post on Reddit didn’t give me any feedback this time. But even at the time of this entry is being written, no commentaries or plays in my level have been registered. So I decided that after the travel back to Spain for Easter I would work in solving this problem at the same time that I work on the fourth level and the classic version of the entire campaign.

Sadly because of reasons out of my control I got really sick when I got back to Spain, up to the point that I couldn’t breathe so I had to go to the hospital, so apart from the final fourth level layout of the map and its copy to the classic version, all I did was to work on the final report.

During this next week I plan to solve the feedback issue with the third level and at the same time finish the fourth and classic version of the mini campaign, leaving the final extra piece of content for the next week. If everything goes well, all the content should be finished and published and went through the feedback process by the first practical after the Easter break.

Week 20 to 26 March

After a week without not a lot of work done, this week started without the usual practical due to my main supervisor medical reasons and because I didn’t have my laptop available by then and the previous week was pretty quiet.

But even with my laptop out of service, from Monday to Wednesday I made use of my desktop as usual to complete the third level of my project. From the last time I worked in this level the map has suffered some changes.

Like the image above shows, the level is based on a kind of maze with teleportation pads. Knowing the path or cheating and looking on how the map was made by downloading it, the result is a really short level. The why I choose this approach is simple, I wanted to play more with the teleportation pads to create something that can be infinite if you don’t take the right pad that takes you to the straight way to the end of the level.

In terms of the rest of the week after Wednesday I had my laptop back on track and I continued working with it after sending my desktop and pretty much all my stuff back to Spain. So, during the last part of the week a continued working of the refination of the logic, making it work in the same way as before but with even less calling to custom events apart from the teleportation pads.

Regarding the extras for this map I decided to make an extra map for the mini campaign, a boss arena based on the boss encounters of the mini campaign project and a copy of the campaign using only the classic modules to include all four levels in only one map with a difficulty reduction to just have a simple fun time killing a lot of demons. So, during this last week I also worked on the copy of the layout of the three levels I have for now.

Regarding the memory that classic rooms take, there is no problem at all. Being really simple looking and with that low amount of geometry I could replicate the entire first level only using 13% of the total memory while the first level using Hell rooms uses a 90%. For the time to complete these extras plus the report and also now the materials for ExpoTees I am pretty sure that no problems will come regarding this matter.

For the completion of the classic map I’m just coping what I already have and making it easier to complete. For the Boss arena is more of the same but only with the boss encounters because I have the plan to put all the fights in the same room and having pauses between boss fights. For the last fourth map I already have an idea in mind and I will be working on it this next week after finishing and publishing the third map.

Week 13 to 19 March

After the practical at the beginning of the week I received the usual feedback from my supervisor and the advice of publish the level and get feedback from people too. So, that same day I published the second level and I created a second post in the specific forum on Reddit to get feedback from people.

As expected I received feedback, asking me to balance the difficulty or certain sections of the map. Even when the map is targeting people with an advance level of skill with the game, I was agree that maybe some parts where too unfair.

So, for this week I worked on balance the level and fix some minor problems, except for one. Apparently in an encounter previous to the final boss fight of the map, the music that marks the end of that combat did not stop until reaching the room where is the final fight. I worked with a user that saw the logic of the map just like me and we concluded that maybe an enemy was falling of a platform into the void where they can’t die.

The solution to this problem was simple. Under the entire area of the room of the image above, I put some volumes invisible to the player. Those volumes are designed to kill everything that touches them so if an enemy falls, the death of that enemy will count and the music finish when is supposed to. Here is a complete gameplay of the entire level:

Gameplay Published on YouTube

For the rest of the week and due to the extra time that I have for the project I stopped working on the third level to analyse and think on how exactly I wanted to expand the project. By Tuesday I received the confirmation that I will be presenting my project in ExpoTees and I had to take the photo and by friday I was asked to create a brochure photo.

I wanted to create something artistic with the photo mode of Doom for the brochure photo but sadly this mode can only be used in the main game so I had to use one of the hell levels of the game to make what I had in mind and this is the result.

The image respects the limits in size of the brochure photo permitted by the ExpoTees staff. Sadly, it uses a lot of dark colours but everything in this game is really dark, which it was one of the other limits. I will probably need to talk with the staff and tell the situation and the atmosphere of the game and if I can get away with this photo and probably with the poster that they will be asking for sooner than later.

Also, during this week I started the first layout of the third map, but after some considerations I will be changing it to play more with the possibilities that the teleportation pads offer and mainly because it was to similar to the second map.

Week 6 to 12 March

After the previous week working on my skills on the use of the logic modules of SnapMap, this week I worked on finishing the entire logic of the second map. Some problems with the “Module” logic module not working the way expected and some problems with the keys (colored skulls) to get acces to the next areas were found during the process.

Apparently and depending where you put some pickeables, they can be easilly picked like in the case of almost every weapon, while in the case of objects like the “skull keys (all colour variants)” is better to change the mode of pick these to “touch” and put them over a surface large enough for the player to stand on it.

In the case of the “Module” logic module it was more a logic issue of what I was trying to accomplish in the way that I was doing it. The rest was mainly improve what was already created in the previous level and some new additions like music depending of the player being in combat (normal encounters, bosses and iddle variations) and the possibility of show the objectives only when the player actually wants to see them.

Overall the result after a look back to my first level, I think that I have made a lot of improvements in terms of logic creation with the modules available. Performance, battles, even objectives and music have been added now, this helps to max up the experience and enjoy the gameplay in a more pulished way.

The next step for this second level is try to get some feedback from my supervisor, make some quick changes if necessary and publish the level to get more feedback from people in the reddit forum of the editor.

Apart from the second level, I have been also working on the final layout of the third level which finally it will not be the last one for the project thanks to the quick progression and learning progress. Here is the actual status of the project in the excell table.

Week 27 February to 5 March

This week I have been working mostly in improving my use of the logic modules of Snapmap to create a more refined and better looking result, this includes of course a better performance. For example, I have been working in a way of manage the encounters against enemies in a better way by using custom events.

Doing this the entire fight in a room can be triggered in a sequence, improving performance. Also, one of the things that I been working on is the inclusion of music. The music is controlled by a special node connected to the player, when the player fights the music changes and the same in reverse.

In terms of gameplay there is not that much to say, the difficulty of enemies and their health will be increased through the level to reach a new top and new enemies will be introduced. But one of the changes that I want to make for this level and the others are the boss encounters. The bad thing of this specific logic module is that the creator can’t modify the health or the damage of the enemy so the encounter will be changed for one of the modules that allows this.

Regarding the documentation for this project, before the 3 of March I submitted the Progress Review Presentation following the 3-5 pages format talking about my progress within the project and my current state. Also, I recorded a video gameplay of the entire first level to not only show in this blog but also as a reference for my portfolio.

Gameplay Published on YouTube

For this next week, I have planned to finish the final touches with this second map, publish the map get feedback and improve or fix whatever is necessary. Also, is in my plans to start with the layout of the third level which will accelerate the progress of my project allowing me room for an extra level and improvement after that.

 

Week 20 to 26 February

This week was the final week for my first level of this project which I spent trying to get as much feedback as possible from external sources, for this I had to publish the level. The process was simple and I could keep making changes and fixes even with the level already published by only republishing the level.

After the practical on Monday and the feedback received from my supervisor I modified the map, here is the final result:

The main area is the one below, while the one up is optional but it can be also used to go from one weapon to the other without backtracking. In general the this was the final layout for two simple reasons, is open and the player doesn’t need to do any backtracking. To go from one area to the other I made use of portals to transport the player. I also add some “secrets” and an extra boss fight, which is not necessary to complete the level but mandatory if the “shorcut/optional way” is used.

In terms of extra feedback, one of the sources I got was Reddit, where I posted a commentary to get feedback from people. I also got feedback from one of my friends back in Spain, who played the game and gave me feedback about it. By Wednesday I had enough feedback to make a few changes and minor fixes through the level but I kept receiving feedback from different people the entire week.

For the rest of this project I will not only making the rest of the levels planned but also keep improving my work in the levels. During this week, I also started the first layout of the map for my second level. This is the image of the current map at the moment of writing this entry:

The idea for this map was to make more use of portals to make your way through the “islands” to the end of the level. Because of what I have learned about the logic modules during my first level, I expect to complete the logic for this second level even quicker than with the first one, allowing me more room for improvement or even for extra content for this project.

In addition to my work in the levels I also continued working on my Progress Review presentation for its submission next week (3 March), my blog and with the final report with now the official template for its creation.

Week 13 to 19 February

At the beginning of this week I had the usual meeting with my supervisor during the practical where I received some feedback on the design of the map of the first area. With that feedback, I worked on the changes of the map to make it less closed and to let the player decide which way to go to achieve all the objectives.

Here is the result after a quick rework on it:

After this quick change, I started to create the more complicated logic in the level. First, I set up all the encounters with the enemies. Due to a limitation of twelve enemies at the same time in the entire map, I had to create a little bit more complicated network of logic modules of encounters that I had in mind in the first place. For that I used the custom encounters modules to create an encounter with the enemies I wanted, again with a limit of twelve enemies in mind.

After that I set up the conditions for those encounters to happen, some were just opening a door of certain sections and others are only activated by triggering specific volumes. To be sure that you can activate more encounters without compromise the encounter planned fight, until you kill all demons in those encounters, player can’t leave the current room they are in.

I also put as a condition to activate the portal in the central room, to pick up both weapons in the level and defeat a boss encounter in the central room. Once the player completes these objectives the level is completed. Sadly, I can’t lead the players to the next level in the campaign until the next level is completed and published. Something that I learned by trying to use the module and link it to a test map I had.

Here there is some pictures of the logic modules:

During this week, I also worked on writing down the final report first draft, even when I didn’t have any idea of how the format was supposed to be, I was starting to have something already. Also, the presentation for the “Progress Review” was started this week and it is in my plans to have it ready along with the entire first level by the end of next week.