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.
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.
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.
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. To go from one area to the other I made use of portal to transport the player. I also add some “secrets” and an extra boss fight, which is not necessary to complete the level.
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.
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.
For this official first week of the module after the lecture celebrated on the 3 of February, I focused in finishing my proposal with the feedback received from my supervisor on the practical of the 6 of February. I change a couple of details and created a project plan table on excel to help me in the management of my project. After that I finally submitted the proposal just before midnight on the 7 of February.
After that and during the next day I started various things. First of course, was the first part of my level in SnapMap, where I worked on the initial design of the level with only basic logic elements. For this I did not only played some levels from the community but also watched some tutorials and videos of levels created by other users in YouTube.
Here is one of the first images of the level, yet without any logic at that moment:
In the image I took, you can see the arrangement of the rooms. The idea for this first level was that the player starts at the centre. Going to the left side, the player will get the pistol and will be introduced to a new type of enemy, the Imp. In the right side the player will get the shotgun and will be introduced to another type of enemy, the Hell Raizer. To finish the level the player needs to get back to the centre to activate the “portal” that goes to the next area. To activate the portal the player will need to pick up both weapons and in the portal area, defeat a series of Imps and Hell Raizers modified to give the player a challenge.
The plan to introduce the more advanced logic was to use the second week of development for it, after getting feedback from my supervisor. Also during the end of this week, I worked on the documentation of the project by getting the materials needed for the final report and creating the first entries for the development blog.
After finishing AGD, this week I began to work on my Games Practical Project by consolidating my proposal. So, when I received the email from the module lead, Deepak Gautam, and my supervisor for this module asking to everyone to work on their proposals. Of course I was already prepared for it.
During the Monday 30 of January, I had my first practical of the module where I received feedback from my supervisor about my idea for the project and the advice to keep my project within a realistic scope for the time available. Sadly, I forgot to copy the proposal at its current state by then and I had to wait until the next practical for that subject.
So, during this week I worked on finishing my proposal, install the Doom game and refresh the tutorials available in the SnapMap tool within the game and prepare myself for the next practical.