Update 2: Mechanic tweaks, Test level updates and new game ideas

First of all I have been wrestling with new ideas and concepts for my game and level design. At first I was planning on keeping the game as a simple platformer with puzzle elements, i would have the game take place in a simple environment like banjo-kazooie. However I think turning the game into a full blown puzzle game would allow me to explore different areas and give me the best possible outcome for this project.
I have been looking at games like The Witness and Shadow of the Colossus for inspiration and feel that a large but enclosed map with puzzles scattered throughout for the player to discover and explore would suit my game perfectly. I also feel like this is more my type of game, a game that I would enjoy playing.

I have tweaked my weight mechanic so that the weights work better with the puzzle elements they will be used on. I have also made the size changing much smoother and nicer feeling by adding an incremental size change instead of just popping to different scales as it was before. it is also now mapped to the triggers of a controller which feels much more tactile and satisfying.

I also made floating platforms for platforming sections. I wanted the platforms to wobble and fall when they player walked on them and I think the outcome is really nice looking and feeling while also working perfectly.

Other than these key developments I have been messing around in my test area to see what is possible with the simple mechanics I already have at my disposal. You can see a few examples of what I have in the works below.

Update 1: Weight and size mechanic and Test level development


Gravity Mechanic:
Today I had help to create my “Gravity” mechanic, it was much easier than expected and works really nicely already. I will be getting help from other students a lot when it comes to Blueprinting as it is not the area that I want to specialise in and is not an area I understand. I will instead focus on design, level design, audio and  I decided altering the weight of the player would be easier than altering gravity, and would ultimately achieve the same results. I also wanted to have the character shrink and grow depending on his weight, this was also much easier than I imagined.
The blueprint shown above shows how both of the mechanics work.

Test Level:
After I had my basic mechanics working I started making a small test level (Above). I will  keep adding to this with new ideas utilising my mechanics so that I can learn what is possible and develop ideas that I can add to a level when the time comes. So far I have a series of seesaws that are used in different ways such as reaching higher areas and launching blocks. The seesaw was made using a physics constraint and a cube locked on one axis.
this area is already proving useful for developing new ideas and testing.

I built everything from the UE4 third person pre-set, to give me a solid backbone for all the developments I am going to make. I also slightly changed the character controller by increasing the control you have in the air, as I found the pre-set to be quite unwieldy.


The Start

Hi and welcome to my Blog about the production of my Final Year Project, TROUBLE IN ZEMANDIA.

The game will be a retro style platformer with simple to learn and utilize mechanics, the challenge coming from traversing the stunning environment and solving puzzles using your gravity altering abilities.
The game takes place on a beautiful planet desert, based on rock formations found in Americas Deserts and the vast sprawling dunes of the Sahara, combined I feel this could be an incredibly striking land to explore.

You can see my first design document Here