This week didn’t actually start with a solid idea. I wanted to play around with a few features that I’ve neglected in Unity, so I simple started messing with a hinge joint to see what I could make it do. After creating the simplest of things (a hinge joint with an arm attached), I decided just to make another multiplayer game based on swinging an arm around to shoot balls into your opponent’s goal.
What went right
The game ended up fairly fun. Also, I learned a lot more about how joints work in Unity!
What went wrong
I didn’t get to add any sound effects or anything to this week’s game. By the time I reached that point in my development process, I was in Los Angeles, CA staying at a hotel that didn’t provide free wi-fi. Because paying for hotel wi-fi is incredibly silly, I was using a karma wi-fi device to connect to the internet instead. To save some data, I decided that downloading a bunch of sound files wouldn’t be the smartest thing in the world.
What I learned
How to use joints in Unity. Other than that, no exciting development revelations this week!
*EDIT* Upon further discussion, it turns out that I also learned quite a bit about communicating game play to the player. After playtesting, there were two things in particular that I changed which made the game MUCH more intuitive and fun.
1) Originally, the game worked in such a way that you would shoot the ball into the goal that corresponded with your player’s color. This means that you started out by a goal of your color and you would shoot the ball back into that goal to score a point. Because I’m not much of a “sports person”, this made sense to me in the respect of collecting the ball into your own basket. However, the rest of the game really lent itself towards more soccer or football feel. By switching it around so that each player was aiming to throw the balls into their opponent’s goals, the game instantly became much more intuitive. The lesson learned here is that even if you’re not particularly in to a type of game (i.e. sports), you should still pay attention to the various mechanics of what makes sense to the larger audience.
2) Skill vs. Luck based gameplay. Until playtesting, the arms of the players were about four times as long as they currently are. This resulted in two things. First, the player could swing wildly around and still generally make goals. Secondly, the player could easily block the entirety of the goal effectively preventing the other player to EVER score. By shortening the swinging arms to their current length (and increasing the goal size a bit), the gameplay instantly turned much more skill based as the player had to actually aim to hit the ball and aim at the goal.