Day 34 – Planning

Monday.

Now that the Covid-19 restrictions are slowly being lifted in Belgium, my wife will be working from the company office more often again, and less from home. So we decided to switch desks: she’ll be working in our living room and I moved to the separate room (which happens to be our dressing room).

So detaching cables, moving all the hardware an hooking everything up again was the first chore of the day. Once all that was done I focused on creating a todo list for milestone 2 of the prototype.

Recap Milestone 1

If you didn’t see the devlog I created about the first milestone, here’s the recap of what was already done:

  • there’s 3 characters that are spawned in the game:
    • 2 soldiers that are controlled by the player
    • 1 Kingpin that is controlled by the enemy (currently also the player actually, there’s no AI yet)
  • the mission starts with an intro cutscene, after which control is handed over to the player
  • every game turn the player can move its characters and perform three possible actions with them:
    • walk to a position (costs 1 action point)
    • run to a position (costs 2 action points)
    • capture the Kingpin (costs 1 action point)
  • the capture action only becomes available when a soldier is close enough to the Kingpin (in the red zone)
  • when the Kingpin is captured, a dialogue is played and he raises his hands, after which he also gets assigned to the soldier’s turn
    • the first time he’s captured an additional captured cutscene is played as well
  • the Kingpin remains captive as long as the soldier that captured him stays in the vicinity (the yellow area)
  • the captive can be transferred between both soldiers, but this costs an action and the right soldier must remain close enough to the Kingpin or he will escape
  • if the soldiers + captive Kingpin make it to the extraction zone, the mission is a success and an extraction cutscene plays
  • if the Kingpin enters one of two escape areas without being a captive, the mission is a failure and the escape cutscene plays
  • it plays on PC and Xbox using either keyboard/mouse or gamepad

All in all, with milestone 1 I set up some basic systems for The Cabin prototype.

Milestone 2

For the next milestone I want to focus on expanding the visuals and animations a little bit as well as making it an actual catch-me-if-you-can game.

This is the list I’m aiming for:

  • have the enemy turn controlled by an AI instead of being a regular player turn
  • adding a field-of-view/line-of-sight:
    • the soldiers can sneak close enough to the Kingpin without being detected
    • the Kingpin is not visible until he is in the soldiers’ line of sight, likewise the Kingpin is not alerted until he spots the soldiers
  • add a small cutscene for when the soldiers actually see the Kingpin for the first time
  • the escape areas should only activate once the Kingpin is alerted and will try to escape, in this case another cutscene should play
  • the extraction area should only active when the Kingpin is taken captive for the first time
  • visually give the soldiers rifles and the Kingpin a pistol, but the Kingpin should only draw his pistol once alerted
  • improving the turning while walking/running
  • add the ability to look at a target
    • the characters should always look towards the closest enemy
    • while captive the Kingpin should turn towards his captor when stopping and the captor should aim at the Kingpin all the time, even when walking

At the end of milestone 2 there will still only be three characters in play and no shooting or killing yet. But looking at it, I think there’s plenty of new things in there that will keep me busy for the next couple of weeks.

Work starts tomorrow, the rest of today was spent defining the implementation tasks for myself and when I was tired of doing that, starting a new research project: XCOM: Chimera Squad 😉

Gamedev Diary Knock-On Effect

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