Project "Discord" - Design Planning and Decisions

Hey all,

While I’m technically a few lectures ahead of this one, this lecture seemed the most accurate one to place this post in.

I’ve been working on trying to refine my space awareness, movement speed, viewport, and other visual things over this weekend. I’ve come to the conclusion that I have got it all wrong:

  • My movement speed is way too fast
  • Everything is far too small and the space between areas isn’t enough
  • There’s little to no depth in the world view I was working with

As I’ve been thinking about it more now that I am using work tasks (Azure Taskplanner) to track my progress and keep me on track, I was identifying user stories and it dawned on me that everything was feeling off. Surprisingly, my camera view was in a perfect place, but my world was missing a lot. As a result, I’ve gone back to the drawing board on the level design and working on a standards doc to help guide me.

I’m posting this not as a “Don’t do what I did!”, but more of a PSA; I’ve been an Engineer for 15 years and, sometimes, you may be on the wrong path for a while, but the important thing is to recognise when something feels off and ensure you rectify only at the right point. I’ve known for a while that something was off, but it clicked this weekend, as I’ve explained.
Now is the right point for me. I have core combat working, some NPCs, movement, and the likes, but without a rough idea of how a single level will be (and mine was FAR too big), it’s hard to really get it right. I’m going to be changing my first level to a fort playthrough, dungeon-crawler like, to show off the mechanics of the game - if you’ve ever played the Strife MOBA game, it’s akin to the tutorial of that. My goal is to focus on the gameplay moments, which I’m ashamed to admit that I have neglected.

I like to think this has taught me a valuable lesson and will certainly do better to notice when I have key problems in my game’s development. My design itself hasn’t changed, the art style & mechanics all remain, this is just a shift in how this first iteration will actually play out.

Wish me luck :slight_smile:

I posted this on the Discord channel and I thought I would share it here as an update to my previous post. After re-visiting the drawing board and figuring out how I want this first prototype level to go, I’m feeling far more “on track”. I bought a couple asset packs and working on creating a new level now. I have lots of ideas for NPCs that I want to include, and “moment progression” through the level.

I also have the “first” prototype level that I mentioned in my previous post; I played around with the spacing and what-not, and things are feeling a lot better on the level. So much so that I will likely keep it and use it as an outdoor portion to this fort zone I am working on.

On to the screenshot:

You may notice I have updated the UI slightly, too. It’s currently an energy bar that builds up as the player lands attacks (right click powered, currently). It will be replaced with an armour shield mechanic in the near future (think of a health shield) and then the energy bar will be added to the UI canvas, too, in green :slight_smile:

Lots to do, but feeling far more on track than what I was on my previous post.

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