Devlog 3: It's alive!

It's been just over two weeks and I've made a good amount of progress on the Something in the Water. Most importantly, enemies can now move!

Latest progress...

  • Player can receive damage
  • Player damage flashes the screen red
  • Player can die when running out of health
  • Player camera drops and tilts upon death
  • Player death fades the screen to black (and blurs)
  • Player death reveals a respawn button that will reset the level
  • Added the ability to toggle between player facing and camera facing sprites (currently only on debug hotkeys)
  • Boxcutter reveal anim
  • Dry fire animation on shotgun
  • Tweaked shotgun fire anim
  • Enemies can now move and "see"
  • Enemies chase player when player is seen
  • Enemies pause for a second when hit
  • Enemies are knocked back when killed
  • Added dev grid texture to test level
  • Added distance fog/shadow
  • Setup different enemy death anims depending on weapon
  • Added an extra headshot death (for fun)!

The most logical starting point was to add a way for the player to lose health, die and respawn. While this is a quick process of reducing some float variables, changing some booleans, etc. there's a lot of feedback concepts required such as screen overlays and audio. So this pushed me to setup a basic death sequence (something the game jam version lacked).

Whilst building this project I am trying to minimise any cross blueprint dependencies. I'm still learning, but I've found that I can use "event dispatchers" to communicate between blueprints and crucially with the HUD. You can see an example of that in the screenshot below.

After the last update, someone on Discord pointed out that the sprites looked like they were facing the player location rather than the camera. This was something that I genuinely didn't think about, but I have since resolved it.

Below is the Blueprint showing the script to swap between camera and player facing, I was thinking of leaving it in as a player option, but I'm most likely going to just force camera facing throughout.

In my previous update I mentioned that I was considering hiring a sprite artist, however I have since changed my mind; at least in the short term. Honestly, I don't feel that the project is ready. I don't realistically have the time to direct anyone and I have concerns over covering both parties legally. Maybe once I'm feature complete?

Thoughts so far?

I'm happy with my progress as of this update. I feel like I haven't gotten too distracted by shiny things and have kept a good focus on what's important, i.e. systems. I'm not a robot though, I still managed to take a couple of fun detours that will help me out further on down the road. Namely, fake sector/zone lighting. You can see my attempts in some of the latest footage and although I have ditched it for now, I will come back to it later.

So what's next?

I'll need to keep these updates more frequent because that was a lot of ground to cover in one post. Next up I'd like to make a start on more advanced enemy behaviour and start getting some more art in (the bulk of it is already built - I just need to convert it to Unreal-friendly formats)!

If you'd like to discuss this project, then you can head over to the Noonan Design Discord here:

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