Track Update

Hmm… Its been quite some time since I had time to post anything. I have been crazy busy lately making sure I get reasonable marks in school. But anyway, Track has had some interesting additions. The really big news is that Track will be showcased at Mass DiGI’s Game Challenge event on March 2. Track is not actually competing in the event, its just there with a few other local indie games to keep people entertained through some of the downtime.

The first really big addition to Track has got to be the level editor. When Track was shown at the FIG, there was a set of predefined levels players could choose from. Those levels will still be available of course, but now users have the capability to build their own levels. Right now, a player can build the track, add spawn points, physics bodies, laser walls, text, and all sorts of game logic. The editor supports timers, trigger zones, switches, and OR/AND/XOR/NOT logic gates. This means you can have a laser wall that is triggered on and off by a timer AND a trigger zone XOR a switch. The logical possibilities are really endless. All of the editable objects have a whole slew of properties to mess around with too. The editor is written in such a way that adding new objects to the editor is really a piece of cake. All I have to do is code up a C# class and mark some of the properties with a custom [Editable] tag. The rest of the import work lies in coding the file IO for each object. Over all, I’m really happy with how the system works and how easy it is to get new objects into the editor space. There are definitely still a few major bugs with the editor. Most of them come from users doing things that don’t make any sort of sense, like not finishing the placement of an object. I am in the middle of making an error system that will prevent the user from saving a map if it has errors. You can get a sense for the complexity of the editor by watching this nifty video!!!

YouTube Preview Image

The other big change to Track is special abilities. This is in experimental stages right now, but I think it will stick around. When a player spawns, they get the chance to pick a special weapon. They are stuck with that weapon until they die, though, so they have to pick wisely. There are four different options. The first one gives the player prolonged turbo. This is really dangerous because I changed what happened when players collide. Damage is dealt to players proportional to the difference in speeds of the colliding players. This means that the faster guy takes way less damage, so zooming around the track at warp 9 means the other players have to get out of your way! The second ability is a teleporter. All you have to do is aim at a spot you want to go, and press the ability button. You will travel there in an instant. This is a really good defensive ability. The third ability is a shield that you can hold over yourself. It has a basic energy burn as you use it. Instead of being invulnerable during this time, each bit of damage you would have taken, you take a fraction of in relation to how much health you have left. This means you CANNOT die while holding down the shield, but you can come very close. When you release the shield, all of the bullets you absorbed go flying where ever you tell them to. This ability may seem a bit OP, but the energy burn makes it a tool you can only use sparingly. The fourth and final ability is a grabber. If you aim at an enemy, and press the ability button, then they come flying towards you. This is a very offensive play. The ability stuns both your, and your target’s weapons momentarily. These four abilities add an extra level of wackyness to the game. I like the gameplay they bring, because depending on what abilities people are using, the game play changes dramatically.

One last thing I forgot to mention. At the FIG, there were three game modes, Death Match, Domination, and Chaos. Chaos was kinda a cheap shot at getting a third game mode in there, since it was just the combination of the previous two. Death Match and Domination are there to stay. I think Chaos is going to get ix-nayed. Two new game modes are coming to fill its place though. Swarm will be the classic horde. Team up with your buddies and take on increasingly difficult waves of bad guys. The other game mode is a Juggernaught clone I suppose. One player will be the target for everyone else to kill. The more time you spend as a the target, the more points you get.

 

Okay, I think that is all for now. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email at cdhanna@wpi.edu

Follow The Track

-Chris

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