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[WIP] Spline locked score attack game

Hi all,

I’ve shown snippets of this project in the past but had a huge break from it for one reason or another. Anyway, I recently got back on the horse and made some progress which you can see in the video below. I actually had the opportunity to show an earlier version of this to Chance at EGX last year (which you can read about here - My first EGX experience (featuring Chance!) - General Discussion - Unreal Engine Forums )

…HOWEVER, after getting plenty of insight from watching the great videos that EPIC put out, I have decided to rebuild all my blueprints from scratch, making optimisations and fingers crossed sorting out the horribly janky flight movements you’ll see at times in the video.

Whilst I work as an artist in the games industry, I’ve decided to completely avoid doing any artwork for the game until my mechanics are nailed down, so all visuals and audio are entirely placeholder right now. Those of you that recognise the game that inspired me should know that I already have unique mechanics planned to avoid any copycat (and C&D) claims - for now however I feel I have to get the absolute basic gameplay sorted.

Wish me luck and I’ll come back with progress updates.

Where I got to:

  • Runs on PC and Android (platform to be decided but I think it’ll just be PC)
  • 3 laps where you have 2minutes to get as high a score as you can by flying through rings and collecting orbs
  • Rings/orbs respawn as you fly over the start point, but if you have collected 20 orbs and fly inside the start building, you move onto the next lap
  • Rack up your score by boosting your multiplier (cancels if you don’t grab a pickup in time)
  • Boost meter is filled when you grab pickups and emptied when you boost (trail turns blue when this is happening)
  • Game over if you don’t move onto the next lap before time runs out
  • Final results are given if you complete all 3 laps, with the total number of orbs collected during the 3 laps providing a bonus to your overall score.

Looks funny (: I would like to know how you defined the way. Is it just a circle or are you free to go into depth?

I signed up for an account just so i could follow this project further because this is incredible and i’ve been following it since 2007.

@eXi: Gameplay uses side on platformer style controls so you just use the left thumbstick. Push left and you move to the left of the screen, push right and you move to the right of the screen (and the same for up and down). The path you follow by the world is determined by splines that I place in the level to create a track. If you watch the video below, I’ve turned on some green arrows on the placed spline so you can see where the player is locked to. Once a proper level has been built it should feel a lot more obvious where you will be heading, but it’s up to the player to determine how to get the highest score they can.

@NEWT into Dreams: Hey! Welcome to the UE4 forums. What was/is your username on the NiD forums (I presume you found about this on there)? :slight_smile:

Progress update:

The rebuild is going well thus far. The character blueprint has been completely started over from scratch, all dodgy twitches where the character would leave the spline path (as seen in the previous post video) are gone, boosting is in (although still requires some rules for when this can occur based on your current boost meter), the splines that define the ‘course’ now actually loop rather than being fudged to do so (that option didn’t exist in the older version of UE4 I had been using). Also, I now have bouncy collisions working :slight_smile:

Not only does everything feel infinitely smoother when playing, but my blueprint is far more efficient and understandable, has faaaar less variables and has what I hope is sensible use of functions - I LOVE THE REROUTE NODE!!!

For comparison, this was my old blueprint… what a hideous mess. Honestly I don’t know that I would have ever been able to track down the problems within it. It was also incredibly dependant on the existance of a lot of other blueprints with references and casts all over the place and had a LOT happening on the tick. In short IT’S BAD!

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…and here is my new character blueprint that does everything better plus additional features :slight_smile:

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If you jump to 45seconds in the previous video, you will see as I approach the pink pickups the horrible movement issues I was talking about, whereas things are now behaving like this:

There are still tweaks to the movement needed, but I’m more than happy enough with it to now rebuild the rest of what I’d previously achieved.

What a cool project! Those blueprint optimisations are very impressive indeed. I have no idea what game inspired this, looks pretty unique to me! Given the stage you are in development, I have nothing to offer other than my well wishing! Good luck sir.

Thanks Laz84. Feel like I’ve made some real progress lately, shouldn’t be long until it’s back to the previous state of gameplay, with everything cleaned up and optimised. Once that’s done I can crack on with adding further features.

So the rebuild took a little longer than expected but is now done with everything running much smoother, and also built with future wishlist features such as multiplayer/co-op in mind.

New features include:

  • Working Pause Menu
  • Chip pickups that chase you and remain active even if the player resets the lap by flying over the start region which allows you to maintain your multiplier between laps
  • Capture points that indicate how many chips are required to unlock the next lap (activated by flying into the start region once this limit has been reached)

I added an on screen analogue stick so you can see what direction I’m pushing vs. how the character is moving as I figured it’s hard to get across in a video what is direct input and what is momentum, etc. Other than the left stick, currently only the A button is used for boosting and Start for pausing.

In this video I complete the course getting only just over the required number of chips to progress, as you will see this results in a low score.

In comparison, I then use up as much of the remaining time each lap after unlocking the next, before I progress, and also focus more on maintaining my multiplier to boost my score even higher - as a result the final score is far greater. Whilst the layout of this test course is far denser with pickups than I’d expect a final level to be, I hope it goes someway to explain what I hope will be the “one more go, must beat my high score” feeling of the game.

Much better, much much better. The rings in particular give a much better feedback when being collected. The Particle ones didn’t provide that as good as the new MeshBased ones.

The particle rings were just lifted from the landscape mountains content example, but yes I agree, whatever my pickups become in the future, they need to be instantly readable. During the rebuild I was very focussed on simplifying things to ensure gameplay is fun with very little visual finesse, so that hopefully this is maintained once everything gets ‘arted up’.

EDIT: Also, forgot to mention, now that things have gained momentum, I’ve setup Perforce on an external hard drive so I have version control (atleast that way I always have the latest in 2 locations).

@Monophobe I never got around to getting an account on the NiD forums, but if you see someone called NEWT commenting on posts on the unofficial website, that’s me. I discovered that Elliot is in Will’s CG intro in JoD for just a second, you can barely make him out based on his hair, he looks down to kick a ball back near the beginning of the intro.

Great project! How did you get 2.5D path set-up? Did you use the “2D platformer” template ?