Monday — We started with our usual start-of-week morning meeting going through achievements, tasks, and goals. Our UI designer, main animator and writer are all working in tandem, getting areas ready for ‘brick & mortar’ work.
My own tasks continuing from last week have been introducing and implementing each of these individual things that are being worked on simultaneously and bringing into the actual build of the game. We’re carrying on with that same content.
After this meeting tasks had been delegated out, with the majority of the card animations (including unique beasts and spells), required for the 30PT having been completed, Connor’s eyes have now been set on some of the more complex systemic animation elements. One of the main ones we’ve been discussing how to integrate is ‘The Hero Block’
As you can see there are 3 main pieces of dynamic data that are fundamental to a game of Shiryo. We have our player’s current energy in yellow on the left, the player’s profile picture (which is one of the ways you as the player express your identity), and on the right your current health value.
There are 3 further pieces of information that are secondary which are the 3 pieces of text. They include from left to right;
- The player’s username — very important, but will remain static for the majority of the time.
- The players ‘chosen to display’ title (titles are ways for players to express themselves or to show off hard-to-collect or obtain achievements that are represented by unique titles).
- The final piece of text ‘Alpha card’ is the player’s rank/ranking title.
The hero block encompasses both the static and the dynamic elements; these ‘children elements’ act as a single unit and themselves become a more complex ‘parent’ element — of which needs to be able to interact with other elements on the board and the player. It needs to be able to be attacked, it needs to receive damage, it needs to ‘die’, we need to be able to represent buffs, nerfs, ability effects…etc
The hero block itself is essentially how the player is represented on the board and enables the player to be part of the battle. Just like any of the unique interesting beasts or spell cards in Shiryo that have their own personalities and synergies — the hero block needs to also have that level of capability.
How do we achieve that? Well, that’s been one of the tasks that our lead animator has been tackling this week. Starting first with our design meeting, we attempt to break down ‘the story’ that we’re trying to portray through the hero block.
While it may instinctively seem like a simple HUD element (HUD: Heads Up Display) (like an armor/health bar) but unlike that situation, the hero block actually interacts, (it gets attacked, processes damage, and it needs to interact directly with the game itself). All of this needs to be visually represented.
The purpose of the meeting was to generate these visual designs and plan how they would be animated, and how they would stack to create a visually pleasing composition. It’s then down to our animator to execute in creating these visuals in a way that they can stack together synergistically to achieve our visual end goal.
(4th wall moment: I know we cover a lot of these individual things to what we may seem like unnecessary detail, but if we’re being honest, we barely scratch the level of detail that’s actually inputted. I hope by exposing the sheer amount of work that goes into such small pieces, it will continue to help create a reference point for the readers for the level of effort required to achieve this work).
What about my own tasks? As of last week, I was enjoying bringing to life our lobby system (main menu system), bringing all the individual components from our separate workflows into the active Unreal Engine Build (in our ‘Brick & Mortar phase’). I’ve continued to make progress in this area having got the majority of the elements and functions for the ‘default lobby screen’, the navigation panel, the collection tab and the portal launcher.
In the screencaps I’ve included — these are taken from the currently active build inside of unreal engine. Bare with the developer and diagnostic information will be being displayed, future work-in-progress pictures and videos will more than likely be displaying such information, just for speed and efficiency’s sake.
This second screencap shows the ‘collections page’. The majority of my work this week has involved creating the functions of the collection page to facilitate the deck builder.
This includes creating all the different ways of filtering and searching through the player’s available cards (including cards they don’t own), as well as the creation and management of custom decks, and the inclusion of ‘quality of life features’ such as duplication, deck i.d exporting (to share) and ‘save a rest’ (sanity check to the player offering them the chance to save the deck they’re currently building before navigating to another tab).
Our main navigation panel has 6 core tabs
(play/collection/quests/guild/community/portal) — I’m around 70% complete with the implementation of the play collection and portal tabs.
The remaining 3 tabs (quest/guild/community), are of a second-order priority and will be now (and during) the alpha phase ‘Grayed out’. This does not mean that there will not be tasters of their functionality implemented, but their full implementation and their associated pages are not necessary for that stage of testing.
I would hope you would all know by now that the ‘Community’ will be one of the core pillars of Shiryo. Therefore we are aiming to have basic functionality of the minimized social overlay (the chat-box/party manager) and the inclusion of some ‘quests’ throughout the duration of the 30PT, that are unique to that testing phase (with perhaps some unique rewards associated with it).
This will conclude our updates for this week, in next week’s write up as our UI/UX designer has completed the ‘Pre-Wire frame’ for the final minimized social overlay, we’ll be having a design meeting to deliberate and confirm some of the final small elements required. I should be able to begin implementing their associated assets and functionality. As well as this I’m hopefully able to include a short video of me navigating through the newly implemented ‘Lobby System” in the active Unreal Engine Build. (In-game footage!).