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Challenge 2 - Online Side Scrolling Arcade Shooter - Part 3



This is part 3 of my challenge entry, and it will also serve as my "Post Mortem" even though this project really isn't complete and will be re-worked to meet my personal challenge requirements. This also includes adding in Online Play for Co-op.

Project Page:


Forum Post:



Post Mortem

Well I'm going to have to say this was a big stretch for me to get this done, even with the bare minimum requirements. I posted my initial desire to work on this challenge back on May 17 2019, but then I had to deal with a lot of personal things and didn't get a chance to touch the project until May 27 2019 where I posted my basic design ideas. I ended up scrapping some concepts and changing enemy behaviour just because I didn't have a lot of time. My week pretty much went like this:

Monday: Planned out the game and how everything would play out.

Tuesday: I was deciding on if 2D or 3D would be the best option.... To be honest... I should've went 2D with C++ and SFML as I know I could've made a lot more faster within the time that I had. I did pick up 3D for the main reason that my personal challenge would be 3D so I would need to remake the game from 2D to 3D and I would rather save the time. :D My next decision was to pick an engine. I was going to use Unreal Engine (same engine I used for my Chess Challenge, and also what I prototyped my prior RPG challenge in) but after a day of running into a lot of slow downs as I use C++ mostly and not blueprints I realized this entry wasn't going to happen so I had the option of Godot or Unity and went with Unity as I would need to learn Godot on the fly which again would reduce my chances in finishing up.

Wednesday & Thursday: I spent majority of the day just using 3D primitives and building the basic game up. This allowed me to focus on getting the core functionality down and not spending time on other things like Art when I already know this project will keep going on wards after the GameDev Challenge.

Friday: I would say Friday was a pretty wild day.... I was working on creating basic 3D meshes for the game, but then I had to go into Unity and re-do some components and scripting as I reduced a lot of the parts. Pretty much just matching up the prototypes to the actual meshes while taking into account geometry changes (amount of child meshes and sizes).

Saturday (Final Day): I spent majority of my day until 4 minutes before the deadline fixing up the levels as I had some odd bugs with my trigger set up... and I composed and created a quick sound track which you can listen to here I used with my AKAI MPK MINI:

I also created my backdrops really quickly:



The last one is the inside level where you kill the heart:


What went good?

I would say that being able to mash together this game in a quick period of time and speed model, plus make a quick track gave a great feeling of accomplishment. Taking the jump early from UE4 to Unity worked in my favour as well. :) Things just are much quicker to prototype for me with Unity as I only use C++ with UE4 unless I'm forced to touch BP, but it's a slower work environment for me personally.

What went bad?

Sadly I slapped the audio together too late and left some bugs where the main music doesn't loop at the right spots, the music overlaps when returning to the main menu, the player active sound isn't working correctly. I also ran into some bugs where I had old triggers some how calling... not sure what was going on but it costed be almost an hour fixing and redoing stuff today.

Level design I would say went 'very' poor due to how much time I had left and taking into account testing and bugs. The creatures speeds I found are too slow so that will be all re-worked!

I also wasn't able to texture all my assets, and even the textures I did do for the backdrops are not exactly up to my standard. The same applies to the music track as well.... but I'll be redoing a lot of things for my main challenge. :) 

There are also jittering issues I need to fix. You'll notice this when you play.

Overall the way I put this together was pretty sloppy due to time constraints but I'll clean it up. :D I'll fix those audio bugs this weekend at least before I start polishing up and changing things.

What did I learn?

Start these projects way earlier... The constant problem I have with almost all the challenges.... I always enter in at the last moment. :D 


Up Next!

Even though the Challenge on GameDev.net is over, this personal challenge isn't! I'll be re-working a lot of my scripts, the way the levels are set up... and actually getting the graphics textured and decent music and sound! Then once the single player experience is done I'll bump in that online co-op mode. I'll follow up with a Part 4 with my next update. :) 

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Just an update:

I went and fixed the music looping at main menu issue. I simply made sure if that class exists to allow it to exist and delete any new instances. This just happens because I create the AudioSource on my main menu scene and don't delete it when loading scenes, but when you revert back to the main menu it recreates itself. I also fixed the few second delay when the song hit the end and was supposed to loop. It was an issue on my MP3 export, the exporter left the tail instead of clipping it for looping.

I also found a bug where if you had Ability 1 captured from your orb, but your orb hits the alien that does the 3-way shot you wouldn't get the upgrade. Now I have it so you will get the upgrade, and if you hit the orb with an ability 1 single shot alien after the 3-way you will get 10 shots and not revert back.

I also found my sound issue with my "Action Sound" I put in.... I didn't properly load the AudioSource into the scene, I created a prefab but it wasn't being called correctly which I now fixed.

I've uploaded the project page with the new version (1.1)

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