Ubisoft Competition- Major Prototyping! Apprentice Edition
Over the past couple of weeks, the team has been prototyping and testing like crazy! I've had a great time working in the gameplay, we have built and play-tested the apprentice role and we built the apothecary role to test this week. I'm very excited for them to come together and have the asymmetric gameplay really shine.
These are going to be long posts to talk about the prototypes, so I'm going to make them separate. Here is the Apprentice edition, I will link the Apothecary edition Here.
Random Recipe Generation
Shown here in a debug method, recipes are created with random ingredients that are in the level. The system gets all ingredients in the map and adds them to a list to randomly select from. We only have 6 ingredients in the level at the moment, so there are repeat ingredients allowed in the list. For final development, we plan to restrict it to the ingredient appearing once on the recipe.
Once the player has received the recipe, they trek to the ingredient location (designated in this prototype with arrows to show which corridor the ingredients are in). The final prototype will be organized by ingredient type (crystal, oil, herb, etc) and that is how the apprentice will locate the needed ingredient.
To get to each corridor, the apprentice has some platforming to navigate, which as you can see, I am not great at:
But when the player has normal platforming skills, they traverse to the ingredient storage. This direction of the map is testing for the mine branch of the shop, so the traveling direction is quite horizontal over a pit-like environment.
In the other direction, the player travels upward to reach the section of the shop that would contain ingredients and allow the map to have lots of depth.
Grabbing Objects UI
In order to specify what the player is looking at to pick up, the grab-able objects highlight when the player is within reach. We have received feedback and plan to add a crosshair to make this more obvious.
Because the player is not getting a description of the ingredients at the moment, we have added a label that appears for what ingredient you are looking at. We hope to implement an "inspect" screen and allow the player to manipulate the ingredient to see more detail before taking it from the shelf.
Deliver Ingredient Loop
Once the player has found the appropriate ingredient, they then begin the process of bringing it back to the potion. The player could use a strategy of either platforming to get back, or they could drop to the floor below and walk. I'm a player who feels like jumping makes me go faster, so that's the route I take.
The player returns to the cauldron and attempts to add the ingredient. If it's the correct ingredient, it disappears into the potion and the ingredient is removed from the recipe list. If it's incorrect, there is an "incorrect ingredient" widget that appears and the ingredient is not added to the potion
The end goal for this prototype is for a "wobble effect" to happen to the players if they add an incorrect ingredient.
The rest of the shop has the same loop, just a mirrored map. The platforming is also more vertical and the area will be filled with bookshelves.
When the player adds the last ingredient for the potion, a new recipe is generated and the loop repeats. In the final game, an interactable potion would appear for the player to send to the Apothecary for delivery. Currently, the recipe is working in the sense that it doesn't remove 2 ingredients of the same name (ex: if it needs 2 quartz and I bring 1, it will only remove 1 quartz), and it generates from the ingredients in the level that it gathers at the beginning. This will be useful when we are adding a lot of ingredients and don't want to enter all of them manually.
I have had a great time working with this loop. The physics has no limits currently, so it's been great to cause havoc if something isn't working. It's been so nice to have things to destroy when there's a bug, but then I don't have to clean it after.
I have also made a game with myself to see how far I can throw the ingredients down the corridor.
But some of them don't go so well:
Overall, I think the game is doing well. I'm very excited for the outcome and I am excited to have others play!
The apprentice has steps that still need to happen, but I feel that we have established a solid foundation to complete our goals for this project. I have learned so much about Unreal through this project and I am having a lot of fun developing with the new tools and tricks that I have been finding!