Forensic Friday 37: Melee Systems

Hi everyone, welcome to FF37!!! It’s quite a bit later than it should be, but here nevertheless - better late than never 😅 This week there’s more news on the melee system promised in Mechanical Mondays, news on our modular NPCs and some more news on a possible break. Happy reading :)

Aiming, Supression & Melee Systems #

This week has had me working on more gameplay systems concerning the gunplay system. I got to tackle one of the more hefty systems: The melee system. Before I could get onto that though, I had to implement aiming and suppression . Aiming was relatively simple, though surprisingly in-depth. NPCs aim modulates back and forth, and depending on skill this deviation is tighter. However, NPCs aim will drastically be thrown off with the recoil of the weapon; which depends on the weight of the weapon, the weight of the NPC and their strength. The difference between an NPC with a shooting skill of 3 and a shooting skill of 18 is very drastic. When reaching the max skill, aim and recoil control is almost perfect!

Suppression was another simple system I worked on. NPCs build up suppression when receiving fire around them. Currently this gives them a negative mental debuff, and naturally with another suppression , could lead to some serious mental breakdowns!

Lastly, melee attacking, which you can see in the video below. The video below is from an early build so doesn’t correctly show the knockback animation, but there is one! Currently the system is a series of hits, parries and blocks that can randomly happen depending on the skills of the NPCs involved. Though some balancing is needed as its mostly misses. Even someone with low melee skill should at least hit their targets most of the time!

That’s all on everything I worked on this week! I promise to show more videos of the features in the future sicne they are always fun!

NPC Melee attacks

Small Tweaks go a Long Way #

The recent changes leading to NPCs becoming modular has already started showing it’s benefits, with a long standing (and while derpy looking, actually quite significant) bug being squashed this week. During recreation time, when NPCs tried to hang out, they’d get into a formation very similar to the screenshot below, but instead of looking at each other to talk, they would all look to the right of the screen. While this sounds like a purely visual issue, since some of the NPCs weren’t looking at the other NPCs, they wouldn’t “see” them, and hence everything from mental inflictions of happiness from socialising, to gaining the friendships of other NPCs would not be set correctly all due to this weird obsession they had to looking to the right. Plus it looks silly of course!

Therefore, during a small walkthrough on how the new modules work, we were able to quickly get the NPC facing module, and correctly able to make NPCs face the correct way on meeting up! All in about 5 to 10 minutes which is even better. Who would have thought, making our code neater and more accessible would allow us to speed up development! 🤪

It’s also a similar story with implementing prisoners, which was started this week. Having a schedule follower module meant it was clear all the code we needed for assigning prisoners to cells already existed since NPCs can be assigned to regions, so rather than spending time creating redundant code, which further down the line would have probably been refactored, prisoners were able to be assigned to cells in a matter of minutes without any new code being run (one of the joys of using Unity’s scriptable objects). It’s great seeing little changes we’ve made to our code really having a big effect on our workflow, and may it continue!

NPCs gathered around

We bring Delays to the Roadmap #

Now the not so fun bit. We’ve already made hints to this with the temporary stop of Mechanical Mondays, but with University work ramping up towards the end of the year, we’ve taken the decision to stop enforcing our 1 hour work minimum a day for the time being. While keeping up with momentum on game dev is important for us, so are our uni degrees, so for the next couple months, progress will definitely be a lot slower. We’ll still let you know what’s going on behind the scenes, but blogs will probably be a lot shorter, and if there’s nothing to say, we’ll just skip the blog. Again, this should only be for the next couple months. For my personal 3rd Year Project, there’s a code deadline in 3 weeks, after which I can assess whether I have time to dedicate to the game again. Thanks for all your support and patience!

Case Closed #

If you got this far, thanks for taking the time to read! We really appreciate every one of you for sticking through with us on this journey of getting this game playable! While there are obstacles to overcome, they’ll be cleared out soon, and we should hopefully be close to on track with the roadmap! In the meantime, have a good week ahead and we’ll hopefully catch you all next week.

Case closed.,
The Team,
Plasmarc Studios