As I said in my last post, I needed to fix a few bugs with the test and rifle first. Then once the bugs are ironed out I can iterate the rifle further to allow the player to reload while aiming.

About the ‘encouraging the player to move more’

I also stated in my last post I was going to try coming up with a way to encourage the player to move more, especially during the last stage of my test. For now I feel this isn’t a top priority and I would rather make sure I focus on the rifle iterations first and then look towards creating a test which encourages more towards requiring player movement as well as hitting all the targets.

Bug fixes

From the playtesting results I gathered I received some comments and saw some bugs which needed addressing:

  1. Reload animation getting stuck when players pressed multiple buttons at once
Fig 1: The rifle currently stuck in an animation state

Obviously, during testing players were getting faster and better at reloading, however there was a bug which players could accidentally break the animation by holding more than one reload button down. To fix this, I made it so in code the reload will only work when the correct button is pressed and the previous reload button is released.

2. Shooting while in a reload animation

Simple enough, players could shoot in any stage of reloading if they haven’t shot yet. I fixed this by just making it so players can only shoot while aiming or by the hip. (This was also causing the reload animation to get bug out as well).

3. Shooting and reloading too quick makes sound and animations out of sync

I needed to add a delay to the final reload state to the hip state of the rifle. The easiest way to do this was to just add in code a check to see what the name state of the animation is when shooting.

4. The target collision box is too wide

Fig 2: The new target collision box

The old targets just had a box collider surrounding the entire target which worked, however in the second test players were trying to shoot past the targets head to hit the one behind only to find they were still hitting the target in front. In Fig 2, I have made two colliders on the target which now is tighter to the target and allows players to shoot past them.

5. The levels are a bit plain

Fig 3: The updated look of the levels

Not so much a bug, but there was one comment about the level feeling very ‘plain’ and ‘very white’ (just like in fig 1). Therefore just to make each stage stand out a little more I added some quick textures to the floor and walls to make them look more appealing than just white blocks.

Iterating the rifle further

Now that the bugs are out of the way, I could focus on iterating the rifle.

The thing is I had plans back at the beginning of this project on making an iteration of the rifle have a ‘one button press to cock the bolt’ mechanic, however I now feel that this wouldn’t be very beneficial, especially considering the positive responses for my first playtest was that everyone found the rifle to be engaging (which is the point of my dissertation). Plus, I feel that with the majority of FPS (First Person Shooters) you are required to press one button to reload the gun anyway, therefore I feel it would be a waste of time to make and test this mechanic and would be better off talking about it in my 2000-word essay at the end and about how my rifle iterations compare to it.

With this in mind I wanted to iterate my rifle to allow the player more engagement when using the iron sights. Some playtesters said they would ‘like to be able to reload while aiming as they feel they are at a handicap if they try to aim and shoot compared to shooting from the hip’.

Simple (yet effective?) Iteration

Fig 3: Screenshot to show a text prompt appears while aiming to indicate you need to reload.

Hopefully, this iteration will encourage players to use the iron sights during the next playtest and/either shooting from the hip. The fact that aiming zooms in closer to the rifle and target allows for more precise shooting unlike shooting from the hip, which is why I feel allowing the player to reload during aiming will be beneficial to do.

Although I did face a big problem when trying to get the player back into aiming just after finishing the reload. Specifically, I found that the code for transferring from the final reload state to aiming was bugging out and locking up the animation. I tried creating a few workarounds to fix this but had no luck. Therefore, once the player finishes reloading they are put back into shooting from the hip unless they press right click to aim back down the sights. Honestly, I feel this could be a better solution to allow the player to scope the area out before needing to aim for a more precise shot.

What next?

Now the iteration is finished I need to get 10 more playtesters to playtest the game again. I have copied my questionnaire for players to fill out and for me to receive new data for as this will allow me to compare the two iterations.

Also I will make another video demonstration of the iterations as soon as possible which I will put on here when it is finished.