After my last playtest results I had a lot of tasks to do for my next iteration, from bug fixes to iterating the rifle’s reload. Here are some of the tasks:


Small bug fixes

To start with I had a few small bug fixes to fix. These bug fixes were:

  • Fix the collider on the targets  – there was a small gap between the neck and body of the target players could shoot through.
  • Remove the debug button – space bar was a debug button which paused the game which I no longer need. It was mainly to see where the bullet would travel when it was an object.
  • Hide debug shot render – the yellow line that appears when you shoot no longer occurs.
  • Make movement slide less – previous feedback stated to make the movement less slidey which I have now fixed.
  • Make 2nd level longer – to encourage players to aim more, I made the 2nd level longer with targets further away to encourage players to aim at the targets.

Adding ammo to the rifle

So now for the important iteration of the rifle. Previously the rifle could be reloaded and shoot without an ammo count. Now I have made it so the rifle will now require the player to add ammo to the rifle and will be unable to shoot if they reach 0 bullets.

The problem I faced was how to go about having the player add ammo to the rifle. I wanted to include partial use of the reload sequence but have it so players would press another key to add ammo to the rifle. My ideas for what key to use were:

  • R key – Usually most FPS games on the PC would set the R key as the default key for reloading. However, since reloading in my game requires the arrow keys I feel the R key is too far to be practical to use ingame. Therefore a button close to the arrow keys would be more suitable.
  • Shift key – close to the arrow keys and usually wider on most keyboards. The shift key would be easier to press. The main problem though is sticky keys which, when pressed 5 times in quick succession, will bring you out the game with a pop up box.
  • CTRL key – although this key is commonly used for crouching in games, I feel this is the best key to use. It is right next to the arrow keys and allows the player to rest their thumb on the CTRL key whilst keeping their fingers on the arrow keys for quicker reloading.

Once I chose the key to use I needed to make sure players knew when they would need to press it to add ammo to the rifle. I could’ve had the player able to press it whenever to add ammo, however I want the rifle to feel more engaging and more logical if the player was only able to insert bullets into the rifle if the rifle bolt is pulled back (when the player has pressed the first two reload keys).


Teaching the player

instruction.JPG
Fig 1: new instruction screen to tell players what to do.
controls.JPG
Fig 2: new controls screen to tell players what keys they’ll need to press.

The player will be shown what they need to do and what keys to press at the beginning of the game (As shown in fig 1 & 2). However, like before, they will also have text prompts ingame to help them if they get stuck (As shown in fig 3).

reload.JPG
Fig 3: demonstration of ammo count & text prompt for adding bullets

So far I have made it so that:

  • Players can only add up to 5 bullets, which is what the M1903 Springfield rifle can hold.
  • Players cannot shoot if ammo equals 0. A clicking sound will play to help indicate this.
  • Animation to show ammo being added to the rifle. I wasn’t sure how to add bullets to the rifle without the use of hand models, so for now you only see the movement of the rifle and hear bullets being inserted when you press CTRL in the mid reload state.

I was also looking into adding a feature where players could insert a clip into the rifle [1] when at 0 ammo as a more realistic feature, as well as being faster than adding 5 single bullets which could be less engaging.


What next?

I can now start looking to playtest the new rifle iteration, however I want to update the questionnaire first before I do this. The reason being is because I want to include questions based on whether this rifle could be considered in game settings (giving examples as well) to help me for when I write my essay on whether players find this engaging and in what setting would they find it most engaging.

 


References

[1] – MilitaryFactory, (2017). Springfield Model 1903 (M1903) Bolt-Action Service Rifle / Sniper Rifle. [online] Militaryfactory.com. Available at: http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=53 [Accessed 8 Apr. 2017].

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