So I’ve recently had some free time due to work slowing down a little bit, and I haven’t entirely wasted it on replaying Mass Effect 3 (Vanguard is the best class and I dare you to disagree). Becuase of this, I’ve managed to complete several features which I’d been putting off in favour of tweaking the gameplay, and I think that they’ve gone a surprisingly long way towards making Samurai Showdown look like a proper game. I’m greatly looking forward to taking Samurai Showdown out in public again once PlayUp Perth events start up for 2017 as the dearth of events has been really bad for motivation and feedback, LMTY.
In any case, let’s talk about what’s been added, what’s been changed, and what’s being planned for the future!
New to Samurai Showdown is profile levelling and experience gain!
As of the latest build, players now gain experience and levels as they complete the various game modes included in Samurai Showdown. At the moment, the amount of experience points players gain is dependent on their score at the end of a game (to a minimum of 0 to prevent odd scenarios). This is fairly unbalanced at the moment as players fighting in the time trial mode can gain upwards of 48 experience points while people playing in the multi-tier mode have a hard cap of about half that, but I’ll be tweaking the specifics of how many points are gained at a later date in order to help balance the game.
“So what does this mean for us?” You (probably aren’t) asking me?
Well, that leads me to….
Players will now be able to unlock cool new content by levelling up their profiles!
As profiles gain levels, they will unlock additional content throughout Samurai Showdown. While at the moment these unlocks are limited to new characters only, I’m seeking to add levels to the list of unlockables in order to give players something extra to work towards. I’m currently unsure of how I’ll handle level unlocking giving that players fight on only one level at a time, but at the moment I’m thinking of simply checking if the profile with the highest level has unlocked it.
Furthermore, while the specifics of what will be included in unlockable levels are yet to be determined, I am interested in seeing what kind of unusual effects I can include as I want to make later levels more interesting than just another backdrop. A mirror-flipped view sounds like it could be fun (or terrible, but that’s what testing’s for!).
This is more of a technical thing than something that will really affect players, but I’ve recently begun implementing the FMOD audio package into Samurai Showdown. This package basically makes it super easy for me to implement music and sound effects into Samurai Showdown and combines neatly with an announcement in the Future Plans section
While this is something that’s mostly completed, I am planning on adding some extra effects to the levelling screen. It won’t be anything major, but I think I’ll add some particle effects and/or pop to the UI in order to make it more visually exciting.
As mentioned previously, I am looking to make it so that additional levels can be unlocked as players progress through the game in order to give them additional things to work towards. This won’t be particularly difficult to implement, so you can expect it in the next update (provided nothing gets in the way :v).
Adding profile selection to character selection screen
This is basically what it says on the tin!
In previous versions of Samurai Showdown, profile creation and selection was done on the first level of the main menu. However, due to changes in how game systems work, I am planning to move this feature into the character selection view. Among other things, this will enable players to create new profiles and change their current profile prior to duelling, and in all honesty, it will likely take a while to complete as I’ll be required to completely redo how profile creation works from a UX point of view.
Music and Sound!
I’m getting a sound guy!
I can’t say much about this (mostly because there’s not a lot to say), but I’ve recently gotten a sound guy involved in the project who has graciously volunteered his time and skills towards making Samurai Showdown sound as good as it plays. With any luck, we should start seeing some cool foley and music work from Brian really soon, so keep watching this space!
Of the three things I’m planning to add to Samurai Showdown, unlock alerts will likely be the greatest challenge to properly implement thanks to the way the XP system is currently set up. These alerts will be used to inform players when they’ve unlocked a level or character and are a necessity as they greatly help to prevent frustration as players won’t have to exit to the main menu to see if they’ve unlocked anything new when they level up.
My current thoughts as to what these alerts should look like lean towards image pop-ups that appear near/over the XP bar of the player that unlocked them, though this is obviously a bit in flux. This feature will likely undergo a fair amount of revision simply due to being something that greatly impacts the user experience so I wouldn’t be surprised if they take a while to finish.
One thing I did want to mentioned before I left you all to your own devices is that dance mat support (at least Konami Xbox 360 dance mat support) will likely not be coming to Samurai Showdown anytime soon. Over the past few weeks, I’ve fiddled around trying to get them to work with Rewired and it honestly seems as if it’ll be impossible to get them working. I’ll continue investigating, but it’s a secondary concern compared to literally anything else.
In any case, Samurai Showdown is slowly getting there, and I can’t wait to show off the latest version of the game at the next Playup Perth (come say hi if you ever spot Samurai Showdown there!)