So today will be a pretty short update due to the fact that I’m pretty close to done with Samurai Showdown from a baseline feature standpoint and I’m starting to clean things up to make the game slick and pretty. There will, of course, be a lot of work to do in the future once user testing starts around March, but for now, I’m taking advantage of the time off to work on some side projects and develop my skills.
Now with that said, let’s talk about what’s been done since the last update!
So in the past month, I’ve had to make a pretty major decision regarding the ultimate fate of Samurai Showdown (with the help of other devs on Twitter). Basically, I’ve decided to cut down on the scope of Samurai Showdown a little in order to ensure that I can release it by Q3 of this year. The previous scope included things like a tournament mode —which would have taken a while to do as I wasn’t happy with the previous implementation and had resigned myself to redoing it completely. However, thanks to cutting down the scope of the project, I expect that I’ll make the Q3 deadline handily as I’ve gotten the vast majority of features in place already with most just needing some tuning and cleaning up. And hey, I can always add new features in later as free DLC/updates thanks to the magic of digital distribution. 😀
As of the current iteration of the project, profile levelling is completed!
I needed to change some of the code around to get things working properly but players now gain XP as the play and unlock new characters to use as they level up. The final rate of XP gain will be something I have to adjust once I start testing Samurai Showdown in public, but for now, it’s looking good!
Another area I’ve worked on since my last update is alerts for when players unlock things while levelling up!
These alerts are actually twofold, with both a visual alert and audio alert making an appearance on the results screen after a match has ended. Now, the audio alert currently being used in Samurai Showdown is a placeholder as I need to figure out exactly how I would like it to sound, but the visual alert is far more complete.
As you can see in the above GIF, the visual alert takes the form of a panel which pops up when the player unlocks a new character. This panel basically acts as a sort of quick way of telling people that they’ve unlocked things, how many things they have unlocked this level-up, and also provides them with a hint of what they unlocked, before rushing to the bottom of the screen and fading away. While I am still thinking of tinkering with this panel in order to make it more informative and I will be changing up its looks, it’s pretty much done.
Profile Creation and Deletion:
New to Samurai Showdown’s alpha version 1.3.1 is the ability to create profiles!
While nothing too fancy and likely somewhat lacking in terms of usability, the profile creation system displayed above works perfectly. Players now have the option of creating profiles from the character selection screen by pressing the ‘Y’ or ‘Triangle’ button on their gamepad (for Xbox and DualShock controllers, respectively) and using the onscreen keyboard to enter a name.
Additionally, I added the ability to delete profiles to the profile selection screen so if for any reason you wish to delete an inactive profile, you can do it with a single press of the back button while the profile is highlighted.
As mentioned previously, I am looking to get new sprites and characters made for the game. Now, while I haven’t had much of a chance to sit down and design these sprites due to getting features in place; thanks to the reduced scope of the project and the extra free time I have, it shouldn’t take too long to start adding new characters for players to use.
Additional Sound Effects:
Since my last update, Brian has provided me with several new sound effects to use in the game and they sound pretty great, IMO. While not yet implemented into this alpha, they’ll be in place for the next update and the public demonstrations at places like PlayUp Perth. As with the new sprites, I should be getting some additional sound work done as soon as I can sit down to draw up a list of what is needed.
Bug Fixing and user testing:
Of everything that I’m currently working on, this is really the big thing that I need to get started on properly. While alpha 1.3.1 has been publically released and there are channels for me to receive feedback, the biggest source of user feedback will likely be from public showcases of Samurai Showdown. While there is a fair bit of time until signups for the March PlayUp event open, I can spend that time clearing up issues that I’m already aware of (like the buggy reveal screen and level selection scroll view). With a fair bit of effort and a lot of testing, I’m confident that I can get Samurai Showdown up to snuff by Q3 of 2017.
A Q3 release of the game is looking like something I can definitely get done and I’m really looking forward to hitting the release button! While it’s far too early to start relaxing, I think I can see the end of my first project in the distance.
As always, thanks for reading this latest update on Samurai Showdown and until next time, bye!