Lucha Megadrive – Getting the Groove Back

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The school year has started again and it’s time to take Lucha Megadrive into full production! This week was a mixture between getting acclimated to the new team and getting some work done.

The New Team
Our team went from five people to nine, which changes the dynamic pretty dramatically.  We got 2 more artists for animation and environments, a designer for UX and UI design, and a graphics programmer to help out with the new visual changes we will be undertaking. The team is fantastic, passionate, and inspired. I couldn’t be happier with our new members and I’m extremely excited to take Lucha Megadrive to the next level with our team.
My New Role
As the sole programmer of the original team, I’m the one whose most comfortable with the code base, which gives me a pretty big responsibility to make sure the new members follow standards and feel comfortable when working in engine. My new title is Lead Systems Programmer, since I will be the one expanding the tools and underlying fighting game framework as we move forward. I will be accompanied in this venture by Duncan Carroll, our Lead Graphics Programmer, who will be focusing on shaders and graphical effects and optimization. We’ll definitely be bouncing off each other a lot but it’s going to be nice having someone to share the load with.

What Got Done
So one thing the team was kinda unsatisfied with at the end of last semester was how our air to air interactions work. When fighting on the ground the game feels pretty good, but some air interactions were missing weight and strategic depth. Our Lead Designer crafted an air to air exchange doc and I got right into giving him the tools he needs to make air to air interactions feel weighty and responsive. Here are some of the values I’ve added to each move:

juggleTool

Our designer can now customize how far a move launches when hitting an airborne opponent, grounded opponent, whether a move puts the user airborne (like shoryuken for example), and whether a moves puts the enemy in a juggle state. Although these changes seem small, this vastly changes combo flow and custimizability our designer has with moves, resulting in a deeper and more free form game. I look forward to what cool combos come out of these changes to the system.

Moving Forward

It’s been a busy first week, but I’m excited for the weeks to come. I’m going to continue to fine tune and debug systems, and hopefully get started on an in depth training room. A lot of the hefty system work is complete, now it’s all about polish and making what’s currently fun, even more fun.

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