Lucha Megadrive is my baby. For our final capstone project at Champlain College, my team decided to do a luchador themed fighting game. I’ve spent a good portion of these past two semesters blogging about it. The project is about six months old right now and our team is currently gearing up for the senior show at the end of April!
For the first semester I was the sole programmer in our team of five for Lucha Megadrive and thus, I had a lot on my plate. For this second semester, our team almost doubled in size and we got an extra programmer too! My contributions included things such as:
Making a Framework for our Fighting Game in Unity
There’s many complex and underlying systems that go into a fighting game. I developed an input reader to recognize complex motions, set up a system so our designer could customize specific hitboxes for each move, wrote tons of fighting game gameplay logic and more. I tried my best to keep things decoupled and modular while quickly implementing and iterating each week.
Developing Modular Tools for the Design Team
I worked hard to give my designers tools so they could quickly adjust a plethora of parameters for each move. I also made set up some tools for our Trials mode so that our designer can make custom trials as they please. Below is an example of some of the data they have control over (If I had more time I’d make it prettier).
Quickly Prototyping and Iterating on Mechanics
What makes Lucha Megadrive different than a normal fighting game is that the fighter can use the ropes in the ring to their advantage. From bouncing off of them to get more dangerous attacks or climbing up them to get devastating top rope attacks, they really add a whole new element to the fight. In the early months there was a lot of rapid prototyping and tweaking to make sure the mechanic worked well and was fun.
Implementing Classic Fighting Game Modes
During our second semester, a lot of the technical backbone of the fighting game system was complete, that gave me and the other programmer time to add some fighting game essentials like a training mode and trials mode. This was luckily not too intense because of the way I designed our fighting game framework first semester. If you’re a fighting game player, the screen below should seem pretty familiar:
Being the Technical Lead
As Lead Programmer on this project, I was in charge of making sure everything was getting done from a technical stand point, and also ensuring that everyone had the tools they needed to make the best game possible. I kept track of builds, facilitated communication, and brought a technical perspective to several issues we faced during development.
This has been one of the most fulfilling projects for me so far – and while having so many responsibilities was a bit stressful, I enjoyed being pushed and growing as a developer in the process. Right now, we only have a trailer for the game from first semester, before our huge art overhaul. We should have an updated trailer by the end of the month though – you can see that trailer here. You can also visit the Lucha Megadrive website!