Spherical Testing – Project Overview [Source]


Spherical Testing – Mini Cutscenes (2016)

This is a project overview of some of the hurdles we had to jump and overcome in order to finish Part 2 (1st part). We touch base on where the mod came from, problems that occured, crazy solutions and coop problems, animations and coding.

1. Humble beginnings and everything is a lie
– the entire mod is built on the fact that 1 entity broke and provided us with a proper camera rig
– we were able to adapt to this by never moving these entities from where they were in the world and building our levels around this particular cluster of entities.
– due to how fragile the camera system was, we couldn’t send the player through portals or even kill them without the system destroying itself.
– we set up a death and damage system where a fake sphere is spawned in any instance where the player actually needed to die.
– 1 sphere is for animations and triggering events
– 1 sphere is for phyics and takes the thruster movement
– 1 sphere spawns and is destroyed or fizzled

2. Coop and lag – Instantiation Solution.
– we planned for coop the entire time, but due to the 2nd player needing to control their sphere through the host, there was always going to be lag.
– we cut coop late in the project due to poor performance and needed to come up with a solution for moving the players around.
– taking story bits from portal 2 and the “multi-verse” , I came up with a solution that solved gameplay issues and served a purpose in the story.
– the merging of the spheres helped players not have to do the same motions 2 times with both spheres and also opened up multiple gameplay opportunities in the future
– example / merging through walls / demerging through floors to spawn on top.

1. camera scripting, volumes and code that help transition the camera without a huge bump or glitch
– pros cons
– makes transitions nicer and less buggy
– set and forget

2. small turret cutscenes
– 2 days polish
– animations and timing
– parented to the players camera, for extra possibilities
– fast and easy implementation, 1 line on a trigger volume and it plays for the proper player.

3. ending cutscene , the large animation
– bought wallworm and used mass export
– learned 3ds max physics generator
– cut together wheatly animation and modeled / animated interior
– entire process plus scripting took 1 week.

4. instances / setting them up and being smart about using them.
– using smart naming conventions we were able to take advantage and reuse complicated scripting over and over
– 1 update on an instance went game wide
– fixing bugs was easier
– postfix allowed for creating multiple instances

5. scripting in squirrel, what I learned and how I learned from it.
– the file was set up from the start to be used on both spheres, instead of making 2 separate files.
– fast itteration
– grabbing names of entities and using the Think function allowed for specific results
– lots of complicated scripting made easy using booleans
– everything was able to work off each other with minimal bugs

Turret Cam Animations – Setup to Final