Portobelly Production Journal #11

01/02/2019

When I was testing the slam ability I found that the slam ability could be activated multiple times whenever the player made contact with the ground (for example whilst the player is bouncing after a slam). Allowing the player to activate the slam damage multiple times would allow the player to rapidly apply damage to the enemies which is something I don’t want the player to exploit.

Fig 1 - Adding a branch to the beginning of the slam event

Fig 2 - Enable the slam when the player jumps

To prevent the from causing damage to enemies rapidly I put in an if statement that is only enabled once when the player jumps and is disabled when the player outputs the first slam damage.

Fig 3 - Slam sphere based on the players velocity and the players current size

The blueprint above controls the size of the sphere damage radius depending on the speed and size of the player.

When discussing the slam ability with Will, we felt that the slam ability needed to help control the players movement since the player tends to bounce on the ground when landing after a jump which can make performing consecutive jumps. After having this discussion, I made these three adjustments to the players bounce height when the slam has been enabled.

Fig 4 - Slam with bounce set to 0

Fig 5 - Slam with bounce set to 0.2

Fig 6 - Slam with bounce set to 0.5 original value

After experimenting with these three different values of bounce height, I decided that I will use the bounce with the dampening set to 0.2 as it doesn’t bring the player to a complete stand still but retains some of the bounciness of the character.

Fig 7 - Will’s thoughts on the bounce when using the slam

Will tested out the different levels of bounce when Belly is using the slam his feedback can be seen above. I agree with his statement and we have come to the conclusion that we will set the bounce value to 0.2 while the player is bouncing as it gives a balance between having complete control over Belly’s movement and keeping Belly’s bouncy characteristics.

Fig 8 - Belly using the slam to break platforms

As all of the mechanics need to be taught to the player using the tutorial ability I thought an interesting way of teaching the player how to use the slam ability would be create a destructible platform that can only be destroyed using the slam ability.

When creating the destructible platform I ran into a lot of issues as when Unreal Engine 4.18 was released. Epic moved the destructible mesh functionality into a plugin which caused me some confusion and I struggled getting the platform to destroy successfully.

Eventually I got the platform to function but the player would collide with the chunks of the platform when the platform would fragment.

Fig 9 - Any damage event for the destructible blueprint

Fig 10 - Belly smashing the platform without the downwards velocity being interrupted

Fig 11 - Destructible platform blueprint with large chunk threshold

By setting the large chunk threshold to a high value it prevents the player from colliding with with the chunks if they are under the threshold. This value may need to be changed in the future if I make a platform with large chunks.

 

Figures List

  1. Rees, O (2019). Adding a branch to the beginning of the slam event. [offline]. [Accessed 02/02/2019].

  2. Rees, O (2019). Enable the slam when the player jumps. [offline]. [Accessed 02/02/2019].

  3. Rees, O (2019). Slam sphere based on the players velocity and the players current size. [offline]. [Accessed 02/02/2019].

  4. Rees, O (2019). Slam with bounce set to 0. [offline]. [Accessed 02/02/2019].

  5. Rees, O (2019). Slam with bounce set to 0.2. [offline]. [Accessed 02/02/2019].

  6. Rees, O (2019). Slam with bounce set to 0.5 original value. [offline]. [Accessed 02/02/2019].

  7. Powell, W (2019). Will’s thoughts on the bounce when using the slam. [offline]. [Accessed 02/02/2019].

  8. Rees, O (2019). Belly using the slam to break platforms. [offline]. [Accessed 02/02/2019].

  9. Rees, O (2019). Any damage event for the destructible blueprint. [offline]. [Accessed 02/02/2019].

  10. Rees, O (2019). Belly smashing the platform without the downwards velocity being interrupted. [offline]. [Accessed 02/02/2019].

  11. Rees, O (2019). Destructible platform blueprint with large chunk threshold. [offline]. [Accessed 02/02/2019].