Saturday, February 07, 2015

Hacking minigame

Hacking UI mockup over a screenshot

   As we mentioned on our first post of this year, we have made a mini-game for the various hacking situations that occur in the game. Instead of a push-a-button-to-hack type deal, the player now has to complete a simple minigame.

   The .gif below is just a mockup animation created in After Effects, of what the end result might look like, as the current working implementation is composed only of green and red rectangles.

Realistic hacking in action

   So to explain the minigame: the player has to draw a line between the target buttons while trying to avoid the ”traps” so to speak, and accomplish this within a given time limit. The time limit, as well as the location and the amount of targets and traps is randomized each time within a controlled range, as well as the amount of cycles you have to complete, so each hacking game is unique.
   Failing in the hacking doesn't lock you out and you are free to try again, but some penalty might occur, based on the level. The overall duration of these hacks is somewhere between 3 to 10 seconds, so the flow of the play doesn't suffer from this.
   Needless to say that this system is still being tested vigorously so it is susceptible to changes and improvements as the time goes, but so far its looking good!

Other progress

   Lots of progress is happening on other fronts of the game as well, even if it's always slower than one would hope, but we're preparing a closed demo this month for a handful of testers (mainly friends). In this phase, we will put all the functions and features of the game under a stress-test and the results will be looked through a magnifying glass, probably accompanied with a healthy doze of self-reflection.

   A public demo/beta-test is planned for later this spring as well, and we're hoping to hit a larger number of testers at that point. But first things first, we will be focusing on this first demo phase this month, as well as observing the notes and comments from it and making the required improvements based on the results we get. Exciting times!

- Timo