This week myself and a couple of others finally started the onboarding process on a game called Cash Force.
Cash Force is a high-octane arcade VR shooting game where players take the role of an undercover cop gone rogue fleeing the scene of a heist in a colorful 70's crime film-esque setting. The player must defend their stash of cash from pursuing thugs using an assortment of highly intractable weapons. The player must lock, load, and shoot their way through waves of pursuing enemies as they engage in combat out of the back of a moving heavily armored van, using the doors and other supplies as cover. They must carefully plan their escape route before fleeing the scene of the crime. They will earn cash from performing skillful shots on enemies, allowing them to purchase upgrades and gadgets to improve their weapons and van.
The team met early in the week to discuss what the plans were for this current sprint. The leads decided that it would be a good idea to split each division into separate teams and do their tasks in those small groups. Once this was decided, all of the programmers (the four of us) met up to discuss the sprint for the week. We talked about what we were interested in doing on the project as well as some of the tasks that had to be done for Cash Force. Each programmer specialized in a different type of coding which was a huge bonus. We had an AI programmer, a tools programmer, a gameplay programmer (me!), and a generalist programmer. Once we established our interests we were able to create tasks. For this week, the leads wanted us to get caught up on the documentation and the codebase. I was tasked with looking up different gameplay systems in FPS games, reviewing the codebase, reviewing documentation, and starting a prototype on gun modularity.
As I was exploring the codebase, I noticed that the code was already quite modular. I brought this up to the lead programmer and he told me that they wanted to make it even more modular which sounded like a fun task. I kept reviewing the code base and trying to get familiar with all of the blueprints (we are using Unreal). I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of different blueprints that the team originally had. After spending a couple of hours trying to figure everything out, I got a pretty decent understanding of how it was working.
Moving on, I did a bunch of research on game systems and modularity. I ran into some issues trying to find different game systems in FPS games. At first, I found that I wasn't wording my research properly and therefore wasnt receiving the correct information. Once I got it figured out, I managed to find a bunch of information on what types of systems most FPS games use. I also researched gun modularity. A lot of my information came from the Borderlands game and how they created their guns. It was interesting to read about the randomizer system they use to create their them. Throughout my research, I made sure to write down notes so that I could share everything that I found with my team.
Overall the week went pretty well in research as well as documentation. It looks like it will be a busy but fun semester!