GameDev Blog: Goblin Rules Football #10: New Blue Shell and Other Stuff

In my previous post I mentioned doing more work on the single player AI and maybe difficulty settings. I did none of that this week.

Instead, I did a few other things. First, I created a new blue shell power up to be used in the game: Rocket propelled, homing bottles. See them in action in the below video (there’s no sound):

When used, the power up gets all the goblins on the opposing team and spawns and launches a new bottle rocket for every opposing goblin. There is a 0.5 second delay between each rocket launch. This is similar to the lightning strike blue shell, but maybe a little less powerful since it takes some time for the bottle rockets to track down and hit their target. It’s fun though!

There are two other things you may notice in the above video that I work on this week: Adding some more “random” grass tiles and animating part of the ground.

Before, the grass tiles in the game were all the same, so there was a “pattern” so to speak to the field. I create a bunch of different grass tiles, along with a few that have things like rocks, dirt, flowers, whatever in them as well. All told there were ~100 or so tiles to choose from, shown below. Some of the grass tiles are repeated just to add some more “weight” to the plain grass tiles when painting them in later.

To then add the new tiles to the game, I first installed Unity’s 2D Tilemap Extras from the package manager. After installing that package, the “Random Brush” was used that allows you to “paint” the tiles on and it will randomly select a tile from a group while you paint them on. After I also created new tiles for the hash marks and 5/10 yard markers, the field looks like this:

So there is a little bit more variety to the field. Hopefully not too much to cause a distraction. The field is currently “static” in its appearance, though. The tiles aren’t randomly drawn at runtime or anything. I might try and add that in the future, but I’m not sure.

The other thing I wanted to do was animate the crowd that’s seen at the top of the screen. Games like tecmo bowl will do this when the crowd “cheers” like after a touchdown or big play. Right now I’m just using the Animated Tile feature of the 2D Tilemap Extras package, which currently just has the tiles always animated. I’d need to do a bit more scripting and take a different approach to only have the crowd animate during specific events instead of all the time.

Anyway, here is what the top crowd now looks like:

The little guys are really just randomly moving around. It looks fine for now but could probably use some work. I tried to animate the bottom row of bigger goblins as well but it didn’t look nearly as good. I think I will need to only animate those during events like touchdowns once I figure out how to do that…

The final thing that I did this week was make sure that there is always some sort of visual indicator for when a player cannot dive. Diving is important, as you have to dive to “touch down” the ball and score. The scenarios where you can’t dive are:

  • When a goblin is fatigued
  • Right after a goblin just dove
  • Right after a goblin just did a slide tackle

When a goblin is fatigued, there was a visual indicator in the form of the goblin flashing yellow and a sweat drop appearing. There was no visual indicator for the diving/sliding cool downs though. This meant it wasn’t clear at all to the player during those cool downs that they couldn’t dive. For right now, I decided to just make the sweat drop appear during the dive/slide cool downs and have it disappear when the cool down is over and the player can dive again. There may be a better solution to this, but at least it is a solution that works for now.

Next Steps…

I’m hoping to do a lot of “cleaning up” or “quality of life?” or more “mundane?” type updates to the game. The things I’m thinking are:

  • Add an “escape menu” to the game to let players quit from within the game
    • Figure out a way for the host to “pause” the game for all players for a short amount of time from the escape menu as well?
  • Add “timeouts” to certain game phases (kick off and kick after especially” to prevent the game from getting stuck in a phase because the player doesn’t have any inputs
    • Something like after 30 seconds during kick off the game will automatically kick for the player
    • For kick after, similar 30 second countdown and if the player doesn’t make their kick the kick is then automatically “no good”
  • Update the title screen UI so it doesn’t look so bad and is easier to find stuff
  • A “Settings” menu to adjust things like screen resolution, sound volume, etc.
    • Changing the resolution is probably going to break all my UI and “pixel perfect” stuff so that should be a fun problem to try and fix!

I think that covers most of what I want to do for now. Oh, also, maybe I should consider creating a steam page for this game. Only time will tell on that one…

Smell ya later nerds!