Cowboys gunsling it out in twinstick free-for-all mayhem!
This Twinstick-Shooter task challenged groups to create an original title with the restriction of forcing both analog-sticks on the gamepad at all times.
Peaceful Handgun Gang is a light action top-down shooter for 1 to 4 players, competing to be the last one standing.
The task prompted us to analyse the effectiveness of popular top-down shooter features and how it would equate into a shared screen environment.
Core combat functions developed for game-feel. Critical gameplay features made to feel satisfying and read well from a distance, meaning designing characters with good shape language for actions and for a Camera at a permanent high angle. Characters were sculpted in ZBrush, quick rigged and animated using Adobe Mixamo (adjusted in 3DS Max), and set in Animation Blueprints in UE4.
Combat actions were tested and iterated frequently for balance. Ensure timings felt balanced between weapon pickups (Hats), and all gameplay information was displayed clearly on the HUD due to the busy nature of the game.
A balance database was used when designing power-ups to ensure the features of the game wouldn't harshly distort the "party" environment. This meant checking for weapon reload times, ammo, Player dash power, and other atomic values to adjust through test sessions.
To keep the title accessible, I ensured Twinstick controls were also recreated for Keyboard and Mouse users to allow users to play with only needing 3 Gamepads. Although the title didn't use a strict competitive leaderboard or similar to question hardware balance in gameplay, subtle input buffers were designed to emulate the rotation distance found in analog thumbpads to avoid a simple "point and click to win" setup.
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