So B-Term ends with Obscura somewhere between alpha and beta. While the mechanics and main level design are in place there is still quite a bit of work to do and nearly all of the art to get in. I still feel though that we’re in a good place for 2/3 of the way done and I am confident we can have a fully playable game by March, with a more finely tuned game released to the public sometime in May (Post Project Due Date).
That isn’t to say there haven’t been some issues surrounding development. We had originally planned to implement shaders in our mod, for use in 3 separate effects; however it would appear compiling shaders is a really tricky problem in the Source Engine. Despite communication on the forums it would appear only a lucky few can get shaders to work on their systems. Despite trying various different methods and tutorials we could only get shaders to compile on one of our systems yet they never worked.
We had originally planned on using the L4D glow effect in our game to differentiate selected objects, but were unable to due to missing files. Thankfully as we gave up on shaders working the files were restored and we decided that using this glow effect for different aspects of our game would be able to replace the work shaders would have accomplished.
While this wasn’t our initial idea the effect works well within our design, and considering how much time was wasted on shaders it’s better to go with what works rather than timesinks. Beyond that though developing the levels in hammer and testing/fixing/modifying the puzzles worked well, and we got a lot of work on the game done. We’ll have a little bit of time next term to work on a few things, but then we get down to playtesting sessions. One of the benefits of working in our game design class was how much we learned by having playtesting sessions. It really tells you a lot about your game that you would have never found out.
Again it’s comforting to see how far our come, and I really enjoy how it’s coming along.