Saturday, February 21, 2015

Embedded Main Menu

As part of the overhaul of the main menu, my team made that decision to add flash and include our mechanic more. When seeing other games use their mechanics or gameplay in other portions that were not the core game, we decided that we should make our main menu embedded and let the swarm be the cursor. This also helped solve a big problem that we were going back and forth on. We need a way to let the user get use to manipulating the swarm and creating a new level was just more work than what we had to make it good. By having the main menu also serve as this room, it would provide a small side-activity to get used to the mechanic before playing a boss. My job was to incorporate the mechanics of an embedded menu system.

The standard way we made a menu system is to use Unity's new UI system. The canvas of this system wouldn't work in this case since the menu had to be embedded in the level and not be centered in screen. I had to rewrite a lot of the UI code to recognize if the player is hovering over it, collide with the swarm so they will bounce off it, and set up delegates so that the right functionality can be triggered.

The second part of the embedded menu is how the level select is set up. The player can hover over any boss and select them. When a boss is selected, then the boss will rise and reveal the main boss level and three additional challenges to the boss. These bosses had to be set up differently since the boss will move out and up. It also required an additional state to the button because the button should still remain active when the player is not over it. 

Setting up the level buttons allowed me to reacquaint myself with Action. As part of the generic button, it had to react to any of the 4 xbox buttons (A, X, Y, B). As part of this delegates were set up for each one, but all of them shared the same functionality if a button was pushed. So when a button was pushed, the delegate was assigned to an action which allowed me to save code.

The next part to get the main menu ready is to set up the trophy room. The trophy room allows the player to play around in a "ball pit" that was similar to the one in Alpha. The ball pit is filled with trophies that the player can unlock such as the Turtle's shell or the Shorca's armor. The trophy room is accessible below the main menu where the user can transfer back and forth.

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