Week 6/7, "Midterm Post-Partum"


The game I created for my midterm assignment is titled "Breakaway," for lack of a better name. As an autobiographical game, it references an actual penalty shot I took in my senior year of high school on the hockey team. The player simply needs to skate the puck forward and shoot it into the net to score. However, the game uses wonky physics to emulate the difficulty and pressure of actually taking a penalty shot, kind of like how QWOP does so for Olympic track and field. There are also defenders and ramps that appear as obstacles over the course of four levels.

Given how tricky Unity physics can be to work with, most of my triumphs and failures centered around getting the physics to work just right. Originally, I wanted the player to be able to lean on their stick to help prevent them from falling down, but that collision caused too many problems for me to solve. I also wanted to be able to rotate the player, but I couldn't figure out how to get forces to work with local coordinates in some instances and world coordinates in others and eventually scrapped that as well. Stick and player movement were two crucial parts of the game that I struggled to implement for a long time as well. Fortunately, once all the other mechanics were in place, the puck physics worked perfectly on their own. This was incredibly helpful as it allowed me to seamlessly implement the ramps.

One thing I'm really happy about with this game is that I can definitely iterate on it in the future if I so choose. The process of adding new levels and obstacles is fairly seamless. One idea I had was to add a shooting target to the net for later levels so the player would have to aim their shot more carefully. I also wanted to make a bonus level that substitutes the hockey puck for a ball of some sort. Since the puck physics work so well, I assume a sphere would work as well. I also never managed to figure out how to add a netting texture to the hockey net itself, so that is also something that I would definitely add if I choose to return to this project.

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