Design Decisions: Lanterns

As highlighted within my formative feedback post, I have discussed the option of removing the lanterns from the game with Bobbie and we have agreed in this.

Lanterns were carried around by the players as this is what the colour they collected was stored in. It was a form of 3D UI that was within the game-world. I thought this would add greater immersion to the game, as players wouldn’t need to look at piece of UI at the side off the screen for their lantern colour, as this would constantly remove them from focusing on the game-play.

However, having the lantern as a 3D model was going to be tricky with the current animations I had. The way I had set out the project I could only alter the animation on the low poly character but there was no way of transferring the skeleton and rig onto the high poly character. This all meant that the high poly character had a baked/ unchangeable animation on it and so another model (eg the lantern) couldn’t be added to it. I was in this awkward situation of either I have to totally reanimate the high poly character and add in a hanging/animated lantern or the lantern isn’t added in and the animations remain the same.

I was unsure how to go about this, but after speaking to Adam I made the final decision to remove the 3D lanterns and have then as a piece of fixed 2D UI. I made this decision not only to keep my sanity as I wouldn’t need to redo the animations, but also to ensure the collected colours are always visible. With the lantern being held by the character, as the character runs around the game the lantern will be animated and shall be constantly moving around after it, swinging all over the place. I thought this would become difficult to see due the lantern never remaining in one place for long, so the players wouldn’t have a constant stop to look for colour they have collected. Which I thought would make it hard for players to identify the colour they have and could cause them to become frustrated if they are constantly healing the wrong player, due to the obscured visibility of the lantern. To stop this from happening, the lantern shall now be a piece of 2D UI in the game, which can always be clearly seen by players, as the lanterns will have no animation so will have less movement to them. UI = better visibility and higher play-ability and enjoyment.