Post Haste

Tilt and maneuver your ship past obstacles to reach your destination and make your first delivery on time

Genre: Arcade racing

Engine: Our own engine, Memory Leek

Development time: 10 weeks half-time

Team: Friendly Pyre, 16 second year students at The Game Assembly

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Contributions:

  • Spline movement: The player ship in Post Haste moves along a spline which the level designers carefully placed. The position, facing direction and up vectors are all interpolated. The enemy ship in the last level follows a separate spline. The problem here was that both splines had different lengths, so I had to make sure the enemy always stayed at the desired distance from the player, slowly getting closer as the level progresses. Whenever the splines would turn in certain ways, the enemy's speed needed to be altered slightly to keep the correct distance.

  • Player movement and controls: I was responsible for creating and smoothing out the player and camera movements. The screen plane moves along the spline, but the player controls the ship on that plane. I had to take into account velocity, acceleration, rotation in the direction of the movement and slowing down at the edges of the screen so that the ship wouldn't stop abruptly. I also added the tilting mechanic, which allows the player to fly through vertical gaps.

  • Particle System and Technical Art pipeline: I worked closely with our technical artists, creating and maintaining the shader pipeline and particle system.

  • Polish and game feel: I sat a lot with tweaking the player and camera movements and controls so they felt as good and smooth as possible. I also added a lot of feedback towards the end of the project which added a lot of "game juice" such as screen shake and smoke particles when taking damage which get more intense the less health the player has. When the player is finally destroyed, the ship falls dramatically down into the clouds below leaving a twisting trail of dark smoke as the camera slows down.