Damage Control was created with a team of five over five months using agile methodology, starting with a Unity prototype before moving onto C++; this game serves as our Final Project at Full Sail University, spanning April to August 2015.
Damage Control is a Top-Down Multi-Point Base-Defense Twin-Stick Shooter set in space. When a deadly alien force wipes out the rest of his crew, a lone engineer must escape on his spaceship back to civilized space. In an effort to stay alive, the player must collect bits and pieces of his own ship to build new weapons & mods.
The game features a small-scale shop system where the player can purchase an upgradable drone that fires on enemies, and genre-archetypal weapons.
In typical horde-game fashion, the player is constantly accosted by an ever-increasing number of enemies, whose spawn rate/difficulty fluctuate in a way not unlike Left 4 Dead — speaking, of course, about the AI Director — said enemies drop in-game resources used to the benefit of the player.
In addition to the elimination of the alien menace, the player must also Defend & Repair three subsystems located about the ship: Life Support, Engines and Reactor. While alive, these stations provide the following respectively: Passive O2 Regeneration, Motion Through Space, and Ship-Not-Blowing-Up-Ness.
The player is deemed successful upon reaching the planet. Conversely, Player Death, Player Suffocation, or Reactor Explosion results in failure.
The AI Director is responsible for taking in metrics, and flooding the ship with enemies accordingly. This means the better the player does, the more threats there are to deal with. At certain intervals, the amount of enemies within the ship drops drastically, giving the player an opportunity to re-orient themselves.
To find their way about the ship, the enemies employ a NavMesh, a collection of two-dimensional convex polygons defining traversable environment by agents.
In Damage Control, the NavMesh was created offline in Maya, sorted into a lookup table, and, with the help of the A* algorithm, used by the enemies.
In order to push the pretty factor to 11, we wanted to have lights upon lights in our game.
In a tradional Forward Renderer, there’s a hardware limit of 8 active lights simultaneously — to combat this, we chose to use a subset of Deferred Shading called Deferred Lighting (or Light Pre-Pass).
Meet the Team
From left to right: Brandon Lucier, David Goad, Justin Mazzola, Jagoba Marcos, Mike Gergar