The Weekly Update: Making Boxman Visually Appealing

Hello again!

As David talked about in our last update, we have been working on UI and making the overall experience of that pleasant for the player. David has been handling most of the UI with UE4 while I worked on new maps in anticipation of the playable demo we are trying to release in June. A main focus of the UI for us has been streamlining, and this can be achieved in many ways. One large approach for us is cutting down words, and replacing them with images. Now in the kill feed, players are alerted as to how they were killed. This is one of those things David mentioned last week, they don’t stick out to the player, because it makes sense. That’s all the detail I will get into for now as not all UI is set in stone.

Something I really have been pushing is the updating of the weapons in Boxman. After compiling a lot of inspiration, and creating a few concept sketches of each, I made the models for each class. This would further visualize the move to UE4. Here is a picture of the new weapons, and the origins of the art style we now call our own.

You can see that when I modeled the fourth round, I finally tried to stop making weapons that everyone recognizes. I dropped the AA-12 lookalike for a sci-fi, outlandish, unique shotgun. I made an SMG that felt cool to look at, and soon enough will have sounds to match its appearance. I updated the Trooper’s rifle to feel less average, and lastly, I made the Marksman’s sniper look as deadly as it should. All of the weapons are supposed to reflect what the class is capable of, and with the newest models, I can say that I think we have accomplished this.

Onto the map, since the last time I talked about Ambush, the first map in UE4, a few small things have changed, most noticeably, the color palette. I will let David talk about the colors as it’s something he brought up to me, before which I had no thoughts on the matter, I just eyeballed my materials and would say, “that looks pretty good together” and move on. David wanted more, he looked into what companies like Google did to pick colors and stand out from crowds, and, as a result, the game really pops.

The weapon models and polishing the map have been the majority of my weekly work, and I am excited to share more Boxman news with you next week! I would also like to say a special thank you to the Reddit community for all of the positive attention, we now have a little following on /r/BoxmanBegins and plan on keeping the momentum rolling!

I’m going to let David talk about all of the cool technical stuff he’s been up to over the last week now, thanks again for the support!

Hello all!

So this week has been split between UI stuff and AI. I’d love to show you the AI working, as it’s bound to have a bunch of funny bugs, but the fact is it’s just not ready yet. The bots don’t even walk around, they just look at things, so I’ll leave it that for another day.

With regards to UI, we’ve been thoroughly reviewing it, deciding how things are layed out, how things animate and interact and as Tyler mentioned, what color the are. Many programmers hate doing UI, but I actually quite enjoy it, it’s a rewarding experience to see it working well. It makes the game feel so much more polished.

As Tyler mentioned I wanted to review our color palette. I felt we needed to define Boxman’s primary colors and then work from that, it helps to create a cohesive whole to the game and tie everything together. The colors were carefully chosen to be bold and bright, the idea being to reflect the comedic theme of the game. We went through quite a few iterations to get the colors just right, but I think they look great. They aren’t the only colors we use, just the primaries that represent the game.

Oh, I also did a bunch of community work this week, you may already have noticed the gif I posted to /r/Gamephysics that got rather popular. Here it is if you missed it:

I love sharing bugs they always provide entertainment. Someone on Reddit yesterday made a good point though, it’s an odd way to promote your game. Just imagine if Ubisoft promoted Assassins Creed by sharing in development shots of people’s face missing. It would probably work quite well actually.

Anyway, that my news this week. Hopefully next week I’ll have some AI to show you.

David & Tyler