LifeSpark Arena Weekly Update 1/29/15 – A Disney Introduction


LifeSpark - Crystal Forest

Lifespark Arena Weekly Update 1/29/15

By Dominic

Hey everyone, welcome to the last week of January. The LifeSpark team is still cranking away, and here’s your snapshot of what is happening.

A Surprise Visitor

This week started off with a bang! Tolga Tekin , Senior Manager of Technology from Disney Interactive floated through the office, checking out all of the games under development for the Advanced Games program. LifeSpark Arena, Apophis, Toward the Stars and Polyseum all came under scrutiny by this industry visitor. Little did we know, this visitor was also an alumni of USC, graduating from the Viterbi School of Engineering in 2004 with a Masters in Electrical Engineering.

After jumping into a game of LifeSpark Arena, Tolga gave excellent feedback on minion movement, game mechanics, and representation of information in the game – namely, who was winning. He had great comments on the UI as well, giving the team pointers on what to move toward next.

What Can You See

The engineers of LifeSpark Arena are a hardworking bunch! Every week they conquer countless tasks and difficult challenges. For some of the engineering teams this week that means focusing on fog of war – making sure the player can’t see too far, isn’t too limited, and that the resting state of the fog of war still shows the map and environment in all its glory.

Some more bugs were smashed, notably an unfortunate case where poor souls would stay in their bodies after death, allowing the player to target the body even with them dead. Thankfully, this has been fixed, and bodies now stay dead. We don’t approve of zombies here at LifeSpark, and they’ve been dealt with.

The Earth We Roam

Yale and the design team have been hard at work with the new map design. With the new pillars for our design ironed out, it’s a matter of implementation and making sure every area is addressed from multiple angles. What does this mean?

– Lanes throughout the map are more clear, and connect Spark Points in a logical and easily understood manner

– An overall radial design will allow for different “pizza slices” of the map. This keeps a certain symmetry, while also allowing for multiple or secondary areas of approach

– Jungle camps are being rearranged to incorporate a sense of exploration into the map, placing them in secondary areas and incentivizing exploration, without taking away from the main lane theme

A cool new feature is also the map being explicitly set into different aesthetic appearances, with each corner of the map having its own visual style that contrasts with the others. This will help keep players oriented while also giving a little more visual flair!

Martini Time Productions

LifeSpark’s LLC development team, Martini Time Productions, has been officially filed with our lead producer, Collin Helstien handling the proceedings. We are all very excited for the company to be made official, and are poised to take LifeSpark to the next level with an official company behind it.

That’s it for now! Stay tuned for next week’s update – we have some exciting things in store, including an interview with Yale Buckner, game director on LifeSpark Arena!