Lady Bazooka was my second and third game project during my time on PlaygroundSquad. Together with a total of 14 other team members we created a party platform shooter for the PlayStation 3, which was later ported to the PlayStation 4.
During the first 9 weeks we developed Lady Bazooka for the PlayStation 3. Due to a high interest in the game and an award for Best Pitch 2015 we received the opportunity to continue the development in the next 9 weeks of project, this time for the PlayStation 4 with the main focus of improving the gameplay, art assets and packaging of the game.
During both projects I was the lead programmer. I was responsible for most of the system tasks, graphics programming, particle systems and planning together with the lead designer and the lead artist.
During the first half my role was to write shaders, make a particle system with an editor for the artists and creating an efficient component-system, all while maintaining high performance. The main issue was to keep the game running at 30fps, which was our goal.
Since we had lot's of animations on our characters, which we're quite detailed models, the animation was very performance heavy, since the engine we used skinned the models on the PPU. We decided to move the skinning to the SPU's since they are made to handle a lot of floating point operations. In order to do that we needed to disable the engine's skinning process, split the animation data to small chunks that the SPU's can handle, write our own skinning function for the SPU's that modifies the vertices. Since I had worked the most with the low-level parts of the PlayStation 3 we decided that I should try to do that myself. Unfortunately I only had about three days to do so. However, I successfully did it and not only did we reach our goal of 30fps, we actually made it run smoothly in 60fps!
During the second half my first responsibility was porting it to the PlayStation 4. We set aside a week to do so, but after three days it was up and running on the PlayStation 4, however with some faulty shaders. Those were worked on back and forth during the following weeks. I we're working a lot with improving the particle system and editor to add some features to it. We also had lot's of issues with alpha during the porting process so a lot of work wen't into fixing that.
However, most of my time during the last weeks wen't into making sure the project actually would be done in time. There were a lot of ideas and requests from many team members and the project leader did not really understand that most of the requests would take a lot of time from the programmers, and we already had a lot to do. So I spent many hours with him to come up with a way to strip all the features we wouldn't have time to do while still creating a good looking, fun to play game and in my opinion, we succeeded.
During these projects our team kept a dev diary. Every week, in combination of our sprint reviews, a different team member would sum up what the team did during the week and post it here. To see a more detailed view of what we did each sprint, do have a look! There is also a more detailed view of each team member that can be found on the official PlaygroundSquad project site.
Down below you find the gameplay videos of both the PS3 version and the later PS4 version of the game.