In Inside Out, players launch colored orbs to make matches! Players are able to choose from the five different emotions (characters) from the film, with each emotion having a unique power-up to learn and master.
Inside Out is - literally - all about emotions. This meant our in-game models needed to feel alive! I implemented the animation events, built tools for the animators, and added support for the characters to dynamically look anywhere. In-game you'll notice the emotions follow launched orbs, making their presence feel real.
The only interaction in the entire game is launching orbs, so it's essential it feels great! A lot of work went into making every shot feel as good as the last - whether it's launching, loading, swapping, colliding, or matching.
Great effects not only look good, but communicate with the player...and then quickly get out of their way! The effects are tuned super fast, in order to let the player keep playing. When they do something cool (like making a big match), we punctuate it with more flair.
Bubble shooters demand precision - unfortunately your finger is anything but precise. To balance responsiveness with accuracy, we update the visuals to your exact input position, but record the input history to determine a best-guess position when launching the orb. That way we can filter out any mis-swipes from lifting your finger.
Quick iteration times improve everything. To allow our animators to see their work in-game quickly, I built several tools to let them adjust animations and hook up events. By the end of the project, the animators could implement a new character with no programming assistance needed.
The larger team size allowed me to double down on effects work. And Inside Out is a lot of effects work: matches, power-ups, special orbs, collisions, buttons, pop-ups, purchases, and UI. Again, the emphasis was on balancing speed with clarity.
Our team loves the world of Inside Out, and we wanted to do the film justice. We added a custom intro sequence blends story with a tutorial - we even mimicked the film's introduction to make it feel integrated with the IP.