Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Already Starting To Look & Feel Like A Game

I got some sleep after finishing my work last night, and I've spent my afternoon adding a few things to Farmageddon. Previously, the "cows" were created manually in the Unity Scene window, but I have switched over to a system that creates the game board programmatically at run-time. It's completely dynamic, and allows me to specify the number of rows and columns, allowing me to easily change the size of the board if necessary. I also have four animals created, it's just at the moment they are exactly the same shape and using different versions of the same texture, color being the only change. Animals located on the far side of the tornado (in respect to the camera's position) are now faded out, to keep the playable board clean and free of anything that pulls your eye away from the animals too much.

I also added the ability to move around the game board. Rather than rotating the board itself, I opted for rotating the camera around the tornado and the animals, in the hopes that the resulting effect makes the game more immersive. If nothing else, it reminds you from time to time that you are, in a way, playing a relatively familiar 2D game in a 3D world. I've tested a system that moves the entire tornado and game board around the scene, which really brings life to the tornado, but I've reverted back to a static one at the moment... I like it, but I'm not set on it, which means what's done is good enough for now.

Lastly, I added effects to the tornado itself. The game object rotates at a rate that seems consistent with several tornado videos I watched on YouTube. I added a simple cone-shaped particle system at the base of the tornado, and am merely rotating it at a speed that is faster than that of the tornado itself, giving the effect of fast moving debris. I'll need to spend some time on YouTube watching tornado clips to get it just right, but for now, it does what I need it to.

As you can see from the previous screenshots, and the video below, the basic concept and mechanics of the game are becoming apparent. Different animals are suspended in the tornados vortex and you drag to match species (ie. cow, pig, etc.) and save them. I am anxious to begin modeling the animals, but I need to have proof of concept done before too much time is spent on assets. The game may not be practical, or may fail as far as gameplay experience and entertainment value. In short, it might not be a fun game to play. I'm pretty confident it will be, but only time will tell. That's why proof-of-concept is #1 on my list right now... to get a version done that I can play, to ensure that you feel you are getting progressively better at the mechanics as you go, but still being a game that you can never be perfect at. You'll (in theory) always have the opportunity to beat your last high score, which adds replay value.

Next step is to take my 2D game mechanics I have done for a previous game and convert them to work with 3D objects. Once that is completed then a scoring system will be put in a place, and the game will be, for all intents and purposes, playable.

Edit: One final thought, I want to give credit where it is due. The barrels seen in the screens/video were downloaded from Unity3D's Asset Store. You can find them here:

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