Monday, April 27, 2015

Project Happy - Dev Diary 3

So everything slipped a bit and I didn't manage to get this blog post written yesterday.

But everything is going well. I have been a bit sick this last week, but I managed to put in some good work anyway I think.

Firstly I modeled the real tyrannosaurus model.

Full resolution:

Low resolution in game:

I then spent a disturbing amount of time figuring out how to properly rig a character. I've never done this properly and it took a very long time. After this I made the following test:

After that I ran around in circles for a while trying to figure out how to best import animations and how to set up root motion.

Finally I sort of figured it out and made a walk animation and an idle animation and got them working with root motion in the game and here is the result:

Additionally after thinking more about the game. I've decided to drop the idea of growing bigger as you eat. You will simple have to eat as much as possible so you don't die and then you earn points of some kind that you can unlock bigger dinosaurs with. This will mean I will have to make more different dinosaurs though.

So everything is going pretty well. This next week I want to really start working on getting the game playable and fun. So I'm going to concentrate on getting enough animation for the T-rex and one herbivore and then work on the player controller and the AI for the herbivores.

  • Make run animation for T-rex.
  • Rig and skin stegosaurus.
  • Make, idle, walk and run animation for the stegosaurus.
  • Make a herbivore controller so stegosaurus can run around the landscape.
  • Make T-rex able to eat them etc.
See you in another week :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Project Happy - Dev Diary 2

So it's Sunday again (actually early Monday) and where are we with project Happy?

I have been trying to plan out the rules and think about game on a higher level reading through some of The Art of Game Design again. But I haven't really nailed down the design yet, but I did get a bit more of an idea of the game.

I made a drawing of a simple landscape I could start out with:

I then did some research on making terrain in Unity and using some of the standard textures and some primitives build this little map. As you can see I went for no trees thinking it would be a pain with the camera colliding with them etc. But it turned out to be easier than I though to hide part of a tree when the camera collided with it. You can see this in the video test at the end of the post.

I then started doing a bit of modeling of the Triceratops and the Stegosaurus and after a short while I realised how nice it would be to have a three dimensional reference. And then it hit me: Dinosaur toy figurines! I went to a local euro store and for €4:50 I got these three (Yeah I know one is a velociraptor, not a Tyrannosaurus, but that was all they had for some reason).

I then got a bit sidetracked. I just wanted some simple models for the Triceratops and Stegosaurus, but I ended up basically taking the Stegosaurus to final quality because it was so fun to work on.

High resolution model:

And the low resolution model in game with normal map:

And here is how it currently plays. Basically there is no gameplay at the moment, you can just move around, and not very well. Since I'm pushing the player around with the rigid body it feels like you are controlling a rolling ball rather than a character, so I'll have to get that set up correctly. But you can get a bit of an idea and see the nice triceratops in the game and the test trees that are hiding when the camera gets to close.

Tasks for second week:

  • Make the real Tyrannosaurus model.
  • Make idle, walk and run animations for the T-Rex and implement them in game making the character move correctly.  
  • Start looking into AI for the other dinosaurs.
  • Keep working on finalizing the game design.
See you all in a week.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Project Happy - Dev Diary 1

Introducing my new project. Codename "Happy" at the moment. This will be my first game developed in Unity and my first 3D game. I have decided on what direction I'm going in and done some prototyping.

Here is a video showing a prototype with the basic gameplay idea:

So the game is similar to Spore or Hungry Shark. You are a small dinosaur and to grow bigger you have to eat other dinosaurs, but be careful of dinosaurs bigger than yourself. The game will be for android and using a virtual directional pad for controls.

I'm hoping to keep the scope pretty reasonable with only three or four dinosaurs on release and have the landscape you move around be pretty small. I can always expand it later.

I've set up a rather ambitious development schedule:

12/04/2015 - Alpha development
26/05/2015 - Beta. Functionality lock, start serious testing / polish
12/06/2015 - Release date

Hopefully this is doable. I'm planning to try and spend as much as my free time as possible on this for the next two months to make it happen.

Tasks for the first week:

  • Plan out all the game interactions
  • Skim through The Art of Game Design and ensure game has a decent Aesthetics, Mechanics, Technology and Story balance.
  • Plan out the size of the game world and get a simple landscape working in Unity with the prototype dinosaur running around in it..
The plan is to follow up here on the blog every Sunday with the progress on last weeks tasks and a new set of goals.