Posts Tagged ‘game development’

For all the creative minds out there, I need a name for my game! You can read about it in previous posts, but the game is essentially a city building simulation. I was thinking of a name that incorporates the word sim or civ, but I’m at a list for names. Anyone who is able to think of a great name will get a small prize, consisting of a shutout on this blog!

If you want to leave a suggestion, leave it in the comments section please!

It’s been a while since I posted an update, as I’ve been very busy these past few weeks, but I figured I’d give a quick synopsis of the progress i’ve made with the game I am developing. I’m not at my home computer, so unfortunately I can’t post any screenshots now. Perhaps I will later today.

 

Environment

The Environment in the game is like many other isometric simulation games. It takes a isometric top view, with a tiled board that you build things on. These buildings take up 1,2,4,etc. tiles (right now there are only 1 tile and 4 tile buildings). The models are more or less medieval style, with thatched roofs and simple architecture. This is part because I wanted to create a medieval theme to my game, and part because its easier to model simple architecture than complex!

 

Modelling

I have been using Blender quite a bit these past few weeks, and have finally learned how to effectively create a model, texture it, and import it into Unity correctly. There was quite a learning curve, and I found myself frustrated at times, trying to decide whether to search for hours for a free model that suits my needs, or try to create one (which was a fruitless endeavor until I finally figured out the trick to texturing. The trick is unwrapping your models and getting the UV right!) I still have a lot to learn about Blender, but finally being able to create models and import them in game at the perfect size and height is making development go much smoother!

 

Programming

Probably the most fun part, a lot of the code I have written so far and plan to write revolves around simulating actions in the game. So for, I have very simple algorithms for people moving into your city, whether they are happy or not, when they apply for/get a job, etc. The game has a somewhat Sim City like quality in this respect, vs. other traditional RTS’s, where everything is based on resources, and buildings you create. I also have what I named achievements. These are akin to research in a normal RTS, but instead of going into a menu and clicking which item you wish to research and waiting X minutes, your civilization figures out various technology on its own, based on how you are building your city. For example, I have 3 achievements in game now.

Bartering system, which is achieved when you have a certain amount of citizens working (I think 100, maybe 60, don’t quite remember). This achievement lets your city be subject to supply and demand, and leads the way to other economic technologies.

The second is Community, which is achieved when you reach a certain level of happiness, and have no military buildings. This line of achievements would be for civilizations you wish to build as peaceful. It also unlocks a building (currently a shaman hut, but this may change).

The third is Chieftanism (I know, but I couldn’t think of a better word) which is achieved when you have a certain amount of soldiers/military strength. I haven’t fully ironed out the details for this achievement (or any of the others fully for that matter), but I plan on having military buildings reduce happiness less (currently, the only military building I have, a tower, reduces happiness by 25 points. With this achievement, perhaps it would be reduced to 10, or 12, or maybe 0).

 

Game Theme

I plan on this game being a sort of cross between Sim City, and Civilization. I didn’t want to have normal system of achievements like every other sim/civ game, so I will have research and technologies (and buildings) unlocked by how you build your city. Certain paths will have to be taken to unlock the best of a certain tree, or a middle ground to balance everything. I plan on having a fairly indepth governing system (similar to Sim city) where you can perhaps raise lower taxes, enact laws, etc. based on your achievements. For example, once the currency achievement is unlocked (which I figure will be the achievement after Bartering System) you can begin taxing your people (and taxes of course would depend on wealth level, type (ie income, residential, commercial, etc.), and others.

 

So far, the game is looking pretty good. I am god awful at modeling and am not afraid to admit it, but the models actually fit the theme and don’t look too bad. Hopefully i’ll be able to post a few screenshots later today.

I created and finished my first Unity game today! Its called Lerpz Escapes! and is based on a basic Unity tutorial that teaches you how to build a 3D platformer game. Luckily, the tutorial came with all the Assets I needed, (including most of the scripts) so I wasn’t overwhelmed, and was able to complete the project fairly quickly (only took me about a day!)

The Game

The Controls are as follows:

  • WADS keys to move around
  • Left click to attack
  • Right click to re-focus camera
  • Space bar to jump (while in mid-air if you hold space bar your jetpack will slow your descent)
The objective of the game is to collect 20 fuel canisters, so you can escape Robot world 2. The full description is the following:

Our hero is Lerpz: an alien visiting Robot World Version 2. This replaced Robot World
Version 1, which suffered a particularly brutal segmentation fault and abruptly
crashed into its sun many years ago.
Unfortunately, Lerpz has had some bad luck: his spaceship has been impounded by the
corrupt local police. After looking high and low, Lerpz has found his spaceship, but
Every platform game has its star
character who the player controls.
Our star is Lerpz.how can he get it back from Mr. Big’s nastier, obsessive>compulsive cousin, Mr. Even
Bigger?
Mr. Bigger loves nothing more than artistically arranging fuel canisters on his floating
patio. He particularly admires how they glow when he places them on hover pads.
(And, of course, they’re cheaper than fitting normal garden lights.)
But there’s something Mr. Bigger hasn’t realized! Thanks to his penny-pinching ways,

Lerpz knows that if he collects all the fuel canisters, the power used to keep them
hovering will overload the security system. This will shut down the impound lot’s
fence and free Lerpz’s spaceship. Lerpz can then enter his spaceship, add the fuel from
the cans and fly away to freedom.
All our hero has to do is collect enough fuel canisters and the impound’s force field
will automatically shut down. Lerpz can then get back into his space car and drive it
away. Mr. Bigger’s hired robot guards will try to stop Lerpz, but luckily, they’re not
particularly bright.

The heart shaped power ups give you health, and the glowing blue platforms are respawn points that you can enable by jumping on. The rest of the mechanics are rather straight forward.

 

The game is complete, with a few minor bugs (a few of the laser traps are not positioned correctly.) For the future of this project I plan on adding quite a few more features, like power ups, another level, scores, and who knows what else! The very next feature I plan to add is changing the enemy AI a bit to make them wander about while they are idle (in addition to fixing the minor bugs). If you have any feedback for me, or any features you think would be cool let me know in the comments section! If you wish to download and try out the game yourself, click this link: http://www.mediafire.com/?7u9jae3necxdxrj

A gallery of the screen shots is below

The Unity Platform

From this tutorial, even with the basic experience I have I can tell that Unity is an extremely powerful tool for game developers. It addresses game development in a much different way than is traditional, with a focus on the actual game assets. The object model is also very interesting, as everything in Unity is what is known as a GameObject, which in turn is composed of child GameObjects, and components (like scripts, audio files, models, etc.) After learning the basic UI controls, using Unity was a breeze. It presents all the information about what you are doing precisely and elegantly, and makes organizing your project a breeze! And Unity also has different options for building your game for different platforms, which makes deploying a game on, say, Mac and PC a breeze. You simply select the platform you want and… voila!

For anyone wanting to get into game development, and game developers who want to streamline their development process, Unity might be the answer you are looking for. I can’t wait to continue development on this platform, and see what else it has to offer.

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