It’s been a pretty unproductive weekend – which is okay because Alex and I have worked our butts off this week on getting Hideous into its first-playable non-buggy state. Here’s a few screenshots from one of the last builds we made for the game:
The screenshot above is the view from inside the maze. The one below is the “Summoning Circle” that all players need to stand in before the game starts – it is located in an ethereal realm above the maze.
Hopefully this week we’ll be able to get the game completed before the February Deadline! We do have a contingency plan if worst comes to worst – both myself and Alex have some older games in the pipeline that we could release, an extra month on this game could get it really nicely polished. It is probably the most ambitious project I’ve undertaken as of yet… so I was prepared for a few hiccups along the way!
I had a little meet up with Alex and Amelia on Friday and we discussed the character for Hideous. Amelia did some amazing conceptual pieces based on a bunch of random creepy-pasta images I bombarded her with. We decided on parts of each monster to take forward into the next iteration of the character design:
We’re adding in more code to improve the way in which players see one another in varying light levels, this should make the game more fair when it comes to seeing one another in the maze. Kirt is working hard on making more models in order to make the environment more interesting. Things are coming together beautifully!
Oh and I’m uploading (fairly) recent test-builds here if you want to see the game being created.
Six days into February and I’m proud to announce that game number two is well under way! Myself and Alex Saye have been programming and designing like madmen for the last two days… and we now have some stuff to show!
Let us present our idea:
“Hideous” is a multiplayer Unity game based around the central mechanic of players not being allowed to see one another without dying. The game is set in a Victorian/Lovecraftian maze in which the player has been transformed into a disgusting monster that causes anyone who sees him to die – unfortunately the player is also in a maze with several other horrors… so a battle to be last one alive begins!
We’ve already got the basics done – but the game is still in pre-alpha right now. We’re using the same technique as I used as part of my first #1GAM game to get the networking right (it seems to be working fine… for now). We’ve got some really sexy looking rain particles in the game right now… they hit the walls and ground and bounce really nicely – I’m sure they’re gonna look really great when the models and textures are in the game.
Once again Kirt and Amelia are working on 3D models for the game! Kirt is working on the environment (hedges/walls/floors) and Amelia is designing and then making the horrors that the players will become. It’s all coming together nicely… and we’ve got ages to polish it up and make it look awesome.
We also have Will Bryce working on some macabre music for the main-menu of the game, I’m looking forward to hearing what he has cooked up come the end of the month. He’s been doing a lot of research into scary game music and Victorian-esque compositions… so it should be pretty awesome!
We should be getting some models imported into the game either tonight or tomorrow… so expect another video and a blog update soon! This game is hopefully going to be wonderfully terrifying!
So my game “The Food Chain” has been published and I like to think that its gone down pretty well. We did a few play-tests of it in the university’s computer labs and everyone seemed to really enjoy playing it. I even had my lecturers playing it (one of them said that they think it could be quite addictive) along with the students.
If you want to play my game with friends you’ll need to set up a LAN network – you can also get a feel for it by playing it yourself on two screens (but that’s hardly very fun…). Here is a link to the game in action: Play “The Food Chain” Here!
Some cool things I learnt:
- Oliver is a gaming troll and he intentionally would get bitten in order to lure the shark towards where other people were hiding their fish. (Not gonna lie… clever tactic – but a little mean.)
- Unity networking isn’t too hard – but I’m still only able to run things on a LAN network… which is a real shame. But i’ll definitely look into getting it working over the internet as soon as I have a spare couple of days.
- My laptop is a trooper and can run a good few copies of the same game at once for testing.
- SCRUM development methods go out of the window when it’s just me working on a project. Whoops.
- Amelia and Kirt are both awesome 3D Modellers – and I really want to work with them in the future!
- It’s surprisingly cheap to get some assets from the Unity Store… and they can be really good quality.
And lo: January turns to February and game number is about to rear its ugly head! Working alongside first-year games computing student Alex Saye, we are developing a game named:
I’ll post up more information about this delightful little game as soon as we have something to show!
So the game now has a death state for the poor little fish. They have a health variable that drops drastically when the shark takes a chunk out of them, when it drops below 50% the fish begins to bleed into the water… it’s at that point the fish is pretty much screwed. Suddenly the theme from JAWS kicks in and the fish runs for its life from the pursuing shark – who is hot on its bloody trail.
I’m pretty happy with both the feedback you get when attacking and being damaged now too: sounds and masks both give the player a satisfaction from chomping down on the fish. It is a great deal of fun both to play as the hunter and the prey and for completely different reasons (the thrill of the chase and the fear of being caught respectively).
I really love the way that the shark moves and how it appears through the dense underwater fog – it looks very similar to videos of real sharks I’ve seen on documentaries in the past!
Amelia has also been working hard on making a replacement for the place holder prey model – its starting to look really promising! Here is a picture she sent me earlier of the adorable little thing (ignore the untextured eyes…):
I’m looking forward to doing a LAN game of this with a good ten or twenty of the little blighters all hiding from the shark! Here’s hoping that I can get the rest of the game polished up and ready before the end of the month!
So I decided to be completely insane and use the short time I have to make this months #1GAM game a mulitplayer game. This might not seem like a big thing… but I’ve never really do any networking before in my life, so its been a real uphill struggle getting it all working properly!
Luckily my friend Martin pointed me in the direction of a really nice little tutorial for networking in Unity3D. So now I’ve got a decent-ish LAN multiplayer game that can have a hefty amount of players attached to it!
The idea behind my game (based on the theme from the first meet-up) is a deadly match of hide-and-seek between a rather hungry shark and some very tasty little fish. One player assumes the role of the enormous shark, their job is to hunt down and eat the other players in the underwater environment around them. The other players who assume the roles of the little fish can hide the plant-life, caves and rocks around the level.
The game works quite well at the moment, I’ve got a great deal of things I want to tweak before I call it completed. I went to the university’s computer labs yesterday and we managed to get about five people all playing the game at once which was pretty cool. I got a really nice quote from one of the second-years who had a go:
Scariest six minutes of my life – I kept seeing you swimming past my hiding spot.
The best thing about that was I hadn’t even added in the death mechanic to the game yet! Since we play-tested it I’ve added a health variable to the little fish in the scene and when it gets too low the fish starts to leave a blood trail in the water – leaving them open for easy-hunting!
If you want to play a current build of the game… it’ll be at this link here.
(Special thanks to my friends Amelia and Kirt who are working on 3D Models for the game!)
One Game A Month Keynote by McFunkypants:
This is just a quick blog post to alert any Lincoln Computing (or non-computing as the case may be…) that tomorrow is my first meet-up session for #onegameamonth – an on-line quest to make one game each month for the whole year! If you’re interested in making games and want to take up the challenge then please do come along!
A number of students have expressed an interest in working on the “one game a month” (#1GAM) online competition, which is designed to encourage people make more games.
More detailed information about the event can be found at the website: http://www.onegameamonth.com
The complabs have been booked out for bi-weekly #1GAM meetings on Fridays from 5PM to 7PM, in order to help competitors meet, discuss and create ideas and games for #1GAM.
If you are interested in participating, why not come along to the first meeting, this Friday?
This could be a perfect time to find people to work with in a team or to discuss your ideas with like minded designers!
For more information on the meet-ups send an email to Sean Oxspring at Sean.Oxspring@hotmail.com or send a tweet to @OxyOxspring
DATES FOR MEET-UPS:
18-01-2013, 01-02-2013, 15-02-2013, 01-03-2013, 15-03-2013, 29-03-2013, 12-04-2013, 26-04-2013
Now I know you might have some assignments and things right now – but consider this as a little challenge to not only improve your coding skills but also your portfolio of games! I’m planning on doing most of my entries in a 48 hour stint during one weekend of the month… so I think that if you tried to do that kind of thing too you wouldn’t have much trouble fitting it into a hectic student schedule!
Even if you just have a passing interest in maybe taking part… I hope to see you there!
(Oh… and OneGameAMonth is ran by @McFunkyPants – you should totally follow him on Twitter because he is pretty cool and I think he has an awesome voice.)