Nostalgia is something all too common for me and in my most recent bout of it, Playstation demo discs attacked. Going through many of my older ones, I yearned for the exciting days of getting a new one. I discovered countless games I otherwise never would have thanks to them; Ape Escape, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and Bloody Roar just to name a few. With broadband internet as common as it is and demos becoming less and less common for games, they are certainly a dying (already dead?) breed. I wanted to change that, or at the very least, revisit my nostalgia.
To do so, I decided to use my engine of choice: Unity. Thanks to the System.Diagnostics namespace, I am able to open external executables from the “launcher” using: Process.Start(path to exe). But before launching the demo, I open a brief description of the game and give the user the chance to back out or start it. Upon doing so, I pause the music and bring up a new UI message to indicate a demo has been launched. To keep the “optical disc” feel of the Playstation demo discs, I make extensive use of Movie Textures to showcase the currently selected item as well as to play a full screen movie (but this is done an a separate canvas).
Overall I am very satisfied with the feel of it all and even designed it so demo configurations, videos, descriptions, and titles can easily be swapped out for other games and/or specific game studio collections.
Just under a week after launching the Steam Greenlight campaign for Crash Co., I am proud to present a new playable beta demo! Nearly 5 months since the last playable preview was released, there have been a number of changes, ranging from bug fixes to gameplay tweaks!
This demo features a total of 12 playable levels (7 main demolition levels and 5 hidden bonus levels), allowing you to control 5 main demolition vehicles as well as a handful of transport-only ones; from a train to an ATV.
If you find any bugs, have any suggestions, or would just like to share your opinion on the game, please let me know!
It’s been a few months since my last update but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been a number of improvements to Crash Co! Starting things off, let’s face it, the buildings in Crash Co. were due for some refinement. These were still the original buildings from my prototype days so suffice to say, they were a bit ugly. Being nothing more than cubes with a texture meant everything about them looked flat. They got the job done, but there’s no reason that I couldn’t add more detail; so that’s just what I did. Below you can see the transition from old (right) to new (left).
Despite having added more detail to them though, they still seem a bit lifeless. Enter reflections! After having (finally) decided to learn about Reflection Probes, I decided to put them to use and generate a reflection at initial runtime (not in realtime though as that is far too expensive). Despite the lower quality of the video below, I am quite satisfied with the final effect.
I am proud to introduce the second playable preview for Crash Co. In this update you will find 2 new levels (one of which features the fist-firing mech Ricochet) while the other will afford the player a more comfortable opportunity to try out the helicopter and crane vehicles (after traversing the quarry canyon on an ATV) before being required to use them to clear the path in the subsequent level.
This level will also require the use of TNT crates (another staple of Blast Corps) in order to do so.
There have been a number of additions since the last post when I released the public playable demo from new levels to additional features. Those of you who have worked with Unity know that the terrain system is fairly limited. Thanks to the Relief Terrain Pack (shaders for terrain) and some clever code work to set certain layers to ignore collisions with each other, I now have traversable tunnels (an older feature) with visible holes cut in the terrain (the icing on the cake) to complete the illusion.
Additionally, I added the ability to highlight the path of said tunnels so that the player can see where they are going. The following gif was of the rough concept – it has since been cleaned up to differentiate walls from floors.
After about 8 months of work, I finally have the gameplay to the point that I would like to throw it in to the wild and see what others think. What started as nothing more than a “can I do it” prototype:
Has evolved and matured in to a game I hope will scratch that itch that Blast Corps left:
The first (and certainly not last) Mech along with all of the building-wrecking functionality that comes with it has been completed. The general idea is it will fire its fists at buildings, ricocheting off and destroying any other objects that it comes in contact with. After which, the fist(s) will need to be retrieved before they can be fired again. Naturally single fists can be retrieved and so long as one fist is present, you can fire it. Nearly everything for this is complete except updating the targeting sight and a glowing effect to ensure that the player can find the fists (as of now they simply show through any other geometry but I will be adding a luminescent effect to them as well).