Crash Co. Playable Preview v0.2

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.


For additional details about this version, check my latest post for more specifics regarding what else has been added but other updates include:

  • 2 new levels
  • 2 new vehicles
  • Updated map and title screens
  • TNT crates (above)
  • Levels actually featuring the tunnels (through terrain) that I have posted about before
  • Building demolition chain system (combos if you will)
  • General bug fixes and refinements

Download the playable preview (v0.2) here!

Chain Counter, Levels, and Terrains

RicochetTunnel01There 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.

Higher quality version can be found here.

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Loved Blast Corps? Try the Crash Co. playable preview!

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:


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Mech-Wrecking and Other Advancements

Ricochet_vb1The 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).


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Rekindling the Spirit of Mech’s

Blast Corps presented a mixed bag of vehicles; some were considerably more fun than others. Leading the fun charge (for me) was always the mech’s. They were simple and fun with their ability to destroy anything in their way. That being said, my first has been implemented in to Crash Co. The idea behind this one (working name: Ricochet) is that it throws its fists at objects to destroy them. Upon impact, it will destroy and then bounce off of the object that it hit. You will then need to retrieve them in order to fire again.

The model is a work-in-progress at the moment but the core gameplay is now here and working as I originally imagined it. The mech will control much like the player, using the directions to move the mech and naturally a fire button to throw the fists. After throwing them, they will eventually sizzle out, but I may look in to an upgrade (translation: power-up) which increases their speed upon impact instead of reducing it.

The fun will now come in designing levels around the fist ricochet mechanic to create some awesome chain opportunities for the player!

Crash Co: Additions, Features, and Refinements (oh my)!

It’s been about a month since my last (big) progress update and suffice to say, I’ve made a number of updates and improvements. First of which, a new world map (literally) with a rotating planet earth which the player will use to select their next destination. WorldMapUpdate01Nodes unlock (and secret ones reveal themselves) when levels are completed (or secrets are found) and a preview video showing a looping flyby of the currently selected level plays.

With the world map in a near finished state, I wanted to focus back on the gameplay. I always knew that wanted to have racing levels (akin to Blast Corps) so I started the foundation for them early on, but I wrapped up the time limits/lap times/race times/best times/etc so they are fully functional. The only item left for it now is whether I want the player to be able to choose the vehicle they want to attempt the course with. Continue reading

Closing the Spiritual Successor Gap

LevelTwoIntro01In my journey to create a spiritual successor to Blast Corps, I have added many features to make it more familiar. First-off, the introduction flyby showing you both the map and the objects which will need to be cleared has been fully implemented. Using the objects which I have already set as “in the destruction path”, I temporarily change their material color to red so that they stand out for the flyby. After which the helicopter will fly over the path and lower the player in to their starting vehicle for the level.

Next-up is some progress on the levels themselves. I decided to go with a night-themed downtown are as my second level so that I could showcase the building cascade effects (as in you demolish a lower section and the ones above it follow). This was something that I had implemented in the early prototype phase but never got to show-off in the first level (being that it is based in a rural farm/residential area).

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Tunneling through the Terrain (Limitations)

Sometimes it’s the small things that seem to make a large impact. In this case, I have just opened up a world of potential secrets and environment designs that will support traveling through tunnels. Now this may not seem like a big deal given how simple of a concept it is. However remember that Unity only supports heightmaps for terrain; meaning you cannot punch holes in it or mold it upside down. Voxels can be used, however they are ~10x more performance intensive, and frankly they always appear blocky to me. As I’m not making Blast Corps meets Minecraft, this just wouldn’t suffice so I set out on “simulating” tunnels. Before I get in to the technical details, here is the final product:

The concept at play here is simple: disable the vehicle -> terrain collisions when inside the tunnel. Originally I had simply disabled the terrain collider upon entering the tunnel trigger zone, however I realized that this would cause the vehicles (and main semi) to fall through the ground upon doing so. Instead I decided to refine this to be a bit more specific and created a new layer called “Ignore Terrain Collision”. As I already had the Terrain on its own layer, it was just a matter of preventing collisions between the two layers in the project physics settings.

Naturally changing this and then adding the vehicle to the new “ignore terrain layer” would cause the vehicle to just fall through the ground anyway, so instead I would toggle the vehicle to the layer upon entering the tunnel. The caveat here is that there needs to be another collider (road for example) beneath the vehicle or else we would fall through the terrain in the tunnel anyway. The same goes for the surrounding tunnel walls or the player could just drive around beneath the terrain. Keeping the road/base and the surrounding tunnel walls on a different layer that collides with the “ignore terrain collision” layer pretty much prevents any unwanted travel once in the tunnel; as it should be.