Platformer Video Development Blog – Volume 3

Here we are with video development blog volume 3 for my (now working titled) 3D platforming game – Besus: Journey for Vitality!

In this development blog I share the updates made to the swimming mechanics, new animations, abandoning Playmaker for good old fashioned C# scripts, progress on the first level, and my failed/abandoned attempt at a “dynamic” ledge grab system.

Unity 3D Platformer Additions

Although the video was uploaded a few days ago, I just now realized that I never created a blog post for it… With that being said, here is the latest video showcasing the current most-recent enhancements and additions made. Among which are:

  • Power-up/Transformation cards
  • Explosive crates (affects all rigidbodies)
  • Ground Slam Ability
  • Swimming; both on and under the surface
  • Enhanced wall jump with proper Vector3 Reflection

Platformer Video Development Blog – Volume 2

With all of the changes and updates made to the game mechanics, I figured it would be the perfect time to create another video development blog detailing all these updates! It took me far more time than I would like to admit to get everything working as I envisioned. Needless to say, I feel that the end result is more than worth it!

Humble Unity Beginnings

Unity-Platformer01After having discovered the potential of Unity (namely in a web demo for the Complete Physics Platformer Kit) while working with UDK, it didn’t take long for me to jump ship. Upon opening the Unity editor, between the hierarchy and the lack of the standard quad-window layout used in UDK and Hammer, I was definitely intimidated. A handful of video tutorials later and not only did it all make sense, but I felt quite comfortable navigating the application. A few more tutorials and I understood GameObjects and how scripts are used create actual gameplay. It wasn’t too long thereafter that I felt as comfortable in Unity as I had ever felt in UDK or Hammer.

My next task was making up for “lacking” functionality I had come to expect. Namely a visual scripting editor and a way to manipulate the camera for cutscene purposes. It was then that I found out how addicting the Unity Asset store can be – it was amazing seeing all of the potential in the assets for expanding my project. Eventually however I did acquire the base assets that I needed: PlayMaker (visual scripting) and Camera Path Animator. With a base game foundation, knowledge of Unity, and the assets that I know would be required to accomplish what I envisioned, I set to work.

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Unity 3D Platformer Video

Although it has been quite a while since I’ve posted anything regarding my Unity 3D platforming game, rest-assured development has been ongoing. To prove so, I present an actual video demonstrating the gameplay:

All of the basic functionality and gameplay are present and working with just a few lingering placeholder items and animations. I have also nearly finished a much more extensive blog post regarding the development process from when this project first began to where it is now. I should be posting it in the (very) near-future once I’ve compiled screenshots and other media to go along with it.

Venture in to UDK – That ended with Unity

Starting with UDK and venturing in to Unreal Script.

After working in RPG Maker and getting a grasp on Valve’s Hammer Editor I decided I wanted to pursue a standalone 3D creation utility. Having watched many tutorials and created a basic map using the editor with Unreal Tournament 3, I decided to give the UDK a go. Many of the things I learned in the Unreal Tournament 3 editor carried over to UDK so straight away I was presented with a familiar interface. This was great for level creation however there was still so much more to UDK that I never had to learn with Unreal Tournament 3. Items such as importing resources, creating materials, and working with skeletal mesh physics and animations to name a few.

Sidescroll2-UDKI would learn to address these over the coming weeks as I decided on the type of game I wanted to create. Given the abundance of first-person shooters churned out with UDK, I wanted to take a slightly different approach; the platformer (which there is also no shortage of using UDK). Given I am far too inexperienced to create a platformer akin to Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie, I decided to go with the sidescrolling platformer route – ala Contra. I eventually came across a blog on the Vectorform Labs website with some great starter code to create a sidescrolling shooter through UnrealScript. It was implementing this when the realization set in that I would need to gain at least a basic understanding of this programming language.

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The Joy’s of Coding

For all the time that I’ve been putting in to AI Uprise (working title) lately, I don’t feel as though I have much to “show” for it. That’s because it’s all been behind-the-scenes coding. Chief among them being a complete save system! Since a game isn’t of much use without one, I am very glad to get the last core component of the game done.

Other changes include the ability to only carry one weapon at a time (with unlimited ammo but a limited time on the “charge” for firing) and 2 new weapons entirely (with more to likely follow).

Hopefully I can get some new gameplay footage and screenshots up sooner than later!