Saturday 27 October 2018

Solar System Map

Today I created some user interface things. It was a lot more fun than I was expecting.
I created these cards for the world selection screen (which gave me some big ideas!)

I also worked on the pause menu and added a bunch of functionality to the game, including a re-starter state machine, with the aim of bringing a bit more flow to the experience for the player.

Working on Venus

Venus is much like earth was many millions of years ago, acid rain toxic gas hurricanes in the sky, and volcanic rock, magma and lava on the surface.

I figured that the only place one could race on Venus would be in a surface fracture, a giant crack in the rock. this would shield you from the extreme winds, but you would be exposed to lava below.

I wanted a stage that was not a circuit, but a long journey from A to B. There would be only a start and finish checkpoint, and the player could navigate as they wished.

I modeled the walls for this stage by first taking a photo of a crack in a piece of concrete. Selecting the right crack was important. I then adjusted the levels of the photo, to turn it into a 2 colour image to produce something looking like this.

Next was to make it 3D. I ran a vector trace over the image using Inkscape to transform it into an SVG (scaleable vector graphic). Then I imported the SVG into Blender. From there I could extrude the SVG vertically and round the edges off using a bevel function, to get something like this.

Next was to create a polygon mesh of this shape, so that I could recalculate the normals. A normal (in this context) is the direction that a polygon is facing. Polygons in blender and unity have one facing side. This means that they are only visible from that facing side within Unity and in the game. The initial shape I made had polygons facing outwards, recalculating the normals was a way to make all of them face inwards. Also, creating a polygon mesh from this shape meant that I could remove the top and bottom, leaving gaps for sky above and lava below. This is what the walls looked like after this process.

After adding some effects in unity to make the place appear hotter, here is what it looked like in the end. I also created some boosting rings for this stage.

Thursday 25 October 2018

Hello World!

I've been developing a computer game on my own for about 3 years. It is my 2nd title. My 1st is called 'Super Cube Smash' and is available on Steam. I've decided to keep a development blog from this point, now that I am working on it quite intensively.

The game had the working title 'Platform FPV', but now has a new working title 'Hyperflight'. It takes place in the future where the new racing sport occurs on planets and moons across the entire solar system, with flying vehicles.

'Hyper Flight' is a sci-fi flight sim / racing game. It is a game about the joy of good piloting. I always enjoyed flying in games, but was often disappointed with the simple arcade like flight mechanics. Flight simulators offer more realistic control, but for me, they fall short when it comes to activities and maneuvering around obstacles. I wanted to create a flying experience that was both realistic to handle and fun to play, as well as a game that rewards you for flying skillfully. Hyperflight utilizes the Unity PhysX engine, and has fully integrated physics based controls. The courses are tight and full of obstacles to maneuver around. The crafts have a realistic durability, meaning that they will break quite easily if you crash.

Here is an early demo video of the game working.

Acquiring licences will be a big part of the game, offering an array of challenges that ease the player into performing increasingly more and more difficult tasks, teaching the player to be a better pilot.

The crafts themselves operate using quad copter technology, they have rocket thrusters instead of propellers, but use essentially the same control concept. Four thrusters pointing straight down for leveling and gyroscopic rotation for steering. Learning to fly the platforms in 'Hyper Flight' should help people to become better quad copter pilots for FPV racing.

At the moment, I am working on creating the training mode and time trial modes. I will also be creating 2 player couch co-op.

It is my hope that one day, Hyperflight (Or whatever it's called by that time) will include online multiplayer with online matchmaking, although, right now I have no idea how to do that. Maybe I will pitch the game to a developer, maybe I will employ some people to help me, or maybe I will just continue developing Hyperflight on my own, learning as I go.