Oct 23, 2015

Suzy Cube Update: Friday October 23, 2015

#suzycube #gamedev #indiedev #madewithunity  

This week was kind of bi-polar. I started out feeling pretty crappy about the game and my progress in general, but by the end of the week I had made huge progress on a new level that's already proving to be pretty darn fun!

The level in question is Level 2-3, a snow themed level. I can't wait to be at the point in the project when making a new level won't mean having to implement a bunch of new features. Alas, that is not yet the case. So, what is this new stuff I've put together to start making Level 2-3 a snowy reality?

A sampling of snowy props

A Winter Wonderland

To get into the spirit of things, I started the week by making some snow themed props which I'll use to decorate the level.

Slippin' and a Slidin'

Anyone who's lived in a country that experiences real winters will know, frozen water is slippery! In order to allow certain surfaces to offer less traction that others, I created a script I call the PlayerSettingsTrigger. What the script does is allow almost all the settings of the player controller to be changed but only while the Suzy is within the trigger volume. To make a surface feel icy, for instance, I can have the trigger set the player's maximum ground acceleration to a much lower value making it take much longer to change directions.


To create these slides, I lowered the character's maximum slope limit from the usual 45 degrees down to something like 5 degrees using the triggers mentioned above. This, thanks to Unity's Character Motor script, causes Suzy to slide down the slope even though it isn't that steep. To complete the effect, another script tells her animator controller  that she should be sliding on her butt whenever she's on the ground. And there you have it, tobogganing, au naturel!

Ice with very work-in-progress material

The slipperiness of the ice surface is achieved with a trigger over the icy bit that lower's Suzy's acceleration. Makes it pretty tricky to grab those blue coins...

Secret Prizes!

Ok, Let's back up a bit. Notice those rings in the animations above? The yellow rings make regular coins appear. I just thought it would look cooler when sliding around to have the coins appear ahead of you rather than already be there. The blue ring, makes blue coins appear. Get all the blue coins before the timer runs out and you get a star for your troubles! You are going to want to find stars as certain levels will be "star-locked", meaning they will require a certain number of stars be earned in order to access them.

Get in There!

I wonder what's in here... OH GOD!

And, finally, we have these fakey fake doorway arches. They're really just hiding an invisible teleporter and so can be used to make any two areas of a level seem like they are physically connected when they aren't. It's a bit hard to see in the gif, but there are three translucent black planes in the doorway that give the impression that Suzy is receding into the darkness... oooh!

You've probably also noticed the big spinning spike rollers of doom! These were hazards I had prototyped much earlier using blocks, but I finally got around to modelling them properly. Three lengths too, so expect to see them sprinkled throughout the game making Suzy's life a but more difficult.

It's funny, last week I made up a task list of things to do this week. I didn't get much of it done, and nowhere on the list did it say: "Make a new level", but I'm glad I did it anyway. By Wednesday evening I had a good bit of the white-box done but none of the challenges in place and I was really afraid that the level wouldn't be fun. By the end of Thursday, boy, what a different story! Sliding down the slopes slaloming to get the coins is actually pretty darn fun. I'll have to remember that the next time I feel down about a new level I'm working on. Until goals to achieve and challenges to overcome are in place, any level is going to be at least a little boring.

On that note, I leave you all to get back at it. I want to be done with all the main sections of the level before the weekend.

Until next time!

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