Collision Detection

I’ve been working steadily on collision detection. Here is a bug with collision detection and dashing.

The problem is that my player is moving more pixels per game tick than the collision object is wide. The player passes right over the collision block without ever setting foot on it, then it collides with the next one and stops. What I’m doing now is checking to see if my destination location would cause a collision. I need to check for a collision at any point from my current position to my destination. Fun stuff!

Here is a short clip of the city.

 

GameMaker and Pixel Art

Game Design
I am going to use GameMaker Studio as my engine. It is a nice middle ground between ‘build your own’ and ‘drag and drop.’ I think it will be good for me. I can go on to something like Unreal or Unity next time.

Art Design
Pixel art is so tough, I can’t get over how easy some people make it look. Check out the image in this tweet…

Pretty, pretty cool. I’ll try that with my Hunter from yesterday’s entry.

I have a story written that includes a bunch of real world events. I liked the idea of explaining a couple of well known mysteries with events from the game’s story. For example, explaining the cause of the Tunguska event by showing that the meteoroid responsible for the explosion was actually jettisoned cargo from an alien spacecraft. What I don’t like about that parts of the story take place on Earth, so you’re kind of bound to having a portion of your story on the pale blue dot. Nothing wrong with that from a story standpoint, but then you have to create assets for Earth as well as what we’re calling Roma, the beautiful but negelcted planet on which the bulk of the story takes place. Here are my drawing skills, to show you how much of a burden a second location will be on me.

Such Art Whiteboard City

Yeah, so… on to music. My friend sent me to Audio Jungle to check out some royalty free music. There is so much available, I’m pretty hopeful I can find something to use for sharing clips of the game.
img

 

Two More Engines

Technical Design
Well maybe not down to three! I decided to go to the opposite end of the spectrum from building my own engine, to a codeless engine. I wanted to try a couple of those, since some pretty good and successful games have used them.

  • Construct 3: This really seems to be a 100% codeless game maker. You use event and actions to build your scenes. Everything is an object and has events and actions based on its object type. There is No Game is made with Construct.

  • Gamemaker Studio: This is an awesome product. There are some really great games made with Gamemaker, including Hotline Miami and Hyper Light Drifter. Showcase here.

I am definitely doing a 2D, top down game. I am working on a Kickstarter-like pitch for the game. It will give an overview of what I want to achieve. I plan to include a summary of the story, list core mechanics, outline the gameplay loop, and describe the game’s aesthetic. I am working on this now.

 

Three engines, which one?

Technical Design
I think I’m down to three choices for the game engine, ordered by my preference.

Unity, 2D: Top down, sprite based 2D. Unity is great to work with and has a solid 2D component that has been pretty easy to work with.




Unreal, 3D: Third person, low-poly. I love to code and that kind of leaves Unreal out in the cold. It has an amazing visual design system called Blueprints. You can also write everything in C++, which I’m not very proficient with. By far, Unreal has the most potential graphics wise. It also ships with a very good multiplayer system.




In house, 2D: Top down, sprite based 2D. From a code persepective, this has the most potential. I get to write everything from scratch and control every aspect of the design. On the downside, I have to write everything from scratch. I actually think this is a very cool option.

 

Dream State: Pittsburgh

pittsburgh
This is where I spent most of a dream I had last night. I was in the city, walking around, looking for something. Everything looked a lot like this picture. Eventually, the USX tower collapsed as we drove away from the city, heading into the Liberty tunnels. It reminded me of what Quake 2 looked like when I first played it with the hardware renderer at 640x480. Remember when colored lighting was new?

 

Low Poly Landscapes

Website Design
Progress: Uhhhhhh……… 70%?

Technical Design
Unreal Engine is so much fun to play around with. I could sculpt landscapes allll day. I was thinking of recreating my street/block in a low poly style. That would so cool… here is a test of that look, which I really like. It could nice with some help on the art.

A question I’ve had on my mind since I started looking at the pre-made engines, is ‘Am I having fun with this?’ I really enjoyed building the original Element test and I haven’t had a good time like that since I started using Unity/Unreal. I don’t know if the aesthetic of the game is as important as me having a good time building it. I want to make a good game, that I enjoy working on. It’s something that I’m keeping in mind while I try all of these engines.

Game Design
I did a bunch of writing this week, mostly about the events that lay the foundation for our story. Everything I wrote takes place before the game begins. The idea is to have discoverable items that supply pieces of the backstory, a lot like Grimoire cards from Destiny. Writing backstory and character details is a lot for fun for me, I’m going to spend a lot of time on these things.

 

Hexo is the Best-O!

Website Design
I cannot wait to be done with the redesign of the website. I’m moving to from a fully static site to hexo, as recommended by Josh of Silicon Reign. I’ve entered all of my existing entries into the post database (some markdown files) and now I’m working on the theme.

Technical Design
I took a look at GoDot Engine and it is definitely not as polished as Unity. No surprise there though, it’s pretty new. That also means there are less tutorials, examples, samples, and questions posted for it. I’m not saying no yet, I’ll check it out the next time I need a break from Unity.

The Unreal Engine, on the other hand, is flat out amazing. It seems more polished than Unity and the amount of support you can find for it is enormous. I’m going to check it out for a little while. I need a couple of days away from Unity and maybe I’ll never go back. The Unreal editor give you a nice tutorial when you open it for the first time. It includes examples for many common types of games and they are all well documented. I’m excited to see what kind of youtube content there is, as well as what’s sitting out in the asset store. One of the downsides is that it’s C++ only if you want to write code. There is a ‘Blueprint’ system that I’m not familiar with. I don’t know what you can or can’t do with it, so I’ll need to look into that. For now… sleep.