B.Y.E. Ludum Dare 31 Post Mortem

Intro

This is my third or fourth Ludum Dare I’m in. For this jam I decided to test my idea of terrain destruction to be done in Unity because I wanted to use it to port my old game I’ve been making with other guys for Global Game Jam 2012. It was the first time when I heard of game Liero and we used similar targeting and ninja rope from it. I never quite got time to port the game (we wanted to publish it on mobiles) so my idea to create destructible terrain was quietly developing in my brain :).
For this Ludum Dare I decided to make 2-4 player deathmatch game on single screen inspired by Super Mario Smash Bros I played recently, use destructible terrain with a lot of shooting because everyone loves shooting action, right? :). Also I thought that this shouldn’t be rocket science to do because I didn’t have whole 48 hours to spare 🙁 (I got comics workshop in that time, trainings etc. etc.)

What went right

Terrain generation, destruction and reconstruction! For my idea I used Unity built in 3D Terrains but viewed them top down with a crossed plane in the middle:

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Terrain was generated with Perlin Noise function also available in Unity and collision detection with terrain was already there too. For terrain destruction I wrote my function to update terrain heights so that destroyed terrain would lower itself below plane in the middle. It was tricky to do it because I imagined the game screen and terrain should be looped so It wasn’t very optimized in Compo version. Result of terrain destruction and deconstruction from falling debris:

Terrain destruction

I wanted also to include ninja rope to climb but I ended with simple jetpack because it was easier to implement and because jumping wasn’t working so good (Physics for platforming doesn’t always work very well), jetpack replaced need for jumping :).
Finally I’ve added shooting with bazooka and machine gun and second player which resulted in compo version.

What went bad

I haven’t got enough time to make proper player avatars so there were only spheres in compo version. I haven’t got time to implement all sounds I wanted and add more weapons, weapons switching etc.
Compo version is not very optimized because terrain destruction modifies whole terrain. Collisions are not very good so when player avatars are close to each other they don’t hit themselves.
And most important thing – I haven’t got time to make any title screen :).

Now?

I liked the idea of terrain destruction and oldschool hot seat fun multiplayer shooting so much I decided to make more proper post-compo version.
First thing I started with was creating avatar for players. Again I got crazy idea that I wanted to realize, use plasticine to make model in T-pose, scan it to computer and then animate it! My girlfriend Paulina made fun plasticine model of a soldier with jetpack, then I used Android mobile app Autodesk 1-2-3DCatch to make series of photos of this model, this was sent to the cloud by app and in a couple of minutes I got nearly complete 3D model. You can see some photos and model on Autodesk page here: click click

Plasticine model

I downloaded .obj files with textures and using Blender I removed all background stuff, stitched all gaps, made some other errors (never use “Remove doubles” on model with defined texture UVs! – use Decimate modifier!), fixed T-pose, rigged model and started to make walking animation.

Rigged walking model

After that Paulina made plasticine models for weapons, they were tiny so I modeled them myself in Blender. Only used photo as reference:

bronie

Next I made model animations with character moving hands+head up and down and simultaneously weapon rotation animations so they could be blended with character walking animation. At first it didn’t work because animations were on a single action timeline and Unity wasn’t blending them. I needed to separate them to different action and then put them again on a single NLA Strip o_O. After that and some coding for animation blending it started to work:

Walking and shooting blended!

Then I fixed bullets origin on the end of weapon, added extra weapons to already implemented uzi and bazooka: shotgun, pistol and grenade launcher. Next I added blood particles:

Blood particles

I played a little bit with Unity ragdolls to test if they would work with my model and … it worked great as you can see from this test:

Ragdoll test

Paulina made me really great logo for game’s title screen and finally I got permission to use two music tracks for title and in-game from DADi ( soundcloud , Facebook page ) – once again BIG thanks! They fit nicely to the game I think.

You can watch results here:

Future!

Post compo version is available for all of you to play and have fun with it. If there will be interest I will be more than happy to develop it further. Among many things game needs some more optimizations, computer opponents and maybe online modes.

I’m waiting for all suggestions, comments etc.

Game entry page
Post compo downloadable version (free or small fee if you like)
Browser version

Thank you all and I’m back to playing all those fantastic games you all created 🙂

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