Now The Hub Isn’t Confusing – Project Spikes 09/02 Update

So, I realised the hub world is one of the most confusing things ever. There were so many ways to go, and it wasn’t clear where anything is. So I changed it.

spikes-56The large room under the purple glass dome is just a corridor; all the main stuff is in the room in the top-left corner of the image. Each world occupies a floor in this building, and all of the levels are contained on each floor, with a bit of a practice area. To gain access to the next floor, you must complete all the levels on the current one, then you’ll be able to access it – for instance, entry into the second floor requires use of the laser gun, hence you need to complete the world 1 boss level beforehand. The trophy room is also present, in the top-right of the image, and looks much the same inside as before, except with a couple floors inside for other worlds’ secret cubes.  To the bottom of the picture is the ‘incinerator room’ from before, which s just there for decoration, although I’ll add something in there to give it a function.

There’s also some new button-activated spawners that’ll throw out a cube or gravit when you press them, which will be useful for levels that have puzzles requiring use of cubes. here, the spawner on the left will throw out the new ice cubes (read below about them), and the one on the right will spit out extra gravits.

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This will let you play around for longer in the hub world without having to trail back to other rooms. The physics cubes now have a cel-shaded-like style (which was entirely by accident, as I was experimenting with the cube’s overall appearance and came out with this awesome style), and this might become the new style for all physics items, I haven’t fully decided yet. I’ve also added ‘ice cubes’, which will slide around and produce snowflakes as they move, and ‘live cubes’ that spin around by themselves, and also happen to be bouncy, as are the walls of the room itself. In the screenshot below, the blue cube above the player is an ice cube, and the bright orange ones are the live cubes.

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You may be asking “But where’s the new levels? New puzzles? Anything new?”. Most of what I’m doing at the moment is a sort of framework, getting all of the core components of the game in place and getting them to work before I actually get some proper levels in the game. Too many times now I’ve made a level, then added something else and then had to blitz back over the level and add the newer stuff, so it’s easier and more efficient to add all the stuff, then add the levels. In the end, it should all work out. But for now, I have finished re-texturing World 2 Level 2, as promised, so now you can enjoy a horrible super-maze level! Plus, I’ve re-textured the Test Area level, so that’s back up and running too.

spikes-57The new maze level, in all honesty, is a bit bare, so eventually it’ll get stuff added to it. But that’ll all come when I’ve added more actual gameplay features. The Test Area looks much the same as before, but with some of the newer ‘soft panel’ textures rather than the whole thing being the classic blocky textures.

The Options Menu has had a re-design too – well, not so much the level itself as the GUI. It no longer uses the Unity built-in GUI stuff, rather it uses my own system of a load of actual objects in the scene that you click on. It acts much the same as a GUI, but looks nicer than the old one. Much nicer.

spikes-58It follows the style of Project Spikes, rather than the boring old grey buttons. In time, this will get rolled out to the in-game menus too, however I encountered problems due to how this system works, so I’ll need time to figure out a work-around, and then it’ll be happy colourful GUI’s all over the place! I think I’ll work on the main menu’s GUI first, as this shouldn’t produce any problems.

spikes-60I have a short list of things to do, including, but not limited to: changing the model of both checkpoints and powerups (see screenshot of Test Area above, in the window), adding more audio (such as collision sounds when physics objects fall to the floor), different models for at least one of the guns, as the laser and force guns have the same basic model, some kind of saving/loading system so players don’t need to pay through every level every update just to see new stuff, and of course the aforementioned GUI updates. But for now, have fun playing this update, I hope it’s enough to keep you all entertained. Feedback is much appreciated, so if you have any comments about the game, just leave a reply to this post below. Thanks for playing 🙂

Play the game at my Dropbox public folder here! The game plays best here, but if you love this site soooo much…

…here’s a link to the page on this very blog to the game! It’s just at the top of the page too. Just letting you know. Hint hint.

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The Half-Finished Update

It’s been ages since I did an update, but lately I’ve had loads of work piled on me, so I haven’t had much chance to work on it, so there won’t be an update quite yet. However, I’ll use this as an opportunity to ask you guys what you want to see in the game, what improvements you can suggest, and what’s broken horribly (which I’m guessing is loads). I also have a couple new additions that will be in the next update to show you!

Slightly improved graphic-y stuff!

spikes-44I’ve made the signs at the beginning of each level a bit more detailed, and I think they look better with a darker theme. The old ones are on the top, the new ones on the bottom. As you can see, there’s now a sign for World 2 Level 2 which means…

…Super-Horrible Maze Level!

spikes-46I went a bit crazy with World 2 Level 2 so far, and it’s a bit mental. There’s dead ends everywhere and loads of traps (which I’ve yet to put in). Good luck with that one, it’s rather horrible.

Nicer GUI Things

spikes-47This new GUI is shinier and GUI-ier than the old one, and generally functions better than the old one, as it doesn’t use Unity’s native GUI classes, which are pretty slow. I’ll have this update out in the near future, although I’m not sure how long it’ll take as I’m not sure how long I’ll have to work on it.

Anyway, have a good Christmas (if I’m not done with the update by then), and I hope you have feedback, any would help!

 

 

 

23/05/13 Update- Improving the title screen and health

Alpha 0.1.3b Update

I’ve been working on the title screen even more today, as I’m trying to upgrade the title screen GUI from the built-in Unity GUI stuff to another way of implementing a GUI which incorporates 3D text placed within the game world. Currently, only some of the buttons are present, but I hope to overhaul the entire title GUI to the new system by next update. unity_platformer_29

The player is now on a planet rather than a flat-ish terrain, which looks better. The planet rotates like the ones in the background, too, and the skybox of the title screen is the same, but the camera is positioned differently so the view is of another portion of the skybox. I’ve also been working on the health system, and so far I have added fire, which takes off 3 health. unity_platformer_30This mechanic works well, and I will add more hazards for the next update, each of which will damage the player different amounts. There have been some smaller changes, and to see those, you can watch this video or play the game.

You can download the playable version from here, and you can watch this video straight from my YouTube channel here.

Thanks for reading and watching, have fun playing!

-Daniel

28/04/13 Update

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I’ve done a bit more work on the game today. Mostly, I have been watching some more tutorials to help my understanding of a few concepts, and I have applied what I have learned about making models in Blender to improve the current gem models. The shapes and textures of these models are a lot more aesthetically pleasing than before, such as more defined edges (I worked out how to reduce the smoothing at the edges). The light reflecting of the gems is better, too.

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The new emerald model on the left. Notice how the edges are more defined than before, making the gem look more clean-cut. The light reflection makes more sense and the colour is much nicer, too.

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The new ruby, on the left, is much better than the old one, as it’s a bit more realistic (except for the fact it’s not transparent, although this is intended because I want my game to have a cartoon-y feel to it eventually).

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Again, with sapphire. The gems are also noticeably larger than before, and I think they look better this way.

I’ve also made preparations for some new gems, like amethyst (the layman’s term is ‘purple gem’) and diamond. Both will be worth a lot (eg. diamonds worth 10 gems). I’ve tweaked the value of each gem, so now rubies are worth 1 and so on. This is so I can add more low-value gems, which I like the look of, without ruining the balance of the game. The first new gem I’ve added is the topaz, a yellow gem.

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This topaz is quite an attractive gem, and I hope that the upcoming diamonds and amethysts will also look great. This is worth 3 gems, whereas the amethyst will be worth 5 and the diamond a whopping 10 gems. Furthermore, the collision spheres of these gems should fit better than the old ones so they shouldn’t look like they are floating in mid-air anymore.

I also had a go at creating trees, as the current levels are lacking in interesting features, and they are really basic, but I’ll have another go in the future at trees and hopefully they will turn out a bit better. Hey, it’s better than my attempt at grass, which I won’t show you out of embarrassment.

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Now that I have a bit more experience with Blender, I will try to make proper textures for the portal next, and perhaps some scenery. I will also start to populate the whole level with gems, and have a set number in each level, rather than the random arrangement I have now. In the GUI, I will also have a number for the total gems in each level, to show you if you’ve collected them all yet, and a little gem icon next to the gem count to make it look pretty. Thanks for reading, and please download the newer version for testing here.

-Daniel