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.

I shall teach you new things! Project Spikes 9-11-13 Update!

Sorry I’ve took so long with this update, I’ve had stuff to do. And things. But without further delay, here’s the latest update! 

spikes-30There are new particle effects when you use a checkpoint, and a little “whooosh” sound effect that plays, hence they are infinitely cooler than before. More importantly than that, I’ve updated World 1 levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 (again) so they’re a little bit cleaner and, of course, textured. A newer level 5 will be coming soon, but so far it’s proven to be a bit of a nightmare, given how much is in the level. Each tile I’ve used to create the levels can now have a separate texture applied to each side, so each level should look tidier at the edges in particular.

spikes-34Perhaps the most important change in this update is the inclusion of an interactive tutorial, which guides new players into learning the mechanics of the game. This feels much better than the previous tutorial level and is a lot more enjoyable more than before, plus it’s much more useful at teaching the player the basic concepts of the game. Dotted around the level are mini billboards, which now have 64×64 images as opposed to the previous 32×32 textures, so my doodles are more detailed than before.

spikes-35I’ve also added a proper options menu, which is  copied just a little bit from one of my older projects (ctrl-C and ctrl-V are my friends). Here you can change your graphics and sound settings (from “basic” to “ermahgerd” for the video settings and 0-100 for audio), as well as check out your computer’s specs.

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That’s about it for the bigger features in this update, here are a few smaller things:

-Turrets have sounds now! *pew pew*

-More scenery that can be blasted around using the force gun

-Medpacks will replace grapes as a health pickup (see picture above). I guess I’ll add food back in at some point though

-Running! Hold down left-shift to run, it’s a much better way of getting around

-Super-subtle code optimisation, it’s (probably) made things quicker than before

-Removed a random directional light in level 4 which was slowing things down rather a lot

I hope you enjoy playing! Have fun 🙂

-Daniel

27/04/13 Update

Okay, I was wrong, I’ve had a while today to sort out more game stuff. There’s more options in the options menu, and I’ve worked on the game GUI, as well as other small things. As always you can check out the game by downloading it. Here are the changes:

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There’s not much of a change here, but I remembered the floor is just ordinary terrain but it was boring and flat, so it deserved some kind of hills, to make it interesting. Its just little details like that which will make the final game just that little bit better.

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Everything now has neat little boxes round them, I like how it looks. There’s a volume slider, which will change your volume from 0-100%, it’s pretty neat. However, since the game has no sounds currently, I don’t even know if it works or not, it should do though. The terrain is again altered to have some bumps, and it looks quite desert-y now, which is what I was going for. I could add some kind of sandstorm effect just to make it even better.

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The part I’m most proud of with this update is the gem counter. It’s integral to the gameplay, and I’ve got it working flawlessly. Each gem is worth a certain amount- quartzes are worth one gem, emeralds two, onyxes 3, sapphires 4, rubies 5- and the game counts this and shows it in the corner of the screen. Another nice thing about this is that the portal in each level now requires a certain number of gems to unlock, currently this is 20 gems. If you try to jump through the portal with less than the required number of gems, you’ll just fly through it. I will add some text to show the name of the level and the number of required gems (if applicable) in front of/above/near portals in the future to help players.

The next step is to add more collectibles, and some kind of container for collectibles. More collectibles, such as additional gems, could be a good idea, but a rarer collectible is what I really want to add. They will be fewer and further between, and harder to find than regular gems. Some ideas I have at the moment are diamonds (they could be quite large and sparkly to distinguish them from regular gems), gold bars, a kind of magical item, ideas like that. I’ll think of more then decide on one later. The containers will probably be in the form of crates, jars, destructible scenery etc, and when you break them open gems will fly out around you.

Another change will be the collision of the gems- I realised they float slightly above the ground so I’ll just raise the collision box of some of them. I will also add some animations for the gems so they rotate on the ground and sparkle occasionally, and so they disappear in a flurry of sparkles instead of spontaneously disappearing.

I also need to add scenery to the levels, in the form of buildings, boxes, bridges, roads, trees and other things to make the game more lifelike. This may take a while, and I want to concentrate on getting the game to work first, the decoration could come afterwards. I would like to add newer terrain textures too, not just the Unity defaults, so I will work on that.

As always, just leave a comment if you have any ideas, and thanks for the support.

-Daniel

25/04/13 Update

Sorry I’ve been away for a while guys, I’ve been very busy with school work, and unfortunately that means I’ve been unable to get much done in the way of game development. This does mean I’m not doing the April Challenge I set out to do as such, however development on my game will continue until it’s completed and I feel that people will be satisfied with the final product. I may not be able to update the game very much in the next few weeks, as I have rapidly approaching AS modules, and I need time to work on revision for them, but I will do what I can, and the game should be officially released at some point in the future, maybe next year depending on how fast progress is. I have tried to add an options menu into the game, and it works how I want so far, albeit lacking features, which I will add later on. unity_platformer_7

 

Again, the player can be moved along with the WASD keys, as a little bonus feature. The current features on this screen are buttons to increase and decrease the graphics setting from Fastest to Fantastic, which is very noticeable on the terrain texture as you go from low to high quality, and our current graphics setting is shown below that. There are also a few computer specifications in the corner, just to give the player a little information about their computer. There’s also a button to return to the main menu, as this screen is accessed through a new button on the start screen. Yay. A really bad FPS counter is also at the bottom- I say it’s bad because it’s very very wrong, so you may as well ignore its existence. That’s all I have to show at the moment on my game, I will have more time later on to update it, so keep reading and come back often to see my progress. The download for the game has also been updated, as ever you can check it out here. Thanks for reading.

-Daniel