This game started out as a simple personal project aimed at helping me challenge myself into better understanding the Unity 3D software. As I progressed, I found myself diving into different areas of game creation such as environment/character modelling / lighting and mapping, java and C# code development, GUI design, online interaction capabilities, branding and marketing.
This project has helped me push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of achieving and opened me up to new opportunities and ways of thinking.
The Video below advertises the game’s look and feel.
- BUILDING THE LOOK -
The below are a collection of rock formations I built and used in multiple creative ways, creating the illusion of random cliffs and rocks trough out the game. These were some early test renders which helped me visualize the theme.
The following are all the different props I modeled and baked lighting onto their textures, later on these were used to create prefabs in Unity 3D
The following are gameplay screenshots, the idea was to use lens correction techniques such as depth of field and motion blur coupled with particle systems and colour correction to acquire a particular dynamic and vibrant look from simple prop models.
- GAME DEVELOPMENT -
My most daring obstacle was integrating hand gesture controls via the leap motion controller. As a designer who hadn't really built any real complex code, I felt like I was setting my hopes to high. However I found myself being very resourceful with what I already knew and with a lot of research and persistence online, I managed to get over my fear of code and found myself enjoying the way it made me break complex actions down to simple snippets. Watching the game come to life with a few simple hand movements inspired me to ramp the project up to a full-on indie game.
Games like the famous "Flappy Bird" thought me that it doesn't have to be complicated to be successful. This realisation made me think about how I can create a simple yet addicting 'runner game'. Basically the game is made up of small sections which automatically generate and destroy themselves during gameplay. Each section stretches out as far as the game camera can see and destroys it self once it is out of view, this provides the user with an ongoing illusion of one whole game level which never ends. The game also keeps track of how well the player is doing and generates sections of different difficulty levels accordingly. This simple concept enabled me to build just 18 sections (6 sections divided into 3 levels of difficulty) and have a completely different experience every time it is played.
- 3D IMPLIMENTATION -
I wanted to have an edge over other indie games on the market and decided to find a way of implementing a 3D experience on a budget. The answer was anaglyph glasses which can be bought for under 1 dollar or simply made with common materials at hand. The concept behind anaglyph 3D glasses was fairly simple and achieved via 2 game cameras overlaid on each other with different colour corrections. This idea has also lead me to experimenting with holographic techniques and will defiantly be applying these experiments in my next game as I believe it will be the next step for gesture controlled gaming.
The two game cameras set at 'eye width' distance from one another :
What each camera outputs :
- GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE -
Finding simple ways of helping the user navigate through the game options and features with ease was a huge task since it all had to be done via gesture control. My approach was in itself an elegant way of introducing the player with the actual gameplay controls, the menu can be browsed through by tilting your hand up or down, selecting tabs is achieved by simply keeping your palm stationery for a few seconds, removing your hand would simply send the game into a pause state which will also explain controls for any confused players. This navigational concept coupled with the tutorial game level has significantly shortened the learning curve on all test subjects.
The below are some screen shots of different menus and on screen graphics during level gameplay.
A look at the workings of the scrollable menu bar technique used for all navigation :
- BRANDING / MARKETING -
As a graphic designer I understand the power of proper branding and marketing strategies. I wanted the brand to reflect the game theme. Simple, vibrant, tranquil and powerful were a few words which I kept in mind while designing the look. A constant test which I carried out was placing each logo concept on my desktop as an icon and making sure that it popped out from all other icons generally found on an average computer desktop. The game title is as straight forward and simple to recall and has been chosen for that sole reason only.
The website was a sort of fun little exercise which enabled me to do something different from what is usually requested by more upscale clients, like all personal projects I enjoyed the fact that I was allowed to be daring in the way things looked and interacted.
FUELS MY NEXT