woensdag 31 oktober 2012

Managing collisions

Dear readers,

Today I'd like to talk about collisions between objects in physics and how to manage them. Since we finished 'Downtown Drift' (which is now online here and you should definitely play: http://www.a10.com/racing-games/downtown-drift) we've been working on our next game involving lots of cars, explosions and wrecking. During the development of our next game performance became an issue. This was mainly due to there being too many physic objects checking for collisions with other physic objects. In 'Downtown Drift' this wasn't a problem as there really wasn't a lot of collision going on, just collisions between a couple of cars and the street mainly.

The way I solved this was by creating more layers. In Unity each game object is on a certain layer. Layers are basically a way to group your game objects. Certain functionality can be applied on one or more layers. For instance cameras can be made to only render some layers and not others. Collisions can be controlled with layers as well. Unity allows us to decide which layers should have collision with other layers using the layer collision matrix shown below.

The 'Layer Collision Matrix' in Unity
So instead of putting all game objects on the same layer which would cause collisions to be checked against every game object (that is also a physic object, i.e. a game object with a rigidbody and a collider component), I create multiple layers and set which layers should collide and which shouldn't. Of course this will in most cases affect the gameplay. Although it would be awesome if everything would just collide with everything, it just isn't worth it when your game starts running at 5 frames per second.

The destructible layer with which the player can collide, but that doesn't collide with traffic.

The traffic layer with which the player can collide, but that doesn't collide with destructibles.
-- Stijn

vrijdag 26 oktober 2012

Total Carnage

We're currently deep into testing and balancing Burnin' Rubber 5, which is quite a task, because it's such a big browser game. A few things have changed since the last versions where we mainly focused on scale. In the previous versions we created loads of tracks and even an open world in Burnin' Rubber 4. This time we're more focused on custom tracks and insane vehicles and weapons.

Besides the well known primary and secondary weapons we now have a new category... the special weapons! These weapons are linked to a bar which slowly fills. When this bar is full your opponents better stay out of your path (if they even can)!! The first unlockable special weapon is the Machinegun Roof Turret, which is exactly that: a machine gun turret attached to your roof.

I think it's better if you just move out of my way!

Imagine this: you're approaching the finish line but you're locked in between four bad-ass opponents. Your chances seem slim. You can try to get around them... but why not use your Machinegun Roof Turret?!
When activated you switch to your first person gun view while the AI takes the steering wheel. Now it's time to shoot those ##@*! out of your way!!!

Taste my special weapon!!! You like that, don't you?

This is just the first special weapon. Later on there are much crazier specials available.
Let the carnage begin!!!


woensdag 24 oktober 2012

More Guns!!!

Hey everyone!

This week we had a kickoff meeting of a new game!
No more machine guns, sniper rifle’s or that kind of stuff. Something new:
A kick ass racing game! Not sure If I can tell you much about it, so I keep it short.

Last couple of weeks I have been working on the sniper game, some small changes here and there, tweaking the waves etc etc. And making one of the last weapons!!

In the mean time the intern called Chris has been working on that particular race game.
We needed a vehicle, a race track and some new assets. So when we start developing the race game we got some good material to work with. He made a good start and we will definitely show everyone this later!

Back to the weapon! I started with searching for reference. I wanted to make a weapon different than the others,  with a more futuristic style.

I started modelling the basic silhouette.

From there on I add more detail on the silhouette of the mesh, to define the different parts of the rifle. The barrel, the ammo box, the hand grip etc. 

After that I added some detail, a fancier barrel, some detail on the top of the weapon. I also added a scope. I want this weapon to be able to zoom. Would be looking odd if the weapon could zoom and didn't had a scope...


When the mesh is complete and the unwrap is done,  it's ready for a light map and a diffuse map.

Here the preview of the weapon with the diffuse map:

When all is done! The fun part begins: getting it into the game! And shoot with it! Ha!



vrijdag 19 oktober 2012

Another winter is coming...

Hello everyone!

A few weeks ago I started working on another new project together with Stijn. It is going to be a stunt game taking place in a winter setting. This may sound familiar to some of you who have played our game 'Freestyle Snow Wheeling'. For now I can spoil that this project won't feature any drivable cars ;).

As always we start with a mockup version of the level. The mockup is used to define the scale and general design of the level. I started by creating a basic road which goes downhill slightly. Stijn made an early test version of the game where I was able to test the road in-game.

Once I was happy with the width of the road I started placing some of the building assets which were made by our interns. Something I find quite challenging when creating a city kind of environment is the distance between the street and the buildings. This may sound very simple, just place 'm along the road what feels good. However when looking at it from an in-game perspective it can feel very 'clamp' when they are placed just a little too close to the street. 

After placing the buildings I started adding some foliage and other/smaller objects to define a bit more of the setting. This can be quite time consuming sometimes, also this environment in particular was quite big/long. I also made a quick lightmap for the scene using the unity lightmapper.

That's all for now.. Next time I want to show you guys some more pictures of this new project.


vrijdag 12 oktober 2012


Hi, everyone!

We are still very busy with the our new game! The end is near, but we got a lot of unfinished business... There are some minor changes, but it cost a lot of time to make those changes. Since the essence of the game is shooting we (you guess) have a lot of weapons, so a lot of settings to make those weapons very unique...
We got 3 types of weapons and within each type there are several different guns you can buy. It would be a little bit odd if we let you buy a gun that isn't different than the lower classed weapons. So these weapons need be unlocked by playing the game and by leveling up as a team! So when you manage to neutralize all enemies you will unlock new weapons.

Different ammo upgrades

To make all weapons feel unique we need to make all stats dynamic. So when someone wants to change the rate of fire or the reload speed of a machine gun he needs to be able to change it.
So it's very important for me to implement it from a text file that will be loaded into the game. That way we can easily manage all these stats and change them on each run. Would be better to change it during the game, but we are not able to do that, yet. :) We can't make guns with only 1 tweakable stat, so we need a lot. Think of damage, damage type, bullet, rate of fire, reload speed, amount of ammo, zoom (and if it does: how far..) With those (and more) we can make a lot of different weapons. :)
Easy to think of, but a hell to manage and tweak them to make it unique! Which weapon needs more damage? And why should that one need more? But what when it has too much damage and to much ammo?.. Lots of stuff we need to think of before tweaking it!

How to tweak this gun?

The important part of those stats is that you need a beginning and an end point, so when you got 5 weapons of 1 type, your beginning point (lowest) will be the first one and the end point (best) the fifth one. So it's easier for you to make the weapons different from each other.

 Like this gun, with its zoom and ammo upgrade maxed out! I think everyone would like this!

How much damage will this one do?

Greetings, Michael

vrijdag 5 oktober 2012

So you wanna be an Xform fan?

Great news for all of you who haven't been reading our Facebook- and Twitter posts the last days:
Downtown Drift is released!

Play it here: http://www.a10.com/racing-games/downtown-drift

One of the Hourly Challenges in Downtown Drift

Yes, Downtown Drift is the name of 'another racing game' with 'loads of cars' Stijn and Joep wrote about before.
The game is fully packed with cars (more than 20!), races, time trials, crash courses and daily challenges. And because this is our first big and completed Unity game we're really proud of it!
You can play the game for a week now and it seems that the A10 and Agame.com audience love it:

It's always nice to read positive comments like this, but it's even more fun if we see that players are starting to create their own fan art and YouTube videos, based on our game.
The last months Facebook we build up a dedicated fan base by our Facebook page and one of our biggest fans created this video:

Do you like to see some more? We've collected all other Downtown Drift videos and created this playlist. :)

As I mentioned in another post, we really love our fans. We like to read what they think of our games and, we like watching their walkthroughs and we love to see how they model their own Burnin' Rubber cars! The more, the better! It's never enough.

So with this post I like to challenge you! Show us that you are a true and dedicated fan of Xform Games and post your fan art and YouTube video links here: https://www.facebook.com/Xform

And for those fans who are waiting for Burnin' Rubber 5... we have a special challenge coming up soon!

Cheers and have a great weekend,