donderdag 13 juni 2013

Level Editing in Photoshop

Hi all,

The past few weeks I've been working on a new Rhino Rush game. The original game is a classic platformer where you (a baby rhino) explore a number of stages in order to face a mad baboon at the end.
The new game however will be an "endless platformer" where the main goal is to get as far as possible in one single level. The rhino (player) automatically runs to the right and it's up to the player to jump platforms and avoid hazards. It's a bit comparable to a game like "Jetpack Joyride". 

It can be quite hard to design level layouts without knowing for instance how high or far the player actually can jump. You can easily design an impossible level with unreachable platforms or gaps that are too wide to jump.

For this game I made a simple "level editor" in Photoshop where it's easy to check the level for "impossibilities". I should mention that this game is a grid based 2.5D platformer so only the side view is shown what makes it perfect for a Photoshop "level editor".

Before creating the editor I needed to know how high and far the rhino actually jumped so I created some playable mock-up levels just to test and tweak the rhino's jump height and distance. This took some time to tweak but i'ts important to get this right because all the level design will be based on this. 

First I needed some visual feedback of the Rhino jump curve in game, we did this by drawing a line at the Rhino's location at each frame.

Jump curve made visible in Unity
I took some screenshots and imported these in Photoshop. Because the game is grid based I could easily scale the image to a convenient Photoshop grid and made a "Jump template" as seen in the image below.

"Jump Template" in Photoshop

This template is a single image which can be moved around the Photoshop file to check distances between platforms and gaps.

Next I inserted images of the level assets like platforms, crates and pickups and created grid based Photoshop Smart Objects of these. Smart Objects are extremely convenient when you need a lot of instances of the same image in a single Photoshop file.

When all this has been set up I only need to snap copies of the level objects on the grid and check with my "jump template" if all platforms etc. are reachable.
a level design mockup in Photoshop
When I'm happy with a level design I save it to an image and use this to create the level in Unity.


woensdag 5 juni 2013

Run Hammer Run!!!!

Hello everyone, 
already level 50 with Burnin Rubber? Beated Super Mud Mania on hard difficulty?

Last couple of weeks I’ve been working on the Hammer game. Been doing all kinds of stuff, character animation, been working on the level with Joep, did some weapon related stuff, yeah there will be weapons and explosions again!!! :D
Ever heard of the M202, well that’s just one of all the weapons that will be in game.


The M202, made by one of our interns

Last time I've talked about the Hammer, about symmetry, rigging etc etc. I want to continue were I left off.
So the next step is animating the character.
I've been doing all Sorts of animations, run, idle, jump, roll, slide, an sort of uber uppercut!!

Creating a run animation was tricky. It needs to loop perfect, the way how the body moves during an run, how the arms swing (or not when holding and aiming with gun), on what frames the feet touch the ground, etc etc. 

That the feet touches the ground and stay on the ground can easily be done with planted and sliding keys. When the feet touches the ground make sure it’s a planted key, then change it to a sliding key, so it slides nicely over the ground while you moving your biped up or down.

Here you see a part of the run animation. Started with the right foot going down, touching the ground and sliding back as it moves forward, then going up, then that same sequence begin only with the left foot, then right again etc etc. 

So now we have done the running animation, time to add the guns!! We can easily align those with his hands, with the align tool.  
Then in the schematic view we link those on the hands.

If we don’t link the weapons with the hands, they won’t follow the hands during the animation and just be staying at one point.
When it looks good and the hands are proper animated. Unlink the weapons again and make it export ready, so it can be placed in game. 

That’s all for now,