Post-Compo design iteration

Posted by (twitter: @llnesisll)
August 27th, 2014 7:51 pm

This post is more about my plans for my game Matters of Perspective post-compo, and how I want to blow the player’s mind even more :)

If you haven’t seen my game Matters of Perspective, a game about changing perspective from sidescroll to perspective to explore eerie rooms, please do check it out and let me know what you think!

Even if you don’t rate it, any feedback in the comments is very valuable to me!

Here’s a quick gif showing a change in perspective:

There has been a lot of positive feedback about Matters of Perspective. Players seem to love the game mechanic of warping perspective from sidescroller to first person shooter, and where it can go for good puzzle-platforming. So I’ve decided to keep developing it post-compo! You can follow developments on my Twitter account, @llnesisll.

For now, I’m working out a pipeline that’ll make level designs easier to model and iteratively improve. During Ludum Dare, I manually placed every individual block you can see, totalling perhaps 1500-2000 blocks (I didn’t keep count, and won’t bother to check the exact number :p). For more complex levels made with these blocks, making changes to geometry becomes very time-consuming and error-prone. I’m now using Google Sketchup 8 for modelling levels, and the PlayUp plugin for exporting them into Unity. Here’s a screenshot of the second level’s new design, which will hopefully fix two things: accidentally falling out of the world (yikes!), and giving better indication of when the level is in a solved state (in particular, accentuating the size of the path opened when both bridge and wall are moved out of the way), so the player knows when and how they can exit.

This seems to be the way to go. I’ll need to be careful to manually place colliders as needed, though. I don’t really trust Unity’s mesh colliders for complex geometry.

My todo list for further development is currently:

– develop good pipeline for creating and modifying level designs (needs foolproof collision generation!).

– rework sidescroller to use 2D physics (the current solution uses a 3D sphere in sidescroller mode, which can catch on geometry that you can’t see because it extends into the screen…!). This will also need a solution for adding corresponding 2D colliders for each 3D collider.

– create a list of interesting components to put in puzzles – eg, conundrums like level 2, managing blocking off & unblocking the exit until you’re in the ideal position to get to it. In general, problems that benefit from the “working backwards” method to solve them. Mix these together in ascending difficulty to make complex + interesting levels, increasing in challenge.

– add some kind of unlockable reward at the end of the game for collecting all the easter eggs, to serve as motivation to re-play. I planned to include this during the compo, but ran out of time to come up with something worthwhile, so I just left the easter eggs to be interesting to get on their own right.

– add a “kill z” tracker, to handle cases where the player falls out of the level (I’ll do my best to make sure that can’t happen, but a failsafe is always good!)

– add a menu option for adjusting mouse sensitivity (there’s such a wide variety of mouse sensitivities player use that it makes sense to offer this)

– (maybe hire someone) develop aesthetic for tiles that gives one distinct look and feel from sidescroll perspective (eg, feels like you’re in a cave), and a different look and feel from first person shooter perspective (eg, now you can see the sides of blocks that are smooth and futuristic, the cave-like textures on top of them look more like bundled wires passing through… or something like that :) ). The purpose of this is to really blow the player’s mind when changing perspective from sidescroller to first person.

– (maybe hire someone) get some good eerie ambient music to play in the background as you play. Ideally, it’d be great to have music that changes depending on being in sidescroll vs first person perspective. (eg, 8bit-sounding for sidescroll, then cross-fading to the same track but with more of an electro-synth vibe to it…? Iunno, music isn’t a forte of mine.)

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4 Responses to “Post-Compo design iteration”

  1. woah! Looking really good! Keep up the good work!

  2. varun says:

    Do you feel like Sketchup was useful in terms of being able to work in volumes? I took an approach where I modeled “tile-based” chunks, and snapped them together in Unity. I found that to be extremely tedious and frustrating. Best case scenario would be Unreal-style CSG, but I haven’t found a good pipeline for that in Unity.

  3. nesis says:

    CSG would be great in Unity, though I can’t claim to understand the feasibility of it for integration with the engine’s built-in physics, unless done by Unity themselves.

    Sketchup seems reasonable for working with volumes, but not always in a CSG way. Sketchup Pro does offer some basic CSG modelling – add, subtract, intersect, non-intersect – but the reliability of the algorithm is limited because it uses meshes (even 3DSMax has issues performing boolean operations on watertight meshes…).

    The best tool for CSG-style operations that I could suggest would be Rhinoceros – which uses “Boundary Representation” surface / volume modelling, and has a free version that offers only 20 saves / exports. However, using a free plugin called Grasshopper (a visual scripting plugin that enables parametric modelling), you can easily write a mesh exporter that circumvents Rhino’s save system. Not sure if that’s legal though… :)

    On the other hand, Sketchup does make modelling rectilinear geometry very easy with its toolset, as well as doing basic texture mapping (a solid tutorial is on the PlayUp website:

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