Colliders, Video, Checkpoints, Playable, A.I. – Oh My!

Here is my week in review for the development of my Super Space Trooper video game.

What a week it’s been – yet another productive one, I’m happy to report!  For a few weeks there I wasn’t feeling like I was making enough progress, likely because the changes I was making to source code didn’t have any impact on the visuals of the game.  This week they did.

Collider Fixes on Environment

To start off with, I fixed up a series of colliders on rocks and other environmental formations in the first level.  Most of the rocks are assigned a collider by a script on the parent object.  There were a few rocks who’s shapes were too different to do it that way so I manually added those colliders and updated the script to only add colliders to child objects that didn’t already have colliders on them.

Adding Intelligence to Enemies

The enemies on the first level were feeling too easy to beat.  It’s the first level so it shouldn’t be impossible, but these were far too easy.  I wrote a few AI scripts.  One to have the animated enemy face the player upon certain conditions or being called by Animation Event.

It’s fine for the enemies to face the player’s current position, however because the player is constantly moving forward, there would be no point for an enemy to fire at the player’s location.  They would always miss.  So for the second, more important script, I wrote one that would predict the player’s future position and point the enemies in that direction instead.  That way when they fire, unless the player specifically moves out of the way they’re going to get hit.  The enemies are much more realistic now and the level of difficulty has increased significantly.  For a while it was beginning to look too difficult.

Updating Player Ship

I then moved onto something completely different and updated the player’s ship a bit.  It still needs quite a bit of work, but for now I just added in the glow of the engines which I hadn’t done yet.  I did it by resizing a plane that has the glow texture on it.  Simple enough.

1st Level Video Release

I’m always looking for feedback, but it’s better to get feedback earlier rather than later.  It helps to minimize the amount of hours wasted.  So I recorded a 1-minute in-game video from the first level and posted it to this blog, Twitter, and YouTube.  For 2 days it actually showed in the “Top Videos” section for both #gamedev and #unity3d on Twitter.  I did manage to get a few people providing feedback but I was hoping for more.  Thanks to those that did give feedback though!

Checkpoints Added, Bonus Framework Built

Over the weekend I also managed to get together the checkpoints and the framework for the bonuses, as well as a few unsatisfactory textures for the bonuses.  The good thing is that the bonuses are very easy to add to both enemies, other locations, and the different types of bonuses are just as simple.  The checkpoints are just as simple to input into a level.

First Level is Now Playable

The first level can now be played!  While technically the first level could be played before now, it was the bonuses that allowed me to beat the first level for the very first time!  After adding some of the AI mentioned above, it became very difficult to get more than half way through the level.  Now it’s much more acceptable with regards to level of difficulty.

What an amazing experience, to build a video game and then beat it for the first time.  Awesome!

Posted in This Week In Review, Video Game Development

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