Project Mirror Progress Log #1 [1GAM-Feb]

It’s that time again for another progress log!
One Game A Month(oooh, I really like how this header image turns out =3)

Well, as some of you may have known, I’m participating in OneGameAMonth, a movement that encourages people to release a game every month. You can check out my game for January here, but since it’s now February, let’s talk about my new game!

Other than the gameplay, my January game is pretty much a familiar territory. It’s for a familiar target platform and made with a familiar tool. So February is time to try out a new tool (which is Unity3D), a new dimension (which is the third dimension), a new approach, and a new challenge. Basically, I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone.

So what will my February game be? Well, the original idea is from a twitter conversation some time ago (sorry, too lazy to dig through my tweets) and this is the light version of that idea:

The player is stuck on a temporal dimension that keeps changing. To survive, the player must keep moving, jumping from one platform to the next as quickly as possible to avoid getting swallowed. The game is viewed from a first person perspective.

Think of the game as an endless Mirror’s Edge but with randomly generated level. And so, since I haven’t got a proper name for the game, I’ll call it Project Mirror for now (even though the game has no mirror at all).

Mirror's Edge

Mirror’s Edge.

That said, the inspiration actually came from playing Assassin’s Creed III. Running and jumping around on that game feels really, really fun, so I wondered if having that kind of experience on first person view would be even more awesome. Oh, and the radio tower puzzle on Far Cry 3 is also another inspiration since it’s rare to see such a well-executed platforming puzzle on an FPS game.

Usually I would start developing a game by sketching how the game would look. However, this a 3D game with a first person camera, I don’t think sketching how the game looks from the camera would help visualize the game. So this time around, I decided to just poke around inside Unity3D engine and tried to get a feel of the game. Like I said, I tried a new approach for this game.

Well, I played around with Unity3D for a bit and this is what I’ve got so far:

Note that the platforms will be totally randomly generated, so there shouldn’t be any big jumping section like that in the early part. I just put it over there to have fun with Unity3D level editor =D

As can be seen from the video, I haven’t got really far with the game since I’m still learning the rope with Unity3D. I managed to generate a series of disappearing platforms that player have to jump across, but that’s it. As expected, generating an exciting platforms that’s fully random is hard since people will get bored if it’s just jumping and jumping, it have to be more varied.

That said, variety can be improved by increasing player’s skill set. Right now it’s only running and jumping, but simply adding something like a wall run or ladder climbing would improve the kind of platforms that can be used. I haven’t decided any additional ability to add yet though, I would have to find the formula for generating fun platforms first.

This time around I’ll try to stick with horizontal platforming. The original idea that I tweeted before is actually a Prince of Persia-like game with first person view where the player has to climb an endless version of the tower of Babel (even I got the title already: “Babel”). Who knows, may be that will be my March game?

As for the graphics, since the game takes place in some sort of inter-dimensional realm, I can stick with those white cubes for the platforms. The visual I’m trying to achieve here is similar to Assassin’s Creed loading scene where it’s just white stuff all over the place. That said, it won’t be only cubes though, I’m hoping to have more complicated forms like a stair, an L shaped platform, and other stuff.

Another thing I’m hoping to have is some sort of cool effect when a platform appears. I really like the scattering polygon effects on Assassin’s Creed III loading scene, so I’ll try to emulate that. I It seems a bit to complicated though, so I may have to simplify the effect into something like multiple tiny cubes gathering together to form a bigger platform block.

Assassin's Creed III

Assassin’s Creed III loading scene.

It’s interesting to see that this game development can be separated into several big challenges. The two biggest challenges that I can see are how to generate a fun platforming section and how to implement various movement abilities like sliding or wall running. I feel like if I can get those two problems solved, I would have a nice game at my hand. Oh, and implementing that “scattering polygons” effect like in Assassin’s Creed would be tough too, but it’s low priority for now.

That said, there are only 2 weekends left in February, I don’t know how much I could do with them =/

Trivia: some of my friends claimed their dream game is an RPG. Me? I guess my dream game is a really immersive FPS game =)


One thought on “Project Mirror Progress Log #1 [1GAM-Feb]

  1. Pingback: Project Mirror Final Log [1GAM-Feb] | LegACy's Journal

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