This week I started working in Unreal again. This time I wanted to play around with editing a scene and getting more experience creating a moody scene. Ultimately I want to be able to set up a scene to create either an arena shooter or a horde mode type game. I think this will be my ultimate goal after this month. The upcoming weeks I will be out of town and with out a development computer so I am going to try and keep a book of design ideas and try to fill up. I think will help with the process of going from an idea to a prototype in a quicker manner.
The scene I have started to create this week is coming along nicely and has a simple first person camera with movement to explore the scene. The skybox is a little to bright and blue for the sake of the scene which I hope to change out later but the post processing effects really do give the over all scene a nice dark and rainy feel. I did realize that even adding some small elements like rocks give the player some direction as to were they have been and where they are going and even can use them to give a large contrast against a background. Even just as a small detail, they add a lot of life to a scene.
After trying to added some rain puddles I ended up finding a bug with Unreal and possibly have to restart over. I am sort of glad though so I can actually start design on a full level set up for either the arena shooter or the horde mode. Hopefully over the few weeks I can get some sketches done for the design and implement them in.
In the mean time check out this wonderful article about getting into the game industry and making that first step after college.
Advice for Game Dev Grads of 2017
Advice for Game Dev Grads of 2017
In a complete 180 I started to work on my mobile app from earlier this year. I started off with small goal of just putting together something for employers and other people to see on the app store. I finally published a decent version earlier today. I still think there can be some more polishing to the final product but for now its a complete experience that I am happy with. I might add a few more features to app currently but I kinda wanna get started on a new project in unreal.
I've come to learn a lot while developing both this mobile app and the C++ asteroids in the last few months. I've tested my limits and have become comfortable with a decent pace as to which I can now get work done at a steady pace. I need to apply what I have learned from these project and proceed forward and try to create more prototypes and just put out what I can make. I have been sitting around on too many ideas and not just jumping in.
With this in mind, I feel like a lot of what life has to give is slowed down just due to the fact that I haven't tried to start or I'm to afraid to be the first to try. Failure is something I wouldn't necessarily say I am scared of but I do like to put my efforts in something that is more prone to succeed so my time isn't wasted. I am however learning that just jumping in and trying to carve something as you go does get a nice foundation started but a planned idea has a lot more starting force and easier to create around.
One of the thoughts that stuck with me this week is that games should be designed around the player and the mechanics of the player and not the level. In my own terms that means that we as designers should create a fully fleshed Character Controller and put all the mechanics into it that we want the player to experience then build the rest of the level and the game around that. This really puts into perspective of how games should be designed because you spend the entire game with only the main character and if the controls feel wonky or confusing how can you expect a player to stick with it more than a few moments.
The way I designed my mobile app kinda hits home with this thought. The first thing I did was make sure that the player controller felt normal for a mobile infinite jumper and from there I built the obstacles around him. I made sure that obstacles were all the correct height and that the players doesn't feel cheated when playing.
If you feel like checking out the app click the link below or check out a few screenshots from the game itself, I'll be adding this soon to another section in my portfolio for personal projects.
Thanks for reading,
Josh is a game designer in Orlando, who recently graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Game Design degree. He's primarily a programmer and designer but has a background of digital art. While hes not creating, designing, or playing the newest games, you can find him out on the water wake boarding or bar tending at his day job.