Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fallin' Skies

After a short but well deserved vacations (they always are), I'm back, and as promised in my last post (Back to the Future) today I will present my first videogame: Fallin' Skies (Press here to play - Sorry, link is temporarily unavailable).


This game is completely designed and developed by myself, based on the open task to create a vertical-scroll space game.

I am aware of the fact that there are very few horizontal-scroll games (UN Squadron-like) in the market and as this kind of game allows more flexibility in terms of environment interaction, collision scenarios, and more 3D-oriented background techniques, I decided to create a game that would allow me to develop those features. I also tried to make the game attractive to players regardless of the platform on which the game is played; therefore I chose distinct colors and the comic style.

This game has no GDD because it has very simple mechanics: kill 50 enemy planes before you run out of lifes, but it can be the base for an extended project if someone with the funds decided to invest... (there was supposed to be a couple of 'blinks' here, but this is a serious blog...)  


The models are based on WWII airplanes. The player is based on a Mitsubishi J2M but with a turbine instead of a helix in order to give it a modern touch. It also creates the impression of slight superiority for the player allowing him to face the entire armada of enemy planes, based on a MiG-3 design.


FS_Player FS_Player_UV



I manually made the UVs of the planes in Softimage. The player airplane texture is created as the ‘Raiden’ version of the J2M. The Japanese writing on the tail (Kanji) represents the word ‘Raijin’ which means God of lighting, thunder and storms (Kanji were not part of the original design). The texture of the enemy plane reproduces camouflage and details of the Soviet Union army (in case you wonder, there actually was a war between Japan and Russia although it happened a little earlier than my setting - I'm sure players will forgive the 'goof').

For the background I used 2 tiled textures featuring mountains and trees and a cloud as a game prop. The background tiles are simple but in future versions of the game, the sky, the mountains, and the trees would be separated in different planes and moving at different speeds. That, intercalated with planes containing clouds of varied shapes and speeds would give the desired sensation of deepness.

The objects, per se, are not animated. All transition movements and patterns are coded from scratch in C# within the game engine - Unity has its own Asset Packages for Character Control, but in this case, everything is done without using any of those. Also through coding, the clouds are placed randomly in 2 different layers (in front and behind the player layer). 

The explosions and the trail of the plane are also created in Unity.

The game is available to play in the web of Bloompix Studios, here (Sorry, link is temporarily unavailable). The controls are basic (WASD or arrow keys to move the plane and SPACE to shoot). The start of the game and the credits are selected with the mouse.Those who like simulation games will probably find this a little too simple because you don't have to spend an hour trying to start the plane and after that spend 2 hours flying in formation... my game is actually fun to play - Yes, I'm talking to you, Schwager :-).

To be able to play the game you have to download and install the Unity Web Player from their webpage, here

In the next post ("Like a shark in water") I will describe my role in the final collaborative project of the 3D Videogame Production Course, a classical platformer in 3D called "An Underwater Adventure".

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