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Engine: Unity

Programming Tools: MS Visual Studio

Role: Team Leader & Level Designer

Team size: 3

Development Time: 1 week

Synopsis:

"Monster Tag" is an online multiplayer game developed in Unity and using the Photon Unity Network (or PUN for short). This is a competitive tag / hot potato game in which players must bump into each other in order to pass along a bomb before the timer runs out. Once it runs out, the player with the bomb is killed and turned into a 'ghost' that can interact directly with the environment but not directly with players. The bomb is then given to a random player, and the cycle continues until only 1 player remains, who is then the winner. The game was created within 1 week.

Demonstrable Skills:

  • Leadership:

    1. Drafted up initial concept for a multiplayer appropriate game

    2. Created and organised GitHub repository

    3. Presented the game to my cohort and teaching staff

  • Level Designer:

    1. Imported suitable assets that would maintain coherent low-poly style with the playable monsters

    2. Designed a playable area that would feel well-rounded enough to accommodate players ranging from 2 to 20

    3. Crafted surrounding elements to give the illusion of a large area that covered the screenspace without costing performance or memory

    4. Performed some playtests to fix issues with collision boxes on certain objects and locations in the terrain that would create unexpected physics interactions

Skills Breakdown:

Leadership

My responsibilities for this project were two-fold: spearheading the idea with the corresponding gameplay and designing a suitable level for our players to play in. As with all team projects, discussions were held where everyone exchanged ideas for what could potentially be made until we settled on an idea we all found agreeable to do. I put forward the case to try making a tag / hot potato-style game based on similar minigames found in many party games. This would help keep our focus grounded by only needing a particular number of features to be implemented for the game to succeed.

Once we all agreed on the idea, we began thinking about the core aspects which would be required and assigned ourselves jobs which we would work on. I created the GitHub repository for the team and we maintained frequent contact with everyone so that work would proceed smoothly with as little hinderance as possible. We also decided to treat this project a bit like a game jam to get it finished as fast as possible so we could focus on our dissertation projects for longer.

On the day to present the game, I took charge to speak about what we made, design choices, features that were programmed in, and how the game functions. This was well-received, and we were able to accommodate almost 20 players (which is the max cap. available with the free version of the Photon Unity Network plugin) for a play session that lasted 10 minutes before the game finished. The game requires a minimum of 2 players to join a server before the host can begin a game, and can host up to 20 players in total. The game is playable in the browser on itch.io, although it is only possible to play on from the EU server.

Level Designer

With the gameplay settled, I focused on creating a - somewhat - secure arena in which the players would be fighting to survive in (I say somewhat because it is possible to escape out of the boundaries with a bit of persistence!).

 

I found assets which matched the low-poly style of the playable characters and built an initial play area for players to move around in. A couple of objects needed some adjustments done to collision boxes so that weird interactions didn't occur between the environment and the players (certain parts of the terrain, for example, would flip players over when trying to traverse them).

Once the main arena was finished, I realised that there was a lot of void space surrounding the area that could be seen by players when the game started. I made a duplicate of the main arena and removed many of the environment objects before tiling these new prefabs around the main play area. By doing so, it fills up enough of the background to maintain an aesthetic consistency without requiring too much memory from the users. The objects left on each of these blocks of terrain varies so that there isn't any repeated assets stacked together. Finally, I added in some "water" at the bottom of the map so that the waterwheel had a reason for being there and to add a little extra diversity to the level.