• Mike

MA Multiplayer Game Design: Choosing our Character & Simple Level Designing

Hello hello!


So, this week is (I feel) a bit quieter since I'm juggling some stuff with this class, but it has mainly been investigating possible characters we could use for our game. Since we don't actually have a game name at the moment, we aren't limited by what assets we could use, which is good. Its just the "British Bulldog" game right now, but the name will change later, I promise!


Anyway, let's get into the crux of it for this week's update.

 

Choose Your Character

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Writing that header out gave me flashbacks to the Smash Melee announcer saying those words in the character select screen. What an awesome game.


Anyway, for our characters, my line of thinking is that we probably should have 2 sets in the game - one character to represent the Runners, and one for the Bulldogs. I think it would help to keep things simple and quick to understand for the players if you can visually tell whose side players are on. A bit like the 3D Plants vs. Zombies game where you know the plants are all on one side and the zombies are all on another side.


To that end, I started to hunt down character assets. Lots of assets. From everywhere. Sketchfab, CG Trader, Unity Asset Store, other random sites, the works. The big challenge would be sourcing ones which seemed like they would fit with the overall style and colour scheme that we are trying to go ahead with in the game. I even found an official Fall Guys character package, so worst-case scenario, we could go with that (although it will naturally come with IP problems). To help us along, I made a list with the links to all these free characters and put them up on our Trello board, as well as a little mood board to just show my programmer what I have found very quickly:

Character mood board of the assets I had found. The Fall Guys bean is our base comparison

Since I started doing any kind of research for this project, something which has creped up in my mind is that we ideally want some kind of "iconic" looking character. The Fall Guys bean has become super iconic and immediately recognisable, and the same is seen in other games like Among Us with the Crewmates.


On top of everything else, we want the characters to be customisable in at least one way, so there's a lot of requirements that need to be met if any of these assets are going to make it into the game. We'll sieve through the ones I have found and hopefully establish the character we will be using in the game soon so that we have some actual models moving around instead of cubes!

 

Starting Level Designs


Last week I showed a level design I had come across which featured pipes as the end game mechanic. Now, I've started to experiment with this idea and seeing how we could potentially make use of pipes to act as our finish lines:

Starting to block out a simple level

So the premise is very simple: Runners will start from the boxed-out area and need to get across and go into the pipes so that they fall down and land in the starting area for the next round. Bulldogs are meant to start from the middle of the level, but this hasn't been sorted out yet. The green cylinder represents the player and has some basic movement controls and a camera attached to simulate a third-person controller.


The level only has a couple of hazards to get through: some yellow rotating cylinders and a long bridge. Thanks to how ProBuilder works with mapping textures onto ProBuilder objects, I was able to have a red material for the sides and a slime texture material on the ramps and top parts. I know that game shows have some kind of tricky, steep surface for contestants to try to climb up through and Fall Guys also uses it for certain ramps in their game, so adding this in seemed like a fun little thing to try! A little script I wrote lets me control and manipulate the scrolling speeds and directions for each surface of the bridge, so it looks like it is flowing in the correct direction and isn't universal (the other end would look like the slime is going up the ramp, which is obviously wrong!).


I think the diving-into-pipes idea is a fun way of crossing the finish line, so to speak, so I am hopeful that we will find a way to get this to work.

 

Closing Thoughts


Right, that pretty much covers the interesting stuff we did this week! We're also sorting out our GitHub repo so that we can both be working from the same project, but in different scenes. I think this is the most efficient and effective way of coordinating this project, since its how I have done it in the past and its worked out.


By next week, there will hopefully be updates on the character we are trying out and some more blocking out the levels to talk about!

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