Building on a Game Jam game


The Tower was a game I did along with a friend for the Epic Mega Jam in Nov 2017. The theme was "However vast the darkness, we must always supply our own light". This was our first Game Jam in years. If I remember correctly, the last time we one was years ago for the Indie Speed Run. And to add to it, our 1st attempt at a game without a programmer.

We were pretty happy with the game concept we came up with. We did try to keep it as simple as possible (the technical side at least) and decided to focus more on the 3d platforming aspect of the game. You play a character that finds himself in a dark desolate world where Wraiths have banished the use of light. Although, you have your flame within you. Making your way up to the top, lighting smaller lanterns which also serve as checkpoints and avoiding confrontation with wraiths.

So, this is what the game looked like after the game jam: 


Once the game jam was done, We were pretty impressed with ourselves. And what we managed to do in just a week. Seeing the potential of the game concept we had, we decided to take development further in our own time. 

I got right down to making that grass look and interact better with the player. I was obsessed with replicating the grass from Hob (gosh its so satisfying just walking through that grass) and took me almost a month to get it to work the way i intended it to. Of course, I built up on the effect and added a lot of secondary motion in the shader. I decided to avoid using any physics/collision detection and tried to handle it all within the shader using only vertex animation. At the time i started working on the grass, I also had plans to do a mobile port of the game... but I've shelved that idea for now. Anyways, here's a look at the improved foliage...


Now that the grass is done, I wanted to make a few tweaks to the player character. I added a more intuitive blink aim system and some polish to the character camera controls.


Once all that was done, I had to jump on to an improved AI system. On the game jam build, I went for a simple Enemy AI that just ran after you when detected. I wanted something more sophisticated with awareness. Lucky for me, Pluralsight happened to have a course on Advanced AI that covered exactly this... Again, I had no experience with the Behaviour Trees and stuff. So I ended up following the course and added more custom functionality based on my game design. For example, the enemy cannot see you when you're in the bushes.

Metal Gear Solid is probably one of the biggest reasons why I got into game development... Narrative aside, the fine little details they added in the game always blew me away. I really liked the Threat ring in MGS4. And decided to replicate a similar system for the Player. It shows the Awareness level of the Enemy...


And finally decided to actually go in and add proper sound effects

Files

TheTower_Build02.zip 181 MB
94 days ago

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