It’s been a few months since my last update but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been a number of improvements to Crash Co! Starting things off, let’s face it, the buildings in Crash Co. were due for some refinement. These were still the original buildings from my prototype days so suffice to say, they were a bit ugly. Being nothing more than cubes with a texture meant everything about them looked flat. They got the job done, but there’s no reason that I couldn’t add more detail; so that’s just what I did. Below you can see the transition from old (right) to new (left).
Despite having added more detail to them though, they still seem a bit lifeless. Enter reflections! After having (finally) decided to learn about Reflection Probes, I decided to put them to use and generate a reflection at initial runtime (not in realtime though as that is far too expensive). Despite the lower quality of the video below, I am quite satisfied with the final effect.
I am proud to introduce the second playable preview for Crash Co. In this update you will find 2 new levels (one of which features the fist-firing mech Ricochet) while the other will afford the player a more comfortable opportunity to try out the helicopter and crane vehicles (after traversing the quarry canyon on an ATV) before being required to use them to clear the path in the subsequent level.
This level will also require the use of TNT crates (another staple of Blast Corps) in order to do so.
There have been a number of additions since the last post when I released the public playable demo from new levels to additional features. Those of you who have worked with Unity know that the terrain system is fairly limited. Thanks to the Relief Terrain Pack (shaders for terrain) and some clever code work to set certain layers to ignore collisions with each other, I now have traversable tunnels (an older feature) with visible holes cut in the terrain (the icing on the cake) to complete the illusion.
Additionally, I added the ability to highlight the path of said tunnels so that the player can see where they are going. The following gif was of the rough concept – it has since been cleaned up to differentiate walls from floors.
After about 8 months of work, I finally have the gameplay to the point that I would like to throw it in to the wild and see what others think. What started as nothing more than a “can I do it” prototype:
Has evolved and matured in to a game I hope will scratch that itch that Blast Corps left:
The first (and certainly not last) Mech along with all of the building-wrecking functionality that comes with it has been completed. The general idea is it will fire its fists at buildings, ricocheting off and destroying any other objects that it comes in contact with. After which, the fist(s) will need to be retrieved before they can be fired again. Naturally single fists can be retrieved and so long as one fist is present, you can fire it. Nearly everything for this is complete except updating the targeting sight and a glowing effect to ensure that the player can find the fists (as of now they simply show through any other geometry but I will be adding a luminescent effect to them as well).
It’s been about a month since my last (big) progress update and suffice to say, I’ve made a number of updates and improvements. First of which, a new world map (literally) with a rotating planet earth which the player will use to select their next destination. Nodes unlock (and secret ones reveal themselves) when levels are completed (or secrets are found) and a preview video showing a looping flyby of the currently selected level plays.
With the world map in a near finished state, I wanted to focus back on the gameplay. I always knew that wanted to have racing levels (akin to Blast Corps) so I started the foundation for them early on, but I wrapped up the time limits/lap times/race times/best times/etc so they are fully functional. The only item left for it now is whether I want the player to be able to choose the vehicle they want to attempt the course with. Continue reading →
In my journey to create a spiritual successor to Blast Corps, I have added many features to make it more familiar. First-off, the introduction flyby showing you both the map and the objects which will need to be cleared has been fully implemented. Using the objects which I have already set as “in the destruction path”, I temporarily change their material color to red so that they stand out for the flyby. After which the helicopter will fly over the path and lower the player in to their starting vehicle for the level.
Next-up is some progress on the levels themselves. I decided to go with a night-themed downtown are as my second level so that I could showcase the building cascade effects (as in you demolish a lower section and the ones above it follow). This was something that I had implemented in the early prototype phase but never got to show-off in the first level (being that it is based in a rural farm/residential area).
Just over a month ago I found myself looking to scratch a destruction itch that I didn’t know I could have, so to satiate it I had to turn to the only game (that I am familiar with) that could do this: Blast Corps on the Nintendo 64. I was immediately sucked in again. So much so that I decided to get all of the platinum medals and (subsequently) 100% in the game. Needless to say that I was once again hooked. As I was working on my 3D platforming game Besus: Journey for Vitality at the time, my brain was set in game developer mode. So as I was playing through Blast Corps, I was also breaking down how the various elements worked and how I might go about programming them.