Winners announced for Rookie Awards 2021
Breaching the Unknown
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Breaching the Unknown

Sam Claydon
by sclaydon on 17 Mar 2021

Hello, welcome to the process behind my 2021 Rookies entry. I will be solo developing a game in Unity that is inspired by Indiana jones and Tomb Raider.

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Update - 29 Apr 2021

Final Devlog

I am really happy with how this project has gone. All of the assets were created my myself and this video is a final showcase of the project before I take it on to the Rookies Entry.

I have now got a new name for the project, from Project: Explorer to Breaching the Unknown! I have really enjoyed creating this section of my game for my University Project but now I want to take it further. I hope you enjoy my breakdown in this Development Log.


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Update - 29 Apr 2021

Looking Back At The Project

Conclusion

Welcome to my conclusion before my final showcase of my set piece level. I have learnt a lot about game development throughout this project and how to market effectively. Before starting this project, I had never taken a project on with a big scope on my own and I am glad I did. Being committed to a game is why I aspire to be a game developer. Even though I specialise in Environment Art, I’d like to say that, throughout this project, I have adapted to gain more skills in development as a whole.

I have learnt many skills such as, Video Editing, effective use of the Post Process in Unity, Magica Voxel skills and use of Unity in general. Before starting this project, I hadn’t created 3D Character Art and by using Maya and Magica Voxel, it has given me the perfect pathway to understanding how to create them. I did initially find the 3D character proportions to be my main problem but after working on it and reducing the size it helped.

Another problem I faced was the initial Forest Level. I managed to get myself stuck in a creative hole, where I found the level was very straight forward and there were no branching pathways. In my Rationale I stated that I wanted escape from ‘sticking to the grid’ and bring more variation to my environment art. I believe that scrapping the initial level and taking the time to rework it made the overall level feel more professional. 

I do plan to continue this project into The Rookies yearly game development awards but if I were to restart it now how would I change it for next time? I believe that I would focus on the story more before creating the world. I initially wanted more environmental storytelling in my game but sadly I did not get to include it in this build. That is not to say that I will not add more to this project before the entry deadline but I will manage my time more effectively in the future.


Update - 28 Apr 2021

Refining the Forest Level

I have been currently working on the Forest Level, adding cars and altering the Post Process to make the scene look the best it can be, without altering the performance of the game.

This week I decided to test out a new take on the main playable character. I doubled the size of the player’s head and regretted it almost instantly. It doesn’t fit the overall voxel art style I am going for and looks very strange. Maybe in the future I could have a big headed enemy as it could work as a creepy boss.


Update - 17 Apr 2021

The Rework

Improving and refining the levels

Over the past two weeks I have been developing the levels to make them more concise and streamlined. The main two new features I have been working on is the Desert Level and the Forest Level. I have now decided to add a train section of the game to link each level together. With the addition to the maps I have now also created a Jeep asset, originally for the Train Level, in MagicaVoxel.

First I want to discuss my additions to the desert level. I have now added a small cave area as an introduction to the level. This will allow the reveal of the desert temple to have a greater impact on the player. This cave section was inspired by ravines that I had found when I used to play Minecraft. Using Voxels has given me the opportunity to expand on an art style that Minecraft has made so popular.

To introduce each level, I have created a small train station section to add more life to the start of each level. I based the design on stations from the 1940’s and have gone for a wooden aesthetic.

Looking back at the Forest level, I wanted to create a better gameplay experience than what I had so I decided to recreate it from the ground up. I have now worked on a small section of the level and have now included the cars that I had made previous to this. I also created a small flythrough of the map to showcase a small town that I am working on for my game.


Update - 28 Mar 2021

Devlog One

I have recently been putting together a video about my creation process. I have now added a train level and improved on the hub area to give it some more life.

This devlog is a showcase of my game so far and I have gone into depth into the creation process behind the project.


Update - 26 Mar 2021

Hub Area and New Map

This week I have been focusing my attention to the Hub area in the game. This will be a main location of the game so I will add as much detail and story within the map.

I have also been working on a train section, where the game takes you on a train chase. You will have to fight the bad guys on route. I also need to work on the AI for the enemies because, at this point in time, they aren't very threatening.

The hub area will take place within the initial city. This will be a perfect location to use as a safe haven before taking on each level. Next time I revisit this section of the game, I will work on creating buildings for the background and improve the jumping puzzle to test the player’s movement.


Update - 24 Mar 2021

Background Creation

Today I have mainly focusing on the hub area for the player. This will be set in the player's study and will guide them to the next level. I am still on the bench with the direction of the story but I have now come to the conclusion that my game will be set in an alternate 1930's environment.


Update - 22 Mar 2021

Enemy Update

Today I have been working on improving the enemy design. I created a poll on my Instagram (@sam.claydon) to see what enemy design would work best for my game. The bandit idea was the most popular so I decided to work on making some "very serious" bandits for my game. 

These Characters will be the initial key enemy in the game and will play a big part in the story. I decided to go for a design that would reflect the, wannabe scary, bandits. To achieve this, the middle character still has a gift from his Mum for christmas... The keep calm and carry on t-shirt.


Update - 21 Mar 2021

A big step forward

Hey, welcome back to the development of my 2021 Rookies Entry. I have been focusing recently on how I want my game to play and basing my environments of those ideas. I have now got a temporary title 'Project Explorer' but I will have a solid title by the time I submit.

I have now created 3 base levels to work on and improve in the future as my goal. I will continue to work on the scenery and try to make my game look unique. The levels that I have at the moment are, forest, desert and temple.


Update - 20 Mar 2021

Environment Update

Today I have been focusing on making my initial map more appealing and give more life to the game. I have achieved this by tweaking my leaf particle system to float more to the ground. I have also made a new terrain paint layer that I have used to create a path.

The sound in the background of the video was made with recordings I took and combined on Soundtrap. I have also made a small particle system that shows dust in the temple section of the map.


Update - 18 Mar 2021

Terrain and Level Design

Today I have been using the Terrain Editor on Unity and working on the optimisation of my game. Thankfully the framerate of the video is poor because of my recorder and not the game itself. 

My next step will be to add a variation of flowers and work on some new enemy designs (possibly a companion character?). The player can now lock onto the enemy but I will have to alter the amount of grass in the Terrain Editor as I believe that it might effect performance.


Update - 17 Mar 2021

Welcome

Welcome to my development blog on Project Explorer, a Voxel Adventure game that is set in an alternate 1940’s where the whole world has been secluded in a small city with no knowledge of the open world around them. The people in this world believe that it is only safe in the city and if they were to leave they wouldn’t be able to breathe. You play as an explorer who is told by their grandfather that the higher powers of the city are lying about the air being toxic and you set out to leave the city to see the rest of the world.

Recent Progress

Recently I have been working on the combat system and working on how the character moves around the map. I have also been working on the enemy designs and the leaves falling from the trees to bring depth to the gameplay.

The Start of my Game

Welcome to my process blog on my Rookies 2021 Game Entry. I will be solo creating a small playable demo of a game that will be created in a Voxel Art Style.  I have now created a small scene to walk around and have created a voxel character to play as.