robothead

Flash and Unity development

Mouse platformer update: Simple 2d enemy movement in Unity 4

Posted by robotheadgames on September 5, 2014

Finally, before going in and tweaking the mouse platformer demo, adding my own art assets, etc., I wanted to get some basic enemy action going. Baddies who’d go back and forth and you could jump on and squish them. (Or whatever happens when you jump on your enemies.)

The example project has enemy spawners sending small hordes of them down through the platforms. I liked how this worked – it reminded me of old run-and-gunners like Gunstar Heroes when there seemed impossible numbers of baddies on screen but perhaps that was just clever game design. However, it seemed like the wrong approach for my game.

For now at least, I want the whole game to be about jumping. Shooting is fine but for this game perhaps it should be limited, like Mario’s fireballs, if even. I wanted enemies my hero would jump on or punch from below while jumping. (More on this in a bit.) I also wanted two classes of enemies for now – one that flew and another that stayed on the ground. Referencing my first blog post on this subject, Edward Engine had flying enemies and the Lerpz tutorial had ones that stood around in an idle state until you got too close and then they’d attack.

However, the ground based enemies I came up with are not like the Lerpz baddies. I may make a similar class to those later. Both my classes of enemies go back and forth, presumably keeping a vigilant eye on my hero and making life hard for him

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Simple Jump Pads and Wind Zones in Unity 2D plus Errata and Lerpz Tutorial Links…

Posted by robotheadgames on August 30, 2014

First, I goofed in my last post on the mouse platformer. The platform trigger should be set to this:

errata_triggerSettings

Oneway should be checked OFF. Why? You only want it enabled when it is triggered. Otherwise, when enemies come down from above, they will fall through all the platforms. Note: I’m using the enemy script from the 2D example, I am not sure what the enemies will do in my final game yet. Perhaps they won’t follow physics. It will be a learning experience.

Also, if you are looking for the Lerpz tutorials I mentioned in my first post, they are gone from Unity’s site. The PDF’s can be downloaded from here (2D) and here (3D). Assets for the 2D game (actually the whole 2D Unity project) are also on GitHub. 3D assets including scripts (which aren’t fully documented in the PDF) are in this project based on Lerpz 3D. They are also probably in this game also based on Lerpz (I haven’t checked.)

Next, how to make those jump pads and wind…

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Simple One-Way Platforms in Unity 2D

Posted by robotheadgames on August 26, 2014

That’s right… 2D, not 3D…

I’ve been recently revisiting my mouse (the rodent, not the controller) platformer and I wanted to try out Unity’s relatively new 2D tools and see how they compared to Flash.

Note: I still like Flash, I’m quite comfortable with it as a 2D game dev tool and with AS3 but Unity has grown on me for game development.

Anyway, working from the 2D example project, all was well, except for one thing. One-way platforms. Again, you don’t get them out of the box. In 3D, as noted in the earlier post, this is easy enough to do by using a plane as a mesh collider. Unity could have made this easy in 2D by including the option of a one-way edge collider but they didn’t, edge colliders are two-way only. It seems to be a major oversight as one-way platforms are a major part of many old school 2D games. And they are an essential part of my mouse game. The entire game feels different without them.

There seems to be a good bit of demand for this feature and I found a number of solutions online. One, they have implemented a Physics2D.IgnoreCollision function in Unity 4.5 which seems to be most helpful. However, the simplest solution seems to be this one and it even works in Unity 4.3:

http://physicist3d.blogspot.com/2013/12/unity-tutorial-how-to-make-one-way.html

By Sudhir Attri. (Thanks dude!) Basically you make an empty GameObject as a child of your platform, give it a box collider that sits right below your platform and make it a trigger that turns the platform’s collider on and off. (Dead simple with their script.) That way your character can jump up through the platform and land on top of it. Success!

Except there is a problem. This only works once per game. Let’s say my mouse falls down from a higher platform and has to go back up. But he can’t, as the one-way platforms he’s passed through are no longer one-way and are blocking his way. This will not do.

Here is the solution I came up with. It’s simple: 

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Blippix: Bit Warrior Updated With More… Bits

Posted by robotheadgames on April 7, 2013

Added a few things which make things a bit more interesting (hopefully) and harder (definitely).

Black bits are like the invincible white bits… only invisible too. Not really, since they have an outline.

Chameleon bits change color. I already hate these but in a good way.

Yellow bits act as bombs that blow up all RGB bits onscreen… this is actually helpful.

Purple bits reset the clock – helpful as well.

Next I should work on the difficulty curve of the game and possibly add a few bosses. While I am a bit resistant to boss battles – they are a videogame cliche, are already used in sp8ce and may interrupt the flow of Blippix – I have some good ideas for bit-ty bosses that allow for gameplay experimentation.

Play the latest version on Kongregate: http://www.kongregate.com/games/robotheadgames/blippix-bit-warrior

Or download .swf or .apk from the Box widget @ right or from https://www.box.com/s/889b3d397a074ecc6f6f

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Blippix: Bit Warrior Beta

Posted by robotheadgames on April 4, 2013

Formerly BitWar… for Flash desktop and Android .apk.

Now up on Kongregate: http://www.kongregate.com/games/robotheadgames/blippix-bit-warrior

Or download from the Box widget @ right or from https://www.box.com/s/889b3d397a074ecc6f6f

I have some more ideas for this game. More opinions and ideas couldn’t hurt either.

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sp8ce: Beta v.0.1.1

Posted by robotheadgames on April 3, 2013

Latest updates:

Mouse control tweaked for PC. Tilt control now works on Android. Code was tweaked a tiny bit as well.

Download from the Box widget – or if it’s not showing up on your browser – from https://www.box.com/s/889b3d397a074ecc6f6f

On Kongregate: http://www.kongregate.com/games/robotheadgames/sp8ce

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sp8ce: Beta Version of Avoider Shmup

Posted by robotheadgames on April 1, 2013

Here it is, newest version of this game in somewhat polished beta form

It needs work but I am pretty happy with the results.

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Currently mouse control (or finger on Android) is the only viable control scheme. I haven’t been able to get tilt control working again for some reason and while keyboard control works, it is sluggish

Download from the Box widget – or if it’s not showing up on your browser – from https://www.box.com/s/889b3d397a074ecc6f6f

It is also on Kongregate: http://www.kongregate.com/games/robotheadgames/sp8ce

I’ve decided this is my March entry for One Game a Month (#1GAM on Twitter, where I am @robotheadgames) This should be a good way to force me to keep my games output up.

Thanks to Gabriel Walter for the name! Bitfighter was indeed taken by a rather cool game: bitfighter.org

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BitFighter: Revisiting, Optimizing, Mashing-Up Avoider Shmup Part 2

Posted by robotheadgames on March 28, 2013

Short update: I put almost everything from the avoider shmup back into this: enemy attack patterns, pickups, UFO’s, bombs, bosses, backgrounds. And it hasn’t broken. The kind of sluggishness and slowdown I was getting before isn’t there. I’ve noticed occasional slight slowdown or stuttering when running on Android, but nothing near the gamebreaking problems as before.  I have no idea what went wrong (or right, this time) and would like to figure it out but I’d also like to finish the game more.

The bees have returned as invincible enemies. Gameplay has gotten a bit closer to the original shmup with the addition of UFOs and bosses and the final product will likely be less of a mash-up with BitWar than it is now. There are a few tweaks left, like adding tilt and/or keyboard control back in. And there seems to be some code that could be optimized. At any rate, it is time to finish up this game.

Get the latest versions from the Box widget at the right or from https://www.box.com/files/0/f/286548067/flash_widget

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BitFighter: Revisiting, Optimizing, Mashing-Up Avoider Shmup

Posted by robotheadgames on March 25, 2013

Mash-shmup?

After a good bit of in-game tweaking (discussed here) I could not get the Android version of TiltFighter (working title) the way I wanted it. I could improve speed a bit but no matter what, there was slowdown every time the player craft fired. I tried a few other fixes, including removing all custom enemy attack patterns but no luck.

So I decided just to dump the sprites into my BitWar avoider derivation, and it runs just as speedy as BitWar. Then I enabled shooting and it still runs fine. Doing it this way I can keep uncommenting-out leftover blocks of shmup code or adding stuff until I can find the source of the slowdown. If its not attack patterns, is it the pickups? The backgrounds? Something else?

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The aliens are color-coded to match the RGB bits now. The bees are gone for now. The invincible white bits are now UFOs. There are no bombs, no bosses, no backgrounds and I didn’t replace the Bitwar title screen or music. (Actually the black background works well.) Also only mouse/finger control is available. Well, on to fixing and finishing the game. Onward!

Grab the .swf and .apk files from the Box widget @ right. For some reason the widget no longer shows in Chrome for me. You can also get the files here: https://www.box.com/files/0/f/286548067/flash_widget

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Another Challenge: Reboot!

Posted by robotheadgames on March 14, 2013

This one also got published a while back. (Sadly I did not have time to submit my idea for the Dual Shock 4 challenge this week, mainly because I had no ideas until yesterday.) Mine was a rhythm game reboot of Steel Battalion…

Results: http://gamecareerguide.com/features/1172/results_from_game_design_.php

…I honestly think this would be a good game…

Dance Dance Battalion

A reboot of the original Xbox Steel Battalion games and their recent Kinect incarnation.

Giant robot/mech games are great. Rhythm games are great. Giant robots and dancing, why not? Like in so many 80’s movies, fights are settled with a dance-off. But with explosions.

Title Screen of Dance Dance Battalion with giant mech dancing

Totally legit-looking title screen.

The original Steel Battalion was known for its steep learning curve. The Kinect sequel was known for being difficult to control. With a revamped Kinect control scheme and its rhythm/action focus, Dance Dance Battalion takes care of both issues. While a definite departure from the series, DDB will appeal to a new audience. In addition, DDB’s gameplay modes and difficulty settings will appeal to, variously, hardcore rhythm game players, mecha aficionados, or both. And the original’s famous crazy huge controller has not been forgotten.

In the basic version of the game both dancing and weapons are controlled via Kinect and Xbox controller. Instead of the original’s control scheme where Kinect would have you working the cockpit controls with your hands, DDB (played in 3rd person view) maps your body movements to those of your Vertical Tank, as seen in 3rd person view. VT’s have also been given greater agility to make the dancing more engaging. Weapons are fired with the Xbox controller. Hardcore users will want the Fullmetal Control Suit (affectionately called the “dorksuit” by fans) – bits of Gundam-looking armor – breastplate, gauntlets, greaves, etc with buttons for firing weapons.

Two robots having a dance-off in Manhattan.

Two robots having a dance-off in Manhattan. Totally real gameplay shot. No expense was spared. Literally.

Missions and settings vary, but basically all the factions from previous games are coming together to beat each other with heavy ordnance and dance moves. Online multiplayer modes allow players to challenge each other as well as to form dance teams (“Dance Battalions”) who take on each other.

Gameplay is like a combination of Just Dance and Space Channel 5 with dance sequences similar to the up/down/left/right/shoot sequences of the latter. Up/down/left/right dance moves are controlled via Kinect, shooting by the Xbox controller. Certain movement/button combinations and sequences will trigger combos and special weapons.

An extra mode recreates all missions from the original and online modes of Line of Contact in glorious HD, using the original controller.

Graphics are lighter and brighter and more cartoony, in keeping with the tone of DDB. Music consists of dance, metal and hip-hop tracks as well as remixed Capcom themes from the ages including the Megaman series. And Guile’s theme, of course.

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