This Post is connected to the previous two postings about a digital Dungeon exploration game that is being built by the BFA game design batch 16 of Seamedu. The image at the end shows you a portion of the dungeon’s layout, right now it is incomplete and there are no interactive aspects in it since this is just the initial phase, soon there will be assets and interactions too. This blog tries to share the experience of making levels for the first time from a students perspective.
In the last post in this series, each of us in the batch were making their own set of textures and trying them out by laying out the respective dungeons in Autodesk Maya itself so as to realize what general mistakes we could make while building such an environment, before taking the project to a game engine – where we want to reduce the mistakes we ought make.
What’s happened so far?
Now we had seven st of textures as an option for the final dungeon network all applied across seven levels so we had an idea how it would look and feel. But now we had to decide upon, here we faced a team dilemma, it might not seem like much to someone who is used to such projects, but we had a decision to make about which set of textures to pick. Since, everyone worked hard on their own versions it was important to standardize the data we were to use from this point on-wards.
So, after testing each texture and some mixing and matching we finally decided to upon a new hybrid texture for the dungeons because we figured that then, it would feel more like “our’s”, rather than one person having most of the credit.
The next step was to bring the newly decided art style of the dungeon into Unity 3D. There we had a little hiccup, you see, we had edited the said textures so as to match one another, but since before everyone had made their own dungeon we had a bit of a fitting problem. The scales of our Dungeons weren’t matching each-other’s, so now the size of the texture files needed to be changed. And then again adjusting each dungeon according to the new texture could be very long. So, to avoid this we kept aside our ‘personal’ dungeons for the moment and started working together on a new project in Maya which only had the required pieces for the dungeon with proper scales that can be easily used to make almost everyone’s layouts.
Then all of us started laying down our dungeons in Unity as per their respective design but now with the newly decided common walls floors and ceiling.
This is how the Unity 3D project window or work-space looks. You can see there are two visuals out over there. The window above in the space where you can work just like in any 3-D software, move, rotate, scale or place game assets etc. While the space below is called the game window, it shows how the game is going to look and feel to the player through any kind of camera’s placed in the game environment. There are three other windows over there namely hierarchy, project and inspector. The hierarchy as per the name shows the relation between the assets placed in the game space, in the project window you can see the contents of your project folder and finally the inspector window shows the properties of whatever you are currently working on.
We test our game from time to time, here you can see the game window is active(the UI at the to ‘play’ ‘pause’ and ‘next’ is glowing in blue) so that one can have a walk-through through the environment check for any possible faults that could not be seen in the scene window. We don’t know if we should be doing this but since, none of the students have any previous game coding experience the coding part of the game has been put aside for now, temporarily, instead they are making the whole level first and then plan to code it. But for basic testing they have put in a first person camera out over there in their respective dungeons and have placed the necessary colliders(Special geometry in Unity that produces collusion effects among objects, also used as trigger) so that visual inspections can be made to check the dungeon from the players eyes, or in this case camera.
What’s happening now?
Right now we are trying to fill the dungeon with some 3-D elements or game assets, to juice up the dungeon to make it more interesting. Here again we had to face that dilemma about having similar things in each of the levels so that they don’t look disconnected. We are currently making assets that fit into our dungeon and deciding how to spread them across the levels. Well even though we learned this the hard way, but we now know that when working in a group how important it is to be in sync from the beginning, not that we weren’t but we had to be more connected and should have exchanged more data and should have set a standard to be achieved by everyone. Well that’s that, the project moves on, and more updates will follow soon.