Another Summit Concept Sound

The wind rises, but the travelers press on towards the Summit.




Hands are coming along.

Once again Eric and I are shifting plans. Summit is our primary focus, and we’re going to keep it simple – a small, executable project. It’s the reality that we’ve come to terms with – we simply don’t have the time for a grand scale operation.

And in keeping with that, I’m looking forward to coming up with an easily executed art style. I have some ideas in mind – stay tuned.

Animating Summit

As you can see from Eric’s post we’ve decided as a company to return to Drift as our main project. But I’m still interested in working on Summit as a platformer, and will continue working on it as a Send More People side project. Perhaps it’ll turn into a full game, perhaps it’ll just help me to continue fleshing out my C# skills, but for the moment it has value in being incredibly fun to work on and make strides in.

As you can see above, I’ve created a character controller and have gotten him to climb around a course. Today’s achievement was getting an animations array working, so that the animation automatically updates depending on the player status. Now comes the hard part – drawing the actual animation key frames. I’ll be spending a lot of time thinking of Eedward Muybridge in the days to come.

Oh, and I got a little hand-drawn animation working here as well. It’s hard to tell which is jankier… my hand-drawn animation or my 3d.

Progress on Level Design – e2d!

"I love you, new me. But where are your pants?"
“I love you, new me. But where are your pants?”

So we’ve gotten a lot done on Summit, in the past few days.

I’m delighted that Eric made the discovery of the Unity asset, E2D. Our use of Uni2D to generate terrain was meeting with some snags – namely, that the editor crawled any time we tried to drag an object with the Uni2D script attached. For the quick generation of player terrain, E2D is much simpler. You just drag and drop nodes, and voila – a new piece of terrain in seconds. I learned how to use the software and generated the environment above in about 2 hours of work – the bare bones of a level, which I can now fill in with environmental details.

Kyle Robot
We took the animation rig from the free robot Kyle and put our new textures on it.

We also have a new model for our dude guy. At first glance he doesn’t look much better – where are his clothes? – but if you look under that pasty pale skin you might see a humanoid Mecanim rig as opposed to the one that Eric valiantly set up way back when. The benefit of this rig is that there are premade animations for it, which we hope to take in, learn from and perhaps modify to work on a 2D plane. Incidentally I recommend that Unity 3d users look into Space Robot Kyle – he comes with a great animation tutorial.

Eric has proposed that we employ something called Agile development, which is apparently all the rage (my mother, working at  a software company, works using Agile). Essentially our system is to set 2-week “sprints” and break up our goals into achievable blocks. I’m down. Thinking about what I can accomplish in two weeks helps keep ambition in check. If I learned anything from my solo Ludum Dare 25 experience is that you need to keep your goals – short term at least – as simple as possible. Get too ambitious, and your interest starts flagging as you toil without any discernable success.

We’re also switching up the control scheme. More on that later.

Honestly, folks, I’ve felt very motivated about the project in the past few days. A gleam of the final result is starting to peer through.

Seriously, 2d indie developers! Check out E2D.

A Piton, a Plot

A piton

Eric and I had a great discussion yesterday about the story we want to tell with Summit. More on that soon, but suffice it to say we want to play around with the idea of legends and what it means to be a hero. We’re looking to have some fun with this!

One of the tools that the player will need to use in summit is the basic piton. Functionally, the piton roles in stamina management for the player – there are a limited number for you to use for each climbing puzzle, and thus a limited number of opportunities to refill your stamina gauge. Players must use them carefully to get to the top.

Incidentally, I’m very impressed with the climbing mechanics of Shadow of the Colossus. Even when you aren’t scaling creatures, the gameplay is essentially a combination stamina management and pathfinding. The player works to get as quickly as possible to a resting point and refill his stamina gauge. If we’re drawing upon that example at all, we’re looking to add an additional element of tool selection – forcing the player to use one of a variety of tools to scale a variety of platforming puzzles.

Thanks for tuning in!